Lots of bloggers start out blogs of their own to document and share their stories of online success and marketing. This is one of the driving forces for why I started my own blog at ZacJohnson.com. Today we have an interview with Chris Guthrie who has a blog at MakeMoneyOnTheInternet.com which covers all of his internet marketing tactics such as making money with Amazon’s affiliate program, buying and selling blogs and much more.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
Hey, I’m Chris Guthrie and run the blog MakeMoneyontheInternet.com. I started that blog because of the extra free time I knew I was going to have. Back in 2009 I was making thousands of dollars a month from the websites I built in the extra hours after work and when I left my day job I wanted to write about what I was learning on a blog sharing my experiences.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
On my blog I share case studies with real numbers for things that I’ve successfully done to make money online. So for example I sold one of my websites in a six figure deal so I wrote about that. I wrote 20 tips I learned while making over $90,000 in commissions from Amazon and more recently I showed an example website I bought for $4,000 that I was able to pay off in under 7 months (and has now more than doubled the earnings I first paid for it). Additionally I interview other internet entrepreneurs that are building businesses and earning a living online. I only ever picked this niche because I was making a full time living from my websites by working less than full time hours so I wanted to start a blog so I could share what I was learning.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
I have a bunch of websites in my portfolio but for this blog I monetize primarily through my email list by selling products related to areas that I have expertise in or with software designed to help people save time. For example, finding guest blogs to post on is normally a manually process so I built software that helps to find blogs that accept guest posts more automatically: Guest Post Hunter
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
One of my first glimpses into blogging and the money that can be made from it came from John Chows blog way back in like 2007. What I wish I knew then that I know now, is that there is an absolute TON of money to be made outside the relatively small niche of talking about online business like I do on my blog. As in, I’ve met people that have sold their blogs for 7+ figures and I know of others doing $200k+ net per month from their blogs in niches that you just wouldn’t think there is a ton of money in.
So ultimately my biggest suggestion is don’t get into the niche of online business. It’s easy to see that because so many people talk about the money they make but even at $10k per month for instance – reaching the popular “six figure” mark in business blogging – that is relatively little compared to what else is out there.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
I actually don’t spend a ton of time reading other marketing blogs. I’m a firm believer in taking what you know and putting it into action and if you’re just reading blogs but not doing anything with the information then there’s little chance you’ll be able to take what you’ve been reading and profit from it. If you want to read about how I’m making money doing all kinds of stuff that’s great, but I share the info on my blog so that you will take action with the information I’ve shared. With that said about the only blog I visit daily is joystiq.com so I can read about video gaming news when my mind gets tired of working on something (it’s hard to stay on task while working from home)
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
I’m a big fan of just the plain old Google Adwords Keyword Tool if you don’t have a lot of money. Beyond that I use a variety of premium plugins on my WordPress sites like EasyAzon (my creation) and others that help with saving time or making something automatic that’s normally manual.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Pick a niche that you’re interested in, that you have existing knowledge about and that has the potential to make money. I see far too many people starting blogs about earning money online when they’ve never earned any money online. Perhaps people like me are partly to blame for sharing income results etc. but the whole blogging / make money online niche as a whole is incredibly small when compared to the opportunities outside the space. I have friends and acquaintances making 7 figures a year in “boring” niches.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
If you’re starting a blog and entering a competitive market (they’re all competitive, but some more than others of course) and you aren’t significantly different than the incumbents (in a meaningful way to your target reader) your chances of success are much lower. No one needs to read the same blog, written in the same style about the same topics everyone else is covering.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I’d only spend money on a domain name and hosting (themes and plugins etc. as well though too). When you’re first starting out though you don’t really need any money to grow a blog. You should just be focusing on how to get traffic to your blog and one of the best ways of doing that is by positioning yourself in the market differently than the other bloggers are.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you? (social/blog urls)
Thanks again Chris for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.