Updated: October 30, 2016
Mariah Coz makes 6 figures a month.
Pat Flynn makes 6 figures a month.
John Lee Dumas makes 6 figures a month.
These are just a couple of examples of bloggers that are killing it. It can be very inspiring or it can be very discouraging.
When you think about turning your blog into a business and you follow these people, it can almost make you feel as though if you don’t reach 6 figures a month you have failed.
Of course, that isn’t true, but it can sure feel that way.
If you read someone that claims to have gotten 50,000 subscribers to the mailing list in 12 months and here you are sitting around with 13 people (11 of them family members) on your mailing list, how does that make you feel?
Getting caught up in with these blogs can make you feel as though you are part of a race you didn’t agree to participate in. You get put into this race and then told that everyone else has a major headstart on you. How in the hell are you going to catch up?
You scramble looking for shortcuts to see what can be done. You write more articles, but they are shorter in length. You add more popups to your site because you are supposed to get to 10,000 subscribers. You spam your social media with random things just because it makes sense.
You end up doing more damage to your blog and more importantly to yourself than anything else.
But I’m going to tell you something right now. If you want to run a successful blog you need to aim for $1,000,000.
Yep, you read that right.
That’s a load of money and thinking about that much money probably makes you woozy, but if you want to be successful, this is what you need to aim for.
Your first reaction is probably that there is no way you will make $1,000,000 with your site. That’s a pretty reasonable reaction to have considering the amount of money being stated.
Even more so, you probably think of how much work it takes to make $1,000,000 or maybe you don’t have the skills to pull it off.
Well, you do have the skills because you are awesome.
The reason why I am telling you to make $1,000,000 is because I think it is too easy to short yourself when you aim any lower. Have you ever come across a blog that says something along these lines:
After 24 months of blogging, I’ve finally turned my blog into a $1,000 per month money-making machine!
An extra $1,000 a month sounds good to anybody and I’m not knocking it, but would you want to work for 24 months to finally reach that level? If you worked a second job for 24 months how much do you think you would make?
The point is, if it takes you 24 months to finally make $1,000 per month from your “passion” then you wasted 18-21 months on things you shouldn’t have been doing. If you are doing this just for fun then you can stop reading right now.
If your goal is to start a blog that will let you do whatever you want in life then you need to change your mindset.
$100 a Month
If you were tasked to make $100 from a site would you do the exact same things that you would do if you were tasked to make $1,000,000?
Most people wouldn’t.
For $100 they would work hard to get traffic from anywhere, throw some ads up, try to get sponsored posts and call it a day.
If that same person was tasked with making $1,000 what do you think they would do? They would probably try to get even more traffic, more sponsored posts, and possibly start putting in more popups. They start to see that scaling ads and sponsored posts aren’t working as well.
$10,000? They will really be in trouble because now we are talking millions of page views a month. Imagine you owned a store and 500,000 people walked into it every month and at the end of the month, you made $10,000. That means every single person that walked in gave you $0.02.
Two freaking pennies.
What happens when you need to scale up to $20,000 or $100,000 a month? You can’t. And guess what? It’s quite possible the traffic stops coming in so your advertisers start to disappear. Traffic isn’t guaranteed so resting your revenue hopes on it is a fool’s game.
$1,000,000 a Year
Now you’ve woken up and you have a new life.
In this life, you are tasked with building a site that makes $1,000,000 a year.
Do you decide to build a site that is loaded with ads? Of course not, because you know the best way to make money is to control everything.
That means you sell your own products and services
If you have a $997 product then you need to get 1,000 people to purchase it. That might not seem doable to you now, but it really is achievable.
Or maybe you have a combination of products priced at $997, $497, and $97.
In that case, you can get 400 people to buy the $997 product. That nets you $387,116 after processing fees.
Next, you get 700 people to buy the $497 product. That earns you a cool $338,961.
That leaves you with your $97 product. To reach a million you have to get 2,918 people to buy it.
So in total, that’s 4018 people. That’s a healthy number of people, but if you do the work and built up your mailing list to 40,000 over time that is 10%. Of course, you might not need as many if people buy your higher-priced products.
It’s possible for you to achieve $1,000,000 in a 2-3 year timespan.
You know it won’t happen overnight so what you do is begin to lay down the foundation.
- You start with your Why
- Then you make your Promise
- Finally you raise your flag
If you aren’t sure what any of these things mean then check out the free course on Cultivating Your Tribe.
The first couple of months is spent building relationships with influencers in your industry along with building a nice mailing list. Once you better understand your audience and their pains you begin to work on an online course and start to tell your Tribe about it.
You launch and you make 5 figures. Not because you did anything special, but because you took the time to cultivate a tribe that is waiting for anything that you do.
You take this momentum and do another 5-figure launch. That leads to a 6-figure launch and so on.
You aren’t killing yourself at the computer or working 20 hour days. You are just following a game plan that you laid out and it is working. Instead of being happy with making $1,000 in 24 months, you are happy that you’ve built something that is long-lasting.
You no longer have a hobby blog. Instead, you have a business that will last as long as you want it to. You have a Tribe that draws inspiration from you and you draw motivation from them. You are helping to make the lives of others better and that is because you aimed for $1,000,000.
Shoot for the Stars
Have you heard the saying about shooting for the stars and landing on the moon? It applies to blogging.
When you create a plan to make $1,000,000 that doesn’t mean you are going to make it and you might not need to, but the process of making $1,000,000 is the exact same process as making $5,000 a month.
It’s just scaled up a bit more.
When you have the mentality of creating a blog that can make $1,000,000 then you’ll find your business decisions are different. Instead of thinking about short-term tricks to make money that will hold you back, you are thinking long term. Do you want $30 this month or $30,000 six months from now?
You might say you want both, but you can only invest your time on one. If you are too busy trying to apply to ad networks and appeal to advertisers, then you aren’t spending time building a quality foundation that will set you up for your future.
Mariah Coz wrote an awesome post about how she was able to scale her business to $100,000 a month. Seriously, when you are done here go and read it. I revisit it every couple of weeks to remind me of what needs to be done to scale up.
When reading it don’t assume you need to push yourself as hard as she did or that you need to make that much money. Your focus is on the tactics and her strategy.
From years of running my own business and studying 100s of other successful businesses I’ve found that when you follow a certain path, it’s almost impossible to make a small amount of money.
I’m dead serious.
Take a look at someone like Regina Anaejionu. She wrote a fantastic piece called the 6-Figure Blogger Suck-In that is a nice complement to this post so be sure to check it out.
In the early days of her site, Regina hustled a lot. She’ll tell you how she spent the days earning money with the day job and spending all night hustling to build up her site. It’s quite possible she would’ve done a couple of things differently, but she did a great job of laying down a strong foundation for her site and building an awesome Tribe.
She couldn’t make less than 4 figures a month if she tried.
I’m serious. Based on her Twitter feed she jets around the world visiting awesome places and spending time working on things for her site. But because she did the initial ground work, she has a nice flow of money constantly coming in.
She probably isn’t making $1,000,000 a year, but that isn’t the point. The point is if she wanted to she has all the tools there to make it happen and because of that she is making a nice and steady income that supports whatever lifestyle she desires.
She didn’t get there by trying to just get $100 a month.
I have a bad habit of setting what the self-help world calls Big Hairy Ass Goals. I love to do it and a lot of them I don’t ever achieve, but I know just by trying I’ll achieve something I wouldn’t have before.
Think about how it is for people trying to lose weight. Let’s pretend you are 800 lbs and you decide you want to get healthier.
You have two different health plan options:
- Teaches you how to lose 10 lbs in one month
- Teaches you how to eat right, find the right fitness plan, and how to stay motivated while achieving the weight that you want
Which one are you going to go with?
Most beginning bloggers choose the equivalent of option #1 for their blog and it bites them in the ass later on. It’s easy to be motivated with your blog at the beginning, but how easy it is to stay motivated when you’re making $9 a month from ugly ads in your sidebar?
It’s amazing to see bloggers take courses on how to build an awesome blog and reading their comments. It always reads like this:
Shooooooooooot. I wish I had known this stuff from the beginning. I’ve been wasting my time on tasks that weren’t helping me out, but now I see the path I need to take. With just a few tweaks to my blog and mindset, I was able to get $2,000 after a couple of weeks.
When you get serious about your blog and learn from the people that have done it all before, everything changes. None of the really big bloggers use ads and yet you might think ads are the best way to go.
Is your blog really that much different from everyone else’s?
The best bloggers spend hours and hours creating awesome content to give away while you are trying to increase your Twitter followers.
Is your blog really that much different from everyone else’s?
Making a $1,000,000 isn’t easy by any means, but the path to it isn’t a secret either. Build a tribe, sell them value.
Find me a single successful blogger that doesn’t do that and the first 10 shots of tequila are on me.
How to Make $1,000,000 With Your Blog
I haven’t made $1,000,000 with a blog yet. Check back in 12 months and maybe that will change, but I’ve studied all of the successful bloggers and their teachings.
Here’s the thing, they all follow the exact same path. It looks different to the outside world because of the details, but it is always the same. It doesn’t matter if they do it through affiliate marketing or their own products. It’s always the exact same.
- Cultivate a Tribe
- Sell them value
Pat Flynn spent years writing about his experiments with niche sites and now he makes 6 figures monthly without even blinking. The majority of it comes from affiliate marketing, but that is only possible because he cultivated a tribe and provided them with value. He’s not directly selling them value, but he’s creating it in a way that allows the companies he markets to sell that value.
However, if he ever created a course he would make a fortune. He already makes a healthy amount from books and because he has a tribe waiting around for anything he creates, he is set for life.
Melyssa Griffin is one of my favorite bloggers. She makes 5 figures almost passively now because she spends a ton of time cultivating a tribe by providing awesome freebies. Then when the time comes she sells them value with her courses.
The list goes on:
They cultivate tribes and sell them value.
What’s the difference between the ones that make 5 figures a month versus those that make 6 figures a month? Scale. That’s it.
When you can scale your tribe to a larger size you scale your revenue as well.
If you asked any of these bloggers if they didn’t do anything for a month or two on their sites would they make more than $100 they would probably laugh. Of course, they would make $100! If any of them made less than $5,000 without doing a damn thing I’d be shocked.
So if you can do absolutely nothing with your site and make $5,000, imagine what you can do if you keep on hustling for a couple months?
To make $1,000,000 in 36 months means that you are averaging $27,777 a month. Look at this income report where Melyssa Griffin made over $50,000 without doing a launch. At that rate she is looking at $1,000,000 in 18 months.
If all of these people do it, then why doesn’t every blogger do it? It’s because not everyone deserves to make that kind of money.
You Get What You Put In
Just because I told you that anyone can make really good money with a blog doesn’t mean that everyone deserves to make good money with a blog. Most people don’t want to put in work or really have a passion for what they are doing. They see blogging as something that is easy to do and they read about how others make money with it so they go for it.
Blogging gets a bad rap because it has such a shitty name.
How could anyone take that term seriously?
But blogging can be a hobby or it can be a business. When you treat it like a business you do things differently.
You don’t waste your time wondering if it’s worth paying $5 more for better hosting.
You don’t waste your time trying to find more traffic that isn’t relevant to your site.
What you do spend time on is helping that one person. That one person that is going to buy your product. That one person that is going to open every email. That one person that is going to tell the world about you.
This person is called the Restless Pathfinder and to learn more about them subscribe to the free course on Cultivating Your Tribe.
Great bloggers focus on that one person.
Every other blogger focuses on getting a ton of random people to show up.
It’s not easy to get that one person. You have to put in a lot of work. You have to craft the right message (your Why). You have to understand what desired outcome you can help them achieve (your Promise). Then you have to do a great job of raising your flag so they know where to find you (promotion).
Great bloggers tie all three things together every single day.
Basic bloggers worry about how many people are following them on Twitter.
Just because you are putting in some type of work on your blog doesn’t mean you are putting in the right type of work. The people that put in the right type of work get what they deserve. The people who don’t, get what they deserve.
So the question now is are you going to take the time to see how you can make $1,000,000 with your blog or are you going to stay focused on the quick buck?
The decision is yours and no matter what you decide, you will be successful at it.
Be Your Own Spy
Before I start to work on a blog I become a spy. I find the biggest players in the industry and I study them. I watch everything that they do.
If they have a blog, I subscribe to every single freebie and online course that they offer.
If they are on Twitter I follow them to see every tweet they post.
If they have a webinar I make sure to sign up to see how they speak to their audience.
These people use tactics that have helped them succeed and so I try to figure out how I can apply those tactics to my brand in my own way.
That doesn’t mean I take all of their tactics. For instance, I don’t do pop-ups on this site or any of my other sites. I believe I can create designs that will guide readers to my desired destination. I don’t need to ruin the experience by rudely interrupting their reading with a pop-up.
However, if I see that Mariah Coz is having great success with webinars, I’m going to figure out a way to add them to my stable of tools.
If I see how well Melyssa Griffin does with her Twitter chats then I’m going to see how I can bring those to my audience.
Before creating Obstacle.co I probably signed up for more than 50 different mailing lists to see how people speak to others in this industry. Too many beginning bloggers want to go searching for the secret weapon that will all of a sudden make them rich, but it isn’t out there.
It’s a bunch of little things that you end up piecing together that actually work. Thankfully, none of these are secrets. They are all laid out in the open if you decide to look for them.
If you don’t treat every single day as an opportunity to learn, then you shouldn’t expect to reach the moon.
Nobody is telling you that you need to make $1,000,000, but if you’re going to put your heart and soul into this, shouldn’t you make it all worth it?
You can decide that you want to make easy money that doesn’t scale or you can decide to change your life by building a real business.
One is not more work than the other.
One is not harder than the other.
It’s your choice.
Did you know that there are exactly 13,783 steps to building a successful blog?
I'm just playing, I have no idea how many steps there are but believe me there are a lot.
In fact, one of the biggest reasons why many bloggers don't even get off the ground is because they suffer from analysis paralysis.
The other ones simply don't know what the next step is supposed to be.
That's why I created the 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp.
The idea behind it is that once you see the big picture of everything that you need to build a successful blog, it will become much easier to take the next step.
Stop wondering what it takes to build a blog that can help you quit your job or relieve some of the stress your family might be going through.
The free 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp is meant to give you an overview of successful blogging that nobody else can provide.
These are the things that I do over and over and over again with my blogs, not just my how to make money blog. All of them.
- Personal Finance
- Health and Fitness
- Diet and Nutrition
- Women's Lifestyle
- Working From Home
- Beauty and Fashion
My knowledge is coming from a place of diversity with the different blogs that I run so when I say you're going to learn things you won't find elsewhere, I mean it.
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