Blogging For Money Has Changed: Here Is How Smart Bloggers Can Profit In 2017

In October 2014 it was ten years since I started my first blog (not this one). The official ten year anniversary for this blog you are reading now was January 2015, and this year, 2017, is the ten year anniversary of the release of my flagship course, Blog Mastermind.

No matter how you look at it, I’ve been doing this a long time, at least in internet years. Internet years are longer than dog or cat years. For each one year you work online you actually age about 10 years in internet time.

This means I’m approaching 100 in blogging years and over 150 in online entrepreneur years (I started in 1998). Yikes!

When Did I Get Old?

Okay, so I’m joking around here about internet “age”, but in some ways I am not.

The internet grows and changes so fast. No other invention in the history of humankind has impacted the world as much as the Internet has in such a short time frame.

What’s disconcerting for me on a personal level is a trend I have noticed when interacting with people.

I’ve become one of those people who get referred to as a “pioneer” – who paved the way for the current generation.

People tell me they read my blog years ago, came across my work back before they quit their job or they got their start thanks in part to something I published a long time ago.

That’s great, I love that I have helped so many become online entrepreneurs and bloggers. What’s weird is the sense of feeling old amongst all these new “younger” people who are enjoying their time in the spotlight, after starting three or four years ago.

The Foundation We All Build On

I recall when I first started blogging and studying internet marketing in particular, there were other people who had been doing things for years who I looked upon as pioneers.

Guys like Corey Rudl, Terry Dean, and Perry Marshall were pioneers back then.

These “old men” to me at the time, also have their mentors who came before them. I remember listening to interviews (and you still hear this today), and names like Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy and Gary Halbert were mentioned as the pioneers before internet marketing, back when direct response was all about paper sent in the mail, or full page ads in trade journals or magazines.

Now that I have joined the ranks of this ever evolving evolution of “pioneers”, I feel justified in pointing out a few things all you youngsters may not notice, since you haven’t been around long enough to see the patterns…

The Fundamentals Never Change

Here’s the most important point: We are all using the SAME FUNDAMENTALS.

Business is business, marketing is marketing and the reasons why people buy things never change.

It all comes down to what drives a human being to make choices, and that has not changed and likely never will unless we evolve into something markedly different to what we are now. Money, status, sex, power, health, security, pain avoidance, the pursuit of pleasure – these are things that motivate us.

Over the years I’ve studied business through a university degree, books, courses and read countless blog posts, websites, listened to podcasts and watched films and videos.

Everything comes back to learning about people, figuring out what makes them tick and then using your understanding of their psychology to present your offer as the best-tailored solution for them.

Technology Always Changes

What does change, is the playing field you operate in and the tools you use to present your offers and convince people to buy.

From newspapers, magazines, direct mail and trade journals, to radio, television, movies, and today the world wide web, social media and mobile applications – everything changes. New platforms appear daily thanks to the ease of implementation online.

Competition changes too, leaders come and go, big companies rise up and then fade into history.

The tools you use to reach people constantly change and you always have new options – more than you can handle. If however you understand the fundamentals, you realize that your core values stay consistent. How you present your value and what distribution formats you use to deliver it to people, fluctuates based on what is working best at any given time.

This is a really important point, because if your business is based on a technology, that means it has a shelf-life. If you want sustainability, you need to get the fundamentals rock solid, and keep your distribution and presentation fluid and dynamic.

Trends Never Last

Gideon Shalwick recently showed me some interesting graphs on Google Trends.

While the data is far from conclusive, I did find this graph interesting, which shows the popularity for the phrase “blogging” over the last ten years.

Blogging Trend Over Time

Popularity Of Term “Blogging” Over Time

The peaks were in 2005, which is when I started this blog, and 2008, when I had my most successful blog training product,, which Gideon and I co-created. We made over a million dollars in revenue with that business, which is pretty incredible for two guys living in Australia with no full time staff.

In short, much of my career as a blog trainer was helped along by the blogging trend.

Trends of course do not last, but you can do very well if you ride one as it peaks.

Looking at my industry, you could say that John Lee Dumas is riding the trend of Podcasting right now. It has gone through a resurgence in the last three years thanks to mobile devices and iTunes. John is riding the wave of popularity of the medium as a distribution tool and as the niche he teaches.

When Perry Marshall was at the peak of his “fame”, he was riding the Google AdWords trend (you may have noticed he has repositioned himself somewhat to the 80/20 Rule, a more fundamental concept, and not a technology tool that is transient).

In terms of advertising platforms, Facebook advertising is trending now more than AdWords, hence Amy Porterfield has risen to prominence, as she rides that wave.

Other trends I have seen rise and fade and sometimes rise and fade again include video marketing (YouTube), e-commerce, social media (and there have been trends within social media, from Friendster, to Myspace, to Facebook, etc), affiliate marketing, CPA advertising, tag and ping, social bookmarking (Digg) and so on.

The one constant with trends is they do not last. They are always based on a new technique or technology and follow an interest cycle. Since human beings by their nature move on to something different, new and perceived as better (and usually ACTUALLY better), if you are attached to any one trend, you are doomed if you don’t adjust and keep up with the times.

If you have your fundamentals sorted, you can take what you know and apply it to each trend, ideally just before it peaks, so you can ride the wave all the way.

What Does This Mean For Blogging?

Blogging is not trending upwards as it once was, but that doesn’t mean it has died. It’s just not the cool kid on the block anymore.

While the technology that lets you run a blog changes constantly, the act of blogging is a form of publishing. Publishing is communication, a fundamental aspect of human beings. It is not going away. We will always need to communicate.

A blog is a website. Until the internet changes so much that we do not use websites as a publishing platform, a blog will remain a viable option. That is of course until a better publishing platform replaces it, which will happen eventually (some might say it already has in the case of mobile apps, although I don’t see apps as a direct competitor to blogging).

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13 Stark Realities Bloggers Face Today

When you decide to use blogging as a publishing platform to communicate with your audience as part of your business, you need to understand the environment you are entering.

Given my years of experience I have seen how blogging has changed. I’ve been directly impacted by the changes myself, causing me to adjust my entire overall blogging strategy many times, and particular in the last two years.

Here are the most important changes and what you need to do about them, if you expect to make money from a blog based business this year…

1. Just Having A Blog Is Not Enough

The fact that you have a blog is not a big deal. It used to be something special, a reason in and of itself for you to attract attention. It meant you were cutting edge and had something special to offer.

Today you are just another blogger and there are millions more doing the same thing.

2. You Better Have A Good Story To Tell

When I started blogging writing out “tips” and “advice” was enough. I figured out early the more case study stories I included with my articles the better my blog did.

Today a good story is mandatory. Just doing advice and tips and repeating the standard information is not enough. You need to do something special, so you can report back something special, which makes you special (and thus worth paying attention to).

3. Your Audience Is Sophisticated So Meet Them Where They Are

Standard information doesn’t work because your market has become more sophisticated. They know the basics, they understand all the normal advice because they’ve read it on ten other blogs, newsletters and social media feeds.

You have to stay one step ahead of your audience and give them information that is not available elsewhere.

For example, when I told people to “leave comments on blogs” as a means to get traffic to your blog, it was good enough advice in 2006 for people to share it. Today, everyone has heard that advice before. I need to offer more sophisticated ideas if I want to make an impact.

4. Bloggers Are Doing A Better Job Of Everything

Today the standard of blogging has risen across the board. Blog designs are better, content is better, audio quality has improved, and online video is fast catching up with TV for production value.

Content substance will always come first, but engagement increases with polished presentation.

Google tells us engagement is important when it comes to ranking sites in their search engine. They assume your content is better if people stay longer and consume more of it, hence you are rewarded with more free traffic.

Even if you have brilliant ideas, if people do not engage with them because they are difficult to consume or locate, you won’t gain traction.

5. Quality Competition Exists In All Top Category Markets

Blogging is not new. Chances are your industry already has many bloggers in it, and likely a handful of established leaders who command a lion-share of audience attention.

Gone are the days when you can start a blog about a broad general category and expect to become a leader, unless you have some pretty amazing stories to tell.

Choosing a niche within a niche is no longer good advice – it’s mandatory for success. You simply can’t compete if your subject category is broad because you can’t provide enough quality information – there is too much to cover.

Be the best at one unique thing and you stand a chance.

6. If You Don’t Offer All Modalities Of Content You Lose Audience Share

I’ve been saying this since 2006 (and struggling to follow my own advice since then too!), but it’s even more important today because people have choices.

If you don’t offer words in text, audio and video, you are missing out on large chunks of audience.

It’s even more important now because people have options.

There is someone on YouTube covering the same subjects as you. There’s a podcast out there that covers what you cover too. If a person visits your blog and you only have written words, and they prefer video, they are going to invest their limited attention span on the YouTube channel, not on your blog.

This wasn’t a problem years ago because there just weren’t quality solutions in all modalities. Today there are, so you either match exactly what a person wants or they go somewhere else.

7. Loyalty Matters: If You Don’t Have A Tribe No One Cares

You only have a small chance to grab someone’s attention, ideally with brilliant ideas, shared with powerful case study stories, in their preferred modality of learning.

If you do this part right, you earn their attention. This is the doorway for them to become a member of your tribe. Once that trust is established, loyalty kicks in – their ego gets involved and they start to see you as an extension of themselves, what they care about and believe in. That’s powerful.

There’s a reason why certain bloggers have cult followings. The people who follow identify with them beyond just the content they provide. They like, trust and care about you like a friend.

Friends – your peer group – elicit a strong persuasive force, one of the strongest there is over us human beings. Your blog can have the same effect, but only if you have a tribe who love you.

8. Audiences Size Is A Magnitude Greater

The entire size of the internet has increased and it’s still growing. Your potential audience reach is massive compared to just a few years ago.

Pat Flynn has had 7 million podcast downloads. John Lee Dumas has half a million downloads per month and only started podcasting a couple of years ago.

In 2004 when I first started blogging, Darren Rowse had 3,000 RSS subscribers to his Problogger blog, the largest following at the time in my industry.

We used to measure web audience size in thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands and now millions. You can see where this is going…

The internet is now the biggest communication channel there is, surpassing the previous leader, television.

9. Traffic Sources Are Abundant

Just as there is more total traffic, there are more ways to reach those people.

When I started online the Web was made up of websites, newsgroups, forums and email newsletters. Eventually audio became available and easy enough to add to your website. Then blogs hit. Podcasting and YouTube were next.

Fast forward today and there are literally hundreds of thousands of different types of websites, including all kinds of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc), audio distribution channels (Soundcloud, Stitcher, iTunes, etc), and advertising platforms (AdWords, Facebook Ads, Retargeting, etc).

Your challenge today is picking your battles. You can’t do it all, so choosing what to focus on is more important than being everywhere.

10. Your Positioning/USP Is Even More Critical

With so much abundance and competition, you only have one chance to secure attention – figure out a very clear and powerful position and fortify it.

You need to operate within a niche within a niche, but you also have to position yourself in that space because you won’t be the only one there.

Positioning and coming up with a Unique Selling Proposition is about making yourself appear like the only option a certain group of people have to solve a certain problem. This is more important now than it ever was.

11. Content In And Of Itself Is Not Enough

Publishing amazing things is not enough anymore. Today you need a reliable and sustainable distribution mechanism to share your content, otherwise your brilliant piece of work will be lost in the ocean of all those other brilliant content pieces from other people.

Your distribution channel may be a significant social media presence, or the attention of influential people who will partner with you and share your content, or a large email newsletter, or a budget to spend on paid advertising. Ideally it will be a combination of these things, but they all take time to develop.

Marketing has always been important, but the “noise” online has increased so much that there is literally no attention unless you smack people in the head multiple times with what you offer using multiple channels.

Unless you have a means to amplify your message, your content won’t be heard.

12. Conversion Counts More Than Traffic

This is a hard lesson for bloggers to learn. You have to change your focus away from content creator to conversion expert.

Just being a good writer, podcaster or video producer who attracts a lot of attention is not going to lead to a sustainable business. Conversion is more important.

Moving people from visitors, to subscribers to buyers and then loyal big spending tribe members is how you sustain success. If you don’t counterbalance your ratio of effort away from producing free content, to instead how to convert and sell, you won’t make money and you will burn out.

13. Spend More Time Serving Existing Customers, Less On Attracting New Ones

Bloggers have always been too traffic and front-end focused. Today, unless you are already a leader with a massive following, which most people are not, you are only going to profit on the back-end.

Why invest all your energy producing amazing value for the people who never spend money on your business and who complain when you ask them to buy something?

A small handful of the biggest players make it rich selling low priced products. They have such huge followings that they sell enough copies of their $20 ebook that they don’t have to do anything more. The same can be said for those bloggers who make enough from just advertising, or from sales of affiliate products.

This is not a common scenario, nor is it the smart model to emulate.

If you have millions of visitors per month, you have volume, enough that small purchases or advertising impressions can pay the bills… and then some!

However, do you realise how hard you have to work to reach millions of visitors per month? On top of hard work, your timing has to be amazing too, catching the crest of that trend wave just as it starts to rise.

Often leading high-traffic blogs have owners who work incredibly hard, or have massive teams who produce the content to keep the machine running. They also started at just the right time to become a leader of a trend.

Unfortunately, other people blindly follow them, not realising it’s the wrong model to replicate. You will never have the traffic volume required to make it work and you will forever produce free content hoping that one day you will make it.

If you follow these models today, you have a massive job ahead of you. It’s just not the smartest choice for most people. It takes more work, is harder to sustain, you need the right timing, and ultimately is not nearly as well leveraged.

Instead your focus should be on funnel optimization, not more blog articles and newsletter broadcasts that have no purpose other than to just give more information away in the hope of increasing your traffic.

This Is Not A New Phenomenon

The list of challenges and conditions bloggers face that I stated in this article might be confronting, but it’s not a new situation.

All industries go through this development cycle, growing in size, becoming incredibly crowded, resulting in fragmentation. Those who adapt and narrow their focus can survive – and even thrive.

Today as a blog business owner you have to become better at serving a smaller group of people you know very well, who you work with a whole lot closer than ever before.

Learn More About This New Direction For Bloggers

If any of what I covered in this article resonated with you and you are interested in developing the kind of blog business that works today, I encourage you to continue by answering my 3-question survey here –

I hope this article has opened your eyes to a few things that you can take away and apply to your blogging business this year.

Yaro Starak

About Yaro

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • I have been working for myself (in design) since 1990, and have always gotten by, even with having to adapt with new skills and technology. Having to move from print to web, and also apps.

    Only recently I have decided to start sharing some of what I know, hoping to build something that may contribute passively in the future.

    The niche I’m in is pretty crowded. I suppose I just need to express my unique story and the things I have learned along the way.

    It’s a tough time to start, but it’s still better to start and see where the journey leads, than to not give it a go at all.

    Thanks for this post. It’s quite timely as I have been planning on taking the site down for a re-design with with a bit more focus.

    Lots to think about.

  • What a post!

    Reading it once is not enough.

    Can’t stay (sorry) – going straight back to headline for another read…

  • Solid article. #13 is my favorite. When I almost gave up on my business in mid-2010, I was still “popular.” What that meant was lots of people wanted more and more free content, however I was working a full-time day job, blogging had turned into a second full-time job, and I wasn’t making nearly enough money to quit my job.

    I learned very quickly that focusing on large-scale traffic was not necessarily the shortest path to a sustainable business. And I actually started being very blunt and firm about this in public, which “turned off” large numbers of readers who were not giving anything back. Paradoxically, though, the people who really resonated with my content started stepping up to the plate. I noticed I could sell something at $20 or at $797 and make the SAME number of sales. So I started focusing mainly on those willing to give back. And I finally started making enough money to quit my job.

    The best time period I ever had, I made a quarter million dollars in six months during a time when my main site was getting only 1800 monthly visitors. That’s how much traffic and money were NOT correlated.

    Last year I focused for brief time on traffic again. Had a few weeks where I had tens of thousands of visitors streaming in. The result – lots of work for me and virtually no money. So I’m back to my original model. I agree with you that this is one of the biggest fallacies on the internet and one people seem to have a hard time letting go of – that the best focus is on building traffic instead of focusing on serving the people who are willing to give back.

    • Right on Erika – what a perfect illustration of the point. 1,800 visitors equals $250K!

      I’ve been caught up over the years too much with the competitive nature of audience size. Despite knowing that conversion is more important, I just felt better seeing more visitors to my blog and more optins to my newsletter. That’s changed now.

      I really want to spread the message to bloggers – get yourself 100 paying customers, not 10,000 visitors to your blog.

      The problem is many of our blog idols are very much like I have been in the past, spreading the gospel of large numbers (not always overtly – but displaying your traffic counter as social proof does make people see big numbers as an indication of success). People then pursue the same path, just like you share in your story – quantity instead of quality, when it should be the other way around.

      If you are still in business with your blog I’d love to interview you sometime for my podcast?


      • Hi Yaro,

        Thanks for the quick response πŸ™‚ Oh I would love that, to be interviewed by you, that would be so much fun.

        Yea I’m still in business πŸ™‚ I’ve been consistently six figures since 2010. I have slowed down a bit since I paid off all my debt and now really enjoy my freedom without a lot of scheduled obligations. It may just be a breather though before the next phase. We will see … that’s part of the excitement πŸ™‚

        Yea I’d really love that, let’s do it πŸ™‚

        • Awesome Erika – can you email me – [email protected] and we can schedule a time for an interview.

          Let me know what part of the world you are in so I can work out some good times for us.

  • Lisa Cherney on a podcast with Mark Silver talked about a large market, narrowed into niche and then within a niche having in mind who your ideal client/customer is.

    Then she said, “Cross out the niche. Target your ideal, within the larger market.”

    Would you agree with this? Would you think that the growth of numbers has meant that this is a realistic approach?

    • I’m not sure I entirely understand Evan?

      I certainly agree that the niche should be looked as a group of ideal people for your product or service.

      It’s always about people, which the word “niche” doesn’t convey well sometimes I believe.


  • Hey Yaro,
    when I got started in Internet business last year, all my focus was on getting traffic to my blog. I didn’t care about the quality, had no funnel in place and thus I didn’t benefit from the traffic.

    It took me quite a time to realize it, but after launching my first serious info product last month, I know understand the importance of having a funnel that works, rather than lots of traffic.

    That’s why I’m currently focusing on building a funnel that’ll help me to develop a relationship with my readers and to turn visitors into subscribers.

    Thanks for encouraging me to continue to build that funnel and leverage the existing traffic than growing the traffic and building the funnel afterwards!

    Best regards,

    • Bingo Jan – you got it! I learned this back in 2008, but by the I was feeling burnt out, so creating a funnel was not something I looked forward to doing, even though I knew it was the path forward for my business.

      You wrote> That’s why I’m currently focusing on building a funnel that’ll help me to develop a relationship with my readers and to turn visitors into subscribers.

      You should take this further… the funnel is about turning readers into highly satisfied buyers who purchase everything you offer because they love it all.

  • Wan

    Awesome post, Yaro.

    Definitely going to bookmark this because it captures a lot of what makes a blog popular nowadays.

    I’m still new to blogging and I find that your advice can be highly beneficial if I want to grow my blog. The advice on having a variety of modalities is certainly something I need to work on as people are becoming more and more varied in terms of their preference.

    I like the changes in the blogging world, actually. It definitely changes the standard of the content on the internet and that is good for the growth of knowledge.

    • If you like this one Wan, stay tuned over the coming weeks as I’m going to explain a lot more about a much better way to blog.


  • Hi Yaro,

    I totally agree that fundamentals never change. We’re all basically the same, the human psychology of people from different places actually differs very little, so if you understand people, you can be successful.

    I recently read a post titled Eulogy of a blog on Copyblogger, which sort of suggested the the “blog” has died, and probably suggesting to move on to a new form, that probably is more based on and leverages social media. Probably the blogging scenario is going to change like the markets did long back – from single shops to shopping malls, and people loved the transition. But the publishing aspect cant and should not die out, along with commenting. πŸ™‚

    It’s great that you changed your blogging strategy and inspire us to do that same. I agree you need to tell a unique and helpful story that is engaging, the rest would happen easy with some good promotional effort and relationship building. You’re so right that with so many traffic sources, you got to be selective.

    Your USP is what makes you different, and conversions makes you successful. Lastly, its good to develop a community and sell them what they need, right?

    This is a great guide to make it good and big in 2014. Thanks for your efforts to share it. Have a great day ahead! πŸ™‚

  • Excellent advice.

    And one thing I found from looking at your article:

    At the time of writing you have 15 comments on the blog post, but it has been shared a total of 221 times.

    So “back in days” where the only interaction would be for a visitor to leave a comment or not, these days more people are simply sharing what they like and move on (and of course I shared it as well :)).

    Engaging people to write comments are becoming harder (that is at least my own observations from running a – compared to yours – small blog).

    • So true Rasmus- and there is an obvious 80/20 power curve at play here. A very small number of my overall audience will write a comment, more will share with social media and even more will read it – but sadly for me (and bloggers everywhere!) the majority will not even read it.

      If you look at my newsletter stats it’s uncanny how that holds true – about 20% of my newsletter subscribers open my messages, and then about 20% of those who open will click the link.

      That’s why you need to focus on those who pay attention more and less on those who do not. That being said, comments are NOT necessary for a successful business, but I do realise how much they make a blogger feel good to know people read their work, so thank you for commenting πŸ™‚

  • I’ve been looking at this post and couldn’t agree more. Learned some real new tips and tricks to the ways of blogging and bringing value.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog . com

  • Dan

    Great post Yaro! Great to see a sum up of the trends and some predictions.

    The state or the Internet changes so quickly I would definitely have to agree with your 10x rule for Internet years haha

  • Hey Yaro, I’ve loved your blog since way back – specifically because of your interesting story and insights (although I stopped reading during the phase of guest writers) and am excited about your new directions πŸ™‚

  • Thankfully Number 7. and 10. work really well for me because I am easily overwhelmed thinking about how I have to compete with all of the content and service providers out there. It’s just not my thing. I rather rock my little corner of the world and have a smaller, loyal following. As a consumer I prefer to devote my time and attention to someone who provides super-niched, rich, quality content on a less frequent basis than someone who just fills space because he/she is on a content schedule. Therefore, when email letters or blog posts do arrive it feels like a treat, and I trust that person more because he/she waited to write when inspiration struck and valuable content could be delivered. Furthermore, my own following is rather small, but it remains loyal. And, I’m ok with that. As my list has steadily grown over the past couple of years my open rate is consistently at 40-42% every month and many of my clients are annual repeats.

    As for number 6…video and audio are on my 2014 “to-do” list…and I’m experimenting with both later this Spring! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for always writing quality stuff Yaro.

  • Marwan

    Solid Read Yaro-
    I enjoyed reading this, and I look forward to what else you have to say. Deep down inside I would like to think I knew a lot of what you said, but it’s still nice to hear it from someone else that is successful. I’ve been trying to make a living with blogging/websites for a while now, but I’m still not interviewee material. It’s hard work.

    Although I do think conversions are the most important thing I can recall when I first started out one of my sites and I was starting to get regular daily traffic of around 10 uniques, and then I had one day that spiked to 200. That was a very encouraging day. Just seeing that traffic spike gave me confidence and a drive to work harder towards my next goal. I had not made any conversions yet, no money. However, seeing that my hard work was doing something was very encouraging.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though conversions is what you should be focusing on, maybe not so much at the beginning? Because it was very hard for me to make my first conversion, and on top of that my conversion didn’t pay me anything until I had a few more conversions, so it was a long process. Now I am getting a small amount of trickling monthly income, but it took me a long time to get to this point. I’m still far from where I want to be, but when I get an increase in traffic I feel encouraged. I’m sure part of it is because of the industry the blog is in, but other industries may be similar.

    • You should take motivation from everything positive, I totally agree with that Marwan. Positive mindset is step one always!

      However I disagree that you should not focus on conversion at the start. I think it’s the very thing you should focus on more than anything else.

      That completely contradicts what I used to teach by the way. It’s very much conventional blog thinking to grow the audience first, then make the income later. Heck I used to say spend six months just blogging without worrying about money, which now I certainly do NOT agree with.

      Imagine if those 200 visitors you attracted turned into two paying customers, one who went on and spent $1,000 with you in the next three months.

      I’d say you would be even more motivated by that than just the nice feeling that you know some people stopped by your blog for a read.

      This is a hard lesson to learn. I’m still telling it to myself because you get so used to attracting traffic for the sake of attracting traffic believing that it will one day turn into an income stream.

      That one day can come a whole lot sooner with conversion and return on investment as your most important metrics, not just visits to your blog.

  • Thank you Yaro for all the information. Being new to all this, I am trying to get my thinking straight. When you all speak of conversions I take it that you are talking about having something extra to sell than just having them click on adsense ads. Correct? I believe you are talking about converting visitors to loyal paying followers, is this correct? I have only been blogging a couple of months so I have much to learn. Thanks for your patience.

    • Hello Art,

      Yes you are basically correct. A conversion is asking someone to actually do something – the conversion is when they do it.

      My argument is that you are combining the concept of focusing on conversion (so getting more people to do the thing you want them to) and match that up with something that delivers a solid return on investment – so the action they take results in you earning money.

      There’s many layers to the process of course, but as you suggested I am talking about creating a blog that is focused on making sales of something you offer from day one, rather than working for months trying to increase your traffic so you get enough people clicking or viewing your ads to make a living.

      It even goes beyond selling affiliate products because ultimately that’s a short sighted model too unless you always have a steady stream of big traffic to keep driving new affiliates to.

      I’m advocating that you need less traffic and have a smarter product selling process that focuses on you nurturing a small group of customers who love and purchase everything you create. That way there is no leakage – they don’t go somewhere else – and you make much much more per customer.

      It’s a smarter path forward and a much more realistic one for the average blogger to succeed at because you don’t need tends of thousands of visitors or tens of thousands of subscribers to your email newsletter.

      You with me?


  • Hi Yaro, as usual a very strong and detailed post. Yes, nowadays it is very easy to get lost in the jungle of blogs. I think that if you plan to make a business with blogging, like I do, you first have to thoroughly study all the options available. And those options, as you just have mentioned, are ever increasing. Then there are people like me, who are artistic and thus more emotional, but also a bit introvert on the other site. I think the key to online success, or at least partially, is to literally start communicating with your future prospects. In the beginning that’s a bit scary, however I see a pattern emerging here. Talking to your prospects or subscribers is crucial for finding out what your audience is looking for with regard to both content and products. Even if you have a great sales funnel, it’s not of much use if you don’t know your audience well enough. This takes time, not only for yourself, but also for your future followers to accept you as their friend and mentor. It’s not only you who is shy, your audience is too.
    Patience and determination is the key here, fortunately and unfortunately.
    Thanks for sharing this post Yaro, excellent job, Hans

  • Dan

    Some great comments here. I found Erika’s particularly inspiring, as I feel I am on the cusp of achieving something similar (quitting the day job).

    In 2012 I started a hobby based site around my biggest passion. With absolutely no game plan I solidly pumped out content for about 18 months, creating really great content that wasn’t available anywhere else with the occasional affiliate link thrown in, in nothing more than hope.

    The results were a good deal of traffic coming in, a somewhat healthy email list, and a list as long as my arm of people saying how great my content is and how it was helping them.

    There was just one problem though. I was making diddly squat and was losing faith in what I was doing.

    After getting some much needed guidance from a prolific internet entrepreneur, I shifted my focus. I released my first digital product in September last year in the way of an eBook, then a month ago I opened the doors to my own training course (that was scary!) and as you would expect I’ve already surpassed the total earnings of those first 18 months by a good margin.

    I haven’t yet achieved my goal of making enough to quit my job, but I can see a clear path to that goal now, and I’m not gonna stop until I get there.

    Mark my words, I will be free from ‘the rat race’ in no more than 6 months time!

    Thanks for putting this post together, Yaro. I feel it will serve as long term guidance to anyone looking to profit from their online platform.

    • Dan thanks so much for posting this. You are another example, as Erika is, of a person who worked so hard to service as many people as you could read with valuable free content, but you didn’t have a profitable business.

      Now that you have rejigged your focus towards an actual business where you can serve people who want more with products and service you are creating something sustainable…something that actually makes money and doesn’t just grow blog traffic and an email list for the sake of it.

      As I wrote to Jes above, blogging as a content marketing and outreach strategy is sound, it’s just not profitable if you don’t have a business model behind it that works and is incredibly slow.

      Over the next few weeks I’m going to have a lot more to say about this so hopefully we can help a lot of people avoid what you, Erika and I did – spent way too long being a publisher without building a business behind it.


      • Dan

        I look forward to it, Yaro πŸ™‚

        In the mean time, I have bookmarked this article and will be rereading it to ensure this mindset is ingrained deep inside me.

  • Being a blogger nowadays is much more challenging than it was 10 years ago. Can’t agree more with your “13 Stark Realities Bloggers Face Today”. I do feel the pressure as a blogger.

  • Jes

    A very good sharing! Referring to point 13 I’m keeping the existing customers as well as attracting the new ones. The reason I’m still attracting the new ones is because whenever I broadcast my newsletter I noticed that the sales (own product and affiliates sales) and Adsense earning were increased too. If I could double up my list this means I can double up all my earnings.

    If I concentrate only on existing customers I may have lose up many fans who can be my buyers too someday. If they did not buy my products no problem but they can help to spread my blog to others which is also a free advertising. In other words I need to have these sticky communities (regardless if they are buyers or not) to keep my blog active and alive by their comments, suggestions and contributions (in term of free articles).


    • Yes good point Jes. A community and a content marketing strategy are great ways to reach new people and bring free traffic. The problem is they are incredibly slow to grow.

      I believe you need a combination of a customer nurturing process where you focus on your existing best customers at the same time as you use content and community to spread the word. However in my opinion I think bloggers get the ratio too skewed in the wrong direction, they spend too much time trying to reach new people when there are much bigger gains to be made refining what works already with your nice small tribe of buyers.


      • ^^^ What Yaro said… πŸ™‚

        Hope you don’t mind me sharing this, but I created a 2 minute video about the most important formula in business (just click my name above).

  • Hey Yaro,

    You nailed it perfectly. I can’t agree more with the multiple sources (audio, visual etc).

    That is vital. With so many ‘scanners’ nowadays, we really need to think out of the box to get people come to us and continue staying on. Not to forget, sharing the article etc.

    Keep up the good work and definitely back for more!

  • Hi Yaro,

    Change is inevitable. The same thing is happening with blogging. And through all these years, you have been witnessing the change and revolution that has been taking place in blogosphere!

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for sharing it all with us readers. When you said ‘trends never last’, you were absolutely right! πŸ™‚

    To survive and thrive, bloggers should innovate constantly, change the game and evolve. I guess being a blogger is like being a perpetual student. One must be willing to keep on learning!

    The 13 points/’realities’ you listed here is very useful. Got to learn something new in there. Again, thanks for sharing with us!


  • You have to keep up with the change.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Awesome post. I agree with you. Competition is increasing day by day and we need to change our strategy according to it. More great post, more smart plan, smart promotions, isn’t enough to get success. We have to change it.

  • Chris


    Yaro’s most recent magnum opus article.

    I wish I had an oxygen tank while reading this again so my brain would be operating at peak and synapses firing to their max capacity.

    Yaro, thank you for this {adjective1} (adjective2|adjective3} article.

    You really do give to us and make a contribution to our hopes, dreams, processes, work and reality.

    Thank you,


  • Awesome post Yaro. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this.

    I followed you way back in 2008 and tried to “start a blog”. As you can imagine, that failed. My goal shouldn’t be to “start a blog”, but to “help people”, and if that’s the medium that allows me to help people then it’s just the delivery mechanism.

    I’m delighted I’ve rediscovered your work, and it all makes a lot more sense now – either because I’ve progressed, you’ve got an even sharper business brain, or both.

    As you say, there is so much good information out there, that it is hard to be found, and hard to differentiate yourself. The opportunity for us has always been that people are suffering so much from information overload that they will pay us to *guide* them through a shortcut to the results they want.

    Being paid to be a guide, coach, or mentor is an even bigger opportunity now… if we can just get and keep people’s attention long enough to earn their trust.

    In your post you touched on a couple of the big pains I have as a paid search freelancer:

    #1) This damn pre-occupation with “traffic”!

    Clients keep talking about buying clicks and “traffic”.

    You’re never buying traffic or clicks to your site, but *people*.

    Another bug-bear: please don’t call them “users” either.. they didn’t come to “use” your site, but to get rid of a problem they have or get a result they want. Calling them a user encourages you to assume they signed-up to use what you’ve built. They haven’t.

    For instance, If you’re site is for plumbers, then you’ve had 20 new *plumbers* sign-up to your newsletter this week. …and they’re people first and plumbers second.

    #2) The landing page has a conversion rate

    This one is related to 1) above, is rife … and wrecks my head!!

    People think that a landing page converts.

    You can proudly show me a landing page that “converts at 30%”, but what you’re really saying is that 30% of plumbers who hit that page looking for van insurance end up requesting a quote.

    If I sent people to that landing page who are looking for a “cheap cruise to the caribbean” then 30% of them are NOT going to get a van insurance quote.

    The landing page converts visitors into leads, subscribers, sales, or whatever else you want them to convert into.

    The right person, hitting the right offer, at the right time is what converts.

    So yeah, telling people to focus on converting visitors into leads instead of content creation is a great piece of advice.

  • Hi Yaro.

    Admittedly, I’m not as old as you (blogging yrs of course,lol) and I’ve only been blogging professionally for just over 6 months now.

    Before that I was riding the learning curve involved in building an information publishing business. I started in 2010 and during this time I’ve witnessed many of the changes you’ve spoke about in this detailed post.

    But you know, just a few months ago I got SO hung up on the finer details such as what makes my site different, a sub niche of a niche, a unique angle, etc, etc..

    It totally stopped me in my tracks with damn overwhelm and frustration, causing me to totally overlook the foundations we all build our business upon.

    And THAT meant that I did nothing, instead of taking action!

    When I stopped over complicating (and thinking) things and started doing, even if my content format, niche, USP was perfect, my blog instantly started to grow.

    I think it’s important for us ‘younger ones’ to not get caught up worrying about how things were and how we should be doing them now. Or even how we are different from all the other bloggers and entrepreneurs out there.

    We are all unique individuals with something new to bring to the table. If we are truly passionate about our topic and helping others, people will resonate with us and what we have to offer. πŸ™‚

    Just my 2 cents. Thanks for another awesome article!

    • Oh yes very true Kerry you youngster!

      The preamble to what I wrote about in this article is that you do have to be clear on your positioning first. Topic selection, market selection, niche selection, USP, whatever it is you want to call it – the clearer it is, the easier everything else becomes.

      However if you are NOT clear on this and you don’t mind spending some time doing research, one of the best things you can do is start reaching out to people with your “best guess” offer and see how that goes. In the case of blogging that means writing about the subject area you want to focus on, even if you are not clear how exactly you fit into that niche yet.

      Bear in mind though that this is a slower path. You can speed things up by making offers immediately – and by that I mean offering things for sale, even if that is just spending some time talking to you on skype (selling phone coaching).

      Nothing will teach you more about what niche you should go after than asking people to give you money and then talking to them in real life (talking to people who are willing to pay money for your help is the single best research you can ever do, in my opinion!).


    • I was stuck in the same place, until I read the line “stop looking for an audience, and go teach someone somthing… this week.”

  • Technology changes – but people don’t. It always has been and will always be about building trust and relationships.

  • Hey Yaro,

    For me this was what it tooks the cake from your article:

    “Why invest all your energy producing amazing value for the people who never spend money on your business and who complain when you ask them to buy something?”

    I have created a TON of free content because I wanted to profit mainly from affiliate marketing but then I came to realize that if my content is not the absolute best online, then why would they even invest on me?

    I deleted my first list of subscribers (it wasn’t big anyway) because they were so used to get every single thing from me for free.

    Then I started creating other lists (thinking I was doing it right this time) only to find out, yet again, people expect everything for free.

    So I decided to start all over again removing the affiliate marketing mindset once and for all and focus on being everywhere and becoming unique.

    It’s not going to be easy but hey, if it was easy everyone would be doing it!


    • Hi Sergio,

      I can feel your pain man! A big problem with the prevailing blogging mindset is the idea of use free value upfront before making offers. I very much followed this philosophy and taught it in the past as well. It worked better back then because conversion was easier. Today it’s harder because there is so much more out there to choose from.

      The problem with an everything is free model to begin with is you set expectations at that level and attract people who don’t want to buy things. You need to go in with the mindset of what content will get me buyers now, not later, which means you make offers from day one based on very clear positioning from day one (or no one will buy). You still provide value for free of course, but it’s tied in with immediate offers so you can set a standard and begin seeing if you actually have a business that makes money.

      In regards to your plans on being unique and being everywhere, I agree with the first part, but not the second part. You can see what I mean when you read my next blog post, where I basically say that trying to be everywhere is a really big mistake. I’ll explain what I mean in the next post.


      • Absolutely LOVED your explanation man (thank you) and looking forward to the next post, cheers!

    • Hey bro,

      I had the same problem as you.

      You can offer free value, but the trick is not to solve specific problems in your niche, but to firstly figure out what the ‘broad’ problems are in your market and solve those in your content.

      So if your niche was about ‘list building’ or ‘social media’. The broad problems that are universal to both of those niches is ‘making money’ ‘escaping the 9-5’, ‘building a lifestyle’, ‘quitting your job’.

      So you would write content solving those broad problems πŸ˜‰

      This will allow you to give out free information without you being specific, which you will be able to package with your premium products πŸ˜‰

      e.g. “How to escape the 9-5 using the power of social media”

  • I started to follow you since i set up my blog and i found in this post some amazing tips for new and old bloggers, i would like to ask…. what are the basics steps for focusing on traffic who are willing to pay (a review book, an affiliate program, etc)

    • Do you mean about finding traffic that has actual buyers? Well the first step is to make offers and see who buys, then work on the process you go through to increase conversion on those offers. That’s the basic way to find buyers.

      Look out over the next two weeks Alberto and I’ll have a lot more to say about blog traffic.


  • Yaro, I’ve been noticing this trend for years now. “Blogging” is a “platform” that builds a “business”. Our internet marketing marketing community can be overly-focused on short term results at the expense of healthy business strategy. Thank you for level-setting us. We can certainly capitalize on trends, but not at the expense of being valueable in the marketplace.

  • I started blogging about 16 months ago after reading your Blog Profits Blueprint. I’ve always enjoyed writing and it seemed like a great way of combining my writing interests with making some extra income.

    I think the reason for the lack of success to date has been that my area of interest is very, very crowded and my niche is not narrow enough. I like the term you used β€œniche within a niche”, yes, more focus may be the missing success factor.

    Thanks for the great post (s) and I’m sure your interview of Erika will be very interesting and inspiring.

    Cheers, Colin

    • I wrapped up the interview with Erika a couple of days ago – although I won’t publish it for a few weeks yet.

      My Blog Profits Blueprint is well due for an update – in fact it has quite a bit of info that I do not agree with for today’s market.

      I have a series of article coming up next that updates most of my new advanced blogging formula, which I will then go back and update the Blueprint with as well.

      The Blueprint still has the basic formula though, it’s just a few core principles that need to change.

  • Wow! Thanks Yaro, very interesting indeed. 10 and 12 are a good heads up because I am just building my blog now, thanks, but 13 is where my wheels fall off because I don’t have any customers… yet! πŸ˜€

  • It was a pleasant surprise for me to encounter your blog Yaro. Your obvious experience means that you have had the benefit of seeing what works. For me I commenced engaging online back 1996, but did not really begin seeing the potential for personal business development until 2009-since then I have commenced a blog trying to talk with ‘mature people’ who struggle with the online technicalities..I thought this was my niche. On the other hand I have tried to engage with too many niche areas at once-this is a hard lesson, but I have finally learnt it! Kudos to you for recognizing the vast possibilities at a young age. I genuinely like to help people, so it is an exercise in finding out how best to do just that.

  • Oh lovely. very nice post. Thank you Yaro.

  • When I first got into blogging, my first impression about it was that it was simply a ‘distribution channel’ to help people jump off the fence and enter your back door (email list), which is where you relationship building really starts.

    Today, my thoughts about it hasn’t changed.

    The only way to truly get this concept is to understand how things developed on the internet.

    Before blogging, people would use paid ads to get people to a squeeze page containing an optin list.

    Then the Google Slap came around and introduced the ‘quality score’ system, which meant the page needed to be relevant. In short, this is why blogs exist.

    It’s not a place to build your relationships, but to simply get people ‘through the door’.

    It’s simply just another traffic source.

    A blog’s job isn’t to build a tribe. This is done in your email marketing once people have opted in.

    Having a strong list is everything and is what will make or break an internet marketer. It has always been this way and will never change.

    I think, once people truly understand this, they will all realise that blogging isn’t what’s important – It’s getting people to sign up and give you their email address, which is where the true relationship building starts.

    • I agree to an extent Onder, but I think the blog (and podcast and videos) are also contributors to building a tribe, trust and relationships too.

      They are not as good a direct response mechanism as email is, that is for sure. Email still wins in terms of stimulating an action, but they all contribute to the process of converting a sale. Finding buyers is what matters most, not just getting people to move from one communication platform to the next.

      You have to be careful with statements like it’s just about getting people to give you an email address and that is where the relationship starts – it’s not, the reason why they signed up to your list is where it starts and frames the communication you then continue via the list. You are dealing with the motivation behind why people make decisions and every single point of interaction matters, not just what goes on with the email list.


      • I do agree with you, but there’s no hard and fast rule.

        What if you did the ‘fishing net’ approach by targeting a group of people, then mining the ones that buy?

        Attracting the right people is important. But then within that group of people, you need to segment the ones that buy with the ones that don’t by splitting your lists up into different lists.

        Then you can engineer specific follow-up sequences and offers that are laser targeted to that segment.

        It seems common sense, but it’s surprising how many marketers aren’t doing this.

        • Spot on Onder, and you can begin this process with the blog, or the podcast, or the video – segmentation starts before the email list.

  • This is the reason I continue to read you, Yaro!

    Although I may initially roll my eyes at the article length, I know it will be time well spent!

    Since I started doing this around 2008, I’ve made every mistake you’ve mentioned and I think I may finally be getting some understanding of what it takes. I just need to continue to take action.

    My favorite take-away (although many were tied) was meeting your audience where they are. Being able to provide video and audio in addition to your blog is HUGE!

    This is also why I use Evernote! This bad boy just got saved for later review.


  • Hi Yaro. This is excellent.

    I was a member of Blog Mastermind back in 2009 and it really worked for me. My blog took off and has become central to my life. I get a lot of traffic and comments and have been very proud of that, but I didn’t actually start to make a *business* out of that until this last year.

    Even back in 2009 people were telling me that traffic isn’t everything, and traffic with no business model doesn’t make money. I heard it but didn’t really grasp what it meant. Big numbers are attractive and gratifying. I’m on the right path now but I spent almost five years missing the chance to cater to my biggest fans instead of reaching for more.

    It’s only finally getting into my head that it will only ever be a small percentage of my audience that really matters in terms of supporting my business. I was always so worried about not alienating the Big Crowd that I missed a ton of chances to focus on the people who really do understand my overall message and want to go deeper. This post (and especially the comment thread) has been wonderful and is helping me to clarify my new philosophy.

    Glad to see you back in a big way Yaro, you gave me my start!

  • Thanks guys, I’m glad you enjoyed the article and it got you thinking, even with so many words words to read Jeff πŸ˜‰

    David – if you’re making a living from the blog you started with Blog Mastermind I’d love to talk to you about doing an interview or at least a testimonial video if you have the time?

    Email me if you do – [email protected]


  • […] Blogging For Money Has Changed: Here Is How Smart Bloggers Can Profit In 2014~ by Yaro Starak […]

  • Hi Yaro, Love your posts as usual. and always look forward to getting your ideas on the way things a traveling. Yours is the first name I think of to pass on to fellow/beginner bloggers. Yes I had to read your blog 3 times and then mulled over it for a couple of days. I know that technology is moving faster that I can learn, but I still love the idea of blogging and creating the Lap top Life Style. And Keeping up with the world of business and its changes. I have been in business since I was 20 years of age and have always supported my/our selves. I do see the internet as the way business is going, but in saying that customers still love the hands on of touch and feel and try on. And of course the big one Customer Service.
    13// is an area that I totally agree with, and have tried to incorporate this in my bricks and mortar businesses. The big one for me is how to get new customers. On line and Off
    11// is a sobering thought. Content In And Of Itself Is Not Enough .
    7. Loyalty Matters: If You Don’t Have A Tribe No One Cares.
    It has been great to read all the replies to your post.

  • […] there’s Yaro Starak, from Entrepreneurs Journey. Yaro recently posted Blogging For Money Has Changed: Here Is How Smart Bloggers Can Profit In 2014. In it, Yaro talks, too, about how things has changed. Yaro has been at it for 10 years. And he […]

  • Great article man!! What do you think about weebly blogs?

    • Never used them, but the platform you run your blog on doesn’t matter nearly as much as the strategy behind how you are using a blog.

  • I’m a new reader! And guess what I discovered u from pat flynn’s plug on fb about your be everywhere article. :)-

    I love your stuff. I so agree about multiple formats – I have a little system down for writing my post, recording the video and editing and then exporting for youtube and the audio version for podcast. The pin said article to pinterest, etc. I am very niched down and I’d like to think there isn’t really anyone else on the web providing the quality of information to my particular audience as me. I am passionate about what I do – I used to hear people say you need to have a passion for what u do, but I didn’t really think much of it until now when I think how hard I’ve worked the past couple years and realizing that there’s no way I would have been able to do so on such a level if I wasn’t truly passionate about it.

  • Great post! I definitely believe that the people who last the longest on the internet are the ones who are willing to change. 10 years is a long time!

  • ron

    Another large problem with blogs: people will steal your content and publish as their own. Best case scenario is they use article spinners to pin your hard work into their own by simply clicking on the software they purchased.

    In no time at all they will steal and regurgitate all your hard work in just seconds flat.

  • […] Blogging For Money Has Changed: Here Is How Smart Bloggers Can Profit In 2014 […]

  • Hello; I thought that points 12 and 13 were the most important. one agrees with what my dad always told me which is that it isn’t what you gross its what you keep. And the other making the point that we need to focus more on those people and companies we already know. I was reminded of this while trying to book venues for an upcoming trip to shoot youtube episodes about theme parks for my amusement industry based channel. the only ones that said yes were the ones i had work with on buying or selling amusement equipment. and you are so right about your story because I am currently struggling with the subject of my blog. the most popular posts are those dealing with my weight loss or my managing a business as a blind person. these get views shares and comments but they don’t necessarily sell anything. they may even be confusing some who follow or thought about following the blog. I don’t want to manage two blogs but i can see how it might be the right thing to do. I also have a similar concern about my other efforts social media, podcasting, youtube videos, google hangouts, etc. I look forward to your thoughts. Thanks for this amazingly detailed and comprehensive post. Take care, max

    • Thanks for adding your story to the comments Max. I’m curious, how do you “read” the internet if you are blind, is there a tool that reads out things like my blog post for instance? And then how can you find the comment box to type in your comment? Do you type or do you speak your comment in via voice-to-text software?


  • This post really resonated with me. I have been blogging since I was a teenager and I had a love hate relationship with blogging because of some of the feedback I received. I started my latest blog in January 2013 when my I was struggling to raise my son, who was born prematurely, and attend college.

    I posted consistently about a lot of topics, trying so hard to capture readers, but it never happened. I didn’t even receive my first comment until I was 7 months in. This post and others on your site have helped me decide what I need to do to make my blog successful and to earn a little coin as well.

    Thank you for writing this. It’s an amazing resource!

    – Domonique

  • Is the way how bloggers make money also changing? Or is it just the focus what is changing?

  • On point #3 then, what recommendations do you have that now makes an impact? :o)
    It might be the case that an audience understands the basics, but isn’t there still a place for this ‘basic’ information on any blog within a niche? Sure, they can get it elsewhere, but if the content doesn’t take too long to create then why not? There will always be new people entering a niche and if other blog information isn’t maintained then why not provide the latest?

    I must say I’m definitely with you that you need to stay one step ahead with content creation and this is where high-value content comes in and not just the ‘me too’ stuff.

    • Helpful content is helpful content Neil, although people are much more likely to share something that makes them go “wow”, as opposed to “yes, good advice, but I know that already”.

      Like you said though, it depends a lot on your target audience as to what will make them go “wow”.


  • I am just starting out in the blogging world, so this was both a depressing and encouraging read! Lots of information to take in and I’m glad I read it at the beginning of my journey so that I can shift my mindset. Thanks for sharing, Yaro! I am looking forward to your interview with Erika, who is also quite an inspiration! πŸ™‚

  • I spend so much time last year trying to attract new customers at the expense of existing customers. Thanks Yaro for the insight

  • James Rickard

    Simply put, this is a world shaking paradigm shifting read!

    I have actually put all my plans and projects on hold for about a week to focus on reading your blog and that of a few others such as Serena Star-Leonards’ ‘Retire Young’ and Darrens’ ProBlogger. Figured the old adage holds true, if you always do what you have always done you will always get what you’ve always got (other than when the effective means of delivery changes anyway =P ) But as blogs and passive income are where I have constantly struggled I figured it was high time I learnt some new stuff as the old stuff clearly wasn’t working out.

    I can’t offer people a whole world of knowledge yet but what I can say is that if you have been spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere, press pause on your operations for a bit (not more than a week or two at most, doing nothing will also get you nowhere) and re-educate yourself with articles like this and re-work your tactics where necessary.

  • Awesome post. Nice one Erika. Thanks for sharing Yaro.

  • Hi Yaro, as a newbie oldie I seem to always come back to you as my one mentor. I think it is your transparency and authenticity that shines through. It is both attractive and attracting. I hope there will be closer contact and communication soon. All the best

    • I am glad to be of service Rex!

      Hopefully see you in one of my coaching programs soon.


  • Great post you shared here. I just started a movie site a while back in 2011. First I struggled a lot to get it top rank. I agree with your lines. Fundamentals never change but technology and method of approaching changes.

    So I tried new techniques and own lot success in blogging my site. One has to get update himself upon new trends.

  • There is so much about this article that I found useful and engaging Yaro, but the point that I resonated with most was the focus on conversions not traffic. That is the mindset crucial for income, and that income can come more easily and consistently from a smaller group of loyal followers who also refer, than from numerous hits from fringe tire kickers just clicking around the internet for fun.

    I love that you spoke also about the sophistication of the online audience these days. These are not the same people (in terms of knowledge, experience, insight) as we had online in 2008. It’s all different, and we must be the cream that rises to the top of our niche-niche in order to stand out from the noise.

    Thanks for this overview Yaro!

  • Very impressive post Yaro..
    USP is the only differentiating factor when you are brand and competiting with the brands. Similar product and services are offered by hundreds of companies but how you present and work for usp is important

  • This was very powerful, insightful, and a little overwhelming! So many ideas to think about! However, I am more empowered now to try harder and do better. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the wonderful content!!

  • Hi Yaro,
    You’ve given me some interesting things to think about, and no mistake. At the moment, video plays a supporting role and audio none at all, so I guess I’m going to have to consider repackaging new posts to these delivery methods. It was something that hadn’t occurred to me at all until I found this post. My main problem is that I have a face that is good for radio, a voice best suited to silence and a budget that won’t allow me to remedy either one. However, I guess with practice the voice will improve and the face can be replaced by graphics {grin}.
    The one question I have now, the first one I thought as I started reading your article, is, how to spot the next trend? Everything after that is marketing.

    Steven Lucas

  • Hello Yaro, Thanks for your guideline. Just amazing points you mentions. Thanks for mentions the points. To be honest, i was missing a lot’s of points as a newcomer Blogger. By reading your this article, i just realized. I am going to follow your these steps day by day.


  • Great business post. It’s really cool to see all the trends over time like that

  • Mac

    What an eye opener for a newbie blogger like me:)

  • Great article. Sticking with the basics, Good story, Good Content.

  • i`ve known blogging for money since 2007
    But was stuck at learning seo and quit coz to busy with my real life business
    But now 2015, my real business got broke and I just started a few months ago to learn from scratch again about blogging for money…your article really opens my mindset, I`ve realized this but you describe it at best..thanks Mr.Yaro

  • Great article about the harsh realities of blogging. I started my regional movie reviews site in 2002 and did alright during the ‘golden years’ when just consistently cranking out content was enough to garner solid traffic numbers for the 2% conversion rate to mean something, cash-wise. I’m now in the tough process of overhauling the site for the new reality you’ve outlined, already creating supporting screening listings, as well as relevant video, audio ebook and other product content to extend my brand’s reach across different popular platforms. I think the biggest challenges I’ve faced are changing my old mindset about building email lists and selling advertising space versus social media and adding affiliate ads, and figuring out how to apply them in a smart fashion to grow the site’s income potential within the narrow context of what a regional movie review/reference site can be. The current ersa of adblocker as well as Firefox’s new anti-tracking browser hiding adsense and amazon ads by default doesn’t help either.

  • Hi Yaro

    What a great post this is. Read it three times so far. I have been focussing on content content cont and traffic traffic traffic with the hope of being popular and to be ranked high in the SERPs. Forgetting to focus on building a loyal audience and conversions. But after reading this post am surely going to change my approach.

    Thanks again

  • Hey Yaro,

    You’re exactly right! Yes and Yes! You absolutely have to push your content to its limits these days for it to stand out. Not only do you need to pump it on social media, you need to steroid it by emailing your list and doing RSS. Awesome points. Thanks again, Erik.

  • Wow, how the times have changed! I can remember when every lawyer in the state of Texas was creating two or three blogs and trying to do it in their free time. I guess they realized they simply did not have the time. I have heard that having a blog on a website is helpful but actually becoming a “professional” blogger is a completely different story.

    In the legal industry most lawyers have the delusion they can sit and blog in between cases and work and that simply cannot happen. It is interesting to read your take on the history of this particular niche/industry.


  • Awesome advice. I just started blogging myself, (I wish I had started years ago) and there’s some very helpful information here.

    Thank you!

  • These are certainly stark and sobering insights! I’ve only added some content to my travel blog fairly recently. Travel is certainly a saturated area, but on the flipside I guess it also has broad appeal. This brings me to ponder point 10 – positioning. I have some ideas and some strategies in my head, but will mull over this. Yaro, by providing the authoritative insights that you (and others) do, how much do you think these insights have been responsible for raising market sophistication across the board? Do you think that this creates an ever increasing base standard for success? (notwithstanding the point that you make above that the market is growing). The impression I am left with is that where large amounts of competitive quality content exists (i.e. most fields), it is those that harness the lessons that you (and other experts) provide, in combination with their own original tactical strategies that will prosper. Your thoughts?

  • Wow, it is amazing how things have changed in such a short amount of time. I remember when bloggers were first introduced to the idea of social bookmarking tools and Twitter.

    It is interesting to see how it all goes back to the early days when amazing content was necessary. I guess, in all reality, content has always been the most important, but some people get caught up with all this social media craze.

    Thanks for the great article.

  • Great write up. After lunching my site i went on a marathon link building session and have experience some increase in my site rankings but also notice that my site is not converting very well. I now know why and what i need to do. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Indeed a great post about making money online.

    Nowadays people are getting very much creative and wants to make some extra money from home.

    The topic ” Make money from home ” is very much interesting and people get very much excited when they get to know about it. But people should understand, this isn’t that much easy as they are thinking.

    According to me, Making money through Blogging and affiliate marketing is the best ways among all others explained here.

    But to earn through blogging and affiliate marketing, You must need to work hard with lots of dedication.

    You must have to follow these important steps.

    1. You have to choose a profitable niche from which you can earn by promoting affiliate products.
    2. Build a blog on that niche and provide helpful content to others.
    3. Promote your content among potential readers
    4. Drive traffic to your site and make money through it.

    These are the basic steps you need to take to earn through blogging.

    BTW Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post with us. πŸ˜€

  • Gosh Yaro! This Article is right on the money for me. I made a firm decision that with the new blog that Ive launched I would focus more on converting the traffic that I am getting versus on blogging myself into oblivion trying to getting massive loads of traffic to myself.

    Funny thing is that I created a different blog that gets 100k visitors a month but the conversions are horrible whereas the blog that I launched earlier this year actually makes sales.

    I still have along ways to go but its very encouraging to know that Im on the right track.

    This is an amazing article and one that I will be reading again. Thanks for sharing!

  • I only recently found your blog and I must say I’m glad I did!

    I have been deciding whether to focus on building my site traffic or start putting some effort into building a paid section for the site.

    I agree with you that we should be serving the people who are actually paying us. It goes to show that they value what we provide and that they are people who are willing to invest in themselves.

    I can’t wait to start digging into more of your content πŸ˜€

  • Awesome tips and a good reminder to always have the fundamentals mastered no matter new techniques, tactics or strategies one decides to use in building an audience, generating leads and selling products and customers to a segment of a market or niche they are targeting.

  • […] from one of my FAVORITE bloggers Yaro Starak from Entrepreneurs Journey where he mentioned that Conversions Count MORE than Traffic! […]

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