Adventure blogging: How to
There are many people making a living by blogging and video blogging (vlogging). Whereas large corporations need to make a ton of money in order to make everyone’s salaries, healthcare, HR, etc; For you, you just need to make enough to cover your needs. Blogging is a totally doable venture – as long as you have the passion and an audience for what your particular blogging interest is.
Why do I start with “passion”? Now, this is advice from a former industry professional. I did Search Engine Optimization for over 10 years prior to going out on my own. I’ve helped many people start their websites, and have transformed large organizations from traditional means of making money to then largely making their cashflow from online/digital products and advertising – all through SEO.
The 2nd largest gains I’ve made (other than for myself) is a 2,800% traffic increase for a regional bank in the Northeastern US.
What was the largest gain?
The largest gain, percentage-wise, was infinite.
The reason I say infinite is that when you start from ground zero and go from nothing to something, then your return is infinite. And everything thereafter is infinity plus one.
And I tell you: the penny I made from my own efforts is 100x sweeter than the 6 figures I made as a an enterprise SEO consultant.
I’ve worked in SEO for clients such as Bank of America, Nationwide Insurance, and other Fortune 500 companies, and many smaller ones as well.
But the hardest websites I’ve found to increase traffic are small websites. Mom and pop websites. The reason? People lack patience. They start with a passion, but when they don’t see immediate success instead of pivoting and adapting to something else – they quit.
I’ve worked with folks to start a martial arts blog, a qi gong blog, a recipe website, and many others, and I told them in the midst of their excitement for finally getting off their asses and starting a blog, I say, “Most people give up after 2 months.” And after they all had a good laugh at that particular statistic, you know what happens?
They ALL quit after 2 months.
Or sooner. Now, I don’t want to discourage you if you’ve wanted to leave the corporate world and make your stake in becoming the next blogging superstar – far be it for me to trample on your dreams, but you need to understand the reality of this. That’s why I say:
- You must have a massive passion for doing this.
- You must be so passionate about this subject that you would do it anyway, without any guarantee of being compensated.
- You must need an audience that is as passionate as you are on the subject.
- You need to do something to advance your goal every single day.
The last is important. Notice I didn’t say write a blog post every day, I said do something to advance your goal every day. That could be brainstorming, it could be testing a piece of gear you want to review – and it could include writing.
I think it’s a good goal to write or video tape yourself doing something interesting every day. Or educational, basically,
the Four E’s:
Educational is anything where a person after watching it says: “Oh, I didn’t know about that!”
Enlightening is anything where a person afterwards says: “Wow, I am changed because of that”
Entertaining is, well, entertaining: makes a person laugh typically.
Emotional is anything that provokes an emotional response. It can be something sad: abandoned pets, for example. It can be something shocking (Brangelina breaking up? Say what?!).Anything that supercharges their emotions in some way.
Let me put it this way: you can’t bore someone into liking your blog. If you hit on one of the four E’s then you can be successful, but whatever you do don’t bore everyone.
- Web hosting – I highly recommend SiteGround – get a year hosting. What, you want to go month-to-month? Where’s your commitment? Getting a year makes it only $3.95/month or just $47.40 for the year. How much do you spend on coffee per month?
- Domain hosting – you can get a free domain withSiteGround when you host with them.
- WordPress Hosting – Again, included with the $2.95 per month hosting at SiteGround .
- iPhone (or similar): High quality photos and vids.
Some helpful optional gear that I use:
- Joby Grip Tight Micro Stand. Set on table or shelf, and away you go!
- Selfie stick – For YouTube videos this is a must.
- Apple Watch – Okay, I am Apple-centric, but with the watch I use it to remotely control my iPhone shutter. That way I can set up my iPhone on the Joby Grip Tight Micro Stand, and then click the shutter remotely. It makes it look like someone else is doing the filming – less “Selfie-like.”
- YouTube is the standard for video blogging, YouTube has the highest density of users, and you want to go where your audience is.
You can do it with less, with just text, but it had better be some damn good writing. Media, such as photos or videos, brings the text to life. This increases the all-important “Engagement”.
And always, always have cashflow in mind.
Sure, it’s fine to not include an affiliate link on a page, but Google Adsense ads is kind of the default position for blogs. Adding a pre-roll ad before your YouTube is a default. Then you can experiment with other ways of generating revenue, such as an e-book, email training, or forum website.
And measure, measure, measure. Understand Google Analytics, Adsense metrics, or YouTube metrics, or what have you. Whatever gives you statistics to compare results month-to-month, what can help you figure out what your top piece of content that is generating the most sessions and ad clicks. Why? Why is that particular post generating the most?
At first, your job is simply to look at the statistics and charts. Just get comfortable with the analytics – I use Google Analytics. Later, you can draw some conclusions, or compare month to the previous month, or even weekly and daily.
Never leave data in a spreadsheet. Transform it in some way: A bar graph, pie chart, Ven diagram. Some visual way for our human brain to make sense of the raw numbers. Once you compare month to month and see the numbers go from the bottom left of the chart to the upper right – then you can find yourself hooked on Analytics.
What is the reward for doing all this writing, vlogging, blogging, statistics and analytics watching?
Personally, I’m just starting out on this, but I am doing this with a vengeance. They say the best SEO pros don’t actually work for other people – they do it for themselves. That’s really how the best separate themselves from the also-rans. The ones doing journeyman SEO work.
It’s actually easy doing SEO for a large corporation like Bank of America – their industry dominance makes everything they touch go to number one. You prove your worth when you’re the sole person responsible for writing, for videotaping, for optimizing, for branding, for creating content worth viewing.
It’s when someone just starts out and gets 5 views where it gets tough. Creating enough density of high quality articles is a hard thing to do. Can what you write to inspire thousands of enthusiast to come over to your blog and read every word, finding something Educational, Enlightening, Emotional or Entertaining?
Can you eat bitter?
I forget where this is from. A martial arts phrase: “Can you eat bitter?” Meaning, can you do the hard thing? Can you sit your ass in a chair and write, or take time out of your day to video tape a segment for YouTube? Can you not give up when you see you’ve made .05 cents in adsense revenue that day? When the remote control is an arms length away?
Because life is distracting, and if blogging, or looking at your statistics and analysis isn’t as distracting, then it’s easy to hit the 2 month mark and say, “I’m good, I’ll just go back to doing fill-in-the-blank.
And that’s perfectly fine.
But, if you want to have massive freedom to do what you want to do when you want to do it, if you want a lifestyle that can be just 2-3 hours of work a day (or less) where every action increases your bottom line – then this is it.
But you need the basic ingredients:
- Passion for subject you’d create content around (text, photos, videos…) even if you weren’t compensated.
- You need an audience that is interested in your content
- Make money from it.
Simple, but not easy. Easy comes later 😉
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