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Ready To Turn Your Blog Into a Business?
Are you ready to turn your blog into a business? If you are a blogger, then I’m sure you have read all the success stories and awesome income reports from some very influential bloggers. Maybe that is why you started a blog or are considering starting one right now.
A little detail in those success stories that you also may have read is that they had been blogging for years as a hobby until they suddenly realized that they could actually make money from their blog. Sound awesome doesn’t it?
I am not here to burst anybody’s bubble or to discourage anyone from starting a blog. In fact, I am here to tell you just the opposite, except in a more straightforward and real way.
Blogging For Business
Starting a blog that you are hoping to turn into a real business is not as easy as you might have read. Now, with that being said, it can be done but there is more to it then what is revealed in those awesomely inspiring income reports.
In fact I started my blog for the exact same reason. I could start a blog, work from home and help other people with their struggles all while making some money money on the side. Sign me up!!
Truth be told, If you want to earn a living from your blog, you need to treat it like any other business. Don’t expect to be working 10 hours a week and earning $20,000 a month without some help.
Another thing that all these success stories have in common is that they finally started to treat their blogs as a business. AND that is when the success stories begin…
Basics of Blogging
Starting a blog is the easy part. You can literally start a blog in less than half an hour. If you haven’t started one yet you can read my tutorial How to Start a Blog ~ Step by Step ~ With No Technical Skills.
Then you need to provide your readers great content. Which is not very difficult if you picked a niche that you have a vast knowledge of. Only to realize that nobody is coming to your blog to read your awesome content.
You see there is much more to blogging then setting up a blog and writing great content if you actually want to make a living or even earn some extra money from you blog.
- Generating Traffic
- Ad networks
- Affiliate marketing
- Promoting your blog
- Email Marketing
- Product Creation
- And the list goes on…
Blogging for Profit is a Business
Blogging for profit is a real business and if you want to be one of those success stories, you need to start running your blog as a business. And the way to run a business is to invest in that business.
You would never think that you can open up a shop or any other business and not invest anything up front. Would you?
There is plenty of information out there that says that all you need is to start a blog is $3.95 a month to start a WordPress Blog that is hosted by Blue Host. And, although that is true, if you want your blog to earn income and be a true business, you need to invest in tools and education.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t have a profitable blog without these things. I’m sure that there are many successful blogs that were started on a shoestring budget.
In fact, that was the way I thought when I first started my blog. I told myself that I would only start investing in the tools and education once I was earning enough to cover these expenses.
Invest in your Blog to Build a Business
Guess what, trying to learn and do everything on your own is a ton of work. Trying things out only to flop, wasting a bunch of time figuring out all the techy stuff, reading post after post on how to do this and how to do that.
I’ve been there, but you know what. All I ended up doing is reading and trying to figure this and that out on my own. No time to create killer content, promote my blog, grow my email list and everything else that needed to be done.
Not to mention, to start actually earning more then a few bucks here and there. Blogging is a lot of work and the more you invest in it, the more you will get out of it.
So if you are tired of spinning your wheels trying to figure everything out yourself and not getting anywhere (like I was) then you need to start investing in tools and training that will help you grow your blog into a business.
Choosing the Right Investments
Although I have made investments to grow my business, I have still been very careful about what products that I do invest in. All these investments have been made with a lot of thought, research and consideration.
Not every investment panned out as I’d hoped, but there are others that have been a great help in growing my business. And I wanted to share these with you to help you grow you business too. These are the top four investments I have made that I feel have been the most helpful in my blogging business.
Tools and Resources
To have a successful blogging business, you need page views. Without page views, it will be very difficult to grow into a business. Nobody is going to click on your affiliate links, no one will know about the great opt in offers you created to grow your email list and you won’t get approved into any of the higher paying ad networks if you have low page views.
It is for those very reasons that I first invested in Traffic Transformation. This is an eBook written by Lena Gott. Lena blogs over at What Mommy Does and she managed to grow her page views from 17 K to 400 K in just 10 short months.
Lena shares the 21 strategies that she used to grow her page views to 400 K in such a short period of time. The strategies she shares are not rocket science, they are very manageable steps that even a brand new blogger can implement from day one.
I won’t give away any detailed info about the course because that just wouldn’t be right. What I will tell you is that Lena shares great tips like…
- How to leverage Google Plus to grow organic page views from Google searches
- What types of tasks you need to concentrate on to get the most out of your efforts
- How to keep visitors clicking through your site for more page views through interlinking
- Testing different strategies to get the most bang for your buck
- Mastering social media platforms to gain the most traffic
- And MUCH MORE…
I doubled my page views within one month of starting to implement some of the strategies I learned from Traffic Transformation.
Here is a screenshot to prove how much it has helped me. I have been implementing the steps I learned into my new posts and am slowly working them into my older posts. I am really anxious to see the results once I do.
Promoting your blog
I’m sure you probably already know this, but Pinterest is the number one traffic generator for most blogs. It is mine, and most likely is yours too. So investing some money to grow your Pinterest following, page views and traffic is truly a no brainier.
My first investment was Board Booster because it is very affordable, you can get started with Board Booster for $5 a month. What I love about it is that I can schedule my pins through all my group boards effortlessly.
You just basically set it up using the advanced settings, then all you need to do is add your new pins to your secret boards and they just loop through your group boards based on your preferences. I show you how to do this in the second half of my Earn Passive Income with Pinterest post.
Because Pinterest is such a great way to generate traffic to my site, I eventually decided that I needed to give TailWind a shot. Let me tell you, this was the best investment in my Pinterest strategy EVER. I still use Board Booster for my group boards because of the easy in looping my pins through my group boards and will continue to use Board Booster.
Awesome TailWind Features
Tribes – Tribes are basically the equivalent of group boards. You submit your pins for all members of the Tribes to share on their boards. And you also find great content to share on your boards as well. Most tribes require at least a 1:1 share rate so for every pin you submit, you should pin at least one other pin from the other tribe members pins.
Boards – Boards are the reason TailWind makes sharing and being active on Pinterest consistently so easy to do. I’m sure that you have a theme with most of your boards in you niche. And you may find or have pins of your own that would fit into multiple boards.
TailWind boards make it so easy to add these pins to you scheduled pins on every board that fits the bill. So instead of saving that one pin individually to a bunch of boards, you simple add that pin to your TailWind board and it’ll be scheduled to every board in that group. Talk about time savings.
Other Cool Features
TailWind also recommends the best time to pin so you get the most impact when scheduling based on the performance of your Pinterest account.
They have an awesome analytics that show your impressions, repins, blog traffic and which board are the most effective for repins and likes.
TailWind has a Interval function that allows you to limit the number of pins that you schedule to your group boards, which helps you to stay within the boards pinning rules.
And much more!! Plus TailWind is approved by Pinterest so you won’t get penalized for using it to automate your Pinterest strategy.
If you are still on the fence about using TailWind, you can give it a try with a free account which allows you to schedule up to 100 pins and you will have access to TailWind Tribes.
Ever heard the phrase “The Money Is In The List”? I’m sure you have. And, in case you don’t know, growing your list is a huge part of being successful in your blogging journey. Your list is one thing you need to grow and nurture from day one. Even if you only have 10 page views a day.
You need to get those visitors to know you and trust you. You need do whatever you can to help them with their struggles with awesomely great advice.
The you need to grow your email list is that, even if you doubled your page views or gained a ton of traffic from Pinterest (or any other social media platform), there is always a chance that google or pinterest changes the algorithm, rules or whatever else they choose to.
You list is yours…Nobody can take that away from you. You will always have these dedicated viewers as long as you nurture, respect and be as helpful as you can to them. This is why it is so important to grow your list.
AND this is exactly why I decided to switch from a free service to Convert Kit very early on. I made this switch before I was making even enough to pay for it. Do you want to know why?
Because I knew that I needed to grow my list to build my blog and business. It is an investment that you should not skimp on.
Convert Kit was created by a blogger for bloggers. This is the only email service that I know of that is tailored to provide everything a blogger could need to grow their email list and following.
Convert Kit features I can’t live without.
Forms and Landing Pages
Convert Kit makes it super simple to create multiple signup forms that can be placed anywhere on your website. You can display them in you sidebar, at the end of each post or in the middle of a post if you prefer.
You can also easily create landing pages that integrate right into you website with just a few clicks. They have multiple templates to choose from and they are so easy to design and make your own.
They also make it super easy to deliver your opt ins to your new subscribers. I’ve done this on other platforms and I have to say that Convert Kit knocked this out of the park. I can literally create a new form or landing page in 5 minutes!!
Email sequences are a great way to automate your weekly email newsletters, send new subscriber into a welcome email series, deliver email courses and challenges, create sales funnels and much more.
Once you have your emails laid out, it’s just a matter of a few clicks to schedule them as you choose to. Once you have created your sequence, each person that signed up will be sent your emails automatically, there is nothing more you need to do.
Tags and Segments
Convert Kit allows you to tag you subscriber based on certain criteria such as different interests, content upgrades, buyers, basically anything you wish. This makes it really easy to send the right emails to the right people.
It also helps to keep giving your subscribers what they want without alienating them by sending emails that they have no interest in. This will also keep you unsubscribe rate lower.
Segments are basically groups of subscribers that match specific criteria. This could be a combination of different tags, subscribers to certain forms or sequences, subscribers who have purchased specific products or basically anything you can think of.
Segments help you to send specific emails to a group of subscribers with similar interests together. Say you have a segment of subscribers who have already purchased your product, this would be a great way to upsell a product.
Or maybe you have a segment of subscribers that have showed an interest in a certain product or service but did not follow through. You could send this segment a more detailed email explaining the benefits to give them a nudge into following through.
I’m sure that you can see how tags and segments could be a great way to interact with different groups of subscribers without driving others away with something they have no interest in.
The automation that Convert Kit delivers is my all time favorite feature. It’s basically a “if this trigger happens then it will result in that action” type of setup.
You can use automation to…
- Add one or more tags to any subscriber who clicks a specific link.
- Add subscribers to a sequence when they subscribe to a specific form.
- Send anyone who completes a sequence into another sequence.
- Remove tags from subscribers who do not completely finish a sequence
- Tag or segment anyone who has made a purchase already.
- Remove tags from subscribers who show no interest in specific topics
And the list goes on. I’m sure you get the point as to how powerful this can be and how much time you can save managing your growing list of email subscribers.
Convert Kit also offers some great FREE information to help you in your blogging to business journey and you don’t even have to use their services.
My two favorites are…
Product Creation Master Class (This class is only available at specific times so you will need to register to be notified once the next class begins).
The last product that I want to share with you is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing created by Michelle of Making Sense of Cents. Michelle makes over $50,000 per MONTH through affiliate marketing alone.
I tried to insert affiliate links within my posts and in my emails without any sort of training and didn’t have any luck whatsoever. It didn’t feel comfortable at all doing it either, I really couldn’t grasp how to do this without sounding like a salesperson, which is the last thing I would want to do.
I only promote a small group of products that I use, love and think my readers would benefit from so constantly mentioning these products over and over seemed to spammy for me. Michelle teaches you how to effectively use affiliate marketing without selling your soul.
The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course is for bloggers in all stages of building your business and is a self paced course so you can take as much time as you need to implement all the strategies necessary to grow your affiliate income the RIGHT way.
Michelle teaches you everything from the basics of affiliate marketing to the most advanced strategies and everything in between.
This course is made up of six modules with over 30 lessons. Michelle also includes several worksheets to help you complete her lessons, offers six bonuses and free access to the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing exclusive Facebook group.
What you’ll learn
- What affiliate marketing is and how it works
- Why affiliate marketing is great
- The exact steps Michelle has taken to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post
- Picking the right affiliate products to promote
- How to increase conversions
- Building trust and not lose followers
- Required disclosures that you need to know about
- The one major tool you need for affiliate marketing
- Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products
- How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing
This course has helped me and my affiliate efforts so much. I has paid for itself many times over for sure and I recommend it to anyone struggling with affiliate earnings. Oh, and you can read my interview with Michelle right here. How to Rock Affiliate Marketing.
If you want to build your blog into a business, you need to invest in your business. This will help you grow more rapidly and allow you to focus your efforts on implementation rather than spending all your time researching and trial and error activities.
Your focus needs to be set on growing your blog and business and investing in the right tools and training is the most effective way to go about it.
Do you have any tools or resources that have helped you grow your blog? Please share them with us.
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