A while back Trevor Hampel left a comment on my 5 Reasons Why I Blog post that has stuck with me.

Trevor shared with us 5 reasons he blogs. But he added a footnote to his last reason. Here’s what he said:

I need the money. (What money? Show me the money)


I’ve been thinking about that for a while and I’ve come to the conclusion that earning money blogging is both much simpler and much harder than most of us think.

Let me explain.

Income Categories

The way I see it there are two sets of categories that blogging related income will probably fall into. Our income can either be Direct or Indirect. And it can be either Active or Passive.

Direct Income – This is money that is generated directly by the blog or the act of blogging itself. It might be income from an affiliate program such as Google’s AdSense, or maybe Amazon.com. It might come from getting paid to write through something like PayPerPost or Bloggers For Hire. Maybe you have direct sponsorship on your blog, or are running a different ad program such as TextLink Ads. Or it could even result from sales of our own products that happen either right on your blog or because your blog referred them to the product.

Indirect Income – This is money that comes to you as a result of your blogging, not directly from the blog itself. It is harder to quantify and describe. Part of the reason is that the opportunities are truly endless and limited only by the imagination. Maybe your blogging positions you as an expert in a particular niche and people start turning to you as an authoritative source of information on your subject. This can turn into paid writing assignments, speaking engagements, consulting opportunities, or maybe even a book deal. Or maybe you end up rubbing elbows and building relationships with folks (it’s called networking) who connect you with an opportunity that you never would have been exposed to but for your blogging.

Active Income – This is money that happens once as a result of doing something. For example, with PayPerPost, you write a post, you get paid for one post. Or with Bloggers For Hire you agree to write for a specific blog and they pay you monthly for your efforts. Active income is easy to get your mind around because there is an obvious cause and effect interaction happening.

Passive Income – This is money that seems to happen on its own. You do the action once and you keep getting paid over and over. The most common example is AdSenense. You put the code in your blog template once and you keep getting paid every time someone clicks on an add. The money just rolls in (doesn’t it?) But you might write an e-book that you offer for sale on your site. You do the work of writing it once and get paid over each time someone buys your book.

How The Income Categories Relate

Now I am personally of the opinion that Passive income is generally more desirable than Active income and that Indirect income is generally more desirable than Direct income. I see the them as having more total income potential even though they don’t pay as much up front.

I kind of see it like this chart here.

All of the different potential income sources fall somewhere on that grid. And I know there are some direct or active sources that produce a great deal of income. I happen to think they are the exception more than the rule, though I may be wrong on that.

My Approach

All that said, my approach has been to not get too bothered by some of the different income sources that folks seem to be clamoring to.

I don’t have AdSense ads here on SuccessCREEations. I do have them over at my personal blog and I haven’t seen much of a return over there. In fact it’s been so long since I checked my account that I forgot my password this morning. I know part of that is my fault. I haven’t posted over there in about 20 forevers. But regardless, it isn’t a system that has been productive for me.

I have run sponsored ads here at SuccessCREEations from time to time. But not very often, and only for sponsors that I’m particularly well aligned with who really make it worth my while.

Instead I’ve chosen to pursue the indirect income route. I do consulting that is a direct result of my blogging here at SuccessCREEations. And that consulting provides a nice income stream.

I am also starting to pick up a few paid writing gigs that never would have happened if I wasn’t blogging already.

Basically my approach has been to get several smaller income streams up and running rather than trying to find that “one thing” that would provide me with enough to quit my day job.

How I Got Here

I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you I’m making millions at this blogging thing. (At least not yet!)

I still have a rather demanding full time job that is completely unrelated to my blogging so I’m not bringing in a full time income from my various streams, yet.

However I am headed in the right direction and I have a plan to get to a full time income doing work I love rather than work I was trained to do. (Yes. I have a plan. Don’t act so shocked.)

My approach may drive some of you nuts. But here’s how I’d sum it up.

I keep doing what I enjoy doing, i.e. writing. I do it without getting compensated because I really like doing it. All the while I engage the bloggosphere, work at building relationships with other people out there and keep my eyes open for opportunities that come my way.

I haven’t tried to force any particular way to work for me. I just keep doing what I love knowing I want to earn a bunch of money at this eventually. And let the income portion of it work itself out.

My relationship with Successful-Blog started just that way. I linked to one of Liz’s posts. She noticed and called me an SOB. I was shocked (didn’t know what an SOB was) and started hanging out over there and commenting when I thought of something interesting to say.

That led to emails and more dialog. My day job sent me to Chicago (where Liz lives) and we got a chance to meet in person. She asked me if I’d consider volunteering a post or two a week over there. Um, Yeah!

Remember the part where I really enjoy writing anyway?

Well Liz is just one of those folks that I happen to get along with really well. I’m sure she’s got tons of folks like that around her, but I’m cut from slightly coarser cloth. So when the idea of SOBCon started kicking around I knew I wanted to be part of it.

And as a result of that I’m meeting tons of wonderful people and there’s no telling what opportunities are heading my way now.

My Point

What’s my point?

My point is that you were uniquely wired with your particular passions, interests, skills, and abilities. Don’t for a minute think that you have to earn your income using the method that some expert is selling for a few hundred dollars. Guess what. That expert is probably earning far more telling people how to earn money then he ever did actually using the system he is selling.

And don’t get deceived and think that all the money has already been made. We haven’t even scratched the surface yet.

Follow your own passions. Keep your eyes open for opportunities. And believe the income will come to you. You will be amazed how easy it seems once you stop trying to force it using the way someone else is wired.

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