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[Blogging Handbook] The Product Epiphany

The income report that I published was nothing unusual. I had been doing it every month on Obstacle.co, but this time someone left a comment asking if I had a course on Pinterest.

They wanted to know if I taught my Pinterest strategy anywhere.

I never thought about that. I wrote some blog posts about Pinterest since that was our only source of traffic and the reason why things were blowing up. But that’s all I did with regards to Pinterest strategy.

I can’t tell you why the idea of packing up my Pinterest knowledge into some type of offer had never crossed my mind.

So you know what I did?

I spent the weekend creating a Pinterest book and I put it up for sale for $40.

It didn’t sell like hotcakes because the blog wasn’t getting a lot of traffic and I was terrible at email marketing but I remember selling around $1,600 worth in the first couple of days.

It wasn’t much, but enough to pay what needed to be paid and delay everything else.

The Wrong Move

The blog that was selling the Pinterest book, Obstacle.co, was only getting about 10,000 pageviews a month at the time.

However, it was making more than Thrive/Strive so logic would dictate that I spend more time on it, right?

Wrong.

Because I saw it only getting 10,000 pageviews a month I viewed it as a weakness.

The 100,000+ pageviews that Thrive/Strive was getting showed it had much more potential.

More people equals more money, right?

So at this point I still saw ads as our ticket. I figured since we were doing so well with Thrive/Strive, why not create another blog and follow the same formula?

And that’s how The Daily Nutrition was born.

Then it was Miss Fit Living.

Then Bogoten.

Then Mama Paisa.

Then Struggle.co.

It felt like overnight I had created a new blog network for myself.

Now, before you go crazy checking out those blogs and coming back to me saying they don’t look like they’ve been written on for a long time let me tell you that one person writing on 7+ blogs wasn’t feasible.

I got them all into ad networks (some I took out later) and that was that. But we’ll get back to this point in a bit.

By July we were earning over $3,000 a month in ad revenue from the health blog and a couple thousand from the Pinterest book.

A full year after launching it we had almost hit the magical $3,400 mark that I talked about before with just ads all thanks to Pinterest.

At this point I put things in cruise control meaning I just stuck to the program.

Write posts, get ad money, and sell some books.

Every single day I looked at the analytics and made sure nothing funky was happening and then I continued doing my work.

With 7 blogs in either AdThrive or Mediavine, life was good.

Oh, did I mention that my wife was pregnant?

It was okay though because I was doing over $5,000 a month by September and things didn’t look like they were going to slow down.

The only problem was that I was getting burned out. I like to do new things so writing blog posts across 7 different sites was getting old fast.

In fact, I stopped writing on most of them once they got ads up. It wasn’t in my interest to write about things I really didn’t care about and if they were going to get traffic anyways, what did I have to worry about?

In all honesty, I just wanted to prove to the world that I could take a topic, start a blog, and get a lot of traffic for it from Pinterest. I figured that would boost my Pinterest credibility and I was right.

The Billionaire Blog Club

By this time I had built up a little bit of a reputation as someone who understood blogging. I figured I could take things beyond a Pinterest book so I created a Pinterest course and an affiliate marketing course.

I bought a domain, BillionaireBlogClub.com, and put the courses there. I’d open the doors every couple of months, people would sign up, and life was fun.

In fact, our wonderful Community Manager, Marybeth, signed up in the August 2017 cohort.

Life was solid. I got to do what I wanted. Money wasn’t a worry. And things were overall good.

However, there was this kid coming.

Baby Change

My son was going to be born in early January and I knew my life would be different.

I didn’t want to spend all day at the computer while my wife watched the kid. I also needed help with our 4 dogs.

So I called my brother and asked if he was ready to move back to Nevada (oh, totally forgot to mention that we moved to Nevada in July 2016. Colorado lasted 7 months). He was hesitant because what if things fell apart again?

I didn’t blame him for having that concern but I reassured him that things were good.

We had been through almost a whole year of amazing traffic and I didn’t see that coming to an end.

But now I wanted more.

I saw what happened when you sell your own products and I figured it was time to use all of the health traffic we were getting to create a product for them.

We had been on the ketogenic diet for a couple of months and so I decided to create a program based on that.

Life was good.

My brother arrived in January a day before my son was born.

By April, I was able to pay him a good enough salary where he could move out on his own.

As a family we were having a blast. There were no worries about money. My wife didn’t ask how our money situation was which was a first in about 7 years.

Amazing things were happening.

When life is like this you never see it coming to an end.

Until it does.

But in July 2018, Google did something. They changed their algorithm and let me see how I can put this.

We got fucked.