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Why Making Money Online in the First 6 Months Doesn’t Matter

Last weekend I was re-reading through The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk and I realized that most bloggers start off with the wrong intentions.

Most people focus in the beginning on how they can make their first dollar online. Oh, how wrong that is!

This, more often than not, leads to spammy tactics like covering their website with advertisements and using pop-ups to get people to sign-up for their mailing list which in turn scares away potential fans before they even read a single word of their content.

When all you are focusing on is monetization you are failing to take the first essential step towards getting people to trust you enough online to spend money: start a relationship with as many visitors as possible.

Treat Your Website Like A Blind Date

If you were out on a blind date would you immediately ask someone to be your boy/girlfriend? That is essentially what you are doing with pop-up email sign-up forms.

Would you spend half the date talking about all your friends and why your date should actually go out with them? With too many advertisements and external links on your site you are basically showing people the door out.

Expecting to get paid by visitors to your website or blog before you build up a relationship with them is like expecting someone to marry you after a first date.

You need to treat every visitor to your website like a relationship. Treat them well, time after time, and will you start to show them how you are different.

The Currency of Relationships is Thank You’s

For people to care enough about what you write, create, or demonstrate on your blog you are going to need to do something for them that no one else does already.

Are you just going to publish information that people would end up Googling how to do anyway or are you providing them with priceless advice, guidance, and inspiration that they’ve never heard or can’t get anywhere else?

Before most people are going to be willing to fork over their hard earned money for something you create (or recommend as an affiliate), you are going to have to do something that makes them scream, “Thank you!”

Different kinds of people will say thank you in different ways, so it is not something you can easily keep track of persay. To understand the different ways people can thank you, think of someone you have bought something from online and think of how you have thanked them.

- Have you shared their posts on social media multiple times?
- Do you comment on every one of their posts?
- Have you sent them a personal email thanking them for something they published?
- Did you feature them in a something you published on your website or blog?
- Have you told a ton of your friends about their blog?
- Did you buy multiple copies of their book?
- Have you dropped three or four figures just to be trained or coached by them?

See the progression there?

People first thank you with their words and actions. Only after that will they thank you with their wallets.

Thank You’s Generate More Leads, Sales Typically Don’t

When you do something that leads people to thank you, chances are they will reach out to their circle of friends and share whatever it is you are doing.

This grows your audience, creates a thriving group of buyers, and leads to more sales.

When someone buys something from you, they don’t usually tell anyone. Sometimes they will, but they might not want to admit it until AFTER they get results and by that time they may forget to do so.

Once you are consistantly getting paid in thank you’s, your audience will start to grow without you having to focus on it everyday.

10 Simple Ways to Get People to Thank You

1. Create epic shit
2. Feature their story on your blog
3. Respond to all of their comments
4. Respond to their emails
5. Thank them for their social media shares
6. Walk them step-by-step through something complicated
7. Create a list of insanely useful resources
8. Give them a special bonus for signing up for updates
9. Go above and beyond their expectations
10. Give away for free what most people charge for


I’d love to hear two things from you in the comments of this post:

First, how do you give thanks to people and blogs you admire online?

(Personally, I like to give special attention to people in blog posts that feature them in a positive light.)

Second, what is your favorite way that someone else has thanked you online?

(The best way I’ve been thanked online for a purchase was when Chris Guillebeau sent me a hand-written, snail mail thank you card for registering to attend the World Domination Summit.)

Looking forward to hearing your comments!

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  • http://www.ryanhache.com Ryan Hach Information Marketing

    This is so true. Just look at how long facebook waited to start to monetize. Great post.

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Hey Ryan,

      Good point. In the first six months you don’t usually even know what the thing you are create really is yet.

      • http://www.blogging24h.com Trung Nguyen

        My blog brought my first dollars online to me in just 1 month I’ve launched it, however, I total agree with you that we only can earn money after 6 month building a new blog, blogging is not a way to get rich quick, even it’s not for everybody.

        • http://www.itechcode.com Amit Shaw

          I got my first income after 3 Months and Yes you are right Trung that we should wait first we have to concentrate on Traffic and quality of article than money. If we able to gain our traffic than money will come automatically. I saw some sites who has no PR Even not so good alexa but they have awesome traffic and earning $1000 PerMonth.

          • http://www.blogging24h.com Trung Nguyen

            Yeah, Amit – we should focus on content and find new ways to boost traffic to our site :)

  • http://SuccessNexus.com/blog/ Ankesh Kothari

    Thanks Caleb.

    Thanking people is awesome. Neuroscience research actually shows that people who show more gratitude are more happy. So by thanking folks, you not only make the other person happy – you raise your happiness level too.

    I make it a point of sending a short thank you note to bloggers I love within a couple of week of knowing them. I either send them an email if they seem approachable through it. Or try and find their contact details and send them a thank you note offline.

    The best way I have been thanked? David Frey of MarketingBestPractices.com made a personal video thanking me and sent it along. Oh what an impact it had on me!

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      That’s an awesome example from David. Personal videos thanking people directly takes the extra time and effort that will show people how much you actually care.

  • http://www.yourworkisyourlife.com/sign-up Razwana

    Building a relationship and credibility first is definitely the way to go (say I, the blogging novice!). Danny Iny wrote a post recently on the different stages of blogging, and monitising was the final stage!

    As well as respondng to comments, I send my readers personal emails thanking them for signing up for blog updates. I have received a few from bloggers and it adds a nice, warm touch, as opposed to the automated response.

    - Razwana

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Personalized over automated is always a better touch Razwana, I agree. You should be doing that until your audience grows past the point where you have the capacity to do so.

  • http://www.ivblogger.com Sheyi

    What works best is saying thank you and giving away tons of free information that they ought to pay for initially.

    That is what the likes of Glen and Pat Flynn uses to gain expert status.

    Sheyi

  • http://FoolishAdventure.com Tim Conley

    I seldom ever leave comments on posts that I disagree with because “hey, to each their own,” but I’ve decided to “crusade” against the bad business advice of “start a business, but don’t ask to get paid for months or years” nonsense.

    Imagine a sandwich shop owner going wondering how she will monetize her “content.” Her advisor says, “Give away sandwiches for six months and then you might be able to build up a big enough group of people that you can figure out how to make money later.”

    How long will she remain in business? She better have some really deep pockets.

    It’s the same online though the economics of being digital masks the realities of needing to pay for your time you are exchanging to gain an audience.

    Another fundamental flaw in this advice of “don’t make money for months” is that you have to do something else to pay your bills. It completely ignores the offline reality of people.

    Treat an online venture like an offline one. Build up your savings so that you have capital to invest. You may (and probably will) continue working until your online income reaches at least 70% or more of your job income. Then you may choose to risk working full time in your online business to make up the 30% income short fall while using some of your savings. Maybe. Or you just wait till all your bills are covered and then you go full time.

    Another flaw in the advice is that it is untestable. Like the popup advice: “which in turn scares away potential fans before they even read a single word of their content.” How do you know that this is the case?

    You don’t know if they never come back unless you are tracking their IP address for many months. And even then it wouldn’t prove much since many people access content on multiple devices with multiple IPs. I don’t know anyone online doing this.

    The advice is also illogical. To say that you shouldn’t show your moneymaker to a new visitor is until you’ve built a relationship with that person doesn’t make sense. There are always new people coming who don’t know, like or trust you yet. The new people who come six months from now (unless referred) won’t know much about you, but will see your ad for your own product or see that affiliate link in your post.

    They don’t get scared away then. So why would they get scared away at the beginning of your business?

    People pay for value that solves their problems or fulfills their desires. Anyone who sets out to solve a problem or fulfill a desire can start making money immediately.

    The last disagreement I have is this cliche’ of commerce is just like dating. It isn’t. In dating, people must get to know each other because there is the potentiality of having sex with the person and maybe even raising children together. I’ve never had a customer in all my businesses nor with my clients’ businesses that prospects wanted to know the company or anyone in the company intimately.

    However, my clients and I have had prospects want to buy from us immediately after finding out we could solve their problems or fulfill their desires.

    Any business — a real business — even one based on blogging, can start making money from day one. They may choose not to, but they could because they are truly providing immense value with their products or services.

    t

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yKl6zdfbrg Tommy Walker

      You make some solid points, but I think there is a middle ground here.

      Too many “online business” owners don’t spend the time to research their audience, and because of that don’t know how to appeal to them.

      The approach you’re talking about makes sense if you’re building your savings to start your business, and assumingly also researching your prospects at the same time.

      The 6 month approach makes sense, IF you’re diving head long without doing any research ahead of time, WHICH happens to be most people who start “online businesses”

      I agree with you that any business can start making money from Day 1… but we’re talking about Day 1 of launch, not Day 1 of planning…

      It’s true, you can augment traffic on Day 1 with paid media, but even then, you’re likely not doing your keyword research on the day you launch.

      • http://FoolishAdventure.com Tim Conley

        Tommy,
        Yeah, no planning is a problem and that leads to no revenue or little revenue for the work that was involved.
        As for day 1 of launch or planning, you must think about how you will earn money from your business or you don’t have a business.

        That’s really the point of my rant is that a lot of blogging advice tells people to follow a dogma of not worrying about how they’ll get paid which is advice no one would give to a hardware store or a software company. So why give the advice to a blogger?

        Focusing on providing value to a market (real human beings) that that market will pay for is the foundation to business. I’m not saying that relationship building is not a huge part of a successful business. I’m just pointing out the fallacy of the “not make money early” part.

        t

    • http://www.ryanhache.com Ryan Hache Information Marketing

      Tim, I don’t think he is saying not to make money but that it just doesn’t matter because the equity is in the following and the relationships you are building. Information is not a sandwich, its an asset you can share for free over and over to obtain residual influence and free exposure. There is however something to be said about setting the expectations of your readers so they are clear that you are a business and you will be making them an offer. Sure it’s not exactly like dating and you don’t have to sleep with your customers but it is very much a about human psychology at the end of the day people are people.

      • http://FoolishAdventure.com Tim Conley

        Ryan,
        I agree that business success is greatly influenced by human psychology. How could it not be since we are all humans — even business owners? Great books on psychology in business are Influence by Cialdini and Psychological Triggers by Sugarman.

        True, digital products are not sandwiches that’s why the economics of starting and running an online business, especially blogs, tends to be overlooked or completely discounted.

        My thinking is that with a business you should be building equity AND revenue. Equity is only as good as your ability to turn it into revenue or capital gains. Why not start a business from the beginning with the idea of making money and how you’re going to make money?

        Also, I love using free as a marketing tool, but I never conflate the free content I use for attracting an audience (for myself or for clients) with the content that I’m selling. (not saying you are) Free content just doesn’t put food on the table unless you have built a huge audience that advertisers would pay to be associated with. <– whole other can of worms.

    • http://www.devidreams.com Devi

      @Tim Conley

      You make some good points, but I also think Tommy’s advice is good. It really depends on the person and what he or she is trying to sell. Many people trying to make money by blogging want to do so by selling advertisements. However, to attract advertisers, you must build a blog readership. I think Tommy’s post about focusing on building relationships first before throwing up advertisements is the better way to pursue a blog readership. This allows you to see if there is an interest in what you are “selling” and make it easier to sell the audience to potential advertisers.

      On personal note, I don’t like those popup newsletter sign up forms, especially if it is my first visit to a person’s blog. I don’t know anything about the person and he or she already wants me to sign up for their newsletter? Let me see what you’re offering first.

      • http://internetdigibiz.com/ Robert K

        Exactly – it all depends on WHAT the website or blog is going to sell.

        If we’re talking about an e-commerce website selling, let’s say, kids toys, it makes perfect sense in BOTH terms – commercial and customer relations. There would be nothing wrong with providing relevant quality articles on the company’s blog and direct them to the shop pages because people will realize that it’s a shop, and that’s what online shops do – they sell merchandise.

        Blogs and info products are different – people must be thrilled by good info and relationship must be maintained for a longer time so that you can come around as a genuine person.

        So I think this article was more about selling and promoting info products rather than selling physical products.

        Regards,

        Robert

        • http://FoolishAdventure.com Tim Conley

          Robert,
          I agree that in every case when running a business, it depends. Every business decision happens from the individual circumstance and must be tested.

          But I have to disagree that blogging and infoproducts are different from other businesses fundamentally. The reason being is that the customer (a human) behaves just as humans did for millennia.

          They respond to value and they respond specifically to value that solves their problems or fulfills their desires.

          Just to test (even though my former partner and I weren’t planning to monetize our podcast for a long time) I launched a product to our 3 month old audience and made $8k in 5 days. This is just anecdotal, but it’s something I’ve seen time and time again from my 13+ years of business consulting.

          There just has to be a very good strategic reason to not sell at or near the beginning of any business.

          • http://internetdigibiz.com/ Robert K

            Hi Tim,

            I agree 100% that fundamentally selling something to people is the same regardless of a product.

            Four years ago I partnered up with another website and thanks to a promotion by that other site owner I sold 6K worth eBooks.

            Basically he promoted my site to his list and they signed up to my mailing list, and from the 300 odd subscribers I made 40 sales 159 $ each. It was the best day of my life – I had just tossed up a simple salespage, created an eBook, promoted it, and money was literately rolling in!

            I’m guessing that, however, within the scope of this particular blog post Caleb is talking about a blog that has very little traffic – so quite naturally there’s not much money to be made there.

            I was writing my comment with the same mindset:

            You have a new blog -> you have little traffic -> you focus on providing superb content + build relationship with the audience -> traffic grows -> as a result, you have ENOUGH traffic to start making REASONABLE amount of sales.

            And here’s another thing – if you have just started a new blog, and you don’t have much content, your visitors might see it as lack of credibility (unless you have credentials to fall back on).

            For instance, many of my customer e-mails begin with a sentence – “I’ve been watching your YouTube videos for a long time, and finally decided to buy your product…”

            Of course, I was getting sales in the early stages of my blog as well and there are always those who’ll buy an info product without any relationship at all – they just go to the salespage, get enticed by the offer and what they’ll avail of having the product, and they just hit the Buy NOW button.

            And yes – I understand it’s more than realistic to start running PPC campaigns and start monetizing your site from the beginning.

            Personally I was unsuccessful doing that, and the concept of building your site and providing value appeals to me more.

      • http://FoolishAdventure.com Tim Conley

        Devi,

        The whole make money from advertising is a tough model to follow. That’s why I advocate selling products or services to a specific group of people with similar problems or desires.

        I’ve never met a person who said they like popups. But using popups should be a matter of testing and not dogma. I have found in my consulting that there have only been a few cases where a popup wasn’t more effective at reaching an audience which in turn allows the company to engage on a significantly deeper level than their blog posts.

        If you test using popups and your business suffers, then you shouldn’t use them. You’ll then want to test interstitial optins (Mixergy and a few dozen other sites I’ve seen lately are using these). Or maybe you find that you get better engagement through an email optin in your blog posts.

        Follow testing and not dogma. I frequently tell my clients, members and audience to not believe me outright, but to test what I say. What I advocate could be wrong for an individuals situation and the only way to know is to test.

        Lastly, if you just can’t stand popups (no matter the testing) then don’t use them, but find an effective way to get people on your email list because you’re going to get a much deeper engagement level from people who have taken a step closer to you in the relationship.

        And you’ll sell more of your products and services to the people on your email list (they’re more committed) than you will to people just reading your blog posts including RSS subscribers.

        t

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Hey Tim,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave an in-depth comment. I’ll try to address everything you’ve brought up.

      To answer your first point, in this post I am specifically talking about blogging, not necessarily “starting a business” online. A blog isn’t a sandwich shop. If you have a storefront on Etsy or just extending a brick and mortar business to the online space, you should definitely think about money sooner than six months.

      Not everyone blogs to “get rich”, but many people that start a blog focus too much on their bottom line, get frustrated, and quit.

      I’d argue that you shouldn’t “build up capital” to invest in what you are doing online like you would for say, a traditional career. To land a traditional job you need credentials (which cost $), education (more $), and much more. To get started online you can spend literally zero dollars to get started with building an audience. You can use free blogging platforms and social media to grow your fan base.

      As for the pop-ups question, we know it is the case because of the comments from our readers in the post I linked to above. Perhaps you can trick people into signing up to your mailing list with a pop-up, but are those really the fans you want? And how many people are you driving away as soon as they see a pop-up asking for something.

      Perhaps those are immeasurable, but I’d argue that the negatives highly outweigh the positives.

      The real point of this essay is to discuss hoåw yes, you could make money in the beginning, but to really stand out and grow an audience that is worth having in the long-term, money should not be your focus.

      Thanks again for chiming in. I really appreciate the discussion.

      • http://FoolishAdventure.com Tim Conley

        Caleb,

        I assumed you meant blogging, but since making a living online has certain fundamentals which are the same as make a living offline, I wrote my comment addressing all businesses.

        That’s why I wrote about giving sandwiches away for free for 6 months. I don’t have a problem with giving away stuff for free, in fact I teach a method I call the 3 Product Approach to build trust, authority and value. The third product is one people pay for and I think it (the revenue generating aspect of their business) is something a blogger should consider before starting. Said blogger may have a very strategic reason to not sell for several months, but it will be a rational decision and not one based on blogging dogma.

        If a business owner is focusing on the bottom line — truly focusing on it by selling, then they won’t quit for lack of revenue, but because of some other reason. A lot of bloggers quit because they can’t make a living (one that pays their bills) following conventional blogging advice.

        On to this popup thing. You say you “know” that you’re right because of an untested write-in response. I went over and read the comments and only one of them said he ran a test, but got zero sign-ups. Even with that “test” I bet he didn’t test his optin offer or wasn’t giving a valuable reason to optin.

        Now this phrase you snuck in there about “tricking” people into opting in is really dishonest. How many successful businesses use fraud to get people to engage with them?

        My clients, me, my members who have tested popups, have never tried to trick anyone into doing anything. And no successful entrepreneur does.

        To phrase offering something the prospect finds valuable, even if it is simply get my newsletter, as tricking them doesn’t do your readers justice.

        Also you say you’ll argue that the negatives of using popups outweigh the positive. But this is an unfounded assertion based on how you feel and not on testing to see if there really are more negatives to your business.

        As for those you can’t track that you may have driven away, it’s probably a good thing. You don’t need a big audience to make a living online. You do need an engaged audience and from testing on dozens of email lists (and reported testing from other business owners), people on your email list are, if treated right, much more responsive than those who just read your blog or subscribe through RSS.

        Nearly all bloggers (depending the industry) could make a good living if they just built an engage email list of 1500 to 3000 people.

        With all the testing I’ve done and from many other successful business owners that I know and have worked with, conversion rates for popups almost always dominate other forms of email optin — sometimes by greater than 100X multiple over the next most responsive form of optin.

        This could mean the difference between struggling for years trying to make a few bucks online and actually paying the bills.

        As I said in one of my other comments, test. Don’t take my word for it and definitely don’t take “conventional blogger wisdom” for it.

        In your last paragraph, you use a false dichotomy. You’re assuming that one cannot build a great long-term audience and focus on making money.

        The thing is if someone is starting a business (even if using blogging as a marketing tool to build an audience) then money is a factor. You and all your readers should get paid for their work if it is valuable to their audience. A business owner, to succeed, must focus on the money because it pays the bills.

        The key is providing a tangible solution to an audience’s problems or desires and anyone can learn to do this.

        Thanks for the lively discussion.
        t

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yKl6zdfbrg Tommy Walker

    I personally need to get in a better habit of saying “Thank You” honestly. I’ll thank people when they become a lead, or pay money, or write something that is of such high value it lights my hair on fire, but just a regular thanks every now and again… I need to do better.

    Recently, I’ve started making a point to leave more comments, and share more work. The truth is, comments are a bloggers currency. If we don’t get them, we feel like we did something wrong. I’ve been trying to move the conversation in the comments forward too, to bring more comments and start a discussion, thus rewarding the writer with more and more.

    The favorite way I’ve been thanked so far is having an awesome playlist of music tailored specifically to me. In the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to be a music snob, but the truth is, I just don’t have the ear for compiling an awesome mix tape. It truly is an art form. So when someone creates a mix that I can listen to over and over again, I love that!

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Thanks Tommy. I appreciate you creating a discussion in the comments of today’s post too.

      Maybe we should start creating mix tapes for all our email subscribers? ;)

  • http://www.ifinishedmybasement.com Jason

    Thank You! I’m in month 3 of my new site and this just confirms what I was already start to sense. The money will more less take care of itself once you’ve taken care of your audience.

    This really isn’t new, almost every religion in the world has basic tenant of give and ye shall receive. The key is to do the giving first and often.

    Jason

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      No problem Jason. You should still be thinking long-term about whether or not what you are doing has a business behind it, but there is so much else to focus on in the beginning that the money piece can wait.

  • http://carefulcents.com Carrie Smith

    “People first thank you with their words and actions. Only after that will they thank you with their wallets.”

    That is SO true.
    The little things (like the snail mail card) can sometimes mean more than over-the-top gestures. Simple things like commenting, replying and answering emails go a long way, at least for me. I’m sure lots of other people feel the same. Excellent advice!

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Thanks for your thoughts Carrie. It can be really easy to just use the Internet or your blog as a sounding board, but to really get die hard fans you’ll need to connect on a 1-on-1 basis.

  • http://internetdigibiz.com/ Robert K

    Hi Caleb,

    I learned the lesson of not rushing into money making from my blog right off the bat the hard way – and I see this mistake being made by nearly all newbies.

    I created a product, and centred all my activity around promoting it. As a result I was spinning my wheels and getting nowhere because I had this “money making” mindset – how to get traffic to convert, how to make sales etc.

    Only when I started writing “epic s*&t” (how I love this description!), things started to change around. Now at this moment in time I FULLY understand that it’s the genuinely useful content you create that matters. Traffic, conversions, sales and money is going to follow naturally – as far as you’re being a truly great guy for your audience.

    My most memorable moments someone thanked me online:

    1. I received an unsolicited testimonial from a customer of mine saying how terrific my product is and how much it helped him – incredible feeling!

    2. I received what must have been a couple of pages long e-mail thanking me for all the great content I’m publishing. The e-mail also said that he (or she) was reading every single one of my blog posts and that made me realize for the first time – wow… I AM making a difference in peoples lives!

    (Please note – all the above said pertains my blog at EnglishHarmony; the one in my link is my new blog which I started last week as a way of documenting all I’m doing on my EH website)

    Regards,

    Robert

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      “Traffic, conversions, sales and money is going to follow naturally – as far as you’re being a truly great guy for your audience.”

      Exactly Robert. You have to give people a reason for coming back before you can expect them to buy anything.

  • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Remco

    Very interesting comments here….@Caleb, are you implementing your point #3 ??

    I am now over 1 year with my website, trying to give advice, and working on relationships…..it is taking long.
    I think Tim’s questions are very true. If you start a business you need to make money, after logically having your products.

    • http://pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Hey Remco,

      Yes, I am planning to respond to comments made by Tim and others. I like to see how the discussion goes a bit before I jump in to give my two cents though. :)

      • http://FoolishAdventure.com Tim Conley

        Caleb,

        Sorry about coming in here pissing on your post. I want you to know I’m not ranting at you or have anything personally against you. I just saw a couple items in the post that set me off. I’ve been ranting against them for years telling people that blogging isn’t a business, but selling things to people is.

        The thing is I bet on many points we agree about relationship building for starting and growing a business.

        t

        • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

          Hey Tim,

          Honest and open discussion is nothing that you need to apologize for. :)

          Too often comments on posts are “great stuff! i should really do that.”

          Thanks not only for giving your opinion, but doing so in a courteous manner that isn’t very common in internet comments.

    • http://FoolishAdventure.com Tim Conley

      One year without making money isn’t a business (unless you’re venture funded and then it’s hip). I feel for you and the struggle it takes to do this “online” thing.

      With your site, are you focused on a major problem or passionate desire of a group of people? If so, it is relatively simple to make money (not necessarily easy, though).

      If you’re not tightly focused then do that as soon as possible. Survey your audience and find their pains and passions and then find a very valuable solution you can sell them.

      All the best,
      t

  • http://www.kaizenjournaling.com Dolly Garland

    You can focus on making money “the right way”. Of course that’s going to be subjective, but if you are able to provide valuable content within first 6 month (for example, as Scott Dinsmore has done), then making money part works.

    I agree that you shouldn’t focus on making money by using short-term strategies which might potentially harm your reputation and your credibility. Excessive use of ads for example usually just ends up annoying people these days.

    First focus should be on content, and if what you can provide to people is worth them paying for it, then there is no harm in start charging.

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      I agree Dolly and thanks for chiming in.

      The cart (money) before the horse (content & audience) will not work with blogging.

  • http://www.technfuture.com saha

    Some very good points. There are many ways of making money and it’s really difficult to choose the right one. One should focus on the way of making money in the starting.
    for me best way is to reply to their comments and Thank them for their social media shares. Establish good relation with visitors to obtain desired results.

  • http://www.espressoenglish.net Shayna

    My take on the “making money from the beginning” vs. “give it time” thing – I haven’t made a big push for sales because my blog is only 3 months old and still in the relationship-building sales. However, I did start my blog with one paid product already on the site, simply so it would be visible and that new visitors would understand from the beginning that it IS a business and there WILL be products for sale. That way it’s not all “free content for the first 12 months and then BAM – sell, sell, sell!”

  • http://www.espressoenglish.net Shayna

    Oops – “relationship-building STAGE” not “sales” in comment above!

  • http://sdavismedia.com/ Sean Davis

    I love this article. This is how I have always felt even though almost no one ever advises this kind of mindset. I’m definitely glad to read about it here.

    Of course I want to get paid. Of course I want a huge email list. But seriously, I’m doing this because I’m passionate about reaching out to people. A thank you from someone is worth so much more to me than an email address. Sure, I want to find a way to get both. But it won’t be happening in the early days unless one gives way to the other.

    I agree with this article wholeheartedly.

    • http://pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Thanks for the comment Sean. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

  • steve ward

    Not a bad post Caleb, although i do agree with Tim for the most part I’ve done both. My day one and week one sales came from products that i paid fees to sell, that did not change it was sell or go out of business. With that said, I have tested weather or not IF i even wanted to be in a niche by starting a blog in that niche.

    What this sounds like, is a version of 1000 fans where your suppose business needs x number of people for your total monthly income. With that in mind i first tell on my blog that at some point you will be sold too. (I have yet to see a just for fun blog that survived)

    So IF I want to sell a $1000 item lets say i need 10 sells then for that 10% that might buy. I need 100 people for 1% to buy i need $1000, I uesally do not sell low priced items because i need more people more people means more everything.

    So now i know how many readers i need on my blog to make tmi, with that said will it take 6months? I dont know maybe. Not that none of that matters what really matters is does this XYZ solve my reader/customer problem if use the business makes money if not then i need to do testing which is something i do a lot.

  • http://www.makethemoneyonline.com OnlineMoneyKid

    Great article. So true the points you make. It takes a bit of time before you start seeing the results from your hard work. Persistence is key.

    Cheers
    Lloyd

  • http://outcareyourcompetition.com Jordan J. Caron

    Nice post Caleb. I finally dived into TYE a few weeks back.

    The key as you say is to treat things with a website visitor like you would with a potential male or female you really like. Obviously you wouldn’t want to come on strong and push the person away.

    I actually wrote a post about getting people back to your blog or website and how people should want to present their best stuff. This means to give away as much of your best content as you can.

    A couple of relationship analogies were used as well. In the end though people need to be thinking about the long term value of a visitor and what it takes to retain people.

    Thanks for this!

  • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com Lewis LaLanne

    Hey Caleb,

    Each of these strategies kick ass.

    The one I’m slacking on that’s the low-hanging fruit for me is the thanking people for sharing my stuff socially. I’ve been way too lax on this and I need to get better at showing love to those who show me love.

    THANK YOU Caleb!

  • http://flowcarber.com Frugal Jen

    Thank you, I needed this one!

    I recently got flak from a relative because my blog isn’t making any money yet. But it’s less than 6 months old, I’m new to all this, and at least I *have* been building up some decent relationships w/in my niche!

    Obviously, I’ve got to step up my traffic-building and get an e-mail sign-up form posted (blush). (But not a pop-up–duh! HatehateHATE those things!)

    I’ve been giving thank-yous through a regular Web Wednesday feature, where I highlight other people’s how-tos and articles that I think my readers could use. And I’ve started leaving comments on other blogs. Time to add some freebie thank-yous for my readers, and also to work on the personal notes to them.

    I love it when the bloggers I feature leave a comment thanking me. Also love it when they link back somehow!

  • Will

    Caleb,
    Thanks for the insightful tips. To answer your questions, I thank people online by writing emails to thank them. Scott, at
    Live Your Legend was a major catalyst in me quitting my job to live a life of passion. I also sent a link to Live Your Legend to a friend who is getting burned out at work. I have not had anyone thank me online yet but I have been mentoring a couple people apply and prepare for a dental hygiene program and the thanks I got was really fulfilling! Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.herview.ca Darlene

    #1 I share stories I find useful or relevant on Facebook, G+ and twitter. I comment on them if I have something to add.

    #2 I didn’t get a note from Chris! was that from last year? I don’t remember getting thanked for anything.

  • Pingback: 10 Reasons Why Healthy Competition Is King For Online Marketers! - How To Create Passive Income Online | How To Create Passive Income Online

  • http://sptorials.netii.net/ Wadson

    Wow! Nice post Caleb. Thanks for your advice. You hit the nail in the head. It makes me focus on delivering the service, writing good content and forget about the money for a while. That’s a good way to start blogging. If you can deliver the service you can get traffic and if you get traffic you can make money.
    I just start my new blog. And from now on I’m convinced that making money online with a website requires satisfaction of your followers or customers

  • http://frenchkissthebride.com Joana

    Caleb,
    I discovered your blog today and I just LOVE it. Man you’re good: whenever I finished reading one of your blog post I went for ANOTHER one straight away. You’re like chocolate. Or an American TV series. :)
    Great style, thanks for the advice.

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Ha! Thanks Joana. Glad you’re enjoying it. :)

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