So, you get all excited about making money online, right? I was SO excited when I first found out that I could make money online. That was back in 2007 when I first found out about blogging.
Actually I was away from home, at the Lancaster University, UK for my Ph. D. That was the first time EVER I was away from home, since I was born. Can you imagine?
I felt really lonely. I missed my mom, dad and everything else back home. Just to replace my loneliness with something else, I started hanging out online.
I usually visited sites that allowed me to download movies, forums, and … well, you guessed it right, BLOGS!
After a few months I started reading about blogging and people who are successfully making money by having a blog. I got super excited. Just as you are super excited now!
I immediately started my blog in blogspot (Blogger platform) and started post just about anything. There was no business goal; there was no business in fact.
I was simply updating the blog for the sake of having a blog hoping that having a blog will make me money. Conventionally, I put up Adsense ad banners (what else did you think?)
And to my surprise (at that time), I didn’t make any money nor did I achieve anything with my blog – coz I didn’t actually know what I was trying to achieve, except the end result I expected was to make money online from home – but I didn’t know how I was going to achieve that goal.
Two years passed and after learning some hard lessons, I moved to having a self-hosted WordPress blog. And, Problogging Success was born on August, 2011.
Again, there was no business goal for the first few months. It was in 2012 March where I started sitting down and thinking what I was doing. Till that date I made nothing apart from a few pennies in Adsense. That got me thinking!
I realized making money online is no joke. And I realized certain things that are crucial to make money online – I am going to share those things here with you.
PS: A little note here – for all those who want to make money online free or make money without any investment, I would say you will be disappointed. If you want to treat your online business as a business, be prepared to do your investment.
A blog won’t make money by itself
This is the #1 and the biggest mistake I made in my earlier days! I thought starting a blog, publishing some posts and putting up adsense banners was it. Boy I was SO wrong and I took SO long to realize that. I wasted almost TWO years during my initial days because of this wrong thought.
And that is why I am putting out this word as loud as I can. A blog won’t make money by itself.
In fact the concept of “make money blogging” is wrongly perceived by bloggers – They think “make money blogging” means one can start a blog and make money by “monetizing” a blog. That is SO wrong.
You need to first have a business in place; you have to have something to sell; something to offer. And then, you gotta use your blog as
- a marketing tool a medium to reach
- a medium to connect to people, and
- a medium to build your reputation, authority and brand.
Yes, a blog can create a snowball effect on your business, if you work things out with the right strategy.
Value matters in the end (or I should say right from the start)
It’s all about value in the end – you should really realize this at the start. To be precise, your business really starts when you start offering value. Until then you are probably wasting your time and you are wasting your efforts as well.
Now, you may ask: How do I know that I am delivering value?
Again, all goes back to point #1. If you really have a business, you will know your target audience. You will know their pain points and you will know what their problems are.
Knowing your prospects really well and delivering exactly what they want will make your content useful and valuable.
This is why it is necessary that you should put in the time and effort at the very start to first decide your business (point #1) and then understand your market very well.
Only if you understand someone, you can help them and be valuable to them, right?
Clarity first, action next
Many bloggers (including me at my earlier stages) spend a lot of time on action. Now action is great, because without action nobody can proceed and no one can think about achieving success. But something else is more important than action and it is clarity.
Without clarity, action will be wasted. That is for sure. And action being wasted is no joke because there is time, money and lots of effort that are contained in the word “action”.
Clarity is highly crucial for any business and you should start with clarity – not doing some random things and “see” if they will work. You should start doing things only when you are clear why you are doing it and what you are expecting from it.
Let me say that again:
- Why are you doing what you are doing?
- What do you expect as outcome from what you are doing?
These two questions give you a head start to think about getting clarity with your business goals and you should really spend time to sit down and write down your clear purposes, your goals, what you are trying to achieve and things like that.
Only after you have got clarity, you should start developing an action plan.
You must get professional help
Something that I really ignored and paid a price a bit later was not getting professional help for my business. I didn’t know the importance getting pro help. I could have saved years in my learning curve – and this is no joke.
It is really hard to keep trying things, make errors and then correct course. Of course, I like that type of learning where you find out what works by trial and error. But when you are building a business where you have to really get there fast because you have commitments under your belt, you cannot be wasting years in learning things.
Besides, if there’s someone else who has exactly traveled your path and if that someone is willing to offer you help I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t be availing it!
In the field of blogging and internet marketing there are people who have traveled the rough path and who have experience in finding out what works and what doesn’t work. And if such people are offering help you should absolutely get help from them and move on, seriously.
You can count on me here. I do provide consultation and blog audits – if a blogger like you already has a blog I make a detailed analysis of their blog, their goals and help them find out what is missing. If you are planning to start a blog, I provide consultation and audit of your new business idea so you don’t waste time and effort on something that isn’t’t worth it.
So ya, feel free to use my help.
Work smart for your business’s sake
I don’t believe in luck. It is one of my values. I only believe in smart work – and, not hard work. Now, I do see many bloggers who boast about working hard. They say they work 16 hours a day on their blog and business.
I do love working long hours and getting things done. In fact, even today I do work like that on some days of the week – when I am overflowing with enthusiasm and creative ideas that I cannot put them off. But having to work 16 hours a day (compulsorily) in order to keep your business afloat is not the kind of work I am talking about.
You should work smart – meaning, you should often stop and look back and analyze your strategies, goals etc. I do this every week on a lighter basis and every month on an in-depth basis.
Make it a regular practice to spend around 30 mins to stop and look at what you are doing. Download the “5 keys to making money online” PBS success sheet and work it out.
Pausing often and analyzing what you are doing helps keep you on track. You will also be able to identify what works and what doesn’t. Without such a regular analysis, you could be wasting time on stuff that doesn’t work or stuff that are not worth it.
Time for action!
So, you want to make money online, right? You need to take action. Before that, you need to get clarity.
Here’s a success sheet for you to download, print and complete.
Remember, clarity and action will give you results. Merely reading this post and leaving won’t!
Before you leave, here’s what I want you to do:
- Download the success sheet, (optionally, print) and complete it. You can complete the sheet on your computer without printing it out too.
- Leave a comment below and let us know which of these 5 things is stopping you the most.
- Share this post in your social circle so your friends can benefit too!