Let’s dig into how to be a blogging business, or run your blog as a business.
This is part two of the “make money with your blog” series. You can see Part One here.
If you’re reviving your blog or just starting from scratch, this is what I would do to get my blog making money.
If I Were Monetizing my Blog From Scratch
The first 60 days…
A proper plan is a must, something that directs your actions every day towards the end goal of making a consistent income.
To make the most of your time and money, you need to be purposeful. The Empowered Lab was designed to answer the question: “What's my immediate next step?” so you're not wasting time chasing tasks that don't move your business forward.
Otherwise, follow these steps to create a plan of your own…
How to Turn Blogging Into The Best Money Making Business
If I was to start blogging as a business from scratch, for the first 60 days I would:
- Create content
- Focus on building my email list by running Facebook lead generation ads
- Promote my content
- Rinse and repeat
Step 1: Create Content
To attract an audience to your blog, you need to have content for them to consume. Before going live with your bog, ideally you have 5-10 blog posts published (or scheduled) for the new audience to read and learn what you’re all about.
Create a backlog of content to drip out over the next 60 days, and schedule one blog post a week to drop over that time.
I'm a huge fan of batching content to be more productive. I would try to get it all done in a week instead of writing one post a week, which is very time consuming if you do it that way. Batching will save you hours. ⏰
If you’re a keener, schedule the next three months’ worth of blog posts to go out, having them drop once a week.
And that would be your 90 day plan for starting your blogging business.
After the first 90 days, I would switch the schedule to maybe two blog posts a month.
But I do think initially, when you're starting out or if you're looking to revive your blog because you haven't blogged for quite some time, blogging once a week is a good option for your business.
Now, once all of the blog posts are written, figure out what printable product or other low cost product can be created to sell through each blog post.
You won't necessarily need to create a new printable for every single blog post. Sometimes it might be the same one. But each of those posts would showcase your own low cost offers.
An easy way to monetize your blogging business is to start with low cost offers like printables as I mentioned above or maybe even workshops or mini courses. Make it an easy no brainer for the customer…
Because the hardest part is getting someone to buy from you for the first time. Once someone buys the first time, they will buy from you again because trust has been established. They’ll see how gorgeous and helpful your stuff is and they’ll want more.
Create a really pretty image to put inside those blog posts that looks like an advertisement. Make it clickable and hyperlink it to your sales page. These types of images are easy to create inside Canva and look amazing. Like this one…
From a high level, the content ecosystem looks like this:
blog post >> printable offer & sales page>>hyperlink in your blog post>> promote your blog post
Write the posts, create the accompanying printable and sales page, add hyperlinks to the sales page into the posts, and backdate the posts to spread them out.
You’ll need a payment processor of some sort set up as well.
I'm a huge fan of SamCart. It’s an app that can host your sales page and also be your payment taker. But you could use Gumroad or SendOwl, or even just use a PayPal button to collect sales on your website. Whatever is easiest for you.
Step 2: Build an email list
Now that the content is ready to go, the next thing you need to think about is building an email list of potential customers for your blogging business.
You need a really strong lead magnet to attract that target audience to your blog and I would put a lot of attention on creating the best one possible.
Set aside a budget of about $500 to put towards Facebook ads if you want to build your list fast.
List building is super important if you want to earn money from your business. By spending $500 in ads you’ll probably get a return of about a thousand people onto your list within 60 days.
If you don’t have that kind of budget, you can build it more slowly with a budget of $5 a day. That would probably get 200 to 500 people to your email list over the next 30 days.
If you want to run some ads to your blog post, run a Facebook ad for traffic conversion.
At this point, I wouldn’t recommend paid Pinterest ads. I’ve personally tried both and found that the biggest bang for my buck came from Facebook ads.
When you're setting up a Facebook ad, there are lots of different options.
The traffic option drives traffic to your blog. And all that means is that when Facebook is delivering your ad, it is going to deliver it to people who are most likely to click your link and go to your website because that's what you've optimized for.
All you want to do is get them to the website so that they can read the blog post. If they are the right person, they will buy your printable and maybe even sign up for your email list.
To really start making money from your blog, it does get to be that simple.
Don't waste your time with ad networks or affiliate marketing. Focus on promoting your own stuff. That way you get to keep all the money.
Step 3: Promote your content
Remember, it's about traffic. How is someone going to discover your blog posts? How are you going to get traffic to your printable?
You need to either invest time or invest money. One or the other, it’s your decision.
Option #1: Investing Time
If you're investing time, I'd recommend spending a lot of time on Pinterest and other social media promoting your blog like crazy.
Pinterest is phenomenal for promoting blog posts and is probably the number one organic traffic driver for blog posts. And if you've got the printable monetization piece in your blog post, this is free traffic.
Join group boards and Tribes to share your content, and set up a business account so you can track all your numbers too.
Find Facebook groups that have dedicated self-promotion days to get your stuff in front of as many people as possible. Try LinkedIn groups too.
Option #2: Investing Money
If you can afford a small budget of $5 a day, then I would 100% be running funnels. It’s simple math.
For example, if your printable is $11 and if you're selling 10 of those a day, then your ads easily pay for themselves.
The Profit With Printables training shows you how to do all of this the right way from the start. It also teaches you how to create everything you need inside Canva and how to set up the actual funnel.
It gets to be easy and fun.
Side Note: Protecting Your Work
I had a viewer on my Facebook live ask me this very important question:
How do you prevent people from stealing your PDF file and selling it as their own?
As a smart business owner, when it comes to a PDF file, put your own website URL (embed it so it's a live link) on the bottom and include copyright verbiage as the front matter of your printable. You could also put on a very fine watermark to make it hard for someone to actually copy it.
But at the end of the day, I’m not too concerned about this. If someone buys it, they can't resell it because my copyright info is there. If they choose to emulate and re-do it as their own thing, I'm absolutely fine with that, but it has to be changed at least 20% for this to be ok.
The whole point of a PDF file is that it's very difficult to copy content from within that without having to recreate it.
As a printable, this is very much low content. But if you're talking about something that has a lot of content, then I probably wouldn't make it as a downloadable PDF file. I am not giving someone content from my books, for example.
No one can be you, so as long as you are providing good quality content to your audience on an ongoing basis, it doesn't matter if someone does that type of stuff. That’s their karma, and if they decide to go and resell it on their own they don't have all the other stuff that I have on the back end to support that.
Someone can take and copy any content that you put out online.
Someone could take your blog post and steal it too.
But if you focus on that, then that's all you're going to see, and I choose not to focus on that.
Instead, Focus on Controllables
I focus on my controllables, which are things like making sure that when I do offer a PDF file that I put my website URL and copyright on it. That's normally enough to dissuade someone from doing anything unscrupulous.
I’ve published over 32 books and have found my books on those pirate websites where someone has converted the Kindle vision into a PDF file. But here's the thing, it's still all my content. It still directs people back to my website. So it's such a low concern really.
If you need to reframe this, think of it as a badge of honor. If people are stealing your stuff, it's a sign that you’re doing good work. Just don’t worry too much about it.
Serve your community quality content while still doing things that are smart like adding a copyright symbol to a PDF file and adding in a legal page to your website. But that's it, I'm not too concerned because like I said, a printable is low content.
If someone does go out of their way to copy your entire content verbatim, that's when you need to get a lawyer involved. The bigger you get and the more that you put yourself out there, the more people are aware of you and this can happen for all of your content.
Lawyer up when necessary
I have a friend that this happened to last year. She's a business coach in the online space specifically for coaches. A person in her world was buying her content and then reselling it as their own.
She just got a lawyer involved and set up a cease and desist order. That's what you do when this sort of thing happens, just like in any “normal” business. Just because we're online doesn't mean that we don't treat this like a normal business.
Turning your side hustle blog into a blogging business is a natural evolution in your entrepreneurial journey.
Is that all there is to it?
So that's what I would do. I would focus on building my email list for 60 days.
If I'm running a Facebook ad and it’s on autopilot, that frees up my time to write the content for the next 90 days. So while the lead generation ads are running in the background bringing in more people to my email list, I'm going to schedule and write out that content.
Then literally all you need to do is rinse and repeat. Consistency is key.
Your Action Steps:
Map out what you need to do in your blog for the next 30 to 60 days to turn it into a business that makes money.
Get specific and detailed…
How many blog posts do you need to write?
What will they be about?
What is the accompanying printable that you need to create?
How will you promote them?
Will you be paying for ads or growing slowly organically?
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