One of the biggest questions I get is, “Dr. Mike, I want to start a blog.” You may have heard that there are people who are making money online with blogs, right? Now I’ve been online since 2003. Actually, if you go back, one of my first products that I sold online was starting all the way back in 1996. I sold hundreds of products online. I have generated quite a few dollars online, selling my own software company. I’ve seen almost every different way in terms of monetization online. And one of the biggest questions I get is … I actually did a survey several years ago to my list of you. “What, in internet businesses, internet marketing, are you most interested in?”
The number one response that I got was “starting a blog.” Every now and then, I get an email saying, “I want to start a blog. I heard that there people who are making money online with blogs, and I’m a doctor, and I feel that’s the best way to go. I heard they get money through advertising, through selling ads, and that’s the way that I want to do it.” Well, I’ve got some real truth out here for you that starting a blog could be the biggest waste of time that you’ve done. People probably don’t like to hear that.
BLOGS – TIME WASTER OR ESSENTIAL LEAD MAGNET?
And I’ve started a blog, and I’ve stopped a blog, and I’ve started a blog, I’ve stopped a blog. Now I do have a blog on my website, but what I’m here to tell you is making money online through blogs has been around since the first conference that I went to in internet businesses back in 2004. They were talking about blogging, and there’s been courses that talk about blogging, started a blog, using WordPress, using blogger.com – it was really popular back in the day. And the thing is is that the internet has changed. Now back when that I was in started involved in blogging, internet blogging was that if there was a popular blog that you liked then you would go on your browser web, and what you’d do is you would bookmark it.
Then every now and then, you would go and check out to see … Maybe get a notification that they’ve got a new blog post there, then you’d go to that website. I can’t even remember the last time I bookmarked a blog because right now we are inundated with content, right? We’ll see an article … Maybe you’ll see it on your Twitter, or maybe you find it on Reddit, and you go read that information. The problem is you don’t remember who is the author of that blog. Again, I don’t remember the last time I actually went and bookmarked a blog and actually made sure that I checked back to see the next time it’s posted. There’s a lot of information out there, and we’re information overloaded.
I don’t know who is actually posting on those blogs, so I don’t go back to them. There’s some popular blogs out there, probably like The White Coat Investor, Passive Income MD, Physician on Fire, and you’ve heard that they’re making money through advertising, and more power to those guys. They’re incredible. Yes, they sell advertising, but the problem then is if you’re starting a blog in 2019, what are you going to need? What’s the life blood of a website? It’s traffic. You may have heard if you have SEOs, you have search engine optimization, that blogs are very important for search engine optimization, and that is completely true, but the problem is when you’re starting a blog from scratch, what you’re going to need is people to come to your website.
And when you want to attract advertisers to your blog, you need to have so many people go to your blog. Advertisers are going to want to see your analytics, how many people are going to your website, before they even think about paying you for advertising. There are some programs that you can do, like contextual advertising programs known as Google Adsense is one, where you can put a little link or put some code onto your blog and then, if somebody clicks on that Google Adsense, you can get paid with that. That was something that I did back in the day. The problem is, because we’re so inundated with information, because there’s so many ways that we can get content through social media, through Facebook groups, through LinkedIn groups, through articles that are coming through our LinkedIn, our feed, is that we just get inundated.
So, when somebody asks me about starting a blog or maybe they’ve had a blog, is that what I’ve noticed happen, and it’s happened with me, is I’ll start a blog, I’ll write an article, and I’ll be very sad that I’m not getting a lot of traffic. Then I think that, ‘Well, I just need to get better content, create better articles.’ I feel like I’ve written some good articles throughout the day, and it’s just so disappointing when you find out that you’re not getting traffic. You go for a few months, and then you’re like, “I’m dead, and I’m going to start over, and I’m not making any income.”
Now if you want to start a blog just because … For fun, for volunteer, because you are a physician, and you are educated, and you want to share your content with the world, more power to you, but for most, 98% of it, and I don’t think I’m being unrealistic, they want to start a blog because they want to make money online, right? But there’s so many different ways that you can do it besides doing a blog, which could be wasting your time. You’re going to be disappointed with the amount of traffic you’ll get, and eventually, if you’re like me, you’re going to feel like you’re going to run out of things to talk about.
DON’T GIVE UP…BUT HAVE A PURPOSE
And you’re just going to say your next blog isn’t going to work. I started a blog, stopped a blog, started a blog, stopped a blog so many times. So, what I’m going to recommend instead is to do something a bit different where, if you want to write articles, that’s great, but the best way that I know to monetize the content that you’re doing is building a list. So, what is a list? We talked about … You may have heard the phrase, “The money is in the list,” and it’s usually what people are referring to is to have an email list where people are … You’re building up, through a funnel, where you’re building up names and email addresses.
Let’s say you have an ebook or a white paper on some great product. Let’s say, for physicians, it’s how to code better on the ICD10, and maybe you’ve written an ebook on it, and you give it away for free, and you’re collecting your name and email address. Then what you do is you use an auto responder, or you use an email company, such as Constant Contact or aweber Get Response, one of these, there’s so many of them, and what’s going to happen is, if you start getting these name and email addresses and sometimes phone numbers, you’re going to collect people who have information that they want from you. These are people who want to learn how to code better on there.
So, what’s going to happen is you’re going to build an interest group of people into your email marketing. Then if you decide to create a product on it, you could be able to contact you … You build up a list of, let’s say, 500 to 1,000 people, you can then start selling products by blasting out an email for the people who like that information. We’re not talking about spam because these are people who have said, “Yes, I’m interested to learn more about what you have to say.” What happens is that we’re so loaded with content that we just kind of get overwhelmed. Now email has changed a lot too. I’ll freely admit this. It’s harder to get your email into the inbox versus the spam folder.
A WORD ABOUT DELIVERABILITY
Deliverability isn’t what it used to be in terms of making sure that your email is going to be open. How many of us get one email a day? Nobody does that, right? We’re probably getting 200 emails a day. Again, you can get lots … We’ve got more ways that our attentions are going to be diverted there, but email marketing is something that I’ve done for 15 years or more, and when you’ve heard the phrase, “The money is in the list,” it’s so true. The great thing that’s changed, one of the things that’s changed that I think is beneficial is when you say, “The money is in the list,” it does not necessarily mean email. For example, we use text marketing.
We used text marketing in my day job, my brick and mortar business for our Met Spa, so we have a list of people who are interested in hearing about specials or hearing about new services that we have to offer, and because email deliverability is more difficult to get attraction from – there’s so much traffic in the email list, so many different offers that ours can get lost there – but right now, people are checking their phones for text messages. So, creating a text message list where people are interested in your information, education, building a list can be achieved through text messaging. And there’s lots of different services; maybe we’ll cover that on a future call that you can use.
A BETTER WAY THAN BLOGS?
You can create a list through creating your own Facebook group or LinkedIn groups. Not as good, I think, in terms of email list, but you can build a list of people who have … A list of people into your group. Now the important part, when you’re building these types of lists, is you don’t want to be just selling products. You don’t want to be spamming them, of course. You want to give a good combination of great content and, every now and then, sell a product there. If you’re just there just to sell stuff, sell stuff, nobody wants that, right? Give information where the prospect, or the person who has said, “Hey,here is my name and email address because this information is needed”. They want to know that you want to build a relationship.
And really, a better phrase instead of, “The money is in the list,” is in “The money’s in the relationship with you and your list.” Another part is that you want to be emailing them on a regular basis. Something that I’ve not been very good at as of late just because I’ve got so many different experiences and different things that I’m doing right now, but ideally, you want to email them at least once a week.
HOW OFTEN TO NOTIFY?
Now when you’re texting them, that’s something that … I try to be respectful for. I maybe two like twice a month. But the reason why you want to do it is to let them know that you’re still there because what happens when you have email lists, that over time, the information, you’re going to lose … For every month that you don’t email your list, the value of your list is going to drop about 10%.
And I’ve seen that firsthand how that can be affected because, and this is something that you probably are going to be surprised to hear is that most of us are kind of bored. Even though we’ve got all this stuff … We’ve got Netflix and videos and watching our Kardashians or Game of Thrones, all these different things there, we’re bored there, and we want to have an experience, something that is new. So, if you can create something that, not only gives great content, but also can attract and entertain, I think that’s the best of both worlds there.
So, just to sum up, when it comes time to creating content, use an email list, or use some type of list to shoot out your content. Now you can your blog where you can have your articles on your website, and you can shoot them an email that goes to your blog, but don’t just create a blog without some type of capture form where you can capture their email address because what’s going to happen, they’re going to go onto your blog, and then they’re going to leave. And they have no idea – you can have the best article in the world, but they have no idea what kind of blog that was, who wrote it, and they don’t even care about it.