If you have an hour of free time per day, you can make a million dollars blogging.
And in this post, I’ll show you how.
Below is a five-step blueprint for creating profitable websites.
1. Write Every Day For The First Year
When you first start writing online, you’re going to make mistakes. Lots of them. Additionally, won’t be able to rely on help from anyone else. Google doesn’t index sites right away (meaning no SEO traffic), and big name writers don’t link to “nobodies.”
In other words, you’ve got to start from the bottom and work your way up from there.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to do this. Write and publish new content every single day.
I started 30 Days To X in December of 2012. Only 12 people visited my site that month. In January, I wrote a new blog post every day. Traffic started to climb. And by February I was getting 800 visitors a day.
You can overcome most “traffic problems” by simply publishing more content.
A guy named Dan Norris did this, and he built a million-dollar business all off blog posts. With no money spent on advertising or paid traffic.
Writing an article a day (plus some light self-promotion on social media or forums) will grow your audience faster than any “SEO hack” or “Guru shout-out” every could.
2. Read More Fiction
Writing for the web is very different from penning school papers or corporate memos.
While I was always an “A” student in English class, I’ve always struggled with engaging readers online. This is because blogging, copywriting, and Internet articles all require an extra ingredient for success: entertainment value.
“Plain Jane,” “Just the facts ma’am” how-to articles bore people.
Unfortunately, this is the writing style most people were taught in school. English 101 tells us that you should never use words like “you” or “we,” and that we aren’t allowed to inject personal opinion into an essay.
Un-learning formal rules is a big part of becoming a better writer.
And the easiest way to do this is by reading lots and lots of bestselling novels.
Go to a thrift store and buy 20 – 30 mass-market paperbacks. Make sure to pick titles from every genre. Then go home and read them all. You’ll be exposed to a variety of storytelling techniques, all of which will help you to keep your own audience engaged.
While I’d suggest picking up whichever titles catch your eye, I do have a few specific fiction recommendations as well. These are fun reads and filled with powerful writing lessons:
- The Great Train Robbery, by Michael Crichton – Both a suspenseful page-turner and an excellent example of how smart writers (Crichton was a Harvard Med School Graduate) can take complex concepts and make them enjoyable and interesting for the average reader.
- ‘Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King – This book is a masterclass on how to add details to your writing. Every person, object, and event is accompanied by vivid (multi-page) descriptions.
- The Old Man And The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway – This is the best example of clear, concise storytelling that you’ll ever see. Despite being a straightforward tale written in plain English, this book resonated with readers and critics alike. It was both a bestseller and won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
3. Have Something To Sell
You can’t make money online unless you have a product or service to sell.
Sounds simple, yet most people who complain that “you can’t make money on the Internet” do not have any way to monetize their sites.
You’ll see this a lot with “thought leader” blogs. Some writer will crank out thousands of words on politics or personal opinions, and then get mad that his long-winded think piece isn’t generating money.
The truth is: content alone earns nothing.
If you want to make money as a writer, you have to monetize your work.
Stephen King makes money whenever someone buys one of his books. BuzzFeed gets paid by selling ad space on their site. And “talking head” pundits (like Jim Rome or Rush Limbaugh) earn top-dollar through a combination of advertising contracts, product endorsements, and book deals.
If you want to profit in a particular niche, sit down and ask yourself this question:
How does the top person in my field make their money?
Write down every answer you come up with and try emulating them.
4. Study “How-To” Books
Anything you want to do has been done already. And there’s a good chance someone’s written a book on it.
Your public library will have all the technical books for building a profitable website. You’ll find titles like The Art of Social Media and Search Engine Optimization For Dummies. Check these out and read them.
You’ll learn more from reading an actual book than you ever will from joining a forum or listening to “guru” podcasts.
While at the library, I’d also suggest checking out books on writing and storytelling. Books like How To Write A Damn Good Novel or Building Great Sentences will help you with all the technical aspects of creating a sales letter or penning an article.
Lastly, I’d suggest getting a few sales books.
You can’t go wrong with the following titles:
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini.
- Selling 101, by Zig Ziglar.
- Ogilvy On Advertising, by David Ogilvy.
These are genre classics, and they’ll help you immensely.
5. Re-Invest Your Earnings
(24 Year-Old Millionaire)
What is the biggest financial struggle most Americans face?
Most people don’t save up enough, leading to all kinds of problems in their old age.
The average Social Security check is $1,360 a month. That’s not enough to live on. Unless you’re going to work forever, you need to save for the future.
And the easiest way to do this is by taking passive income and reinvesting it into another revenue stream. In other words, you take the money you earn from running a blog and put it into another venture.
Case in point, I have several “penny ante” businesses (Amazon Affiliates niche sites, self-published books, etc…). These don’t pay great, but they constantly generate an extra $20 to $30 a day.
That’s more than enough to fully fund a Roth Ira account. And at 6% annual interest, my $15 a day contribution blossoms into $1.2 million dollars by the time I’m 65. That’s over a million bucks, all from “free money” that I got while writing articles online.
Blogging, copywriting, and building websites are not “all or nothing games.” An hour a day spent writing (and an hour or two invested in reading books), still creates a nice supplementary income.
A couple bucks put into an IRA or index fund is a great way to plan for your future. And even if you never have a “smash hit” site, you can still earn enough build up a million-dollar retirement account. All from your part-time writing hobby.