I finally had a chance to sit down and close out the 4th quarter of 2008, and thought I'd share some interesting blog stats with you. Stats are incredibly important in my book. They help you gauge progress, and give you a starting point for creating new goals and challenges for yourself.
I'm sharing this with you for two reasons. And certainly not to brag, because these stats may not be that impressive to some. Its all relative. But I'm sharing them with you to inspire & motivate you, and also to let you know what's working really well for me...
I'll start by confessing that I dont work that hard at blog promotion. I could, given my background in online marketing, but I dont. Call me a lazy blogger if you like (fair enough), but the point is that you can easily achieve the same (or much, much better) results yourself.
The only promotion that I actively did during 2008 is:
I optimize my posts as I go for specific keyword phrases. I mention my blog posts on Twitter, and have my blog URL in my Twitter bio. And I have a blog broadcast set up through Aweber so that my readers can get updates every week on new posts here at the blog - which is completely automated.
So as you can see I am not out there commenting like mad, doing guests posts, article marketing, actively getting new inbound links, creating 300 squidoo lenses, stumbling or digging my own posts, or any of that stuff. I'm just blogging and tweeting, and letting the rest happen naturally.
Hmm. I should mention that I'm fairly active on MySpace and Facebook, but I dont do any hardcore marketing there either.
All that said, here is the interesting point that I wanted to share with you:
The month of December was my best month yet. Both in terms of traffic, and income. I was 259 shy of having 20,000 unique visitors, and my income that last quarter was more than double what it was in the first quarter of 2008.
That's interesting enough in itself, but if you remember... I was off on vacation in Australia for two whole weeks during the month of December, and came home just a week before Christmas - followed by New Years. 2 weeks vacation + 2 major holidays, well - it's not as if I was actively "working" that month.
And therein lies the real inspiration.
I'm even inspired. I am so inspired by what I accomplished (so easily) last year, that I'm motivated to actually work at it this year!
This is how I doubled my income (passively):
It's simple really. My winning combination is: Affiliate Marketing, SEO & Info Products. I use Affiliate Marketing and also my own products to monetize my blog posts, and then use SEO to make sales passively.
And by Info Products, I'm referring to cheap reports - and often sold elsewhere (not even through my blog) via the Fast Cash Strategy method. These reports have links in them as well, so they earn both on the front end and the back end - generally via affiliate sales.
That Fast Cash Strategy is my own personal method, by the way. I dont sell it publicly (yet) but I do let my readers download the first edition for only $10. You can read more about that here.
Obviously if you dont monetize your blog posts (or web pages), you're not going to make any money. No amount of unique content and good search engine rankings is going to fix that.
Personally, I have found that Affiliate Marketing and having your own info products (even if they're just cheap reports) are the two best ways to make money online. And I'll tell you why: both allow you to earn money passively, even if you're away from your computer for days - or weeks - at a time.
Obviously your content has to be seen in order for it to convert into sales, which is where the SEO comes in. And for those of you new to the scene, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It basically just means optimizing your pages for specific keyword phrases so that they rank well in the major search engines for those phrases.
Buried Blog Posts, That Still Crank Out Sales.
"Oh, okay - I get it," you say. "You're blogging about products and people are buying them. But how is that passive?" It's not. Blogging on a regular basis takes a bit of a commitment, as you've probably discovered by now.
But let's go back to December's stats. While I was on vacation I did very little blogging. I had several guest posts, and my own posts were photo & video updates from my trip to Australia.
The key is in having your money posts rank well, so they continuously make sales for you - even if you're away, or busy blogging about something else.
For example, some of my current Google rankings include: "traffic secrets 2.0 review" #1, "bans review" #3 & #4, "starting a free online business" #1 & #2, "free netflix account" #1, etc. Those are all older blog posts that are still cranking out sales.
And by the way, if your blog posts usually rank well and then tank out of Google completely, you'll want to see this post: Rank & Tank. It explains how I manage to get - and keep - those good rankings.
Of course, in addition to making money directly my blog has also contributed to the growth and sales on my other websites. It has been a great way to get more newsletter subscribers, forum members and webinar attendees for example.
Blogs are powerful. I hope this inspires you to start blogging, keep blogging, or get more serious about blogging. As I said earlier, it didnt take much for me to achieve these results - and you can easily do the same!
p.s. This needs to be the year that you start earning 5-figures per month from Affiliate Marketing. Stay tuned, because next I am going to dig into an in-depth review of some of the best Affiliate Marketing guides on the 'net.
And a quick reminder - there's less than a week to register for the hands-on workshop in Atlanta where we'll be there to help you learn it one-on-one