It’s easy to be really precious about what we’re putting out in the world—namely: our blogs. Or, on the flipside: being nonchalant about it–thinking it’s okay to just throw up any old post, because: who’s going to read it anyway?
Neither way of doing things is a good idea. Not if you want the content you’re creating to fit in to your bigger picture business plans.
Unless you’re writing a diary-style blog that you don’t share with anyone else, your blog doesn’t exist on it’s own. It’s tied to your brand. So, we need to think about your blog being part of a larger business plan—not just floating around willy-nilly.
One of the things that I’ve realized over the years is that I was working with someone else’s assumptions about what a blog could or should be. Also—the oohs and ahhs from the peanut gallery when I received new products to try out or invitations to media events? I took those too much to heart. Only I knew how much time and effort it took to write about each thing, promote it, and the overall value of whatever it was relative to what I put in to it.
I felt guilty when I didn’t have at least one blog post up per day, even as I was in university and working part-time. How did it feel when I gave in to the pressure to blog more frequently than I wanted to? Or when I caved and signed up for yet another blogging challenge? Sometimes, I felt pushed (in a good way), but mostly I felt like blogging was a chore. That is so not how I want to feel about blogging—never again!
Blogging isn’t always going to be fun, but it can still feel how you want it to.
It’s so much easier to create content and know exactly what to post when you’re clear on your bigger business goals, the products and services you want to sell and the type of feeling you want to convey.
One of the top questions I have is people wondering how to make money from blogging.
How do you fit blogging in as part of your bigger business offerings? Think of it this way:
Checking out blog posts is like “shopping week” in college/university—you know, when everyone sits in on different classes to decide whether or not to take the course that semester?! People get a feel for you and your style when they read your blog posts (or watch your vlogs), then decide whether or not to book your services or buy your stuff.
Sure, your audience may have found you deoa social media, but people generally have to connect with you a few times before they decide to purchase what you’re selling.
And, if you’re stuck on ideas about how to make money from blogging, here are just a few ways to use your blog posts as a catalyst for products and services:
-physical products (“real books”, t-shirts, mugs. . .)
-workshops (in-person or online)
And so much more. . .there’s really an endless combination of things you can do to make money from blogging, when you figure out how to fit your blog posts in to your bigger business plans. In order to move things along, though—you need to appeal to your audience in a way that will make them want more.
What kind of impression can you make to entice people to stick around, sign up, and become fans?
One way to leave an impression is with a word that has become overused and somewhat muddied as of late: authenticity. I think of authenticity as “keeping-it-real-ness”—being true to yourself in everything you’re putting out there. I talk about this a bit more in an audio that I put together. You can get that audio and others here.
Consistency is also super important.
For example: You sign up for a newsletter based on the assumption that you’re getting a party in your inbox and then all of a sudden, the emails you get are super-boring, filled with all sorts of industry-specific jargon that makes no sense to you, and you’re left feeling confused and lost. You’re likely going to hit “unsubscribe” pretty quickly, right?
I can’t help but think of this part from the movie I Heart Huckabee’s:
That tells you a bit about who I am: someone who quotes popular culture, doesn’t take herself too seriously, and is lighthearted. When I deviate from those things and try to write in a way that doesn’t sound anything like the way I speak, I feel like a complete fraud. Or, inauthentic, since we’re talking about authenticity here.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with Marie Forleo? Her videos are always fun, to-the-point, and a little goofy. That’s who she is and why her videos come across as a true representation of who she is as an entrepreneur and a person.
To make sure you’re coming across as genuine, authentic, like yourself, and all sorts of other synonyms I could add here—the easiest thing I find to do is to write out a core values list. These are the things that are so you. When I create content I want to be sure my core values are being represented.
Okay, so I’ve touched on quite a few broad topics here:
- how blog posts can entice your readers to stick around and buy your stuff
- how you should come at blog posts with a clear idea on how you’d like to make your readers feel
I also included a few general ideas of ways to bring in money that your blog can help you with. There’s no way I can cover all those topics in a way that would give them justice. . .but, I will be sharing more on them here in the future.
Want to learn more about the topics I just mentioned, as well as tips on content creation, social media promotion, and more that I’ve learnt from over 5 years of making money blogging? Well, I want to teach you (it’s one of my favourite things to do!) in upcoming free webinars, blog posts, and eBooks. Just click here and I’ll keep you in the know. 🙂
I will share this one last thing, though:
Obviously, you’ve got to do the work, and I’m all about taking action. I think we often hold ourselves back. I have been there, believe me—thinking I wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t “for me”, and that other people somehow had something I didn’t that made them professional bloggers and me just an amateur. It sounds silly now, but those thoughts and feeling have a way of making themselves seem bigger and more important than they really are.
I put together a free worksheet and a bonus audio for my peeps who signed up to get updates on the Bigger, Better Blogging Week series. You can get them, too if you click here to get the email updates (no matter when you sign up, even if the week has passed).