Have you already made your first dollar from your blog?
Are you looking for ways to increase that to a part-time income?
In this post, I will share a step by step process for making it happen.
Listen to the episode
My part-time blogging business
We walked into the house like it was any other day. But this day was different.
As she walked in, my wife saw something that surprised her.
There was a brand new living room set. SURPRISE!
She stood there wondering what was happening.
This was the first time it became real to her. All that time I spent in front of my computer blogging was more than a hobby.
It was actually starting to make money that affected our daily lives.
I went pro.
But how does one make money with a blog? Let's review . . .
Review of how to make money with your blog
In last week's episode, I spoke about how to make your first dollar with your blog.
I covered the three essential elements for making money:
- A specific audience with a
- Specific problem to solve and a
- Specific solution to that specific problem
Once you have these three elements, you can start making money from your blog.
The keys to going part-time
To get to the next level, you need a way to make a consistent income with your blog. Here are the keys to doing that:
Create consistent content that provides value. This will be the driver of everything you do in your business.
- Consistently get the right people to your content. If you don't have anyone visiting your blog, it won't make any money.
- Have a process to convert those visitors into subscribers. Your email list will be one of your most valuable assets. You want to get as many of the right people on there as possible.
- Have a process to convert those subscribers into customers. This is where you will make actual money.
If you have all these four elements in place, I guarantee that you will make money.
Now let's dive deeper into the making money part.
How you will make money
While there are many ways to make money with your blog, I'm going to share the ones that I like most.
These are the ones I've used over and over and are responsible for the bulk of my income. You can choose to use one or all.
Promoting products and/or services as an affiliate
This is where you get a commission whenever someone you refer buys something. I cover this in great detail in my last episode so I'll refer you over there for more info.
Selling your own digital product
This is my favorite way to make money with my blog. Let's address the pros and cons.
- You make ALL the money (minus transaction fees of course). When you promote something as an affiliate, you only get a percentage of the sale. With your own product, it's all yours.
- Selling more doesn't take a lot of extra effort. Whether one or 100 people buy your digital product, the sale doesn't take extra effort. It's digital. It's a beautiful thing.
- You can refine/optimize the entire process. If something isn't working well, you can always tweak. You are in full control.
- You have to create the product. This takes time and effort. And in most cases, there will be a lot to learn.
- You have to provide the support. Customer support/service can take a lot, depending on the product you create. You're now fully responsible for this process.
- You have to create the process. Yes, that includes sales pages, emails, and setting up the technology.
Providing a service
This is another way to make money with your blog. Here are some of the pros and cons.
- You don't have to create a product. This can reduce the hurdles you need to overcome to get started.
- Leverages an expertise you already have (or are learning). Often, this doesn't take extra effort on our part, because you already have the knowledge.
- You can start selling quicker. Because there isn't as much to set up, it's easier to get started.
- It's dependent on your time. Your time is a limited resource and this will limit how much you can do.
- To make more money, you have to do more (or charge more). There is a limit to how much a person can do because you are exchanging time for money.
How to make a part-time income with your blog
Now that you understand three of the ways you can make money from your blog, let's talk about the process.
The first step in the process is to plan the journey. Here's how you do this:
Identify your first three affiliate products
These three products should solve three specific problems for your target audience.
You will focus all your affiliate marketing efforts on these 3 products. Don't worry, you can expand in the future. But it will be good to have more focus in the beginning.
Choose a product to create a service to provide
What kind of product will you create? Will it be an Ebook or a course?
Or will you be providing a specific service like tutoring or coaching?
Make a decision based on what provides the most value to your audience and what you're able to do.
Plan the most logical customer journey
Now that you know what you will be promoting, it's time to plot out the most logical customer journey.
This is the journey that makes the most sense. Create a narrative for this journey that goes like this:
- Stumbles onto your posts and wants to know more
- She gets directed to a page that highlights logical sequence of content
- She sees you have a valuable lead magnet and opts in
- She goes through a logical, value-added sequence of emails
- She gets introduced to the products/services you recommend/provide. This happens in a specific series.
- She buys something.
- She buys something else.
Fill in the details of what this looks like for your business.
Create your content calendar
Your content will drive your business so it's important to get it right. Plan your content with your audience's goals in mind.
A great resource for helping with this is my Blog Content Calendar Spreadsheet.
Here are some ideas for content that is effective for selling:
- Why You Should [INSERT TOPIC HERE]
- How I Got into [INSERT TOPIC HERE]
- X Mistakes [INSERT AUDIENCE HERE] Makes when [INSERT TOPIC HERE]
- What to do Before [INSERT TOPIC HERE]
- How to [INSERT TOPIC HERE]
- A step-by-step Guide for [INSERT TOPIC HERE]
- How [INSERT PRODUCT/SERVICE HERE] Can Help you [INSERT TOPIC HERE]
- What Success Looks Like (or will look like)
- Case Study: How [INSERT NAME] [INSERT TOPIC HERE] and [INSERT RESULT HERE]
- A Call to Action: Do these X Steps Now
Here's the great part – if you create content in that sequence, it can be easily repackaged into a product.
Create your lead magnet
This is the free resource you create to convince people to join your email list.
It should solve a specific problem for your target audience and can be very simple.
Here are some examples:
- Top five tools to help you [INSERT GOAL HERE]
- How to [SOLVE PROBLEM]
- A utility. This is something your audience can use to help them on their journey. For example – my blog content calendar spreadsheet.
Create your product or service listing
If you do decide to step things up a bit and create a product or provide a service, let's get that going.
Create an eBook. These are simple to create. You can use any word processor and export the file as a PDF. If you want to dig deeper into this, check out my episode on creating and selling ebooks.
- Create a course. If you decide to go this route, I recommend using a service like Thinkific or Teachable. These services make it ridiculously easy to create courses.
- Provide a service. This can be anything from consulting to coaching or tutoring.
Create a sales page
There are many options out there for creating sales pages. Here are three:
- Create a regular page on your blog. This is not the best option, but it lowers the barrier to entry. You don't have to buy anything extra to get started.
- Use a landing page generator like Thrive Architect or LeadPages.
- If you use Teachable or Thinkific, they have their own built-in sales pages.
Create a goal-directed autoresponder campaign
Now that you have everything set up, it's time to create the campaign to make sales.
When doing so, keep the customer narrative in mind (customer journey).
Ask the following questions:
- What info do they need to accomplish goals or overcome hurdles?
- How can you give them a quick win?
- How can you provide them with VALUE?
Equipped with your answers to these questions, create your autoresponder campaign.
This is a part of your blogging sales funnel. To dig deeper into this, check out my blogging sales funnel talk from Social Media Marketing World.
Your goal is to create one sales funnel, refine it, perfect it and then repeat the process.
Get the word out there
This is the part that takes time, but it's a necessary part of the equation.
Here are some things you can do to make this a reality:
Keep creating consistent content.
- Learn about and optimize your content for the search engines (SEO).
- Optimize your content for social sharing.
- Choose a social network to focus on and go all in.
- Diversify your social strategy over time.
- Collaborate with other bloggers.
- Nurture your community.
Does that sound like a lot? Great. Then I painted an accurate picture of what it takes to do this ;).
Analyze what works
This is the part that most bloggers overlook. They get on a hamster wheel of creating content and pushing things out there.
But they never stop to analyze what's working so that they can make improvements.
You will be different. Your goal is to analyze your results and tweak your processes over time.
Use the data you collect to improve and refine what you do.
This will set you up to become a full-time blogger. But we'll cover that more in next week's episode.
- References to previous podcast episodes:
- Blog Content Calendar Spreadsheet – helps to create your content calendar easier
- Services for creating courses:
- Services for creating landing pages: