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blogging for dummies

Blogging for Dummies: How to Turn Your Site into a Cash Cow

The state of internet marketing is changing at the speed of light. I’ve enjoyed watching this constant evolution over the many years and look forward to seeing what’s to come. Based on the last few years, I can already venture to guess what internet marketing models will become the most profitable in the coming years.

On sheer momentum alone, I’d have to say that creating a site that produces continuous, valuable blog content will reign supreme.

Thanks to the many Google updates over the years, cruddy, low quality sites have gone to the wayside, allowing for sites that actually provide something of worth to be found. Plus, since the rise of social media, more and more people are sharing content that they find online. Also, there are more people searching for information online than ever before.

This has led to a continuous battle among site owners who are all fighting for the same potential consumers, greatly raising the bar of what constitutes quality content for a site. This has allowed the sites with the top blogs to reel in ridiculous sums of money (which simply wasn’t plausible for a blog owner only 10 years ago).

Yes, blogging can now drive massive profits. However, creating a successful blog is easier said than done. That is why I’ve written down a few helpful tidbits that will hopefully be of some use to you in your internet marketing journey.

The Money Will Come In Time

Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. Anyone that creates a blog because it will bring them sudden riches is wither very misguided or on the brink of lunacy.

However, once you’ve effectively established your blog, and the money does begin to trickle in, then it is typically much more sustainable than other business models.

It’s important to realize that creating a blog and generating a livable income from it could take some time. In that regard, blogging is not quite as profitable in the short term as other internet marketing models, but in the long run, may be the most intrinsically valuable.

So, don’t kid yourself into thinking you are going to become an overnight sensation or an instant millionaire simply because you published a few posts. If done correctly, the money WILL come, but in due time.

If that scares you, then perhaps it’s best to look for a different marketing method, but I can assure you, that few others are as reliable and sustainable as marketing to a massive blog audience (especially if they are emotionally invested in what you have to say).

Being 100% Passionate About What You Do Will Lead to Success

A blog requires a large investment in time and effort. Unless you are borderline fanatical about what you do, then it is highly unlikely that you’ll be willing to put in the necessary “man hours” that it takes to become successful.

Every successful blogger that I’ve EVER spoken to has agreed with me. Unless you have a deep seeded passion for what you do, the odds will be greatly stacked in your favor.

There are of course exceptions to the rule, such as those that outsource all of their content, which often requires a significant budget as you’ll need to pay top dollar for writing that knocks the socks off of your audience.

For the majority of people, statistically, they are destined to fail unless there is an evident love for their niche; or even worse, show signs of potential but end up sputtering along, causing you to hemorrhage more time and money in hopes that it will work out.

Be About “Something”

How are you going to stand apart from the others within your niche? What is going to be your specific angle?

The most profitable sites are built on a brand. Their brand distinguishes them from the millions of other websites out there that are vying for the same traffic.

This can only be done by attaching your name to “something”. For instance, a popular website within the fitness niche is Nerd Fitness. They garner to “nerds” that want to get in shape by using video game references and pictures of Lego characters.

No one else within that niche is doing that!

That has become their “thing” and is one of the reasons why they are so popular today. Their brand is easily identifiable and stands apart from every other.

This is exactly what you need to do. I’m not saying that you need pictures of Lego characters or to create articles loosely based on Star Wars movies, but you need to find your own angle.

Trust me, your branding will become a billion times more effective if you have a specific identifier and are consistent with your message.

Transparency Builds Trust

Trust Builds Relationships. Relationships lead to sales. Another popular marketer I’d like to name drop is Pat Flynn. He is SO transparent, that he actually publishes his income report online every single month.

Not many people would be willing to divulge that sort of information, and his following has grown to epic proportions because of it. They see that he is honest and open. When he tells them to buy something, they know he has their best interest in mind and do as he says.

Now that’s REAL power.

Your Site is Fine, Focus on What Matters

Have you ever followed a site because you thought it looked cool? Yeah, me neither. Then why do people spend SO much time tinkering with their plugins and messing with the layout of their site, etc.

There is a time and place to optimize your site. However, in the initial stages of building your audience, the most important aspect is creating high quality content and driving traffic. That’s it!

Once you’re able to generate a sustainable flow of traffic, then you can find some free time to screw with your layout. Until then, it’s not an urgent matter.

People become invested in specific websites because they provide value, not because they are aesthetically pleasing and have the coolest plugins. Besides, what’s the point of doing all the tinkering unless you have an audience to enjoy it?

Build a Relationship with Key Influencers In Advance

One key mistake that I see many new bloggers and internet marketers make is that they only contact the authorities within their niche when they want something from them.

They don’t know you! Why should they help you?

Most authorities receive a TON of emails from people asking them for links, interviews, guest posts etc.

By opening up a dialogue with these authorities early in your site’s development, you will be able to create a relationship with them. They will get to know a little about you and what you stand for and will be much more likely to throw you a bone later on down the line.

This can be done through blog commenting, social media, or simply sending them an occasional ego boosting email telling them what a great job they are doing.

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Get your content in front of influential people within your niche. Don’t waste time creating guest post for sub par sites. How does the old adage go?

If you give a man a fish you can feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you can feed him until he gets tired of sitting around fishing all day, but if you harpoon a massive freaking whale, you and your entire village can put down their fishing rods, chill on the beach drinking mojitos, and feast on whale meat for the next few decades…or something like that. I may have messed that up.

The point is, these established sites are your big whales. If your content is good enough, and focused towards their key demographic, then you should have no problem getting a guest post.

Once that happens, you can sit back and watch your traffic literally double over night.

Now, I don’t want to make it sound as if guest blogging is the only way to build traffic. It’s obviously not. However, it is certainly a method that will expedite the growing pains that most blogs initially undergo. In the long run, your success will be based solely on your content and your ability to monetize the traffic that you bring in.

The Final Say

Though this is a relatively short post (less than 1,500 words) I’ve actually given you a fool proof blueprint for creating a profitable blog.

If you follow the basic information I’ve provided, and stay persistent and consistent, then you will undoubtedly eventually hit pay dirt. It may not occur on Day 1 or even day 365 for that matter, but it will eventually happen.

The future of internet marketing is evident. Highly visible brands that produce insightful content will reign supreme. It’s up to you to decide whether you’d like to be one of them.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. Love this Post!!…..you are so right Sean, it’s so easy to caught up with the technical aspects of running a website that its easy to forget its more about the quality of your posts and building trust.

  2. Juan Rademacher

    Great post Sean.
    I have seen bits and pieces of what you cover in this post, but I can’t remember ever seen it summarized as well as you do it here.
    I especially like your emphasis on the fact that a successful, profitable blog is a long term project.
    Thanks for the terrific advice!

  3. Sergio Castorena

    Cool Post Sean!
    I think we all bloggers, should care about content, content first and later you can start to build an audience from the very little traffic that´ll come to your blog. Later you can grow this audience based on the first relationships you´ve made and the spreading of your work through your initial little audience, and keep the ball rolling from that point!

    Great Info Sean! keep it up!


  4. Great post Sean,
    I like how you have distilled the essentials down into these points-I would suggest that the old school idea of setting up a blog under your own name is no longer effective-people are not so much interested in personalities, as they are in what you can do for them, and this translates as a brand, as you have described. Just a quick comment and a word of appreciation for your generous information.

  5. Great article Sean. Love getting your updates in my email. Keep up the great work 🙂

  6. Gabriella Lengyel

    Thank you for this great article,the useful advices and essential points how to think and develop your blogging.

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