Want to know what separates full-time bloggers from the thousands of mere mortals that earn next to nothing for their efforts? I know I did. That’s why I picked up Blogging Tips: Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger by Zac Johnson to get an insider’s perspective on the tips, tricks, and hidden-strategies used by professional bloggers to build an audience and make real money blogging online.
Unlike a lot of authors that have next to no experience building a blog from scratch, Johnson has a well-documented track record in online marketing making him a qualified subject matter expert on the topic of blogging. Johnson owns numerous blogs, including BloggingTips.com and ZacJohnson.com. More recently he co-launched Bloggers.org, a website that connects bloggers with content writers.
Is This Book For You?
If you’re looking for an overnight way to make money blogging or a magic process that if taken regularly will take your blog from zero to hero in three simple steps this is not the e-book for you. Johnson makes it very clear in chapter one that blogging is not a plan for quick riches.
With that being said there is the opportunity to build a real business with very little in terms of monetary barriers to entry. But just because you’re not paying much money upfront to get started doesn’t mean you won’t need to pay your dues. You’ll need to invest a serious amounts of time and effort creating content and promoting your blog.
The Journey from Child Prodigy to Business Man
After establishing realistic expectations about the commitment level required to operate a blog, Johnson provides his take on how the online marketing landscape has changed over the past 10+ years. In addition to providing a general history of the internet, Johnson shares real-life experiences coming up in the industry and his personal transition from “18-year-old child prodigy” to the successful entrepreneur that he is today.
From High-Level Strategy to Specific Tactics
After describing the lay of the online landscape, Johnson switches the content of his book from high-level instruction to tactical information that every serious blogger needs to know: outlining specifically the combination of products you’ll need familiarity with to operate a successful blog, the different channels blogs use to generate income (like selling ad space, affiliate sales, or using Adsense). Finally, Johnson shares two of his favorite ways to drive traffic to a blog by way of guest posting and social media participation.
Johnson dedicates a full chapter to the topic of guest blogging as a form of blog promotion and prefers this form of online promotion above just about everything else for the following reasons:
1.) High Traffic Potential: Once a major blog sent over 100,000 visits to Johnson’s blog through just one published guest post.
2.) Permanent: Unlike paid advertising, guest blog posts will remain on a website indefinitely (as long as the blog remains online of course).
3.) Shareable: People won’t share a banner ad or other forms of advertising across social media, but they will do that for a guest post. This creates the opportunity for any contribution to go viral.
The second form of promotion Johnson advocates in his book is to market in social media. Some of the key differentiators that I recognized with Johnson’s social media advice is that he doesn’t recommend joining every social media website ever created. Johnson recommends focusing your effort on the major players being Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ right now.
Other unique social media recommendations that Johnson makes is to really make your brand stand out within social media and keep that branding consistent across all social profiles. This is an extremely simple way that you can make your account profiles much more memorable. Don’t think you can afford a professional social profile design? Think again. Services like LogoNerds.com will produce high-quality, unique profiles for a flat fee of $27. They’ll even provide one free revision of the social media design based on your feedback. You’d be hard pressed to find a better value than this anywhere online.
The Bottom Line
Blogging Tips: Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger is a fast read that serves as a no-hype guide to building and profiting from blogging. If you’re interested in the idea of publishing content online, but don’t understand how blogs actually make money this book can serve as the foundation for getting started.
The book also approaches the harsh reality of blogging head on. Blogging is time consuming. The majority of folks that read this book will never become professional bloggers and that you’ve really got to be realistic with yourself whether or not you have the willpower to write about a certain topic for month’s straight… even years. These are important questions that aspiring bloggers need to ask themselves before making an attempt at professional blogging.
Advanced Reader Warning: If you’re an intermediate to advanced stage blogger you probably won’t find much in terms of “new” information here within the pages of this guide you haven’t read before. Learning how to take advantage of the latest and greatest top-secret blogging techniques are not really the point of this book. This is a no-frills guide to building an managing a blog.