Make Money Blogging: The 8 Key Steps to Blogging Success

make money blogging

Make Money Blogging: The 8 Key Steps to Blogging Success

Make money and change lives blogging about something you love.

There are 8 key steps that separate successful bloggers from the unsuccessful ones. Steps that aren't typically covered in all of those "how to start a blog" articles that you find online.

If you want to make money blogging then you need to build your blog on the foundation of these key steps. When you do, you'll end up building a blog that’s authentically you. A blog about something that you love, that gives real value to your readers, AND makes a really good income. In this post, I share what these steps are.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Make Money Blogging: The 8 Key Steps

So you want to make money blogging, but you have no idea how.

You’ve been sitting at your desk, staring at your computer, for what feels like forever.

You’ve lost count of how many hours you’ve poured into trying to figure out this whole “blogging thing.”

Google has become your best friend and your worst enemy.

You feel like you’ve read every blogging article there is, and yet here you are…still stuck.

It’s not that you can’t find plenty of advice on how to make money blogging.

In fact, it’s just the opposite.

There’s so much information out there that it’s hard to make sense of it.

It’s all in bits and pieces. Like a thousand piece puzzle all jumbled up inside its box.

How do you figure out where to start? Or what to do next?

How do you put it all together?

It feels so overwhelming.

You’re frustrated, discouraged and oh-so-tempted to give up.

But you just can’t.

In fact, you won’t.

Because deep down inside you know that blogging is the key to your dreams.

Blogging Is The Key to Your Dreams

You see the way blogging has unlocked a pretty amazing life for other bloggers. And you know that it can do the same for you.

All you need to do is figure out how to make money blogging, and you know that the rest will follow.

You’ll be able to design the life of your dreams doing something that you love.

You know it’s not just some kind of pie in the sky dream.

It’s really and truly possible.

After all, you see all sorts of other bloggers doing it.

You see the hundreds of comments they get on their blog posts. The thousands of followers they have on social media.

You see them selling their digital products at premium prices. And they are selling like hot cakes!

They’ve obviously cracked the code on how to make money blogging, and now they’re living the dream.

Living YOUR dream.

You find yourself wondering…..how do you go about making that dream YOUR reality?

Almost every “how to start a successful blog” article you read promises that you can “start a blog in 10 minutes or less”…but then what?

What do you do once you’ve set up your blog?

How do you start getting traffic to your blog?

What about getting people to subscribe to your email list?

And how on earth do you do you actually make money blogging?

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there’s no possible way a new blogger can go from a brand new blog to “$10K in 30 days or less.”

Or any of the other ridiculous promises so many online marketers make.

But what does it really take?

Do you have to create content every day? Promote your content like crazy? Network like crazy with other bloggers? Practically live on social media?

That sounds pretty exhausting, doesn’t it?

It’s Not As Complicated As You Think to Make Money Blogging

The good news is that it’s easier to make money blogging than you think.

Do you know what the real secret to a profitable blog is?

It’s pretty simple really.

If you want to build a successful blog – a blog that makes money and changes lives – you need a proven path to follow.

One that doesn’t require you to practically kill yourself creating, posting and promoting your content…

A path that doesn’t rely on “brilliant” marketing tricks and strategies…

Or require any business experience.

A path that doesn’t need you to invest in all sorts of fancy tools or software in order to make it work.

And a path that doesn’t require you to be a tech guru either.

Does that sound too good to be true?

I can assure you that it’s not.

How do I know? Because it’s a path that I used. I didn’t need to have or do any of the things I mentioned above.

I went from being a full-time stay-at-home mom to a pro blogger earning over $10K a month within 6 months of finally figuring out the whole “blogging thing.”

From there I built two more blogs. Each of which became 6-figure online businesses within a year of being launched.

And that’s exactly what I want to walk you through in this post…

I am going to share with you the proven path that I followed to build three 6-figure blogs…and the path that I am once again following to build this blog.

If you’re serious about wanting to make money blogging, then it’s a path that will get you there.

It will show you how to build a blog that can make you really good money. A blog that is built on your passion and skills.

A blog that will be set up in such a way that you’ll be able to make as much money blogging as you want.

One that works even when you’re not – earning you money 24/7.

Who Am I & How I Can Help You

Andrea WalfordMy name is Andrea Walford and I’m a virtual coach and mentor for bloggers and online entrepreneurs.

I’m also a mom to 5 kids and full-time caregiver to my 98-year-old grandpa.

When I started my very first blog, I was a stay-at-home mom, living in a new city, with my husband and 3 kids under the age of 5.

Although my husband had a good job, we were always living from paycheck to paycheck. And we were constantly in debt.

I vividly remember the stress of that time. Being torn between needing more money and staying true to what I valued.

You see, I had a great profession as a Registered Dietitian, but my husband was already working long hours and traveling frequently.

The kids barely saw their dad, and I didn’t want us both to be absent from their lives.

Growing up, both my parents worked full-time+ hours, so my sister and I were pretty much raised by nannies. And they never stayed that long.

We went through nanny, after nanny, after nanny.

I don’t even remember how many nannies we had.

I didn’t want that for our kids.

But living on one income was really tough.

I remember turning to the online world out of desperation.

It seemed like the perfect solution – a way to make money AND still be home with our kids.

But it wasn’t easy.

At that time, there wasn’t much information about how to make money online. Or at least information that didn’t seem scammy.

There was a lot of trial and error. And I made many, many mistakes.

That led to me spending a lot of time researching.

It was my research that led me to blogging.

Ironically, it was a blog that had nothing to do with my profession, and everything to do with my passion.

It was a bit of gamble. I had no idea what I was doing and whether or not I would actually be able to make money blogging.

And with my first blog, I didn’t. It was a complete fail.

But then I started over. And after a whole lot more research, I had a whole new strategy.

It was THAT blog that launched me on an amazing journey.

A journey that changed my family’s life…and my life.

You see, as much as I was grateful to be home with my kids, I always knew that I wanted more from my life.

I wanted to know that I was making a difference.

Not just in my family’s life, but in the lives of others as well.

Blogging made that dream a reality.

I’ve been able to touch the lives of thousands of readers and students worldwide.

Through blogging.

Doing something that I love. And making really good money doing it.

Honestly, even now, 12 years later, that still blows my mind.

It makes me proud to see what I’ve been able to accomplish by the grace of God, WHILE looking after our 5 kids and my now-98-year-old grandpa.

I have learned so much about the life-changing power of blogging.

And now I want to share everything I learned with you.

Why?

Because I remember what it was like when I started.

Not having a clue what I was doing.

Wasting so many hours trying to figure things out.

Wishing so desperately that I had someone who could guide me.

I decided then and there, that once I figured it out, I would become the guide that I wished I had.

Why A Blog Is One Of The Best Ways to Make Money Online in 2019

There are probably a million and one different ways to make money online.

So why blog?

That’s a great question.

There are a LOT of reasons why I believe a blog is the best way to make money online. Which is why I dedicated a post just to that question alone.

But blogging isn’t all pie in the sky, so let’s talk about the other side.

The Dark Side Of Blogging

Blog to Biz Strategies | Let's Talk About the Dark Side of Blogging

As much as I believe in the life-changing power of blogging, I would be doing you a HUGE disservice if I didn’t talk about the dark side of blogging.

Because as much as I wish it weren’t the case, there definitely IS one. And it has cast a huge shadow of doubt over the blogging industry as a whole.

Despite all the information online on “how to make money blogging,” and despite the countless hours so many bloggers pour into their blogs, over 70% of blogs aren’t making any money.

Even after years of blogging.

But before you let that discourage you, I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be that way.

The reason that so many blogs are getting nowhere, is because bloggers aren’t being taught how to set up their blogs for success.

If you’ve been reading this blog, and what I have to say about the current state of blogging, then that’s not news to you.

And that’s something I want to change.

Blogging success isn’t about luck or random chance.

There is a very specific path to follow.

A path that will lead to a blog that’s authentically you. A blog about something that you love, that gives real value to your readers, AND makes a really good income.

I know, because I’ve done it. Not just once.

Three times.

And I want to share that path with you and show you exactly what you need to do in order to get started.

Who Is This For?

Let me stop you right here for a minute.

Before you invest any more time into reading this post, I want you to ask yourself this question: “What do I want from my blog?

If for you, blogging is mainly about having fun…..

In other words, you don’t want the commitment of having to post regularly…

If you only want to write about the things that interest you…

And if you don’t really care whether or not you make money…

Then this path and the Blog to Biz Strategies blog really isn’t for you.

This blog is for people who want to make money blogging.

The path I’m going to walk you down is one that will show you how to start a blog (if you haven’t yet already), and what you need to do if you want to make money blogging.

But this post isn’t about starting a blog JUST for the sake of money.

As much as I want to make money, money isn’t the be all and end all for me.

I want to know that I’m making a difference in the world. Helping people. Changing lives.

I also want to know that I’m doing something that I love.

When you start from a place of passion and focus on helping people – as long as you’ve done the research and set up your blog the right way – the money WILL follow.

And in case you’re wondering, this isn’t just for people who want to be full-time bloggers.

Whether you want to earn $1K a month, $10K a month, or more – the path is the same.

So if you fall somewhere along that spectrum, then this blog is for you.

There are three types of bloggers in particular who will find this guide and this site to be especially helpful.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Types of Bloggers

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

The Brand New Blogger

You have lots of ideas and lots of questions. You know that you want to start a blog that makes money and changes lives, but you have no clue where to start.

In order to build a successful blog, you need to build that blog on a solid foundation.

That means not just learning about blogging strategies, but learning about the principles of building a profitable online business.

Because at the end of the day, when you are making money online, you are an online entrepreneur. Regardless of whether you are making $1k or $100K.

The sooner you start thinking not just as a blogger, but as an online entrepreneur, the faster you’ll start seeing results. That’s why if you are new to blogging, or recently new, you’re in the perfect spot.

The Struggling Blogger

You’re pouring hours into your blog trying to figure out this whole “blogging thing,” but you feel like you’re getting nowhere. This has left you feeling frustrated and discouraged.

Whether you’ve been blogging for less than a year, or you’ve been blogging for years, if you are struggling to see results with your blog, I can pretty much guarantee that it’s because you’ve missed a key step in setting up a profitable blog.

So in order to get your blog on track, it’s important to go back and take a look at what steps you missed and then do them.

When you do that, you’ll be on track to getting the results that you want before you know it.

The Biz-Minded Blogger

You want to learn how to start an online business with your blog. Or, you already have a business – either offline or online, and you want to use blogging to grow your business.

You can’t build a business flying by the seat of your pants.

Well, actually, technically you can – I see tons of online entrepreneurs build their businesses in this way.

But you’ll never see the success that you want unless you follow a tried and true path for building or growing your online business.

The Heart-Centered Blogger

You’re the kind of person who needs to be passionate about what they are doing. You want to make money, but just making money is not enough- you want to love what you do too!

Look, I’m not going to tell you that every passion will turn into a profitable blog and online business.

What I will tell you, is that it’s a lot easier to be successful when you are passionate about what you do.

Passion is what will get you through the inevitable ups and downs on building a profitable blog and online business.

The World-Changing Blogger

You have a heart for people, and if you could change the world, you would. You want to make a difference in as many people’s lives as possible by sharing what you know.

I know a lot of people who start blogs and businesses to make money.

That’s their only reason.

And many of them are super successful.

But that’s not me. And that’s not the kind of blogger and online entrepreneur I want to work with.

It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with blogging JUST for money.

It’s just that I really can’t identify with it.

As a virtual coach and mentor, it’s important to me that I work with bloggers with whom I share similar values.

My belief and my approach when it comes to blogging are that you need to focus on changing lives FIRST, and the money will follow.

The Tech-Challenged Blogger

You’re not scared to DIY it, but you need someone to take you by the hand and show you exactly how to get everything set up and working, step-by-step.

For many, if not most bloggers, the hardest part of blogging is the tech.  Especially if you have little experience with technology.

When I started my first blog, I had NO experience with technology. In fact, I considered myself to be tech-challenged.

Now, 12 years later, I design and build all my blogs and integrate all the software and services I need myself.

I learned pretty much everything from Google, YouTube and Facebook groups.

I share this with you to encourage you.

By no means am I an expert, and there are still things that I am learning. But I want to assure you that it can be done.

And as long as you’re willing to learn and do, there is a lot of information out there. Plus, I’ll be focusing a lot on tech for non-techies here on this blog as well.

How This Post Will Help You

If you’re looking for that magic strategy that will show you how to create a blog that goes from zero to $100,000 overnight, you’re in the wrong place.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t exist.

What I will show you in this guide, are the key steps in the path to building a blog that allows you to make money and change lives doing something that you love.

I’ll teach you the main things that you need to think about if you want to build a blog that you can scale to 6-figures+ if you so choose.

When you follow these key steps, you will build a blog that will give you:

Blogging for Bosses | What Blogging Can Give You

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Blogging Can Give You Freedom

The whole point of building an online business through blogging is to free you from the necessity of a 9-5 job.

It’s to give you the freedom to work from where you want, when you want.

The freedom to design your life the way you want.

Instead of having to fit your life around your work, blogging will allow you to fit your work around your life.

Blogging Can Give You Flexibility

When it comes to a traditional job, your boss sets your working conditions.

Your boss is the one who has the ultimate say in how much you can earn, and how many hours you need to work.

With your blog, you are the boss. You can build your blog the way you want.

You set the hours you work and determine how much you want to make – whether that’s $1000 a month, $10,000 a month, or more.

What you do have to realize however is that the speed at which your blog grows will totally depend on how much time you put into it.

Blogging Can Give You Back Time

In a traditional job, you are essentially trading time for money.

You get paid a set hourly wage. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.

By choosing the right ways to monetize your blog you can set up systems to keep your blog earning you money 24/7 – even when you’re not actively “working.”

Start By Adopting the Mindset of a Successful Blogger

Blog to Biz Strategies | The Mindset of a Successful Blogger

Before we dive into how to make money blogging, I want to start by talking about mindset.

I know it may seem strange to talk about mindset in a post about blogging.

But it’s your mindset that will ultimately affect your success.

It doesn’t matter how great the strategy. If you don’t have the right mindset, you still won’t succeed.

Nothing can sabotage your blogging success like the wrong mindset.

Our mindset guides our actions.

Think about a time in your life when you REALLY wanted something. It doesn’t have to have been big, or even tangible.

Just remember a time when you wanted something so much, and you were so committed to getting the result that you wanted, that you were willing to do whatever it took.

Were you able to make it happen?

If I had to guess I would, say yes. I’ll bet you did make it happen.

Now think back to another time, when you wanted something, but you found yourself filled with doubts.

Maybe you doubted you would have the time, the money, the knowledge, the willpower, the support….whatever.

Did you get what you wanted?

I’m going to guess probably not.

I’ve experienced this in my life over and over again.

A successful blogger is one that knows what they want, is committed to what they want, and willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

If you want to make money blogging then you need to set that as your intention right from the get-go.

Don’t be wishy-washy about it.

You know what I mean….”Well….I’m starting a blog…and I hope that, you know, someday…um.. I might be able to make money from it… But I don’t know how realistic it is…I mean there’s a lot of bloggers out there…but, well, we’ll see what happens.”

No!

When you’re wishy-washy about what you want, you won’t get it. Why? Because it’s too easy to give in… to stress, fatigue, frustration, overwhelm, time pressures, money pressures etc.

Instead, tell yourself: I want to make money blogging, and I want it to generate $X every month.

Then set your mind on your goal.  Commit yourself to it, and stop worrying about whether or not you can make it happen.

It’s human nature that we are much more likely to keep going, keep trying, and keep persevering – no matter what – when we believe in what we want and are committed to the outcome.

If it’s your dream to make money with your blog – then fix that in your mind.

Commit yourself to making money blogging. Look at yourself, not just as a blogger, but an online entrepreneur.

You’re not “just” starting a blog. If it’s your intention to make money then technically you are building an online business.

So make sure that you commit to setting it up like a business…right from day one.

The Mindset of A Successful Blogger

Why is this mindset shift important?

Because building a pro blog – aka building an online business – is WAY more work than blogging just for fun.

If you don’t particularly care about whether you make money with your blog or not, you could have your blog up and running, and be blogging, in less than a week.

When you are setting up a pro blog, there’s a lot more groundwork to be laid (as you’ll see in the next steps). And it takes longer to get it up and running.

Just to give you an example – it took me 6 months of work to get this blog up and launched.

Does it have to take that long?

Not necessarily. It depends on how much time you have to put into it.

As a mom to 5 and caregiver to my 98-year-old grandpa, I have a lot on my plate, and so I don’t have a ton of time to put into my blog and business.

On an average week, I have about 20-25 hours I can put into my blog.

I knew that going in, so I was prepared for the fact that it was going to take me longer.

The point I am trying to make is that:

You have to be mentally prepared for the fact that it is going to take you more time, more work, and more effort to build a money-making blog vs a hobby blog.

Common doubts when starting a money-making blog

So now that we’ve talked about the first and most important mindset shift you are going to need to make, let’s switch gears for a minute and address some of the doubts that you may be struggling with.

Doubts that could sabotage your success.

What if I don’t have any business experience?

You don’t need any.

The majority of successful bloggers and online entrepreneurs that I know have absolutely NO business training or experience.

They learned as they went.

When I started my blog I had no “formal” business training or certification. All I had was the experience of a failed first attempt at an online business. And a failed first attempt at a blog.

I figured it out.

You will too

Successful bloggers and online entrepreneurs learn by doing.

What if I’m tech-challenged?

If you didn’t grow up with tech, or you don’t use a lot of tech in your day to day life, then it’s only natural you’ll feel as though you’re tech-challenged.

Being tech-savvy isn’t about talent. It’s about experience.

When I started my first blog and online business, I had NO tech experience whatsoever.

I owned a laptop, I knew how to Google things and send emails. That’s it.

For crying out loud I couldn’t even use my cell phone properly.

But I learned.

I researched and I practiced.

I built my tech muscles.

And back then, there was not a lot of info, tutorials or courses to be had.

Today, there’s a ton out there.

Besides, if you really don’t want to take the time to learn the tech, you can always hire someone to do it for you.

What if I’m not an expert?

This isn’t the world it was 20 years ago.

You don’t need a degree or any special credentials to help people.

Do you know the most important thing you need in order to help people?

In order to help others you just need to have successfully walked the path that you are leading them down.

At the very least you need to be further along than the people you are trying to help.

My 19-year-old niece is a great example of this.

She wanted to learn how to play the ukelele. She bought one, second hand, and started teaching herself off of YouTube videos.

After about a year, she put an ad on Kijiji and now has several students ranging in age from 10 to 60.

She is not a certified teacher. She’s not even an expert player.

But she knows enough that she can have fun playing the songs she wants to learn.

And that’s all her students want too.

So the moral of this story is that in order to help people, you just need to know a little more than the people you are helping.

As long as you have more knowledge, skills, or experience than your audience – you are “expert” enough.

What if I don’t have a lot of time?

You can put as much or as little time as you have into building your blog.

The only thing you need to recognize is that the more time you put into it, the faster you’ll make it happen.

When I started my first blog, I was a stay-at-home mom to 3 kids under the age of 5.

By the time I started my third blog in 2011, I had 5 kids AND I was a full-time caregiver to my 91-year-old grandpa.

Today I am building this blog and online business while looking after my 5 kids, my 98-year-old grandpa, and often, my 2 nephews as well.

My husband frequently travels plus works super long hours, so I am the one on the home front 24/7.

Yet I still carve out the time. If I can, you can too!

Remember, successful bloggers don’t find the time, they make time for their blogs.

What if I can’t come up with an original idea?

Every single one of us has things that we are passionate about. Things that we have developed skills, knowledge and experience in. Things that others find hard but we find easy.

Choose one of these things.

Your idea doesn’t have to be unique or original.

In fact, it’s actually easier to build a blog in a proven niche, where there are already other popular blogs.

My first “real” blog and business was teaching people how to make handmade greeting cards. There’s nothing original or unique about that.

When it comes to blogging, the biggest criteria for your idea to be considered a good one is that it has to have profit potential.

We’ll talk about this more in a bit.

At this point, I want to transition from mindset into action.

What I would like to do is to introduce you to the 8 key strategies or steps that form the foundation of the blogging success path.

The 8 Key Steps to Making Money With Your Blog

Blog to Biz Strategies: The 8 Key Steps to Blogging Success

There are a lot of steps to starting and growing a money-making blog.

Big steps, little steps and everything in between.

But there are only 8 steps that are KEY.

In other words, skip these 8 steps and you’ll just end up being one of the 70% of struggling bloggers.

Build your blog on the foundation of these 8 steps and you’ll build a blog that’s virtually guaranteed to succeed.

Do you remember hearing the story of the 3 Little Pigs as a child?

It’s a GREAT analogy for what a difference setting your blog up the right way makes.

Here’s what a blog set up the wrong way looks like:

Blog To Biz Strategies | What a Blog Set Up The Wrong Way Looks Like

Now let’s look at what a blog set up the right way looks like:

Blog to Biz Strategies | Here's What A Blog Set Up The Right Way Looks Like

As much as I wish I could say that I’m exaggerating….I’m actually not.

And I can’t emphasize it enough.

If you want your blog to be profitable, you have to build it on a solid foundation.

I’ve put together a visual map of the 8 key steps, which you can see below.

Blog To Biz Strategies | A Visual Map of the 8 Key Steps to Blogging Success

So that’s the path as a whole. We’re going to take a closer look at each key step.

But before we do, I wanted to let you know about a free guide I put together that is based on this post. It makes a great reference guide that you can print and keep handy as you work on your blog. You can click on the image below or download it here.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Free Guide: 8 Key Steps To Making Money With Your Blog

Before You Start: Plan and Prepare

Have you every heard the expression “a little planning goes a long way”?

It’s especially true when it comes to making money with your blog.

If you want to succeed with your blog then you need to plan for success.

That involves both reflection AND action.

In order to help you get started I have written a great post called Should I Start A Blog? Consider These Things First. I strongly encourage you to read it and download the accompanying workbook.

It will help you get started thinking about some of those big questions.

You know the ones. Why do you want a blog? What you want to get out of your blog (ie. your goals)? How you are going to fit blogging into your life?

If after all your reflection you KNOW that you want to go ahead with a blog (or keep going with yours if you have one), then it’s time to make sure you get yourself properly set up to make money.

That includes things like setting up a bank account specifically for your blogging income. Applying for a credit card that you use only for your blogging expenses. Figuring out how you are going to track your blogging income and expenses.

And of course, whenever there is money involved, the government is going to want it’s cut.

So make sure you know what is expected in your province/state and country so that you are not caught unprepared.

Besides the official “financial stuff,” there’s also personal preparation. Have you set aside the money you will need to start your blog? Do you have a cushion of cash for your monthly expenses? Where are you going to fit blogging into your schedule?

Key #1: Choose A Profitable Niche

The most important thing for you to know as a blogger is that if you want to make money blogging, then you can’t just blog about anything.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

The hard truth is that not all topics are profitable. And just because a topic is interesting and popular, does not mean that it is profitable.

If you don’t choose a profitable niche, you’re wasting your time.

In blogging terms, your niche is your topic + your audience.

In other words, WHAT you are going to talk about and WHO you are talking to.

The best way to choose a niche is to start with something you are passionate about AND have skill, knowledge and experience in.

The blogs that make money are the ones that change lives. If you are promising help and change, then you better darn well make sure that you can follow through on what you are promising. That’s why passion alone isn’t enough – you need to skill, knowledge and experience to back it up.

Once you’ve made a list of potential ideas, you need to research, research, research.

A big part of what you are looking for here is PROOF that people are buying and selling products in the niche you are considering.

I’ve put together an entire post to walk you through the process of choosing a profitable blogging niche.

Key #2: Get to Know Your Audience

People buy from people that they know like and trust.

What that means is that before anyone is going to consider buying anything that you are selling or promoting, they have to:

  • Trust that you know what you are talking about.
  • Feel that you truly understand what they are struggling with.
  • See that you have a solution to offer.
  • Believe that your solution can help them and make their life better in some way.

In order to make that happen, you need to know your audience inside and out.

The best way to do that is by TALKING to them.

Yep. As in one-on-one conversations.

Now if the thought of this stresses you out, let me tell you that I have been there.  I am a huge introvert who is much happier behind her computer screen than talking to people.

It took me a week to work up the courage.

But you know what? It was the best thing that I ever did.

What I found out in those conversations was absolute GOLD.

I found out exactly what my audience was struggling with. What their questions were, their concerns and  what was holding them up.

Had I not talked to them, I never would have known.

Key #3: Clarify Your Message

A good idea won’t sell itself.

Words sell. And I’m not just about making money here.

These days before people even invest their time, they want to know “what’s in it for me?”

Clarifying your message is about learning HOW you need to talk to your audience in a way that resonates with them.

You need to be able to clearly communicate to your audience the following things:

  • Your understanding of who they are.
  • That you understand the issues that they are struggling with.
  • You know how these issues are affecting their life.
  • You have a solution to their issues(s).
  • How much better their life will be as a result of their solutions.

If this sounds a lot like the section above, it is. Everything in your message comes from your conversations with your audience.

You just have to learn how to reflect it back to them in a way that resonates with them.

In other words, you have to be able to talk the language of your audience.

If you can’t do that, your blog will never go anywhere.

You won’t get traffic, you won’t get subscribers and you definitely won’t get sales.

Your message lays the groundwork for everything that comes after. And when you manage to nail it, everything else will be so much easier.

Key #4: Create A Customer Journey Framework

Once you’ve clarified your message you use that to craft your customer journey framework.

The customer journey framework is the path that takes your reader from where they are, to where they want to be.

Blog To Biz Strategies | Customer Journey Framework

 

Your customer journey framework then acts as your content framework.  It guides and directs all the content that you create.

Your customer journey framework starts with the issues you identified in your audience conversations.

From there you outline what you see as the main steps that they would have to follow in order to solve their issue. These steps include things that they need to know, think about and do.

Once you’ve mapped out that path, you figure out the content flow that will move them along that path.

You start by deciding what blog posts you need to create and what products.

From there you connect the two with one or more lead magnets and email sequences.

The purpose of the customer journey framework is to help you create content that your audience really wants. Content that will attract your audience to your blog and keep them coming back for more.

I’ll dig deeper into this concept in a later post.

Key #5: Create Captivating Content

Great content is both the foundation and the cornerstone of a great blog.

But it’s not enough just to create “any old content.”

If your content isn’t what your reader wants and needs…it’s the wrong content.

No matter how much time you spent researching and carefully crafting it.

So how do you create the “right” content? Content that your audience is eager to consume and keeps them coming back for more?

You have to plan, design and create your content around your customer journey framework.

Use your customer journey framework to help you decide WHAT content to create and WHEN.

For example. Let’s say you have a passion for making and decorating cakes, and you want to create a blog around that passion.

There are several ways you could approach your blog.  Let’s say cake decorating is a hobby for you. Something you do for yourself because you love it, or for friends and family.

You decide that your blog will teach people how to make and decorate cakes. And you are going to monetize your blog by offering online cake decorating classes.

Your ideal audience would be those who want to learn how to make cakes for themselves. So your content would be structured around that. You would create posts around what people need to know to make and decorate their own cakes.

Now let’s say that cake decorating is a business for you. And you want to attract new customers.

Would you post content about how to make and decorate cakes? Of course not! You’d be attracting people who want to learn how to do it for themselves.

What you would want in this instance is to attract an audience who is looking to BUY delicious and beautifully decorated cakes.  Your content has to reflect that.

Now, what about if you own a cake decorating business, and you want to start a blog teaching people how to start their own cake decorating business? Your audience would then be other cake makers who want to start a cake decorating business of their own.

In that case, you would create content around what’s involved in starting and running a cake decorating business.

Can you see now why all the steps leading up to this key step are so important.

In ONE niche alone, there are three different ways you could approach content based on who your ideal audience is.

Once you know what your audience wants and needs, you use your message and your customer journey framework to help you figure out what content to create and how to present that content (in what order, what’s going to be free, what will be paid etc).

The bottom line is that when you tailor your content to your goals and to your audience – it will be captivating and will lead to the outcome you are looking for!

Key #6: Design and Build A Website That Sells

Before you get confused by the terminology, a blog is a type of website.

All blogs are websites (but not all websites are blogs).

Once you’ve followed all the key steps outlined above, then and only then should you begin building your blog.

A website that sells is one that attracts your ideal audience, entices them to sign up for your email list and then woos them into becoming a customer.

Designing and building a website that sells actually starts with your content (from the previous step).

You then present your content in a way that is easy for your readers to find and use (this is related to the design of your blog).

From there, you put together systems and processes to move your audience along the path from being a reader to becoming a customer.

Three key elements your blog should have are your home page, about page and a customer journey page (like the blogging success library page and the how to make money blogging page on this blog).

Together these should make it really clear to your readers EXACTLY what your blog is about.

You also want to make sure that your lead magnet (or A lead magnet) is visible on EVERY single page and post of your blog.

Key #7: Promote Your Content Effectively

The main purpose behind promoting your content is to get people to your blog. This is referred to as generating traffic.

If you can’t get people to your blog, then everything else that you’ve done up until now was essentially a waste.

A big mistake that many bloggers make is that they create content at the expense of driving traffic to their blog.

Promoting your content is just as important as creating your content.

In fact, you should spend at least as much time, if not MORE, promoting your content.

There are a lot of different ways to drive traffic to your blog, and which will work best depends on where you are in your blogging journey.

There are two strategies in particular which I highly recommend for new and struggling bloggers. Using SEO and social media.

SEO is short for search engine optimization The goal of optimizing your blog for search engines is to show up in search results.

SEO is a long term strategy. In other words, it takes time to see results.

With social media, you pick ONE social media platform to start, and then post your content strategically. I would recommend either Pinterest or YouTube to start.

Once you’ve nailed one platform, you can then move on to another.

Key #8: Monetize The Smart Way

There are a lot of different ways that you can monetize your blog.

However, just because you CAN monetize in all these ways, doesn’t mean that you should.

First of all, not all methods are suited to all bloggers.

Some methods are better suited to certain niches.

Some methods are better suited to certain stages in the blogging journey.

There are a lot of questions that you need to ask yourself before choosing a monetization method for your blog including:

  • Will it serve my audience?
  • How will it affect my reader’s experience?
  • Will it help my audience reach their goals?
  • Does it align with my values?
  • Is it traffic dependent?
  • Is it dependent on the size of my audience?
  • Will it provide consistent income?
  • Will it scale?
  • How much will I have to sell to reach my monthly income goal?

One of the BEST ways to monetize when you are starting out is with digital products (either ebooks or online courses).

Why? Because the sale of digital products is not at all dependent on the amount of traffic you get to your blog or the size of your audience.

As long as your product is what your audience wants and needs you can start making sales no matter how small your audience or how little your traffic.

When you are consistently selling and promoting your digital products you can create a consistent income for yourself that is easy to scale as you grow your blog.

Putting It All Together

Whew!

I realized we’ve covered a lot of ground in this post.

I’ve deliberately kept my explanation of each step pretty general.

I did this because I wanted to give you a high-level level view of what the path to a profitable blog looks like. I wanted to give you a chance to wrap your head around the path and strategies I teach – without overwhelming you with too many details.

To hopefully help make this even more clear, I have put together a blueprint below which shows you how each of these steps connect one with the other.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Blog to Biz Formula Blogging Success PathThe biggest thing I want you to get out of this post is to understand that every one of the key steps I introduced to you today has its purpose, and each one sets the stage for the key that follows.

Skip a step and I can pretty much guarantee you that you’ll end up wasting your time with the rest of the steps.

So to summarize:

1. Choose a profitable niche. This should be a niche that you are passionate about AND have skill and experience in. You also want to make sure that the niche has proven profit potential.

2. Choose the right audience & get to know them.  Make sure your audience gathers online in groups and is spending money on solutions in your niche. Then you need to take the time to talk to them.

3. Clarify your message. Your message needs to be easy to understand and it should clearly communicate the value of what you offer. That means that your audience should feel that you understand what they want and need, and how it’s affecting their life; and that you have a solution that you can offer them that will make their life better.

4. Create Your Customer Journey Framework. Map out the path that you are going to take your reader on in order to help them achieve the results they are looking for and then use that path to structure the content on your blog.

5. Create Captivating Content. Use your customer journey framework to help you decide what content you need to create and in what order.

6. Design and build a website that sells. Your blog should be simple and easy to navigate, clearly communicate your message, and give huge value to your reader. It should make your readers want more. In order to make it easy for you to give more to your readers, it should have systems and processes in place to build relationships with your readers and ultimately convert them from a reader to a customer.

7. Promote your content effectively. Once every other step has been followed, set up a content creation schedule and choose traffic strategies that will send a consistent and ever-growing flow of people to your blog.

8. Monetize the smart way. This is about choosing methods of monetization that allow you to make money from your blog in a way that is consistent and scalable.

 

Your Next Steps

So…

Now that you’ve seen what the path to a profitable blog looks like, what should you do next?

Well, it depends on where you are with your blog.

If you have not yet started your blog, and you know that you want to make money blogging, then start at the very beginning – with key #1.

Did you recently start a blog? Double check to make sure that it’s a self-hosted WordPress blog.

If not, then put your blogging on hold. Read through the post once more.

Then, when you get to key #6, before you start designing your blog, you’ll need to make a switch to a self-hosted WordPress blog.

You’ll never be able to set up your money-making engine on a free platform. And other paid platforms will not allow you the customization options you’ll need to set your blog up in the way that I am teaching you.

Have you been blogging for a while but struggling with your blog? It’s a little more complicated (but totally doable).

Remember, every step in the path I’ve taught you builds on the step before.

The reason your blog is struggling is that you skipped one or more of these steps.

So re-read the post, check to see which steps you’ve missed and then go back and think about what you may need to do in order to complete the steps you missed.

To help you, I’ve put all the key information from this post into a downloadable handout. Just click on the image below to grab it.Blog to Biz Strategies | Free Guide: 8 Key Steps To Making Money With Your Blog

If you have any questions at all about anything in this post leave them in the comments below. I will then respond in the comments.

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