How I Created Paid to Blog Jobs [Membership Site Case Study]

Paid to Blog Jobs

I closed the doors on beta access to Paid to Blog Jobs just a few hours ago. In the four days that the doors were open, we managed to attract a total of 75 members, each paying $20 per month.

While it’s far too early to call PtBJ a success (my definition of which I’ll get into later), enough money in the bank to cover my financial outlay after the beta launch is a good start.

In this post I want to reveal the steps behind the creation of PtBJ. If you’re thinking about launching your own membership site, or are simply interested in knowing the process I went through, keep reading.

The Success (And Failure) of Paid to Blog

Signs to success and failure.

At the beginning of last December I re-launched my freelance blogging guide. What was once a PDF (originally launched in November 2012) became a fully fledged online course, re-branded as Paid to Blog.

My main reason for updating and re-launching the course was that I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the original. I wanted to create, beyond a shadow of my own doubt, the best guide available for aspiring and existing freelance bloggers. I felt I needed to get that monkey off my back before I moved on to other projects.

I wanted the course to be a “critical” success (and if the lack of refund requests is anything to go by, people are pretty happy). However, I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t want it to be a financial success too. If you’re interested in finding out how the re-launch affected my bottom line (and how you can learn from its successes and failures), read on!

5 Lessons Learned from My Failed Authority Blog Project

Failure

In my experience, a lot of people are under the impression that once you’ve “made it” as an entrepreneur (whatever that means), you stop making mistakes.

Well, I certainly haven’t. I’m probably making as many mistakes these days as I ever did. Fortunately, I’ve also had some success along the way to balance things out.

I don’t see failure as the enemy. Failure usually offers up huge learning opportunities. Furthermore, rarely is any failure a true “failure” in the literal sense of the word.

The failed project I am going to discuss in this post provides one such example of how beneficial failure can be. It has taught me an enormous amount and (to an extent) defined the direction of a major future project of mine. I for one am bizarrely happy that I was victim to such “failure.” Read on to find out why!

Email Marketing Best Practices (My 5 Step Guide to a Successful Campaign)

Email Me

The internet marketing world is packed full of catchphrases that tend to annoy me.

One such catchphrase is, “The money is in the list!” It really bugs me — especially because I relate it to those internet marketers who create the kind of contrived email autoresponder series that I hate. When I first launched this blog back in June 2011 I made a promise to myself (and my as yet non-existent audience) to not go down that road.

Which brings me to the present day and my email list. In my time I have created three different email autoresponder series (two of which I have scrapped) and ten different lists. At the time of writing I have a total of 3,668 subscribers, which may not be a lot but it is enough to make me a good income.

With that in mind, in this post I want to share with you a five step guide to email marketing best practices — the process I have followed (through trial and error) to establish what I consider to be a successful email list.

Why Hobbies Make for Great Niche Sites (and How to Build One)

Comics

I got back from my vacation at 3am this morning so I am just trying to get through the day without falling asleep, but in the meantime I have an awesome guest post for you from one of my best online friends, Greg Ciotti. Enjoy!

Recently, as more and more smart folks have pointed out that Google is quite a bit different right now than in 2-3 years past, I find myself increasingly interested in niche sites.

Considering that I am already the full-time marketing guy at Help Scout, a B2B software startup, and the sole author of a blog approaching 30,000 newsletter subscribers, you could say that I don’t have much time left for many side projects on my lazy Sunday afternoons.

Anything I do spend time on, therefore, needs to produce a great return on time invested.

You might be surprised to hear that niche sites (or “authority sites” if you prefer a grander scale) are actually a great way to supplement your freelance (or full-time) income, as long as you avoid a few common mistakes that I think everyone has made at some point in their career.

From where I’m sitting, the single biggest issue is the confusion between keyword/traffic volume and purchase intent – in other words, the all too real fact that not all traffic is created equal.

This problem is typically alleviated by building a site focused on a single, profitable hobby.

Hobbies work well for niche sites for a variety of reasons, which I’m going to outline below.