10 Minutes of Unscripted Honesty about Blogging for Money

Blogging for money is a topic we REALLY need to have a conversation about.

The majority of my readers are working hard to find ways to monetize their blogs and it’s a huge challenge.  Some online marketing experts make it sound like a walk in the park, but guess what?  It’s not.

Please watch this 10-minute video first and let’s get the conversation rolling into high gear!

I discovered this video on my friend’s blog and it really got me thinking.  Thank you, Danielle McGaw, for spending some time hanging around on YouTube.

We need to put on our thinking caps, pitch in, share our insights, and lend some solutions for how to make money through blogging.

Is creating your own products the answer?

Will affiliate marketing do the trick?

Are niche sites the holy grail?

Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe produced this video.  Her blog is outstanding and she’s got thousands of readers.

If someone of Ana’s caliber and popularity considers blogging for money a formidable challenge, how difficult is it going to be for the rest of us?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

  • @Paula — You’re very welcome! If you’ve gleaned an idea or two (or 40!) from this list, I’m thrilled. 🙂 You always make my day.

  • Wowza! I’m thrilled that the question got asked and you had the answer ready. I can really use that. I’ve been wracking my brain for weeks. Or do I mean months? Thanks, M!

  • @Diana — Good news! I’m delighted you found an idea here. 🙂 So go and get your ‘cheat sheet’ crafted and ready to roll! I use a cheat sheet as a special handout for labor support partners in the childbirth classes I teach. They love it! It’s a quick, ready-reference checklist and it was really easy to create.

    Good luck and have fun showing others how to cheat! LOL

  • Thanks Melanie for such an extensive list. I am leaning towards cheat sheet 🙂

  • @Diana — You’ve landed in the right spot for “freebie offer” suggestions! I wrote a post on the topic of what to use as a lead-generator/list-builder on your blog. Here’s a nice big hefty list of ideas for you:

    1) E-book

    2) Tip booklet

    3) Special report

    4) Mini e-course (delivered over time)

    5) Industry report

    6) Sample chapter of your book

    7) How-to guide

    8) Cheat sheet

    9) Tip sheet

    10) Checklist

    11) White paper

    12) Warning or cautionary report

    13) Ezine subscription

    14) Downloadable kit

    15) Written interview (transcribed)

    16) Buyer’s guide

    17) Template

    18) Quiz

    19) Survey

    20) Audio class/lesson

    21) Audio course (delivered over time)

    22) Audio interview

    23) Live teleseminar

    24) Recorded teleseminar

    25) Podcast episode

    26) Video

    27) Video course (delivered over time)

    28) Slideshow

    29) Live webinar

    30) Live webcast

    31) Recorded webinar

    32) DVD

    33) CD

    34) Product sample

    35) Demonstration of your product

    36) Consultation

    37) Free trial offer

    38) Discount coupon book

    39) WordPress plugin

    40) Mobile application

    41) Free mystery gift

    42) Free “set-up” or “assembly”

    43) Free hotline service

    44) Free customer support

    45) Pamphlet

    46) Brochure

    47) Informational packet

    48) Free class or lesson

    49) Free seminar

    50) You fill in the blank here – use your imagination! 🙂

  • Hi Melanie,

    I am guilty of not having a opt-in box at the moment. That’s what I want to get up by the end of month. I am thinking what would be best to offer. My niche is coaches and I help them start up their business. I am leaning towards helping them set up their online presence and how to best utilize social media. That’s why I am online learning 🙂 Any suggestions what freebie to offer for the opt-in?

  • @Sheila — I agree with you. Niche sites can do really well for producing some pretty decent profits. I read some awesome information on your blog about creating niche sites and I really should give this some serious consideration! Glad to hear that some of the ‘authority’ bloggers are weighing in with Ana. I think it’s time people speak up and speak out about what it really takes to make money online and how blogging fits into the scheme of things. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

  • Melanine,

    I have been watching what some pretty big bloggers like Darren Rowse and Copy Blogger have to say on this subject. They weigh in with Ana. Not that they don’t make money with their blogs, it is just not the main source of their income. They have products and membership sites.

    Now with that said. I think there are niches that can do really well and do.

  • Thanks, Dani! I’m on Sandi’s list and I REALLY like her. So glad you passed along this video. Don’t ya just love her hair? Kinda reminds me of Michelle Shaeffer’s hair. 🙂

    Yes! Building a list is so important. I still can’t believe the blogs I visit with no opt-in box of any kind — no newsletter, no report, no e-book, no audio, no videos, no nothing being offered. Sandi makes an excellent point about using your blog as a lead-generator. It’s a must.

    Blogger chat or conference call sounds like an awesome idea. A little brainstorming is definitely in order!

  • OK and a quick, shall I say rebuttal video (only 2 minutes long) from a woman I admire, Sandi Krakowski!


  • Hmmmm, great points! Work smarter, not harder! I’ve always been drawn to creating products, but it’s all about providing something unique that your niche market is seeking. Perhaps a blogger chat or conference call, Melanie? I see a group of great minds brainstorming. 🙂

  • @Danielle — You’re quite welcome for the mention and thanks for offering up a great tip about recording videos and listening when you, comfortably, have the time. Cool idea!

    @Paula — I know what you mean. I can usually only watch videos for about two or three minutes and that’s it. My attention span is pretty short and that’s one of the reasons I craft shorter blog posts than most other bloggers. But when I find one that’s got compelling content and a subject I’m keenly interested in, I’ll stick with it. And that was the case with Ana Hoffman’s video. My ears perked up as soon as she mentioned the truth about blogging for money — I wanted hear every word.

    @Hajra — Trust me, kiddo, you are NOT alone. You’re in the ‘majority’, not the ‘minority’ when it comes to trying to figure out how in the world to effectively monetize a blog. I believe we all need to work on this together.

    @Marty — Good point! But whether you’re working ‘harder’ or ‘smarter’ or both — it’s a huge challenge to turn your blog into a money-making machine. You’re absolutely right — we need to find simple solutions. I’ll second that motion!

    @Donna — You’ve got a really healthy outlook and one that makes sense. Thanks for sharing your insights. Interacting with your readers, giving them some helpful tools and tips, providing them with inspiration and motivation, and keeping your nose to the grindstone is what it takes. Hope you’ll take the time to listen to what Ana Hoffman has to say. In my opinion, she’s speaking the truth and saying some things we all need to hear.

  • Yes…I am finding it hard to make money through my blog and I thought I was alone…I am so relieved somehow!

  • Interesting video. I’m keen on the idea of producing my own products. I have plans.
    I like the reference to working harder. Working smarter is the secret I believe. Very often I think success is finding the simple solution. Maybe we kid ourselves that the task is hard. Well it can be, but there can be simple solutions.

  • @Melanie – thanks for the mention. 🙂 You can learn a lot on YouTube can’ t you?

    @Paula – I know what you mean. I can’t listen to most videos either. I have a trick though. When it is something like this I use RealPlayer to record it and then save it as an audio file and then put it on my MP3 player for later. I listen to things like this and podcasts when I am walking, doing dishes, or just want to sit back and relax my eyes. Gee – there’s another blog post idea!

  • Melanie: I have a fatal flaw! I’m a reader. I try to watch a video and my mind is looking for something to read within 10 seconds!

    What on earth am I going to do living in this day and age? I’m serious. I cannot focus on a video. I’ve tried a thousand times.

    Am I the only one in the world with this problem? I hear that doing your blog in video will appeal to 199% more people!

    Aw, geez! Crap. Gotta figure something out. 😉

  • Found you via Dani’s self promo commenting page. Thank you so much or sharing this. I will watch the video later, but for now I just wanted you to know that we have a similar vision … reaching out to wahm-preneurs who are on shoestring (and even no string) budgets.
    I agree that as a community it is vital for us to start and continue conversing about the pros and cons of blogging “for money”.
    Although that is a nice ultimate goal, you really have to do this because you are called to it, or else you’re just wasting your own and your readers’ time.
    We should be blogging ’cause that’s what’s in our hearts to do … and then the money will come as we continue to learn and grow and become more savvy about how to tweak our blogs and social marketing.
    Thanks again!
    P.S. I am a blogger who has been providing “quick and easy” blogging tips to help online entrepreneurs get started. However, I am in no way trying to say this is easy overall … it takes wise planning, great tools and dedicated work to keep up with one blog let alone multiples, like I have. My goal in saying “easy” is to let folks know that they can get started faster and then learn and put more work into it as they go along.

  • So pleased you stopped by, Andreas, and you got it right! A “walk in the park” means something is very EASY — pleasant and effortless. Not true about making money blogging, though. It’s a lot of hard work.

    Happy Blogging!

  • Love the honesty in your video. – AND: have learned an idiom today 🙂
    Did I get it right? –> “to sound like a walk in the park” = “to sound very easy” ?
    I might use it on my website (Category: Englisch Vokabeln)

    Kind Regards