“Stop saying blogging is easy” – Mike
Today’s guest has blogged about vacuums, electric car conversions, pilot’s licenses, and finance. He has gone straight from long-haul trucker to marketing manager (how on Earth?).
Today I’m thrilled to speak with Mike G from Ninja Budgeter.
Mike’s backstory is so dang intriguing, and what he has to say about commitment (and focus and perseverance) NEEDS to be heard by bloggers.
We also chat about…
- MAKING a commitment for X years (or months)
- The daily SLOG/GRIND is where the money and success is 🙂
- Should you blog about blogging? Or “stick to your guns?”
- How to get your first sponsorship – we talk A LOT about pitching people…
- and more.
Seriously, I really like Mike. He’s incredible honest (so is his writing) and transparent, and in general a delightful dude.
Listen to my episode with Mike:or listen on Apple Podcasts \ Google Podcasts \ Spotify
Show notes and referenced links
- Mike’s longest running project, the Ninja Budgeter blog!
- Bobby Hoyt (also on the podcast here)
- Nick Loper (also on the podcast here)
- Rosemarie Groner (also on the podcast here)
- J Money
- Buffer (MEH. I use SmarterQueue these days. [and also, click that link for a free month])
- 9 Game-changing Blogging Takeaways from FinCon 2018
- My friend Jeff’s blog Breaking The One Percent
Key takeaways from today’s episode with Mike
1 – MAKING a commitment for X years (or months)
Part of the reason I brought Mike on was to talk about FOCUS.
If you’ve listened to DYEB for more than 3.5 minutes, you likely already know that I, Pete, stink at this. Historically, I’ve been an extremely fast doer and driven person, but that lead me to starting project after project after project…without giving ANY of the projects time to develop.
Related: 9 Game-Changing takeaways from FinCon 2017.
Have you done this?
Have you abandoned a project too quickly due to shiny object syndrome or because of an apparent lack of success?
(Even if it was WAY too early to tell if it failed or not?)
Oh, and not just projects.
Maybe it’s a lack of commitment to a marketing channel – I, Pete, completely wrote off Pinterest marketing after giving it a go for a few months…haphazardly. It was way too early to pull the plug, and I didn’t really do the work anyways.
Maybe it’s a lack of commitment to your job. If you find yourself job-searching after only 7 months at a new job, time and time again, maybe it’s not the job…but you. What might make you do that?
Commit to stuff.
ALL brand new bloggers should make an extremely strict commitment when they first start out, even if it’s only for 4 months.
Repeat after me (even NON-new bloggers):
I hereby commit to continuing my blogging project with consistency for X months, at which time I’ll reevaluate if it’s high ROI on my time, or not.
2 – The daily SLOG is where the money and success is?
We all know the feeling.
“UGH somebody told me I HAVE to do XYZ, and I know it’ll be good for me…but I don’t wanna.”
The hustle. The grind. The slog. The dirty admin work.
THIS is the work that separates the pros from the amateurs, not the happy fun part of blogging.
Pinterest group boards.
My buddies Jeff, Ben, Rosemarie, Eden, and more have ALL preached the good word of joining 100+ group boards (so you can filter out the 80% that are useless and mine for the golden ones)…
…but it takes a ton of time. Like, 3-5 hours just organizing a list of group board owner to reach out.
The percentage of bloggers who actually commit to DOING that work find themselves with a decent return on investment.
It’s the slog work.
On the other hand, bloggers (like me even) who only persist through about 25% of that process are NOT doing what it take to succeed here.
They call it hustle for a reason: it’s hard, most of your peers won’t ever do it, and it works.
Learn to love the slog.
3 – Should you blog about blogging? Or “stick to your guns?”
This is a touchy subject for many folks.
“I blog about X, but I get lots of questions about blogging/marketing…should I blog about blogging?”
“Bluehost pays dang-near $65 per affiliate referral! Let’s create one ‘how to start a blog’ post for our current X readers.”
So then, what’s the answer? It depends on your goal.
If your goal is to make a fundamental change in people (I can only pray it is)…and writing articles about starting a blog with Bluehost isn’t part of that mission statement…
DON’T DO IT.
You’re sacrificing precious reader attention in exchange for short-term affiliate revenues.
Make your change in the world.
However, if you don’t mind, or your single goal is to be at the beck and call of your readers (not a bad goal)…then you should blog how you want to.
It’s YOUR blog.
If readers are asking, and you feel the need to offer them your help, feel free to blog about blogging.
Send them all to https://doyouevenblog.com
🙂 🙂 🙂
4 -How to get your first sponsorship – you DO HAVE SOMETHING to offer.
Even though I’m debating creating a course on outreach, pitching, getting free products and/or sponsorships…I would like to impress something:
You DO have something to offer potential sponsors.
The traffic, Twitter followers, or email subscribers does not matter directly. Neither does your hustle for that matter.
What does matter is this: Are you a good fit to add value?
That’s all. The rest of your numbers/social proof is just a tool to get to THAT.
I would encourage ANY blogger seeking income (most of you I’d wager) to reframe the way you think about sponsorships, and what you PROVIDE in exchange for sponsorship income.
There are no rules. No explicit guidelines or requirements for pitching people.
Get out there and start asking.
Start building relationships with companies, brands, and bloggers you already love or work with. Get to know them, then figure out if there’s ANY way you can work together in ANY capacity.
It’s the single fastest way to blog income, and you DO have something to offer.
Please comment below: What’s a commitment you could make to your blog today?
I mean it.
Drop us a comment below! I’d love to hear if you’ve ever made a strict commitment like this before…or if not, what would your commitment look like?
Thanks for your notes above! It’s great to get some motivation. I guess I’ll put my hand up here and say that I’ve committed to doubling my (meager) blog traffic and readership in 2018 by consistently posting twice each week. I’m looking to create great articles that consistently increase readers on my site. Admittedly, I need to channel my focus a little more specifically, but for now, I’m working hard at creating more interactions on Twitter (how I found this). So thanks again for the article and thanks for encouraging me sharing this commitment. All the best!
You are MORE than welcome Mike! I think twice a week is absolutely perfect, and agree about Twitter as well. Good domain name as well 😉
Thanks for coming here Mike, I appreciate you!
Appreciate the support and thanks again for the article.
Pete, thanks for what you do and the resources you provide to us – your appreciative Tribe.
The slog (great term) and grind is very really. My wife and I launched 3 weeks ago and feel like we have worked like crazy to get our humble 200 PV / day. Then something changes on Pinterest and the traffic plummets. Kick in the scramble mode to figure out what happened there and still produce quality content (however you define that). In the process you realize your site speed is too slow for a good UE, your email list isn’t growing like you’d like, and SEO is still some sort of mystery novel. Why am I doing this again?
But, then you get a nice comment on your post from someone who said you inspired them to do better and achieve more and you remember why you love doing this.
Keep up the great work. I’ll be listening out here in the slog and grind world that is the Blogosphere.
Ha totally! I love the “why am I doing this again?” bit. So true. It’s a vicious cycle for validation every now and then. It’s also a great thing you’ve already realized that 🙂
I wish you fantastic luck with the new blog Steve, and thank you for the kind words!
Like you, I start passion projects with a bang. I launched my blog 2.5 months ago and have written somewhere around 80,000 words over that time. I re-launched a new theme twice, increased the speed to about 0.5s and have made constant changes on the blog. My traffic spikes are insane. One day I got 3k visitors, another day I got 0 visitors.
I’m not quitting and I’ve decided to continue to push hard through 6 months to see how it goes. Some days I feel overly confident that I’m publishing an awesome post, but it doesn’t get traction. Then something goes viral on a weird social network that I’ve never heard about, or rockstar finance picks up an article and the traffic explodes.
I know I am still in the very early stages of my blog, and I probably don’t spend enough time on marketing. I want to dig deeper into your content because I’m impressed with what I’ve seen on your site.
I totally get that. And where do your 3k spikes come from? I’d explore that 😉
You got this, Chris. Get to it!
I’m learning a lot not just from the content of your posts, but also from your writing style Pete.
In terms of this post, the idea of the slog really hits me. I’m 3 months into my blog now and have published around 80,000 words worth of content. It’s a slog for sure, especially when there’s very little feedback in the way of visitors.
However, I’m not naive and know this is not uncommon. I’m also not new to blogging and SEM, but I’ve never been so personally invested before so it’s tough to keep going.
But you have to keep going to break through!