Blog, Marketing

How Blogging 5x A Week Got Me Zero Clients + The Secret Tool I Used Instead to Get Booked

I admit it seems a little odd to be talking about the ineffectiveness of a blog in a blog. But it’s true - I blogged 5x a week for over a year and landed all of zero design clients. Now that’s not to say I wasn’t running a successful business, in fact I was fully booked out in less than 30-days. Blogging however was never the tool that gave me consistent clients. Don’t worry, before this blog is over you will know what was.

Not only will I tell you what booked me out in 30-days, but I will tell you exactly how I replaced my corporate income. And it wasn’t as complicated as you might think. In fact it involved zero social media and a few cups of coffee.

My writing became a passion. As much as I convinced myself it was to gain customers, ultimately it was a self-serving practice. I thought I was building a marketing mechanism for my business and in fact I was building an entirely new audience, one who had no interest in my services. And while it ultimately helped me do other things it was a massive distraction. One that kept me up at night (3am most nights), tired all day and constantly worried about what to write next.

Blogging is a long game strategy - meaning it’s effects are best measured months and years after a blog is posted. It can be a fantastic way to add valuable keywords to your website and to up your search rankings through the power of SEO (search engine optimization).   But here’s a secret about blogs that no one is talking about. Blogs are likely not reaching your potential clients. Blogs are reaching people who want solutions to a problem (think how to type content), not people looking to hire.   |  Boss Project

Blogging has been long sought after as a marketing tool. A way to spread your message far and wide. But used inappropriately it won’t attract the people you need now to make money sooner.

Blogging is a long game strategy - meaning it’s effects are best measured months and years after a blog is posted. It can be a fantastic way to add valuable keywords to your website and to up your search rankings through the power of SEO (search engine optimization).

Your Blog is Reaching the Wrong People

But here’s a secret about blogs that no one is talking about. Blogs are likely not reaching your potential clients. Blogs are reaching people who want solutions to a problem (think how to type content), not people looking to hire.

Think about it this way: when you go to hire anyone what do you do first? Is it frantically google, land on this awesome blog post, figure out how to contact the person and then hire them. OR is it - First ask someone you know who they would recommend? Trust me if you were to make a list of how you looked for someone to:

  • Put a roof on your house

  • Watch your kids

  • Trim your trees

  • Care for your dogs on vacation

  • Insert basically any service ever

You first asked a friend - whether that was a generic post on Facebook, texting your mom, or your neighbor.

But I Google Everything

Ok, I hear the pushback. You use Google everyday to find things, me too. But when you did, what ultimately helped you make your decision? Reviews. Yelp, Google Reviews, Amazon customer feedback...that’s what you trust when you’re looking to buy or try something new. The trust is transferred from the other customers to you, making you feel comfortable in your purchase decision. You are more likely to trust other humans than a companies self serving blog post.

The lesson here: purchase decisions are made when TRUST is established. And the fastest way to get people to trust you? Getting OTHER people to talk about how awesome you are.

The Shortcut to Booking Fast

A blog while potentially valuable is unlikely to build trust immediately. There may be some interest there, someone may hop on an email list, someone may want to learn from you - but booking a service is off in the distant future.

The key to booking fast is those coveted recommendations. And no, I’m not suggesting you go out and spend all this time on a Yelp profile. For most of you reading this you are in the creative field, you offer a creative service like: photography, design or copywriting.

People aren’t looking on Yelp for those services. They honestly might not even be asking anyone for help finding someone. They might not be looking at all.

But with the right warm recommendation you could be the solution they didn’t even know they needed yet.

What You Gotta Do (And What You Don’t)

So we’ve established that blog posts can be valuable for you business eventually.

But I want you to get hot leads, faster than you can handle them.

Because here’s the deal, business isn’t slow because you lack talent. In fact I’d be willing to bet you could run laps around me with what you do… and I want to show you how to get your solution in front of more of the right people faster.

Here’s what you’re not going to have to do though:

  • magically become extroverted overnight

  • cold call people (my personal nightmare)

  • go to a bunch of crazy boring networking events, only to hand out your business card to people who are going to throw it away on the walk to their car.

  • put on pants. (I mean you CAN. But you don’t have to for the method I’m about to share with you)

Here’s what you ARE going to do:

You have to sit your people down (and by your people I mean those closest to you). And tell them what you want, your true ambitions, seriously, what do you want your business to do for you. Because honestly, hiding isn’t getting you anywhere.

You can totally do this. I’ll explain how.

The Mean Girls Method

You remember this cinematic masterpiece, I know you do. In the movie there was a hard core clique - referred to as the Plastics. They stuck together like glue, and bitchy demeanor aside they were basically family. Now their secret to popularity wasn’t their charming good looks, it was there tenacity to stick together. They were stronger together.

You have a group of people in your life that are there for you no matter what. They love you fiercely and want you to succeed. They are your inner circle. Even if you don’t all wear pink on Wednesdays.

Your inner circle is made up of no more than 10 people. It’s the people you are in communication with daily - calls, texting, telepathy. It’s the people in your life you can be your truest self with. It may be your mom, sister, BFF, biz besties. How you are connected is honestly not important. Your belief in how connected they are to your potential customer, also not important.

Step 1: Who is in your inner circle? Remember: if you have to think about it more than 5-seconds they aren’t on the list.

Step 2: In the next 24 hours you are going to contact your inner circle and let them know you are ready to see growth in your business. Share with them the desires you have for the kind of clients you want to work with. Ask them for connections.

Step 3: Use this script if you need it!

Not sure what to say? We got you:

Hey, NAME. I’m sure you’ve seen me post things about _________ and ________. I’m at the point now where I’m getting really focused on landing more clients for __________ and I need your help. Here’s what I know I can provide: ________, _______ and ______. Does anyone come to mind that you could introduce me to - either someone who’s a perfect client fit or someone who knows someone who might be? I’m ready to work with them, can you send 5 messages today and copy me on it?

Sounds simple right? Don’t let that fool you: it’s highly effective.

This is EXACTLY how I was able to replace my cushy corporate salary: One of these conversations led to one intro, which led to a consistent stream of clients. Hear more about how I took the conversation further in this podcast episode.

I repeated the system again with my next ring of contacts and landed relationships that got me deals designing for Coca-Cola, 7-Eleven, Dominos, Massage Envy and more.

So guys, to recap:

While blogging may help long term, I want you to find clients right away to get your business profitable. Try this strategy and then share your results in our secret FB community built just for you. It’s application only and free to anyone in the Photography, Design and Copywriting space. Apply here. 


Marketing, Photography

How to 30x What Your Next Photography Client Will Pay You

There were 50 different ways I could’ve worded the title of this blog post. “How to 30x Your Client Spend After Only Ever Working With 1 Client” was in the running. So was “How to Go From a $75 to a $2,250 Client in 60 Days”. So you get to pick whichever one resonates with you, but you need to know a few things first:

  • This is the exact strategy I used within my first year of starting my photography business

  • My skill at my craft didn’t magically change in 60 days

  • But my way of thinking did

As photographers we convince ourselves that we all have to go through this same “rite of passage” in order to be legit. It looks something like this:

Timeline_camera_Timeline.jpg

Most of you are probably in between the “Charge $50” and the “What the Hell Happens Next” stage of business. Maybe you’ve upped that $50 session fee to a *gasp* $150. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you only want to offer mini-sessions because those are the only ones where you can make a profit (30 minutes for 4 8x10’s, right?). Most of you have convinced yourself that you’re not good at selling so you’ll probably only ever be a shoot-and-burn photographer. Has the lingo caught up with the modern version of this? Perhaps shoot-and-upload?

So the goal here today is to take you from “I could make more money working at Target” to “Holy sh*t I’m looking at a $2k+ deposit”. Ready?

Here’s what you have to promise me first:

  1. I will let go of any preconceived notions I have about selling as a photographer.

  2. I will let go of any assumptions I have about what my ideal client or market can afford to spend on photography.

  3. I will begin to separate my worth from my craft.

Ok, so now that we’re all here together let me point out some major wowza facts for you. Prior to switching up my technique with my clients (aka when I was only ever making $75 a pop) I was barely scraping by. But once I made the shift to putting my clients first and truly understanding how I could better serve them...things went bananas. Some will call this strategy In Person Selling or IPS. But I kinda hate that phrase. I truly never believed I was selling anyone anything. I was creating an experience for them. A journey. I was showing them the value of why they should and needed to invest in photography. And not only photography, but collateral. So for the sake of clarity let’s redefine this.

Can we all agree that shoot-and-burn (or upload) is a 100% valid way of running a photography business? Heck, even my own family photographer of choosing today uses this method. Let’s call this the SAB Method.

The method I want to teach you today takes it further than that. It only incorporates a few additional steps and touchpoints, but the pay off (and satisfaction) is huge. Let’s call this the VIP Method.

Here, look at the difference of my own business using the SAB Method and the VIP Method:

Timeline_camera_Chart.jpg

The $525 was made up of 7 different sessions from 2 different clients.

The $7,300 was made up of 2 different sessions from 2 different clients (neither were a wedding).

To demonstrate the difference in these two experiences (and why you can make a helluva lot more money by utilizing the VIP Method) I’m going to breakdown how each of them look step-by-step.

SAB Method

  • Connect with client and schedule a time to book the session

  • Client pays your session booking fee ($50-$75)

  • Client calls to chat about her ideas for the session (poses, outfits, setups, locations, etc)

  • You text the client reminding them about their session (they probably reschedule)

  • You finally show up to client’s location of choice and work through all the variations she has in mind and end up shooting for around 90 minutes

  • You leave that session and get started editing the 400+ images you took

  • You finalize between 75-100 edited images and upload them into an online gallery

  • You email or text that gallery link to your client

  • The end

VIP Method

  • Connect with client and schedule a time to book the session

  • You lead the discussion on ideas you have for their session including location, outfits and feel

  • Client pays your session booking fee ($100-$250)

  • Your client gets a formatted email reminding them of their session date and time, your reschedule fee, links to their Pinterest board you curated for them and some session expectations

  • You show up at the location at the time of your choice and shoot for exactly 60 minutes

  • You show your client some images from the back of your camera and talk about how you see them coming to life (in canvas, an album or a print)

  • You leave that session and get started editing the 200+ images you took

  • You post 2-4 on social media and tag your client

  • You email your client a formatted email that has a few teaser images and ask them to schedule their Viewing Session

  • You arrive at their Viewing Session and showcase their images in a video slideshow, you’ve brought product samples and dessert

  • You walk them through what to purchase and present them an invoice

  • They put 50% down that night or pay in full ($1,000-$2,250+)

  • You order their collateral and setup a time for your client to pick up

  • The end

You can see that the VIP Method has only 5 additional steps to the entire process from start to finish. So let’s break those down. Here are the main differences between the VIP Method and the SAB Method.

As photographers we convince ourselves that we all have to go through this same “rite of passage” in order to be legit. It looks something like this: Get Camera -> Work For Free -> Charge $50 -> What the Hell Happens Next?! So the goal is to take you from “I could make more money working at Target” to “Holy sh*t I’m looking at a $2k+ deposit”. Ready?  |  Boss Project

SET PRIOR EXPECTATIONS

You can see that one of the first differences right off the top is that within the SAB Method the client is the one to set the tone of the entire experience. When left unguided, a client can get particular. In my experience (and I’m sure you’ve seen this too!) is that my SAB clients (those who paid less and got less) were my most difficult and needy.

We’re talking 7+ outfit changes in one session. Backdrops, chalkboard signs, balloons, location changes and more. But I allowed that to happen. If we don’t step in as the expert that we are to set up the expectations the client will take over.

As soon as I switched to the VIP Method and set up those prior expectations early and often the entire process went smoother and my client was happier. I began to get firm on what days I shot, what time I would shoot and how long the session would last. These were non-negotiable so my clients didn’t even budge.

It’s as simple as changing your lingo from a question to a statement.

“What time would you like to meet?” turns to “I only shoot at Golden Hour so we’ll need to meet right at 6:30 to take advantage of our time together”.

“What would you like out of this session?” turns to “I see some magic happening in this area of the garden. So I’ll have your family meet me there and we’ll get some great shots.”

TEASE THE END RESULT

You can see that within the SAB Method there is a big disconnect between the session and the end result. The client is often left to wonder if there were any good shots captured, how did they look, was their kid covered in snot the entire time? The thread of excitement didn’t continue from session to delivery.

The opposite is true within the VIP Method. When I would shoot I would be immediately be talking about the products that a particular shot would look great as. I would ask clients throughout the session “Where are you hoping to hang these images in your home?” “How will you be gifting these images to family?”

I could then use their responses to tease the end result. If I knew they were interested in a gallery wall above their dining room table, I could make sure to achieve a shot that would work great as a large canvas. As soon as I had it I would show the back of my camera to my client and say something like “Oh my gosh! This is THE shot that we’re hanging above your dining table.”

If I got a wonderful picture of the kids I would show it to my client and say something like “Oh my gosh! These would be perfect as 8x10’s to gift to Grandma.”

This method gets the client involved in the process in a way that still has you in the driver’s seat. It’s getting them excited and expecting to buy more later.

CREATE AN ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE

Where do they buy these things you ask? In this VIP Viewing Session. Although this kinda exists in the SAB Method it’s definitely not VIP...it’s simply a viewing session. The SAB client views their gallery alone. On their computer or most likely their phone. Without you there. Lame sauce.

The VIP client has a complete additional experience to see their images for the first time. This is where the magic happens. There are a few key things I want you to note here in order to make your first Viewing Experience amazing.

  • The viewing sessions need to happen no later than 2 weeks from when you wrapped their shooting session

  • They need to happen in the evening, at their home, where no kids are present (typically once they go to bed)

  • Anyone that’s purchasing images or collateral needs to be present

  • You need to bring product samples and a treat (I’ve brought cheesecake and wine in the past)

The purpose of those stipulations is that you’re creating a high-end, intimate, grown-up, viewing experience. Everyone involved knows that there will be money spent in these sessions so the tone needs to be right for that (that’s why no kids!).

TELL THEM WHAT THEY NEED

So now we’re in the Viewing Session. Dessert is getting eaten, wine is getting drunk and mom is tearing up over the gallery you’re playing on your iPad. Right on schedule.

Now what?

As the client is viewing their images, try to make a note of which one she’s particularly ohh-ing and aww-ing over. After they watch your slideshow once go back through it again and pause on the images you deliberately captured for that gallery wall she talked about putting above her dining table.

Show her the options for that gallery wall. Does she want to go with canvas or prints in frames? Awesome. Walk over to the dining wall with her. Let her know what size you’d recommend getting in that canvas due to the size of her wall. Awesome. Now, let’s pick out what the other images are that will surround this staple piece.

Notice that you are expertly guiding her through what choice she should be making. Remember that you are the expert here! You know what sizes images need to be. You know how small an 8x10 looks on a 2-story wall. You know that gallery wrapped canvases look better than foam mounted prints.

Your client is trusting in you, the expert, to tell her what to do and what to get. Every buyer innately needs this guidance. It’s your job to provide it. And if you do it right, the pay off will be great.

To complete this process you simply need to collect payment, order their products and get them in your clients hands. Those four steps that I outlined above are absolutely crucial to creating a true VIP Experience for your next client.

It will be the thing that can enable you to 30x your client spend. But it not only brings in more money, it brings a better experience. For the client and you. The fulfillment I, as the photographer, would get when I started offering the VIP Method vs. the SAB Method was tenfold. I began to find more joy in my work. More purpose. More drive.

I challenge you to make these simple tweaks in your process for your very next client. And let me know how it turns out for you. Come back here and leave a comment with your results or questions.


Loved these actionable takeaways? Join our exclusive Facebook group made to help you book out your photography business.

Email Marketing, Marketing

Email Marketing Basics for Creative Business Owners

So you keep hearing the following statement, “As a business you should probably get around to sending out some ‘professional’ email.” And you may be wondering where the heck you should start or if it is even worth your time.

Email Marketing has some powerful benefits, but to be successful it has to be well thought out and carefully managed. Today, we will cover some of the benefits, how and where to get started and then the ideal anatomy for your newsletter.

Email Marketing has some powerful benefits, but to be successful it has to be well thought out and carefully managed.  |  Think Creative Collective

The Benefits are Hard to Deny


Build Know, Like & Trust

By sending branded, beautiful emails your potential client or customer continues to get to know you better. They generally like you more. And they definitely are more likely to trust your business. Find out how to turn that trust into a sale here.

Boost Your Sales

Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (source).  Hello, why wouldn’t you nurture them then? That’s like throwing away free money.

Stay Top of Mind

How many times have you stumbled upon a gold mind only to forget the name, lose the address or fail to save it for later? Trust me, people who come across you will accidentally close a tab, won’t bookmark the page or restart their computer in the middle of reading no matter how awesome they think you are. If you can manage to capture people’s information then they are way more likely to remember just how amazing you are. Email marketing is one of the only ways to guarantee your entire audience will be exposed to you. Social media is not guaranteed and posting a blog post all by itself is like a shot in the dark. Email marketing forces your name to show up in their inbox again and again!


How to Get Started


Increase Traffic

As much as we would like to assume people magically show up on our email lists the first step to any marketing tactic is to grow your exposure. You can organically increase traffic by creating killer content on a blog (you stopped to read this didn’t you).

Here are some surefire ways to increase traffic on your website. And this includes some super simple SEO tactics to help push your company to the top of search engine results.

Setting Up the Forms

Before you begin collecting email addresses, you need a way to capture this information. Here is a basic step-by-step tutorial to set up your forms in Mailchimp.

Enticing Someone To Sign-Up

Do you willy nilly give out your personal information? Absolutely not! You have to trust someone, and they have to give you a pretty legit reason for you to hand over that coveted email address. The secret sauce to having someone sign-up is using a super valuable opt-in. You can learn all about what goes into one here.

Or if you just need a gold mine of ideas. I have 101 irresistible headline ideas waiting for you in my FREE e-book. Snag your copy back stage.


Anatomy of the Ideal Newsletter


So you finally have a list of people dying to hear more from you because you already gave them some of your juiciest knowledge. But what do you send them? What goes in your “newsletter” of sorts?

Personalize & Customize

Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10% (source). Consider adding someone’s name to your subject line and addressing them in your email. In Mailchimp you simply do this by adding the tag *|FNAME|* which refers to that field on your list based on the email address.

Tell a Story

People want to connect with other people. They get plenty of “ads” in their inbox from big box brands. Don’t spam them. Act like they are a part of your life, you have them over for a cup of coffee and you want to tell them a story. Connect it back to something going on in your life or business.

Call to Action

Give your readers something to do. Perhaps you challenge them. Maybe you ask them to read something. Go and sign up. You can even ask them to buy (don’t do this every time or you will wear out your welcome). Always end your emails with a call to action.

Extras

It is completely appropriate to throw in some extras at the bottom of your email. Consider adding some of the follow items.

  • Blog Posts – What is your newest content you don’t want them to miss?
  • Social Media – Where do you like to hang out online?
  • Promoting Products or Services – What is available to them right now?

COME HANG OUT WITH US ON INSTAGRAM


Marketing, Social Media

Followers Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number

So you own a business, startup or blog, or all of the above. You continue to push out social media post after social media post. And you keep praying that follower number increases. You obsessively check your phone to see who added you on Instagram and Twitter. You await new subscribers. And celebrate every time you gain a new follower on Bloglovin’. STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING! That number doesn’t matter. Whether it is 200 or 20,000 it is moot. Your focus needs to shift. 

Followers' Ain't Nothin' But A Number  |  Stop what you are doing, the number of social followers you have does not matter! See why.  |  Think Creative

Engagement, Engagement, Engagement

The number, the exact number is totally irrelevant. Sure the more you gain the more confidence you might have, or the more brands might consider partnering with you, but that shouldn’t be what’s driving the boat. Instead your focus needs to be on engaging your audience. Get them to read your content. Comment on it. Share it with their friends and colleagues. Send you emails. Maybe they will even write a blog article about how great you are. That sort of interaction is what you are looking for. Sure you can pay Facebook or Twitter to get additional impressions, which will potentially boost your follower numbers, but if you only pay short term, in the long run you could potentially see a decrease in site impressions. 

As you gain a following, specifically with Facebook, they determine how many people “get” to see your post in their newsfeed. If there aren’t “likes”, “shares” or “comments”, i.e. engagement, the post impressions could be dragged down significantly. I am not saying that paying for exposure can’t work in certain instances, but it has to be a well thought out process. 

Quality over Quantity

Would you rather have 100 clients who pay you $100 dollars each for your services, or 10 clients who pay you $1,000 dollars? Either way you end up with $10,000, but I almost guarantee there will be more footwork, planning, and communication confusion with those 100 clients than you would ever run into with just 10. Sure those 10 clients expect more because they paid more, but they also are likely to be the people who tell their friends about your awesome service when the time is right because they invested in you and what you are doing.  

“If you’ve been using the number of followers you have to measure your social media success, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Do an audit of your audience and determine which users are the right ones, and cull your lists accordingly.” (source)

I wish there were more to say, but it really is that simple. Switch you focus and cut yourself some slack. It is ONLY A NUMBER!

How do you measure engagement with your business or blog?

Blog, Marketing

Why You’re Not Making Money From Blogging + Tips on How to Start

So you’ve started a blog — congratulations! You’ve probably heard amazing stories of people making money from their blog and you’ve envisioned this life of writing posts + cashing checks (virtually). It sounds like a dream.

But maybe it’s not going quite as you expected. Maybe you’re not making it rain dollar bills, people aren’t knocking down your door with offers to pay you for posts, and perhaps all of this seems a lot harder than you thought it would be. Sound familiar?

Well, there are probably some pretty solid reasons why you aren’t making any money from your blog. And a lot of it starts with your expectations. Let’s break down the school of thought that’s traditionally surrounded the world of blogging + money making so you can start to see it a bit more clearly.

Bonus: we’ve got actionable ideas for you on how to actually start making money with your blog further down in this post, so keep reading!

So you’ve started a blog — congratulations! You’ve probably heard amazing stories of people making money from their blog and you’ve envisioned this life of writing posts + cashing checks (virtually). It sounds like a dream.  But maybe it’s not going quite as you expected. Maybe you’re not making it rain dollar bills, people aren’t knocking down your door with offers to pay you for posts, and perhaps all of this seems a lot harder than you thought it would be.  |  Think Creative Collective

First, we’re going to be real honest with you. A lot of the old school advice about how to make money blogging is just that — old school. It’s outdated and it’s not how blogging works anymore. You’ve probably been fed a lot of bologna when it comes to how to establish your blog and audience to make money. But there are few people out there teaching on this subject who are not only up-to-date in their methods, but who are actually profitable (we’ll link to a few at the end of this post).

Now we’re going to get down and dirty, busting myths and taking names. Are you ready?

You're Wanting to Learn from the Wrong People

Okay, this is possibly our biggest pet peeve. We’ve been seeing this topic come up a lot lately. Someone will start a thread in a Facebook group and it goes on like wildfire. It goes like this…

“I’m not making money from my blog and I’m tired of just hearing from people who teach others how to make money blogging. I want to learn or hear from people who aren’t teaching or running courses, but who are making money from blogging. Why aren’t they talking about how to do it? Does anyone like that even exist??”

Then someone will chime in and say something like…

“Oh, I totally understand. I want to hear from a lifestyle brand that makes money blogging! What about this person who sells moccasins? Why can’t I know how she makes money blogging?”

Let’s be clear.

The reason why you are hearing from someone who is teaching about how to make money blogging is because that is their job.

The reason why you aren’t hearing from someone who sells moccasins or fine art prints or yoga poses is because their job is to not teach you about how to make money blogging. Their job is to sell moccasins or fine art prints or yoga poses.

It’s not that they don’t exist.

They are just working in their businesses.

And you should absolutely want to learn from someone who makes money blogging that then teaches how to make money blogging. Because guess what they’re doing? Making money from blogging.

Which is what you want.

If they’re good teachers they will give you examples of how this can work in many different industries. They will let you know that the foundations of making money blogging aren’t that different, regardless of what you sell (more on that later).

Learn from people who know how to teach. Period.

Your Blog Doesn't Actually Make You Money

Okay, this is a hard idea to grasp. Back in the early 2000’s when blogging was just getting started, you made money from your blog. Like literally.

How much you made was determined by how many people visited your blog, how many people shared it, commented on it, etc.

Why?

Because ads on blogs were huge then.

So advertisers would pay per view, click and share. Then the blogger would get a check. Boom.

That’s not how blogs work anymore. That’s not how readers want to engage with bloggers and advertisers anymore.

So that’s not how money is made through blogging anymore.

Now, it’s about what you sell. What can you offer? It’s about curating a content library, attracting the right people to read it, providing immense value and then selling something to them (we’ll get more specific about the selling later).

What You're Selling Doesn't Make Sense

Okay, so sure, you’ve heard that you need to sell something in order to make money from your blog. So you do. But...chances are it’s the wrong thing. Here’s a scenario that we just saw someone in a few week ago…

This person had a blog where they wrote about energy, positive mindsets and motivations. They had readers that liked this type of content. So they decided to leverage those readers and put up something to sell in their shop.

They decided to sell editing presets that you can use in Lightroom.

Why?

Probably because they’re good at making presets and they’ve been told to sell what you’re good at. The problem is, that’s not what their audience was used to hearing or learning about from them, so they were not primed to buy that thing.

It would’ve made more sense for this person to sell desktop screensavers with mantras on them, a positive energy cleanse course, a book on essential oils and meditations, etc.

Is what you’re selling in line with what your audience is used to hearing? Fix it.

If You Don't have Time, This isn't Going to Work

This is the biggest and most crucial piece of advice. Woven through every Facebook thread like the one we mentioned earlier is the concept of time. Someone comes in and says something like “Blogging takes time, you have to be consistent and keep at it to get results.” (Which is true) But the person struggling comes back with something like “Yeah, I just started blogging a couple of months ago. I only blog once a week, because I just don’t have time. But if I were making money from it now I’d be able to dedicate more time to it.”

That is not how any of this works.

Your audience won’t come unless you provide value.

They won’t come back unless you provide material and a reason for them to come back.

You won’t be able to make money unless you create something to sell.

You won’t know what to create to sell unless you spend the time engaging with your audience and providing value.

All of that takes time. A whole lotta time.

Blogging is the least “get rich quick” business plan that has ever existed. If that’s what you’re here for, you’re going to be so disappointed.

Here's How to Turn it Around

  1. Create a content calendar

  2. Put out valuable content for the sake of putting out valuable content

  3. Turn your readers into subscribers by offering them something for free

  4. Nurture those readers

  5. Ask them how else you can help them

  6. Create something that takes what you already talk about a step further

  7. Sell it

  8. Do all that again and again.

If you want some accountability and a place to bounce your ideas around then be sure to join our community. It’s free and it’s awesome.

P.S. Earlier we said we’d mention the people who teach about blogging really well. We recommend Melyssa Griffin, XO Sarah, and Mariah Coz.


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