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Has Aweber Been Compromised? Reports of Spam Going to Aweber Lists

Updated: this post has been updated – twice.

I don’t want to cause alarm on this but today I’ve had emails from 11 subscribers to two of my different email lists that I administrate at Aweber complaining that they’ve been inundated with pharmaceutical spam. In each case the subscribers have set up email addresses especially for my newsletters which they use for no other purposes.

In each case they’re complaining of getting the same types of emails – up to 20 of them in a few hours.

At first I thought perhaps my account had been compromised – but I began to do some investigating and am beginning to see some others talk about the same problem. For example @planetmike tweeted about a similar problem here.

Screen shot 2009-12-19 at 10.05.54 PM.png

I’m not sure if he’s talking about my newsletters – that’s a possibility.

Further searching in a few webmaster forums turns up similar discussions.

Webmaster World – “Today I got pharma/ED spam to various of those unique addresses. After a little research, I found the common thread: The companies I gave those addresses to use AWeber’s services. (AWeber provides mailing list services to businesses, e.g. sending newsletters to a company’s customers.)”

WarriorForum – “Today I am getting deluged with spam to addresses that are on aWeber lists, including a couple of email addresses that have ONLY been given to aWeber.”

From another user in the WarriorForum – “I’ve been having EXACTLY the same issue.

I have some test e-mail addresses that I ONLY use within AWeber and just today I’ve started receiving lots of spam to them.

These are e-mail addresses across multiple domains including my own and others such as GMail, etc.

These e-mails are only housed within AWeber so I know that the problem is somewhere within their systems.”

AWeber takes our security measures very strongly and employee tested technologies and measures to make sure that our system is not compromised. After receiving your email our team went through an exhaustive list of checks just to make sure that there are no indications that connects this spam message you received to an issue with AWeber. All of our tests have come back secure with no reports of intrusion or compromise.

Also note that after looking at the spam message in question we see that members of our teams have also received this same message to their personal addresses that have never been used in conjunction with AWeber.

We’ll continue to monitor our system. And of course if you have any further questions, please feel free to let me know.

I’m hesitant to make a call that Aweber has been compromised (I know they wouldn’t have played a part in this, they’re reputable and it’d be business suicide for them to be caught at that) – perhaps it’s a problem with some email service provider (although from the emails I’ve received it’s impacting people who subscribe with a variety of email providers) but something does seem to be wrong here.

I’ve got emails into Aweber and will update you with their response.

In the mean time – if you have received this spam and you’re on the ProBlogger newsletter list (as some are reporting) I sincerely apologise and hope we can get to the bottom of it.

PS: I’ve sat on this story for 18 hours hoping to get a response from Aweber but it seems that their support don’t work weekends (I’m actually a bit surprised that they don’t seem to have put any response on their blog or Twitter account as I’m now seeing more and more buzz about it in forums and on Twitter). I’ve since had another 10 or so angry complaints from readers and have seen the same thing happening for another list I have on a separate account which I use to promote the ProBlogger Book with Chris Garrett. That account is completely separate to my Aweber account and I don’t even have access to the password of it meaning that it’s not just my Aweber subscribers who are being hit.

Again – this could be a wider issue than just Aweber – perhaps some spammer is using some kind of system to target a whole lot of random email addresses – but it does seem that perhaps it’s somehow more centred around Aweber. Time will tell.

I don’t like to post this as I really love Aweber as a service (they’ve been brilliant since I switched to them) – but because readers seem to be unsubscribing and blaming me for it I wanted to make sure word was out that there may have been a problem.

I’d love to get comments from anyone who has similar experience with this in the last few days. Are your lists complaining of spam at the moment too? Hopefully in getting people’s experiences we’ll be able to help Aweber get to the bottom of what’s happening.

Update: Within half an hour of posting this Aweber got in touch. They’re not ready to make a public statement on this but are happy for me to pass on that they’re aware of it and are “doing extensive investigations into any possible issues.”

From what I can tell they’re collecting lots of data – perhaps if you have any specific data from those in your lists including header information of spam emails it could be worth emailing Aweber to let them know of your problem and any data that you have. I’d suspect that specific information would be helpful to them.

Update 2: Aweber have now made a statement about the compromise of data from their system. You can read my initial reactions to that here.

ProBlogger Readable on Mobiles

One of the most requested featured by readers here at ProBlogger has been for the option to view this site more easily on a mobile device (at least some).

In the last few days we’ve added the WPtouch plugin to both ProBlogger and DPS.

I hope that this will enable a faster and easier to navigate user experience for readers on their iPhones and other mobile devices.

problogger-mobile.jpg

Of course if you’d prefer to view the site as normal you just need to scroll to the bottom of the page and flip the switch there back to the normal view.

Do let me know how the experience is viewing ProBlogger this way on your mobile.

Also – have you optimized your blog for mobile viewing? If so how did you do it?

How to Be A More Productive Blogger [And Add 37 Minutes to Every Hour!]

This week, on a busier than normal day, I Tweeted that I wish there were more hours in a day (or that there was a pause button so that time could stand still for a bit so I could catch up). The tweet was of course an attempt at humor but the deluge of replies that I received from that Tweet revealed that I’m not the only blogger out there that wishes they had more time.

As I giggled at the responses it struck me that if I’d not posted that message on Twitter about how I wish I’d had more time that I’d probably have had an extra 6 minutes that hour to get the things I needed to get done finished.

While I’m glad I did get on Twitter for those 6 minutes (it gave me a laugh, made me relax and lightened my day a little) I began to think about all the other small little distractions and time suckers we as bloggers face and on a whim (and for a bit of fun) came up with this list of how to be a more productive blogger.

How to be a more productive blogger:

  1. Turn off Twitter – 6 minutes an hour
  2. Turn off Facebook – 3 minutes an hour
  3. Stop checking your Traffic Stats – 2 minutes an hour
  4. Stop checking your AdSense Earnings – 2 minutes an hour
  5. Stop Tweaking your blog design – 3 minutes an hour
  6. Stop checking your Google Page Rank – 1 minute an hour
  7. Turn off Email – 5 minutes an hour
  8. Log out of your RSS Feed Reader – 2 minutes an hour
  9. Stop checking to see if someone Dugg your latest post – 1 minute an hour
  10. Stop checking affiliate earnings/e-book sales earnings – 2 minutes an hour
  11. Turn off any other Social Media Sites (LinkedIn/StumbleUpon/Plurk/Reddit etc) – 3 minutes an hour
  12. Turn of Skype, Gtalk and all other IM services – 4 minutes
  13. Stop Reading Blog Tips and Start Blogging – 3 minutes an hour

By my calculations this gives you an extra 37 minutes an hour to do what you need to do. Over an 8 hour work day I’ve just found you a smidgen under 5 hours!

What would you add?

Update: No I’m not really serious. While we could be more productive as bloggers by minimizing a lot of this stuff there can also be a lot of good things come from these activities. I guess it’s about knowing your goals, setting good boundaries and engaging in these kinds of activities to the extent that they help us achieve our goals.

7 Principles of Launching a Six Figure Blog

Screen shot 2009-12-18 at 11.35.34 AM.pngJust a quick note to point you to a post that I’ve had published on an Australian Blog – The Punch (I wrote it all except for the title :-)).

Seven rules of blogging from a legend of the craft.

It probably won’t be completely new to regular readers of ProBlogger but goes through 7 of the very basic steps that I’ve gone through to grow my photography blog to the point that it’s at today (it just had its first Six Figure month).

I’d be interested to hear your comments on the post over on The Punch.

PS: this was my first guest post on another blog for a long time. I actually found it to be a really interesting process – I’ve not had bloggers block for ages but finding an angle to write a post on someone else’s blog was actually quite a challenge for me and I learned a lot doing it!

13 Types of Posts that Always Get Lots of Comments

Over the last week I’ve had a couple of record days of getting comments on my own blogs. Here on ProBlogger my ‘win a book’ competition drew in 1512 comments while on DPS asking my readers if they had a photoblog and giving opportunity for them to promote it drew in 592 (although this will go a lot higher tonight when I send my newsletter out).

It’s no surprise that these types of posts got a lot of comments – for one I specifically asked for comments and there was a tangible benefit for commenting in each case (the chance to win something and the chance to promote something) – but what other types of posts get lots of comments?

I asked my followers on Twitter to share some of their most commented upon posts to see if I noticed any trends on types of posts that drew readers out of lurking mode to react with a comment.

Here are 13 types of posts that were most common in people’s responses with a few links to examples.

Note: some of the examples could have been used in multiple categories and some get more comments than others – but that’s because they are from smaller blog where the blogger doesn’t normally see loads of comments. I could have found bigger more well known blogs as examples but decided to go mainly with ‘normal’ blogs from readers as I think it is probably more useful than highlighting just mega blogs that get lots of comments on most posts.

1. Competitions

Lets start with the most obvious – give people the chance to win something by leaving a comment and you’re well on the way to drawing people into leaving a comment. Example: Giveaway: SKIL 4-piece Power Tools Combo Kit.

2. Personal Stories

Sometimes sharing something personal really draws people into what you’re writing. I know when I’ve shared something from my personal life on my blog – either as an off topic post or as a way to illustrate something that I’m talking about that it always draws people in. This is particularly powerful if you share a problem overcome, a failure or something that people can relate to. Examples: I’m a Mom and Exposed.

3. Show Off Posts/Share a link

These types of posts ask your readers to show or share something that they’ve done, written, created etc. The ‘show us your photoblog’ link above is an example of this. So to was another of my posts – ‘Share Your Best Photo‘.

4. Creative Posts

posts where the blogger has gone to extra lengths to do something out of the ordinary and creative often have a ‘wow factor’ that gets people commenting. Example: Disney’s “A Whole New World” Sung in Pictures.

5. Hacks

Walk people through a process or show them how to do something for themselves (DIY). These types of posts are great for traffic but I find that they also tend to get reactions – particularly if it’s a good and helpful hack. Example: Apparently My Bling Likes to Swing.

6. Meaty Posts

It was fascinating to read through the 80-90 links to most commented upon posts that people sent me – one thing I noticed is that it was often quite long and in depth posts that seemed to be getting commented upon. Longer resources that really looked deeply at a topic or that gave comprehensive advice. Example: How NOT to Suck at Blogging (this post probably fits into some of the other categories too – it is strong, opinionated and pretty in your face – all of this Elicits a strong response).

7. Relatable Posts

Many of the posts talked about were on topics that a lot of people would have been able to relate to. Not always personal stories – but on issues and problems that lots of readers might face. They draws out people to tell their story or personal reflection on their own experiences with the topics. Example: Why Do Women Let Themselves Go (this post also has a strong headline and perhaps some controversy attached to it).

8. Question Posts

Ask a question and those who hear it are wired to answer it. I find when I include a question in the title of my posts that comment numbers tend to be at least double normal posts. Do Young Entrepreneurs Need to Go to Collge? (a post that had a question it its very title – as long as some opinion and meat to it). Also What Camera Gear Would You Buy if you were Given $1000 to Spend? (this post not only asked a question but was a hypothetical/fun post on a topic that I knew would also create some debate between readers loyal to different types of cameras. Also Net Worth vs Self Worth: The Passion Paradox (while this post isn’t a pure question post there’s a strong call for people to react in it and the blogger highlights other people’s posts on the topic/reactions).

9. Debate or Controversy Posts

Put two or more opposing arguments to your readers and step back to see what happens. Example: Which Digital Camera Manufacturer is Best? (this is an old post when we only had a few readers – I’m too scared to post the question again as this question always gets people so fired up). Also Adam Lambert’s Jacket Auctioned for $2000 (not a debate but certainly stirred up some controversy).

10. Opinion Pieces

Expressing your own strongly held opinion on an issue will generally have your readers examining their own opinions. If you do express it strongly you can expect your readers to share what they think strongly also. Example: I like Dave Ramsey, But He is Still Wrong. Also Why our Current Education System is Failing (also some controversy/debate in this one too).

11. Humor

Humor evokes a natural physical reaction (smiling and laughter) which sometimes also comes out in other ways (like sharing a reaction, passing it on to a friend etc). Example: I took 1,973 pictures of my children on vacation and all I got was this lousy blog post (also a personal type post).

12. Group Projects/Challenges

This is one I’ve used quite a bit over the years – getting readers all to go and do something and then come back and share the results. Examples: Top 5 – Group Writing Project, Enter the Passion to Profit Challenge and RED: Weekend Photography Challenge.

13. Mega Lists/Resources

There is nothing like a mega/over the top list of resources or links relevant to your niche to draw in traffic and comments. These posts are a lot of work but tend to do well in social media – but also at getting comments. You get comments from those in the list, from those who want to be in the list, from those who find the list useful, from those who think your list is skewed and biased…. etc. Example: 87 Great Photography Blogs and Feeds.

What Was Your Most Commented Upon Post?

Of course these 13 types of posts just scratch the surface – I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d add.

I’d also love to see your most commented upon blog post. Dig back through your archives and find 1-2 examples of where you had comment numbers way above your normal average and share the link below!

Further Reading: 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog (ironically another of my most commented upon posts ever).

Google and Amazon Partner Up to Integrate Amazon Associates Program into Blogger Blogs

In the last few minutes Blogger.com has flipped the switch on a new way for Blogger blogs to be monetized from within their system – an integration with Amazon Associates program. Expect an official announcement from Blogger/Google shortly on this new partnership (update: here it is) – but in the mean time, here’s the scoop.

Previously the ‘monetize’ tab on the back end of Blogger blogs only had options to set up AdSense – but today you can now do the same with Amazon.

If you’re a Blogger.com blogger log into your blog – click the monetize tab and choose Amazon Associates. Here’s what you’ll see:

Monetize Tab

You can either set up a new Amazon Associates account if you don’t have one or login with your existing one.

WIth it enabled you can enable a product finder in your blog editor which will enable you to add Amazon links and/or images as you’re posting blog posts.

Blogger Editor with Amazon Associates

I’ve only just tested it but it all seems pretty seamless and I’m sure for those wanting to make money from a Blogger blog it’ll be an appreciated new feature – particularly in the hottest buying season of the year.

It’s also an interesting story on the front that two major online players – Google and Amazon – are working together on this. It makes sense for it but as far as I know it’s the first time the two have done anything on this scale. It’ll be interesting to see if the partnership leads to any other areas of their empires.

The Storyteller’s Tale: How a Fiction Mindset Will Empower Your Blog

A guest post by bestselling novelist Larry Brooks from Storyfix.com.

Sports analogies rock.

They certainly can and often do lean toward the cliché, but like even the most trite of clichés, they’ve earned that dubious label because they’re valid.

The use of cliché in copywriting, not so good. The use of valid analogies in the instructional and marketing realms, priceless.

Which is why I’m about to pitch you on developing your next blog post as if you are writing a novel. Or at least a story. And I’m going to use a few sports analogies to tell you why.

You Can Run, But Can You Hit?

There are dozens of sports out there. And while most require the application of eye-hand coordination, speed, strength, quickness and an intuitive strategic acumen – I don’t count poker in this, by the way, even though some rocket scientist at ESPN decided to put it in their lineup – they differ to an extent that their inherent core competencies, while similar, don’t remotely cross over.

If you’ve seen Charles Barkley’s golf swing or watched Phil Michelson attempt to bench press his ball bag, you know what I mean. And I have a feeling the starting defensive tackle for the New England Patriots, who can bench press his Buick, would pretty much suck on a tennis court.

Tiger Woods? Let’s not go there.

It’s the same with writing. Ad copywriters don’t always make good novelists. Journalists tend to suck at poetry. And as for blogging… well, it represents the decathlon of literary pursuits, because it embraces just about anything and everything that pertains to the human condition.

Pretty much everyone is writing a blog these days. We have to. Because publishers are telling us that an “author platform” is the key to not only selling books, but to landing a contract in the first place.

Of course, not everyone is trying to land a book deal. Blogging sells products and brands companies, too – they even change lives on occasion – so whatever we can do to elevate the effectiveness of the work, it’s a good thing on all fronts.

You Scratch My Blog, I’ll Scratch Yours

While fiction writers in the blogosphere have learned much from the copywriters and journalists and entrepreneurs who have become the stalwart icons of blogging, its rare when any of those folks look to a novelist for either inspiration or mentoring.

Can’t blame them, really. Most fiction writers think HTML has something to do with air conditioning and that Seth Godin is that fat guy who starred in Superbad and Knocked Up.

But it’s time to return the favor. Because at the heart of every successful story resides a development model that is so comprehensive and powerful, it defines the very essence of the craft. Not just of writing novels, but of writing anything.

And it’ll work for bloggers, too. Even if you have Pulitzer on your credenza or you run a business in between posts.

Defining the Process to Enhance the Product

You can’t just sit down and dash off a top-of-the-head rant and expect it to be optimally effective as a blog post. Any more than your business plan, front-page feature or book proposal can come off as random or too self-focused.

Great novels are strategic. And so are great blogs.

The ultimate effectiveness of your blog is about storytelling. And like blogging itself, it’s much harder than it looks when delivered at the hands of a pro.

Of course, the mere presence of the word writer on your resume implies that you bring some intuitive sense of strategy and structure to the work. But with something as complex as a novel, such impromptu construction puts the project at great risk.

Whether successful storytellers define their process this way or not – most don’t, because it’s new, and it’s proprietary – they all apply the same set of core competencies and criteria to the work. And they are the same core competencies and criteria, with only slightly different language and context, that bloggers can use to generate more effective content.

This development model breaks down into six buckets, each with a list of succinct definitions, missions and criteria-based checklists. The omission of any one of these core competencies dooms a story to compromise, or even failure.

As it does your blog, as well.

The Six Core Competencies of Successful Storytelling: Applied to Blogging

What follows here are The Six Core Competencies of Successful Storytelling. Apply them to your blog, and over time you’ll find yourself on a bestseller list in your niche.

1. Concept: in novels this is a compelling “what if?” idea, such as… what if you could raise the Titanic?… or what if Leonardo DaVinci put secret messages into his paintings?

For bloggers, your concept is your U.S.P. – Unique Selling Proposition – and the inherent value-add of your brand, product and message. What if I could save your marriage? Your life? What if you changed X to create Y?

2. Character: in novels this is the vehicle by which the reader is taken on a vicarious journey, one that elicits their emotion, empathy and fascination. The root for the hero, because they are the hero.

For bloggers, the character of your site is also empathetic and vicarious, in that you are illuminating solutions to problems in the real world of your target audience. You are not writing about you, you are writing about them. The reader is the hero of your story.

3. Theme: in novels, theme is what a story means in real-world terms, how it makes the reader respond, it elicits thoughts and emotions that relate directly to the human experience and their take on it.

For bloggers, the theme of your site is the set of value propositions upon which it is based, a direct focus on how your message and product relates to their lives. Your theme is the benefit of what your blog stands for.

4. Structure: great stories have a succinct structural model, based on a four-part sequence of set-up, response (to an inciting incident), attack and resolution. With lots of milestones and mission-driven criteria along the way.

For bloggers, structure means unfolding your story in the same fashion – a set-up that opens the story from the reader’s point of view, showing how the typical response or condition creates problems and/or opportunities, showing how the reader can and should attack those problems (using your solutions), and then demonstrating how and why your solutions will work for them. Like a novel, your blog should deliver a meaty, satisfying ending.

5. Scene Execution: a novel is composed of a series of scenes, each of which must be in perfect balance, with perfect tone and context, in relation to the overall arc of the story.

For bloggers, this translates to a point by point dismantling of misconceptions and the seeding of the case for your product or solution. Each element stands alone with a mission, which is in context to the larger mission of the post itself. If your post is about “X Ways to Do Y,” for example, then each of those steps is the equivalent of a scene.

6. Writing Voice: all writing is not created equal, and some writers set themselves apart not only with their storytelling, but with their literary style, humor, passion and elegance. Voice is the collective effect of the words on the page, the use of language, the images and emotions evoked.

For bloggers, your voice is your brand. It must be strategically defined and developed, and then rendered consistently as you move forward through a series of posts that always illuminates the brand as an empowering sub-text that resides beneath the content itself.

The Muscle-Memory of Strategic Storytelling

Given that the above is pretty much an entire year of fine arts grad school, there is obviously much more to it. But that minutia is found within these six buckets, because there really isn’t any more to the art and craft of effective storytelling than those six buckets.

As with athletics, where the fundamentals of the game are honed on the practice field and then rendered as background context that empowers the real-time game experience, so, too, can bloggers learn and apply these contextual storytelling fundamentals to their game.

But unlike sports, when bloggers do it, everybody wins. Which is the very essence of effective writing and successful business alike.

Larry Brooks is a bestselling novelist and the creative force behind Storyfix.com, an instructional site for fiction writers in all genres. His book, “The Six Core Competencies of Successful Storytelling,” will be published by Writers Digest Books in early 2011.

Competition Winners – These 6 People Won a Book

win one of these booksThanks to everyone who entered this week’s ‘win a book’ competition here on ProBlogger.

It’s been a while since I ran any kind of competition so to have over 1500 entries was a real rush (and quite overwhelming).

I’ve just closed off the competition and randomly drawn the winners. They are:

  1. Susan Geene – Yes: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
  2. Chris – Search Engine Optimization: Your Visual Blueprint for effective Internet Marketing
  3. Sandra – Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success
  4. Stephen – Blog Blazers: 40 Top Bloggers Share their Secrets to Creating a High-Profile High-Traffic and High Profit Blog
  5. Randy Hawes – Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What it’s Becoming and Why it Matters
  6. Donna – ProBlogger the Book

If you share a name with one of these people check your email to confirm if it was you – I’ve emailed all 6 to get their delivery addresses.

Thanks again everyone – to the 1506 people who didn’t win – better luck next time!

How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging

Last night I was chatting with a blogger who was feeling completely overwhelmed with their goal of making a living from blogging.

I asked them how much they wanted to make from blogging.

They responded that they wanted to be a full time blogger.

I pushed them for a figure – what does ‘full time’ mean for you?

They thought for a moment and said that they could live off $30,000 USD a year (note: they wouldn’t have minded earning more but would be able to quit their current job at this kind of rate).

$30,000 a year sounds like a lot to make from a blog – especially when you’re starting out and are yet to make a dollar. To this blogger it seemed so overwhelming that she had almost convinced herself that it was not possible.

Advice for Becoming a Full Time Blogger

My response was threefold:

1. Don’t Give Up Your Day Job…. Yet

It is possible to make $30,000 a year blogging, but it’s unlikely to happen over night. Keep your feet on the ground and your expectations reasonable. IF it happens (and there are no guarantees) it is almost certainly going to take some time.

2. Be Specific

Saying that you want to be full time as a blogger is a great goal – but it’s not really specific enough. This is why I wanted the blogger I was chatting with to name a figure. For her full time was $30,000 – for others it could be more or less – the amount is not the point, the point is that you need something more concrete to work towards so that you’re able to measure where you’re at.

For me when I decided I want to go full time as a blogger I decided that I wanted to aim for $50,000 (Aussie Dollars) in a year as the bench mark (at that time $50,000 was around 36,000 USD). That’s around what I would have been earning in my current main job if I had been doing that full time (I was actually working a number of part time jobs at the time as well as studying part time).

Knowing what I was aiming for helped me in a number of ways when it came to getting to that goal.

3. Break it down into something more Achievable

$30,000 USD still sounds big when you’re a new blogger – and in some ways it is. However there are different ways of thinking about that figure. Lets break it down in the way that I used to look at my target.

  • $30,000 a year = $576.92 per week
  • $30,000 a year = $82.19 a day
  • $30,000 a year = $3.42 an hour

We could break it down on a monthly or on a minute by minute basis if we wanted to (in fact I did do it by minute from time to time for fun) – but the exercise is really about helping you to see that perhaps your big goal is a little more achievable if you are to break it down. Making $82.19 somehow seems a little bit easier to me than making $30,000 (or is that just me?).

OK – the other way that I used to break down my goal that I found really helpful to me was to do it based upon what I need to achieve to meet that target. For me I would usually look at the daily figure – in this case $82.19.

What do I need to do to make $82.19 a day ($30,000 a year)?

Well there’s a number of ways that much. Lets look at a few:

  • CPC Ads – lets say we’re running mainly AdSense on our blog and that the average click is paying 5 cents. That equates to 1643 clicks on AdSense ads (note: AdSense also runs CPM ads so it’s not quite as simple as saying you need 1643 clicks… but to keep this simple lets just go with that).
  • CPM Ads – lets say that we’re running CPM ads on our blog and we’re being paid $2 CPM per ad unit and we had 3 ads on each page (which is effectively $6 CPM per page). This would mean we’d need 13,000 page impressions.
  • Monthly Sponsorships – one way to sell ads directly to advertisers is to sell ads on a month by month basis as a sponsorship. To make $30k in a year you need to sell $2500 a month in ads. You might have 6 ad spots on your blog so this is 6 advertisers at $416.66 per advertiser per month.
  • Low Commission Affiliate Products – Lets say we were promoting affiliate products from a site like Amazon and your commissions were on average about 40 cents per sale. To earn $82.19 you’d need to sell 205 products.
  • High Commission Affiliate Products – In this case you might be promoting ebooks and earning $8 a copy (that’s what you’d earn selling my 31DBBB ebook per commission). The math is simple on this one – you’d had to sell around 10 e-books a day.
  • Really Big Commission Affiliate Products – of course e-books are not the biggest product out there to promote – there are products like training courses where you can earn hundreds per sale. Lets take one that might pay out $300 for a yearly membership on a bigger product. In this case you need to sell 8 of these per month.
  • Selling Your Own E-book – got your own product, perhaps an e-book, to sell from your blog? At $19.95 a sale you need to sell just over 4 of these a day. You can do the sums on cheaper or more expensive products.

Of course there are many many other ways to make money from blogs. Subscriptions, donations, paid reviews, selling yourself as a consultant….. etc. You can do the sums for yourself on your own model.

I know that some of the above figures still sound out of reach for bloggers – 1643 clicks on your AdSense ads sounds massive to a new blogger…. and it is – but do keep in mind that you can combine some of the above (in fact I’d recommend you diversify your income).

You might run 2 ad networks on your site, promote Amazon affiliates, sell your own e-book and promote someone’s membership course.

Looking back on my own figures for around the time when I hit my $50,000 AUD (around $100 USD a day) goal and for me at that time my income mix looked a like this (going from memory here):

  • AdSense: $35
  • Chitika: $20
  • Private Ad Sales: $20
  • Amazon: $15
  • Other Affiliate Commissions: $10

Note: I didn’t achieve this milestone until I’d been blogging for over 2 years (I blogged for the first year without trying to make money).

This didn’t happen over night (let me emphasize this – blogging for money is neither quick nor is it easy money) but I really found that breaking things down into more bite sized pieces helped me to stay motivated but also helped me to identify what I needed to work on in order to reach my goals (and for me to quite my day job).

Again – don’t quit your day job yet (in fact you may not want to quit it even when you reach your goal – it can be good to have a back up plan) but do work hard at being specific about your blogging goals and attempt to break it down in a way that helps you move towards them.