I know that a lot of you have your own ‘make money online’ (MMO) blogs. I use the term to refer to essentially any blog that journals strategy, tips or efforts to make money online through whatever means.
With that in mind, I want to reveal to you the reality of success for a lot of the bloggers that you look up to. It is something I have observed with interest since I started blogging around 16 months ago. And no, it’s not some clever technique or strategy. I am not going to be sharing some kind of ‘shortcut’ with you.
Instead, I want to share with you the practical reality of the world of MMO blogs and what it means for you. For those of you who are bloggers but don’t own an MMO blog, I think you can learn something from this too.
In Search of a Common Denominator
Let’s begin by considering why we read MMO blogs — because we want to make money online. Obvious, right? We’re far more likely to take interest in a blog if its author(s) have demonstrated their success in making money online.
More specifically, we want them to demonstrate their success in making money online in endeavors entirely separate to their blog. This is a key factor. Few people are impressed by MMO bloggers who have amassed a fortune by preaching principles that they do not practice.
Which leads me to my simple argument that in order to be a successful MMO blogger, you must be successful. Everything else you do — your content, design and marketing strategy — all pales in comparison to your entrepreneurial ability.
You only have to look at just about every single successful MMO blogger out there to understand my argument. Pat Flynn’s first ever income report in October 2008 boasted earnings of nearly $8,000. One of Spencer Haws’ first posts at Niche Pursuits was entitled How I Quit My Corporate Job and Became an Internet Entrepreneur. Despite Darren Rowse’s huge success with ProBlogger, his Digital Photography School blog is his crowning achievement. I could go on and on.
Let me tell you something — if you do not make money online and are starting an MMO blog in the hope that it will generate an income in the short or medium term, you are going to be very disappointed. Leaving Work Behind has been going for 16 months and I have been experiencing relative success with my freelancing work over the past few months, and yet the most I have made from this blog in a month is $330. If I add up total income and expenditure during the blog’s lifetime, I am at around break even point — before I account for any of my time.
At this stage, if one were to consider LWB a money-making project (which thankfully I do not), it would be fair to label it a spectacular failure.
Does This Mean That You Should Give Up?
I believe that many new MMO bloggers start in the hope that the blog itself will be a significant source of income. And it may be — but they’ll have to prove themselves in other areas in order for that to be the case.
If you have that attitude you may want to stop now. If on the other hand you want to create a blog to journal your progress and act as an accountability aid (as I did with LWB), I would heartily recommend that you go ahead. Although Leaving Work Behind has been a commercial flop so far, I would do it all over again. It has helped me a great deal in terms of accountability, it has referred many prospective freelance clients to me, I have met a bunch of awesome people, and I have little doubt that it will become a good source of income for me in the future.
My point is this — if you are an MMO blogger, you need to understand the principles behind the potential for your success, and do it for all the right reasons. Otherwise, you are likely to burn out.
The Good News
There is a silver lining to this cloud. If you are successful at making money online — even moderately so — it is possible to carve out a niche for yourself in what is an extremely saturated market.
This is especially the case when it comes to passive income. Plenty of people are interested in the likes of freelancing, but that pales in comparison to the number of people who are interested in establishing passive income streams. If you can demonstrate having made money via passive income streams and are willing to reveal your strategies, you’ll probably be onto a winner.
People are always in search of new passive income bloggers. The fact is that there aren’t that many out there (who are making a great deal of money). I believe the reasons for this are twofold:
- Making money online via passive income streams is tough
- The really successful guys are too busy building their income to blog
The ease with which a big player can establish themselves in the MMO niche is perfectly demonstrated by Billy Murphy of Forever Jobless. He burst onto the blogosphere a couple of months ago, riding on the coattails of serious success in eCommerce and membership sites. He amassed 520 comments across three posts. The fact that he then promptly disappeared again is moot — due to his enormous success, he was able to generate a great of interest in mere days.
Consider the Non-Financial Benefits
I don’t intend for this article to be seen as ‘anti-blogging’. Quite the opposite — I fully endorse blogging as a fantastic way of establishing relationships and opening doors. Nor do I intend to belittle the efforts of successful MMO bloggers — although their success has contributed an enormous amount to the popularity of their blogs, they still have to produce great content and market effectively.
I would not be where I am now if it weren’t for this blog — even though it is yet to offer a net return on my financial investment. What it has brought to me in terms of relationships and experience is immeasurable. And I would like to think that the hardest yards are now behind me.
But my point is this – don’t go into MMO blogging for the wrong reasons. Don’t be yet another blogger who thinks that the secret to making money online is to blog about making money online (whether or not you actually do). You’ll be in for a long road that probably ends in failure.