I have seen so many bloggers who depend on the income from Google Adsense and they claim that it’s hard to live life by depending on the blogging income.
They are right.
It’s hard to earn a decent income from Adsense unless the blog is hitting millions of traffic every month.
Displaying Ads is meant for news, media and entertainment type businesses. They have a huge volume of readers.
Selling Ads is their business.
We may not have huge volumes on our blog but we can serve a micro-niche audience to solve their problems.
I have a few things to share with you from my personal experience.
Learning From Initial Business Failures
I have been on the business side in my two startups. The first startup was B2B ERP solution for the schools and second was a mobile app for science students. Both startups failed for different reasons but I learned a lot about running a B2B and B2C company.
- You must solve a problem for which the customer is willing to pay
- You need a team of executors
- You need funding to hire Developer, Designer and Sales/Marketer guy
- You need a game plan (let’s say 6-month plan)
- Be prepared to feel the heat of failures in the initial attempts
- Mentors can accelerate your success
Most of the businesses fail because they provide the solution to imaginary problems. The self-created illusions of novice entrepreneurs.
I was also one of those entrepreneurs, fascinated by my idea that schools need an ERP solution for managing their day to day operations. We built the software and sold to a few schools when we started in 2013. But we could not scale because most of the schools were not interested in a better school management software.
The market seems big but the reality was something else. The real problem of schools is making more profit per student that we could not solve with ERP.
By the time we understood the real problem of our customer, we burnt all our money in product development and operations.
The worst part, we, the co-founders, wanted to run the company in two different directions. The conflicts became so intense that I gave up and handed over everything to my co-founder.
It was a failure of my startup but I came out stronger. I learned the most important lessons of business that I would not have learned from a business school.
The essential element of the business, the meat in the loaf, the cake under the icing – is understanding the problems of your customer and solving before your competitor does.
How I Applied My Learnings in Running a Blogging Business
#1. Idea Validation
If you want to run a product startup, then build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to validate your idea. Build your audience slowly as you improve your product.
If you want to run a blog, then build MVB (Minimum Viable Blog) to validate your idea.
- Write 5 articles on your blog
- Find 100 people for whom the content is relevant
- Ask them to leave a comment on your blog to validate if your content is solving their problem
- Invite them in a group to keep your interactions going
- Ask them email-id to take the feedback on your next article
The whole focus is to validate the idea of your blog.
#2. Traffic Source
A startup guy needs to find a channel to get customers. Similarly, a blogger finds at least one organic channel for the acquisition of readers.
Facebook and Google are top two sources of website visitors but you should try at least 10 channels to find the best for you.
Try social media and discussion platforms to generate initial traffic on your blog
- Facebook Groups
- Niche Discussion Forums
- Guest Blogging
Keep trying until you find one platform working for you well.
#3. Customer Retention
Product startups often struggle with leaky bucket problem, means they find new customer and lose the old customer. If the incoming & outgoing rate is same then guess what – You are not growing.
For bloggers, if your visitors are leaving after reading just one article then you have a leaky bucket.
Check your bounce rate in Google Analytics. You should maintain bounce rate less than 70%. Try to retain your customers on your blog for a longer time.
#4. Customer Qualification
Website Traffic or app download numbers are not the indicators that you have real customers who can pay in the future. Product guys have to qualify their customer before sending them a sales pitch.
As a blogger, you should also qualify your readers. Identify who can pay you for your product/service. That’s how you will make money from your blog.
Not all product startups make money. But all blogs make money even if it’s small.
Adsense is the easiest but the least profitable way. Selling your own product & services is the best way.
Affiliate marketing is the middle path.
You can become innovative and figure out ways to make sales happen through your blog.
Leave your thoughts in the comments section.