Today’s episode is a blog coaching call featuring new blogger Fred from Prairie Fire Canada, and the legendary blog coach/mentor Jillian from Montana Money Adventures. Jillian brings a GOLD MINE of knowledge for new and aspiring bloggers.
In this podcast (and the blog post below!), we dive into:
- the single biggest mistake new bloggers make
- how to WRITE like you SPEAK
- how to approach turning a blog…into a business
- balancing the hustle with real life 🙂
Listen to my episode with Fred from Prairie Fire and Jillian from Montana Money Adventuresor listen on Apple Podcasts \\ Google Podcasts
There were several really memorable moments from this call. Let’s dive in:
1 – “You can not wait for people to invest in you. You need to invest in other people.”
This is the single most important piece of advice that anybody has ever given me (and it was given to me 2 hours before I met my wife).
This ABSOLUTELY holds true for other aspects of life as well, such as business and blogging.
As a new (or hell, experienced) blogger, you can NOT wait for people to invest in you, collaborate with you, find you. You must be the one to get out there and make things happen.
This is so crucial.
- Guest posts
- Collaborative projects
- Pinterest group board invites
These will not happen to you on accident.
Opportunities will happen based on your gumption to put yourself out there and make things happen.
As a marketer (of both your blog AND yourself)…this is one of the biggest fears you’ll need to work through every single day.
Don’t wait for others to invest in you. Invest in other people.
2 – The single biggest mistake new bloggers make…
is NOT knowing exactly who they’re writing to.
Jillian nailed this one…
As bloggers, it is OUR job to sheperd out readers from where they currently are, to where they want to be.
The transformation, as problogger Darren Rowse would put it.
It’s vital we nail down two specific things:
- Our “avatar,” I.e. a fictional representation of our EXACT target reader, and
- Their transformation.
We take broke people to financial independence. We take new bloggers to experienced difference makers making bank. We take nervous new mothers to strong and wise parents.
Even though let’s be honest: parenting will ALWAYS be hard as hell 😉
If your content isn’t producing a transformation for somebody, it doesn’t matter if you get a million page views in month one, you won’t get them in month 2.
3 – Another huge mistake new (all) bloggers make…
is spending entirely too much time on site design.
I get it. You have tastes, and a very specific idea of WHAT you want your new site to look like. However, in the grand scheme of things, your blog design is FAR less important than whether or not your content matters to people.
I mean just look at https://www.getrichslowly.org/ (sorry J.D. I love you buddy). Insanely big blog, insanely loyal readers, site design is basic.
WordPress theme Pro Tip: If you want to make it easier on yourself when you’re just learning WordPress, blogging, etc….choose a theme with a lot of white space. You can search for “minimal” or “typography” themes. These themes will likely be much quicker to get up and running, and look better with a minimal amount of work.
4 – How to write like you speak
Fred had heard from friends that his blog posts didn’t seem to convey the same PASSION as he had when he spoke to other people.
This is a real pain for most bloggers, and the answer kinda sucks:
How do I write more like I speak?
At least not at first. It takes a LOOOONG time to “find your voice.” Maybe even years. This is something millionaire blogger Grant Sabatier said on our podcast interview as well.
Writing is a muscle, and it takes a long time for you to be able to sit down and BANG OUT blog post after blog post….without thinking about the actual writing aspect.
Your voice comes with time. Be patient, and do you the best you can to WRITE every single day.
Build your writing muscles.
5 – How to transition into running a business from your blog
Honestly, this depends entirely on your goals.
Are you like Bobby Hoyt, who is aiming to build an 8-figure empire from his blog? Or like J from Millennial Boss, who is mainly seeking a steady flow of income so she can focus on the things she wants to do in life?
Those two approaches require two totally different monetization strategies (and marketing strategies too).
Knowing EXACTLY how you want your business to go, and knowing your revenue goals, is the 1st step to turning a blog into a business.
Without writing another 3,500 words on this topic (which this could easily turn into), let’s throw out 2 different strategies for both short-term and long-term monetization:
Long-term big bucks –>
Create a brand that can evolve into much more than just readers consuming blog content.
Brand is kind of a terrible term though. Ask 100 people what “branding” means for their business and you’ll get 120 answers…
For now, let’s leave it as two things:
- Create something bigger than yourself
- Expand into different territories and/or products.
Bigger than yourself – have guest contributors (or guest posters). Tie in your brand identity (tone, language, logo, colors, graphic/pin style, etc to across EVERY channel.
Build a truly unique (and I mean that in the true sense of the word) identity, and will be easier to offer paid products down the road (as it’s totally common for a BRAND to sell stuff. Not so common for a common blog to sell things)
Short-term medium bucks –>
The FASTEST way to make money blogging is to perfect one or two specific skills, and then find other entities willing to pay you to perform them. I.e. Freelancing.
Want to keep it in blogging?
Great! What are you really good at? (or heck, what do you WANT to get really good at?)
- graphics? Pin design?
- hustle-style 1 to 1 promotion?
- Pitching/outreach? (Yes, people pay for this all the dang time)
Choose 1 or 2 skills you’re good at, then spend some time FINDING other people who will pay you to PERFORM those skills.
Pro Tip: Wondering how to FIND those people? This won’t be a satisfying and easier answer…but the truth is BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS with others bloggers is going to be the best way to eventually discover blogging clients.
Yes, it could take a while, but putting a focus on building relationships almost ALWAYS pays off 10x in the long-run. (Short term? Start with your network and ask for referrals! Tell people WHAT you’re trying to find, specifically, and ask if they know anybody.)
New Blogger and still with me?
Or heck, a member of the DYET and just looking for some extra juice?
I’ve put together over 35,000 words for the New Blogger Bootcamp: A 10-day free course PACKED with step-by-step walkthroughs for new (and somewhat new) folks.
Been blogging for 9 months so far and I still don’t know who my audience is.
I ask questions for my readers on my posts but get no comments.
I get low page views each day and the best viewed post is different from the day before.
How do you figure out who your audience is in my case?
Your site is still EXTREMELY new, for one. Looking at your backlink profile now.
I’d ask a few Q’s:
1 – Are you commenting on other people’s blogs?
2 – How much time do you spend engaging on Twitter, RSF forums, etc?
3 – Where do you ask people to comment? At the bottom of each post? Are people making it there?
4 – What’s your traffic? Email list size? (respond to this below if you want)
Bad news = gonna take time to grow engagement 🙂
Good news = this has little to do with WHO your audience is right now.
(You’ll adapt as time goes on and you see who DOES comment and engage when that DOES happen)…but you can also make a rough guestimate in the next hour who your avatar is,
Based on the topics you write, who is interested that stuff? Generally speaking?
What gender? What age? Kids or no kids? Married or not married?
WHERE do they hang out online??? (Important one hint hint. Connect these dots and you’ll have a clearer picture of WHERE you should be spending time marketing and engaging.)
I know it’s simple for me to type this crap out here, but uber difficult in practice. Sorry :/
Good news again = we’re all playing a constant guessing game 🙂
CJ, I’ve noticed that once I stared being more involved in the community of the topic I’m blogging about, more comments appeared. Also, I’ve found that asking people to comment by asking thought provoking questions and then letting them know that I will, in fact, respond to their comment, helps maybe allay the fear of commenting into the void and the writer never getting back to them.
I could be totally BSing but it seems to work so far. Engagement. Plus fear allayment.
This for this, Pete!
Definitely a kick in the pants that we need to hear 🙂
I launched my blog 2 days ago after soaking up almost every single episode you have put out. Your guests have been so inspiring. This was my favorite. Jillian is awesome, and had such great suggestions. Keep up the good work! I’m loving the podcast!
Yay! Always thrilled to hear somebody launching 🙂 What’s your URL? Feel free to drop it here!
And thank you for the kind words of course 🙂
Loved this one. Our blog is almost 6 months old and I have been happy with the slow but steady growth of views so far. I do struggle with finding my voice and knowing exactly who my audience is. Great tips here
Thanks LLLU! Appreciate that.
Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.
Pete, I check your Twitter and website just about daily to learn more. I really enjoy reading your words and fully appreciate your sense of humor. Your style makes it totally feel like I’m sitting down with in real life to learn about this. I am creating my brand new website (www.theverdanthaven.com) out of my own vision with little feedback even from loved ones, but I am always looking for ways to improve. If you ever have constructive criticism for my website, I’ll happily take it in. Nevertheless, thanks so much for all the hard work you do!
Such kind words Jessica, thank you!
1 – Increase your paragraph font-size. It’s tiny and hard to read 🙂
2 – It’s tough to figure out what your blog is about. I’d suggest adding more language on the homepage/sidebars/footers that tells people “WHAT WHY WHAT.”
WHAT your blog is about, WHY they should read YOUR blog, and WHAT’S in it for them to follow you/subscribe, etc.
I also do blog reviews, but don’t have a landing page for those right now. Email me if you need to 🙂
Hi, Pete! I just found you on Pinterest, and have enjoyed reading your articles. I have also subscribed to your Podcast, and so far I am enjoying it so much. Thank you for all you are doing to help out. I have been writing for a year, but haven’t created my blog out of fear! ? So, this one resonated with me so much: “the fear of putting myself out there.” But, you have encouraged me! Blessings!
What?? Do it! You totally got this.
Email [email protected] if you have any questions, and don’t miss my beginner’s guide here: https://doyouevenblog.com/start-a-blog