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Double Your Blog Profits in 2013?!

Recently, I asked a blogger what his goals were for 2013. He told me he wanted to double his blog’s income.

Piggy bank

Image courtesy 401(K)2013, licensed under Creative Commons

When I asked how he was going to do that he stared at me blankly and said, “That’s where I may need a little help. It seems such a big goal!”

We began to brainstorm some possibilities for creating that kind of increase in profit. We came up with quite a few ideas, but the main recurring themes seemed to be around three things:

  1. Increase traffic to his blog.
  2. Increase conversions of first-time visitors into subscribers of his email list.
  3. Increase sales conversions (he sells ebooks).

Now, these areas will vary from blog to blog. For example, those who monetize with advertising rather than with products might replace #3 in that list with increasing the performance of AdSense ads or landing extra sponsors.

But at the time, it struck me that to double his income, he could double any single one of the above areas—although 100% increases in any of these areas is a big ask.

However, smaller increases in each of them adds up—and it’s a lot more achievable. For example, a 30% increase in each of the above areas takes him well past a 100% income increase overall.

Of course even 30% increases in these areas can be daunting—but it’s a lot more achievable than 100% in any one!

As we talked this through, he became really energized and began to devise strategies for each of the three areas. In each, he came up with four or five small but important things he could do that would contribute to a 30% increase in that area.

Much of what he came up with was stuff he knew he should be doing but hadn’t gotten around to, or had put on the “one day” list. Most of it was low-hanging fruit that had potential to lead to significant rewards.

Let’s look at some examples.

Increase traffic

He decided to:

  • increase his posting rate from twice a week to three times a week
  • expand his use of social media—he had been focusing soley upon Twitter and decided to start engaging more on Facebook and to experiment with Pinterest
  • write and pitch two guest posts per month to other blogs in his niche
  • install an SEO plugin to help him optimize his blog for search engines.

Increase conversions in subscribers

In this case, the blogger came up with a series of tests that he wanted to run. These included split-testing his subscriber forms on his blog to see if he could increase the percentage of visitors who signed up.

He also wanted to test offering a free report for subscribers.

Increase sales conversions

In this case, the blogger:

  • realized that his sales pages could do with some updating and testing—some A/B testing to optimize them would almost certainly see an increase in the percentage of people buying his ebooks
  • recognized that he wasn’t doing any kind of upselling when a person bought an ebook—as a result he was probably missing out on some sales from people who would buy a second or third if they had opportunity to do so
  • admitted he hadn’t developed any kind of autoresponder sequence for his subscribers that offered them deals on his ebooks.

I’m pretty confident that if he did actually implement all of the above tactics, he’d see small but significant increases in profit over the year ahead—in fact there’s potential there for him to more than double his profit!

How could you double your profit in 2013?

All of us probably have items on our “one day” list. Could any of these help you move toward doubling your profit in 2013? Let us know your plans in the comments.

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. AlexG says:

    “He decided to:
    increase his posting rate from twice a week to three times a week”

    If he does this and decides to increase it to 5 times a week, everything else would be icing on the cake. 99% of the people who get started in this business will not post on their blogs 3 times per week. Increasing that number to 4+ will put him in the 1%

    • Brandon Yawa says:

      I hear a lot of people suggest posting more per week, but is that really a good strategy for every blog? It seems like increasing the supply, when there is no demand. Increasing the content, should go hand to hand with increasing your marketing avenues. Just adding content, without the traffic seems like a waste of content. What do you guys think?

  2. Steve says:

    I need to upsell subscribers after I send out my free product on my weight loss sites. Good advice. Thanks

  3. Nuno Cabral says:

    I Darren,
    I have three questions:

    1- What is the actual power of Pinterest? Why Pinterest and not for example Google+?

    2 – Do you think that is easy to write and pitch guest posts to other blogs in his niche?

    First time commenting! Your blog is awesome!

    • marty says:

      I was wondering the same things since I have never used pinterest.I have asked a few people to guest post but I do not think I am doing it right.Welcome to commenting Nuno!

    • Lindsay says:

      Pinterest is great if people share your photos. It’s a very visual site so if you don’t have photos you’ll need attractive graphics. Also, I don’t think using Pinterest is primarily about having followers its more about getting your content circulating on the site.

      I love pinterest and have found a variety of things through the site from recipes to blogging tips. I still find google+ confusing but can spend hours on Pinterest looking at things.

      Hope this helps.

  4. Sounds like a great strategy. Will be interesting to see how it goes. I particularly like the fact that he has said 2 guest posts per month. More would certainly be better, but by keeping the number small and manageable he can focus on only contacting the very best blogs.

    There are too many people out there right now who just want as many guest posts as possible, as quickly as possible and that’s how you end up with these blogs that pretty much only exist to publish multiple guest posts each day…

    Sorry, rant over.

    Anyway, good luck to him. I’m sure there are a few things that each of us could do which we haven’t got round to yet – and often those things are the easiest way to get a return quickly.

  5. Ram Shengale says:

    Well Darren, right now my blog is just 3 months old and is not making any money. So a double of that would still be a zero. SO I plan to get at least 10,000 subscribers till the end of this year. Its a bit difficult but I think I’ll be able to do it.

    Wish me luck.

  6. Increase Guest posts to 1 per month, and increase from 8 blog posts to 20 per month.
    That’s my strategy for this year along with a big list of tasks that have to be done on a daily basis.

  7. Well, this is an interesting question to bloggers who are not necessarily new to the blogging world, but rather they just haven’t taken the steps necessary to be a serious blogger. Therefore….profits from their blog = $0. Maybe even in the negative.

    This is me.

    So I think an important question to ask myself (and others like me) is: what is my strategy to start making money on my blog? Set that goal for 2013 and then build the vision and framework for how you would then double that (assuming you meet your goal) in 2014.

  8. I’ve challenged myself to write a guest post a day for the next 30 days and pitch them to great blogs. I started this week and already have 2 articles and one taker!

    I’ve decided to repeat this quarterly in 2013 and compare numbers from last year to see if there’s an improvement.

    Kimberly

  9. Ravi says:

    Year 2013 is going to bring many new bloggers, hence it will be a tough competition for everyone. But setting up such goal really Needs a large focus and time. Anyways Best of Luck

  10. Ted says:

    Easier said than done. pretty amazing schedule tho.

  11. It’s funny that this posts mentions setting up an autoresponder sequence for subscribers.

    I’ve been blogging since 2005 and have never used this, in spite of reading on practically every top blog (like this one) that it’s a must. It’s been on my “to do” list for the last six months.

    THIS year (before the first quarter is out), I will finally do it.

    Thanks for the timely reminder.

  12. I like ideas how to increase traffic. Traffic is really important if I want to make profit from blogging :)

  13. marty says:

    To me honest I am just want to start getting a blog profit cause well I have none I think I will start working on a game plan.I dont even know what Seo plugin is so I will have to go look that up.Wow two guest bloggers per month thats amazing I could only two a year I really need to step my game.As always thanks for the info .bookmarking now

  14. Nuno Cabral says:

    I Darren,
    Was there a problem with my last comment? It seems that was deleted. Did I do something wrong?

    Nuno

  15. Kashif says:

    My goal for 2013 is to get more traffic to my blog. For this, I will be using the methods describe above.

  16. in 2013, I hope to create more quality content to users. And learn alot from successful bloggers like you! ok greetings successful 2013

  17. I’m looking to double my traffic, first of all. My blog’s been up for about 4 months and building my list is my number one priority right now. I’m working on the Free/Active part (that’s what I call it).

    In turn, gaining readers and at least doubling my traffic will allow me to profit. We’ll see how it goes :)

  18. Richard Ng says:

    For me, besides the traffics, conversion and sales, I will be focusing on looking for suitable CPA or Affiliate networks to work with.

  19. Dan Erickson says:

    It would be easy for me. I have no profit from my blog. Well, I may have sold a few books via Amazon due to visits to my blog. I’m just trying to use my blog as a Platform for now to get the word out about my books and music. In the future perhaps I’ll begin to monetize it. I’d like to increase my traffic ten-fold this year. Some profit my come from that, we’ll see.

  20. James M. says:

    God, there it is again. The email list. Besides increasing the frequency of my posts, I really should start creating a list.

    • marty says:

      How does a person create an email list.Im such a newbie

      • Hi Marty,

        We all started as newbies. I’m always a newbie in something!

        There are two main ways that I know to start an email list.

        The first way is free with an RSS feed using Feedburner. This is a quick and easy way to get started. You can go to feedburner.com to set up a free account. Most blogging platforms have a plugin that you can use to set up an email form on your blog site.

        If you don’t know how to use a plugin or what to do – just google something like “how to use a plugin on WordPress or Blogger or whatever blogging platform you use. I like going to YouTube and checking out tutorials there as well.

        Myself I prefer to use a service called Aweber.com so that not only can I send out blog messages but I can send out other emails – announcements, etc. that I don’t always want on my blog. Aweber is a paid service (starts at $19.00 for 500 subscribers) but I figure it as my monthly rent for staying in business. There are other email providers as well.

        I’ve been using Aweber for about 10 years and works for me. In the beginning I checked out a lot of different services but once I found Aweber I dug roots and stayed put. Aweber has lots of tutorials. You can get the first month for free.

        The best way to set up an email account is just take a whole day to jump in, learn it and get started. Google for tutorials, video and step-by-step stuff till you find ones that make it simple enough to understand.

        It’s a learning curve but a serious step you should take.

        • marty says:

          Thanks so much right now I am using feedburner I dont make enough to afford aweber but I will someday

  21. Andrea says:

    Thanks so much for the info! I’m just starting out with blogging and want to do it right from the start… There are some great ideas here to take advantage of.

  22. I have set up a membership model and I intend to give my subscribers a lot more of me (in an exclusive fashion). The increase in engagement will create a tighter bond with me and make buying my membership a lot easier for them. I am working presently at reaching 20k subscribers first (Based on my current financial goals). I know it is daunting but I have made a little (but significant distinction): Wake up by 4am everyday and commit to doing the simple things I know that produce results. Do them for at least 8 hours daily and stay consistent with them for 30 days.

    Take stock of what works excellently and focus more on that. Add other strategies and remove those that are NOT as effective. For example, I am working on getting a hundred guest post openings at up to 100 blogs within my niche within the next 30 days (Any blog that can send in 50 visitors within a day and has stellar content) is a good candidate.

    The first step is creating a relationship with the owners of such blogs and becoming top commenter (high-value comments) on each targeted blog is my strategy. Apart from the fact that you become a well-known member of a blog’s community, you strike a cord with the host and actually get a better feel of what works for each blog (while getting trickles of traffic from those comments themselves).

    I have already written over 50 articles for this purpose (Ready to be adapted if necessary) for each of those blogs so I know doing 50 more within my set time frame is something I’ll do with relative ease.

    My other action plans include…

    1. Ensuring that my guest posts are well-optimized for the SEs (surprisingly, many guest posters don’t bother about this). Then ensure that they all get the link love and social signals necessary to push them up. This means that I’ll get initial traffic from the blogs current audience but then get residual traffic from the post’s ranking in the SEs. This will delight my hosts and make it more likely that I get more writing opportunities with them

    2. Paying serious attention to video marketing since I have developed critical knowledge there and can rank easily within my niche. The simple process is repurpose all my articles into videos.

    3. Improving my engagement levels (and hence) my conversion rate by presenting my content in multimedia (Create videos of every page and post I write starting with my name squeeze pages).

    I’ll take note of progress made by the end of the first quarter and then re-evaluate my strategy.

  23. Avaxce says:

    Increase Traffic, Increase Sales, Increase Income :D

  24. Ferb says:

    The way you’re using to increase your blog traffic in 2013 are so amazing. But I’m not ready to increase my profit yet and the more profit I wanna increase the more time I have to put in while school is about to on. Always love your great works, keep it up and good luck to 2013.

  25. Great list of goals, and definable goals, with metrics, at that. The ambiguity of doubling one’s income can be daunting, but putting it into well-thought-out strategies puts some hope of accomplishment into the goals and objectives.

  26. Bill says:

    Personally i would target highly target customers who are in need of my products or services and the best way to do this is by guets posting. Period.

  27. His ideas are good though but I prefer to post at least 5 times a week instead of 3 times, because I believe if visitors do not see fresh content everyday then it is not possible to create a readership. Just like Problogger where fresh contents are adding everyday and we people come to get some knowledge from it.

    • Hi Taswir,

      It depends on the market, but I am of the camp that believes posting every day is overkill.

      Here is a good post from Jon Morrow (who supposedly wrote one of the best blog posts ever) about why posting every day is a silly strategy (he posts once every two weeks): http://boostblogtraffic.com/posting-every-day/

      If a blogger posts every day, they increase quantity but they dilute quality. Let’s face it, can a blogger really write killer posts every day? By taking the time to develop your ideas in a more complete manner, you increase the chance of your blog posts becoming very worthy of sharing (and going viral).

      Cheers,
      Endy

  28. Naven says:

    My goal is increasing number of clients in to my services offering quality services and useful blog posts to my readers to interact them to subscribe and drive quality traffic by various online activities.

    So I can even quadruple my income.

  29. Malhar says:

    Easier said than done. While doing 2 guest post a month would be easy, getting to 3 posts a week get tougher with time, since you would always be on lookout for THAT topic which will resonate with your readers, search engines and leading to purchase of the ebook.

  30. I have lots of goals in 2013. One of them being doing a little experiment with social marketing. I am not too much into social marketing. Hopefully this will be a wise decision.

  31. John Gibb says:

    Hi Darren,

    I think the key going forward now is not only to create the blog, but to create our own branding with our own products and services. If you are simply growing a blog as an affiliate in the make money niche, to simply pitch what everyone else – you are going to have trouble standing out today. The market is full of passionate hard working bloggers, and it is only going to get tougher for 2013 and beyond.

    That being said, I think anyone can create a blog in ANY market and still become a success. We just need to understand that it is not as easy to start as it was in say 2005/2006. (I wish I had of started a blog years ago like you did.) However, I did become a very succesful affiliate, so I am happy to try and grow a huge blog starting now. Thanks for creating a motivating, inspiring resource – we appreciate it.

  32. rahul says:

    its very difficult to implement these tips as they are very time consuming…nice try anyways…

  33. Marcie says:

    I’m going to build my list and get help with the A/B Testing. Those are my biggest challenges right now.

  34. i am agree with your strategy i can make your money double in 2013 but my friend your third point i.e., Increase sales conversions would not be the correct decision because doing this can effect your first point increase in traffic as doing this will make people understand that your are doing this all for just only making money from them which is not true we all are here to share knowledge with other.
    so will go with your first two points but not with the third point ….
    thanxxx

  35. zaid says:

    Good steps, must be implemented

  36. Joi says:

    Blogging more frequently hits it square on the head. A lot of people spend far too much energy and time on social network websites – then they sit back and wonder why they aren’t getting any new traffic and why they aren’t making money.

    You have to use social media as a springboard TO your blog or website, then you have to make darn sure you give your guests a reason to come back. Content, content, content!

    The best advice I can give – as someone who has been at this for a long time (with 12 blogs) – is to write everyday. Even if you only publish 3 posts a week, make certain you write something each and every single day. Doing so keeps the creativity flowing. If you cut back on the number of times you write, the creativity dams up! That’s a miserable thing.

    There’s an old saying that’s brilliant – If you want to become really good at something, spend one hour each day doing it. Of course, if you want to be GREAT at it, devote more than just one hour.

  37. Peter Palme says:

    To double income is a result not a goal. The key focus should be on what his readers really need and what is the true purpose and cause – the story. This will be my focus for 2013.

  38. I’ll spending the last few days doing this stratigies to my website , Certaintly they will work
    hower thank you for sharing !

  39. Another way to make more money (or double your online income) is by making a second (and third and so on) blog which tells about the articles on your main blog. So you can make it bigger and bigger wihtout writing a lot of new content.

  40. John says:

    well, Traffic is the only way to make money online. I think that we can increase traffic by targeting good keywords and then ranking them in top 5. Thank you

  41. 1. Doubling your traffic is not that difficult.

    In fact, in the last quarter of 2012 alone I increased my traffic by over 500%+. There is no special tactic to this, other than writing ONE post a week, containing answers to what my readers ask over at the Facebook group I set up for the community.

    About 70%+ of that traffic comes from organic search though. I think this is because I always write an article with keyword research in mind: learning the exact words people type in when they are looking for information regarding my chosen topic, and then using that vernacular in a natural, simple to read style of writing.

    Just recently I wrote a blog post to answer a reader question, and in 22 hours that post landed in the top 10 of Google for the keyword I was targeting.

    I also use the Genesis Theme for WordPress, which I believe contributes to the “search engine friendliness” of my blog, though I’m not completely sure how.

    2. Building an email list is also not that difficult.

    Due to the increase in traffic, I am getting a steady stream of subscribers to my email list. I just use the free Mailchimp account for this blog (though I also have Aweber running on others).

    However, I haven’t done an autoresponder sequence yet, because I’m still testing the “minimum viable audience” as Brian Clark says. That’s one goal I can add to my list.

    In short, I think that most people here TALK about making money, more than they actually DO make money. Hopefully it doesn’t have to wait until the end of the year for everyone to reach “black ink”.

    Cheers,
    Endy

    • Oh, I forgot to share:

      The tactic I use to increase subscribers is offer a free report.

      I place the email opt in form at the top right sidebar, near the window scroll of the browser, above the fold. I also add a nice looking 3D cover image of the report (it’s in e-book format). Plus, I don’t use the word “Subscribe” – I use the word “Join!” and put that into the button (you can do this inside of the Mailchimp HTML code you put into the widget box).

      I’m testing something different: showing the amount of subscribers. I think this actually decreases the amount of new subscribers – I don’t know why. I’ll take it off next week and see how it effects changes.

      This increases the amount of subscribers I receive each day. Hopefully this can help people here at ProBlogger get ideas on how to get more subscribers.

      Cheers,
      Endy

  42. I am trying to make the shift from a personal blogger (today I did this. blah, blah, blah) to providing real content. I know until I can make that switch my blogging efforts will remain small.

    A couple of months ago I started ghost blogging for a couple of businesses and that has been my secret trick to making the change. It seemed for my own audience who I’ve been blogging with for a long time I found it to too difficult to change my style but doing it for someone else was easier because I had an audience that expected it to be that way.

  43. That list of traffic goals isn’t really that much.

    Installing an SEO plugin won’t do that much for your traffic. Yesterday I posted a thread on Lisa Irby’s forum about SEO plugins, and she replied back saying this:

    “I think some people assume using one is going to have an immediate and gigantic impact on their rankings.”

    Which is obviously not true. If you’re serious about SEO, you’ll need to do a LOT more than install a plugin. Just as there’s no such thing as an ‘autopilot’ make-money-online system, there’s no such thing as an SEO plugin that will automatically give you traffic.

    Also, only two guest posts per month isn’t a lot. I’m not focusing on guest posting at the present time, but when I do, I’ll be writing more than two per month. Remember there’s also no guarantee that your post will be accepted.

  44. rahul says:

    Year 2013 is going to bring many new bloggers, hence it will be a tough competition for everyone. But setting up such goal really Needs a large focus and time.
    my strategy is increase visitors is equal to increase in income.

  45. SuccinctBill says:

    Increase traffic is my #1 goal. My blog is used to establish my authority, but, ultimately, I’m blogging to sell eBooks, content writing, and consulting services. I need to build traffic in order to accomplish those goals.

  46. John says:

    well,
    This is true that more and more people are going to search online in 2013 and we can increase our profit from our websites by using SEO and paid promotion. We need to target the right keyword to get the profit !
    Thank you

  47. Techlato says:

    My goal is to improve Traffic, Build Subscriber List, Improve PR , get thousands of organic traffic and make huge money :D

  48. Joel says:

    I like making it less daunting by breaking it out into portions. However, how do you maintain (or increase) conversion ratios and not just get “junk” traffic? Anyone can increase traffic if they put in the work. I do like this idea, but the “Increase conversions in subscribers” section seems a bit weak.

  49. Thanks for the ideas. This was helpful especially for people like me who are learning about how to increase traffic.

  50. RobG says:

    Hello Darren great post my friend, right now I’m working on building up my readership. I think most bloggers fail on how to accomplish this. I would have to say we need to do things in stages in order to be successful with our blogs. Thanks so much for another great read.