How many times have you had someone try to sell you the ‘magic formula’ that would instantly take your blog to massive success?
How many gurus have you landed into that sell the dream, tricking you into believing that online success is as easy as buying their (ridiculously priced) program?
Unfortunately, you can’t have it all.
When it comes down to achieving blogging success, it comes down to this:
You can have it good, you can have it fast, or you can have it cheap – but you can only have two of the three.
This means any way you go about it, you have to make choices, and you have to make sacrifices.
Let’s over each one of these combinations so you can decide which will fit your style the best.
Fast And Cheap
Let’s talk about this one first, because it’s drastically different than the others. Any strategy that doesn’t prioritize quality isn’t sustainable over the long term.
I call this the ‘churn and burn’ strategy.
This strategy more often than not involves unethical / blackhat marketing and the entire goal of it is to get as much out of it before your business implodes on itself.
Buying backlinks to get spam sites on the front page of Google’s rankings for a short period of time is an example of this strategy. Hammering low quality email lists with spam offers is another.
You can imagine that this tends to be relatively ineffective and certainly can’t last.
From time to time a number of legitimate opportunities can arise using this strategy, but your income will remain fairly inconsistent without much sustained growth, and you always have to be looking for the next opportunity.
Maybe this can be a decent way to make some quick cash, but if you’re serious about building a business I wouldn’t recommend it.
Good And Cheap
Cheap doesn’t have to equate with bad – but understand that everything worth having comes at a price. If you don’t have money to pay, this is likely going to end up being your time.
This is the way most new bloggers go about it and it is a solid strategy. The ‘good and cheap’ strategy involves you building free, long-term traffic sources that grow over time.
Your goal here is to retain as many people as possible by encouraging them to sign up to your email list. Even if only a small number of people visit your site each day, but you’re able to retain a tiny percentage of them, your traffic is guaranteed to grow over time.
Best of all, your numbers will likely grow exponentially as your resources start compounding. More people talking about your site, sharing your content, and linking to you leads to even more traffic, and the cycle continues.
When employing this strategy, you’ve got to understand that the first year is the hardest. It’s earliest on when you’re doing the most amount of work for the least amount of reward, and many people tend to give up early on as a result.
Later on, bloggers using this strategy tend to invest in tools that directly influence their bottom-line, but often fail to invest in rapid-growth marketing channels.
Good And Fast
You’ve got to have guts to choose this option, and know exactly what you’re doing. Otherwise, it’s possible to lose a lot of money very quickly.
Using this option, lots of investments are made up-front before you’re even pulling in revenue, and even when marketing you may be at a loss for a while until you figure things out.
Fortunately, this is the best option for building a profitable business quickly if you can weather the storm.
Outsourcing writing, pay-per-click advertising, premium tools, plugins, and themes, and more go into the ‘good and fast’ strategy.
Needless to say, you’ve got to shell out a lot of money – at least a lot more than you would with the other two options. And chances are, you’re going to be unprofitable for a while.
This is the strategy I’m taking with my new brand, which is utilizing blogging to drive sales and increase brand awareness.
It’s too early to tell how it’s going to turn out, but progress is being made far quicker than I would have ever been able to do it by myself and the future looks bright.
After all, I don’t set out to compete – I set out to dominate. And if you want to get ahead of everyone else, you’ve got to do things they won’t do.
Which One Of These Strategies Is Best?
I hate to say it, but it depends.
If you’re serious about building a real, long-term business it’s very important that you prioritize quality, sustainability, and consistent growth.
However, throwing too much into an idea too quickly can be dangerous if you aren’t able to make it work.
My advice to most people would be this: start out good and cheap. This will force you to learn how to actually market your work from scratch and teach you good business and financial habits.
As you grow more and more, reinvest as much of your earnings as you possibly can back into your blog to skyrocket growth even more quickly.
Over time, this will compound, and spending large amounts of money won’t be a problem because you’ll be bringing even more in.
When you have a cash cushion to work with, you can branch out and expand into new areas, or even come out with a new business entirely if you have the resources to do so.
And that time, you can open the flood gates right from the beginning and pour money into it, because you have that steady stream to rely on if things go south.
What About You?
Which one of these strategies have you (or are planning to) employ? How has that worked out for you?
Looking back, how would you have done things differently?
In any case, find your strategy, stick to it, and quit looking for the magic solution – because it does not, and will not ever exist.
– James McAllister