Keep on reading for the blog post version!
Okay. So before we jump into the strategies of what it really took me to get here, let’s talk a little bit about what differentiates successful bloggers from those who don’t end up making money blogging.
And this is the topic I dive a lot deeper in my free blogging masterclass, so you can check it out, but I’m gonna quickly go over three key factors that differentiate a successful blogger.
3 KEY FACTORS FOR HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING
And those are number one, the niche that you’re in.
FACTOR #1 NICHE
So the industry that you select to blog in that really plays a huge role in your success. And I have been on both sides of this coin, where I started out with a niche that wasn’t exactly profitable, and that just led me to lose money.
And didn’t really make me any money in the long run. And I’ve also been on the other side where I’ve picked niches more carefully and strategically, and then those have yielded much better results when it comes to monetization.
The second factor that’s also really critical when it comes to growing a successful block is the type of content that you create.
FACTOR #2 CONTENT
So depending on where you’re gonna be showing and how you’re gonna be generating traffic, which is basically how you’re gonna be getting visitors to your blog, it really comes down to what type of content you are optimizing on your blog in order to attract these readers.
And once you understand exactly what type of content is going to generate success for you, it becomes a lot easier to monetize your blog and make money with it in the long run.
FACTOR #3 MONETIZATION STRATEGY
And the third factor, which is also really key when it comes to being successful as a blogger is the monetization strategy also known as the way that you make money from your blog.
So if you’d like to learn more about these three key elements of how you can become a successful blogger, make sure to check out my free masterclass, which is gonna be in the box pillow.
Okay. So let’s talk about what are the key tips or reasons why I feel I’ve been able to make, you know, money blogging in a fairly short amount of time, uh, to a point where now I run a multiple six figure business and I have a pretty flexible lifestyle as a lot of us aspire to have.
TIP #1 CLARITY ABOUT BUSINESS MODEL
So the number one thing that helped me get to this point was clarity about my business model. Now, a blog in and of itself is not a business. And the minute you understand this is the minute you are setting yourself up for success.
So just because you, you know, bought a domain and you are now the owner of a blog, it doesn’t mean that somebody’s just gonna hand you cash because you did that job. You still have to think about what is going to be the monetization model behind it, which means how is it that you are going make money from that blog?
And there are so many different ways that you can go about making money from your blog. There are passive ways to make money on the blog, which means that you can set up the work in the beginning. And then it requires little to no maintenance in the long run to generate money from that channel.
Or there are more active ways which will require you to spend time in exchange for money on an ongoing basis.
Now, I was always very clear from the beginning that I wanted to leverage more of passive income strategies for my blog, because I’m someone who really likes being able to leverage my time.
And I think having the freedom of time is the ultimate luxury that we can afford. And I wanted to set up my blogging business in a way that would allow me this luxury so that I would be able to travel whenever I wanted live out, you know, in my home country, in India, for as long as I wanted or travel in Europe, which is where I live currently, as in, when I wanted. And this flexibility would not really be an offer.
If I had a business model that focused on active sources of income, for example, being services or sponsorships.
Now, when it comes to services, that usually means that you offer a one-on-one service related to your blog.
So let’s say you have a wedding photography blog, and you are also wedding photographer. So each time a client books, you, you basically make a money from that project.
And in that sense, you have to then go and deliver that project in that person’s time and date and location, which essentially is again in a way exchanging time for money. And I’m not saying that this is a good or a bad way of monetization.
I’m just talking about what I fed worked for me and what I felt worked for the lifestyle that I was working towards.
So I had already understood that if I were to focus a lot on sponsorships and services, I would have a business model that would require me to consistently be pitching consistently, be closing contracts, negotiating as well as spending a lot of time delivering, you know, the project outcome or the goods that were promised.
Right. And this got me to the conclusion right in the beginning itself that I did not want to build a blog, which was very dependent on my time. I’m someone who loves working behind the scenes.
I like being creative and I like having the freedom in my schedule to do whatever I wanted to do. And in order to accomplish that, I knew fairly early that I would have to start building my own products or sources of income, which didn’t rely on me showing up at a certain time every day.
So once I started digital empires, which is my latest blog in early 2020, I knew that it was gonna have three major sources of income, which are currently are major sources of income. And that was going to be advertising, which I guess all of us are familiar with, which is when you place ads on your blog or even on your YouTube channel.
And you make money from that.
The second source of income was going to be affiliate marketing, which I guess pretty much every person in every industry in the world as a blogger can leverage, which is when you recommend the products that you care about and you make a commission each time, you know, someone buys that product. And the third and the major source of income that we have currently right now was my own product.
And this is something that I knew going into digital empires that I wanted to focus on because I knew that this was going to be the, the most scalable way of growing my income. Now I have previously owned blogs where I have focused a lot on ads on affiliates, on sponsorships. And what I’ve realized is that there was always a ceiling to how much money you could make with those methods.
Not so much because you know, it also depends a lot on how much effort you’re putting in, but also the fact that, because for example, with affiliate marketing, you only can get a small commission of a sale.
You’re never really getting the entire value of the product. And the same thing is with ads as well. You need a really large pool of audience. So you need, you know, tens of thousands of visitors every single month to be coming in. And this audience needs to be quite valuable.
So it has to be from specific countries. And there are just so many DNCs to making money when it comes to ads and affiliates and even sponsorships. So if I wanted to build, let’s say a seven figure business, just with ads and affiliates, it was totally possible, but it would take me
A lot longer to reach that point where the volume of traffic or visitors that I needed in order to make that happen would work.
Whereas when it comes to selling your own products, you can do that fairly quickly, depending on the price point of the product, the audience that you’re in and how good you are at selling and marketing that product as well. Okay. So the second thing that I believe led me to this point is creating content consistently.
TIP #2 CREATE CONTENT CONSISTENTLY
Now I had identified pretty early in my blogging journey on digital empires, what were going to be the most important sources of traffic for me. And I’m someone who does not like relying on only one source of traffic.
So I had figured out that I was gonna use YouTube and Pinterest as two of the most important channels for growing this website. And the reason being that I knew that I had audience on both of these platforms and these were platforms that were evergreen search engines, which would lead me to get more and more visitors, even if I stopped creating and publishing content.
So if you just browse through this YouTube channel and you go through the playlist and the videos that I’ve created, you will find that there are over a hundred videos that I have uploaded on this channel.
And there’s so many playlists and literally so much information that I have spent in, you know, creating value so that I could attract the right type of audience for my business and my blog, and the same can be on my Pinterest account as well. So if you’re going into my Pinterest account, you will see hundreds and hundreds of pins that lead to my website. And that, of course in turn generates me leads.
And then in turn generates sales for my business as well. I really think that without having a consistent content calendar, whether that was on YouTube or Pinterest or any other platform, I would not have been able to grow my block to this point because the fact that I’m able to reach, you know, tens of thousands of people every single month through my email list, through my social medias, through YouTube, through interest and all of that, it would really not have been possible for someone like me who was just starting out on a new niche.
And digital empires was a website that I started a little over two years ago. So it wasn’t really even something that I’d been doing for five or six years, and I already had an inbuilt audience.
So I feel that as a new blogger, when it comes to building your audience in the beginning, the first one to two years, it is so, so important and critical for you to be creating content consistently.
And really in the beginning, when, you know, the algorithms are looking for data to understand what your blog is all about and what your audience is all about, the more data you can give these algorithms, the faster your blog is going to go. So at present, for example, I get about 50,000 views every single month on YouTube, which again, then leads to money in the bank in terms of ads, in terms of affiliates and in terms of my own products being sold.
And that’s just from one source of traffic, right from Pinterest, we have about half a million monthly views on digital empires, which again, leads to a lot of conversions there as well.
So when you combine all of these different ways in which you can generate traffic and income, you understand that none of this would be possible without content being the front and center of it. So if you don’t learn the art of showing up consistently and putting in the work, even when you don’t see results, you’re not gonna be able to grow in the long run.
Okay. The third factor that I attribute my blog’s growth to is building my email list.
TIP #2 BUILD AN EMAIL LIST
Now this is something again, because I had clarity of my business model. Like I mentioned, in 0.1, I was able to then, you know, know what I needed for this model to work.
And that was owning my own audience. I didn’t want to rely only on, you know, my social media audience or my Instagram followers, because I knew how fragile it could be. And I could lose ownership of that platform at any moment that the platform decided that, you know, I wasn’t worth being there so I could get hacked. I could just get blocked or whatever.
And I didn’t want to let that, you know, sort of block the business that I was building. And this is why I focused on building my email list from day one, which meant that I had set up my landing pages. I was collecting email addresses. So initially I was using MailChimp when I was in my hobby blogging days.
But when I started digital empires, I wanted to take list building seriously. And that’s why I jumped on convert kit, which was a paid tool, but I believed was necessary for my success.
So currently we have, I think, close to 16,000 email subscribers. And of course, none of that would’ve been possible.
If I didn’t start building that email list in the beginning, in the beginning, I probably only had like 50 or a hundred subscribers on my digital Empire’s email list, but I didn’t let that hold me back because I knew that this was just the beginning and I was gonna continue to grow, you know, my email list over time.
So once I learned what my audience really wanted and what kind of blog posts and YouTube videos were doing really well, I started to create freebies which were essentially PDFs or, you know, kind of small eBooks that I was offering in exchange for an email address. And then once that person was on my email list, I would continue to nurture them over months, uh, even when I didn’t have a product launch.
So I remember that the first time that I launched my product, it was Jan of 2020. And then I took a couple of months off from launching anything and just focused on building and nurturing my audience.
Like I think probably the first six months is when I was only focused on delivering value through my email list, as well as through my social media. And again, this is something that in the long run will help you so much because even if you look at the biggest companies in the world, they all have some kind of newsletter or email list in place.
And when you look at the statistics of email marketing, it continues to be one of the most profitable, you know, sort of return on investment opportunities for a marketer in today’s day and age, when we have such short attention spans, and we are just, just moving from one thing to another.
So if it were not for me, you know, being in touch with my favorite creators and bloggers through my email list, I don’t think that I would go to their website specifically to check out what they have just published, right?
So that reminder that comes in through the email or that, you know, thing that you get via your email is something that really forms that special connection with your audience.
And that is something you really need in the long run. If you want to build a blogging business, which is gonna be profitable. So I really think that one of the reasons why I was able to grow as quickly as I have is because of the focus that I had on building my email list and not just building the numbers because the vanity of it is great, but actually building a relationship with my audience, getting to know what my subscribers wanted from me, understanding what their interests were, what type of content they resonated with, and then showcasing and delivering more of that content.
Because once I had built that, no, like, and trust factor, it was then easier for me to, for example, recommend products and services to my audience and make money through affiliate links. It was then easier for me to direct them to my blog or to my YouTube channel and tell them, Hey, come check this video out.
And then it was easier for me to also sell products of my own because I had built that trust and equity with my email list subscribers. Okay. Moving on to the next reason why I think my blog has been successful is focusing on creating and selling my own products.
TIP #4 CREATING MY OWN PRODUCTS
Now I would be lying if I said that the first product that I created was perfect and everybody was just, you know, throwing their money at me and suddenly made me rich. I wish that would’ve happened that way, but it didn’t.
And nine times out of 10, that’s not gonna be the case. If you launch your product either. Usually what happens when you start creating your own product is that you start with an idea or like a seed of something. And then over time you make it into something that you really feel is the right fit for your market.
So having known early on that, I was gonna be focusing on creating and selling my own products. I spent the first year of my blogging business, really just working on my product ideas and testing them out and experimenting with them and really figuring out different price points, different methods of delivery, different types of products that I could sell and really understanding what my audience wanted from me and what I could best deliver to them. Because it’s not just about selling any crappy product out there, cuz that is only gonna work for so long.
If you have a product that is not delivering results, that is not getting good feedback, that is not adding value to your audience’s life. They are not stupid. They’re not gonna buy that product from you. So this is something that took me the better half of a year in 2020 to really understand what was it that my audience wanted for me and what are the different ways that I could serve them.
And I think this is also one of the reasons why I attribute to my success today because I would not be able to scale as fast had I not spent that time, really understanding what was the best products that I could create. So when it comes to what products I’m selling, I’m selling two signature products, which are influence academy and CEO blogger academy. So Pinfluencer academy is my Pinterest marketing course for bloggers and entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their traffic on their website.
So it is for people who already have some kind of website or e-commerce store or even an et sea shop set up and they’re looking to get more traffic so that they can make more sales and generate more leads to their business.
And when it comes to CEO Blogger Academy, it is more for beginners who are looking to start and scale a blog in a similar manner that I did and follow my roadmap to make money with that blog as well. So I’m so proud of both of these courses because it took me so long to get to the point where I was able to refine my strategies and frameworks, to be able to then get results for other people as well.
And altogether we’ve had, I think over 600 people at this point who have taken these courses and I’ve had really, really good results in just a span of the last two years.
So I’m pretty happy with, you know, the fact that I decided to go down this route and that I decided to focus on creating my own products because not only is it a lot more profitable to create your own products, it’s also a lot more fulfilling. At least for me to know that I am adding value to people’s lives and that I’m helping other people build businesses, which are in a similar field to mine and helping them get the knowledge that I wish I had had when I was first starting out like five years ago.
Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t have success as a blogger, if you are not selling your own product. And if you’re just focusing on affiliate marketing or something, it’s totally possible. Everything that you want is possible. What matters more is the type of lifestyle and business that you wanna create.
So for me, I knew that I could of course monetize with every method possible, but I wanted to use the more leveraged ways possible. So for example, in a month, there are only so many sponsorships that I can take up. And there are only so many videos that I can create or so many block posts that I can create in exchange for money.
Whereas when it comes to selling my own products, there is no limit to how many products I can sell. So there is an UN infinite number of units that I can sell. And even if you have, for example, your own physical product, you control the supply of that product. And that’s something I’ve always liked in my life, having the authority and the control of my own business in my own hands. I don’t like relying on third party platforms too much and, you know, pitching and negotiating all the time to make money.
So for me, it really made a lot of sense, right? From the beginning to focus on creating and selling my own products. And it has really paid off, but there are different ways to success. And I would never be the one to say that you only can do this, and this is the only way to be successful. It really comes down to what are your goals in life and what do you most aspire to be and what excites you the most?
The next step is something that I think has been monumental in helping me grow my blog to multiple six figures. And that is investing back the profits.
TIP #5 INVESTING BACK PROFITS
Now I know it can be so tempting to want to, you know, go shopping with all the money that you’re making with your business. And just forget about the fact that you were trying to build a business, but when it comes to scaling and growing fast, you have to realize that the business also needs something from you.
So I had to learn early on how to separate myself from my business and understand that this was me as a person and this was what I needed to have a certain lifestyle. And this was me as a business and this is what my business needed in order to grow. So for example, if you let’s say start making $10,000 a month and your expenses every month are, let’s say $4,000, which are your personal expenses.
Then I would’ve taken those $4,000 and used the remaining 6,000 to reinvest into my blog. So maybe I would’ve invested into a copywriter or I would’ve hired someone to do my social media, or I would have invested in upgrading my theme. There’s so many ways that you can invest back in your business that will lead to more money in the long run. But even though it can be tempting to take out that profit immediately in the beginning days and just use it.
I was someone who always knew that that was not going to be the case for me. If I wanted to grow faster again, this is something that really comes down to personal preferences and how you are building your business.
For me. I did not want to build a business that only relied on me. I love having a team to work with. I love having people that I can, you know, also support with my business, whether it is freelancers or contractors or anyone else that I work with my business. So currently I have a team of three other people who are supporting me in my business and they’re not, full-time, they’re all in a part-time capacity, but I would not be able to grow to the point where I am right now, had it not been for the people, you know, supporting me in this business and helping me grow to the type of business that I want to have.
So of course you can be a so entrepreneur and you can keep all the profits for yourself. If that’s what you know you want. And that’s what you are aiming for. It’s completely fine.
But for me, the type of growth that I was looking at and the way I wanted to grow my business was really dependent on building a sustainable company in the long run, which could run even when I was not at the front and center of it.
So for example, if I take two weeks off, there’s not that much that goes wrong in terms of the business that I’m running. So my blog is just still generating money through ads, through affiliates and through selling products, even if I’m not, you know, actively working on it. And this is something that would not really have been possible if I was a solo premier and I was doing everything up to this point, it was really important for me to invest back the profit that I was making in the business.
And I’ve done that since month one, um, you know, off my business or starting my business. And it really has paid off in the long run. And this year we are projected to make, again, multiple six figures and this would not at all be possible if I was just keeping all the profit to myself. And I was the only one who was working 24 hours a day and trying to make that happen.
I just don’t subscribe to that hustle mentality anymore. And even though I know that hustle is important and it has its, you know, phases, I don’t want to build a business that collapses the day that I disappear. So, uh, for me, it was really important to build, you know, to build with that vision in the long run. And I think it really does come down to your personal preferences and what you feel is gonna help you succeed.
But for me, investing back in my business, whether that was through the form of coaches, mentors, or courses, or products or tools, um, or even investing in a camera that I’m filming with right now, all of these things for me were investments in my business and that have all continued to pay off.
So this is something that I really think that can fast track your growth a lot specifically the first one to two years, when you know, your business is maybe kind of in that initial phases and still building momentum. If you invest back the profit into learning what you need to learn and developing those skills and, or hiring the team that has those skills, it really can make a huge amount of difference in the type of business that you can have in the long run. Okay. Moving on. The next thing, which I feel was also quite critical in me growing my business was having a growth mindset.
TIP #6 HAVING A GROWTH MINDSET
Now I’m someone who really believes that there is no one fixed way of doing something and there is no one way to achieve an outcome or to achieve success. I really think that we all have our own unique viewpoints and the parts that we are supposed to take to get to the, you know, the desired destination that we want. And this is why since the beginning of having this business, I knew that I had to be willing to look stupid if I wanted to grow.
So for example, being on video was not exactly in my comfort zone. I had never sat in front of a camera or spoken to a camera, but I did this after I believe my first launch, which failed massively. And I realized, Hey, I needed to, you know, show up and be there for my audience. If I also wanted them to do the same thing.
And that kind of got me started on YouTube and I’ve really not stopped since. And even though it was super uncomfortable and I felt really dumb talking to, you know, just a camera, looking at it in a, in a room by myself, this was something I realized was going to be critical in my success.
And I had to tell my ego to just shut up and let me do the work. Because if you are building your business and you are doing something new, you need to be willing to look afraid and you need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone in order to be successful. If you are just focused or doing one thing in a particular way, and you won’t listen to any feedback, you won’t listen to any criticism, you won’t improve your, you know, your methods then really you can’t grow in the long run.
So I think having a growth mindset has really helped me in achieving, you know, the things that I wanted to achieve at a certain time and place as well. The same thing goes for my products as well. So when I was first launching my products in year one, I was really taking a lot of feedback from the market, understanding exactly what was missing or what could be tweaked and optimized to do better.
And as a result of this, we have raving fans who go through our courses now, because I have spent so much time optimizing and taking in the feedback and the criticism to make sure that the products deliver on what they promise that I think that would not have been possible if I was not open to, you know, letting people also guide me and, you know, give me the feedback and the criticism that I needed.
So I think it’s really important for you as a blogger or even as a business owner in the beginning stages to understand that it is okay if you don’t know everything, it is okay. If you look stupid, it is okay. If the first thing you attempt is not a success, you need to be willing and open minded to learn the skill that you need to up level yourself.
And to also be okay to accept that, you know, you are not perfect and there are things you need to learn in this life and in this business. And I’ve always had that mindset since day one, which is a learner’s mindset because I continue to learn something new every single day. And I’m always looking for opportunities to, you know, improve my skills. So I think if you can be a perpetual student and be willing to look stupid, that you can achieve success as a blogger, much faster.
So that brings me to the end of this video. If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to be a successful blogger, I would love to see you inside my free blogging masterclass. It’s about one hour where I walk through specific examples of what worked and what didn’t work with my blog.
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