This week I’m excited to introduce an incredibly inspirational guest post from Russell and Maleah of Unconventional Prosperity. Russell and Maleah make an impressive full-time income from their small blogs, proving that traffic isn’t the be-all and end-all as a blogger.
Whether you already have your own blog or you’re thinking of getting started, this post will help you rethink your monetization strategy and set you on the path to serious affiliate marketing success!
Over to Russell:
My wife and I currently earn between $10,000 and $20,000 per month from our small blogs. Our blogs only receive a combined 30,000 visitors per month which is quite a small audience given the revenue that they generate.
We started blogging four years ago as a way to make some extra money on the side. We certainly didn’t anticipate blogging full-time! Here are some of the many reasons that we love being online entrepreneurs:
- You can work from home and build your own dream business. Spending time with your family is priceless.
- Blogging gives us the freedom to live anywhere and travel whenever we want to. No begging for vacation time!
- Blogging is very fun and a great way to make new friends from all over the world.
- The income potential is unlimited.
Blogging is very hard work, but it can become a passive source of income with the right systems in place. This can free up your time to enjoy life! However, most bloggers continue to work on building their business because the process is fun and satisfying.
Why You Don’t Need Millions of Blog Visitors to Make Money
Many of the top bloggers have millions of visitors a month visiting their websites. It is definitely beneficial to have a massive audience, but it is not required to make a full-time income from a blog.
In this article, I would like to show you how we make 5-figures a month from blogging with an audience in the low thousands, not the millions. We have taken a slightly unconventional approach to our monetization strategy. Most notably we don’t have or use any of the following:
- We don’t have an email list of potential customers.
- We don’t have very many (less than 100) blog subscribers.
- We don’t sell any of our own products.
- We don’t pay for ads or traffic.
- We don’t do sponsored posts.
Hopefully we can give you some ideas for making money from a blog even if you have one that is already generating income for you.
How We Make Money From Our Blogs – Affiliate Marketing
Our main source of income from our blogs is from affiliate commissions. We prefer this method of monetization because the revenue generated per visitor is much higher than on-page ads. It is also a lot more passive than writing sponsored posts.
Affiliate marketing is a simple concept. When a visitor clicks through a special link (provided by the product or service vendor) and buys something then we get a commission for that sale. We promote products that we use and really think have had a positive impact on our lives.
The secret to making $15,000+ with an audience of about 30,000 visitors per month is to promote expensive products and services that really help people. We promote services that sell for $500 to $10,000 each and we are paid 30% – 50% per sale!
People Will Buy Expensive Products
We were so worried that people would not spend thousands of dollars buying products and services. I think this is natural, but it is also entirely wrong! If you find the right audience, they will buy anything that helps them solve a problem – maybe they want to make more money or lose weight.
We started by testing a few high ticket products and we were amazed that we sold several for $10,000! The commission that we received was $3,000 each and since then we have been obsessed with only selling expensive educational products about how to make more money online.
Our Strategy for Finding and Selling High Ticket Products
The two most important aspects of selling expensive products are to ensure that you have the right audience and that the sales funnel is as good as possible. Potential customers will mostly likely purchase an expensive product when they have been ‘courted’ by the company.
They need to see free webinars, receive extensive email follow ups and be given lots of free value before they will buy an expensive product. People really need to trust a company before they are comfortable spending large amounts of their hard-earned cash.
It takes a lot of testing, money and expertise to build a sales funnel that does all of the above and has a high conversion rate. The secret to success is to actually look for and promote products with excellent sales funnels already in place instead of designing your own! Basically we let the companies that own the products do all the hard work in the selling process. All we have to do is send them high quality potential customers (known as leads).
The companies that own the products have way more expertise, money and resources than we do, so we leverage what they have already invested in to sell the product.
We try to find companies and products that have the best sales funnels that fit the following criteria:
- First, we find a product that is very high quality. It must have the potential to change a customer’s life for the better!
- The product that we promote must be expensive (but valuable!). We only want to promote products that can net us thousands of dollars in commissions. We also look for companies that pay 30% minimum affiliate commissions.
- An amazing sales funnel that offer amazing value to the leads that we send. Ideally, we want to be able to advertise a really good free webinar to our audience. Access to the webinar should require an email submission so that the company can follow up with tempting sales offers etc.
When we find a good product, we will usually buy it is we haven’t already used it. This helps us to write reviews about it and be sure that it is a high quality product. We focus on digital courses that teach people how to make money trading stocks. This is a passion of mine and the products are often life-changing and quite expensive.
We also consider things like the popularity of the products, how legitimate the company is, and we focus on products that can be sold year round and will likely be valuable for years to come.
Our Promotional Tactics for Expensive Affiliate Products
We usually write up a comprehensive, honest and accurate review of the product or service that we are promoting. This works well for expensive products because potential buyers really want to read as much as possible about what they are buying before they purchase it. They particularly like to read other people’s thoughts about the product.
Which Traffic Source Works the Best for Us?
We try to get most of our traffic from Google search. This is important because users that are actively searching for reviews on expensive products are much more likely to become a lead and ultimately convert than social media traffic.
We have tested multiple traffic sources from different social media sites. The audience that you are marketing to can have a huge difference on your sales. We have seen drastically different results depending on the products we are promoting.
For example, Twitter traffic is really great for selling stock trading courses (e.g. Jason Bond Picks Trading Course Review) but it is terrible for work-at-home courses. Pinterest is fantastic for selling work-at-home courses for people that want to start a freelance business (e.g. general proofreading).
There articles are not the best written ones that we have. However, the sales from those pages have generated $50,000+ for us in the last few months. Both of those articles have a link to a free webinar near the start of the article that encourages readers to learn some valuable information by signing up for the webinar.
I hope that this article has inspired you to start promoting affiliate products that can make you $2,000 per sale instead of $20! It is much easier than most people think to start selling high quality premium products. If you are struggling to grow you blog traffic and income, then maybe you can try selling high ticket products and skyrocket your affiliate income.
Russell and Maleah
Russell and Maleah own Unconventional Prosperity (a personal finance blog). They reached their goal of financial freedom in their early thirties and like to help other people to do the same.
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2 thoughts on “How We Make $15,000 a Month with a Small Blog [Guest Post]”
Such a great article! Really helpful for small time bloggers.
Thanks for your comment, I found Russell and Maleah’s article so helpful too!