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Alright my awesome blogging business owner, are you ready to really make money on your blog? Heck yes you are!
In the first post in this series, I told you about what you need to do to get ready to make money blogging. Now let’s talk about how to actually start making sales. You know, actual $$$.
In this post I am going to share with you exactly what I did to start making a full time income from my blogging business. This post is all about finding your people and giving to them before asking. It is also about getting comfortable with that one “s” word. It is about getting started with the easiest way to start making money online.
Let’s get serious and make some money my friend!
1. Find Your People
In the last post, you defined who your ideal client is. You know what she needs, what she wants. You know what she struggles with and what her dreams are.
You know a lot about her, now it’s time to go find her!
This part of the process is so important. You can’t just blog, hope people will find you, and then buy your stuff. “Build it and they will come” is so cute for a Hollywood script. But it doesn’t work for business and it won’t work for yours.
So where do you find your people? You go where they are hanging out online!
- Other Facebook pages
- Other Bloggers’ Posts
If you want to make money from your business you have to go out there and find people to actually buy from you. If you don’t find your people, you can’t make sales. You can’t make money. It’s as simple as that.
Now I don’t want you to get overwhelmed by this. I am not telling you to go to every website on that list and start interacting with your potential readers.
Who has time for that?!
What I am saying is pick your top 1-2 sites and work on connecting with people that way. A a blogger, you must start with Pinterest. Pinterest will drive traffic to your site even when you aren’t promoting it.
After you have mastered your top 2 sites and seeing the results you want, move onto the next site on your list. But do not feel like you have to do it all at once. If you do that you will so get burnt out!
Action Step: Do some research and find out where your ideal clients are hanging out. Is it Pinterest or Facebook groups? Or is it actually LinkedIn. Do your research, then make a list of the sites you want to tackle. Make a plan of how you are going to do that! Remember, you can’t make money from your blogging business if you can’t find your people!
Are you struggling to find out where your people are hanging out online? Or do you not have time to do all that research? I hear you my friend! This is why I did it for you! Buy Find Your Tribe Online today and start connecting with your ideal client right now!
2. Give Lots of Value
Now that you have found your people, your new potential readers it’s time to give them tons of value. What is value? Such a loaded word right?!
Value is helping people. It is serving people. It is doing it all from the goodness of your own heart. And for free.
In a more tangible way, value is sharing blog and social media posts about your topic. It is tips to your audience that will help them grow. It is sharing other people’s blog posts that you know will help your audience. It is going into Facebook groups and answering questions.
Here’s an example of how you can create this “value” with your audience:
- Go into three different Facebook groups in your niche. Look for questions that you can answer to help others in your niche. Do this at least 3 times a week.
- Add tips to your Facebook page. Short 1-3 sentences that will help your readers.
- Publish one blog post a week and share it on group boards in your niche.
Being consistent shows your new readers a few things. First that you know what you are talking about when it comes to your niche.
Second, that you care about your readers. That you are there to truly help them, not to only make money from them.
Third, it shows that you are someone they can count on. You are there day in and day out giving them information they need. The know you are someone they can trust. This is so important when building any kind of following online.
Giving lots and lots of value will help you to build your audience and grow your tribe. It will show them that you are serious about helping them. It will show them that you are the go-to expert when it comes to your niche. What a great combo right?!
Action Step: Get out a piece of paper or open a Google Doc. Brainstorm three ways you can help your audience today. Then add your ideas to your calendar so it actually gets done. Ideas for content are endless so don’t try to overdo it or you will get overwhelmed! Pick 3 ideas and start implementing right away!
For a list of content ideas, check out my Social Media Planner for Bloggers!
3. Build Your Email List
Your email list is the key to growing your blogging business and making money online. Bloggers are always so surprised when I say this, but it is true!
Why is email so important? Especially in this social media day and age?
Because email is more personal. Yes we are making connections on social media. But email is where we are getting personal with our readers. I have gotten so many emails where people pour their hearts out to me and ask for help. This is not something most people feel comfortable doing over social media.
I liken this to going to a party. Let’s say you’re at a party with 100 people. You aren’t going to stand in the middle of the room and share about your marriage problems. Or that you’re $50,000 in debt or that your son is in therapy. Right? That would be uncomfortable, awkward, and embarrassing.
But you will stand in a corner and be honest with your closest friend. You will tell her what is really going on in your life– both good and bad. Why? Because you feel safe. You know she won’t judge you. You trust her.
See how that is for social media too? You aren’t going to go into a Facebook group of 1,000 people and share all your troubles. But you will share with one person over email because it feels safer.
The other reason an email list is so important is because there is less competition. For example, when you post on Facebook you are competing with so much noise. Funny cat videos, pictures of cute babies, and news from friends and family across the world. Plus don’t forget about the ads!
On email there is less competition. Yes, we get a ton of emails. But we have to do something with them right?! The key is to have a catchy subject line that will appeal to your readers. All you need to do is stand out and be consistent.
An email list helps you build your relationship with your readers. It will also help you sell your first products. But first you must start it and then SEND emails. You can’t only collect email addresses. You need to actually get in the habit of weekly sending out emails to your list.
This way they are connected to you and you aren’t only emailing them when you want them to buy something from you. We have all been on lists like that and it’s super annoying. It goes back to giving a ton of value before you ask for the sale.
Not sure what to send in your email newsletter? Check out my free email worksheet and be confident in sending out a newsletter people will love!
Action Step: The steps to building an email list look like this:
- Decide on an email provider. I use and love ConvertKit. It is well worth the money!
- Create a freebie that rocks!
- Get it all on a landing page. I use Thrive for all my landing pages. Super affordable and super easy to use!
- Promote your freebie everywhere!
Does building an email list overwhelm you? Are you not sure where to start? Check out my course Fantastic Freebies! I walk you through it all step-by-step!
4. Get Comfortable with the “S” Word
I am going to be bold with this next statement. If you can’t get comfortable with selling, you won’t ever make money blogging.
I know this is a brutal statement, but I want to be 100% upfront and honest with you. Unless you can be okay with selling you will struggle to make money blogging.
I think the word sales has gotten an unfair rap in our culture. When we think of sales, we think of an icky used car salesman looking to sell us a car.
At least I did….until I married a guy that sold used cars.
My husband is a natural born salesman. He started his first sales gig selling Cutco knives on the streets of Chicago– the city, not the suburbs. Not an easy crowd to sell to by any means. He has sold everything from knives to Schwan’s food to cars.
He loves sales!
I know there are those of you reading this who are completely shuddering at the thought of loving sales. You are thinking how can he actually love sales?
Easy. It’s his perspective.
He loves helping people. He looks at selling as a way of helping people. Listening to their problems and helping them find a solution to it. This is why he could sell knives, cars, insurance, and really anything. He cares about helping people.
Now that’s interesting when you think about it that way isn’t it? Isn’t your blog founded on the same purpose? The purpose of helping people?
When you put it into perspective selling isn’t that much different than blogging. You are selling your blog posts when you write them. You are selling them when you pin them on Pinterest. You are selling them when you share them on Facebook group promo days.
You are selling already and you didn’t know it. Now you need to get comfortable putting a dollar amount to what you are selling. A lot of times this comes down to mindset and believing in yourself. Other times it comes down to educating yourself on something you don’t know how to do.
Are scared about the idea of selling anything on your blog either your product or someone else’s? It is time to punch fear in the face, and do it. I don’t know about you, but when I am scared I learn everything I can and then I jump in.
If you are scared or even the teeniest bit nervous about selling, get educated, and get out there and do it!
Action Step: If selling makes you nervous, first write one paragraph about why it scares you. Get all the icky and negative feelings out.
Next get educated! My husband recommends these four books for anyone that is nervous about selling:
- Zig Zeigler: See You at the Top
- Dale Carengie: How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Robert Jolles: Customer Centered Selling
- Napoleon Hill: Think & Grow Rich
I also have a friend that produces a podcast about sales called Sales Babble. Pat has great tips for overcoming the fear of sales!
5. Start with Affiliate Programs
The easiest way to start making money on your blog is through affiliate programs. First, you don’t have to create anything like an eBook or a course. Second, if you are nervous about sales, it is far easier to promote someone else’s product then it is your own.
I have to admit, the idea of affiliate sales completely stressed me out and overwhelmed me. How do you even start? Which ones do you choose? Amazon alone has millions of products you can sell and earn an affiliate commission.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by affiliate sales, try out my strategy. Pick 3-5 affiliate programs that match your niche. Don’t try to do them all. That’s where the overwhelm starts. Pick a few that solves your niches problem. Then go out there and promote them.
For example, here are my main affiliates that I promote:
- SiteGround: Awesome email and hosting services
- Thrive: Landing pages, lead boxes, headline testing, and more
- ConvertKit: The best email marketing service out there for bloggers
- ThemeForest: Excellent and professional blog themes for cheap!
- Blog By Number: A how to guide to get started blogging.
- Pinterest to Profits: A turn key approach to get tons of traffic from Pinterest.
Once you have a list of affiliate programs you like, it’s time to get out there and sell them. Here are some ideas of how you can promote affiliate programs:
- Write a tutorial about the affiliate program. For example, I have a free tutorial about how to create a landing page with Thrive Landing Pages.
- Create a resources page with all your favorite tools. Include links to your affiliate programs.
- Send out an email to your list about the affiliate program and how it has helped you.
- Create a social media post and share your testimonial about the affiliate program.
- Create a freebie about the affiliate program. This could be a free workbook or cheatsheet about how to use the affiliate program.
- Create a pin on Pinterest that leads to the affiliate program.
There are so many ways to make money through affiliate programs. The best part is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and create something from scratch. You can use someone else’s work and earn a commission promoting a product you love!
Action Step: Create a list of 3-5 affiliate programs you can start promoting today. Then next to each program, write down how you will promote them. Then schedule it into your calendar and start selling!
In the second part of my series, “How to go from blog to profitable business” we covered how to:
- actually find people to buy your products.
- give value to your audience first.
- build an email list.
- get comfortable with that dreaded “s” word.
- start making easy money through affiliate marketing.
In the final installment of this series, I am going to show you how to make money through your own products! Yay! I am going to show you how I have created eBooks and courses that have helped thousands of women. Products that have allowed me to go from hobby blogger to full time income blogger. If I can do it, I promise you, you can do it too! Stay tuned!
What do you think about these steps? How do you feel about the dreaded sales word? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
P.S. If you like this post, I would love it if you pin it to remember later and to share with others that might like it. Thank you!