How do you get a quarter of billion visitors a year?

Matthew Inman. Before I watched this video I didn’t know who he was, but I did know what theoatmeal.com was, as I’m sure you do as well; and if you don’t know check it out!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve watched an interview; I’ve been so busy building my niche site, but when I read the title to that video I had to watch it. I had and idea that theoatmeal.com got a lot of visitors, but WOW! a quarter of a billion? That’s 250,000,000. I’m sure some of you Internet marketers would do anything to get that kind of traffic.

If you asked Inman how he does it, he’d probably say: create awesome comics that people want to read, but you and I know we don’t know even know how to draw stick figures if our life depended on it. So here are some other lessons I learned from this interview that David Siteman did with Matthew.

Create stuff and sell it

Inman said that about 80% of the money the website brings is from the shop and only 20% came from advertising. There’s a lot of stuff you can buy on the site like mugs, stickers, posters, shirts, signed prints and other cool things. He goes to say that the top sellers are the ones that are useful to people. A good example of this would be his grammar pack that has posters such as “When to use i.e. in a sentence,” “How to use a semicolon,” and “10 words you need to stop misspelling.” and he mentions that it’s useful because people can learn from them.

The takeaway here is to create stuff that is educational and interesting at the same time, that can build you 1000 true fans quickly.

You get rich slowly

We take a look at the oatmeal and we see how they’re getting so much traffic in such short time, but we need to realize that for some of us that success will come slowly. People that come to a site won’t buy something on the first visit. As Inman puts it, it’s going to take more than 10 visits for one of these loyal readers to actually purchase something.

It’s our jobs to keep them coming. Yea it’s hard. But you need to have patience and keep them coming even when you’re not seeing traffic growing. You need to keep hustling and not get frustrated because of it. One thing I learned from Corbett is to write epic shit; this turns your readers into evangelists of your blog. Slowly you can get rich.

Keep your eye on the ball

When Inman decided to really focus on creating comics is when his hard work started to pay off. One particular post by Hugh Macloud talks about how you should make art everyday taught me that you should always be, well, creating shit. If you focus on a plan and just follow the plan you can see the results from that investment.

When we analyze the success of theoatmeal.com it keeps taking us back to publishing interesting content that keeps readers coming back for more.

Oh about the quarter of a billion visitors a year and how to get that many, I can’t really tell you, but if you ask Matthew or watch the video at hubspot then you’ll see how he did it; for now I guess I’ll continue putting out posts like these that can guide you there.

 

Two reasons why I think people don’t make money online

I’m really curious to know why people don’t make money online right now; the question just popped into my head and I figured this would be a useful post for some of you.

The reason I think I can talk about this is because I myself struggled to make a dime when I first got started. I tried everything out there. Which was actually one of the reasons why I didn’t make a penny for the longest time.

It all starts when you read a book or ebook or maybe a post about how to make money online. Then you either keep looking around the web for other resources. Eventually you say to yourself, “Shit, they’re all saying the same shit,” and you go and buy that $47 product that promises to have the secret.

You read through everything or watch the videos, and still you say, “But it’s the same shit that the other guy said for free.” Yup, that’s how it all goes, and so you then realize you’ve been reading all the right stuff, but you haven’t really been applying anything. You decide to buy a domain name and start blogging about how you’re going to make passive income.

A few months later you know a ton of marketing and blogging information and you decide since this whole affiliate marketing thing isn’t working why not try selling my services. That doesn’t work either. Still months or maybe even a year has passed and you haven’t made a penny online. Why? Why is it that people don’t make money online?

They lack the mentoring or knowledge

Ask yourself this: “Would I build a house without the necessary tools or knowledge?” Hell no! Well, why would you go and build a business or blog without first acquiring some knowledge about it and finding a mentor or joining a beginners course?

When I first got into this business I was all over the place, as I sorta explained in the beginning. There are so many ways you can monetize a site, it’s crazy. Everyday someone figures some crazy way to do it. I tried making blogspot adsense sites at first; I tried writing for sites like infobarrel about stuff I didn’t know shit about, and ehow, squidoo and all those web 2.0 sites. I was crazy enough to try cash gifting, which I regret immensely, but if it wasn’t for that, I would’ve never learned how to earn money online legitimately.

Anytime I receive emails from people asking me what would I do if I was just a newbie and I didn’t know anything about Internet marketing, blogging or niche sites, I tell them to just join some kind of mastermind course. It’s better because at least you get the basics and you have a foundation to go from, when you’re done with it. Unlike reading a new post in some site where everyday a blogger or whatever talks about a different idea and you’re trying to do a new thing everyday.

They don’t have the right tools

When I change the brakes on my car I need certain tools and materials to get the job done. For example: I need a jack, wrenches, brake pads, gloves, hammer, and some other tools I can remember, but I think you get the point. What tools are you using? None? Seriously, you gotta be using something. I’m not trying to say that tools are extremely important, but they are a piece to the puzzle of earning more online.

A tool is only intended to simplify, make more efficient, or provide additional functionality in your journey to earning money online.

What about you?

What do you think is the problem and how can we help those that are struggling? Do you think everything is a scam?

If not, what tools, bloggers, resources have help you succeed in your journey as an Internet marketer?

Oh don’t forget to share this post on Twitter. I appreciate it a lot if you do.

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Passive Panda Just Posted a Valuable Post Again (Go Get It!)

I just had to share this with you guys, I went over to one of my favorite sites–PassivePanda.com and found a sweet post, well it’s more than just a post.

In the post there’s a link you’ll have to share if you get the resources he’s basically giving out for free, if you share the link. C’mon guys it’s just a tweet, and it might even help you make more moneyyyyyyyyyy!

Okay that’s enough of me, don’t waste time reading stuff here now, just go get it.

Here’s the link to his website Passive Panda

Starting from Zero

Over the last two years my passion for tech has increased massively, and so has my knowledge of it. I love it!

When I first set up my WordPress blog, I felt smart as hell. I mean, c’mon really, how many people out there still need help setting up their email? Setting up a WordPress might seem easy for us techies/marketers/lifestyle designers/….okay I’m kidding I’m not all that.

God… I feel like I’m bragging and you’re not going to keep reading this post.

Believe me, I’m just writing from the heart. I’ve been reading this awesome book about drawing and another one about writing and they’ve inspired me in many different ways. I think anyone who reads them would enjoy them. Check them out: ‘Bird by Bird’ and “How To Draw Better.”

One thing I wish I was better at is with webdesign and programming. I know that if you want to learn anything you need to put the effort and really enjoy it. I can tell the people that enjoy what they do. A good example are those ninja’s at Hostgator (aff. link) or maybe those guys at Rackspace hosting; I haven’t hosted any site with them, I just hear they’re awesome. Anytime I mess with the code on my site, I just hit the chat with my people at Hostgator and I’m good. But I want to change that.

Or maybe not all that, I just want to be good at something else. Not just selling. We all know how you and I both hate salespeople, nothing against salespeople that love what they sell though. You others, sorry; yea you know who you are, find a product you like and believe in.

So why the new crave for learning?

I’ve always like learning new stuff and doing new things. I’ve probably had too many jobs in my life; I don’t regret any of them. As much as I hated selling vacuums I don’t regret it. They’ve all taught me something. The reason for the new crave, I say, it’s just me. I love it. I like challenges, and it’s only human. Why do you think there are so many How-to posts out there?

People want to know everything. I just had a thought as we speak and I went and looked it up. Like what’s a Weblog client? I had no idea such thing existed. There you go, now I know a little bit more about WP than I did before.

So this whole new crave I’ve realized is not just for me but FOR YOU! I want to learn these things more so I can teach it to others better. I get a lot of questions in my email inbox about blogging, affiliate marketing and all that good ol’ online business stuff.

Most of the times I just send them to my peers and let them explain how to do-what it is they want to do.

What’s your learning crave, what do you want to learn? and Why? Share it in the comments. What do your readers want to know if you’re a blogger?

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4 Ways to Light a Fire Under Your Blogging Butt

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”  ~Japanese Proverb

In 2010, I began blogging at wilsonusman.com with no set goals in mind. If you look back at the posts from the beginning, they are not pieces to be proud of. But what really mattered was that I was excited about having a blog and the ability to connect with like-minded people.

But obviously, like happens to most of us, all the fire I had at first started to burn off. Eventually I started realizing that what I was writing about was rehash stuff other well known bloggers had talked about, with more specifics. I didn’t have the authority to be talking about how to do this and do that; at least in those day I didn’t.

Quickly I learned that earning money blogging wan’t going to be that easy either. I believed that within months I’d have more than my sister and girlfriend reading my blog posts.

It wasn’t until I realized later that the main issue started way before I began blogging here (keep reading). Many times, thoughts crossed my mind about “Stop blogging and just focus on the niche-sites,” but that quote kept me going.

You might think that the lack of income from the blog was what caused me to lose that fire that was burning, but actually it wasn’t.

If you’ve lost the motivation for blogging that you had the first day you put up the shittiest blog post with the best excitiment in the world, I’m going to show you what helped me. These aren’t new ideas, they’re just ideas worth sharing with you, and since Dan Pink is one of my favorite authors I figured why not.

After reading his book. Drive, I’ve learned the science of what motivates you and me. I think I’ve watched this video more than 20 times, it’s that good.

Keep Doing and Learning New Things

The one thing I love about blogging is exactly this, you’re always learning something new, sometimes–too much. When you’re new, you need to learn to buy your domain name, get hosting, and later install your CMS/WordPress. And yea get a theme, install plugins, and on and on…but the more we practice each part it become a piece of cake for some of us.

These challenges at first are what keeps us going at first. It’s what kept me interested and up until midnight figuring out how to do it.

What milestones have you set lately for your blog?

  • How many guest posts have you written?
  • Did you connect with any people on Facebook or Twitter today? (I mean REALLY had a conversation!)
  • How many hours, days, weeks did you put into that last post?
  • Example: Are you working on that eBook you promised? (This one is my own)

Put a challenge on your blog, or set an hour to write a long list of challenges that you can make for the month of February.

Find Your Audience and Connect with them

The way that Dan Pink made me understand this is, we humans like to belong to something. It’s actually one of the strongest desires of us, humans. Why do you think Facebook, Twitter and all those social networking sites have become so successful?

We spend millions on xbox live memberships and we go to sports events because it’s what we desire.

I’m aware that I don’t get a huge amount of comments or get mentioned around the web like other successful well know bloggers yet, but I keep up with people with similar interest on my community, you can too. Use Twitter or send someone you think you share similar opinions an email and make a friend.

If you just wait for them to contact you and say hi, you’ll be waiting all your life. By staying in contact with these folks you can begin conversations that inspire you to go and write an awesome post. I see all the time bloggers saying things like “wow, awesome chat with X gonna write a post on this”

Don’t set Huge Goals

Don’t believe me? Set a goal to make a million bucks in the next month, okay I’ll be fair, how about in the next year? If you’re like me, you would not know where the heck to even start right? Let me ask you this…what number comes before 2? Got it yet? Okay it’s 1.

My point is you need to focus on the main things first. How about if I said make a goal of making an extra $5 online by next month. I bet you could figure that out. You just go to eBay and sell an air guitar. Okay that’s too easy, don’t set goals too small.

You hear of people making six-figures with a click of a button with their huge list of subscribers. It very easy to get discouraged when you set similar goals and shit doesn’t happen. Don’t make this mistake.

Check out how you may change your behaviors to achieve what  you want by clicking behavior wizard.

Find the Barriers and Pebbles in Your Way

So none of the latter are your problem? This is last tip that could light up a fire under your arse so big, you’ll have third degree burns on your arse. (Warning:don’t try this at home)

Somewhere I once read that to stop a problem you need to get to the bottom of it. This might not be the easiest tip to apply because you can easily misjudge the real reason of why you might not be as motivated. But you don’t lose nothing by testing out reason why the problem might be.

At first, I thought the reasons for losing the motivation was the lack of money coming in, but the reality was that I wasn’t being part of the community and I wasn’t challenging myself.

Typical problems I had as a blogger:

  • Writer’s block
  • Experience in topic
  • The time they put into their work
  • How much money they’re making vs. time spent (ROI)

If you find the problem you then can develop a solution. There’s a solution for everything.

Say you don’t have many friends on twitter. Okay simple, just go ahead and @reply some people on twitter that are in your same niche. I don’t know, ask them a question, ask for help, or just say hi and complement them on their site; be genuine though.

Until you’re sure that there’s not the solution to get a fire under your butt the size of a California fire burning again to get your blog back to those first days, don’t give up. If there’s nothing you believe that can be done, it’s time to move on to better, bigger things.