It’s always interesting to think about where the affiliate marketing space would be without blogging. Even though I’ve been making money online for 17 years now, everything changed quite a bit when I started blogging back in 2007. So many internet marketers have built up a name for themselves through a blog and it’s really helped people not only come into the affiliate marketing industry, but also solidify businesses and have them be more personable in the process. This is the exact process that Luke Kling has been going through with his blog and the ad network PeerFly that he’s been working with for many years now. It’s been a while since I ran the last interview on the blog, so I’m thrilled to kick things off with Luke from LukePeerFly.com!
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
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My name is Luke Kling. I’m a 24 year old blogger, web developer, Affiliate Manager, and entrepreneur. I first started blogging way back in around 2004 and over the years have gotten more and more serious about it. My blog, LukePeerFly.com. recently celebrated it’s 2nd birthday. I decided to start blogging about making money online (primarily through affiliate marketing) because it’s my passion and I knew there were things I could share that would be beneficial to my readers. I am proud to say that over the past 2 years my blog has grown into one of the top 20,000 sites on the web according to Alexa.com and has generated millions of page views.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
My primary niche is affiliate marketing and general “make money online” information. I mix in different articles based on my interests or what I’m working on. For example, I was running several affiliate campaigns on Plenty of Fish a few months ago and that lead me to publish two separate POF case studies within 4 days of each other.
I work full time as an Affiliate Manager for PeerFly, Inc. and my blog is a side project I do in my spare time at home. I chose to write about affiliate marketing because it’s something I am very passionate about. I’ve been an Affiliate Manager for about 9 years now. I enjoy the industry and working with my publishers. Making money online is a great challenge and it’s fun to watch as others pursue that challenge and being an AM gives me the insight to fuel my own passion with affiliate marketing. Watching my publishers earn $350,000 in a week or receiving an email from a grateful publisher I’ve helped earn their first dollar. Those are the things that keep me interested in the affiliate marketing roller coaster and make me want to blog about it.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
When I initially started my blog I did not monetize it at all. About 6 months after I started writing in it consistently I decided that it was time to try to make some money from it. So, I added a few AdSense ad units and shortly after started building an email list. I primarily make money from the ads on the site, paid reviews, and some affiliate sales. I reinvest a majority of the revenue from my blog into my AdWords retargeting campaign, media buys, Facebook ads, and other types of advertising. My blog is not my primary source of income so I like to use the revenue from it to build it up and make it better.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
I really wish I would have started building my mailing list the day I launched my blog. There is so much opportunity to monetize a mailing list and use it to drive traffic to your blog. I know I missed out on hundreds if not thousands of subscribers had I at least had an opt-in form from the beginning.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
I read all the latest articles from the blogs on affposts throughout the day (shameless plug), but I find myself heading over to TechCrunch, Performance Marketing Insider, and USAToday (if you consider it a blog) daily.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
I’ve mentioned my mailing list a few times and the company I use to manage my list is AWeber. They have fantastic delivery, great tools, and an awesome interface. I also use PopUp Domination to help build my mailing list. Nearly 80% of my subscribers come from PopUp Domination!
I use YOURLS and have a short domain I use to track my social media traffic (luke.am). If you’re using social media to drive traffic to your blog a nice short URL can help draw attention to your links and YOURLS is an awesome free tool to help you keep track of where the traffic is coming from.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Don’t make the silly mistake I did and start building your email list from day one! A simple opt-in form in your sidebar or below your post content is all you need to get started. Someday you will thank me!
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
Before I started my blog at LukePeerFly.com I went through two or three short lived blogs. It’s really important that you have a goal with your blog and that you are writing about a topic you’re passionate about. My goal is to make every person that reads my blog more money than if they had never read it. Making money online is my passion so it’s easy for me to find different things to write about within that niche.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
First, I would get a shared server and a domain name in my niche. Then, I’d sign up for AWeber (first month is just $1 and then $19/month after that) and you should have just enough left to buy PopUp Domination.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
I’m available pretty much all day everyday:
Twitter – http://twitter.com/LukePeerFly
Facebook – http://fb.com/LukePeerFly
Feel free to use my contact form and send me an email:
Thanks again Luke for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.
How to Leave Your Blogging Struggles Behind
Exit your comfort zone on a daily basis.
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Leave blogging struggles behind.
I love blogging. Blogging feels fun, freeing and quite easy to me. But sometimes, on this journey, my feelings change a bit. Sometimes, blogging feels uncomfortable and I nudge into resistance. Fear rears its head. Mental blocks arise. Sometimes I fear running out of time or perhaps I fear wasting my time. In these moments, I have 2 choices: remain in my fear-filled comfort zone or leave my comfort zone.
I left most of my blogging struggles behind because I choose to leave my comfort zone on a regular basis. Traffic, profits, and all manner of sweet blogging success greet bloggers who feel their fears, leave their comfort zones and do the blogging task, anyway.
What Is Blogging Struggle?
Blogging struggle is doing things or not doing things based on fear. Fear drives you. You blog from a fear-based, scared energy. You avoid traffic and profit and success boosting activities because you fear the opportunities. Example; you struggle horribly to make money and drive blog traffic. I advise to begin generous, relaxed, enjoyable guest posting, to help you increase traffic and profits and success. The split second you THINK about guest posting, you feel a range of emotions, from excitement, to happiness, then, from terror, to anxiety, to a general fear of wasting your time.
If 2 people visit your blog daily and you see zero blogging profits now, and you say “no” to guest posting because of some fears, you will likely struggle horribly, because you avoided guest posting to stay in your comfort zone of fear.
Traffic and profits sit on the other side of fear, outside of your comfort zone. No way around that one. We all pay a fear tuition doing freeing, success-promoting, uncomfortable things. I remember when Zac invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Fear invaded my mind. Would he reject my posts? How about if he hated my posts? What if I wasted my time? Would I be able to follow all the rules? Would he criticize me? Of course Zac is the nicest, kindest, friendliest iconic blogger on earth. He REALLY is, guys. He is an exceptional human being. But fear is irrational, distorting the truths of love, harmony and abundance.
I had to feel all those scary, intense fears, and keep blogging anyway, to write and publish my first few guest posts here. 800 plus guest posts later, I am still going strong. Why? I left my comfort zone those first few times and instantly began leaving blogging struggles behind.
Exit your comfort zone every single day. Do something that scares you. Do something that tests your limits. Publish a 4 paragraph long comment on a top blog, even if you fear:
- nobody is listening
- nobody is reading comments
- nobody will click through to your blog
- you are wasting your time
- the comment won’t get published
This happened to me recently. I spent 15 minutes writing a 9 paragraph comment on Pro Blogger. But Disqus suffered some connection problems and prevented me from publishing the comment. I feared I wasted 15 minutes. But after feeling and releasing the emotion, I let it go, moved on, and devoted 10 minutes to writing and publishing the comment later in the day, when Disqus was working.
Struggles happen if you choose to blog mainly from fear.
Success happens when you nudge into these fears, toward your blogging fun, taking inspired but uncomfortable action on a daily basis.
Go for it!
Exit your comfort zone.
Leave your blogging struggles behind…for good.
Focus on Things More to Leverage Your Blog Quickly
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What is the relationships guy talking about?
Blogging is a people business, right?
Blogging is one part people and one part things. Seriously. I learned this recently because if you depend 100% on people to build your blogging success you cannot possibly scale to massive levels. But if you do focus on things more, like email lists, and blogging platforms, you become less dependent on people, and also, your leveraging potential goes through the roof.
Email List Example
Let’s look at the famous email list. It is a thing. After you publish a blog post, you write a few words, include a link to your latest post, and after clicking a button, email the post to 10, 100, or 10,000 people….or more people. In a split second, you reach 10,000 human beings. Using a thing helps you leverage your presence like mad. Awesome.
But imagine if you only reached 10,000 people by mentioning people in your recent post, and tagging them on social media. Humanly impossible, of course. Let’s say you depend on even, 50 people, to promote your blog post, by mentioning them and tagging them. Linking to and tagging 50 bloggers takes a lotta time. Minimum, even for a 700 word post, it takes 90 minutes to 2 hours – or longer – to go the tagging and mentioning route. Do you see the problem of depending 100% on people and friendships to build blog? You run out of time. Meanwhile, sending your post to 50 email subscribers takes 3 minutes to send the email and literally, a split second to actually publish the email, at the click of a button.
Using Things Effectively Leverages Your Presence
Using email lists, blogging platforms for guest posting and certain tools leverages your presence fast because eventually, you run out of time trying to leverage your presence solely based on grabbing the attention of fellow bloggers. Plus you are at the mercy of humans, and building a fear-based attachment to fellow humans leads to misery because humans change, humans get too busy to promote you, and humans unfriend other humans.
I am for making blogging a people and things business. I have learned this lesson the hard way over the prior 2 months. Befriend people and enjoy the process, but if you want to leverage massively and sprint up the exposure ladder, tap into the convenience of technology by using things to reach more people fast.
At the end of the day, it is about helping more people freely. Use things – aka technology aka inanimate objects – to help people more freely and to help more people, too.
Exit Human-Obsessed and Things-Resistant Blogging Circles
I used to be part of blogging circles 100% reliant – virtually – on human beings, and heavily resistant to things. But none of these bloggers leveraged to big time, super successful levels. These bloggers railed against bots and joked of not using or being a blogging cyborg. All seemed funny. But on agreeing and following their advice I soon learned how incredibly difficult it becomes to grow a successful blog being 100% attached to and dependent on human beings to build the blog. Humans change. Things do not. Plus you cannot leverage humans like you leverage things.
While all these folks complained about emails and automating, they played so small that reaching next level success proved to be 100% impossible. But, I observed how using things like systems and tools will help you reach huge, targeted groups of people in minutes or even seconds. See the email example above.
Instead of complaining about or resisting tech, why not use things to make life easier, to leverage your presence quickly and to reach a huge, targeted group of human beings so you succeed and so people get what they want?
Long Term Blogging Success: Co-Creation Not Manipulation
Every blogger who succeeds over the long haul did so through co-creation.
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Two blogger met. Two people make friends. Both friends help each other out, for a co-creation, and see greater success due to the co-creation.
I have seen this happen so much in my blogging life over the past 10 years. I befriended Zac many years ago. He invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Years later, all the co-creating I did through 800 plus guest posts helped:
- increase my blog traffic
- increase my blogging profits
- increase my DA
- increase my brand exposure
Think about it guys; all top bloggers make friends with other bloggers, both parties help each other, and we all win. You win, I win, and our fellow bloggers win.
You will never create long-term blogging success by trying to manipulate people through fear, smoke, mirrors and other silly tactics, because doing so is like building your blogging business on a house of cards. Even the smallest breeze of resistance knocks down the cards, and your blogging business with it. Bad idea.
What do I mean by manipulation? Imagine you write a blog post filled with bold promises of how to make 6 figures a year, telling bloggers you know the way. You share no specific strategies for making 6 figures. Nope. But you do make big, hyped up claims, filling the 1000 word post with some hefty, silly promises. What are you trying to do? Manipulate humans into following your blog, buying your stuff and giving you money. Your intent is to use fear, greed and desperation to GET money from people. Using fear manipulates people into doing what they do not want to do, for a temporary income boost, for you. But again, imagine a house of cards. A barely detectable breeze knocks down the house, and a seemingly tiny detail knocks down and destroys your blogging business.
When I was a new blogger a LONG time ago, one blogger who claimed to be a 6 figure earner admitted he was lying. He disappeared instantly. His blogging business died because he lied about making 6 figures, because he wanted to manipulate people into giving him money.
Co-Creating Benefits All over the Long Haul
If you guest post on other blogs, you and fellow bloggers create helpful content that promotes lasting success. Imagine building a house on a rock solid foundation, on a granite mountain. Wow! That is a serious foundation. Nothing moves that home. Even a decent earthquake barely makes the house shake. This is what it’s like to co-create content with fellow bloggers.
You both create something together – through a shared post and shared domain name – that is good, and leads to something good and beneficial. Fear and manipulation? No involvement in this process. Love and abundance and service, this is it, and this is why you become successful in building a rock solid foundation, and, in becoming a pro blogger.
How Can You Co-Create?
A few ideas:
- guest post on your blog
- guest post on other blogs
- create joint videos
- create joint podcasts
- create joint business ventures
Ultimately, you can co-create with fellow bloggers in countless ways. Being creative is your only requirement.
Think of how the co-creating benefits all of humanity. Think of all the people you can help through your co-creation. Put people ahead of your immediate needs and also, bring other bloggers on board to see the greatest impact over the long haul.
Be generous, help people, make friends and gain exposure. Build a viable, long term, meaningful blogging business. Observe manipulative, flash in the pan bloggers come and go. I have seen thousands of these types die a quick death, like moths flying too close to the flame-temptation of quick, easy riches.
Co-create to out last virtually everybody else in your blogging niche.
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