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David Risley Interview – Tech Blogger Earning 6 Figures A Year

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Could you describe what you do and how you earn your living David?

In short, I build up blogs, provide a lot of value, get attention, then start making offers and selling things to them. I do some banner advertising, but I’m also pretty active with a continuity membership program and various info products.

You are known as the 6 figure blogger, what advice would you give another blogger trying to earn an income from their blog?

My biggest piece of advice would be to treat the blog like a business if that’s what you want it to be. Businesses sell things, so bloggers will always do best if they sell things. I always recommend some kind of info product or a membership program which is tightly related to the blog’s niche. And, of course, that also means blogging in a niche where people are interested enough to partake. πŸ™‚

I understand that you earned $12,047.23 in 10 days while you were on a cruise, so you weren’t around to work but still make more money then most people make in months of hard work? How where you able to do this?

In did this by selling memberships to my monthly membership program on I decided to crank it into hyperdrive for 2009 and increase the price along with it. But, I decided to give people one last chance to sign up using the 2008 rates. So, I planned out a promotion for this, set it to run on automatic while I was on vacation, and it worked quite well.

TIP: Having a mailing list was instrumental to the success of this, which is a huge reason I always recommend that bloggers start building their list from day one.

You are now currently living the Internet Lifestyle, what does the Internet Lifestyle mean to you?

For me, it means being able to work on the Internet. On my own schedule. Without any boss to answer to. Being able to work where I want. In other words, freedom. It doesn’t mean I don’t work a lot, but it does mean that I’m the one in control.


What advice would you give to a new blogger trying to drive traffic to their website? Could you share an example of the effects?

First of all, I recommend picking a niche where there are people who are interested. And its too easy to assume you need to start blogging about making money to make this work and that’s NOT TRUE. My largest blog is a blog about computers and technology. Some of the most successful blogs out there have nothing to do with making money online. But, blogging about something that people care about is important.

Secondly, stay on topic. Many bloggers tend to use their blogs as places to vent about anything on their mind. That’s fine for a hobby, but it isn’t going to make you any money.

Third, get yourself out there. Be active on Twitter and Facebook. Be active as a commenter on other blogs in your niche. And a big one is to take the time to write guest posts for other blogs in your niche. Once I developed a rythym for, I started doing guest posts and it probably 10Xed my traffic to that site and it is still growing.

You are known as one of the authority websites in the Computer help Niche. What advice would you give a new blogger to dominating their niche?

Find a way to make yourself unique among your competition. Then, be everywhere. You have to generate interest and desire with an audience, then bond with them. If you are everywhere, accessible, and on message (to support the brand you’re trying to create), it will eventually come together. Just bear in mind that nothing happens overnight.

Like myself, you also have a forum attached to your blog, what are the benefits for having a forum as well as a blog? Any tips for keeping a forum community alive?

Repeat traffic. Once you have a community built around your forums, then people tend to come back over and over again. For us, that isn’t hard because people use our forums to get help with computers problems (and who doesn’t have those, right?). The hardest thing about a forum is the beginning because initially it is total silence. You might have to get creative to get it up and running by artificially building some social proof. But, once it hits a little momentum, it usually perpetuates under its own inertia.

Working less and making more money sounds like a good deal to me, have you got any tips for getting more done in less time?

I’m still working on that one! But, I can tell you that I have recently hired a virtual assistant and that, for me, is proving to be a big step. The secret there is finding the right person and, so far, I think I have and I’m lucky on that one. Aside from that, I am experimenting with using Google Calendar to plan out my days. For me, it helps ensure I don’t leave things behind. In this business, there is a lot more going on than just writing and publishing blog posts. All those things need to be done, and Google Calendar helps me visually ensure that I spend time on the things that need my attention.

What advice would you give to people just starting out with an online business?

Don’t lose sight of the big picture. It is too easy to get so involved with tactics that you get confused and give up when success doesn’t come quickly.

I would sit down and decide what your goals are. Make those goals reasonable and attainable. In other words, if you’re just starting out, don’t make your goal to be making six figures within a year. But, sit down and set some goals. Then, actually write down and imagine what your ideal day would look like if those goals were attained. It might seem dumb, but it really helps many people to put themselves into a mindset of success. And, I’m telling you, once you’ve put yourself into that mindset, you’re good to go.

So much depends on your mindset. The power comes from within.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what advice would you give yourself regarding making money online?

Hehe, for me, I would have said “build a list!”. I preach it like crazy now to people, but that is because I see how invaluable it is to my business and how I didn’t do it correctly at the beginning. Who knows where I’d be now if I had done that from day one.

Secondly, think about your niche beforehand. My largest site is a computer/tech site, but I can’t sit here and say I walked into that niche with business in mind. I started it purely as a hobby and the fact that it turned into a business after the fact is just gravy. But, if I had done it with my goals in mind beforehand, perhaps I may have chosen another niche.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Wow, big question. I’ve been blogging so long, I’ve given a lot of advice. But, I’ll leave you with one that I believe is current to the times we live in:

Don’t Watch The News.

All this talk of recession doom and gloom does nothing but self-fulfill. You can’t expected to have the mindset of success while having people constantly barrage you with how bad things are. Well, all that doomy talk is put out by people who don’t have much money. They aren’t who you want to be. And let me tell you something, money isn’t disappearing. The money hasn’t gone anywhere! People still have money to spend. They’re just hanging on to it out of uncertainty, but they’ll still spend money on things they need and want. So, there will be people who come out the other end of this recession rich, and others who are not. The difference is that some people will take action and others will sit and leave it to chance and hope.

Especially in these current times, you need to DISAGREE with all the bad news. Flip it the proverbial bird and move on with your life. Success is still there to be had. Trust me on that one. And to all the people who make a living by telling me how bad everything is, screw ’em.

Thanks very much for the interview, Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?

Well, you’ll need to stay tuned to for that one. But, I can say that I will soon be launching a new program specifically for bloggers who want to make good money. There is a big, gaping hole that many of the top bloggers are missing when it comes to making money as a blogger, and I intend to fill it. More on that later on. I’ve got a product coming out soon called 3DayMoney, but then I’ll be getting hard at work on this new thing for bloggers. And I’m REALLY stoked about it.

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  1. Scott :: says:

    I couldn’t agree more on the “Don’t watch the news” advice, they have been getting worse over the years and it’s really only going to get worse…

    Another great interview πŸ™‚

  2. Well done Michael!

  3. Nichole Gabriel says:

    Thanks for the info. Filled intintervieew! Have you any advice on building that list from the begginning?

  4. Hello Nichole,

    I recommend you give an incentive away for FREE, for example we offer free reports or eBooks usually on our sites to get people to sign up which has increased our sign up by about 3000%!

    Also its important to not send to many emails or they will unsubscribe which is the biggest mistake of new list builders.

    Regarding software I would recommend aweber or iContact.


  5. christian says:

    very inspiring, good work Michael. Davis makes it sound easy.

  6. Renelda says:

    The interview went went well. My favorite part of the interview is ” stay on topic. Many bloggers tend to use their blogs as places to vent about anything on their mind. That’s fine for a hobby, but it isn’t going to make you any money” I think many people lose focus if they vent alot by not contributing to the goal.

  7. Parnuuna says:

    Thanks for the interview – sometimes you just get to the point where you are saturated with information, and the smallest thing makes you snap out of it…

    Stay On Topic – That’s a great advise, I think I’ll be following… πŸ™‚

    Thanks again

  8. GirlieGeek says:

    Great advice and good points to incorporate into my blogging. Thanks for the great interview.

  9. Some good tips.

  10. Thanks Guys, David rocks!

    I agree Parnuuna, so many bloggers do go off topic which makes me turn off a lot of time. Despite this, some bloggers when they go off topic its good because readers do want to know more about you and what makes you click!

  11. Very inspiring — the true Internet Lifestyle

    well done

  12. You are the first person to tell people not to watch the news.

    I believe in the “doing more in less time” idea. Quality over quantity. Great interview here!

  13. David Risley says:

    I’m glad you guys liked the interview, and thanks to Mike for the opportunity.

  14. Exactly Kai! I prefer to work a hour a day and know I did a great job than do 5 hours of quanitiy…

    No problem David, you gave us some great answers mate! Can’t wait to see more from you.

  15. Fantastic interview! Well done Michael, and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, David.

    I agree with not watching the news. I found that for about a year after coming home from Iraq, I wouldn’t read the news, because it was all bad anyway. I had just come from a bad news situation, and didn’t need any more of it.

    Now, as a blogger, I find that as I read the news for ideas about articles to write about, I quickly regret it. If I truly want to help my readers, watching or reading the news isn’t the way to do it. Actually, that’s too bad. Seems that way too many people are getting used to such a negative outlook on everything. Thanks for reminding us to steer clear from the doom and gloom.

  16. Thanks Jay πŸ™‚ was a great interview by David!

    Your right with the doom and gloom, you don’t see any of it here πŸ™‚

  17. Anthony Myers says:

    Reading the news is important!
    If you don’t, you will be ignorant to the world around you.
    Sure, a lot of it is bad news. But a better way to deal with it is to concentrate on the positives of your life.
    Just because I read about GM potentially going bankrupt doesn’t mean I will cower into a bunch of jelly.

    Anyways, great interview!

    I have just recently started blogging, and I fell in to the same trap of going too off course of my base niche (Which was ironically posting too much bad news.)
    I remedied that by starting a blog about my true passion, fitness. I hope to make it into a money-making machine.

    I will definitely keep checking out this blog, and the David Risley family of blogs as well.

  18. Great interview.

    Love your thoughts on having a forum on your blog as well for repeated traffic.

    Thanks guys.

  19. graphics cloud says:

    Great informative interview.
    Would like to ask how to stick to the topic of the blog? How we can write more and more about a topic? ANy advice.

  20. Paul Morales says:

    Nice interview. I read his blog too πŸ˜‰

  21. Dave Chewter says:

    Interesting stuff, just thought I’d mention you had a “Add new tag” tag for this interview!

  22. James Schramko says:

    …another great interview Michael!

    Reminds me about the time I made $12k between getting on a plane in L.A and arriving back in Sydney (from someone elses affiliate program)…

    Having a LIST is vital!

  23. How can i publish the inter view of this blogger??