Last Updated on January 10, 2022 by James McAllister

By: James McAllister


How many times have you had someone try to sell you the ‘magic formula’ that would instantly take your blog to massive success?

How many gurus have you landed into that sell the dream, tricking you into believing that online success is as easy as buying their (ridiculously priced) program?

Unfortunately, you can’t have it all.

When it comes down to achieving blogging success, it comes down to this:

You can have it good, you can have it fast, or you can have it cheap – but you can only have two of the three.

This means any way you go about it, you have to make choices, and you have to make sacrifices.

Let’s over each one of these combinations so you can decide which will fit your style the best.

Fast And Cheap

Let’s talk about this one first, because it’s drastically different than the others. Any strategy that doesn’t prioritize quality isn’t sustainable over the long term.

I call this the ‘churn and burn’ strategy.

This strategy more often than not involves unethical / blackhat marketing and the entire goal of it is to get as much out of it before your business implodes on itself.

Buying backlinks to get spam sites on the front page of Google’s rankings for a short period of time is an example of this strategy. Hammering low quality email lists with spam offers is another.

You can imagine that this tends to be relatively ineffective and certainly can’t last.

From time to time a number of legitimate opportunities can arise using this strategy, but your income will remain fairly inconsistent without much sustained growth, and you always have to be looking for the next opportunity.

Maybe this can be a decent way to make some quick cash, but if you’re serious about building a business I wouldn’t recommend it.

Good And Cheap

Cheap doesn’t have to equate with bad – but understand that everything worth having comes at a price. If you don’t have money to pay, this is likely going to end up being your time.

This is the way most new bloggers go about it and it is a solid strategy. The ‘good and cheap’ strategy involves you building free, long-term traffic sources that grow over time.

Your goal here is to retain as many people as possible by encouraging them to sign up to your email list. Even if only a small number of people visit your site each day, but you’re able to retain a tiny percentage of them, your traffic is guaranteed to grow over time.

Best of all, your numbers will likely grow exponentially as your resources start compounding. More people talking about your site, sharing your content, and linking to you leads to even more traffic, and the cycle continues.

When employing this strategy, you’ve got to understand that the first year is the hardest. It’s earliest on when you’re doing the most amount of work for the least amount of reward, and many people tend to give up early on as a result.

Later on, bloggers using this strategy tend to invest in tools that directly influence their bottom-line, but often fail to invest in rapid-growth marketing channels.

Good And Fast

You’ve got to have guts to choose this option, and know exactly what you’re doing. Otherwise, it’s possible to lose a lot of money very quickly.

Using this option, lots of investments are made up-front before you’re even pulling in revenue, and even when marketing you may be at a loss for a while until you figure things out.

Fortunately, this is the best option for building a profitable business quickly if you can weather the storm.

Outsourcing writing, pay-per-click advertising, premium tools, plugins, and themes, and more go into the ‘good and fast’ strategy.

Needless to say, you’ve got to shell out a lot of money – at least a lot more than you would with the other two options. And chances are, you’re going to be unprofitable for a while.

This is the strategy I’m taking with my new brand, which is utilizing blogging to drive sales and increase brand awareness.

It’s too early to tell how it’s going to turn out, but progress is being made far quicker than I would have ever been able to do it by myself and the future looks bright.

After all, I don’t set out to compete – I set out to dominate. And if you want to get ahead of everyone else, you’ve got to do things they won’t do.

Which One Of These Strategies Is Best?

I hate to say it, but it depends.

If you’re serious about building a real, long-term business it’s very important that you prioritize quality, sustainability, and consistent growth.

However, throwing too much into an idea too quickly can be dangerous if you aren’t able to make it work.

My advice to most people would be this: start out good and cheap. This will force you to learn how to actually market your work from scratch and teach you good business and financial habits.

As you grow more and more, reinvest as much of your earnings as you possibly can back into your blog to skyrocket growth even more quickly.

Over time, this will compound, and spending large amounts of money won’t be a problem because you’ll be bringing even more in.

When you have a cash cushion to work with, you can branch out and expand into new areas, or even come out with a new business entirely if you have the resources to do so.

And that time, you can open the flood gates right from the beginning and pour money into it, because you have that steady stream to rely on if things go south.

What About You?

Which one of these strategies have you (or are planning to) employ? How has that worked out for you?

Looking back, how would you have done things differently?

In any case, find your strategy, stick to it, and quit looking for the magic solution – because it does not, and will not ever exist.

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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  1. Hey James, great insightful post here. Loved the way you laid out these strategy paths.

    I most definitely started out good and cheap, and after about 18 months with Magnet4Blogging, I started to invest in premium products tools and online services to grow my business. I’ve most certainly made back what I spent and more on the business side of my blog (web design and development).

    I hope to continue with a balance of good and cheap and good and fast. So that will be continuing to create high quality content, do effective SEO for long term growth, and invest more in marketing and advertising instead of tools and premium products. I’ve lacked in investing in marketing a little bit I think.

    Lovely post once again mate. Have a great rest of the week – Fabrizio


  2. Hi James

    Three valid options. Personally I go with good and cheap initially. No matter how much money I’ve got in the bank I never start a new project by throwing loads of money at it. My low risk approach works on the basis that I want to test the idea and prove to myself that it works. I watch the spending like a hawk.

    Only after I’ve proven that it works (let’s face it, a lot of seemingly great ideas don’t work) will I think about scalling up.

    I know this approach means that I may miss out many opportunities that require plenty of money in the early stages. But my personality is cautious, not flamboyant.

    Some people have more money than sense – they waste it on unproven ventures, and lose a lot of their capital. But you’re smart – that wont happen to you!

    Great post



  3. Hi James. For me, I agree with Kim and with your recommendation. I like good and cheap for a variety of reasons, reasons that apply to my situation. The best choice for anyone has to depend on their situation.

    You have made it clear in your posts that you are more aggressive, have already succeeded at some businesses, and have put some on autopilot so that you have steady income. Just like in investing, when you are young, have money coming in, and have time to recover from any potential losses, you can be more aggressive in your investing, and a business is an investment. When you are older you gradually shift to more conservative investments because you don’t have time to recover from losses.

    Good luck with your new brand. Whether it goes well or not, you will have learned something that you will apply to your next brand to increase the odds of its success. Either way, as long as you have the time, you win in the end.


  4. Hi James,
    You being 19 years old but your thoughts and strategies are way better than your age. I am not flattering you but are a very good writer. You have shared some of the amazing tips .
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great day ahead.


  5. Hey James,

    Amazing writing mate. You are running ahead, you do not seems to be young, because this writing seems to be of very experienced writer.

    BTW, I will pick good & fast way to grow in blogging as I love investing money. For me it is the best way to reach high level.

    Best Wishes !
    ~ Ravi


  6. Hi James, Firstly, great post and thanks for sharing. Its really difficult at first and very temping to jump into the churn and burn Quick strategy as you described. I think a few quick articles to build content is no bad thing but over time quality will prevail. I’m really temped to start outsourcing some of the writing but for the time being (since i’m still in the first couple of months) i want to get my style nailed and then start to slowly introduce outsourced content. I think this approach is sensible for my first blog but definitely agree that for second or third brands getting some help right from the start could be the way to go. Anyway, lots to think about and again, thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work


  7. Hey james!!
    Nice article, very well explained. Every blogger who has started to blog out of passion should never run behind money.This blog will definitely keep many others on track.
    Thanks for sharing…


  8. The beginning is always the hardest, and this principle does not only apply to blogging. You are right about people giving up after the first few attempts, you have to go over that hurdle before seeing any return. Excellent comments on blogging! Thank you.


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