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Why My Accountant Thinks I Robbed a Bank

My accountant just called and asked me if I’d robbed a bank.

She just saw the figures from the last few months of blogging and, as I mentioned back in my December earnings update, we’ve had some very good months lately.

December was my biggest month ever, but January and February are shaping up to be great, too.

There are two main reasons for the improvement in revenue:

  1. Christmas Promotion: In December, I ran a 12 Days of Christmas promotion on my photography blog. This rolling series of promotions saw a massive spike in affiliate sales, but also a big increase in ebook sales over that two week period.
  2. Ebook Launches: Towards the end of January and into February I launched a new ebook on my photography blog. It was our biggest launch yet and the new ebook sold faster on launch than I’ve seen before. In fact, ebook sales for the last three months have totaled just under 13,000 units.

Today, when my accountant rang to check whether the reports I’d sent were real, I tried to explain what had happened. She understood the above two reasons, but dug a little deeper and wanted to know why.

Her reflection was that about 18-24 months ago something changed in my business that seemed to tip earnings up a notch. Understandably, she wanted to explore the cause of that change.

I struggled to answer her at first, but in the end I put it down to two things:

1. I made a mind shift

A couple of years back, I switched my business focus away from relying purely upon advertising and affiliate revenue and decided to get serious about creating some products of my own.

2. Invested in Learning

Two years ago was also the point at which I decided to get serious about learning how to market and launch these products that I’d begun to develop. I knew that simply deciding to have my own products wasn’t enough—I needed to invest in my knowledge of marketing them.

It was at this time that I started to do two things:

  1. I began to seek out others who had experience in online marketing. I began to be more intentional in developing relationships with, and collaborating with, smart marketers. These people have taught me a lot!
  2. I purchased a variety of online training programs to learn some good principles for marketing products online. I enrolled in the programs, the most helpful of which I’ll tell you about below.

Overnight success?

I wish I could say that this switch in thinking and gaining of knowledge flicked a switch and helped me gain overnight success—but of course it didn’t.

The increase in revenue didn’t happen straight away after making the mind shift or getting the training, although there have been some great spikes in revenue over the last two years. But that marked the beginning of something that seems to be snowballing for me now, some two years later.

Make the mind shift and get the training for yourself

Over the next couple of weeks, you’re going to hear a lot about Jeff Walker and his Product Launch Formula.

Can I suggest you take some notice of what Jeff’s got to say?

I know some will be put off by some of the hype surrounding this launch—sometimes the affiliates promoting these launches build them up into a frenzy. But Jeff’s one of the guys who has helped me make the mind shift I mention above. His course was the main one that worked for me, and is something I’ve come back to numerous times.

Some of the principles he teaches in PLF have really connected for me, and have been instrumental in skyrocketing my own product launches. I’ve also applied some of them in promoting other people’s products—the Christmas launch I mentioned above used the classic launch strategy that Jeff teaches, and led to my biggest month so far.

Jeff is currently releasing a series of videos in the lead up to re-opening the doors of PLF. While some people’s pre-launch strategy is simply to build buzz before a launch, the great thing about Jeff’s strategy is to provide value in the launch process. Whether you buy PLF in the end or not, his videos will help you make the transition I talk about above.

They’re both inspiring and educational. If you do buy PLF, you’ll get some great teaching, but do yourself a favor and at the least watch the videos over the coming days by getting on the list. You can register for the first video here; the second is here. Update: you can also download his full blueprint for launches here (it’s got amazing teaching).

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Bharath says:

    Darren,

    Your word are such an inspiration, and made me take blogging as serious mean of making your presence online.

    Thanks.

  2. Dipesh Patel says:

    Congratulations for your profitability in 2011. We all wish that 2011 bring more and more revenue and keeps your accountant busy :)

  3. Hi Darren – Great tips, these are really useful. We’re currently working on a few products so this really helps with the next steps.

  4. Having your own product to sell is always the most profitable way to make money so it sounds like your focus and mindshift really worked for you – awesome; now how can I do the same thing, lol – follow your example would be the first good idea :)

  5. pine red says:

    Is this another campaign for promoting Jeff Walker and his Product Launch Formula.. :)

    • John says:

      My first impression (as I don’t know you darren) was: is Darren really Jeff or in partnership with him? or commission based endorsement?..”if you buy this you get this”…hmmm
      No matter, everything you said is true, no matter the business….not to be investing in web marketing is plain stupid…. it’s intellectualy stimulating & the more you know the beast, the more you can increase revenu.

  6. Blue Feet says:

    Great post – funny and inspiring. Thank you.

  7. Joseph says:

    Why should your accountant be surprised at your earnings, has she not seen enough money in the account?

  8. Congratulations for a wonderful start for the year 2011. I really love your blog it really serves as an inspiration to create such successful website. I want to have an accountant as busy as yours. lol

  9. Darren you have certainly earned it. You remind me a lot of Steve Pavlina. Both of you provide the thrust of your experiences, build relationships, and have learned greatly how to monetize your activities by simply being honest and by providing real value.

    I’m not an expert on any subject, nor do I have your fan base, so I won’t be writing E-books anytime soon I imagine. However, you are a motivating case, and I hope you continue to do well and make great strides.

  10. Vadim Popoff says:

    Hi Darren Rowse,

    I’ve read your book Build a Better blog, I bought audio version through Audible.com. I like the beginning – story of your life(published in first chapters) as well as advices and tips, it’s engaging.

    You spent years to gain this experience and share with us – readers, good job!

    After reading the book I’ve changed a style of writing, and got inspired on writing more sophisticated and professional posts, was able to attract up to 1500 people per one post.

    Would like to thank you, and want to recommend this book for others!

    Sincerely,

  11. Vadim Popoff says:

    Darren, actually in my previous post, instead of “Build a better blog” I was talking about “ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income” this book. But since they look similar “Orange and White” made mistake. :)

    Thanks,

  12. Hey Darren, You Inspire me to BLOG brother and this post makes me go harder; Cheers Mate; I love the mug shot thing, It’s genius

  13. Rob says:

    Darren,
    The rich get richer…haha…but, they’re not all sharing what you are. Thanks for being a voice for us who are plodding along trying to make our own way.

  14. Interesting to note that the biggest blogger I know is learning & investing in learning :-) I’ll remember this mind shift thing…& having my own product in long run.

  15. Ranu says:

    I love your picture in this post, lol. I’m just wondering for the years of learning, how many programs that didn’t work for you until you found the one?

  16. Jeanie says:

    It’s funny to read this. I had a shift the other day in my mind only so far.
    I realized I needed to write a few EBooks also. I have all this knowledge and life experiences
    on midwifery and birth and was waiting till I had a whole book together but I need to get focused and put it out in a series of EBOOK’s. Not sure how to do it all yet but I was clear on this one point.
    Reading this made it oh so much clearer.
    Thanks

  17. “Overnight success?” I like Rodney Dangerfield’s comment on this – “It took me twenty years to become an overnight success”.
    Riley

  18. Ian says:

    This is the very reason I keep on coming back to your site and do a lot of tips you mention here. I hipe someday I can replicate what you have achieved merely through blogging. Have a good one Darren.

  19. Zoe says:

    Hahaha I love your mug shot!

    Let’s hope your accountant continues to think you’ve robbed a bank ;)

  20. pete says:

    Isn’t that the truth. Some times we forget when we are dancing in the rain that the online money making world is still at work for us. For us who understand and know, its not surprising. I wish you well in the new year and keep the great tips coming.

  21. Things changed for me quite heavily in February, my adsense earning doubled and my subscriber did too.

  22. I am waiting for the day when my accountant will call me to say that.

  23. Mike says:

    Nothing is ever an overnight success and I think this is why many people fail – they don’t have the patience to put the work in and see the rewards. It’s instant gratification and that doesn’t exist outside of the lucky few who win lotteries.

    Keep up the good work here!

  24. Hi Darren
    Great article – I totally agree in training our business skills,
    when it comes to marketing. I joined a coaching programme
    in january this year, and it has completely made a serious mindshift for me.

    1.Now I know I have to crawl before I can walk – And building a business takes a lot of
    little steps. And you have to know WHAT steps to take.

    2. I am NOT chasing sales anymore – I am on a journey to BUILD
    a long term successful business.

    Congrats on your big progress in your business
    Cheers
    Tina

  25. Congratulations on your success, February was best for me, looking forward to better days this March

  26. Chris York says:

    Awesome story Darren! You are truly an inspiration to us all. I started blogging last year and am loving it. Your story is one that every online marketer strives to achieve and I commend you for your effort. Blogging if taken seriously, can be a full time job as I have found out so I really appreciate all of the work required to make it a success. All the Best!

  27. Tinh says:

    That is great to hear and you are now indeed wanted! :-) Congrats!

  28. Great to hear someone admitting that selling online and making money from blogs doesn;’t happen over night it’s thsame as any other business stream you get out what you put in.

  29. Allen Walker says:

    You know you’re on the right track for blogging when your accountant starts to think that you robbed a bank… ;)

    I’ll need to make that my next goal. Lol.

  30. Haha,he must be wondering where this guy makes a ton of money! I have never seem him go out much except spending time on his laptop! :)

  31. M Clouse says:

    So many great tips and services on your blog Darren, thanks for always sharing!!
    Mike.

  32. Hard work & commitment always pays off at the end :) I’d agree that December is always the best month, especially for Amazon affiliates.

    I’m still trying to break to the next level like you did, having your own products to sell. A bit hard because I have a technology blog. Have to think something else other than my own gadget to manufacture! :)

  33. Ann says:

    Agree our business is up 64% on back of blogging

  34. Mark says:

    Hi Darren,

    Let me see… ah! it may be that you sell quality and the people trust you.

    And they are not wrong. I bought the ProBlogger ebook and audiobook you authored with Chris Garrett, and I am not repented.

    Also I came here, and Chris blog, for professional information.

    Thank you for the encouraging disclosure and ‘hard work’—you like—in helping other trough this path.

    Regards

  35. All the information about increasing profitability from existing visitors is great advice, but seriously there is major work which website owners need to do before they can even begin to look further than their adsense revenue. First comes visitor numbers, and this is the core of every successful website. There are most certainly many tricks to do this, and despite what Google say, original content alone simply does not cut it. It’s been a while since I’ve been back, love the new clean look BTW.

  36. Alaina says:

    It’s quite funny that I would come across this article today, the reason being because I just decided to make the “mind switch” you mentioned. I am in the beginning stages, but it would be great to see half of the success you have!

    I want to congratulate you on your success!! Way to go!! I know that sometimes people get caught up in asking how to and why, therefore I simply want to say Good Job!

    I’m glad that there are successful bloggers who are willing to write about their success and how they achieved it, so that little people could potentially reach the same success!

    Thank you for the inspiration!
    Alaina E.

  37. CJ Tatts says:

    Very interesting article – have also learnt a lot from the comments. Thank you for sharing.

  38. Adrienne says:

    Hey Darren,

    Really good post and you pointed out some very important points.

    I’ve been online now for about 3 years and just created my 2nd blog which is only 3 months old. I am posting about my journey of creating my affiliate marketing business. But, I am a part of the Forward to Marketing training community run by none other than Alex Jeffrey’s. I’m learning exactly what to do to build a sustainable business and I have my own product. I’m sharing with my readers exactly what I’m doing and 3 months into this I’ve made $155. I will continue to drive traffic to my sites, share with my readers how I’m doing this and eventually create another product. So that is the beginning of my business and you have to be serious about it and invest in your education.

    Glad I stopped by and this was your most recent post. I love reading about ways from other successful bloggers of how to build a business and know that I’m on the right path.

    Adrienne

  39. Lisa Wood says:

    I have been blogging for three years – and yes changing the mindset and promoting you own products is the way to go. Its good to blog, but unless you know specific SEO techniques then you blog will never be noticed. Its good to have a passion, and a asking for what you want from the universe. Gosh imagine how good that must feel – been asked if you have robbed a bank!!!

    Cheers
    Lisa

  40. Dion Lynk says:

    I’m always so motivated reading about Darren’s success. I’ve been at it for over one year now and have seen that blogging/online money can provide you a full-time income. Now only if I can stay consistent. That’s the key that I’m searching fervently for!

  41. You’re so right Darren. You have to have that mind shift. I’ve realised this as well. But still formulating in my mind how I’m going to produce the products and market them.

    I have a great idea for a few PDF e-books. Need to knuckle down.

  42. blueandys says:

    I’m almost desperate. From my blog, I can only generate $1,200 a year (over a year). But now, I’m eager to try more and more. Thank Darren!

  43. Awsome blog man your like the higest ranked in the world right now:)
    Like most people commenting on this im sure they all would like to help you rob a “bank” lol

    cheers mate

  44. Edd says:

    I am wondering why your accountant is baffled to see such amount of cash in your account. Doesn’t she know that being an internet enterpreneur/pro blogger, the sky is the limit? 2011 is our action year!

  45. Darren,
    You are an inspiration to all of us. I have used your information to allow me to get started blogging and it has been a tremendous help. Thank you and may all of us reach for high goals in 2011!

  46. Bryan Martin says:

    Awesome motivation to step my money making efforts this year. Can”t wait to check out the course.

  47. Julian says:

    good achievement in earning

    cheers !!!

  48. Matthews says:

    I really like the way you write your posts, and add an interesting topic that would make people read the entire post, nice blog to read and thanks for the post.

  49. Pudding says:

    Robbed a bank? that was funny. I am glad for you that this year it been a good one. Hopefully it stay the same or even better for the rest of the year. I am very happy to find this blog I am trying to learn everything about blogging I will like to start one but I am very newly in all this. Thanks for all the articles and please continue to show us some more about your knowledge. Best wishes for you Darren.

  50. Great post and it shows just how many people can be duped into thinking it can all fall into place if they spend money and not expend effort!