So it might seem kind of odd as to why I would write a post like this.
So WHY am I writing a post like this?
The main reason is
It’s tough teaching people how to properly build a successful blog when they’ve been told a hundred other things that don’t work for anyone else but the course creator.
Another reason why I’m writing this post is because I understand that when people decide they want to start a blog, they aren’t doing it as a hobby.
They are doing it because they see how other people are successful with it.
They are doing it because they believe that building a successful blog can improve their lives.
I can understand the frustration and disappointment when you’re promised the world by a course only to be left stranded.
You get excited and tell your family and friends you’re going to start a blog and make money and although they are skeptical, they still support you.
That is until they see you a couple of months later and you tell them things are still the same.
Some people even question whether or not if they are the problem and not the course creator.
I mean the course creator says they are making thousands of dollars with their blog so obviously they know what they are talking about which means the course buyer must be at fault.
I do think there is some good material out there but I also think the majority of it isn’t going to help most people.
Mainly because the course creators themselves don’t understand why they are successful.
I’ll get into that later, but first let’s talk about the scammers.
Those people who fake it until they make it.
These are the dangerous ones that you have to look out for.
The How to Make Money Blogging Scam
First, it’s important to understand that there are 3 things that will almost always grab someone’s attention when you’re doing any kind of marketing:
- Better health
- Better love
- Better money
So when you’re on Pinterest or Facebook and you see someone claim that they are making $10,000 with their blog, it’s bound to pique the interest of a lot of people.
That’s the first step.
The second step is being relatable and this is where they really get you.
It’s one thing to see someone with a Harvard Degree and quitting their job as a brain surgeon making millions from their new online business versus the college student who was struggling but suddenly turned things around with their blog.
The more they can normalize themselves and show their early life struggles, the more relatable they become.
You fall into this trap of thinking “if they’ve done it then surely I can do it as well.”
So now they have you hooked. You may not necessarily be ready to hand over your money, but you’re interested enough to keep on reading.
So you ask yourself, how exactly are they making this money?
That’s a damn good question.
The majority of time they won’t get into specifics. They’ll be pretty vague about it.
They’ll say they make their money with affiliate marketing and then later they’ll add their own products as a revenue stream.
This sounds great, but it’s important that you understand where this money comes from.
A large majority of it is going to come from the Bluehost affiliate marketing program.
Bluehost is a webhost where you host your blog. It’s one of hundreds of web hosting companies but it’s the one that pays the most with affiliate marketing payouts.
So even if a blogger isn’t using them (read reviews of their service, people aren’t too happy) they will still promote them because they get good money.
Bluehost also works well because they give their affiliates a deal like “only $2.95 a month for your blog”.
$2.95 seems like a very small investment to start your successful blog so it’s easy to understand why a lot of people will take the superstar blogger up on this offer.
And that’s really the scam part.
You see, most of these people only start to make money when they promote the promise of building a successful blog for yourself.
They haven’t made any money yet, but they’ll tell you that you too can start a successful blog. All you have to do is follow your passion and sign up for Bluehost!
Some will even claim that they’re making a couple hundred or thousand. They won’t show any proof of that because they don’t have any and they know most people won’t question them.
That’s the fake it part.
Well, there are people that want to make money blogging and since they don’t know much about it they believe that signing up for Bluehost is one of those steps to building a successful blog so they sign up.
Which in turn means the scam blogger actually does begin to make money.
Now the scam blogger gets to say “here’s how I made $X,XXX in my 3rd month of blogging”.
People see that, click over to read the post, sign up for Bluehost and the cycle just continues to repeat itself.
Because the blogger is now really making money they can let the charade go that they were making money in their first month blogging.
Now they get to tell you stories about quitting their job after 9 months or making $5,000 by month 6 of blogging.
Of course, this is going to get people to click. The more people click and share on Pinterest, the more people see it. This happens enough times the blogger gets confident enough to create a course or book about blogging.
This is where things really get dicey for people.
Because the course itself won’t tell you much.
Crappy Course or Crappy Book? You Choose
According to these courses, a successful blog is about:
- Finding your passion
- Using Bluehost
- Writing consistently
- Using Pinterest
- Connecting with your audience
See how those points say something without saying something?
Would the blogger’s advice work in any other niche besides the how to blog niche?
Could the blogger themselves use their course material to create a successful blog in other niches?
I doubt it.
It’s why most of them only have one blog.
This magical blog that seems to be their only source of income from the very beginning.
You catch what is happening?
They are teaching you how to blog based upon the success of their blog that is about teaching you how to blog.
Sounds confusing when I say it like that.
It’s like me telling you that I can teach you how to skydive based upon my experience of 60 different jumps.
Those 60 jumps though were me sitting in a field watching other people jump out of a plane.
I can tell you enough of the basics where it looks like I’m competent.
- Understand why it is so awesome to jump out of a plane
- Use this skydiving company, they are the best
- Put on a parachute
- Do the first couple of jumps with an instructor
- Soak in the awesomeness of falling in the sky
You’re ready to go jump out of plane now, right?
This stuff is always going to work because people want to make money, they want to believe that anybody can teach them how easy it is, and since they don’t know the steps, any steps presented to them sound believable.
You end up buying a product that teaches without really teaching.
- How do you know if you’re in the right niche?
- How do you know if your niche will work with the way you want to make money?
- How do you know what content will work for your niche?
- How do you really attract people to your blog?
- How do you get them to stay on your blog?
- How do you get them to sign up for your mailing list?
- How do you get them to fall in love with your brand to the point they will buy anything from you?
A Simple Exercise
Here’s a very simple thought exercise.
Let’s say a blogger tells you that making money with ads is a great way to start for your blog. Sounds good to you!
Well, you need to know what you’re going to blog about and the blogger you’re learning from tells you to follow your passion. Write about the things that you’re interested in!
Oh wow, that sounds great because you love to write about books. You love to read books. All kinds.
So you begin to write about books.
The blogger tells you that you need to utilize Pinterest which makes sense because a lot of people are on Pinterest and it’s free to use.
So for 3 months you bust your ass writing about books and pinning to Pinterest.
And guess what?
Ain’t nobody coming to your blog.
Something can’t be right.
- You’ve found your niche
- You’re using Bluehost
- You’re writing consistently
- You’re using Pinterest
- Some people are leaving comments so you feel you’re connecting to your audience
So what in the hell is wrong?
Well, this is where you get to apply some thinking.
If you’ve decided that you’re going to use ads as your revenue stream then you need to know how ads work.
The more ad impressions you have, the more money you make. A simple concept.
If you’re using a network like Mediavine or AdThrive (don’t waste time with AdSense), then to get $1,000 you need 75,000 pageviews a month or more. This is going to be dependent on the niche and content.
So, to get 75,000 pageviews (let’s keep it simple and say 1 person = 1 pageview) you need to get 75,000 people to your site each month. That’s a lot of people!
You’re now hoping that there are 75,000 people in the world that LOVE books as much as you do enough to go searching for sites that talk about books.
Did you notice what I said in there?
Let me point it out.
“…to go search for sites…”
You see, you can’t just talk about a subject that you know people are interested in.
People have to be actively searching for that subject or else you’ll never get them to your site.
So yeah, maybe there are millions of people that like books, but you’re not looking for those people. You’re looking for people that love a variety of books AND are actively searching for places to learn more about books.
That’s a lot smaller audience than you imagined before.
If nobody is really searching for places to learn about more books then where does that leave you?
Not close to that magical 75,000 number that you’re hoping to reach.
However, you don’t know that.
So what you do is spend time on Pinterest trying to crack the code. You ask around everywhere for more Pinterest tips because the blogging course you bought doesn’t really go into much detail. You get a lot of different tips but nothing seems to move the needle.
You buy more courses because surely has figured out this Pinterest thing to the point their strategy is foolproof.
The problem though is that NOBODY is searching for book information on Pinterest.
You’re already below 75,000 but now that you’re on Pinterest you’re lucky to be at 5,000 for people that are interested in your blog.
So you’re trying to grow a blog with an audience that doesn’t exist by using a platform (Pinterest) that also doesn’t have the audience that you think it has.
However, you don’t know any of this stuff (hopefully it makes sense so far) so you spend months banging your head against the wall. You even go out looking for more blogging courses to see what they say.
Unfortunately, a lot of them are the same.
This can easily make you feel like YOU are the problem. If these blog course creators are finding success, then why can’t you?
Some people never find the answer to that question.
And that sucks.
Because EVERYONE can build a successful blog as long as they don’t believe you can just do whatever you want to build one.
If you’re going to build a brick and mortar business, the first piece of advice I’M not going to give you is to look for office space to lease.
Instead, I’d rather you spend time doing your research and understanding what you’re about to spend a lot of time working on has a chance of success.
That’s what my blogging course, Blog Revenue Engines, is all about. Instead of telling you to follow your passion, it helps you identify blog niches that actually have audiences that you can reach.
It walks you through the different types of content you should create and how to effect
The goal is to get your blog to that magical 75,000 pageview number in 6 months or less.
I know it’s possible because I’ve done it in a number of different niches:
- Personal Finance
- Weight Loss
- Women’s Lifestyle
I’ve also helped HUNDREDS OF OTHER BLOGGERS achieve the same thing.
Ironically, this blog about blogging is the blog that gets the least amount of traffic and I’m cool with that.
But if you’re smart, and I know you are, then you should be thinking that it’s kind of fishy for a blog course creator to write a post like this. It makes his course look really good and the rest really weak.
This is probably another scam!
I would think the same thing so what I suggest is that you sign up for my free 13-Day Blogging Bootcamp so you understand my philosophy behind building successful blogs.
I promise you, the bootcamp alone is better than most of the courses out there.
So if you’ve been caught in the how to make money blogging scam, I’m sorry.
Hopefully, this post helps
You just have to know what to look for.
Seriously, if you want the scoop on making money with a blog then check out my free 13-Day Blogging Bootcamp. You get to learn about blogging for free, understand how to avoid these shady deals, and listen to a random person talk about blogging like he does his shoe collection.