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The Systematic Blogger’s Manifesto

This is a guest post by Shaun Connell from Live Gold Prices.

I remember when I first began reading about “passive income”. It seemed brilliant: work hard and make sure you leverage your time and capital so that instead of being paid once, you’re paid a little bit every month into the future.

At the time, I was just running a blog for fun, and decided to go ahead and start a blog for profit. It’s been about five years now, and I’ve been doing this full-time for about four years. I’ve learned a lot about blogging, passive income, internet marketing, SEO—the whole works.

The most important lesson I’ve learned?

Forget passive income: focus on systematic income

For most people, blogging is a bad way to get to a passive income. Most bloggers work hard the entire time they have the blog.

A passive income is an income you can just set and forget. And any successful blogger will tell you that for the vast majority of blogging experiences, the work never really stops—it just changes form. You can minimize the workload, but for the most part, it’s just about cutting the load without ever actually making it to a full-on passive status.



Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not. Those who understand that blogging is about finding repeatable systems are the most succesful bloggers on the Internet today. It’s all about learning how to create the right design, the right headline, the right path to success—those are systems that generally work regardless of who the blogger is.

I’ve written here before about systematic blogging and blogging for passive income.

A systematic blogger knows how to leverage usability, other people’s content, and good ideas in such a way that every bit of their work gets as much done as possible.

The following principles are some of the most important concepts one can ever understand in order to make one’s blogging as systematic as possible.

Blogging is just a “regular” website with a specific structure

In the end, the only real difference between the vast majority of websites is how they’re organized. They’re all still pretty much about the same thing—they’re a platform for connecting viewers with information of some sort. When we understand this, we’ll see why that’s important.

Facebook, Wikipedia, and About.com are all platforms for connecting content with viewers in a way that makes each network unique. The content is different, of course, but even if they had equally valuable content, each network would have a very different approach to connecting users with that content.

Once this is understood, the challenge of organizing one’s blog should suddenly present a plethora of new opportunities. For example, it’s alright for a blog to have sales pages as part of the design, or even a static homepage to make it easier for first-time visitors to see all of the most important concepts first. It’s alright to borrow structure ideas from other websites.

The vast majority of my websites—especially my gold prices website—now have the same basic structure: a static homepage, a newsletter page that I link to when saying “subscribe”, newsletter optin forms on every page, an autoresponder with several months’ worth of emails lined up for turning subscribers into repeat visitors and pitching them products, and a “blog” widget or page where users can see the latest articles.

The website structure, along with the other principles listed below, makes my business much more systematic. As long as I find a way to acquire new visitors to the site every day, I’ll end up with more people subscribed at the end of every month. And that’s half the battle: automation.

Blogging for profit is about retaining income, not just traffic

Traffic is just a tool. In the context of profit, it’s just fuel for the engine. That’s why some people are able to make great money with a little traffic when they’re writing about investments, while some websites can have ten times the traffic and barely pay the bills when they’re writing about lolcats.

Understand that traffic is just part of the process, and not the entire goal of the process.

Just because people are reading, that doesn’t necessarily mean the writer is earning. Don’t worry, this isn’t necessarily bad news. For people who understand that building systematic income is all about figuring out what it takes to get to profits in a “repeatable” format, everything is easier.

This is one of the reasons I entered the gold prices and rates niche, and one of the reasons the investment niche is so crowded—the results are generally harder to get, but often exponentially rewarding when achieved.



For example, understanding SEO and guest posting makes the entire process easier. There have been numerous courses teaching the same powerful principle of using proper SEO, proper keyword choices, and setting up one’s blog to be as usable as possible—and then guest posting to put traffic into one end of the “machine.” It’s all the rage because it works.



The systematic blogger understands that his blog is a machine, and if he takes care of it to make sure it’s running as well as possible, it’ll take care of him. By figuring out how to juice every visitor for as many pageviews as possible, to impress them with the best content displayed where it can be easily found, and to reward the visitor with plenty of goodies via an autoresponder, and then using the right keywords and consistent guest posting, the systematic blogger will succeed.



It sounds like a lot of work because, of course, it is. But after a while it becomes a type of routine and becomes simpler and simpler. After all, that’s the point of having a system in the first place—to generate simple, predictable, and powerful results.

What do you do to make sure your blog is as systematic as possible? 
Do you regularly guest post for other blogs? 
Do you have any tips for people looking to make their blog more systematic?

 Share them with us in the comments.

Shaun Connell is a systematic blogger who writes over at Live Gold Prices, his latest project where he discusses both the rate of gold and the future of precious metal overall.

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Comments

  1. Ryan Hanley says:

    I definitely agree that you need a process for your blog… Trying to go set-it-and-forget-it is not going to work for most bloggers. I know that many niche site builders would have a different opinion on this but I find commenting on other blogs and guest posting to be huge sources of traffic.

    Thanks!!

    Ryan H.

  2. Kalen Smith says:

    Thanks Shaun you have a bunch of good feedback here. Yes the work never goes away, but I think one of the best things is you can scale back. Once you have done the initial work, you can just focus on generating fresh content to maintain SEO and monitor your traffic and conversions to know if you need to tweak things. At least if you are running a basic affiliate site. The more complex your project, the more work it is to maintain, but then we are getting away from passive income completely.

    I think your sites are going to make more money for you if you put more time on them, so the whole passive income thing isn’t really the best way of looking at it. However, you can consider hiring writers etc. to help you eliminate part of the work provided your site is generating enough revenue. But then if you lose income to say an algorithm change in Google, you may be losing money paying while waiting to get your site generating wealth again.

  3. suraj says:

    I don’t care about how much money the blog gives. I just focus on the valuable contents on my blog.

  4. Melanie says:

    This post makes a lot of sense. Definitely appeals to a particular side of the brain!

  5. Vectors says:

    I was referred to this website by a very good friend after years of doing the wrong thing as far as building a blog is concerned. Once again GREAT article Brad.

  6. Howie Nguyen says:

    Hmm, let’s see if anyone goes out and starts SmartSystematicIncome.com =)

  7. Shaun,
    I like the idea of systematic blogging. I’ll have to check out more of your stuff.

  8. Hi Shaun, some great ideas here, thanks. I’m currently writing a blog which takes up a great deal of my time. I’m looking to expand, but have struggled to see how I can fit anything else in. From taking a quick look around your gold site, the light bulb has gone on!

  9. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the post Shaun. Nice RATM refrence, creative.

  10. I definitely agree that you need a process for your blog… Trying to go set-it-and-forget-it is not going to work for most bloggers. I know that many niche site builders would have a different opinion on this but I find commenting on other blogs and guest posting to be huge sources of traffic.

    Thanks!!