How to earn money as a content marketer
The Goodness Squad Podcast Episode #8
It’s not just hype if you understand compound interest. In today’s episode, I tell you why most content marketers could have been successful if they’d just kept going. We also discuss what to do in order to earn $ earlier in your business and what to focus on while you wait for your audience to grow.
Today I’m going to be showing you how it is realistic for you to earn $200,000 from your online business in the next two years.
Earning extra income at Target vs an online business
I want you to think about what would happen if your family suddenly needed some extra income. That might be a reality for some of you right now, while we’re facing Covid-19 and all of the fallout from that. But even if it isn’t, I want you to imagine what you would do. Would you go get a job at Target or at McDonald’s? If you did that, what would you get paid?
Let’s say that you were able to work about 20 hours a week and you were paid $20 an hour, which is definitely on the high end for McDonald’s or Target, you would earn around $20,000 a year.
But there are some issues to that. You’d be outside of your own home. You wouldn’t be able to set your own hours. You might be able to request certain hours that you can’t work, but still, they’re going to give you assigned shifts that are not super flexible and you’re not going to be seen by as many people.
You know, if you’ve been following me for any period of time, that I am all about being seen as distinct and different by as many people as possible, and that’s exciting. That’s something that can happen online. So what if instead, you started a content marketing business? What if you started a blog or a podcast. What’s that gonna look like? What’s the reality of what that looks like to start one from scratch?
Compound Interest & how long it takes to earn $1 million
Before I jump into that, I want to talk to you about compound interest. This is probably something that you have some familiarity with – the stock market, things like that – and how compound interest works. But let’s talk about how long it actually would take to earn $1 million if you were to double just $1 every month.
So month number one, you have $1. Month number two, you have $2. Month 10 you have just over a $1,000. You’re 10 months in and you only have a $1,000. You started at $1, but when we’re trying to get to $1 million, you’re really not that close, right?
So let’s go three more days into the future. You have about $8,000. Up to day 15, you’re at about $33,000. Still, there’s a lot bigger gap between $33,000 and $1 million than there is between $1 and $33,000. Let’s jump up to day 20, 25 days later, and you have earned $1 million.
That’s how compound interest works. It grows very slowly at first. It feels painfully slow and it’s frustrating and it’s why so many people give up. It’s why not everybody becomes millionaires in the stock market. So when I tell you something like, if you were to start a content marketing business, you could earn $200,000 over the next two years, most of you would probably laugh at me. That sounds absurd. It sounds outrageous. It sounds like one of those hyped-up claims that people make because they want you to follow them.
Now, there is some truth to the idea that this is hyped up. It is possible, but it’s hyped because not everyone is willing or even understands what it takes to get to that point. It takes an understanding of how compound interest works.
Compound Interest as a content marketer
With a content marketing business online, it is going to work just like compound interest. It will feel painfully slow at first and you will feel like nothing you do works. But the problem is, with most people who start this, they freak out at month one or two or three or four. Just like somebody who is trying to double to get to a million dollars from one, they double it in month two and it’s only at $2 and they double it again and it’s only at $4, and they think “I am doing something wrong. I am not cut out for the stock market thing.”
That’s what content marketers do. They jump ship and they think “I’m not cut out for this.” So let’s talk about what it would take to earn a million dollars. If you had that job at Target and they gave you a 5% raise every year, guess how long it would take you? 26 years, which is 312 months. That is a really long time before you can earn a million dollars.
I want to talk to you about how you can get to the point where you are earning $200,000 in the next two years, as a content marketer, and eventually can earn a million dollars much, much faster than 26 years or 312 months.
What it takes to earn $200k in 2 years as a content marketer
I want to give you some parameters here. You have talked to some friends and family, put it out there on your Facebook page and your Instagram page. You said, “Hey guys, I’m starting this business. It’s all about journaling and if you want to learn how to journal, you know you can join my list right here.” Through all of that, you get about 45 people who decide to sign up on your email list. So this is basically day one. You’re just getting started.
Hopefully, you’ve taken my course The Good Start Game Plan all about building the foundation. And now you’re ready to hit the ground running and you have 45 subscribers.
If your email list were to grow at a rate of 5% for the first year, 4% for the second year, and 3% for the third year, and you were to earn $1 for every person that is on your email subscriber every month. I’m not getting into how you’re earning that yet. You might be earning that through ads. I hope not, but maybe. You might be earning that through your own products or through affiliate sales or through sponsorships. I’m not going to get into how you’re earning it. But on average, content marketers earn about $1 per email subscriber per month. So that means in this first month, you would earn about $45.
I want to give you some totals here. The hourly wage for your very first month, if you’re working 20 hours a week, you would make 77 cents an hour. That’s not even close to the $20 you’re making at Target, and this is your average for the first six months.
So that first month, that’s probably even less. This is where you start to freak out and think, I am not cut out for this. This isn’t going to work for me. But some people, they decide to push through it and they make $3 an hour for month 7 to 12. Let’s keep going, months 13 to 18 they’re now making $9 an hour. Months 19 to 24, they’re finally making $25 an hour. The last six months of this two years, months 25 to 30, they’re now making $59 an hour. And the last half of year three, they’re now making $127 an hour.
So the total, if you were to total up the amount of income that you’d earned over those three years, you would make $144,000 as a content marketer. And you would make $62,000 if you’re working at Target at $20 an hour. You’re making more than double in the same amount of time.
So, if I told you you can make $100,000, nearly $150,000, in the next two years if you just work 20 hours every week, would you do it? Even though at first you’re only earning 77 cents an hour? You’d be making $37 an hour on average over that entire three years. So, right, it started at 77 cents, and then it went up to $60 an hour. But on average, you would have made about $37 an hour. At Target, your average is around $21 an hour, cause they give you that 5% raise.
Now, you might be saying, but Misty you told me $200,000 in two years, you’re not delivering on your promise here. If you go back to the podcast episode called Double Your Income, if you have not listened to that yet, you need to go listen to that podcast episode. I talk about how there are a lot of ways to double our income. And isn’t this doubling our traffic? If you were to double your traffic, then yeah, your income is going to double, right? Because you have twice as many people coming in. You’re gonna have twice as many people coming out purchasing on the other end. But there are other steps along the way that you can double.
You need to Double Your Conversion Rates
So let’s say we double the number of people who opened the very first email you sent them. If right now, you have 20% of people who open your first email and 10% of people who opened your second email, but you take this first hundred people you send that email to, that means 20 people are opening it. And of those 20, one is now opening the second one, cause 10% right? But what if you double this one to 40? Now you’re automatically doubling this one to two simply because more people are opening the first one.
So if you were to double just that one conversion, look at what your three-year total would be. It would jump from $144,000 to $292,000, or $75 per hour. And I know I’m still not quite to that two year, $200,000 mark yet. I will get there.
Let’s say we double one more conversion, so we double the number of people who click on your first sales email. So now we’ve doubled one more conversion. It’s going to continue down the line and you’re going to double the number of people who eventually purchase that product. So now you have doubled that again, and now your three year total is $583,000, or $149 per hour.
Now you double one more conversion. The percentage of people who actually buy once they land on that. So you have twice as many people clicking to the sales page now and now they’re on that sales page and you double the percentage of people, from maybe 2% to 4% who actually purchase, by tweaking the sales page and playing around with it and testing it and figuring out what actually converts these people into buyers.
So now your three-year total is $1.2 million or $300 an hour. Also, what’s interesting here is when you actually focus on conversions instead of just traffic. Look what happens to those very first six months. So remember the very first six months you were earning 77 cents an hour. That equated to $500 total for those six months. So just over $100 a month. But if you were able to double just three conversions, three conversion points in your business, you would now earn $4,000 during that first six months.
Focusing on conversion rates will help you reach your income goals
Doing this, focusing on your conversions, can take away some of that panic and fear that we feel when we’re investing in the stock market or when we’re starting a content marketing business. We think I’m not cut out for this. It’s not growing. But if we can’t control our traffic, it’s hard to grow traffic. We can control it indirectly. We can build up our SEO, but those things, they take time. But we can control our conversions. We can change a conversion almost overnight by studying it and thinking about it.
So if you’ve focused on those conversions early in the game before you have lots of traffic, you can still earn money as a new blogger. Are you going to earn hundreds of thousands or millions? No. Not in your first month, but you can earn more than $500. You could earn $4,000 in those first six months, right? A few hundred dollars? That’s going to bring in some decent income into your home so that you feel like, “okay, I can still move forward with this.”
Let me tell you about where I’m getting that $200,000 a year or in two years number. If you were to double three conversions:
- the number of people who open an email
- the number of people who click on that email
- the number of people who then purchase that email or purchase the product that email is selling
If you were to do just those three things, you would earn $100,748.26 in your first two years. If you started with 45 subscribers and you increased your email list by 5% the first year, 4% the second year, that is so exciting and it is realistic. It is absolutely realistic.
Let me throw you a reality bomb here, okay? So that you understand that this is realistic. In the first six months, you’d run around $4,000. I mean, that’s not a ton of money, right? We’re talking, if I go $4,000, I’m making about $650 a month or about $155 a week.
If you were working at Target, you’d be making $400 a week, so it’s still less, it’s still less than you would make at Target. You’re still going to have to push through some of that. But, in months 7-12, you would earn $15,500. So total in your first year, you’d earned just under $20,000, which is about what you would earn at Target.
The first half of the second year, you’d earned about $46,000 and in the second half of the second year, you would earn about $130,000 so combine those four numbers together and you’re earning $200,000 total in that two years.
3 things you should focus on in the beginning
You can do this. You can absolutely do this. I promise you, you can. Early on in your business, I want you to focus on three things.
#1 – I want you to be patient. I want you to understand compound interest. It works like compound interest. The first few months are going to be painfully slow, no matter what you do.
#2 – I want you to build a good foundation before you start your business. If you want help with that, please join The Good Start Game Plan. If you have a good foundation, you can hit the ground running and you can hit these numbers.
#3 – I want you to focus on conversions while your business is small. I really want you to test and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Change the copy in your emails. Do A-B testing where you send one email to half your list and another email to the other half of your list, which one gets more opens? I want you to focus on the conversions of your sales page, the conversions of your opt-in page for your email list. Maybe, instead of growing your email list at 5% rate, you could grow it at a 7% rate. I want you to focus on those micro conversions in your business. You’re only serving a couple hundred maybe, and you can really dig in deep and figure out how you can serve them best. That’s what you spend the first 6-12 months of your business working on. If you do that, you can earn $200,000 in your first couple of years. You can do it now.
A quick caveat:
These numbers are not going to be your exact numbers. A lot of this is going to depend on your market. Absolutely. But, you can earn a significant income within a couple of years as a content marketer and you can earn it even quicker if you are willing to focus on those micro conversions.
2 do-able tasks to help you make more $
Your assignment today is two-fold.
First, I want you to pick one micro-conversion. It’s the same assignment I gave in the Double Your Income podcast. One thing you are going to focus on testing and improving.
Second, I want you to at least go to the sales page for The Good Start Game Plan and see if it’s what you need. Read through what it does. Send me an email, ask me questions about it. I don’t want you to join if you already have a foundation. I don’t want to waste your time or money. But, if you need a foundation so that you can hit the ground running, then I want you to look into that. Email me and ask me questions about it.
In the next episode, I am going to be giving you my number one tip for building what people sometimes call super fans – loyal fans, people who truly love you and will continue to buy every product you put out because they know, like and trust you. You’re going to love this tip.
If you are not yet a member of The Goodness Squad, jump on over to designedforgoodness.com/join. I’ve got lots of tools, downloads, printables and templates to share with you there. But, I honestly believe the best part is the community. The other women that you’re going to meet there. Because in order to succeed online, we need each other’s faith, fortitude, confidence and feedback.
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