After over five years as a blogger, I am finally starting to think like a business person instead of someone who enjoys writing for free. I just noticed recently how my thinking has changed.
First of all, everybody and their brother thinks they have what it takes to make money on the Internet. To that I say, NO. After five years I can assure you that setting up a website is not your road to riches! It takes a lot more than a creative website to create a business that actually makes enough money to live on. I see it as rather like writing a book. Only about one percent of all authors make any real money, while 99% work hard and receive very little for their efforts.
What it really takes is ALL OF YOUR TIME FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, and even then you probably won’t make enough to live on. Especially if you don’t start thinking strategically. What does that mean? It means thinking about how the offer of links from your successful site to other sites benefits YOU.
For example, yesterday a more popular health site offered me a free post where they would link back to their site. Think about this for a minute. They offered me a free post, which I don’t really need, to get my readers to go check out their site. I responded by saying that I generally charge over $100 for posts with links to commercial sites. The only alternative I could offer was that they post one of my articles with links back to my site. No response.
They are only a business and they get how this works. I am now thinking strategically and see no profit in bringing them more customers, while I get nothing that I need out of this business transaction. I can write as many articles as I need. I don’t need them writing them for me.
This may all seem obvious to you, but I am finally clearly understanding how this works, and in that process I am making some real money on sponsored posts on my sites.
Granted, the payment I now get for sponsored posts isn’t anywhere near what I would need to pay myself for five years of writing, but it has been a great ride!