Every now and then I get an email from someone who wants to learn a new skill while finding a way to monetize their progress. They’d like to start a blog about their journey and make a few extra bucks along the way.
This is actually very simple to do and something that I’d recommend everyone try at least once. As much as whiners and haters complain that “there is no money in blogging,” it’s a good learning experience and something that can provide you with a lifetime of new opportunities.
Learning to write with a purpose and sell a product is a highly valuable skill-set. One that many people pay tens of thousands of dollars to master. Fortunately, you don’t have to shell out that kind of money to develop these skills. A blog can be a great tool to market yourself, meet new people, and perfect your sales techniques.
In fact, here’s a very simple formula that I’ve created for monetizing your personal growth.
1. Start With Something To Sell
If you want to make money you need to sell something. A book, course, or an accordion repair kit. There has to be a product for you to profit off of.
Find something within your niche that you earn at least $5 to $10 on per sale. Anything less than that and you’re going to struggle to actually make any money.
Amazon commissions on books are too low to focus on. This month I’ve sold over 100 products through Amazon and my total earnings have been less than $50. Not exactly enough to live on. In contrast, the “big-ticket” items I affiliate market all net me around $100 per sale. In other words, I get more from selling one of these products than I would from selling over 100 books from Amazon.
While I’ll be providing plenty of affiliate ideas throughout this post, here’s a very basic one that can be applied to almost any niche site: 30 Days Of Discipline.
If you practice something for a month straight, you’ll become something of an expert on the topic. Play poker for 30 days on end and you’ll be better than almost all your friends. Write code every afternoon for a month and someone will hire you to fix problems with their website. Repetition turns your new activity into habit. And good habits build great lifestyles.
There are a lot of books about the science behind this, but most of them are super boring. My favorite book on forming new habits is actually 30 Days Of Discipline. It’s not the most in-depth book ever written, but it got me to take action. Something that most books are incapable of doing.
Sign up for Victor Pride’s 30 Days Of Discipline affiliate program. You get 70% commission on every book you sell. I wrote an 800 word review and made about $110. If you’re thorough with the review and make it unique people will buy.
You don’t have to rehash the same content either. I re-read this book a few months ago and didn’t do any of the challenges that were recommended, however, I did get fired up to create my own list of goals. You could easily tell your audience “I read this book and it got me so fired up I decided to apply the principles and spend a month learning Salsa dance.”
This gives you something to sell while also providing your readers with a useful tool to improve their own lives.
2. Go Beyond The Competition
The biggest mistake that most people make when trying to sell something is lack of imagination. Someone will start a blog about going to the gym and they’ll plug the same tired products that every other site recommends. They have nothing unique to offer anyone. Luckily, there’s an easy way to solve this: Incorporate two different subjects into the exact same field. Don’t write a blog that’s just about lifting weights and eating low-carb. Make a site where you talk about your weight training and also provide recipes for delicious low-carb dishes. “5 Slow-Cooker Recipes To Help Build Muscle Without Breaking The Bank” would be a far better article than “5 Foods That Build Muscle.” This first is unique, the second is generic drivel.
My friend Mike has a website called Fit Juice, it has an eBook with an affiliate program. Juicing helps improve both health and brainpower. All skills are either cognitive or physical. You could apply the power of juicing to almost any challenge you’re facing.
Don’t believe me? Here are some sample headlines off the top of my head:
“How Ordinary Vegetable Juice Helped Me Ace My College Exams”
“Could This ‘Green Juice’ Be The Secret To Better Gym Performance?”
“Self-Improvement Starts In The Kitchen”
All of those would make for interesting articles. And people would be curious enough to take a look and see what you had to say.
Another idea would be to take a Udemy class. You’d learn a new skill and, in most cases, have something tangible to show for it. You can learn anything from meditation, to speaking Japanese, to web design.
I’m enrolled in one about designing video games (you can see it here). If you took a class like this you’d have some games to showcase within 30 days. You could record a video of you playing one of them, set up a way for people to play your game on your site, and it would generate interest. Throw up an affiliate link to the course and some of your readers would be sure to buy.
There are a million different ideas out there and you could easily find one to monetize.
3. Learn To Write Compelling Content
While a lot of people like to talk about SEO, I actually think that copywriting is a more important skill to master. It’s something I wish I’d learned about before I ever started blogging.
You might want to pick up and read a book on copywriting too. I just bought Making Ads That Pay by John Caples (Amazon). It has some excellent advice on writing compelling content that hooks your readers in and gets them engaged with your material.
Also, between you and me, I just launched a new site and used my basic knowledge of copywriting to make every post as engaging as possible. So far I’ve been averaging almost 200 readers a day and the site’s only been up since Tuesday. I’ve done zero promotion for the site and all the readers have been arriving through word-of-mouth. That’s how powerful copywriting is.
4. Create A “Final Product” Before You Publish Anything
Write your whole blog before publishing it. Make folder on your computer and keep all the posts in there. Then you can make edits and add to your content before you publish it.
By waiting to publish until after you’d learned your new skill, you could give each post a before/after section. People have short attention spans and that would help them see the transformation. It also keeps your posts from becoming too repetitive, something that will cause people to lose interest in your work.
Making money online is not rocket science. Anyone can do it. However, it does require some critical thinking to actually turn a profit. If you go in posting half-baked trash don’t be surprised when no one wants to read your site.
The “secret” to turn learning into cash is as follows: Start with a product to sell in mind, add an extra layer of depth to your content, write content that people actually want to read, and then edit and revise everything before you ever publish a word.
If you follow those steps you’ll do just fine.