Blog Monetization: 2 Case Studies on What Works Today
So you want to monetize your blog or you’re looking to get started with blogging. No matter what position you are currently in, this article case study is going to provide you with the tools and resources to see what’s currently working today.
Blogging is easy… anyone can start a blog. However, not everyone can make money with a blog.
There really are SEVERAL ways to do this…in fact, there are so many that you probably feel overwhelmed and it may be what’s prevented you from even taking the first step.
Does this sound familiar?
If so, read on and I’m going to reveal 2 case studies that will show you 2 somewhat different ways on (with income proof to boot) how you can monetize your blog.
I’m glad you think so ?
Case Study #1 Smart Passive Income
First, I have to tell you about Pat Flynn and his blog Smart Passive Income.
The awesome thing about Pat is that he shows what he’s earning monthly, and you could too! It’s good to be honest and humble especially if you’re just starting off or just still pretty wet behind the ears with a big, fat goose egg or maybe even a negative number in your income report.
This is meant to inspire, not daunt you.
Here’s a lil’ snapshot of Pat’s first couple of months in business back in 2013 (for Smart Passive Income that is):
Now Pat goes way more in-depth on his expenses, profits, etc. within each monthly income report, but I just wanted to show you what kind of money he’s making because I don’t really care what people say because…it IS about the money! Pat is making pretty much over $100K per month now, click here to see some ALL of his income reports since January 2013 yourself.
Say what you want to say, but it’s MOSTLY about making money with your blog than ANYTHING else. Think about it…you start up a blog (hopefully centered on something you love to talk about) and try to make money with it, and there’s NOTHING wrong with that!
So, let’s just cut the BS shall we?
What lead Pat to blog monetization?
Pat got laid off from his architecture firm back in 2008 just a few months shy of his wedding.
But as he clarifies, it may have been the best thing that ever happened to him because before he had to leave his job he had built a little website on the side that was helping him study for the architectural exam (LEED exam).
He found a way to turn that little website into a solid little income stream.
This is how he found out about how to “run an online business that is centered around passive income” which freed him more time to spend with his family.
Now who wouldn’t want more time to be with their family or just more time in general?
Great Freebie Ebook
So one of the main ways that Pat is monetizing his blog is by giving away his free eBook “Ebooks the Smart Way” as a freebie for opting in for his newsletter/email list.
One thing you’ll notice about Pat’s book is that it is WAY more professional-looking than most eBooks you will get for opting into anyone else’s newsletter. Also, his website looks PHENOMENAL, so he’s very much into standing out by having a very professional approach to his website, giveaway report and pretty much anything that is related to his site/sites.
Pat affiliates himself with brands he trusts and he’s added affiliate links into his eBook that make him a commission whenever someone visits a website selling a product or service while his link is still cookied on your computer (basically there’s a time period in which he will receive part or all of the commission from a sale if you buy through his link).
Pat has built up an email list of at least 125,000 people this way! Trust me, it’s more than that now.
Want to really stand out?
The funny thing is that this has a higher perceived value than just having a blog. You can find people to interview in person or maybe on the phone, Skype or whatever communication method you choose and professionally record it.This is what Pat does and it sets him apart from other people with his Smart Passive Income and Ask Pat podcasts.
The neat thing about a podcast is that you can have sponsors and you can just tell people what site to visit (and have show notes for people like Pat does) in order to get a special discount or a bonus for buying through your affiliate link.
Video marketing is nothing to sneeze at!
It’s just smart to incorporate video into your online marketing because some people will want to read, others will rather listen and you guessed it…A lot love to just watch it all.
Pat has his SPI TV channel and it’s pretty awesome because he can do just about whatever he wants on there. He uploads his podcasts and other videos where he has PLENTY of tips and tricks centered around passive income and has close to 60,000 subscribers!
His channel is only about 1-year-old…imagine if he’d started off with a YouTube channel? I’m saying it would have grown pretty darn quick.
Want even more examples? Just take a look at these YouTube all-stars!
Wrap it up
In order to model Pat Flynn’s success, you’ll want to have a blog set up first of course. Don’t center your blog around something that is just for the money (it’s a big part of it don’t get me wrong) because you’ll get bored of it, resent it and then probably follow a shiny object off somewhere else and have to start all over.
Here’s some tips on how you can model Señor Flynn here:
- Have an income report section from the get go, don’t be embarrassed to show you’ve made NOTHING.
- Make your site look extremely professional and make it painfully easy for people to know where to even start (Did you see how it says “Start Here” and “Get Started Here” on Pat’s home page?)
- Incorporate a podcast where you interview people or one where you take in questions and answer them like Pat does. Use a good mic because audio quality is EXTREMELY important!
- Start up a professional-looking YouTube channel and call it your blog + TV or something close to that. Make it seem like a TV show almost, not just some run of the mill other YouTube channel that sucks.
- Make it about your visitor/customer/consumer not YOU. Pat makes it super simple to use his site, read his book, see his YouTube channel and gives away QUALITY CONTENT for free. So much so that people feel OBLIGATED to buy from him.
Pat Flynn is a millionaire and has his email list, podcast, YouTube channel (he’s on other social media platforms as well), but basically as his following keeps growing, he makes more money. Model his success, it will take quite a bit of work up front, but you know what?
That’s what millionaires do, they work hard to reach a point to where… they don’t have to.
Case Study #2 Mike from Maine
Just like Pat Flynn, Mike shows his monthly income reports as well. Mike’s journey is a little different, but before we get to that let’s go ahead and show you some nice ol’ screenshots of his earnings.
What lead Mike to blog monetization?
Mike started off with internet marketing back with PPC and marketing directly to CPA ads and made some pretty good money. He made around $100K and decided to travel the world. He took this time to start backpacking around India and was making money on autopilot for some time. And then…Google changed up some rules with Adwords and boom, his passive income streams were done for.
Well Mike’s funds starting running low and he ended up doing some “auto blogging” which made him some good income via Adsense with niche sites and the most he made was around $6,000 per month, you can see this out of date About Me page here.
Mike’s new About Me page explains how flipping Adsense sites came crashing down in September of 2012 when Google’s exact match update made him lose 90% of his Adsense overnight when his websites lost their ranking.
Mike had started off his blog as a travel blog at first, but after being so tired of having Google lay the smackdown on him over and over again…Mike decided to revamp his blog.
New and improved blog model
So while Mike didn’t completely quit the whole flipping and selling websites, Mike’s new blog model (interviewing online entrepreneurs daily on how they make money online) was starting to take off. Mike made around $800 in October of 2012.
Not too shabby.
Finally in November of 2012, Mike’s website selling income was pretty much of thing of the past.
Mike had built up an email list of around 800 subscribers to 2,000 by buying $1,300 worth of solo ads. So slowly but surely, Mike was able to increase his subscribers by buying solo ads and continuing to do his interviews with online entrepreneurs.
Wrap it up
Since he started off I know now that Mike Thomas is making anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000 per month and now has over 20,000 email subscribers.
Once again, not bad right?
Mike’s show has now changed to him doing 5 interviews per week where he interviews successful online entrepreneurs. Often, he’ll interview a product vendor when he or she has a product about to launch and he makes money by asking vendor about the product and offering a bonus for anybody who buys through his link.
The big fluctuations that you’ll notice throughout his income reports are most likely from product launches. Now Mike has positioned himself quite well with his internet marketing buddy (who has his own VERY successful blog) Brett Rutecky. He’s a software developer so Mike has been able to partner up with him and they both just kind of combine their forces and are able to do internal software and training launches rather than just launching on either JV Zoo or Warrior Plus.
Mike doesn’t really blog too much, he just kind of directs people to his YouTube channel’s Skype interviews and he does very well, although he’s not quite on Pat Flynn’s level.
So as you can see, you can really take either one of these blog monetization strategies and roll with it. If you can even get close to either Mike or Pat’s level of income…well I’d say that would be a darn good start, no?
I think the big difference between their monthly income amount and the consistency of their income from their blogs comes down to who’s built a bigger email list. Pat Flynn has at least 125,000 subscribers while Mike has at least 20,000. What you can really take away from this is that the main blog monetization strategy you should focus on is gaining leads somehow (a.k.a. building your email list), test what works so you can get rid of what doesn’t and keep scaling that up!
And we’re done!
Phew! That was a big long-winded, but I think these are 2 excellent case studies to look at, pick one to model…and just take the first step towards monetizing your blog. Don’t focus so much on things that are WAY down the road, shoot you may not even have a blog idea right now. It’s probably wise to start with that no?
Now, which one are YOU going to model your blog after?
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