It’s a dream common to just about every nascent blogger: if you blog it, the money will come. Unfortunately, this dream is often dashed on the rocks of low traffic, poor AdSense click rates, and meager affiliate commissions. The truth is that it takes a lot more than simply a well-kept blog to make a decent living online. Here are three factors that successful Internet entrepreneurs like Darren Rowse and Ramit Sethi all have in common. They:

1. Offer a Product

Successful bloggers and Internet entrepreneurs don’t rely on ad sales and commissions for their income. Instead — or often, in addition — they find out what their readers need and create a product to meet that need, and then sell it at a premium price. Such a product might be an e-book or an instructional course in something about which you have expert knowledge.

2. Give Away Free Content

In order to draw people in and get them interested in their products, successful Internet entrepreneurs provide free high-quality, informative content. This might include blog posts, podcasts or videos, or free products such as a PDF e-book. The purpose is three-fold: to draw website traffic, to prove your expertise on a subject, and to entice consumers of your free content to convert to paying customers.

3. Grow The Mailing Lists

Often, free content is used to entice visitors to sign up to a mailing list. When people sign up, they are giving you permission to contact them whenever you have a new product or service to pitch, or to recommend products for which you earn affiliate commissions. It’s a powerful tool to gather sales leads that often convert to a significant source of income. So I want to improve your chances of getting an income from your blog, start by creating a product that you will able to offer for free, then keep the conversation by offering them more free product. Then only you will be able to offer things to buy and ask them for a specific action, like to register to a course or to buy your book.