Do you know what would be nice?
Launching a blog and every post going viral…
Or maybe starting a YouTube channel and becoming an instant hit!
As a blogger and digital marketer, whatever you start, you hope it’ll take off, right?
Well in this post, I’m going to share a story of my failed attempt as a blogger and how I plan to redeem myself by building a blog empire.
What’s a blog empire, you ask? Keep reading…
I’ll explain my definition of a blog empire, who else has built them and how you can learn more about blogging and building a blog empire yourself.
Let’s get straight into it!
Table of Contents
What Do I Mean by a Blog?
First off, let me define what I mean by a blog.
Many people think of a blog as a small online diary or someone sharing what they had for dinner… Or when an offline business announces that they’re moving their office to a different location.
Yes, these types of blogs might work, if they already have an audience or following.
The type of blog I’m talking about though is a business in itself. A content business.
A successful blog these days must consist of the following criteria:
- Focus on a niche market
- Provide high quality content
- Educate people or provide value in some way
- Monetize their traffic with either ads, affiliate marketing, a service or product
In a nutshell, when a blog focuses on providing value through content, builds a community of followers and helps people solve their problems, it builds a foundation of a solid business that will earn revenue for the business to continue helping people achieve their goals.
It’s a win, win situation.
What Do I Mean by Blog Empire?
Secondly, lets clear up this “blog empire” mararky.
It’s simple really…
If you were to think of a business empire, you would think of multiple businesses owned by the same corporation.
Same goes for a Blog Empire.
Simply put, the way I define a blog empire is more than one blog, owned by the same person or company.
What I don’t mean is starting 10 blogs all at once (which many of us have done before, myself included), far from it.
What I mean is start one blog at a time to the point where it’s working for itself so you’re able to start a new one. The whole point I’m trying to make when focusing on building a blog empire is to help you think of the bigger picture.
When you start something with the end in mind, you open the possibility of creating something that makes a difference. It inspires you to create something to the best of your ability while motivating you to stay the course and achieve something bigger than what you first set out to do.
When Richard Branson first started Virgin Megastores, do you think he thought, “I’ll just see if I can sell a bunch of CD’s to make some extra money on the side”?
Of course he didn’t!
He had a vision of building the biggest music retail store in the world and then some. It’s very possible that before he even started that company he was thinking that someday he will own an airline company. He started off small but his vision was huge.
How I Failed at Building a Blog Empire
Not many people know that I actually started building my blog empire 7 years ago.
That’s because I failed at it miserably!
I set up a bunch of crappy content websites, sold a couple of them and bought some more. I monetized them with ads and started making some money.
It took a long time to figure all this out to actually see some money coming in, but then Google penalized all my sites AND my Google Adsense account got banned.
Luckily, I wasn’t making that much money which leads me to the other reason I was doomed to fail… FEAR!
I didn’t realise this at the time but commiting myself to any one thing 7 years ago was never going to happen. That’s because I was completely fearful of the outcome.
I had ideas flowing out of my brain left, right and center. I was taking advice from every Tom, Dick and Harry in the industry and allowing information overload to justify my poor efforts in taking action.
I felt burnt out and overwhelmed and just when I thought about giving up, I started to see some traction.
Even if I hadn’t received the bad news from Google, I wouldn’t have achieved much with what I had. I was a one night wonder, a dabbler, trying to find a quick fix. The desire to help people wasn’t a priority, it was all about chasing the money.
The wake up call from Google was a blessing in disguise, but it still took a few years to realise this.
Nowadays, the way I think about building a successful business is completely different. To me, it’s all about providing value first. I believe that if you help people first, they’re more likely to come back to you and pay you for your expertise, product or service later.
Why Am I Building a Blog Empire Now?
The answer to this question is three-fold…
- To redeem myself
- I don’t like starting something and not finishing it
- It’s a great business model
There was a good reason why I chose to get into blogging all those years ago and it’s because it’s a great business model. I saw a huge trend back then with many people making money online with amazon affiliate sites or niche sites as some people refer to them.
And the popularity in these type websites is stronger than ever.
- There’s minimal upfront cost
- Skills required can be easily learned or outsourced
- It’s how a lot of successful businesses start out these days
- Can help you define your niche
- You’re building an asset
- It’s scalable
[su_note radius=”0″]Reccommened Book: Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses[/su_note]
Minimal upfront cost – Anyone can start a blog using WordPress for the cost of a domain name and web hosting. So, for as low as $50 per year, you can start blogging about something you’re interested in and build a following of like-minded people who you can gain trust with to guide them through the journey that you’ve gone through.
For example: Even if you don’t have a particular skill like video production or you aren’t a qualified personal trainer, as long as it’s something you’re interested in learning more about or have had some success with, you can share that journey or experience in the form of content and people will follow you.
Define your niche/offer – Even if you’re not sure how to monetize what you’re interested in, when you create content that builds an audience, you can utilise this by asking your audience what they want, which can help you define your offer.
When you publish articles on the internet, they have the potential to reach millions of people. Yes, you have to promote them and follow a structured content strategy but these are skills you can learn (or outsource) that can grow your online business expotentially.
You’re building an asset – As we’re living in the digital age, assets are no longer limited to material things like property. Instead of buying a house for $250,000, you can start a blog for $50, create content that attracts visitors and monetize the traffic with ads, affiliate promotions or selling your own product.
This means that every single piece of content you publish is an asset that can potentially earn you money for as long as it’s online.
Here’s an analogy – Your blog is a block of apartments and each apartment is a blog post and your tenants are the blog visitors. The visitors pay rent by clicking on ads or buying products from retailers you promote (or your own product).
Scalability – A blogging business is scallable in multiple ways. Firstly, articles that you publish can be analysed to see which one’s are performing well. This means that you’ll have a better idea of what your visitors like to read so you can focus on creating more of what people like.
Secondly, content can be outsourced so your time isn’t taken up by endless hours of writting all the articles yourself.
And thirdly, a lot of marketing and and repeated tasks can be automated, for example: Growing an email list and directing them back to your blog can all be working in the background while you spend time coming up with new content ideas and hiring writers.
It’s for these exact reasons why I believe starting a blog to be a great business to get into but also a fundamental part of any business who wants to get more exposure and generate more sales online.
What I’m Expecting to Achieve With My Blog Empire?
Aside from building a successful online business and providing value to my readers, my main goal for the blog empire is to hit a certain amount of income on a consistent, monthly basis.
The initial goal is to make blogging full time, so that I can focus wholeheartedly on my blogs.
I’m aiming for $2,000 per month, which will be enough for me to live off. My outgoings are very low because I like living frugally.
If I reach this figure with just one blog though, I won’t be stopping there.
I have a number of ideas for blogs in different niches and I’d like to build them up to at least $1,000 per month each. This gives me a good ballpark figure which will enable me to outsource content for each blog I create so that I can keep growing them without having to spend much time on that part of the business.
At this point I’ll be able to spend less time on this business model and start focussing on other projects.
Yes, I do intend to work on other business models. These include buying established websites and improving them in some way, growing the audience and sales and then flipping them for profit.
I’m also interested in building an eCommerce brand or Amazon FBA business, or both 😉
You maybe asking why would I want to do all this…?
And the simple answer is because I have a passion for entrepreneurship and marketing.
Digital marketing to me is like the biggest and best MMO game to ever exsist! As a web developer, I’ve had the experience in being involved with helping other entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground and now I want to focus my attention on doing that for me.
I plan on sharing my whole journey right here on this blog.
What Blog Empires Already Exists and Who Owns Them?
There are tonnes of digital publishers out there who own these blog empires. A few that come to mind are listed below:
- Lifewire.com, Verywell.com and TheSpruce.com are all owned by Dotdash.com
- Livestrong.com, Cuteness.com and Techwalla.com are all owned by LeafGroup.com
- WPBeginner.com and List25.com are owned by AwesomeMotive.com (aka, Syed Balkhi)
- MakeupTutorials.com, DIYProjects.com, SurvivalLife.com and Sewing.com are all owned by DigitalMarketer.com (they own so many others)
- Woorkup.com and NoGluten.io are owned by Brian Jackson
There’s so many more, I could write a 5,000+ word article on the subject… Maybe I will one day!
MAYBE, I’ll be on a list like this one day?!
Where and Who Can I Learn From About Building a Blogging Business?
Here are several guys I follow in the blogging space. I’ve followed some of these guys for years and many of them have been a huge inspiration to me.
I’ve included articles to each of their sites so you can learn more about the process of building highly successful blogs and maybe one day you’ll be creating a blog empire yourself.
Tung Tran of Cloud Living
Tung teaches people how to create affiliate websites and shares case studdies on his own projects like his famous $10k Challenge. He also writes about SEO, blog optimization and reviews some of the leading tools in the blogging industry.
Recommended reading: How to Find a Profitable Niche for Your Blog
Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits
I’ve been a fan of Spencer’s site for quite some time, it was one of the first sites I started reading about making money online and followed along with Niche Site Project 1. Spencer has gotten into many other business models which I’ve found interesting and paid close attention to the success he’s had with these. He continues to share his in depth case studies and niche site processes, guest intervews on his podcast and keyword research.
Chris Lee of RankXL
I like Chris’ style of writing because it motivates me to take action. He shares unique ideas, blogging case studies and SEO best practices.
Recommended reading: How to Choose The Perfect, Brandable Blog Name by Chris Lee of RankXL
Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger
The content that Jon writes is second to none, I can’t remember how many times I’ve found myself reading his blog posts for hours at a time. It’s inspiring stuff! His content includes copywriting, affiliate marketing and blog traffic.
Recommended reading: How to Make Money Blogging
Gael and Mark of Authority Hacker
The guys over at Authority Hacker dive deep into how to create high quality content websites, aka authority sites. They produce comprehensive reviews on the best tools, blog optimisation tips, SEO and content creation.
Recommended reading: 11 Real Life Examples Of Successful Affiliate Website: In Depth Analysis
Dom Wells of Human Proof Designs
Dom and his team at Human Proof Designs create done for you niche affiliate sites that come with everything you need to start your blogging business. They also write content about growing your blog, how to hire VA’s and SEO tips.
Recommended reading: 5 Quick Ways To Use Email With Your Amazon Niche Sites
Watch this space 😀
I’ll be sharing some of the strategies I find useful in the near future and hopefully some successful case studies as well. In the meantime, i’ll be writing about other topics of interest such as web development, WordPress tips, web design and web tutorials for the modern entrepreneur.