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If you’re OK being one of the 90+% of bloggers out there who make less than a dollar a day blogging, feel free to leave. If you’re OK with using your time tweaking Adsense tags or finding new places to stuff affiliate links all around your blog, you can go now.
Download the full-resolution PDF download of the Model discussed in this blog post for your reference. It also happens to be based on the same kind of business system that you’ve seen all over the place. If you are trying to maximize revenue, then you’re blogging in order to attract customers. But, there is little to no value in knowing those things if you don’t know the context. This is a kind of before and after, but in the context of whatever your business is delivering. What people are looking for, searching for, and BUYING is ultimately found on what lies on the other end of that transformation.
Now, where your blog content and products come in depends on what lies along the path of the transformation. All of this is very different than what most bloggers do, which is think only about their passion or a lack of competition. Traffic is just an issue of getting those people who are already out there to come over to your place. This is literally the difference between growing your own vegetables versus just going to the grocery store to buy it. The answer is by building up a business machine for your blog based on this one. If your funnel has things a person can buy, then it allows you to pay to acquire them. A blog is an extremely effective marketing vehicle, but everything from the design to the content needs to be done in such a way as to serve a strategic purpose. The other function of your blog, if we’re going to be really efficient about everything, is to build your retargeting audience. See, reality is that there will be a lot of people who come to your blog, read something, and then turn around and leave.
While the typical blog opt-in rate will hover around 2%-5%, it is usually pretty easy to get a squeeze page to convert at 30%-50%.
Blog software usually sucks at making landing pages, so this is where dedicated tools come in.
Squeeze pages that you create with these tools will go at the very top of your blog profit funnel. The front-end offer should be specifically targeted to a specific problem, with a specific solution.
Also at this stage, you will notice an automated followup series and a retargeting campaign.
If they buy the initial offer immediately, then obviously you don’t send them the same sequence and instead move them along in your funnel.
See, the front-end offer is designed to increase the number of customers, which is the 1st of 3 tactics to grow your business. It is the idea of a recurring revenue model where you bill your core community on a monthly basis in exchange for an ongoing flow of value. The compounding effect of a membership site and knowing your numbers gives you some real power.
Membership sites are awesome, and for many of us, I believe they are a SOLID option to serve as our core offer.
The other thing to keep in mind is this: You will make money a whole lot faster if your average transaction is larger. So, if they opt in for your lead magnet and DON’T buy your front-end offer… no problem! It is very important here that you know how to set up an email list, to use multiple lists, list segmentation, etc. Retargeting, again, is the ability to reach out to people who have visited your website in the past using paid advertising. You want these people to have frequent contact with you, your blog, your business and your brand.
You can click the big PDF graphic below to instantly download a full-resolution copy of this Model for your own reference. Consider joining the Blog Monetization Lab, where members are currently building this model for themselves with the help of myself and the entire community.
NOTE: This model was last updated in March 2015 in order to simplify the presentation of the email funnels as well as to introduce the power of retargeting into the business model. NEW A full beginning-to-end blueprint on creating a profitable membership site – which can literally BE your entire business. The basic building block of this business machine is what I call the Blog Profit Funnel… and this is how you build one for YOUR blog.
This is a really excellent guide, I’ve just shared it across my social media channels and have downloaded the PDF for future reference.
I’ve been following your blog throughout 2014 and have recently purchased a couple of your guides, and I have to say you produce some epic content. This blog funnel strategy post is one of the best of its kind I’ve seen anywhere online. This is your shortcut to creating high-value offers (or even your first product) so you can really kick your blog monetization into high gear. During some of my random musings about my office on Facebook, my friends Erica Douglass and Brian Fryer were talking to me about how much they love their stand-up desks. One uber-cheap way to go is simply to jerry-rig your setup to turn a regular desk into a stand-up desk.
As far as other health benefits, I haven’t been using this thing long enough to tell.
A good friend of mine, creativity expert Gerald Haman, has used a stand-up desk at his loft creative space near downtown Chicago.
I’d be interested to see how you feel about it in a month or so – do a follow up, okay! The only drawback was the fact that I frequently needed to get into my desk drawers during the day…and that was a bit of a hassle. I use a NextDesk at work and LOVE it– I just push a button and it goes from standing to sitting, or anywhere in between. I have been using a makeshift, DIY desk like you at home for a while, though, and now that I use an adjustable height desk at work, I can really tell what I’ve been missing out on at home. In order to get started with the Blog Monetization Model, you need to have certain basics in place. Every single thing I recommend here I’ve used personally for awhile, so I know it and trust it.
Don’t even attempt to implement the Blog Monetization Model using anything other than WordPress. Whether you choose Bluehost or WPEngine for your hosting, both companies have an easy one-click installation of WordPress. One of the easiest traps you can fall into is to get into the endless circle of indecision on which theme to use. Know this: The look of your site does not make or break your potential success at monetization. An email list is a basic building block of the business machine we’re going to build behind your blog.
The final component that you absolutely need to get started is software for building landing pages.
Also, the LeadBoxes feature that comes with your account will prove VERY handy when it comes to building your list from your new blog. You put a hammer into the hands of a little kid and he isn’t going to be able to build a house with it. Not to toot my own horn (ok, maybe just a little), but when clients come to me for work, I always give them a fair estimate based on what is really involved. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that blogging isn’t important enough to warrant a business card. You can get high quality cards online nowadays for next to nothing too, so there is no reason not to have them! One thing I'm going to do for my business card is to put my elevator pitch on the back.
David, would it be proper adding my picture even though the blog is not my full name as in your case? I'm making a lot of videos these days, but they are all for my coaching students inside the Blog Masters Club.
First impressions still count, give a potential client a cheap business card and he might always remain a potential client. But yes, I agree with all your points and I think it's an excellent list to run through when designing new business cards. If you are in business then you need a business card what better way to promote your services and tell people how to contact you. One thing I’d recommend for the design of the business card, however, would be to include the Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin icons as well. I’ll tweet you a link to the blog post where I reference your quote and this blog post. I wouldn’t have thought of putting my photo on a business card, but Don is right about including your Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin details. Sometimes it’s good to think outside the box and question some of the assumptions that we make. There are a lot of things out there that everybody does and the thing is… if everybody does it maybe you need to go a different direction. Now, there are typically several places on a blog where you’re going to see an opt-in form. So here’s a few examples of some things to try that might be a little outside the box. So, these are just examples of thinking outside the box in terms of your opt-in form placement and increasing the opt-in funnel on your blog.

In the comments below, try your hand at thinking outside the box with opt-in form placements. Displet Pop is another handy-dandy little plugin that lets you display popup subscription forms. You can specify a delay for the popup, only show it for people who have read a specified number of pages, and restrict the popup to a specific path on your site. The best change for my site was when I ditched the top sidebar in favour of a large opt in box right below the nav bar on every single page. Like Dewane, I also have a check box at the end of the posts that allow folks to sign up without any extra work. My long-time readers know that I’ve recommended this tactic many times, and I’ll do it again now because it has worked so well for me. It leaves the rest of your week open to other things important for your online success, like thinking about your marketing, engaging social media, developing products, etc. You can get into that “writer’s groove” and take advantage of it by pumping out good stuff at once rather than having to redevelop your rhythm again and again because of routine interruptions. A lot of my readers have full-time jobs and things other than their online ventures which take up time. All of this stuff that we have to do as bloggers can get pretty overwhelming if you’re constantly second-guessing yourself and having that little invisible man looking over our shoulders.
Do you have some tactics of your own that have worked that would help busy people become better bloggers? During this break you have to completely disconnect… exercise, take a walk, eat something, etc. Just do the one thing can be applied to anything we do and it will profit from our undivided attention.
I imagine some people spend a fair amount of time trying to come up with topics to post about. In terms of Time Management, this would help cut down time wasted on trying to inspire yourself.
I believe the best time for writing a post wud be early morning or late in the night ..u need to arrange there the way it works for u!
You must develop a commitment to providing fresh content and the time management element, as previously mentioned is critical. Blogging is like a relationship, the pace established early on must be maintained throughout.
What about inviting others to guest post (setting up and managing that schedule) and purchasing some unique content in bits and pieces — both of these seem to me to be in-a-pinch solutions when you are cramped for time and need some content. You will also have a free (optional) invitation into a training webinar where I will walk you through this Model on screen, step by step. You’ve seen countless online businesses do it, but you will have seen it in a ton of offline businesses as well.
There is the part that you see above water and then the potentially massive part that is hidden beneath the surface. The blog has the task of attracting people as well as segmenting people into groups based on their interest, and the business machine has the job of selling. And the reason a lot of bloggers fall on their face is because they skipped right over it and headed straight into setting up their blog. Within this exercise, we would use various tools and exercises to determine how big the market is and what kind of prices will work. The reason so many struggle with traffic is because they don’t have a full revenue model in place.
No longer must you solely rely on SEO and social media shared posts, but it will open up to paid ads on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. However, you need to have those backend systems in place to monetize that traffic so that you have the ability to do it.
Retargeting is where you can reach out to people who have already visited your site using paid ads.
We’ll get into it more later on, but trust me, it really ramps up the effectiveness of your monetization.
It could be a PDF download, a video, a course, a book, a webinar… all of it is fair game. These pages drop all the usual design elements of a blog and instead are optimized solely to convert the visitor into a subscriber.
The real purpose of the front-end offer is to fundamentally change the relationship with that person.
And I’m a pretty firm believer in the membership site as a business model, especially for a blog. The second tactic is to increase the number of sales a customer makes. Now, what better way to do that than to get a customer to make a sale each and every month? This is called continuity.
That baseline of recurring revenue grows over time and, as time goes on, grows into a predictable online income that you can count on – month after month. Can you offer some back end offer to your members, such as the option to hop on the phone with you? It is easier to make 2 sales of $500 than it is to make 33 sales at $30 if you want to make $1000. Any retargeting service out there will allow you to segment your retargeting list based on criteria, the most popular of which is the URL they visited. Statistically, a majority of people who you make an offer to aren’t going to take you up on it.
Ultimately, the purpose is to get them to enter another profit funnel and go through the process again. We continue to write new blog posts, email those posts out to our list, maybe do ongoing podcasting, and be engaged on social media. And how to use them to create offers out of thin air - even when you don't have any big info products to sell. This one speaks to me, seeing as my lower back was the primary reason I decided to look deeper into this idea. Some people will stack books or shelving onto the top of a desk in order to artificially raise the work surface. Problem was the refrigerator and coffee pot were too close by and I kept getting a bigger belly and staying awake all night.
This might make it easier for you to switch between standing and sitting, rather than having to move to a completely separate desk.
It also looks just like a regular (if not irregularly good looking desk) and all of the gears, wires, and whatnots are concealed inside.
Simply put, if you go out and use a tool I’m not as familiar with, I may not be able to help you as much.
There is no additional cost to you, and I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Essentially, you’re renting space on a computer (called a server) which is specifically set up and connected in order to serve up your blog to the Internet.
With more and more people surfing the Internet on their phones and tablets, it is an absolute requirement that your site function properly on mobile. It is an annual fee, but for that you get access to a library of 87 (and growing) very professional themes. Take it from me, they are almost always way more trouble then they’re worth when it comes to making any modifications. They have excellent delivery and pretty much every plugin out there works with it (it will save you a lot of headache later). Thing is, you will not be able to build the Blog Monetization Model on your blog using the free Mailchimp account. For that reason, it is more complicated to use, however it does have a number of built-in templates you can use. While LeadPages often frustrates me because of how confining it is, I can literally build anything I want with OptimizePress. And I’ve been in this business long enough to know that this is pretty much EXACTLY how it usually works. Even if you have business cards for your day-job, you should have one for the purpose of promoting yourself in your online market. Along those same lines, I highly recommend you include your Twitter URL, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
As I’ve said a million times, if you want to make a business-level income with your blog, you have to treat your blog like a business. The real estate industry did this a few years back…with Realtors adding their personal photo to real estate signs. This is because after a couple of months, even with a photo they may forget exactly what I can do for them and what I'm about.
The other thing to consider is my point about people remembering who you are after they get home. It will connect with the humanistic personality type that values relationships and wants to get to know you. I am not sure I agree with you about adding a photo but certainly do with add all your social media touch points.
Thanks for the useful tips and helpful visuals- and I'm going to check out the blogs too!
Even if you accept business cards for your business, you should accept one for the purpose of promoting yourself in your online market. I like the idea of having a Google screenshot on the back with just the Blogger’s name in the search field – so long as the blog ranks #1 for their name of course! Nothing wrong with them but not many ppl like to place their face on business cards, let alone on custom business cards. In this particular case I’m talking about opt-in forms and where you actually place opt-in forms on your blog. Are they there just poking around, looking for something to do next or are they there specifically to read a particular post? There’s always some debate as to whether it should be pre-checked or not, but the bottom line is it works.
After all, everything we talk about (traffic, monetization, etc.) hinges on the fact that you actually have content on your blog that people will want to read, right?

If you don’t have a structured schedule for your blog, then it is really easy to make no progress at all because of the excuse of “no time”. Schedule a few hours (perhaps over the weekend) to hammer out all your content for the week.
It is in my schedule and on my weekly todo list for Mondays to write all posts for this blog.
I just wrote an entry about a way to help facilitate and expedite the process of getting ideas. Once accomplished, I could not back away from the pace I had established and the expectation set for my readership. It’s something that I started implementing recently and well, I get more done that way.
So, it might be a great idea to tape yourself and post video and audio content instead of writing, if writing is such a challenge.
However, all businesses require marketing and a central place to conduct business… and this is where the blog comes in. And an incredible waste of traffic, because your only hope to making decent money with banners is to attract a ton of traffic (we’re talking thousands of visitors daily). But, thing is… those affiliate marketers who make good money are VERY well aware of this business model. However, there is enormous profit in understanding how and where all these strategies come together into an overall strategy. We will also delve into the head of the people in this market to find out exactly how they think and envision this transformation for themselves. It is quite affordable because the audience is more limited, and typically the ROI on it is fantastic. One thing that is important to keep in mind, however, is that you do NOT need big giveaways to be an effective lead magnet. There is a HUGE difference between a person who opted into a list just to get a freebie and a person who has bought something from you.
The idea is to take your brand new customer and move them into your flagship product, whatever that may be. For that reason, I’m pretty specific at this point about setting up as a membership site. Keep in mind, too, that this revenue wouldn’t include any front-end sales and no back-end sales.
When you consider front-end sales and backend sales that would be natural in this business, you in essence would have a six figure business by the end of a year. So, if you want to grow your business into a six figure range or higher, you can’t keep yourself in the low-ticket territory with your prices.
It is just a series of emails you’ve written in advance which get delivered to people in that specific part of your funnel.
And, one of the selling points is that it is motor-adjusted so you can adjust your desk to stand-up or sit-down position, depending on your mood. It was missed so much, though, that it even has fan sites and, apparently, a Facebook group to try to petition Ikea to bring it back. But, in order to accommodate my height, I simply mounted the desk surface between the two smaller shelves.
Your body eventually gets used to it and the problem goes away, but expect that as you are just starting. I asked my doctor about this and he said this is due to the weight pressure that our body is inserting while we are setting for a long time. As you’re probably well aware, there are other options out there besides the ones I recommend here. However, I only recommend products if I can put my name behind them and if I truly believe they will help you. And built into the account is automatic WordPress security, automatic upgrades, one-click and automated backups, one-click ability to clone your whole blog and restore (useful for working on your site in private while not having it all be public).
If you just want to get on with your business and never have to worry about any little hosting or techie things with managing your site, then WPEngine is definitely worth it. Simply choose one of the two hosting companies above, get signed up, then hit the button to install WordPress. That affects your site’s speed, which in turn will affect your search engine rankings. The small price of a premium theme is worth it – especially when you consider that it used to be standard practice to have to pay a designer many thousands of dollars for a design. And just like you need a solid web hosting company for your blog, you need a solid email list host for your email list. When it comes to implementing the Blog Monetization Model and actually building the business machine which sits behind your blog, you’ll need each of these 5 components in place. The good thing is that the kind of business we’re building has very minimal startup costs by comparison to anything else.
Couple that with the drive to make as much money as possible, and essentially they turn into a car salesman with a pocket protector.
Because none of the people in the corporation are playing with their own money, they insist on going with the most expensive and non-workable solutions around. You want people to connect with you and interact with you after meeting you, and that is done with social media.
I went with the logo instead; our company is called The Real Estate Tomato so we have a cool Tomato logo.
People just see it so often and they become rather dismissive of it and therefore, typically, while it is one of the better locations to place an opt-in form, it still doesn’t give that great an opt-in rate. Using a little bit of CSS, you can actually make it so that as you scroll, this opt-in form actually stays static.
When you do this, you will find that you can get into the writer’s groove much easier and actually STAY there. Then, for the rest of the week, you just publish the posts from your blog’s queue or you future post them by using the scheduling feature of WordPress.
Chances are, they’re going to be happy to hear from you, not sitting there critiquing your post to the Nth degree. In my training inside the Blog Monetization Lab, I teach an exercise called the transformation map to help outline this whole thing. Facebook, for instance, has decreased organic reach of standard Facebook posts substantially, to the point that sharing something to your Facebook page with 1,000 fans may only result in as little as 50 of them actually seeing it. Much better, to float my own boat for a minute, would be one such as my 27-point pre-publish checklist. So, there is a definite value to your business’s growth to increase the number of buyers as much as you can.
But, it is also highly leveraged since you can then splinter off any piece of content from the membership into a front-end offer.
Any fully developed sales funnel will have higher-end options… because there always those few people in your audience who will take you up on it.
So, you first deliver that lead magnet (obviously), then you use the followup to deliver more value and build the relationship over time by helping them on the topic of that lead magnet.
Many blog owners execute the return path fairly well already… where they drop the ball is that they have no business machine set up so it is all for nothing. BUT… for all that special ergonomic-sauce to actually help, you have to sit in the chair correctly.
Sitting for long periods not only causes your ass to expand (obviously), but it slows all the bodily functions of your body… including metabolism, digestion, blood flow, etc. However, sometimes when I’m sitting I find myself trying to adjust in my chair in order to find a comfortable stature.
There are a lot of tools and things you can buy down the road to make life easier… but these 5 things you need immediately. The specific things I listed on this page are what I consider to be absolute requirements of the trade. They want ALL Microsoft stuff, for example, when freebie open source stuff will do the job ten times better, more securely, and cheaper by far.
It just gives web developers a bad name, because at some point, some time, the client is going to know the true value of the work that was done. Actually schedule in time for marketing, blog commenting, traffic generation strategies, etc.
There are also a number of things you can do to tweak the revenue outcome in your favor, such as offering annual memberships, limited-time bonus offers, or even split-testing the price.
Plus, if I actually use it and it helps me get more done (and ultimately make more money), then $149 is a drop in the bucket. They can unplug your blog at any time and you won’t be able to do real monetization on their servers. I served a brief stint over at CitiCorp back in college and recall how they were getting big into Cold Fusion work (back when it was still Allaire). And as any service provider knows, a negative complaint that circles around can have up to 10 times the impact as a positive testimonial in the other direction.
By putting my photo on the card, they have a much higher likelihood of remembering me when they are going through a stack of business cards later on. Try getting Spot UV business cards to really enhance your business card and have a more unique touch. That’s where the attention comes to rest. And, generally at those points is where the person is wondering what to do with themselves next. Sure, they could do everything they needed with freely available languages, but they insisted on running Windows servers and buying corporate licenses to Cold Fusion, many of which sat on the shelf unused.
You might also notice that I used the same exact photo that I use here on my blog, on my Twitter profile, Facebook, etc. So by having this “cookie” thing on your blog, you can get a lot more aggressive in terms of getting new opt-ins but the people who are already on your list are not going to see all that stuff. The only content shown on that page are about 4 different resource pages, but other than that you pretty much just have the option to get on my email list or to click on 3 different features that lead into money makers for my business.

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