Popularity Doesn't Translate into Cash
Believe it or not, despite how popular Traffic Generation Café is, it barely makes enough money to pay for groceries (of course, when I say ‘groceries', I really mean ‘coffee' and ‘wine').
With my kind of traffic, I should be able to live comfortably off the income all that traffic and reputation should generate, right?
And if Traffic Generation Café doesn't make that much money, then how could you, a newbie or someone who barely gets half the attention this blog enjoys, hope to generate a healthy full-time income from your online endeavors?
By the way, I actually do have a solution at the end of the post; hang in there.
So, why isn't Traffic Generation Café making as much money as it should?
Let's take a look at my income model for a second.
Over the past 4 years, I've dabbled in a few possible income streams, including:
- network marketing (yes, that's how I got started online);
- subscription model;
- banner advertising;
- odds and ends like writing sponsored reviews, freelancing for other blogs, etc;
- and, of course, affiliate marketing.
The one thing that I've never tried to make money with is launching my own products.
Why? The mere idea of spending hours, days, weeks putting together a product that might be outdated by the time it's actually released or be a complete flop makes me cringe.
I know, I know – we can't succeed if we don't try.
But I don't want to try.
If I am going to stay up all night working on my business, shouldn't it be at least somewhat enjoyable?
So, launching my own products is off my income stream list, no matter how profitable it could be.
However, I LOVE to promote killer products that other marketers spend endless hours, and sweat, blood, and tears creating.
I LOVE affiliate marketing.
It took me 4 years of trial, error, and frustration, and feeling stuck to figure out that affiliate marketing is the only way for me to make money that actually resonates with me.
In other words, affiliate marketing is my natural flow.
Feeling Stuck vs Natural Flow
This is so important I want to park on this topic for a second.
Your natural flow is where you are doing tasks that naturally suit your personality.
When you are in flow:
- Things are easy.
- You can get more done with much less effort.
- You produce results as if you had a magic wand.
- You can spend hours working on the task and it feels likes minutes.
- You gain energy from the activity.
- It lights you up.
- You feel inspired.
Doesn't it make you feel warm and fuzzy to simply know that such seeming utopical state of being in your natural flow actually exists?
Most of us, business owners, are much more familiar with the opposite state of natural flow.
- Everything is a struggle, even the things you are good at.
- You spend a few minutes doing the task and it feels like hours.
- You feel drained of energy and tired.
- You generally feel more and more uninspired as time goes on.
- You are weighed down by these tasks.
And that's exactly how I've been feeling every time I tried to monetize this blog – like pulling teeth. Stuck. No end and not much result in sight.
What Makes Your Best Money-Making Strategy Work?
Bottom line is this: if you want to increase your income, you really need get to know yourself and the money-making strategy that will work for your personality type.
Affiliate marketing is the closest match with my personality.
If you know what money-making strategies make you feel like you are in flow, great. If you have no idea, you better figure it out before you can go any farther.
The next step to figure out what we need to do to make it work.
For instance, to be a successful affiliate marketer, I need:
- the right products to promote;
- the right people to promote them to;
- the reason people should buy those products from ME and not someone else.
I think that about covers it.
Why Hasn't Affiliate Marketing Worked for Me?
Out of the three conditions of successful affiliate marketing I mentioned above, the lack of “the right products to promote” definitely stands out to me.
In the past three and a half years, I wrote only about 8 product reviews total.
Yes, I list all the tools I use and trust in my lil' black book.
Yes, I mention products in my posts as I see appropriate.
But it's not enough.
Why don't I have more products to promote?
- I don't promote anything I don't test/use first.
- Testing takes time; a LOT of time.
- If I only have 3-4 hours per day to work on my business, and it takes me about 8 hours to write a blog post, and I publish 3 posts per week, plus do some guest blogging… you do the math. It just doesn't add up.
- I really don't believe we need that many tools to run a successful online business. Just a few core things I mention in my rolodex.
- There's too much junk out there to sift through to find a few pearls.
So yes, I've got plenty of obstacles/excuses that keep me from finding and offering more worthy products that would make it much easier for my readers to run their business more successfully and efficiently.
So What's the Plan?
You/I need to decide whether you/I:
1. Continue running our businesses as hobbies, keeping ourselves “busy” doing things that have no direct impact on the eventual success of it?
2. Do we figure out how to overcome whatever it is that's keeping us from making money?
3. We might as well quit now and forever hold our peace (and stop whining about it).
I suppose it's safe to assume that most of us here are #2 kind of people, right?
So where do we go from here?
Here's the plan of action as I see it:
- Figure out what your natural talents are.
- Find the best money-making strategy that fits your natural talents. (I highly recommend focusing on just one to start)
- Develop a plan to put that money-making strategy to work in your business. (not the ‘big' picture; rather small actionable non-intimidating steps)
I do realize that this doesn't really address the all-important ‘how-to‘ of it all.
My goal here is to get you off your rear, stop complaining about not making enough money (and trust me, I am talking to myself here as much as you) and start doing something about it.
Plus, as you can tell from this post, I am not the best ‘how to make money online' advice giver – I'd rather you learn that part from those who actually have done it themselves, trained others to do it, and are ready to share that practical knowledge with you.
‘Want to Make More Money?' Bottom Line
The bottom line is we don't make enough money in our businesses because we choose to beat our heads against a brick wall instead of removing that brick wall to begin with.
Don't make money because you have no traffic?
Then take your time to learn how to drive traffic.
Don't make money because you haven't developed authority and trust with your readers?
Then take your time to build an audience business.
Don't make money because you don't have a product?
Then stop doing everything else and create it.
Don't make money because you have no idea how to?
I bet you there's an app for that!
You see my point though: the only thing that stands between you and online income is YOU.