Yo everyone, today's post is a little special for me. 2016 has been a killer year for M$M so far. This little website has come a long way over the past year, and a lot of the hard work that I've put into the blogging game is starting to pay off (literally). Today I'm going to share some of my strategies for growth with you!
Let me explain – I was on the phone with a few executives (#humblebrag) from a LARGE life insurance company the other day. They are interested in doing a series of educational posts throughout the year on M$M and working together in a few other ways over the long term. At the end of the conference call I was asked: “Bobby, did you ever think you'd be doing something like this?”
Heck no. Well…kinda. I did quit my job to run this thing, but it really hasn't been a good source of income for me until now. There is no way I could have lived off of M$M without starting my digital marketing company when I left my band directing job.
So far this year M$M has brought in $5,725. Not too bad for 5 weeks and a blog that's only one year old, right?
Here is the breakdown of where it is coming from:
Bluehost: $375 in January <– I LOVE this one. It's basically passive income from a post I did on starting a blog. When people sign up through my site, I get paid and they get a [email protected]$$ hosting platform. Win-win for all. 🙂
Live tweeting event: $1,100 < — Happening on February 13th. I'm going to a new home community, taking a tour, and tweeting about it. Cool huh?
Sponsored posts: $4,250 <– Haven't invoiced all of this yet, but it's “under contract” and will be sprinkled in throughout the year.
Fidelity is also flying me out to Boston in March for some wining and dining (and mostly checking out their new investment products for Millennials). Not getting paid, but I'll take the free trip and fancy food.
3 Strategies I've used to grow M$M quickly:
1) Niche Specialization
When I first started out I wanted to save the entire world from making poor money choices! I still do, but I've really tried to focus on JUST Millennials lately. That sounds silly because the site is called Millennial Money Man, but my topics were pretty broad in the beginning and not really focused on my homies.
For you aspiring money makers out there in the blogging world, companies like it when you have a specific audience. Even if you don't have a ton of traffic – if you can show that you have a QUALITY reader base that fits their target demographic you will get noticed.
Here's the catch: Don't EVER sell out for the Benjamin$! Write about things you believe in, and turn companies down if their product isn't right/helpful for your audience. If you write passionately and about things you believe in, the exposure will come. I learned that one from J$ with Budgets Are Sexy. It's always about your audience first, $$$ last.
Every cool thing that has happened for M$M lately came from hustling on Twitter. Every. Single. One. Here's how:
I use Buffer to automatically tweet posts from the site every 30 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes to set up every morning but helps drive traffic and gets my name out there. Every 30 minutes might sound like a lot, but you have to remember that tweets have a short lifespan (less than an hour).
I used a strategy that I call “targeted following” when I was getting started. I found vaguely popular Millennials and just started following about 1,000 of their followers per day. You'll get 100 followers a pop out of it. It's SLOW. It took me a long time to get to even 4,000 followers. I don't really have to do it anymore, but I still do from time to time.
***UPDATE: Make sure that you don't follow more than 1,000 people a day! Twitter will send you a warning if you do this, and may suspend your account if you go over 1,000 a few times in a short time period. I would recommend spreading out your following over the day and not do it too fast!***
Figure out who writes for the cool money sites that we all want to be mentioned on and periodically tweet your content to them. Don't be weird about it or pushy…be as casual as you can be on Twitter. All you are trying to do is get your name on their radar. This is how I was interviewed by MarketWatch, Huffington Post, and International Business Times last year.
The biggest deal on Twitter or any social media is to be nice. Kindness is the currency of social media!!! Share people's stuff, compliment their work, and just be a good dude/lady. Also – block people that piss you off. 🙂
***If you have any questions about Twitter/Social media, just ask in the comments or email me! I'm actually pretty decent at it.***
3) Guest Bloggers
This has been my favorite project so far. I have guest posters on the site every week. I've met a lot of really cool people and have learned a lot of great financial lessons from my guest posters!
Here's why it works: They get exposure to my 13,000 **14,300 now** Twitter followers and my readership (and sometimes Rockstar Finance or other content curators), and when they share the articles their readers get introduced to M$M. It's a mutually beneficial strategy that helps everyone grow. The BEST growth strategy in blogging is to be a part of a blogging community!
I still have a long way to go if I want to get this site to the level of some of my $$$ blogging heroes (Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, J$ from Budgets are Sexy, Sam from Financial Samurai, etc.), but for right now I'm trying to enjoy the small amount of success that I'm having. Also, I'm trying to have fun!
Just so you know, nothing in blogging is fast. Don't expect to go viral or make money overnight. Here is a quote that I love from a random old guy that reminds me about running a blog:
When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before. -Jacob Riis
What strategies are YOU using to grow your blog (or business….whatever) this year?
Want to start your own blog or switch to WordPress? See my how-to guide below: