November 10, 2011, 6:00 am

Do You Want to Blog Full-Time? Reality Check Part 2

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income
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I’m back.

Last week I shared the disastrous results from my eBook launch and I gave you guys a reality check on full-time blogging. I ended off the post by talking about how much I love to help people. The post then went on to receive an insane amount of helpful comments. I even found out how to get my eBook published on Amazon for Kindle. I’m excited about that.

On to part two the reality check for those that want to be full-time bloggers…

I love to help people.

Why can’t I just help people? I want to give real advice. I have a real education. I don’t want to write about blindly following your passions.

It kind of frustrates me that these same people that I respond to all of their emails and help them for free couldn’t fork over a few dollars. I’m not trying to get rich off my premium guide. I just wanted to see if my readers understood the idea of paying for value. I guess not.

[Here’s a tip cheapass, if you want to save money and are to cheap to pay $17 for it: stop buying girls drinks at bars. It’s not going to help you get laid. She’s going to use you for your free drinks and go home with someone that has more game.]

A few more lessons learned through blogging…

I learned so much from this experience and from blogging. I feel that it’s my obligation to share it with you.

I love blogging and helping others.

I guess I already mentioned it above. For any of you that have ever emailed me you know that I will respond within minutes. If you ever asked me a question you know that I did my best to answer it. If not I helped you get the answer. Why isn’t there any compensation model on the internet that pays you for all the people that you help make real progress instead of promoted credit cards to?

Success in the blogging world should NOT be a slow process.

I officially started blogging about 3 years ago. The exact date is November 7th, 2008.

To put things into perspective. Pat Flynn was just getting started. Adam Baker still didn’t have a blog. Crystal of BITFS was over a year away from starting a blog. That’s when I started. Now Pat earns more in a month than I do in a year from blogging.

Where am I going with this? If you’re going to fail, you better fail fast. Don’t wait around thinking that success is a slow progress. It’s not.

Did I mention that I hate to lose?

Are these people smarter than me? Possibly. Do they work harder than me? I’m not sure. Pat once mentioned in a podcast that he works four hours a day. I work four hours everyday before lunch. If I counted how much time I work online vs income generated I would have J. Money and the Love Drop team showing up at my door steps.

I hate bothering people.

I don’t like to ask people for links or for help constantly. I don’t like to bother people at all. I feel bad for bothering my affiliates. They signed up and they get their payout of ZERO from me.

I’m sorry to Frugal Dad, Bible Money Matters, Daily Money Shot, PT Money, Good Financial Cents, Lazy Man and Money, Budgeting In The Fun Stuff for wasting your time.

I do my best to help others. I just hate to ask for help. Do you know what I mean?

I spend all of my time online.

I seriously love this work. I spent all of my available time online. I’m glued to my Blackberry/MacBook. My friends usually figure I’m texting girls to come by to the party so they don’t mind. Others know that I’m responding to reader emails or chatting on Twitter.

What can You take away from this?

At the end of the day you can follow your passions to the unemployment line or you can get a life. There are many more ways to make money and help people. Stop signing up for programs.

What can you as a reader of this article take away from my experience?

You readers don’t care about you.

This is really tough to accept. Personal finance blog readers will come by, check out your free content, and move on.

You can’t always write epic content.

Uh-oh I’m going against blogging gospel now. Writing epic content is cool, but you need to throw in some SEO-heavy posts and promote some credit cards if you want to make real money. I’ve spent over 10 hours and went to bed at 7am many times while writing “epic content.” What will getting epic content get you? How do these articles make any money?

You can start a consulting business. The best way to make money online is to tell other people how to do it.

I’ll help you out by giving you the framework for your new consulting business.

1. Tell them to be more epic.

2. Tell them to follow their passions.

3. When they fail tell them that they weren’t epic or passionate enough.

4. Promote your eBook on the topic.

There you have it. The winning formula. I might have missed a step, but you get the point.

You need to get a life and do something real.

I just want you to open your eyes. Close this window and go do something real.

What are some examples of bloggers doing something real and making real money?

Crystal of BITFS makes a killing from her advertising business.

Mike of this site works a full-time job where he makes amazing money, outsources his online work, and collects money.

Pete of Bible Money Matters creates amazing logos.

Khaleef of KNS Financial helps others figure out their finances and he does taxes.

What if you want to make a difference?

If you want to make a difference you need to do something real. Get a full-time job that helps people.

If you hate your job then you have nobody to blame but yourself. Nobody told you to drop out of college to “find yourself” or to get a History degree.

If you want to do good in this world, why not volunteer your time? Go volunteer at a soup kitchen or become a Big Brother. Don’t start a blog. You won’t make a difference. People will come to your blog, consume your free content, send you emails, and then get offended when you want to make a dollar.

What’s next for me?

I hope you don’t think I’m going anywhere. I’m in too deep. I’m addicted to all of this. I love my art. I just wish it loved me back.

I really do need to get a life. It’s impossible to justify spending every single moment thinking about my blog. I probably need to polish up my resume. I’m pretty sure I have a resume somewhere on my blog.

The good news is that when I finished college in December 0f 2010 I gave myself a year to work on my own projects. I still have about two months left to make shit happen.

I need to thank Mike for letting me be on his team. M-35 has done amazing things and the company is only going to expand further. I do my best to provide quality work on a constant basis.

Blogging is a good part-time income. It allows you to travel while not going broke. I love to travel. I have many more trips lined up. Through blogging, I’m able to party all night and write all day while I travel (sight seeing is for old people).

Don’t expect to be “making money while you sleep.” Get a job and blog in your spare time. Stop being delusional.

That’s it for today. Bookmark this article. Read it over a few times. Stop lying to yourself. Don’t attack me. I’m just telling you what nobody else wants to tell you.

Good luck!

P.S I plan on joining in on the action. I now offer coaching and plan on releasing an eBook that touches on following your passions. Hey, I might as well.

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You hit the nail on the head. If you look at the successful bloggers, they are actually online business models more than blogging. I plan on continuing my day job and pursuing blogging more as a hobby and something more valuable to do than watch TV.

Martin, I’m starting to sense that you are an emotional guy. 😉

You can’t make money off regular readers. They expect free stuff and that’s all they will pay for.

I’ve really cut down on answering questions etc – it’s just not worthwhile. I even tried to charge for answering questions, but no takers. That answered my question of how much these people valued my advice. 🙂

Bottom line is that you have to experiment with different things and see what makes money.

Freelancing/books/courses/products/public speaking/services etc – if something doesn’t work, then try to refine or change it until it works or you drop it.

How you want your readers to behave is irrelevant.

The only way I will blog full time is when I retire from my full time career. I just may do that because Ienjoy it that much. I also think other opportunities will present itself between now and then (5.5 years).

Blogging is a thankless job and a delicate balance between helpful free information and information that is kinda helpful and makes you money. I’ve realized the same, I have to offer a service that people will pay for in order to get my online income where I want it to be.

“Don’t wait around thinking that success is a slow progress. It’s not.” I do not agree with this. What you fail to take into account is how much those individuals put into their blogs/businesses especially in the initial stages. Speed of success is relative (it’s the output) to the work you put in (the input). If it takes you 5 years to succeed, you still succeed. How does a difference of a few years matter in the long run?

Martin, I have also paid for the earn1k course and found your post through a link from Ramit’s blog. When I read your post a couple of questions came to my mind.

You mentioned that you did your research by going through common comments and questions from your reader base and tried different strategies to make money off of your blog. When I actually had a look at your product page my first impression was “this isn’t for me, I am neither in my 20s nor do I have debt or was in debt back then.” My second impression was that I wondered if people who find themselves in crushing debt would really pay for a book that promises to solve this problem. On the other hand, those that are not in crushing debt will likely have different needs as their priority as debt is not the most urgent thing in their lives … that’s just my first impression and it may be totally wrong.

You mentioned that you did your research. Please let me ask you if had rigorously tested and positively verified that:
1. Your readers are mostly people in their 20s,
2. They are predominantly troubled by their credit rating,
3. They do not care about the other benefits that financial freedom offers,
4. This trouble is significant enough that they would spend money for its solution,
5. That the pitch you use on your sales page is more effective than variations that focus on other benefits of greater financial freedom,
6. That the solutions you offer in your ebook solves this problem repeatedly and consistently,
7. That you have tried the specific solution you are selling on several readers who volunteered to apply it for free in return for testimonials?

On point 7. I just found two testimonials buried on the page – if I had not specifically been searching for them I almost certainly would have missed them entirely.

Can you answer every single one of these questions with a resounding “Yes”? Did you test and verify other things?

@CFM That’s a good point. Blogging is definitely better than watching tv. I don’t know if I could ever go back to chilling on the couch in front of the tv instead of being online.

@Mike Oh yes I’m an emotional guy. I was pretty emotional when I found out it was already last call last night and it just felt like the night was starting lol. Thanks for the tips on the readers. It’s an important lesson to learn.

@Krantcents Wow you’re so close to retirement. You must be excited.

@FSFYA What’s your plan?

@Sunil You’re right man. I’m guess I’m just too impatient.

@Wolfram You got me. I realized in this process that I’m not good at following instructions and applying concepts. I read all the theory in the world, but my execution sucked. I have nobody to blame but myself.

I loved the course. I didn’t mean to bash it. I accomplished my goal with it of increasing freelance income so I can’t complain.

Martin, you have taken action and executed. Only few people ever get to that point. Now you know how to design a product and publish it.

The thing that may need more attention is understanding your customers, getting in their heads and seeings things from their perspective. From reading your posting I do not believe that more successful bloggers (“success” measured in financial terms only) are smarter than you – they may simply have more experience in understanding their customers.

[…] from The Financial Blogger presents Do You Want to Blog Full-Time? Reality Check Part 2, and says, “The second part of the reality […]

You can’t get paid for every nice thing you do. Or maybe someday we’ll get to the libertarian micro-payment dream world where there’s a credit card terminal between your brain and your muscles and you’re paid for every movement 🙂 I only expect a small percentage of the good things I do to result in real income. I’ve chosen to focus on delivering the most value I can to a few people who are willing to show they need it, but others succeed by giving smaller value to many people.

That’s not to say blogging is useless. Some people have used it to build an audience who are then ready to buy other things. Every reader of this blog likely spends a lot of money online, you just need to find what it’s on and how you can make a better offer. If you want to do that it might help to do like Ramit and help a few people out for free so you can prove that you’ve made a huge difference for them and inspire others to want that. Instead of saying “my rates are reasonable”, start by creating so much value that people want to pay you. But that’s only one way to build a good business.

Being a pro blogger requires not only good writing skills but also the ability to socialize and make readers feel like part of a club (like people who get a great job just because they’re good networkers). If you try to make an income by relying on your weaknesses instead of your strengths you’ll end up hating your blog instead of your job. Most people reading this do just that – read instead of trying things. It’s only by doing that they’ll find what works.

As I continue to run my business I’m starting to experiment with several small products that have potential. It might take a few years before I manage to actually launch a new viable business but I’m happy with what I’m doing already so I can take the time to do it right. Life doesn’t happen in a day (unless you’re playing The Sims with cheat codes) so the best you can do is find a small intersection between things that are satisfying to do and others are willing to pay for, and keep doing other interesting things that don’t pay you. It beats living off tv, malls and credit cards 🙂

by: Pauline | July 5th, 2012 (1:30 am)

Hi, just found your article, do you think it has something to do with remaining anonymous? Ramit, Adam Baker, Trent or JD Roth all show faces, picture, market themselves as much if not more than their actual blog content.
By staying in the dark IMHO, I would say that you need much more time and free stuff before people trust you and agree to pay for content.