Churn and Burn Blogging – Should You Do It?
So, last time I said that I would be covering ‘churn and burn blogging’ in my next post. Now, for those who know me well enough you may have actually worked out what I’m going to talk about. Either way, I hope that you’ll get value from this post.
So then, what is churning and burning and how are some bloggers applying it to their blogging?
Churning and Burning
The churn and burn approach is one that is sadly too often used in the Internet marketing arena. What it usually refers to is the quick-fire launching of product after product with little to no substance or support, almost like a machine simply going through the motions on a production line.
This strategy is implemented by people who clearly have little to zero interest in their subscribers and customers and whose priority is getting money in the bank by almost whatever means necessary.
Now don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t always necessarily mean that those who take this approach behave dishonestly or even provide low quality products although, sadly, this is often the case. But what is always true is that those who adopt this strategy are missing the point and are focusing on the wrong things.
They are focusing on the end results (usually money) rather than focusing on how/why they are going to get there. This is a very dangerous strategy because it blinkers them as to the finer details. By this I mean the things that are really important – things such as quality, honesty, integrity, openness, giving value, putting others first, helping people and so on.
Whilst there’s nothing wrong with having a monetary goal, focusing on this as your prime motivator will almost certainly result in frustration and, ultimately, even failure.
However, I’ve noticed something – the churn and burn approach isn’t found only in the selling of products, but also in blogging. I’ve been blogging now for just over two years and I’ve seen the approach many, many times.
Churn and Burn Blogging – a Definition
When I talk about ‘churn and burn blogging’ I’m referring to taking the same kind of approach to it as those do who employ the churn and burn approach to sales. Let me give you one possible scenario:
Mr. X has a blog. He sets everything up, puts a few ads on there, maybe an opt-in form and sets about writing his first post. He’s not sure what to write so he decides to find a royalty-free article that he can maybe switch around a bit and slaps that on there.
“Phew! That’s a lot of hard work!” thinks Mr. X, “There has to be an easier way…”
So Mr. X gets hold of some article spinning software that takes content, changes things around and publishes it periodically, all on autopilot.
Now before we go any further, I just want to point out that, done correctly, this kind of system can, apparently, serve a purpose when it comes to SEO and backlinks. I can’t comment on the merits of these almost ‘dummy’ blogs because I have never done this, but I have it on good authority that things like this can work for SEO purposes.
Putting aside the SEO side of things and thinking of actual, proper blogging, we’ll assume that Mr. X is someone who wants to make money online, wants an online presence and has heard that a blog is a good way to do it.
So, Mr. X has his blog, his auto-posting content, his ads and his opt-in form. He’s all set, right?
*Insert comedy tumbleweed and sound effect of chirping crickets here*
“Blogging is an outdated strategy and doesn’t work!”
“It’s impossible to make any substantial amount of money online without investing the same amount of time and money that you’d invest in a traditional offline business. Anyone who says they make money through blogging is lying.”
I have actually seen those comments (not word for word, but you get the idea) and many more like them myself.
Here’s the thing: whenever I’ve seen comments such as those come from people who actually have their own blogs, there’s always a common denominator: the churn and burn approach.
- They never create their own content. Okay, this could just be an assumption, but the stuff is so sterile and lifeless that it has to have been some generic, spun content. The difference between a person’s own thoughts and something that they’ve taken off a shelf and spun usually stands out like a belisha beacon.
- I have never seen them commenting on other bloggers’ blogs.
- On the rare occasion someone comments on their post, they never reply.
- There is absolutely nothing engaging about their blog.
In other words, they clearly expect to be able to just whack up a blog, knock out a load of lifeless, sterile content, not bother to engage with their visitors, not bother to put themselves out there and connect with other bloggers, yet get subscribers and make money by doing this.
*Insert comedy sound effect of a ‘wrong answer’ buzzer here*
Is it little wonder that blogging isn’t working for them? As for those who try this approach and are under the impression that you have to invest the equal amount of time and money as you would in a ‘bricks and mortar’ business in order to get anywhere, well I pity them. Not in a patronising sort of way, but because I genuinely feel sorry that they just don’t seem to ‘get’ it.
Look at someone like John Chow. He’s made a lot of money through blogging. Sure, he has a lot of other stuff going on in the background, but everything is primarily connected to his blog and it was through this that he got his break.
Another fantastic example of a top-notch blogger is my blogging buddy, Ryan Biddulph. He went through a period of time when he was puttiing out blog post after blog post after blog post. Pretty much every day he’d have something new. However, he wasn’t just spewing out garbage. Every single thing he put out contained value and was 100% him. Furthermore, he engaged with his audience and established relationships with people.
These days Ryan seems to have steered away from that rapid-fire approach, but his ethos is still the same – he always gives massive value and always engages with his visitors. Additionally you’ll always find him knocking about on other people’s blogs, leaving thoughtful, insightful comments, sharing and contributing value.
Just recently, I myself was astounded to discover that I’ve been included on Inspire to Thrive‘s list of “15 Bloggers to Make You Think in 2015 and Beyond“. I say “astounded” because to be featured alongside such people as Don Purdum and the aforementioned Ryan Biddulph just blows me away!
Now, I don’t mention the above to blow my own trumpet or to make out that I’m anything special.
That’s not my style.
But as I said earlier, I’ve been blogging for just over two years. During that time I’ve had to learn the ropes, make adjustments and improvements, I’ve made mistakes and I’ve had things go wrong. But throughout I’ve always endeavoured to be myself, to be honest, to give value and to practice what I preach. Could it be for reasons such as this that Lisa featured me on her list? The bottom line is I’ve clearly made an impression and I’ve been helpful in some way, which is what I always strive to do.
Can You REALLY Make Money Through Blogging?
I don’t claim to be a blogging expert. And I’m not raking in millions as a result of blogging. But I am NOT using the ‘churn and burn’ approach either. I only ever post content that I feel would in some way be beneficial or interesting to you, my dear reader.
Did your mother ever say this to you (I say “mother” but it could be anyone, really): “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all!”
Well the above quote can be applied to blogging. How so? In that, if you don’t have anything of value to post, then don’t post just for the sake of it. It’s better to wait a little and post something of value than to post garbage and turn people away.
This, along with such things as engaging with my visitors, engaging with other bloggers on their blogs, answering e-mails, sharing other bloggers’ content and so forth, is part of my blogging ethos.
Well, for one, I have recently been featured on a ’15 to make you think’ list, as mentioned above.
I have a growing e-mail list.
I made my first EVER sales online as a direct result of blogging.
I had my first four-figure day as a direct result of blogging.
I recently made multiple thousands of dollars in around 10 days. Guess how? That’s right – as a direct result of blogging.
So blogging is an outdated strategy that doesn’t work? Yeah, okay – if you’re doing it wrong then sure.
You absolutely have to spend the same amount of time and money to build an online business as you would with an offline ‘bricks and mortar’ business?
Piffle, balderdash and codswallop! Again, if that’s holding true then you’re doing something wrong.
I have to emphasise that not all results are equal and I cannot make any sort of guarantees as to how anyone will succeed or as to the kind of results they may get.
But what I do know is that my approach works.
I want visitors? I get them.
I want subscribers? I get them.
I want to make money? I am doing so.
It’s all a work in progress, but it’s a strategy that’s working and one that I can scale up and build upon.
This isn’t theory, folks, it’s what I have actually done and am doing.
Again, I say none of this to draw attention to myself or cite myself as being some kind of mega guru. But I just despair when I see people use a ‘churn and burn’ approach and then wonder why it’s not working for them.
It takes work, of course it does. I have yet to find a magic, push-button, overnight, set-and-forget system that works. If one really exists then please tell me, I’d be fascinated to learn about it. But I’m not going to hold my breath…
What I do know is that having a proven, actionable strategy and system in place does work. I’ve tried it myself and I have seen the results. Could I have tried harder and done better? Heck, yes! But whose fault is that? Mine, of course, just the same as it’s the churn and burn blogger’s fault he’s not seeing results.
At the end of the day, you have to stick to one thing, apply yourself and take consistent action. You can’t expect people to just fall over themselves to find your blog and take whatever action you wish them to take without laying the groundwork, tending the soil and fertilising your crops, so to speak.
Look, there’s a reason why people like John Chow, Ryan Biddulph and others devote time and effort to blogging – it works, plain and simple. Done the correct way, I hasten to add. Approach blogging in a half-baked way and you’ll get half-baked results.
But What if I Don’t Know What to Do?
So you like the idea of this blogging lark but you’re not sure how to put everything together. Well why not subscribe to my mailing list? You’ll get immediate access to my free e-book in which I talk about exactly what I have done to get to where I am.
Additionally, you will also get a free course via e-mail that goes through the stepping stones to getting started with your very own online business.
Thirdly, there’s a complete beginners course that I’ve been working on for some time now. It’s loooooong overdue but I’ve been working on it a lot recently and am aiming to have it live any day now. In fact, once I’ve finished this blog post I’ll be back to working on the course.
This course will take even the most newbie of newbies by the hand through the steps needed in order to get themselves started with the absolute basics. Never set up a blog before? This course will show you. Don’t know your URL from your CMS? This course will show you. And guess what? Yep, it’s free too!
So sign up using the form on the right of the page and you’ll get completely free access to all that stuff.
Just how did I learn all this stuff? How did I go from trying and failing with this ‘make money online stuff’ for years and years to making multiple four figures across a period of just a matter of days?
I learned (and still am!) from a mentor.
It’s by putting into practice and using exactly what he teaches that I have finally managed to gain traction and finally get myself moving towards my goals.
If you’d like to get access to precisely the same teaching that I received then just click on the nice banner below:
I really hope that you enjoyed this post and got value from it.
What things do you feel are most important when using the blogging approach?
Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to get your insights.
Finally, I want to give you something to consider: which is better – a pogo stick Marketer or a trampoline Marketer?
Just what are a pogo stick Marketer and a trampoline Marketer? This is what I will be talking about next time so look out for that. 😉
Until next time,
12 thoughts on “Churn and Burn Blogging – Should You Do It?”
I never really put any thought into this method as I just would not have imagined that this goes on but the more I think about it you’re right.
I’ve come across some courses that was actually teaching you how you could put up multiple sites, outsource the content and move on to other things. The problem with that scenario is that it was doomed from the start simply because it is more to it than that when it comes to SEO rankings.
I’m not an expert in that arena but it doesn’t take a whole lot of digging around to figure that out. I must say that can appreciate the time you’ve taken to dig into this subject and how you constantly take the approach in educating your readers my friend.
We need more bloggers like you that is not just out for themselves but genuinely are looking to help another human being up.
Hats off to you bro.
I don’t think every case is one of people just trying to get backlinks, etc. I think some are just misguided, especially when having phrases such as “Content is king” thrown at them all the time. Yes, content is important but, as we know, it’s good quality content that matters. To give good quality content requires thought, preparation, diligence and a genuine care for your audience. Then, you need to interact, be helpful and so forth. Just sticking up a load of content and hoping you’ll generate enough SEO power for people to just stumble across you from the search engines is a cock-eyed strategy in my book.
This is why I always say to forget about trying to ‘drive’ traffic to a blog – rather, BRING it! Get out there, do the leg work, put some hard graft in and earn the traffic. Doing that groundwork pays dividends and is invaluable.
You’re right, there’s a lot more to SEO too than a simple ‘whack a few sites up and create backlinks’ approach. As you and I know only too well, there are so many people wanting an easy ‘set and forget’ system and there are many who tout such methods. While there are certain things that can and do run largely on autopilot, blogging is just not one of them. You cannot possibly have a value-driven blog on autopilot – it requires the human element.
Thanks so much for stopping by and for your support as always, bro. I appreciate your kind words too, thanks very much. 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…How to Avoid Guaranteed Failure
Oh, and I wanted to also say that one thing I’ve noticed about you is that you stuck to your strategy of becoming a consistent and steady blogger. Not everyone can maintain as you have. Keep rocking dude!
Jerry Handy recently posted…Developing Yourself as an Entrepreneur-What does it really take?
Thanks bud. I’ve slipped a few times but I’ve kept going and always had it as my central strategy. The key thing is, as I mentioned in my post, I know the strategy works and it is the primary source of the success I’ve had so far. 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Live Events Can Be Life-Changing Events
What I love about your approach is that you only blog when you have something of value to share. The downside of this is that we often sit about for days regularly checking to see if you have written any more content! Because you don’t specify a day we all have to second guess you! Brilliant. Keep doing whatever it is you do so well, and as you say let’s make 2015 a great year. Thanks again for the Churn and Burn post – very encouraging. You are one of the as yet un-named in my current blog too by the way Richard at http://www.fingertipfortunes.co.uk
You’re right, I do only blog when I have something of value to share. The thing is, I always have something of value to share! A bold statement? Perhaps. But I have to have that assuredness in what I do, otherwise I wouldn’t get anywhere. This is something I learned a long time ago as a musician. I actually have a notepad filled with subjects for future blog posts, so I know I’ve got many things to share for quite a while yet!
My problem is scheduling. This is my biggest weakness right now and it’s something I’m working on. I know what I need to do, I’m just not doing it! It’s not that I’m sitting back and doing nothing, I’m just not organising my time and scheduling my tasks well enough, so before I realise it a couple or more weeks can have passed and I still haven’t blogged. I did make it my determination to blog weekly on a Thursday, however I’ve let this slip. I am going to get back into it, though. THIS Thursday – a new post for sure! If it’s not there then feel free to give me a poke!
Thanks for your visit and comment, Richard. 2015? Bring it on! 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…WARNING! You Are Being Tricked!
I always love to read your blog posts, so full of value and truly coming from the heart. You are also teaching me how to blog. Stuck in my brain, I hear Dean saying, don’t get it perfect just get it going and that’s how blogging began for me.
I feel like I’m sitting on a fence with Internet Marketing on one side and my heart on the other side, combining both into one by being honest, open, trustworthy just being myself adding valuable content to my readers. You’ve accomplished this and I look up to you as being one of the best bloggers out there and that’s why I follow your blog posts.
I am so grateful to you for introducing me to Adrienne Smith, she too is an accomplished blogger and now, a dear friend.
You have a wonderful holiday and thank you for your post.
Linda Schrier recently posted…How to Get Traffic to Your Website
What nice, kind words, thank you so much! 🙂
That phrase, “Don’t get it perfect, just get it going” is something that I first heard said by Alex Jeffreys. It has stuck with me ever since and I have always tried to employ it. I have to admit to being something of a perfectionist and even now I find myself sometimes holding back from doing certain things until I have everything ‘just right’. But taking action and getting things moving is so, so important. As I mentioned to Chris above, if you go back to my early posts you can see how different a lot of things were back then. But the important thing was I just took action, got things moving and learned along the way.
Sure, there are some things that require a bit of forethought and need to be right before doing anything, but by and large we can all too often end up doing nothing, using trivial things as excuses. Taking massive action is where it’s at!
Adrienne really is a superstar blogger and I’ve learned much from her. There are some really great bloggers out there, such as Ryan Biddulph. He has written some KILLER content recently, I highly recommend grabbing a beverage and setting aside some time to read through it if you haven’t already.
Thanks so much once again for your kind words, Linda and thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Five Essential Reasons to Attend Live Events
Wow Glenn, what a pleasant surprise! Thanks!
I did the whack job churn and burn bit earlier in my career, then I focused on daily value, and now, well, I’ve just said, I’ll publish eBook-sized posts once weekly and I’ll pretty much stick to that.
Here and there I may add a short, 2,500 word posts releasing a product or service, or it may even be sponsored, but it’ll always be helpful. Always. At least in my eyes 😉
I really gain inspiration from guys like yourself, and your practical, common sense and infinitely powerful tips. We have such a blessing in simplicity, and if we keep things simple and helpful, we’ll win.
The greatest freeing point of my career was working heavily on my mindset, so that I blogged mostly to free me, and to free you, and then, neat opportunities and money and all this good stuff fell into my lap.
It was all about me changing my intent. Naturally, I created something that I did my best to put my heart and soul into cause I just want EVERYBODY to blog from paradise! I really do.
With that intent, I’ve been chugging along to do my best, to publish free resources.
Gotta roll Glenn, working a bit less this holiday season 😉
Thanks again for the powerful horse sense here. Love it!
Ryan Biddulph recently posted…12 Tips to Gain Trust
Well, I think that this is the first time I’ve ever been referred to as having “horse sense”! That term always makes me laugh because it makes me think of a scene in the Bill Murray comedy, “What About Bob?”. If you haven’t seen it then I highly recommend it.
I’m not sure how established you were when I first discovered you but it was when you were putting out short, little videos each day. However, as I mentioned, I definitely wouldn’t class that as a churn and burn approach because you were still engaging with your audience, clearly had a genuine interest in helping people and your videos were ALWAYS enjoyable and filled with value. That there is the key.
Having the correct mindset is so important. I actually left a comment about this very subject on someone else’s blog a few moments ago. I love your approach to things and how you highlight the results that have fallen in your lap. It is sometimes quite remarkable just how things work out when we’re not actually striving for them!
Blogging from paradise sure sounds awesome, even if you do have to compete with those pesky chickens when making a video! Can’t wait to get there! 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…One Magic Number to Increase Productivity
Hi Glenn. Great post as usual. Another home run!!
I know I most certainly wouldn’t use this approach. I’m just
telling my story, like we’ve been told to do, and am comfortable
that, down the road, people will see it and continue to follow my journey.
Sure, if someone asks for some information, I’ll help if I can, or I’ll just send them
to the iPro sales funnel and let them start their own journey down the path to success.
Like Dean has said, people want to hear what we go through
trying to run an online business, whether it has good or bad results. It
shows that we are human and not perfect. It also shows that we can and will
learn from our mistakes and can share that knowledge to help people avoid those mistakes themselves.
Anyway, I think I’m starting to ramble. Lol!!
Again, great post.
Have a good one, Chris
Chris DeeWaard recently posted…A Year In Transition Comes To An End
That’s the way to go, just be yourself and think of others. People can definitely tell the difference between being genuine and just writing for SEO, etc.
You’re right, people do want to hear what we go through, whether it be good or bad. Not only do people relate to a story but they also relate to failure! So it’s important to include everything. I think I talk about that a little in my e-mail course, if my memory serves.
It took me a while to kind of find my edge and really settle down with this whole blogging thing but I carried on regardless. If you take a look at some of those earlier posts you can see how different my approach was at times and how there were a lot of things that could have been better. But they served a purpose for the time and they are there for anyone to look at and see how I’ve progressed and how things have changed.
Thanks for stopping by, Chris. I look forward to tackling 2015 head on with you and the rest of the gang! 🙂
Glenn Shepherd recently posted…When Your Business Hands You Lemons