Every day another someone from a really cool company, blog, blogging community, organization, or other network asks me to write for them, speak to them, brainstorm about the exchange of content, consider paying a fee to join a network, or hawk a product pitched from the far reaches of Russia and India.
And, I rarely say no because who knows what doors may open as a result of that opportunity?
What’s happening is my stretch is thinning dangerously. The offers are ubiquitous, and as a starter, I’m jazzed about what’s new and next. They say a sucker is born every minute; perhaps you’re reading one right now.
But, I can’t think like that. What I’m doing by accommodating most everyone’s requests is building a brand that appears to be #RockHot solid, so I’m told. It feels that way to me, as well. And, here’s the elusive question:
The answer is…few.
- My friend Tim Bonner, a UK stay-at-home dad, informed me recently he made $300 on his niche site. Not sure what he’s hawking, but I informed him in a tweet I was envious. I’ve also watched his meteoric rise from being a sometime daddy blogger to a snappy smart tech geek blogger who experiments with Google do-not-follow links and writes about it. Awesome.
- I know my friend Jon Buscall, CEO of Jontus Media in Sweden, is an extraordinarily busy podcaster and dad to a gazillion Basset hounds. He has earned cash recommending podcasting equipment and selling it via an Amazon affiliate program.
- In that same program, I made about $10 once, and I also was pitched to run a blog post on another blog for $75. My first book, Writing with Verve on the Blogging Journey (you can buy it on Kindle for $3.95), is a collection of blog posts about my favorite topic of blogging brought in $85 from the publisher (who took a cut after Amazon took a cut). That’s truly the extent of my monetization.
- I know that SpinSucks Pro requires membership, and really good content is sold to folks on SpinSucks. People can register or buy into a webinar for $50 to hear professional speakers on professional topics. Good on them.
But, I want to know who’s truly monetizing huge?
All of the peeps above come from the content/traditional marketing and PR realm. The ability to monetize takes knowledge of API and back ends, building and programming of websites, addition of shopping carts and management of digital marketing calls to action, forms and landing pages.
Do you have all that knowledge under your hat?
Nope, didn’t think so.
The Conundrum of Monetization
That’s the conundrum of late. We who can develop the substance and slap a price tag on it need the techies to join the team and figure out the platform on which to sell the products. Recall I said Tim Bonner earned money on his “niche” site.
What that means is Tim found a specialty topic or product, developed a new site oriented to that product and began to sell. His earning potential is in its earliest stages; however, he’s found the methodology and hopefully the product to keep on with residual income.
Digital Marketing Is An Answer
I see many of these passive income bloggers who started way early building an email list. Their lists are massive of trusting individuals who came to their site for some reason or another. When another product is hawked, that list of trustworthy and hopefully loyal community members are more inclined to make a second purchase. All of a sudden, that network of thousands is buying everything hawked by that trusted figurehead.
To make this happen, you need knowledge of digital marketing; inbound marketing as HubSpot calls it. I’ve been in HubSpot school all year. As a solopreneur, the ability to do it all is daunting; the time and knowledge and effort it takes to learn new things is terribly exciting, however extremely fatal to making a living the traditional way – with a handshake and results-driven pure work on behalf of a client.
Monetization Requires A Team
I’ve come to realize I don’t have what it takes to monetize alone. I need to build a team with a tech pro who can help program a site (a simple WordPress site is all we need), a digital marketer who can manage and nurture the list, design the calls to action and add them as widgets in the sidebar of the site, write the landing pages, and consult on that back-end of the site.
The most critical part of the team is one who builds the products and content to bring in the cash. That’s me. If I could free myself up to truly concentrate on product development and trust my team was standing by to facilitate their ends of the triangle, we’d be golden.
So, who’s on board?