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Old Apr 18, 13, 10:04 pm   #31
  
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There is a very steep curve. I don't recommend anyone quit their day job and become a blogger because more likely than not you will be on the low end of that curve.
And in a field with virtually zero barriers to entry, the best way to keep others out is to tell them how poorly they'll do......
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Old Apr 19, 13, 5:20 am   #32
  
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And in a field with virtually zero barriers to entry, the best way to keep others out is to tell them how poorly they'll do......
The barriers to entry are actually very high. Setting up a simple blog is very easy. Actually getting the kind of readership to make meaningful money on is very hard. You are welcome to start your own and shoot yourself to the top of the pack to prove me wrong. Just let us all know here so that we can track it and see how well you do
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Old Apr 19, 13, 7:46 am   #33
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I think you're wrong in this view.
Yeah, that's why I started this thread: like everyone else here, I read Tim Ferriss. But I never really bought the get rich on the Internet story he sells. I figured his REAL plan to get rich off of the Internet was to publish a book about how to get rich off the Internet that would fill airport bookstores.

But if points and miles blogs are pulling down $500k a year, I suppose maybe he wasn't as full of it as I thought.
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Old Apr 19, 13, 8:34 am   #34
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But if points and miles blogs are pulling down $500k a year, I suppose maybe he wasn't as full of it as I thought.
Very few, if any, are that high AFAIK. But clearing 6 figures can be done and has been done by more than a few that I'm aware of.

As for barriers to entry, the process of setting up the server is trivial. I have previously and continue to offer configuration and hosting of such to anyone who wants it, free of charge, so they can set up their blog. Producing content is not trivial. Producing enough content to gather sufficient readers that the bigger (and more lucrative) banks will work with you is even harder still. Just throwing a website up at KokosCuckooForPoints.com isn't going to have Chase or AmEx beating down your door to push their affiliate links.

Also, I don't read Ferriss.
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Old Apr 19, 13, 9:48 am   #35
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Also, I don't read Ferriss.
So you must work more than four hours a week then, eh?!
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Old Apr 23, 13, 9:31 am   #36
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The numbers for the banner on a popular blog can be a lot higher than that...

Personally I'm happy making 0.43 cents per day from adsense
You and me both! Over the past three years, I've cashed out of Adsense exactly three times ($100 to cashout). Good thing I'm not feeding my family on the earnings!

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Originally Posted by ma91pmh View Post
The barriers to entry are actually very high. Setting up a simple blog is very easy. Actually getting the kind of readership to make meaningful money on is very hard. You are welcome to start your own and shoot yourself to the top of the pack to prove me wrong. Just let us all know here so that we can track it and see how well you do
Agree 100%. Even I was able to figure out how to set up a blog, which is an indication that it must be slightly easier than babysitting a pet rock. Just be sure you enjoy what you're doing.

I know nothing about the credit card affiliate part of blogging. I think it would stress me out to get involved with that.

Mike
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Old Apr 23, 13, 9:59 am   #37
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I know nothing about the credit card affiliate part of blogging. I think it would stress me out to get involved with that.

Mike
I don't know what they want from me
It's like the more money we come across
The more problems we see

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Old Apr 23, 13, 11:58 am   #38
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I can add a source of income to this list: freelance writing and photography. Some bloggers like me enjoy writing about our travels as much as pimping for Amazon (which I un-ashamedly do) and a well done blog post is a ready-made pitch to travel media.
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Old Apr 23, 13, 4:45 pm   #39
  
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The barriers to entry are actually very high. Setting up a simple blog is very easy. Actually getting the kind of readership to make meaningful money on is very hard. You are welcome to start your own and shoot yourself to the top of the pack to prove me wrong. Just let us all know here so that we can track it and see how well you do
I'm curious about being in the referral link business, in that.. the people pushing the link are often the ones giving information on how to churn cards or sign up for business cards if you don't really have a business. I've read that bloggers at times get asked to modify things on their site, so it made me wonder if they ever ask bloggers to remove content like this?

Looking at the travel blog industry as a whole, it seems many of the blogs that have referral links came in after 2010. In the last three years manufactured spending has been a popular feature on the blogs. It allows a blogger to suggest a card with a bonus that has a large spending requirements. What if bloggers got asked to pull this content from their blogs? Manufactured spending is pretty much a loophole around a cash advance. I am guessing there has to be some sort of calculated risk involved here by the credit card companies. The cc companies would be making money by the merchant fee, but taking a risk by allowing consumers to spend what appears to be beyond their means. This is why some people get targeted by financial reviews.

Credit card companies I'm sure are fully aware of manufactured spending methods, but it seems rather odd that they allow product placement on the same page as the detailed methods. Kind of like telling people to sign up for a business credit card and then show methods to rack up points on the card through non-business related spending.

I think that it wouldn't be too hard for someone like TPG to remove this type of content from his blog and still maintain a good level of traffic and credit card sign ups, but for other bloggers I don't think it would be so easy.
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Old Apr 23, 13, 4:58 pm   #40
  
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Manufactured spending is a double-edged sword for the banks. If it's like the Office Depot days and 5x for Chase it hurts, but for just meeting min spend at usual 1x rate, spend is spend is spend and all is good.

I don't have all the answers... but here is what I DO know. I happen to know some people who work at senior levels inside Chase's credit card business, and that business is BOOMING. They are making a lot of money. And the blogs are a part of what is driving that. For every 1 guy that is doing $50k of manufactured Office Depot spend, there are 100 guys doing real normal $10k per year spend, missing the odd payment and incurring late fees and interest (heck I managed to screw up myself twice and they would not refund the second $38 late fee on I think it was the Bold card)

There is no doubt they are fully aware of the manufactured spend programs. I have yet to work out who exactly is losing money in these circles
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Old Apr 23, 13, 7:37 pm   #41
  
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One thing I am wondering about...

The first barrier to the juicy card offers are from Affiliate programs - I wonder how much they are taking from Chase before passing on the payoff to the blogger.
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Old Apr 23, 13, 7:56 pm   #42
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One thing I am wondering about...

The first barrier to the juicy card offers are from Affiliate programs - I wonder how much they are taking from Chase before passing on the payoff to the blogger.
That's a fantastic question...what kind of cut does the middle-man take?
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Old Apr 24, 13, 1:25 am   #43
  
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I heard at a recent FTU that one of the biggest bloggers was making $30K a month pushing Ink during the OD 5X rush. The info came from one of the other top blogger.

For obvious reasons, I can't mention the name of either my source or the blogger that made $30K a month.
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Old Apr 24, 13, 2:21 am   #44
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Originally Posted by ma91pmh View Post
Manufactured spending is a double-edged sword for the banks. If it's like the Office Depot days and 5x for Chase it hurts, but for just meeting min spend at usual 1x rate, spend is spend is spend and all is good.

I don't have all the answers... but here is what I DO know. I happen to know some people who work at senior levels inside Chase's credit card business, and that business is BOOMING. [...]

There is no doubt they are fully aware of the manufactured spend programs. I have yet to work out who exactly is losing money in these circles
Add to that the deals Chase and Amex made with CO/United & Delta purchasing billions of miles in multi year deals, which need to be handed out.
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Old Apr 24, 13, 4:04 pm   #45
  
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Now let's look at the big blogs. I think the one with the clearest insight is MMS who shows us that his distribution list is over 10,000 readers. If you think about it most of the readers are likely to be focused on credit card sign ups. And there will be a huge variety of cards that they apply for and obtain. So let's say on average each sign up he gets earns $100. If he gets 10% of his readers to sign up for just one affiliate card per year, that is $100k. My guess is the conversion rate on a blog like MMS is significantly higher. Probably more like 10-20% of readers getting 2-3 cards per year, which at the top end could put revenue close to 7 figures. My guesstimate is that the big bloggers - MMS, TPG, VFTW and OMAAT are in the mid six figure range on affiliate revenue.
I know you're just giving a lower bound based on subscribed readers, but that may not be the most accurate measure of potential customer base.

From personal experience, I know the number of email subscribers and daily visitors differ by an order of magnitude. Google Reader subscribers, Facebook/Twitter followers, organic searches and referrals may actually amount to many more visitors.

As an example, I only had Daraius' blog in Reader for a while and would regularly subscribe through his links.
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