How you can become a Million Dollar Blogger

This is a write up by Martijn Beijk of the presentation I did at a4uExpo last year. It was originally posted on SearchEngineCowboys but has for various reasons has been lost so Martijn gave me permission to share it here.

ddtcscvg_112ct4ns7gz_b

At the A4U Expo in the Amsterdam RAI there was a session by Al Carlton, a Selfmade millionaire by just blogging and smart thinking. Al Carlton (Coolest Media Ltd. ,Coolest-Gadgets.com) has started blogging not too long ago – he told us with his lips still a bit dry from the party the night before.

He is convinced you can basically sell anything to people and shows some examples of stormtrooper outfits ( ! ), electronic bikes which were sold for a couple of thousand pounds and ‘the ultimate guide to anal sex for women’ which was doing particularly good.

He describes the approaches he used to generate traffic. Lots of traffic.

Traffic generation (social):

Use social bookmarking websites and convert social traffic from digg, reddit, etc to regular readers and vice versa. Use other blogs and comments. Engange in forums, directories and place articles on news websites. make sure you get those links out there.

Blogs want free content. So write articles for other blogs to increase your own traffic! But be careful. Don’t push yourself to another blog. Be useful to the specific niche/blog/site.

Traffic generation (search):

Al cannot stress enough that you need quality content. Write good articles that people find (trust)worthy and optimize. To Al, SEO is providing information the visitor wants. Simple as that.

Traffic generation (buy/trade):

network with other bloggers, write articles, attend conferences (like A4UExpo! ), use free coupons (for facebook, adwords, MSN, etc!)

and use PPC to convert for short or long term profit

Traffic generation (direct):

Regular readers, bookmarks, RSS subscribers, Email subscribers. Quote:”RSS is for techies. Email is for all other people!”

Now that we have discussed traffic sources, what about our revenue streams?

Use CPM, CPC, affiliate sales, direct sales, paid reviews, or even sell out your blog (partially). But there were some more good tips from Al here; hide adsense from your social readers! They know what adsense looks like and it doesn’t work for them. Another good tip: when younotice an advertiser targeting your website via adsense (content network) – Contact them directly! Cut out Google and get some good deals with the advertiser directly.

Contextual adverts:

· Adsense
· Chitika
· Kontera

The Pro’s:
· east to implement
· targeting

The Con’s:
· you are paid to lose visitors.
· can deter visitors.
· you are not in control of what is being shown.

Affiliate revenue:

You are in total control of how you link, make sure you find a profitable offer and PUSH.

Al warns us about link sales or paid reviews -be very careful. Google is watching and doesn’t like it, so don’t get caught…)

Optimisation:

A day has only hot 24 hours and you need to spend at least a few of them in the pub – the message here is that you need to outsource as much as you can. Al himself does some research and comes up with a business plan for a hopefully succesful idea and outsources everything, from design to coding and even content creation (but don’t cut corners and make sure it is unique and of high quality!). Webmaster Tools, Social sites, long tail traffic and related posts are ways to optimise your traffic stream. To get the best revenue available he says you really need to make deals with the merchants and make direct deals. Use different ads on different content and push those appropriate affiliate offers. Target your visitors geographically. Review your old posts and find new ways to monetize them. Another free tip: after a month, remove the date from your articles, it will make your content look fresh.

The million dollar blogging session at the underestimated A4U expo was well worth visiting and had some really good tips and Al sure knew how to make people laugh.

Sort of a guest post by Martijn Beijk.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.

Comments

  1. Just when i think I have it cracked – another 10 things to think about!
    I wish I knew more about affiliate marketing but I just can´t get my head around the whole datafeed thing – there doesn’t seem to be a low cost “non-techie” solution. I have so many generic keyword domains as-well. Ho hum. Anyway – great post, always are on this site and plenty to think about,

    • I’ve just had someone knock me up the code to insert an XML feed (if that’s the term) from Laterooms. All that was remaining for me to do was integrate into WordPress and mash the CSS together.

      This wasn’t a big job for him and as it happened he did it as a favour which makes a difference but I was prepared to pay because I’m hoping now I have a template I’ll be able to use the same method for other sites/uses.

      Now, I’m pretty sure given enough time I could have hacked the feed code together myself, eventually, but:

      a) It wouldn’t have been very well written code
      b) It would have taken *ages*

      So this was a good candidate for outsourcing. Of course, it may never actually generate revenue but it’s worth a try for not too much effort on my part.

  2. Is the message here then that you need to be a good salesman? (ie be able to SELL yourself)

    Or are you saying anything will sell as long as you just get your message ‘whatever it is’ out there on every blog and community site going so that you get “Links” for SEO and subsequent traffic?

    I kinda suspect the answer is bit of both……but only so much time in the day and its hard to outsource before you have even began.

  3. James T Smith says:

    Did Coolest-gadgets.com make a million dollars or euros already?

  4. They require like 250,000 hits a month and have been trialing the site to measure traffic which is actually losing me revenue, as it appears they are going to trial my site for a month losing me 250,000 hits worth of revenue as they are not serving any ads in this trial its just a static holding banner. Not Impressed!

    I havent found anything that precisely locates as closer matches as goodle does, adbrite just shoves anything that someone chooses on your keywords so you have to be extra carful or manually approve your stuff to not end up with a site loaded with arabic ads 😛

  5. I have a company asking to stick some banners on a PR3 site I have. They said they´d pay £30 per month for the banner and £15 per article for up to 3 articles.
    Site gets 800 uniques and 2,500 pageviews a month so seems like a bit of easy cash for a low traffic site but I am worried about Google penalties as they said the ads are for SEO purposes rather than traffic. How do I implement this without incurring the wrath of Google?

  6. I find that finding the right niche is the hardest bit. And then when i think i’ve found the right niche i get bored and stop working on it.

    @Tenerife If they want a banner then that wouldn’t be very useful for them SEO wise, they would be better off with a text link. Also everybody sells Ad space and blog posts so Google shouldn’t penalize you for this.

  7. Cheers for the info – may well take them up on it then – I suppose if it doesnt do me any harm its free cash in the bank…

    @Harvey – I do exactly the same! Takes a lot of willpower to keep going and very easy to get bored with a site. That´s why I like this one so much as it shows what can happen if you persevere!

  8. Have you ever donated money through a blog? Have you ever stumbled across a blog that was life changing? I haven’t… so i really do not think people can grow rich blogging.

    I would pay for a product or a service, because that would provide me with “value” (a word very used around here).

    What’s your opinion?

    • Have you never heard of John Chow? He’s made loads of blogging!

      Also the main source of income for a blog isn’t from people donating, it’s from advertising!

      • there are more ways than advertising, it could be pre-selling products, selling your own products or services. but the real money always come from “traffic”. no matter what your site has as long as relevant traffic are on the right track to your site, and your site can pretty much convert them in to sales, then there where is the money at :)

  9. I have heart of many successful stories but everything is very well backed-up by good investment and hard work on unique idea. Learn SEO or outsource it to professionals, get proper PPC campaign and promote your product, you will succeed!

  10. Good summary! I have most of it on my to do list for the new iPhone blog I have launched. Like you I have come to the conclusion that hiring good writers works better for me as opposed to write myself. At what level of traffic do you normally go after advertising and adsense?

  11. I think as long as their is a market for it, you can definitely sell just about anything, as long as you have the right skills, and the knowledge to do so! I personally have found from experience that It’s something that most successful business men are able to do well, take something and turn it into gold.

    Till then,

    Jean

  12. What a great summary! If you have anything to sell and cast your net wide enough you’ll eventually get suckers to buy your products, no matter what they are. An anal sex guide for women is an extreme example, but it sure serves to illustrate the point Martijn is making!

  13. Really great presentation which shows that there are ALWAYS new and innovative ideas of how to generate traffic and make money…

  14. Did Coolest-gadgets.com make a million dollars or euros already?

  15. I see one of the key messages was the quality of content. Have you outsourced this and if so how did you manage to ensure quality. I have tried numerous content writers at a variety of price points (some very pricey) but have always found the quality to be poorer than I can write myself. The result is that I just don’t have enough hours in the day to do it all.

  16. I have so far developed out sites where I really know the subject well – local property market in Tenerife, Spanish mortgage market etc.
    I have a load of domains on subjects I dont know much about though and will get rid of most of them I think and whenever I dont know a subject will stick to niche topics where I get a load of content written without breaking the budget.

  17. I think that’s a great overview of what it takes to make some nice money on the Internet. On the other hand, it takes a hell lot of work and time and that’s why I think, organization and outsourcing is the key to be really successful.

  18. This article has reminded me all of the basic yet important SEO and online marketing lessons in the past. I have tried some of them – but the important thing that I should try this time is outsourcing. Yes, we need to invest some money to increase our profit.

  19. In one of your comments above you mention the real value of CG is the business itself rather than the income it has made in the past.

    So I was wondering if anyone offered to buy CG off you in the past? If so, how much did they offer, and what would the limit price (today) be that you would not accept anything under.

  20. Nice post Al, certainyl agree with what you said about people will buy anything, I’ve sold some odd stuff via Amazon, although I havn’t managed anything like a stormtrooper outfit yet :)

  21. So many internet marketers are trying to outwit and outmanuever Google when in reality the golden rule of simply providing quality relevant content that improves the user’s experience will always win out and be a timeless metric of ranking well.

  22. Oh man the info here is extremely helpful

    As the line between reputation management and link building disappears for large corporations the suggestions here are not just for small time bloggers either.

    Mom & Pop shops will still use old school link building, but for large corps connecting with the blog community is the way going forward

  23. Very helpful article! :) I’d have a question: do you invest equal time in writing and promoting the blog? Thanks!

  24. Very helpful article! I’d have a question, please: do you invest equal time in writing and promoting your blog? Thanks!

  25. I’m guessing with the panda update, each of the sites you talked about would have to redirect a portion of resources from old fashion SEO/link building into customer outreach including Social Media.

    As well as improving the on page content.

Leave a Reply