Start a blog, reach thousands of people, and make tons of money. You can retire early, travel and live the life!
Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?!
So you jump in with both feet. You are so excited! You are writing about a topic you love and are passionate about. You know the money is going to come in at any second.
But then it doesn’t. And you have no idea why. You are writing great posts, putting yourself out there, and even have ads on your site. Yet you are no closer to making money blogging than when you started.
Why aren’t you making money blogging if you are doing everything right?!
Because you are missing one key thing. One key ingredient to actually make money blogging.
Wait what?! This isn’t business school. It’s blogging. Why do you need a plan?
Because if you don’t have an actual plan to make money you won’t in fact make money with your blog.
In this series, I am going to cover each step you need to take to turn your blog into a profitable blogging business. To take it from hobby to money. And the first steps start with you and getting your mindset straight. It starts with getting your brain ready to make money from your blogging business. Getting yourself ready to make your wildest dreams come true!
1. Blog or Business?
The first thing you have to decide is whether you want a blog or a business. A blog that makes money every once in a while is not a business and that’s okay. A business has goals with a plan and steps to meet those goals.
Whenever I do anything I like to start with the end in mind. What is my end goal? What results do I want to see? This is what you need to do when you start a blog. What is your end goal with your blog? What results do you want to see with your blog?
Did you start your blog:
- So you can quit your job and blog full-time?
- So you can retire early?
- To pay off mounting credit card and student loan debt?
- To help put your kids through college?
- So you can live off the income from your blog and travel the world?
- To retire your husband so he can work at home with you?
Then I have news for you. You have started a business, not a blog. Don’t be scared by this, it is exciting! I LOVE small business owners! They are some of the bravest and smartest people on the planet. You are one of them.
You have dreams and ambitions to do more than settle for a ton of debt. Or working a job you hate until you can finally retire. Only the brave can put their hand up and say “No. No more. That won’t be me. I want something different.”
Now, there is nothing wrong with blogging to blog. There are a ton of blogs out there that are hobby blogs that make no money. There are plenty of bloggers that do it just for fun.
But if you started your blog with the end goal of making money to meet one of your needs, you have a business, not a blog. Your first step in making money blogging is to decide that your blog is in fact a business.
Action Step: Write this down and say it out loud every day. “I am a business owner, not only a blogger. I own my own business.”
2. What is Your Why?
Talking about your why is trendy right now and for good reason. Owning a small business is HARD work. There are many late nights and early mornings. Days where you work for free. Working 60 hours a week to make only pennies.
No, being self-employed, much like parenting, is not for the faint of heart. But it is oh so rewarding. You are hooked the first time a client says to you “Wow, you helped me! I couldn’t have done this without you.” That feeling, that rush is like nothing else!
There are peaks and valleys of self-employment. Knowing your why, will get you through the hard times, and back up to the peaks.
I have several whys that have kept me going over the last 15 years of self-employment.
I want to:
- Share my love of God with believers and non-believers.
- Retire my husband so we can work on our businesses together and have more freedom as a family.
- Continue to stay home with my children so I am here when they are sick or after school or just plain need me.
- Not have to work for anyone else again because I am not so good at being told what to do. 😉
But there is one big, fat, hairy, audacious goal that is pushing me right now. One big goal that gets my butt out of bed when my alarm clock goes off at 4:15am.
I want to take one year off and travel the United States in our 5th wheel. I want to show our kids the country. I want to have a nomadic lifestyle. I want to have that bonding time as a family. I want to travel and hit the open road.
The only way to make this dream come true is to have a business that isn’t location dependent. This is my big why right now!
We all have our typical whys. “I want to retire my husband.” “I want to pay off my student loans.” “I want to be a stay-at-home-mom.” I share these whys with you and they are great ones! But I am a big believer in having a tangible why that keeps you going at 4:15am when everyone else is sleeping. A big dream that keeps you motivated when you don’t feel like you can keep going. Dream high and dream big. Find your why that will keep you going through the thick and thin of being a business owner.
Action Step: Dream! Take 10 minutes in quiet silence and dream! Pick your big why and envision it happening. Envision your husband working from home everyday. See your family taking off in your RV to travel for a year. Then create a vision board with your big dream. Stare at it, pray over it, and meditate on it everyday and especially when things get tough.
3. Believe In Yourself
We’ve established that being a business owner is hard work. It’s also hard on the heart. You must have a steady stream of confidence at the ready when things get to you on the inside.
What kinds of things?
Comparison, jealousy, and critics.
Well there are times when you will compare yourself to others. Something like “Wow, she is such a great writer, making more money, and helping more people. I must be terrible at this.”
I love Jon’s quote. Whenever I start to compare myself to other’s I remember this quote. I also remind myself that I don’t know that person’s story. They could have 5 failed blogs and this is the one that finally worked out for them. We don’t know what’s underneath someone else’s success story. So stay in your lane and be proud of what you have accomplished!
Another feeling that comes up is the ugly, old, green monster. Jealousy. “I launched my course and only 20 people bought it. She launched her course and sold out within 30 minutes.”
Jealousy is normal, but you can’t let it consume you. Instead turn it into an opportunity. Look at what the person did and use it to improve your next launch, blog posts, or Facebook group. Look at the thing you are jealous about and turn it into a learning experience for you.
Then there’s the critics. The more success you have, the more critics you will get. I think critics pick on people because they are jealous. But never fear, you will know you have “made it” when people start to criticize your work.
I’m not gonna lie. It hurts. I think you can have the thickest skin in the world, but when someone criticizes your work it hurts. This work is a part of you, it’s your words. You have to find a way to deal with those comments.
My personal favorite way to deal with my critics? I pray for them. I feel the feelings and then I pray for them. I pray for whatever is going on in their lives that caused them to lash out at me to be fixed, healed, and restored.
Then I go read my testimonial book. 🙂
My testimonial book is filled with kind words that people send me over email and social media. These messages remind me that I am good at what I do and that I am helping people. I encourage you to create your own testimonial book. Whenever someone says even one kind word about you, record it in your testimonial book. Pull out your book when someone criticizes you. Pull it out when you are starting to doubt your abilities. I promise it will lift you up!
Action Step: Take stock of who you are and how you help people before you start your business. Make a list of “I am” statements. “I am good at helping people. I am good at my ‘niche subject. I have what it takes to succeed.” Then keep a testimonial book with your “I am” statements to lift you up when you have rough days.
4. Have a Servant’s Heart
When you first start out in your business you won’t make a lot of money or any at all. It takes time to grow a following, learn about your niche, and figure out how you can help them. Now I am not saying it will take you years and years to turn a profit. If you do it right, you can start making money within six months in my opinion. But up until that point, you must have a servant’s heart.
What I mean by a servant’s heart is that you have to help a whole bunch of people for free before you can ever expect to get paid. People have to know that you care about them before they will spend one cent on your products. They have to know you can help them before they see your products as something they need. You have to reach out to your ideal clients and help them for free. Give them advice. Ask them questions. Get to know them. Help them. And do this all for free.
You want people to trust you and not because you want to make money off of them. You want to build a relationship with them so you can help them. You want to be their friend. Then once you know them better you will be able to develop programs that will continue to serve them.
But it all starts with that servant’s heart. You must truly care about your people and building relationships with them. I promise when you come at this with a servant’s heart, the money will come.
Action Step: Aim every single day to help at least 5 people in your niche. Reach out to them in Facebook groups. Check in with them on Instagram. Get to know them, be their friend, and offer your advice for free.
5. How Are You Going to Make Money
Now that your mindset is ready, it’s time to figure out how you are going to make money. I think this is the number one place bloggers struggle. They don’t create a plan on how to make money from their blog. To see your blog as a business, it has to make money. It has to turn a profit. You have to know HOW you will make money or you will have no direction for your business.
There are so many ways to make money online. Here’s a sampling:
- Sponsored Posts
- VA services
- Social Media Manager
- Membership Site
- Affiliate Marketing
- Stock Photos
This list is overwhelming isn’t it?! I also think this is where bloggers struggle when it comes to making money online. There are so many ways to do it, how do you focus on what to do?
Again, you have a plan. A plan of how you want to make money.
I will give you an example of my plan. Here is how I plan to make money from my blogging business:
Women Winning Online Income Model
50%: VIP Membership Community
25% My courses + ebooks
25%: Affiliate income
Based on my plan I need to spend at least 50% of my time focused on bringing in new women into my membership community. My main tasks everyday need to revolved around supporting my membership community. The rest of the time I need to focus on promoting my courses and any affiliate programs I am a part of. But the bulk of my effort is bringing new women into my community and supporting them.
This means I am focused more on promoting the membership. I am reaching out more 1:1 and inviting women to join us in the community. I am actively looking for women that want to turn their blogs into a business. I am looking for women that want to work with a community of women that are pursuing the same goals. It is my sole focus.
One thing I don’t have listed on here is coaching. I do some limited 1:1 coaching, but I don’t advertise it and I don’t focus on it. I only take on new coaching clients when people approach me to coach them. This is not something I spend time on to attract new clients which is why it isn’t in my income model.
If you are serious about making money from your blog, you need to figure out how you are going to do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect but you must have a plan. Do you want more sponsored posts or do you want to coach? Do you want to do a little bit of everything? How will you turn your blog into a business and make money?
Action Step: Write down 3 ideas of how you want to profit from your blogging business. Then assign a percentage to each idea. Focus on how you will make money from your highest priority item. Then go out there and do it!
6. Set Your Goals
Now that you know how you want to make money, it’s time to set your goals. If you don’t set goals, you will miss your target every time and you will never get to where you want to be.
I think every online business owner, me included, starts out with this thought:
“I want to make $10,000 a month, every month.”
Whoooeee that sounds nice doesn’t it?! That’s my goal for sure! But guess what, if you start out aiming for $10,000, you will be disappointed when you make $100, $1,000, or $5,000. And that’s kinda sad isn’t it?
So start big, but build up to it. If you aren’t making any money online right now aim for making your first $100. Then shoot for $500, $1,000, and so on and so forth. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your jump to $10,000 won’t happen in a day either. It will start with consistently making money every single month and grow from there.
Once I know how much I want to make every month, I match that number to my plan of how to make money listed above.
For example, let’s say I want to start out making $1,000 a month. It would look like this:
50% Membership Community: $500 or 11 women a month
25% My Courses: $250 or 6 courses a month
25% Affiliate Income: $250
When I drill down like this I can see exactly what I need to do to meet my goals. It becomes more real and more attainable to me.
Action Step: Set your first money goals. Have a big “pie in the sky” number but also start out with a number that is easy for you to hit. Then increase your goals from there. Match it to how you are going to make money to make it tangible. For example, I have goals set at $3,000, $5,000, $7,000 and $10,000.
7. Define Your Ideal Client
Alright, you are on a roll at this point. You have decided yes, you want a blog that is a business. One that makes money and has a plan on how to do it. You are feeling great because you have tackled some serious mindset issues.
Now it’s time to go figure out who you are going to serve! Who are you going to help? Who is your ideal client?
I like to be very specific about this. If you try to capture all the people, you will miss every time. The more you can hone in on your ideal client, the more you will know their feelings and their needs. You will begin to speak their language in your blog posts, opt-in offers, and programs. You will know them inside and out. This is key to running a successful blog and business.
For example, my ideal client looks like this:
- Is a woman between the ages of 25-60.
- Wants to start a blog or currently has a blog.
- Has her blog to make money, not as a hobby.
- Feels overwhelmed at how to actually make money blogging.
- Has big dreams for her blogging income, not just dollars but lifestyle.
- Believes that we are better together.
Once I have the features of my ideal client I can actually begin to see her. I see her face, her shape, and even give her a name. Everything I do at this point revolves around her and her needs. This shapes my blog posts, my marketing messages, and my offerings. I am not selling to a nameless, faceless person at this point. I am helping a real live person turn her blog into a business.
It is so important to sit down and think about who you want to serve. Write down their demographics yes. But also include information about their wants, their dreams, and their fears. I have a posterboard dedicated to my ideal reader. On the posterboard I have listed her good feelings and her bad feelings. This way I am always keeping her at the forefront of my mind when I am working.
Action Steps: Who do you want to work with? Who is your ideal client? Take 20 minutes and write this out. Write out her story, what she needs, and what she wants. The more you know who you want to help, the more you can target your posts, your opt-ins, and your programs.
In the first part of this series I covered how to start turning your blog into a profitable business. They are:
- Blog or Business?
- What is Your Why?
- Believe in Yourself
- Have a Servant’s Heart
- How are You Going to Make Money?
- Set Your Goals
- Define Your Ideal
It is important to get your mindset ready and treat your blog as an actual business. Take the time to figure out why you are doing this and who you want to help. Then put your ideas to goals and numbers. Make a plan of how you will make money every month and what goals you need to hit. This is how you start to turn your hobby blog into a profitable business!
In the second part of this series, I cover how to actually go out there and start making money every single month!
What are you doing to make money blogging? Do you see yourself as only a blogger or a blogger + business owner? Have you made plans to make money blogging? Please share with us in the comments below!
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