They’re laughing at us. Did you know that?
Right now, someone who refers to himself as an “Internet marketer” is sitting in his bedroom, dressed in nothing but his undies, laughing at how hard bloggers work for how little money we make.
We drive ourselves to creative exhaustion by expecting ourselves to pump out a never-ending stream of remarkable content — a stream that, even in the best of cases, only pulls in a couple hundred bucks a month in advertising revenue.
And the guy in his undies? He’s one of the thousands or even tens of thousands of people making six figures online every year. Sure, he worked hard in the beginning, but not anymore. Now he’s connected and focused on growing revenue, not creating an endless supply of free content.
Compare that story to that of most bloggers, and you have to laugh. To say we are overworked and underpaid is an understatement.
The guy in his undies thinks this is especially funny, and justifiably so. He’s only half as smart as you, but he’s making 10 times more money.
So he laughs, not just at you, but at all bloggers. All bloggers, that is, except a tiny handful that have figured out something that makes them wealthy.
One of those bloggers is Brian. Soon, I’ll be one too. We know something that most of the blogging community has yet to figure out.
Is Your Do-It-Yourself Work Ethic Really Helping You?
As a whole, we bloggers are a self-reliant bunch. We usually write all our own content, optimize it for search engines, promote it with social media, and then craft individual responses to all of the resulting comments and emails. Some of us even design our own theme and manage our own server.
The justification? Cost.
Most of us can’t afford to hire a staff of writers, marketers, and customer support personnel to help us with our blog. Sure, we’d love to build an entire staff around it one day, but right now, it’s just a hobby that you’re slowly nurturing into something bigger. Doing it all yourself seems to make sense.
Or does it?
One common problem with the do-it-yourself work ethic is that you spend so much time doing all of the basics that you never get to the really important tasks. In the case of bloggers, we invest all of our time into getting attention, but many of us never get around to monetizing that attention.
You see, creative energy is a finite resource. You can probably summon enough to write a few quality posts, but once you’ve done that, there’s no creative energy left for anything else. It doesn’t matter how hard you push yourself. When you’re out, you’re out.
This solution, ironically, isn’t working harder. It’s working less. And to find out how, we need look no further than the aforementioned Internet marketer in his undies. He’s perfected it.
How to Make Millions Online (or Anywhere Else)
Compare bloggers to Internet marketers, and you’ll notice one stark difference. Smart Internet marketers don’t do anything by themselves. They prefer to do part of the work, and then partner with someone else to do the rest of it.
For instance, the hottest topic in Internet marketing right now is product launches. The basic idea is that you create a product, partner with all of the leaders in your industry to promote it, and then sit back as the sales start pouring in.
The other hot topic is affiliate marketing. In this model, you don’t actually create anything to sell. Instead, you promote the products of other people in exchange for a commission on each sale.
Notice the similarity? In both cases, no one is doing all of the work.
It’s no coincidence. Building a successful Internet business is a huge undertaking, and it’s insane to do it all yourself. If you’re a beginner, the only way you can succeed is to focus on part of the process and leave the rest to your partners.
That’s the major reason why product launches and affiliate marketing are so popular. They reduce the myriad of tasks involved in Internet marketing down to something a handful of people can manage.
Marketing JVs and affiliate programs are pretty typical. There are many other aspects to partnering that get really creative (and lucrative).
The Missing Ingredient for Blogging Success
Have you noticed that everything Brian does these days is a partnership?
For Teaching Sells, he partnered with Tony Clark. For Thesis, he partnered with Chris Pearson. For Lateral Action, he partnered with Mark McGuinness and Tony Clark (again).
Some of you may even remember Tubetorial, another collaboration between Brian and Chris Pearson. They sold if for six figures after six months of part-time work.
You could even say that the content production here at Copyblogger is a partnership. Brian no longer writes all of the posts himself. He’s partnered with a team of writers to keep you supplied with a constant stream of remarkable posts.
It’s not just because Brian is smart. It’s also because he’s human. He knows that he’s incapable of writing a daily post for Copyblogger and building other businesses at the same time. No one has that much creative energy. Not even Brian.
So what does he do? He partners.
Partnering is the missing ingredient for blogging success. Yes, you can start a blog on your own. Yes, you can make it popular by yourself. Yes, you can stay involved in it forever. But if you ever want to profit from it, you need to partner with other people.
Brian didn’t monetize Copyblogger by stuffing it full of ads. Instead, he used the visibility of being an A-list blogger to attract a talented group of partners so he could create relevant products and services for the audience he attracted.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, right? Certainly making money online is a lot more complicated than starting a blog and spreading the word that you’re looking for partners.
After all, it took two-and-a-half years before Copyblogger started generating six-figures-a-month as a business unit. Luckily, we’ve got a lot more to teach on that topic.
Partnering Strategies for Invisible Bloggers
And what if you don’t have any visibility yet?
Are there ways to use partnering to jump-start and accelerate your success? Is spending a year or two attracting attention and building an audience the only way, or are there other options?
I’m living proof that there are other approaches that work. In the next post, Brian tells you about two of those models.
About the Author: Jon Morrow is an Associate Editor of Copyblogger and co-founder of Partnering Profits.