Don’t Make Money with Your Blog Today

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make money blogging

Most of us are trying to make money with our blog.

But perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is to try and make money with it today.

That might sounds like a crazy statement to many internet entreprenuers out there – surely we want to maximise our profits from the beginning?

Well, lately I’ve been having some other ideas based on some stuff that has been working for me and a few of my more successful blogging buddies.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

How most bloggers try to make money

Take a step back and think about how you view making money on your blog.

For most people it will be something like this:

Start a blog > Put Adsense on it > Write a blog post > Get traffic > Hope they click

It’s a very short term strategy and one that, for most people, won’t yield very good results.

That’s not to say that there aren’t people making huge amounts of money from ads and Adsense. There are. But most of them have a pretty solid plan and know how to seriously drive the right types of traffic.

This type of immediate earning strategy rarely works.

So what is a better way to make money blogging?

Something that I’ve been doing for a while now (on this blog and others) is to put off the money making event until much later in the reader/blog relationship.

Initially when I got into blogging I was like the above scenario. I just wanted to make money as quickly as possible and didn’t give any real thought to the long term.

I ended up selling one of those blogs for five-figures but it was also a mindset that got me in to trouble with Google. You can read more about that here.

These days I’m doing things differently.

My main focus is getting more email subscribers and creating a trusting relationship through quality content and targeted, useful content.

I then introduce the selling (affiliates or my own products) later down the line.

So why focus on the email list before the money making?

There are three main reasons:

1. Your mailing list is protection

I posted this quote over on Google+ a few weeks ago and it got shared around quite a lot after Brian Clark from Copyblogger re-shared it with his own followers. You can have a look at the whole thing below.
 

This is the first reason I focus on the mailing list before the money. If Google makes some horrible update to their rankings algorithm and you lose your rankings overnight, you won’t be completely buggered.

No matter what happens, you have that list of email addresses for people who are interested in you and your content. That is an extremely wise move.

2. Your mailing list is a reusable asset

The main problem I have with Adsense is that you are essentially asking potential email subscribers and long term readers to click away from your blog in exchange for a few cents.

Think about that for a second.

You add an Adsense unit to your blog and someone clicks it, leaves your site and you earn somewhere between $0.30 and $3.

Well, what if that person subscribed to your blog for a year and shared the content that you produced and eventually purchased a product priced at $97, $197 or even more?

Seems like a waste.

People who subscribe to your blog not only pay you money for your products, they also help to promote your blog and grow your asset. Email subscribers lead to more email subscribers.

3. Your mailing list can change what you sell

When you have ads on your site you are limited in what you can show.

But with a mailing list you have an endless source of people to go to for feedback. If you are thinking about developing a new product or launching a new eBook you can simply send out a survey to your readers and discover what they are interested in.

This is a really valuable thing and something that doesn’t occur in many other places.

Some of the biggest bloggers out there like Derek Halpern and Yaro Starak all use this method to survey readers and get information about what they will be making for them next.

It’s all about developing a solid and narrow funnel

What I am really excited about these days is using the blogging format to create a powerful sales funnel.

It sounds a little bit sleazy, I know, but the important thing to remember is that you’re never promoting or selling anything that you don’t hugely believe in. I certainly know that none of the Tyrant Troops would damage good relationships with their readers to promote something less than amazing!

So how do you get started?

Well, this is an absolutely massive topic, and something that I’ll be going into detail with on my mailing list, but here are some broad strokes to get you thinking:

  • Make a plan
    The first thing you need to do is come up with a plan for your immediate and long term actions. We want this all written down and specific. This plan should include some ideas about what exactly you are going to be selling.
  • Develop a solid brand
    Once you come up with your idea you need to develop a solid brand that coherently communicates your outcomes to your readers. This is your logo, colors, website, message… everything that people think about you.
  • Get a domain name and hosting
    You absolutely cannot grow a successful blog, mailing list and sales funnel on a free blogging setup. I honestly believe that everyone needs to get on self-hosted WordPress to take this seriously.
  • Create strategic content
    Don’t just post randomly. You want to be developing highly useful, long form content that funnels readers towards your mailing list via a landing page. Having a free eBook or email course can help achieve this.
  • Promote the heck out of it
    This is something that a lot of bloggers don’t think about as a separate step. Once you have developed that amazing content you really need to be promoting it as much as you can (without pissing everyone off!).
  • Add value
    Once people are on your mailing list make sure you are breaking down barriers and establishing trust by adding as much value as possible. Often people worry about giving away too much at this stage but personally I think that’s exactly what you want to be doing.
  • Begin selling
    Once you have the trust of the reader and are certain you have the niche correctly established, you can then begin promoting your own products or affiliates that you use. How you go about this is different for every blog and, again, we could write a whole series on just this part.

As always, there is a huge amount of testing that needs to go on here. From your opt-in forms to your landing pages to the sales process – it can be a really big and complicated task. But the main thing is that you get started with growing a very targeted mailing list.

Do you sell early or late?

I’d be really interested to know what you think about this strategy and where you struggle with the process. Have you tried it before? Do you currently have something similar set up but find it isn’t quite working? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it.

SO, WHAT'S NEXT?

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84 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Damien

    Great stuff, Ramsay. As with many things though, it helps a lot if we have a passion for it to begin with. If we start out purely to make money then we risk running out of inspiration and motivation.

    As you mention in the “add value” tip above — help others, do what you enjoy doing, and the money will come in due course.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Damien.

      I used to think exactly that. My friend and I have debates about it a lot, actually. Now I’m more of the opinion that you need to have the motivation to help people but if you don’t actually go out and work hard to make money or succeed it won’t happen.

      I think there’s just too much crud online for people to cut through these days.

      Thoughts?


  • James George

    Ramsay, thanks for the great post. I can attest to your methods, because they are what work for me as well. Building a relationship is key, and it makes it a lot easier to convert people, when they know you are sincere and genuine, and not just trying to make a quick buck off of them.

    Another key is to diversify your ads and revenue. I find that a mix between ad sales, affiliate sales and services is a good way to diversify your revenue, so that you have several streams of income flowing in.

    As always, thanks for the great post. – And the advice!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks James. Appreciate you stopping by.


  • Shaun

    I remember when I first started blogging, it was kind of like that field of dreams scenario: if you build it they will come… and click and buy!

    Wrong! I spent a lot of time writing untargeted content about a topic I didn’t care enough about for people I didn’t understand or relate to.

    It’s pretty easy to guess where that ended up… (actually I did end up making some money, just not the way I thought I would)

    There are some very important points here that have taken me far too long to really understand:

    1. mailing lists make money rather than blogs (there are of course exceptions)
    2. developing relationships is the only way to develop trust, which results in sales
    3. “flip the funnel” 1000 true fans really rings true. You don’t need a huge audience, you just need one that loves what you do.

    Cheers Rams


    1. Ramsay

      Hey bro.

      Yeah, I think that comment is spot on for most people.

      The only thing I don’t agree with nowadays in point 3… why not have 10,000 or 100,000 true fans?


  • Averil

    Great post! Am I the first comment?? πŸ˜€


    1. Ramsay

      Nearly… πŸ™‚


  • Steve Sagovac

    It’s tough to show the self discipline that you are talking about in your post.

    I started off a few months ago with my new site enoughimpact.com as a place to share what I know about working for myself from home and online over the past 15 years, but as time went on the lure of setting up some niche websites, and trying to get some income through either adsense or Amazon was just too tempting.

    Every morning over the past week I have been planning to get back to the original plan and site but just can’t get motivated enough for this long term strategy.

    Next week for sure!

    By the way…. I know you’re right.
    Steve


    1. Ramsay

      How have the short term things been going Steve?


      1. Steve Sagovac

        A few dollars per week only. The most valuable part of the process is learning about keyword research, promoting content etc.


        1. Ramsay

          Yeah that is actually a really good point. I started almost 50 in one year when I first got started. That was a fast way to learn about domain name and server costs. πŸ™‚


          1. Steve Sagovac

            All the small spending does add up.

            I think it’s time to stop, and get back to the main site, write some value-add content, offer some consulting and worry about passive income later.

            Cheers. Steve


          2. Steve Sagovac

            Also, the amount of time you waste constantly checking your analytics… it’s addictive.


  • Paul Back

    Hey Ramsay

    I completely agree with you – once you have your list then you can do whatever you want.

    Your list is your audience and as long as you keep providing value then people will happily look at your sales pitches.

    Its pointless to use ads as the main source of income – its short-sighted at best and there are way more lucrative and ethical ways of making serious money with blogging.

    I think this post will make a few people reconsider their approach to blogging πŸ˜‰

    Paul


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Paul.

      I hope that last line is a good thing. πŸ™‚


      1. Paul Back

        Yeh of course πŸ™‚ I meant that as a positive. Let me know what you discover with your different timings, would love to hear what the optimal time to post is as an Aussie blogger.

        Paul


        1. Ramsay

          I’m still not sure if the increased traffic of USA time is worth the tiredness of staying up so late.


          1. Paul Back

            Haha – Well I guess if you the quality of your life or work suffers from it then its probably not worth it.


  • Cathy

    I was having this debate only yesterday (with my 14-year-old son). You come across businesses all the time that just want your money, their service or product is a means to that end. Then you come across businesses that just want to do what they love and help you, but who have no real business drive. And then you have the ones in the middle ground: the ones that want to make a living doing what they love and helping you (aka provide a service or product you need). Guess who lasts. Blogging is no different.

    I also love that you are promoting the concept of providing more than links to ads as your service


    1. Ramsay

      Wow Cathy it sounds like you have a really smart 14 year old son!


      1. Cathy

        Oh yeah, too smart sometimes. He wanted a new computer, so we made him write an age-appropriate business proposal. It really made him start thinking. That’s when the comments about business strategies started.


        1. Ramsay

          Amazing!


  • Philos

    You are right Taplin. Sometimes the rush to monetize a site in itself is the sole reason why some blogs fail before they even have a chance of becoming successful – when th owner focuses so much on how much they want to make that they end up paying little to no attention to what their readers really want?

    And then creating one’s product or service, that can be scary sometimes. And this is probably one of the reasons why people just add ads to their sites without thinking about the long term but better option – selling to email subscribers interested in what you’ve created.


    1. Ramsay

      It sure can be scary. That’s why I think it’s best to try to make it perfect. Just get it out and see what happens.


  • Diana

    Great post, Ramsey – I am definitely blogging with love and to help people, and ‘selling late’ (to use your term).

    While reading, something else came to mind. I have a client who is a big name in his industry but just last year got started with social media and blogging. Naturally, he has products, and he has audience eager to start reading his blog. Having said this, we started selling from day 1 by inserting links to products in the end of relevant posts – and it is working very well.

    The sales are not many – but that’s because the traffic isn’t much yet…

    What I am saying is – food for thought, if your blog is not the first thing you do but you already have connected with your audience, it’s OK to start selling today, as long as you do it well and on top of valuable content πŸ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      That’s a really good point. Please let me know any future results with that approach.


  • Phil

    What about shops? Would you say ecommerce stores should blog and promote before getting into the sales pitch? I think marketing ecommerce can be different than blogging.


    1. chris

      Phil, (while I’m obviously not Ramsay) I’d say you have to ask the question, “why would a person shop at my store if another store with the same stuff was available?”

      Long ago, I worked in a software niche market where we were so stomping on the competition that the competition tried threatening us with patent infringement. (There was no infringement but that’s the length they went to try and stop us.)

      Why were we more successful? Simple – we got in front of the masses. Conferences, trade shows, the speaking circuits, etc. We weren’t know for our software, we were known for our desire to help people.

      What can do you so people think of your store in your niche market, instead of the other guy? I don’t have an answer – it’s something you have to discover. You know your niche and your customers and what they want / need.


      1. Ramsay

        Chris makes good points. As always.

        Shops are different. Studies have shown that people don’t form emotional bonds with products until after they have bought, not the other way around.

        So, we buy a Pepsi and then decide that we like it more than Coke. We buy a Ford and then assert it’s better than Honda.

        The goal of shops is to get in front of people. As much as possible.


  • Adrian Perez

    Nice post Ramsay!
    I have been reading a lot of your blog lately and think there are a lot of interesting posts.

    About the mailing lists, it’s true, they seem to be a very good way to secure from google changes in “the algorithm”, but there are also the social networks like twitter, facebook, google+ and so on. May be we can achieve the same through them.

    One more thing, would you agree if I translate this post into Spanish and post it here: permondo.eu/articles.html?
    Of course with a backlink and credit to the author. (May be you can write me in private if so or post your answer here).

    Cheers


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Adrian.

      I’m not a fan of social networking because they too change their structures. Just look at how little engagement people get on FB now.

      Sure thing.


  • Richard

    Purely in terms of blogging I think such a % of my traffic are first-time visitors that it makes sense to try and retain as many of those as possible.

    I’ve basically worked hard recently to create and queue up the next few months worth of posts on my various blogs so that I have the summer “free” to really work on building my lists without compromising my blogs quality or publishing schedule.

    I have been putting together all sorts of goodies for them (truly) and next month plan to start experimenting with split testing my lead capture forms/pages.

    It’s going to be a fun summer watching the results!


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah that sounds perfect! Please let me know how it goes and what you learn.


  • Jamie Alexander

    For my new blog I’m doing something a little different to what you described, but basically the same thing.

    I’m going to have the sales funnel in place to sell a service.

    So I will sell straight away (not on the first email), but instead of getting feedback from email subscribers to build my product I’ll get feedback from paying clients (if I get any lol)

    But I agree with your article completely. Might be slow in the beginning, but could pick up faster down the line.


    1. Ramsay

      I know a few people doing this. Jon Morrow did it to great success I think. Let me know how it ends up.


  • Lisa

    Hi Ramsay, I would agree to wait until you have a lot of content and mailing list before you begin to sell. I know I get turned off when I all get from some bloggers are emails that are sales pitches. I don’t mind at the end of a post if there is a pitch but not from the get go and often.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah I think it can really drive people away if it’s too fast too soon.


  • lifedreaming with Liz Lennon

    Hey Ramsay
    Excellent post as usual and you really are fine tuning the art of the Headline that captures attention.

    I see my site and blog as the centre of my marketing, communications and business.

    I’m in the middle of completely revamping the design, copy and blogging strategy and it’ll all kick off in June.

    I did my first off the cuff vid last week and have received some really great feedback from people – another way to connect with my audience.

    I’ve also been really fine tuning who I see as the people that Life Dreaming really serves – who is my core audience? It’s become very clear and that delights me because I can now create even more gorgeous and practical products and services – on and offline.

    Building my email list is a core part of my strategy and I’m going to start sending out a monthly Life Dreaming mag to all my subscribers with posts and useful free gifts. I don’t want to clog their inbox and I’ll be promoting all content across my social media channels.

    My mantra at the moment is ‘take the long view and build your relationships on and offline’.

    It helps when I get a tad frustrated with slow progress.

    Hope the week is treating you well.

    Liz


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Liz! How are ya mate?

      What do you think of the new title format for the BT mail outs? As someone whose probably seen all the versions I’d be interested to know your feedback.


  • Chris

    Think backwards.

    1. Why have you purchased products or services from specific people?
    Trust, endorsements, demonstrate expertise, etc.

    2. Take the above answers and list them out. Next, write down how you could build those components into your business. Find a path to becoming the person people look to for advice.

    3. Create something they want.

    4. Create a mobile friendly web site (hint to BT, cough cough)


    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha. It’s coming, it’s coming.


  • Pat

    I agree with you, Ramsay! Your blog should be the result of solving other people’s problems / helping them and the money should be sort of like a side-effect.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Pat. Appreciate the feedback.


  • Catherine

    Hi Ramsay,
    The headline in the email grabbed my attention!

    Building a relationship with subscribers has to be the best way, but so often we are told to immediately monetise the blog and push the affiliate links.

    I’m far too new to blogging to have any idea what really works as yet, so thank you for this information which is, indeed, food for thought.


    1. Ramsay

      Glad you liked it Catherine. Thanks for stopping by.


  • Rob McNelis

    Love this post. Im 100% focused on email subs. So much so that I’m skipping the blog. Just a landing page and off site marketing. The biggest challenge is finding free growth tactics. Write now I get about 2 to 5 subs per day just from twitter and blog commenting. Not bad but I want more. Thinking about doing more blogger outreach via email. Any other suggestions?


    1. Ramsay

      Maybe it’s time to get rid of the free tactics and go for some paid Facebook ads?


  • Darius

    Great article! I believe building an email list and solving other people’s problems are more important than trying to make money right away.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Darius. I’m with ya!


  • Mark

    Great article. Even though I’ve had a website and blog for about a year I am just now getting to the point of building a business around it. I have taken steps like offering a free eBook and setting up a subscriber opt-in through aweber (great youtube tutorial on that btw).

    Now it’s about keeping my focus narrowed on writing terific content that solves problems and finding a few afiliates that match up with the weightloss crowed that I’m building a relatinship with. Bottom line is that it’s all about giving more in value than I take in payment.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Mark. Glad that video helped!


  • Don

    Thanks Ramsay, I am slowly moving over to the light. For a long time I looked at building a list as something every one was doing and I wanted to be different. I now see the power of the list. Your thoughts on how long it might take for a new blogger to start to see success.
    Don


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Don.

      I guess it depends on how you define success. My goal was to get to 10,000 subscribers in the first year which I managed to do. But every niche is very different. I guess set a financial goal based on a traffic goal and see how you go with that.


  • Shayna

    I don’t see my site as a blog trying to make money; I see it as a business that also happens to have a blog. (Granted, this mindset change didn’t happen until a year or so into the process!)

    The “sell early or late” question is a very interesting one. I was stunned when I ran an analysis and found that about 33% of my new customers had actually bought ON THE SAME DAY that they signed up for my e-mail list.

    What I currently do is offer one of my products for $1 after someone opts in. It’s a low-risk way for a person to “try out” my material and see if they like it, before investing, if they so desire, in one of the more expensive products.


    1. Ramsay

      I love the first line. Totally agree.

      Have you tested changing that $1 to an expensive one? Might be worth a go if they are interacting with you so quickly. If it’s a quality product surely there is no need to keep it priced low.


  • Tiffany

    This is a great post! I’ve been slowly… slowly… engaging in the world of blogging and building a mailing list and I’ve got round about 40-50 people on it. Which is great! I have ideas of selling a product somewhere down the line… but it’s difficult because I have two (okay, three, ugh) different mailing campaigns comprised of three different types of audience – thus my website is appealing to three different sets of people! Two sets of people just want information, one about pop psychology, one about new, hip trends in psychoanalytic thought. The third, however, want (and I’m giving it to them) information about how to market their private practices. Now – this third group, in time, is where I’ll make an income – both online and as a consultant. Problem IS, I don’t want to lose the biggest sector of my audience which is comprised of folks who are excited simply to belong to a community that I’m creating and not, at this point, interested in marketing/building their private practices. So, I feel split between community building and (in time) selling! UGH! I know this comment is long-winded, but I just wonder how one moves from building a community and reader loyalty to selling something… when maybe they’re not interested in buying?!

    Anyway, I’ve been absent from the blog for a while, as I’m busy creating an empire (heh heh), but as always, I SUPER appreciate your expertise, Ramsey!


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Tiffany.

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with an email out to all those lists letting them know that you’re doing something or selling something. Perhaps leave the selling to the landing page but, if they like you, they probably won’t have a problem with hearing about your next big thing.


      1. Tiffany

        Ah, the “landing page”! I’ve read your articles and the articles from others about this here landing page… I don’t quite understand what it means and I have been focusing on other things so I have yet to get fully invested in understanding and creating a landing page, understanding the purpose and developing a successful one… I suppose that will be next!

        GULP.

        Thanks for your thoughts!! πŸ˜€


  • Justin

    I think this is awesome advice Ramsay. It seems like blogging has evolved so much in the last 5-7 years. I would really like to learn more about cultivating and nurturing an email list. Do you think it is similar to a blog content strategy? Or are there specific nuances to content strategy with email lists? I love the idea of email list content marketing because it kind of feels “timeless”. Like something that worked online 10 years ago, and will work 10 years from now. In spite of social media and whatever else comes along to disrupt the way we produce and consume content for our online audiences.


    1. Ramsay

      Glen always says that those IM videos where someone talks and you can’t pause or fast forward convert off the charts. If I was doing mailing list only I’d probably go with that + FB ads.


      1. Justin

        but what about when you actually have a list? i would be keen to learn more about the different types of content people actually mail out to their lists. personally, i like the idea of using it as a contact method for the community, like a facebook page, just useful updates and info as it happens. Rather than something that feels more polished. i always find that more authentic, if that makes sense.


        1. Ramsay

          How long before you send it all to the trash though?


  • Unexpected Farm Girl

    I have been following you for just a little while now and love all your advice. Right now I have been working on thank you pages for people who subscribe and people who comment. My problem is that on my ‘Thank you for Commenting’ page I have been unable to figure out how to put in a code for a subscribe button/link. Any advice?


    1. Ramsay

      Can you just have a regular text link to a landing page where people can subscribe?


      1. Unexpected Farm Girl

        LOL, I wish I knew what that meant. πŸ™‚ However, I figured out how to get what you got going on…I suspect it is just through a different plugin. πŸ™‚ Thanks. I worked it all out on your inspiration and advice.


        1. Ramsay

          No plugin needed. Just copy the link from your landing page and add it to your re-redirect page’s content using the a href code. Hope that helps.


  • Lewis LaLanne

    Jay Abraham sold me on the concept of leading with education way, way back in the day. Before the days of internet marketing.

    Then when he co-hosted the P.E.Q. Seminar with the late Chet Holmes, and Chet unpacked the Masters level process of educating your list in order to excite them about buying, I became even more a zealot of slowing down the sales process.

    Dan Kennedy was an influence as well in that he’s always, since way back before the internet marketing boom, lead by example with using cheap books to attract the ideal information buyer.

    When it comes to how I blog now I use some of all the above, but I’ve added a Ben Settle touch. For years Ben ended each of his entertaining and educating emails with an invitation to buy something from him that enhanced your knowledge on the topic he was speaking to. I don’t know if he still does this, but I do this with my blog posts.

    Every one of my posts includes an invitation to invest in a resource that dives way deeper on the topic covered at the very end as an, “Oh by the way PS.,” paragraph.

    One of the reasons I feel this has helped Ben absolutely kick ass is because his emails are valuable in and of themselves. They don’t need to product being promoted to be of use to the reader. They stand on their own.

    I strive to do this with my posts and I’ve yet to get a complaint about “Pitching” on my blog. So I guess I’m doing something right.

    So, I’m not waiting until later to invite people to buy, but I’m also not being desperate or shallow with my invitations to buy. From my point of view, if you buy something that’s cool. If you don’t buy what’s being offered, that’s also cool.

    No hard close; only a common sense logical next step if what you just read has piqued your specific interest.

    And what we’ve noticed is that these invitations have prevented anyone who reads our posts from being mortified about getting offers in our autoresponder messages for notes we’ve taken in the past.

    We start the relationship off letting people know we’ve got something for sale so our audience who has opted in doesn’t ever feel like we pulled the swith-a-roo on them.

    And then just as other popular blogs do, we make announcements in between our blog posts of the new product that is now available.

    Since 2008, this has worked rather well for us. What we’ve yet to explore in any kind of depth is affiliate marketing, joint venture opportunities (even though we’ve received numerous invitations to do both of these) or selling any kinds of ads on our site.

    I admire the guys like you, Derek, Brian, Yaro, and others who are making it happen with with your own variations. As I’ve mentioned, everything I’ve done is nothing but modeling guys like you and I’m grateful that your work is on display for me to learn from. I’d be clueless without the help of the giants who’ve come before me.


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Lewis.

      Great to hear from you!

      How does that work in terms of conversions? Do you get a high percentage of sales from each mail out?


      1. Lewis LaLanne

        I was just commenting on the interview Yaro did with Erika Awakening on the point she made about her tiny list making her very significant profits.

        Our list has been small for years now, mainly because of our unwillingness to do the joint ventures, PPC advertising, affiliate marketing, etc.

        But our tiny list is hyper responsive.

        We’ve either lucked into, or done a great job of connecting with people who love the topic of our notes. I guess it also doesn’t hurt that people love how much studying/typing we save them because of how thorough we are with our notes.

        I only bring this up because I don’t believe it’s possible to have a small list sustain your business for years like ours has unless you’re delivering the goods.

        As for the conversion rates on the PS offers, they aren’t anything amazing but I don’t count on sales coming in from them. I’d be in big trouble if I was dependent on traffic coming to my posts because I’m pretty lazy at doing all the stuff to generate traffic and I’d be crazy as hell to depend on people reading my long ass posts from top to bottom entirely.

        So anything that comes in from the PS. offers is pure gravy as the majority of our sales come from our email offers.

        [NOTE TO ANYONE ELSE READING THIS: LISTEN TO RAMSAY WHEN HE TELLS YOU TO BUILD MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR EMAIL LIST! IT IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF YOUR BUSINESS.]

        I use the space at the bottom because part of me thinks it’s a shame to waste it and I also honestly believe I’m doing the right person a service by letting them know that more is available if they wish to have it.

        Another small step that I believe has served our email sales incredibly well is bonding with our perfect prospects via individual private email conversations or on public social media channels (primarily Facebook).

        The fun and useful interaction via email or social media takes pressure off our mailings. When you put thoughtfulness into bonding via social media, you don’t need to have the world’s greatest email subject lines or copy to get your stuff opened. People who love you, see your name and automatically open with good, bad, or ugly copy.

        But of course, you need to make sure all the email copy is money as not everyone on your mailing list is seeing or interacting with you on social media or in email conversations.

        All of that to say that PS. sales are a pleasant surprise while our highly awesome email list is the tried and true workhorse that delivers consistently come sleet, rain, or snow.

        It’s always great to hear from you in my inbox. You’re one of the small list of guys who gets the click no matter what the subject line says. All I need to see is “Ramsay Taplin”.


  • James Bradrick

    I read your blog for its educational content. Keep it comin’.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks James.


  • Nithin Upendran

    Yea you are correct my intial strategy for making money was Start a blog > Put Adsense on it > Write a blog post > Get traffic > Hope they click, Now i am thinking something more. Google’s horrible updates killed almost 3 blogs of mine, strengthening email listing is such a great way for getting rid of these kind of problems. Thanks Ramsay for sharing your strategy with us πŸ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      Did you figure out why your sites got penalties?


  • Simon Cocking

    Thanks for this post, and engaging with the long thread of comments that followed.

    I’m finding it really useful, because I think there is a value in using blogs to develop our wider ‘reputation’, as in Joshua Klein’s book. Especially when you compare that to the money you may make from google adwords.

    That said, it is still important to find a way to pay the bills somehow. Thanks for posting on such a relevant topic anyways.

    Cheers S


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Simon. Appreciate the comment.


  • Jeffrey Dibble

    Hi Tyrant,

    I believe the building email list is the only way to substain an online business? You can promote and promote your affiliate products, own products, membership sites (think of recurring) to your list again and again.

    My question is whether you can us facebook ad to increase your email list faster since you’re spending money instead of promoting affiliate products.

    What do you think?


    1. Ramsay

      I have a post coming up next week about this very thing.


  • miketat

    Really worthy posty. I was also trying to do the same since the long tme but htrough this post I get to learn many things. Firstly we should try to make our blog useful for our readers and after a long time when there are sufficient posts and users then we can think about making money. THanks for sharing information Ramsay……:-)


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for leaving a comment! πŸ™‚


  • Manju Devi

    I am new to blogging and really motivated to see your post writing style. I want to say thanks to you. I am going to use this method of writing post in my blogging career. I wish you write more motivating and quality content like this.
    Thanks For Sharing This !!


  • Manju Devi

    I am a new blogger and these day’s trying to become a successful blogger with my blog. Many times i feel demotivated and feel their is nothing more which i can do with my blog have your website niche. Then, i visit websites likes your and again start feeling that i have to do something and i start my work one more time.
    So, i kindly want to say thank’s to you for writing such a beautiful article and kepp doing this. As, it’s motivates many new bloggers like me.


  • Brittany

    What are your thoughts on starting a blog on Blogger without a hosting website?
    Thank you for your help!


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