Don’t worry. You can admit it.
You secretly wish your blog was more than just a hobby.
But it’s costing you more than it earns. And that’s the hallmark of a hobby, not a serious endeavor.
Even if you have no desire to transform your blog into a business, you’d like it to at least pay its way, right?
Because blogging costs are many – web hosting, email lists, domain renewals, social media tools. They all cost money – and every month your blog comes up short.
Of course, you already know one popular option for monetizing your blog – you could create a product. But you just don’t feel ready yet. And besides, creating and promoting a product takes time.
What you need right now is a way to earn a little money from your blog without a ton of work.
Fortunately, a way exists that’s highly effective, requires little ramp-up time, and is used by some of the most respected names on the web.
Many bloggers have heard of it, but for a silly reason completely ignore it…
This is the dream, right?
You get out of bed, stretch, and make some coffee.
You settle in on the couch and start your work day – in your pajamas.
(You’re a professional blogger, so nobody gets to tell you what to wear).
You open your laptop, check your email, and see dozens of notifications: “You’ve Been Issued a Payment.”
Overnight, you’ve made hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars.
Money literally appears in your bank account while you sleep.
And what’s the secret to this coffee-swigging, pajama-wearing lifestyle?
Advertising, of course! Those little ads waiting patiently in your sidebar to earn you money while you whip up your next mochaccino.
Well, prepare yourself for a shock…
Soul-destroying, isn’t it?
You look at popular bloggers.
With thousands of Twitter followers.
Hundreds of blog comments.
And digital products selling like hot cakes. At premium prices too.
Webinar? Sold out.
New infographic? Gone viral.
And then …
You look at your own online presence. A handful of comments. A few hundred Twitter followers. And a faint presence on Google+.
Does it make you feel down? Overwhelmed?
Does earning a living online feel impossible? Like an insurmountable task?
In October 2012, I felt the same way.
Deep down, you know it’s true.
Creating a product is a natural next step for you as a blogger.
(It’s your best chance of making some real money from your blog too.)
But building a product is scary.
Not just because it means putting yourself out there for the world to judge – though that can be pretty terrifying. No, it’s scary because of all the things that can go wrong.
What if you spend hundreds of hours to build your product, and nobody likes it?
What if you invest hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars, and nobody ends up buying?
What if you pour your heart and soul into it, and the handful of customers who do buy end up asking for refunds because they never get the results you promised them?
These fears are more than justified; this is what happens to *most* people who set out to build a product.
But it doesn’t have to be that way…
Ever wondered how much it really costs to run a successful blog?
Get ready for a shock.
I spend $285 per month to run my website and podcast.
(Cue the collective gasp.)
Of course, whether you need to spend that kind of money depends on your goals.
If you’re running a blog purely for fun, you can get most of what you need for free.
But if you’re trying to earn a living from your blog – or if you’re simply serious about building a popular blog – you can’t do it on freebies alone.
Too many bloggers, though, refuse to invest in their efforts at all – even to buy their own domain name – and then wonder why they can’t grow their following or struggle to get taken seriously.
Others sporadically invest in their blogs, but fail to track what they spend, leaving no financial barometer by which to measure their return on investment.
But whatever your goals as a blogger, you’d be smart to get some clarity around what it’ll cost to achieve them.
So here’s the big question:
How much should you spend, and what should you spend your money on?