six figure blog myth

The Six Figure Blog Myth {and what to focus on instead}

After attending the Blogging While Brown conference this past weekend – and having lots of great conversations with bloggers at various stages of their blogging careers – I started to ponder what I call the “six figure blog myth.”

What I found is that there’s this allure about blogging that makes people pursue the craft in hopes that it will be their saving grace; their way out of the 9-5 and into a lucrative career working for themselves. And while that sounds like a little slice of heaven here on earth, it’s important to remember that the blog is merely a tool that’s used to build that self-made career; it’s not the career itself.

Yes, it’s possible to join the many bloggers who have quit their day jobs to blog full-time. And in this post I explain my view of the six figure blog myth and what you should focus on to make that dream your reality.

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You feel inspired… You have a voice… Something to add to the world… And you want a slice of that six figure blog pie.

You read tons of articles on the internet with all these great stories of how he, she, and they turned a simple blog into a six figure income and you think “yes, that could be me too!”

You decide on a domain name, you figure out your host and platform, and you get yourself a cool blog theme. All set up and ready to go, you hit publish on your first blog post.

Ahhhhh, that was so easy. Now, it’s time to rake in the dollars.

Three, six, twelve months later you’re still not making that six figure income from blogging. You’re getting decent traffic, your posts are regularly read and shared, and yet that revenue just isn’t there.

What are you missing? Unfortunately, the entire point.

But, that’s why you’re here. And I’m about to help you get it straight. *smile*

six figure blog myth

Why the six figure blog myth exists

The six figure blog myth exists because it looks and sounds simple to publish a blog and make money from sharing your voice with the world. And in comparison to the “stuff” you have to do in order to make money from blogging, it is the easiest part. But it’s not all roses either.

The problem is that when you’re on the outside looking in {or reading a blog post detailing the success someone has gotten from their blog}, it’s easy to simplify what that actually means. How the blog publisher actually earns revenue from their blog. What it really takes to build a business that’s supported by what a blog brings you.

The many stories of how someone rose to the top with a blog have promoted this fantasy that you can simply publish and profit from a blog.

But how do you make money? From ads running on the top, sidebar, footer, etc. From affiliate partnerships? Not likely to get you to a six figure income anytime soon {unless you’ve got a gazillion unique visitors per month and if that’s the case then good for you!}.

What you should actually use your blog for

Your blog is a business tool. It’s NOT your business.

When you hear {read} stories about bloggers who make six figures from their blogs, it’s rarely the case where the blog itself is the source of that revenue.

The way that you earn money as a result of your blog is by building an audience that you can consistently market and sell toTweet that good stuff!

It’s not the blog that brings in the money – what the blog does is bring in the audience.

your audience is the key

What you should be focused on

If you want to monetize {i.e. make money from} your blog, you should be focused on your audience.

What problems can you solve for them?

What ambitions can you help them achieve?

What entertainment can you bring to help them get through the day?

Without this key element, your blog won’t fulfill its purpose. Your blog won’t attract readers, or help you build a core audience. And it won’t ever lead to a six figure business.

Quick tips for sprucing up your blog strategy

1) Decide that your blog exists to build your audience and then support that purpose throughout the design of your site. For example, I recently redesigned my blog. You’ll notice that my number one priority is to build my community. This is evident in the header, sidebar, and at the end of every post. I want people to join my mailing list and invite me to keep in touch with them.

2) Eliminate the clutter. All the blog buttons with the various networks you belong to, the conferences you’re attending, the partner blogs you’ve swapped buttons with really don’t matter to your readers. Reduce the clutter in your navigation menu and your sidebar and keep readers focused on you and your media {your text, video, & audio posts}. Point visitors towards your best content, your high performing categories, and to more information about you – anything that serves to deepen the connection your readers will have with you; which almost always leads to them joining your community {i.e. signing up for your mailing list}.

3) Sell something. In order to make money, you have to sell something. Figure out what your readers need most, and how you can help them get there based on your areas of expertise – then package it up. Ebooks, online courses, workshops, webinars, consulting – there are a ton of ways to put what you know into salable information products and services that will help you build a six figure business.

Additional Resources

I’m no expert – far from it – but in the past year, I’ve taken several courses and followed the advice of many internet marketing experts to learn that you certainly can earn a six figure income from your efforts; but it requires a lot more than blogging to do so.

Below are some links to websites that I visit regularly to keep abreast of trends and get tips on building my audience and earning an income using my blog as a tool.

Copyblogger

Firepole Marketing

Problogger

Boost Blog Traffic

Smart Passive Income

JeffBullas.com

 

I want to hear from you!

What resources do you use for tips and information on building your six figure business using blogging as a tool? Please leave me a comment below and let’s have a discussion.

 

You May Also Like:

My Top 5 Favorite Blog Resources

The Top 5 Things NOT TO DO Your First Year in Business

 

From Blank Space to Blogging Brilliance: A Step by Step Guide to Start and Grow a Successful Blog

 

Comments 39

  1. Thanks for the reminders! I don’t even know how I stumbled upon this post but it was a reminder for me to get back on track with the true purpose of my blogging!
    xoxo
    Rebecca

  2. That old saying, “If something sounds to good to be true, it probably is” is so true. It does take hard work and I am sure alot of time and patience. Thank you so much for sharing

  3. When you hear {read} stories about bloggers who make six figures from their blogs, it’s rarely the case where the blog itself is the source of that revenue.

  4. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words! I absolutely love Alex Beadon and Byregina for all tips and tricks to grow a great blog. I’m not really after a six figure blog. I am really happy just making a decent paycheck I can live of off and that’s what I’m currently trying to do.

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  5. Well done, Carin! Do you know that you are the first person who has clearly said this: “Your blog is a business tool. It’s NOT your business.”

    I have read tons of “six-figure blogging” advice, attended countless webinars and read hundreds of blog posts and NO ONE, not even my most respected mentors has made that clear. In fact, I usually ask — WHERE does the money come from? And while the expert will state that you are offering a product or service, not one explained as succinctly as you have.

    Thanks for clearing a brain block that I’ve been struggling with since I started to try to “make money blogging.” It’s like you finally put the right spin on the true purpose of my blog!

  6. I really need to clean up my sidebar. I always feel bad doing it mostly because I really like supporting other bloggers and artists. I need to figure out another way to support them while keeping my blog less cluttered. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Pingback: Success, Rain or Shine – July Best of the Web

  8. This was very insightful. I’ve been blogging 8 months and have learned so much. I’m not in it for the money but I am certainly open to it. My main objective is to inspire others and build my audience. It’s taking some time but hopefully it’ll get better. I look forward to your posts. All The Best!

    1. Hi Monique! Thanks so much for stopping by and for that feedback. I’m glad that the post was useful and it sounds like you have your goals in mind which is great! It helps to know the direction you want to go in – whatever that may be.:-)

  9. Thank you for this well written piece of helpful information! I am a fairly new blogger, with a small audience. I began blogging as a creative outlet, a way to write every day, and with the hope of helping others to “make the most of all of their moments.” Making money is not my primary goa, but now that I know how time-consuming blogging is, it would be nice to be compensated monetarily a little. Your advice is sound, and I am going to try to apply it. I am now following your blog!

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      Hi Susan! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post – I know lots of bloggers who don’t have monetary goals for their sites and that’s great too – but you are right, it’s an expensive hobby! You may want to expand and monetize a little to cover those costs. And, using the resources, you will certainly know the best ways to do so. I’m honored that you are following the blog and look forward to seeing you around the comments.:-)

  10. I am still clueless on how to build my email list. I only have about 100 people signed up for my emails and I know I need to increase that # some how. Not sure how though. Can I use the email addresses that my readers leave when they comment on my blog posts? Is there an inherent consent there? Between, love your post! You are right on, blogging your way to 6 figure income is no bed of roses and that it does not happen easily. BUT it is possible πŸ™‚ Cheers! πŸ™‚

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      Hi Vinma! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Regarding using the emails that people use when they comment on your blog, no you should not do that. When you use someone’s email address it really should be for the reason they provided it (i.e. on comments, it’s ok to email them a reply to their comment but that would be it). You should definitely check out Copyblogger and Firepole Marketing – they both have eBooks and countless blog posts on the subject of email marketing and list building. I hope that helps!.:-)

  11. I am old, but I’m trying! I didn’t even know what a blog was or what it is for! But reading a few of the articles & responses from your pages & your fellow bloggers have opened my eye more. I can tell though a lot of time goes into these webpages!! THANKS!

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  12. This is awesome. I do think it’s VERY possible to make a decent income with a blog, but I think it’s really important to make realistic goals and kind of rate where your blog currently lies with both short term and long term goals.

    Awesome post, thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

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  13. I am so glad I came across your blog. I wanted to attend the conference but I had other obligations. Thank you for sharing what your thoughts on the conference and the “purpose” of blogging!

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  14. I like this.

    What problems can you solve for them?

    What ambitions can you help them achieve?

    What entertainment can you bring to help them get through the day?

    That is what is missing.

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  16. I agree with so much of what you’re saying…been blogging for awhile and not much income to speak of, yet! But building up my network & follower lists. Need to work on what I’m going to sell πŸ™‚ Thinking e-books at this point.
    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚
    Rachael @ Diamonds in the Rough

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  17. Carin you make an excellent point in this post. All those “six figure blog” testimonials can falsely have you thinking if you just start “blogging” the money will start to flow…so not the case. Thanks for pointing out that the blog is a “marketing tool” and not “the product”. Great post!

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