In this post I’ll talk about how the veterans of the blogging world make their money. They are much like prospectors as they search for profitable niches in their effort to know where to dig. Before taking on projects, a successful blogger will do a lot of analytic research with tools like the Google Keyword Planner or Long Tail Pro. When they determine what niches have little competition, they buy domain names from GoDaddy that accurately reflect those niches.
For each website that they initiate, they add about 12 or 13 pages worth of content which will cause Google to index and promote. Above each page a Google Adsense banner ad is placed which serves as the profitability meter. If 10 websites are created like this, there is a very good chance that in the span of 2 months people will click on some of the ads. After determining what sites it’s possible to make money blogging with, the webmaster will focus on those and forget about the others. He will also decide which third party products he will sell through his sites in order to make the most money. This is called affiliate marketing, something that won’t be covered here.
Over the years as these websites mature in age, they become favored with Google and get more exposure as long as there is a steady flow of new and compelling content. So you can see how a simple blog can easily make money for the long term if it is maintained. With this in mind, it is difficult to understand why anyone would sell a profitable one. Those who do this just don’t understand that a blog which makes a little money can make more…. much more. Since prospecting and building a profitable blog from scratch is becoming increasingly difficult, the value of holding on to a profitable one for the long term cannot be overstated. To nail this point home, let’s look at US history and see how a group of real life prospectors fell into the trap of selling early and lost BIG in the end.
It was the spring of 1859 when two Irish miners, Patrick McLaughlin and Peter O’Riley found a large deposit of silver in Nevada. Being undisciplined, they failed to keep this discovery to themselves and a local swindler named Henry Comstock caught wind of it and succeeded in muscling in on the action. He approached the men and told them that he had already staked a claim there for “grazing purposes”. Not wanting to lose everything, the two prospectors struck a deal giving Comstock 1/3 of the prospecting ownership. Comstock then enlisted a friend named Emanuel Penrod to help with the operations. As the months passed it was clear that the ground was productive but they didn’t have the tools to know what kind of mother load they had found. So each of them eventually sold their share of the claim in order to find greener pastures elsewhere. McLaughlin sold his share for $3,500 and traveled to California getting a job as a cook. There he fell into obscurity working odd jobs until his death. Emanuel Penrod waited longer and sold for $8,500. He spent the rest of his life prospecting throughout Nevada with minimal success. Comstock, the mangy swindler held out a while and managed to sell his share for $11,000. He went on to open some trade stores in Carson City, but went broke because of his low mental capacity and lack of business experience. Then he tried his hand at prospecting again in Montana with no results and eventually ended up shooting himself with his own revolver. Peter O’Riley waited the longest, selling his share for $40,000 and opened a hotel that went bust. After failing in the business of selling mining shares he wasted the rest of his life prospecting again with limited results. He later died in an insane asylum.
It’s interesting that the men who had purchased the land from the original prospectors knew what they were buying. Weeks before the purchase they had secretly done an assay test on the blue colored clay which was discarded and considered worthless. The test revealed that in a ton of that “worthless” soil lied the potential of extracting $4,791 of silver and $3,196 of gold. For the next 30 years, the Comstock mine (as it later became known) produced over $31 million in revenue.
So what lessons can we learn from history about making money blogging? The first one would be, hold on to your profitable blog even if you lose interest in it. If your profit supersedes the $23.00 a year marker of hosting and registration fees, keep at it. If it’s too painful to do yourself, you can hire some writers at oDesk or elance. Paying a writer $10 to create a few pages of content can go a long way. This brings us to an issue which very few discuss in regards to profits online. Your overall goal is not to maintain each blog yourself. Rather, it should be to give the responsibility to someone else under you while you do your own thing (passive income strategy at its finest). In the industry, these people are called virtual assistants and they do most of the work for you as they get their own blog(s) under way.
The second lesson comes from the first two prospectors’ initial mistake. It’s best not to publicize the details of your online activities, especially what your specific business niches are. Believe me, there are unscrupulous copycats out there who can use some dirty tricks to malign your site so they can promote their own over yours. The worst thing you can do is agree to do interviews geared towards the online entrepreneur community. Even if you want to do this from an altruistic perspective, don’t. The dogs that you feed will be coming back to bite the hand that fed them.
And thirdly, do your research. Had the prospectors known what they had stumbled upon they would never have sold out early. You should become acquainted with the online tools which will help you better understand the cyber landscape of your niches. Knowledge is power and can help multiply your blogging profits several fold when implemented correctly and consistently.