Realistic Income goal: $5-10k
Content creation is a great way to build freedom.
But it can also turn you into a slave chained to your computer.
I’ve experienced this painful reality myself. I broke my back and had to undergo surgery back in 2014. Today, I’m struggling to sit at a desk for more than 2 hours straight.
So I had to come up with a system that allows me to pilot my business with this limited time.
The good news? You can steal this system if you’re short on time (or feel that content creation sucks up too much of your limited time).
Making money with your content boils down to 3 simple elements
Turning your content into cash can be overwhelming.
There are just too many things that you need to do. Everyone is selling you on a new platform, and there are 432 different ways of creating content.
Ditch the confusion.
After creating content for a decade, I came up with a simple 3-step framework. You’ll easily remember it because it’s as simple as “ABC.”
- A stands for Attracting an audience.
- B stands for Building a relationship.
- C stands for Cashing in.
Let’s take these 3 elements under the microscope.
First, you need an acquisition/attraction channel, i.e., traffic and eyeballs that discover your content every day. These can be ads or organic (or social) content.
Second, you need to build a genuine relationship with the audience who discovered you in step 1. Because monetary transactions are built on trust. The best way to do this is by constantly providing value via email.
Third, you need a way to cash in. My favorite way is to create digital products. Because I only have to create them once and sell them for years. (Some courses I’ve created back in 2014 are still making me money.)
But it’s not just about creating the products – it’s also about launching them in an effective and time-saving way.
If you take a closer look, all of these elements involve some type of content. And if one of those elements is missing, your system is set to fail.
Here’s how my system looks like right now (and the percentage of time allocated to it every month)
– Audience attraction: Medium, SEO, YouTube, Ads (70%)
– Building a relationship with daily emails (15%)
– Cashing in: online courses & coaching (15%)
In an ideal world, I’d spend 25% on audience attraction and most of my time on creating and launching more products to increase my income. But the stage I’m on right now requires me to grow my audience.
Bottom line: depending on where you are in your business, the time you need to allocate to each one of those pillars should vary
The beauty of this system is that it’s flexible and adapts to every stage of your business.
How to build your audience attraction traffic machine
Traffic is the lifeblood of any business.
That’s why you need a way to get people on your list.
This can be:
– SEO on Google & YouTube: You can rank for keywords your audience searches for years. May it be on YouTube or Google. The only drawback of this method is that it takes some time to work well enough to sit back and relax. I’m in a period where I’m still heavily pumping out content that ranks enough to let this work on autopilot.
- Ads: If you’re good at running ads on YouTube or Facebook, then a great ad can run for months and bring in all the traffic you need.
- Newsletter sponsorships: This is basically an ad – minus the scaling. You want to find newsletters that talk to the same audience as yours. Contact the author, write an ad, pay the creator – and watch your list grow. If it works, you can reiterate that same ad every 4 months. All you need is to find 3 newsletters to run your ads with, every year.
- Joint Ventures with email swaps are another great way to grow your list. It consists of you promoting the lead magnet of another creator, and he does the same. The only drawback is that swaps only work with newsletters that have more or less the same size (to make it fair). So at the beginning, your options will be very limited here.
- Social media: When getting started, social media is 80% interaction and only 20% creation. To not be on a constant treadmill, think about repurposing your interactions into standalone posts. Then, repurpose your best-performing content and queue it up to be republished in 4-6 months from now. You can build up a huge content library and then only rotate with your best content over the years (and by adding some novelty to it when you feel like it).
Building trust on (almost) autopilot & bulletproofing your business
The goal of creating content on platforms is not to gather a bunch of likes or followers.
It’s to add emails to your list. Because email lists are where the money is in this business.
An effective email strategy combines two types of emails:
– A welcome sequence
– Ongoing emails (at least once a week)
When people opt into your list, they should get a series of ‘welcome’ emails. The goal of a welcome sequence is to build trust, establish you as a leader, and get your next emails read.
It’s also a great way to make offers – so that people know exactly what to expect and how they can buy from you. This also generates a nice flow of constant sales from new subscribers (even without running promos).
What I love about these welcome sequences is that you write those emails once, and they’ll work for you for a lifetime. I’m still making money with sequences I wrote 7 years ago.
That’s how powerful this is.
Now, when you’re getting started, don’t overcomplicate it: Simply re-use your best content so far and add it to your sequence. Most subscribers won’t have seen it anyway. So give it a second life and save yourself a bunch of hours.
We’ll tweak this sequence after creating your first product. (More on that, later.)
Cashing in with unlimited leverage products
I first got started online with e-commerce.
Nope, I wasn’t that dropshipper. I had a physical stock of goods that I sold on my own website before transitioning onto Bezos’ Superstore. It requires putting a bunch of cash upfront, dealing with suppliers, and logistics.
I deeply hated it.
Once you get involved in factories and supply chains, you start to see how sexy digital products are.
No upfront costs. No inventory management. 98% profit margins. No hassles.
You can take the knowledge in your head and turn it into something people can buy. Once you’ve bought the lightweight equipment (a decent mic and screen recording software), it has almost zero production or shipping costs.
That’s why digital courses are a must in your digital asset portfolio.
I’ve created over 69 of them over the past years and systemized the creation and launch to fit in only 10 hours. (More info here)
Package your expertise once and sell it for an unlimited amount of time.
Balancing Your Efforts & Fine-tuning the system
Depending on where you’re at in your business, the allocation of efforts to each one of those elements NEEDS to vary.
When you’re getting started, spend 80% of your time on audience and relationship building. No need to create a course if you don’t have an audience. (Unless you have an affiliate strategy – or ad strategy in place. But that’s not 99% of people who’ll read this fall into.)
As an example, it could look like this:
– Acquisition on social: 80%
– Writing your weekly newsletter: 20%
– Acquisition with SEO: 80%
– Writing your weekly newsletter: 20%
The reason why I keep always writing a newsletter in your content creation routine is that your list is your MOST IMPORTANT (and profitable) asset.
The mistake I see a lot of creators make is that they’re building their email list, but they’re forgetting to actually send out emails.
They are waiting to grow their list to a specific number (let’s say a few hundreds) and totally neglect the early adopters for weeks (and sometimes even months!) The problem is that once the ‘right moment’ arrives, most will have forgotten about you, will unsubscribe, and will melt your list like ice in the sun.
That’s why, even though at the beginning you may not have a lot of people on your list, you certainly want to keep them engaged with your content.
Plus, by starting to mail frequently at the beginning, you are also building up your domain authority in the eyes of email service providers. Which means that it will improve your email deliverability to avoid the SPAM and promo tab of Doom.
Once you have an audience, spending time on monetizing it is where most of your focus should go, balancing out the other types of content. Because the ultimate goal is to make money.
Launching Your First Product
The first product you want to create is a product that would appeal to 80% of your audience, and the goal is to really launch it in a fast and easy way.
As mentioned earlier, I have a free case study that shows you exactly how I launched a best-selling product in less than 10 hours of work. Which means that you could launch and create your own digital products within the next 5 days.
Transitioning to an Automated System
Now you start transitioning to an automated system.
Remember the welcome sequence earlier? Now, we’re going to recycle the same launch sequence you used to launch your product and create an email course out of it.
The system I’ve created to launch products is a value-first sequence. It’s not about hard selling. But each email provides value and teaches something to help your audience.
Take those emails and turn them into a welcome sequence.
This is how you transform your first course (and the email you wrote for it) into a passive income machine.
So now that your audience is growing, you can start launching multiple products. And perhaps also create multiple automated income streams, so here is exactly how I’ve implemented that.
So I started with the notetaking courses, which I didn’t turn into an automated email sequence. I then transitioned into creating an SEO course. Which I turned into an automated sequence.
You get the point.
Once you have these in place, you have a solid foundation to bring in leads and convert them into fans and buyers.
You can now launch new products to this audience to increase your income or simply run monthly specials on previous products you’ve created.
The unfair tools that’ll divide your workload by 10
Most tools out there are just distractions.
Instead, here’s what I use all the time to make content creation easier and faster.
Here are some of them:
– Templates: creating content from scratch is daunting. But it’s easier when you have templates that you simply need to fill with your ideas. I have templates for everything. Articles, emails, videos, etc.
– AI (to write my first drafts): because a computer will always type faster than me and my broken back. I create better content faster since I trained ChatGPT on my ideas and how to write like me.
– Note-taking to save my best ideas on the go: because nobody wants to rack his brain to come up with content ideas.
– Note-taking (again) to easily keep a backlog of all of my content and repurpose it at will. As an example, I add dates to each email I write so that I can re-use the same email in 6 months if needed.
Investing the Time You Save into R&D
R&D is not just for soulless big-tech corporations.
It’s also for creators. Instead of wasting your time churning out content after content, you want to have a foot on the battleground. Otherwise, you’ll run out of new things to create.
When I say R&D, what I mean is that you need to spend time finding new solutions to problems your audience is facing. This process involves trial and error. It involves you being a lab rat and testing out new things.
The reason? It simply gives you interesting stuff to talk about. It will also help you fill your pockets with cash – because novelty always sells.
I was hesitant to jump on the AI bandwagon but glad I did (with a huge delay). I’ve spent over 100 hours working with AI to come up with a process to write content faster. I then packaged that into a course that sold like gangbusters.
Reinvest the time you save wisely.
This, in a nutshell, is a simple strategy to follow to boil your efforts down into what matters the most.
No need to come up with a sophisticated 37-step funnel strategy.
Instead, focus on ABC.
Attract your audience, Build a relationship, Cash in.
It won’t make you rich overnight. But ensure sustainable growth with your limited time. Stick to it for the next 6 months and start monetizing your expertise.
Here are 3 courses I created that can help you (feel free to pick one):
– How to launch your course in 10 hours: Click here
– How to write content 10X faster with AI (without sounding like a robot): Click here
– How to rank on Google in just 48 hours (to enjoy free traffic for years to come): Click here)