One of my other sites, a hobby blog, has become quite popular, yet I’ve been continually frustrated by how difficult it is to make decent amounts of money. Like, reliable, quit-your-day-job amounts of money.
Even with monthly page views of around 70k, and over 6,500 on the mailing list, it’s only making, on average, a few hundred pounds per month. Admittedly, I’m rubbish at making use of my mailing list, and hate sending emails which contain affiliate links.
The site contains Google ads too, so that generates enough to cover the monthly mailchimp bill, but in truth, I’d rather get rid of them. I mean, who likes ads?
When I look at the total amounts of revenue generated for Amazon, and other specific retailers, it shocks me when I see the tiny percentage of commission those sales generated. Don’t get me wrong though. For years I’ve considered that blog to be nothing more than a hobby, and so a hobby that could reliably bring in a few hundred pounds every month was simply fantastic.
But then I started thinking about the possibilities and the potential of a blog that already gets a fair amount of free organic traffic.
The obsession with list building
Most of the marketing podcasts I listen to are obsessed with building your list, or growing your audience, in order to sell whatever your thing is. The more I listened, the more it seemed like I’d done everything backwards. I already have an audience!
But maybe that’s no bad thing. With a pre-prepared audience, all I had to do was launch the right product, my own product, and my monthly revenue chart would do the hockey stick thing, right?
So basically, I’ve known for at least two years that I need to develop my own products to sell. But what to do?
Deciding on a product for my hobby blog
It didn’t take long at all for me to decide what I needed to do, but as I’ll go into, it’s taken me an age to act on it.
My most popular content had always been tutorials that I’d written. So it seemed entirely logical to set about creating a course to sell. This would be a way to provide more depth and structure to the kinds of things I was teaching.
Distractions. Focus. Squirrel!
I can’t really explain why it’s taken me so long to focus on actually creating my course and launching it. This post could easily have been called “12 million ways to procrastinate and put off doing the one thing that’s going to make the biggest difference to your blog”.
I guess I’m too easily distracted by shiny new ideas. Oh, and Appsumo is probably guilty of diverting me off course way too often, with their incredible offers that were too good to let go.
Getting carried away with too many ideas
Having decided that I needed to develop a course, I bought a Learning Management System (a WordPress plugin called Learndash) and then went off on several tangents that included building a whole new site for a completely separate project!
Turning it around
I’m tired of never finishing things. Or more accurately, I’m tired of my tendency to be easily led by exciting new ideas, and therefore lacking the resolve to persist with one good idea long enough to make it work.
The One Thing – a book that’s helping.
The basic principle of this book is incredibly simple. Find it on Amazon
Focus on the one activity you can do, such that by doing it, everything else will become easier or uneccessary.
It also helped me to realise that focus is equally about deciding what NOT to spend time on. There’s a great old Russian proverb that sums it up really well:
He who chases two rabbits, catches neither.
I’ve been chasing a dozen rabbits for years, and I’m gradually becoming more disciplined and able to focus. But old habits die hard, and I need to kick myself back into line when I find myself drifting.
Another helpful thing I’ve picked up from The One Thing is to do simple goal planning for various points in time.
Your goal planning, sorted.
Write down what you want your success to look like, 5 years from now. Next, think about what you need to have achieved one year from now, in order to be on the path to your 5 year goals.
Then think about 3 months from now, and create realistic goals that will make achieving your 1 year goal a reality.
Continue to do this for a 1 month goal, and then a weekly goal, and finally a goal for today, and right NOW.
What can you do NOW, that helps you achieve your goal for today, which makes it possible to meet your weekly goal, which feeds into your monthly goals, and so on?
You can see how aligning all your activity in a certain direction will naturally lead to getting better results.
Say NO more often
Anything that doesn’t contribute to your goals should be set aside. Don’t waste your time.
With this new found focus, I’m going to attempt to create more of a “business” out of my hobby blog, by selling online courses.
It’s become my “One Thing”.
I’d love to have you along for the ride, so please sign up to my email list to hear how I’m getting on. I’ll post updates in relation to the process I’m following, what works along the way, (and what doesn’t work), what tools I’m using, and of course, my results.
If you have any tips to share along the way, please don’t be shy! That’s what the comments section is for 🙂