This post contains affiliate links.
This post is making a special appearance on behalf of Elite Blog Academy, the most amazing comprehensive “grow your blog to the moon” course that only opens for enrollment once a year!
Elite Blog Academy completely changed the way I blog. It’s thousands of dollars worth of blogging knowledge wrapped up into a neat little package for a fraction of the price.
Did I mention it’s ONLY AVAILABLE once per year? This year the doors are open for for five days, beginning February 27th.
That means that if you are ready to finally take your blog to the next level, you should be ready to sign up! Make sure to sign up for the waiting list so you don’t miss out! Oh and print out this post or otherwise save it, because after the Elite Blog Academy launch, it’s going in the vault for use in a future course! 😀
So today I want to get all nerdy on you. One thing you might not know about me is that I’m a numbers nerd. 😀
I’m a CPA by trade, which means I love spreadsheets. Tracking things in Excel makes me happy. While I don’t know advanced math very well, I do know how to use an adding machine (word for fancy calculator) and basic middle school algebra. If you can add, subtract, multiple, and divide and sometimes solve for X or Y, you can be a CPA!
(don’t let our secret out!) lol
Being a numbers nerd comes in handy when it comes to blogging for income.
I’ve noticed over the years that some of the bigger bloggers out there, when interviewed about their success, mention things like “return on investment” and “conversion rate” quite often.
This didn’t mean anything to me for a longest time because A) I didn’t have any money to invest and B) I didn’t have enough blog visitors to calculate any conversion rates.
But once I started getting to that point, I slowly began to realize what they were talking about. I feel like I finally get it now. And I don’t like keeping this stuff to myself, so I’m letting you know what I’ve learned!
Today I want to give you insight into the best way I know to increase your blog income. This can mean the difference between you constantly guessing at what to do and knowing what to do the next time you sit down at your computer!
You see, making an income from your blog is all about math. Let me say it again.
Blogging is one big math equation.
Blog Math Explained
Before we start, I want to say that this works best if you have a product or service to sell of your own OR a product or service you are an affiliate for. You can use this same theory to increase income from other avenues, but for simplicity’s sake, my focus today will be on products or services.
Let’s dive right in. It’s hard to explain math in writing, but seeing as I don’t have a chalkboard or video equipment with me right now, I’ll see what I can do! :=D
1) Assign values to variables
This sounds scary but I promise it is not! When we talk about blog income, what does that boil down to?
Well, if you have product to promote, it boils down to this formula:
PRICE x SALES = REVENUE minus SALES EXPENSES (affiliate pay, payment processing) = NET INCOME
If you are selling someone else’s product, it boils down to this formula:
Someone else’s product:
PRICE x AFFILIATE PERCENTAGE x SALES = REVENUE
If it’s your own product, the affiliate percentage is 100% and you can simply eliminate it from the equation. If it’s not your product, then it’s important to take the percentage into consideration because it can change over time.
Your #1 goal when it comes to making money on your blog is to change the variables under your control while holding all other variables constant.
In order to do this, you must make a priority of assigning values to different parts of the income equation. The more values you can define (X, Y, or Z), the easier it is to figure out what you need to focus on. In other words, you will be able to impact your bottom line when you can work towards increasing revenue by controlling the inputs.
Let’s go through an example.
So for instance, let’s say you sell a meal planning course for $30 (don’t know if that exists, but it sounds reasonable). And let’s say the affiliate percentage is 40%, making the payout $12 for every course you sell.
The revenue equation is $30 price x 40% commission x SALES = REVENUE
- If you make 10 sales, revenue is $120 ($30 price x 40% commission x 10 sales)
- If you make 25 sales, revenue is $300 ($30 price x 40% commission x 25 sales)
Let’s also consider that you get 1000 visitors per month to the blog post where you promote that meal planning service. You know after 6 months of doing this that you can usually expect 10 out of every 1000 people who view the offer to actually buy the course. So this means your conversion rate of all visitors is 1%. You also know that out of everyone who actually clicks the link to the sales page, your conversion rate is 1 out of every 10 people, or 10%.
2) Making Improvements & Test Changes
Knowing the factors above, what is your number one job?
Well, obviously, you want to increase sales so you can make more commission, but what’s the best way to do that?
This is where the tricky part comes in because there are many ways to impact the sales number. This is what you’ll need to test & improve upon. You have several options to choose from based on what you know and what you can test for, including:
- What you know: for every 1,000 people who visit the sales post, 10 of them will purchase the meal planning course. What you can test for: You could spend your time figuring out how to get more people to those posts. Think: internal traffic strategies, more related content, creating a better pinnable image, working on your SEO efforts
- What you know: You know that for every 10 people who click on the sales page, 1 of them will buy the course. What you could test for: You could spend time figuring out how to get more clicks by working on your calls to action, changing the placement of the clickable link on the page, or even promoting it on social media more often
- What you know: Your affiliate percentage is 40%. What you could test for: Is the affiliate percentage negotiable? You could try to get that increased. It never hurts to ask!
- What you know: There’s always room for improvement in your sales copy. What you could change/test for: You could evaluate your content from an outsider’s point of view with an eye toward improvement. Is there something missing that could make your argument more convincing? Do you need more photos? Personal anectdotes?
3) Run & Evaluate
Once you have more strategies to get clicks and views under your belt, you should keep tabs on conversion rates. This takes time. You can’t make a change today and expect to see results tomorrow. A good amount of time to determine if a change is working is however long it takes to get a critical amount of data.
If your formula is based on 1000 visits to the blog post, then 1000 visits could mean 3 days or 3 months for you. This will vary from blog to blog and is unique to you!
Ask yourself as many questions as possible as they relate to your original math equation:
- If you got more visitors to the post, did the conversion rate stay the same, worsen, or improve & why?
- If you got more clicks to the post, did the conversion rate stay the same, worsen, or improve & why?
- If you wrote more content on the same topic, did you make sure to interlink it properly so visitors are flowing to the offer? Did your sales increase proportionally to visits and clicks according to your original equation?
- Ask as many questions as you can think of. Question your questions. Never stop inquiring. As soon as you stop asking questions and make assumptions or draw hard lines in the sand, your upward trajectory will halt. And nobody wants that!
If something from the testing / trials above didn’t work, can you reverse it? If it worked really well, can you amplify it or reproduce it?
If you did a bunch of things and nothing improved your income, then stop right there and figure out why. It could be that you’re doing things that don’t impact income. If you were, then it would likely increase. If you *think* you were on the right track, then give it another go and re-evaluate in a couple months. Are the results the same? Then you have extra proof that what you did doesn’t work. Did you find success? Then maybe the first round of tests were off and you are getting better at your game! 😀
5) Fill in the blanks
Your ULTIMATE GOAL out of all of this?
To be able to fill in these blanks:
When I do _____________ this ______________ happens.
As in, WHEN I write a how to post related to my product, I drive more visitors to my main sales post, THEN I get more visits to the sales page and make $100 more.
Or as in, WHEN I promote this offer on my Facebook page, THEN I usually get a few sales that evening.
If your WHENs consistently lead to positive THENs, you will start to build momentum because you’ve begun identifying $$ actions! If you cannot come up with any WHEN/THEN statements, you need to go back to the original equation and work your way to this point again.
If you identify WHENs that lead to negative or neutral impact THENs, you have identified areas to dismiss so you can find something that gets better results.
What does this mean for you?
The other day I talked about how I strategically invest in blogging education in the post How to Become a Six Figure Blogger. I mentioned that I like to invest in programs (courses, ebooks, etc) that will help me get better at my weaknesses.
What I meant is that I invest in what I believe will help me improve my metrics. In other words, if I want to make more money blogging, then I need to affect one or more of the variables in the Y x Z = $X math equation to increase my revenue.
If I know I can earn $X by selling 10 additional units of a certain product and that 2% of every person who sees the product sales page will buy it, then one of my primary jobs is to figure out how to get more people to that sales page and how to get more of them to buy my product, right?
So what will I invest in next?
Since I want to improve traffic to my offer, then I could invest in a number of things including:
- a list building course
- a Facebook or Pinterest course (whichever platform I think might bring me the most qualified visitors)
- an ebook on improving my headlines
- an ebook on increasing blog traffic
And since I want to convince more people to buy I might want to invest in the following:
- a copywriting course
- an ebook improving sale copy
- a course on improving my writing style / persuasion method
How you know if it’s working
This is actually the fun part! It’s so easy to know if what you’re doing is working. Simply track your conversion rates. Did you get 1000 more people to the offer? Well, if your original formula said that you should have sold 1000 visitors x 2% x $10 commission = $200 worth of products, did you achieve that?
If so, then rejoice! Your math is good! You can now proceed with confidence to make more improvements. <== btw – this is when you can really start to level up your income!
If not, then analyze the results. Was your original projection wrong? (Possibly so if you were working with small numbers. More numbers usually = better accuracy) Did you change something by accident that negatively impacted your sales (something wrong with your site, the offer actually changed, the buy button wasn’t working, etc)? There is something off about your math equation, and your job at this point is to troubleshoot that issue.
This is how you build a blog on middle school math. 😀
Investing in Math Tools
I don’t think I could explain to exactly why I was excited about the opportunity to enroll in Elite Blog Academy without explaining the math behind growing a blog.
When you get to see all the blogging education that Elite Blog Academy includes, it’s easy to see how you can instantly earn more money with your blog by investing in this course. This might truly be the turning point for you!
Elite Blog Academy has SO. MANY. SUCCESSFUL GRADUATES that its effectiveness at training professional bloggers is undisputed.
After you go through EBA, you will be able to improve nearly every metric related to making money blogging! Even if you think you don’t need it now, I can confidently say that you WILL once you start working on your blogging math equations!
I hope you see this post in time and that you jump on this opportunity. Elite Blog Academy is only open once a year. I waited through THREE enrollments before finally deciding to enroll. And I kicked myself with every video I watched and lesson I learned….it’s just so good and I believe it should be required training for all bloggers!
Grab the Goal Setting Workbook
In the meantime while we wait for the doors of EBA to open, one thing you can do is start working on your blog goals with this goal setting workbook. This is a resource from the team at Elite Blog Academy. I will give you a jump start on all your blogging goals, whether or not you enroll in EBA!