How are some some blogs able to easily transition into a business, while others struggle…
It’s not about the size of your list or traffic…
Rather, it’s about answering a few foundational questions early on in your blogging journey that allows this transition to happen effortlessly.
The bloggers and solopreneurs who seem to have it together all the time, didn’t get there by chance.
They started operating as a business even before they earned that single dollar….Even before they were ready to hire a team or turn pro.
In this post, I talk about 5 considerations that will help you build a solid foundation and make it easier for your blog to transition to a business.
#1 Think of the ‘dent’ you want your brand to make in the online space
When building your brand, think of it as a person.
A question that helped me a lot in defining my brand is this:
“If you were a blogging personality, who would you be?”
You could be a mix of people. But there should be one or two people that immediately come to mind.
I know who this is for me.
So think of who in the online space you most resonate with? What about them do you want for your brand?
Your brand should be a reflection of who you are.
Do you know what you believe in and stand for? What your strengths and weaknesses are? What type of words you will use? How you will communicate with your readers?
These will determine your brand.
It’s more than seeing a Pinterest graphic and identifying it as being from this brand.
Visual aspects are important. But beyond that, your name has to evoke certain emotions.
Knowing the type of feelings you want your brand to evoke in your readers from the beginning will help you immensely in making that dent.What feelings do you want your brand to evoke in your readers?Click To Tweet
Here are some guiding questions:
- What does your blog business believe in?
- If you were a blogging personality, who would you be?
- You would never want to be seen as
- You would never want your content to be
- How would you describe your writing?
- What words would describe your blog?
- What feelings do you want your brand to evoke?
These questions will help you form your identity and the extratitial pieces that make-up your brand like your logo, imagery and colours.Think of the dent you want your brand to make in the online spaceClick To Tweet
#2 Make a plan to create purposeful content
I was chatting with a reader via email when she said:
“…I’d be looking for a system that helps me roll out content without me thinking too hard about it. Or without it causing a blood vessel to pop in my brain”
We struggle knowing what content to create.
What content will go viral. What content will get shares and comments. We bounce from week to week wondering what to write.
But ultimately this is what matters:
Every piece of content has to have a goal
You can think of this in 2 ways:
A tangible goal
- To drive opt-ins to gauge interest for a product
- To get opt-ins and then lead them down a sequence to a paid product
- To make an affiliate commission
- To pitch a sponsored post
- Educate your reader (how-tos)
An intangible goal
- To position yourself as an expert or thought leader
- To network with influencers (through a roundup post)
- To empower your readers (i.e. motivational pieces, income reports)
- To entertain with personal stories
Notice how I didn’t say traffic.
Traffic alone is not a good purpose to have unless you are solely relying on ads or sponsored posts as a revenue model.
What’s the point of having 1000 people on your site at any one time and have them leave 3 minutes later?
Yes, you get a nice spike in your Google Analytics, maybe some brand awareness that your blog and you exist in the marketing space.
But what happens after that?
For most of us, our blogs are used to support a service, digital product, a brick and mortar practice or an online product based business. So, how do you create purposeful content to support that purpose?
How do you determine what content ought to be written and what you should leave out?
It has to do with writing with the end in mind..
For instance, I have 5 posts on my blog on email lists each with a related content upgrade. Once someone opts into that content upgrade, they will be connected to an email sequence of educational content that leads them down to an offer to buy my paid product.
It drives opt-ins where I finally pitch them my paid product. It’s also meant to show my expertise in email marketing.
But I also have this post which is a polarizing piece of content (i.e. not everyone will agree with it) but it’s meant to empower my readers and give them a slice into what I teach about.
Each post has to have a larger purpose in your marketing strategy.
When you sit down with a blog post topic, ask yourself what goal does this piece of content fulfil? Think back to the intangible and tangible goals.When you sit down with a blog post topic, ask yourself what goal does this piece of content fulfilClick To Tweet
#3 Survey the competition before you even have a business plan
Each of us are unique in our voice, style, views and content.
Yet, as unique as you are, you shouldn’t be ignorant of what the competitive landscape looks like.
Who has a similar value proposition to yours and whose brand gels very closely with yours? Who solves similar problems for your target audience?
Thinking about this puts you in a position to create a strategy that has a well defined point of difference.
#4 Define the value proposition [or core message] of your blog
Why do you blog?
On first thought, if we were all being really honest, this is what we would say:
- To make money
- To sell your own products
- To share your words and thoughts
- To promote things that you use (that will also make you money)
That’s all well and good.
But your blog has to attract people for you to do any of that.
And your content is the hub that brings people to your blog before you can help them with your solutions.
Your content has to educate, entertain, inspire, teach or help them in some way.
This is where your value proposition or blog purpose has to come in. It forms the basis for every single email, video, image, blog post or product you create.
A value proposition is not a tagline. It’s a statement that tells someone how you can help them.
Here’s how it comes together:
- I teach single moms how to build a VA business
- I inspire 20-somethings to travel the world on a shoestring budget
If something doesn’t fit in with your value proposition, it goes out.
#5 Be aware of blogging stages and how to set goals
In this post, I explain in detail how important it is to do stage appropriate tasks and set quarterly goals that are aligned with your blogging stage.
Your blogging stage plays a huge role in determining the types of tasks and goals you should focus on.
When you break down the entire blogging journey into stages, it keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and puts your focus on the most immediate milestones at hand.
A person who is just launching should have different focus and goals from someone who already has 500-1000 subscribers on their list.
When you have a clear stage by stage breakdown and do stage appropriate tasks, you will actually feel like you’re making progress with your blog. If you want to dive deep into identifying your blogging stage and setting appropriate goals, check out my eBook.
Setting up blog parameters
While it looks like a lot of work….
These questions help you set guardrails or parameters within which your blog will exist and ultimately flourish into a business.
The sooner you think through them, the easier it will be for you to make blog related decisions and set goals as you start to grow.
What about these do you have trouble addressing?