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Become an Entrepreneur: 7 Steps for Creating a Successful Blog
The role of the entrepreneur is creative destruction.— Joseph Schumpeter 1883 - 1950
Myth or Fact
It's a myth that having an online business is business freedom.
This is true in the beginning stages, especially if you have no prior knowledge or a team of experts to guide you.
Worst yet, if you do not have a budget.
Fact #1: It is self-employment, where you are the:
- content creator and editor;
- the owner, CEO, President;
- Sales manager;
- Marketing and social media manager;
- head of the IT department;
- comment moderator;
- customer service representative and all other departments rolled into one.
What Do Established Bloggers Have to Say About This?
Fact # 2: On average, you may earn only cents and a few dollars anywhere between 2 - 12 months.
In her Blog Success Manifesto, Erica Douglass from erica.biz states "It will probably take 6-12 months for your blog to catch on and for you to make money from it";
while Yaro Starak from entrepreneurs-journey.com quipped "I won’t lie to you, it’s not easy to get to the point where I am, but there is a process you can follow. You do have to work consistently and, most importantly, have the right mental fortitude and attitude to get you there. I started the Entrepreneurs-Journey blog in January 2005. Within six months I was making money from advertising".
This is what Darren Rowse from Problogger.net had to say on the subject: "Now, I’d like to say that at the moment I hit publish on my first blog that the earth shook and a light from heaven came down and I was suddenly transformed into a full-time blogger – but as we all know it doesn’t happen that way.
In fact, for the first 12 or so months of my blogging, very, very little changed…My first month (October 2003) saw me average about $1.40 per day".
It's the daily tasks that leads to the reward.
All in a Days Work
This doesn't sound encouraging does it?
All they are saying is, do not fire your boss just yet.
The role of blogger can be lonely. Therefore, it's vital for you to have a support team. One that you can bounce ideas off and who can offer a fresh pair of eyes to your content and design. entrepreneur
It's also necessary for you to take breaks and create a schedule, as things can become overwhelming.
But this is all in a days work for the successful blogger.
'Success' is usually more about doing things you know you should do… not learning the 'Secrets' that you don't know.— Darren Rowse
The Blogger: An Entrepreneur
The classical meaning of the word entrepreneur is someone who starts - with his/her own money - manages and organizes all aspects of a business; takes all the risks and enjoys all the profits. Terms like:
- one-man show;
- head cook and bottle washer; and
- sole proprietor comes to mind.
Fact # 3: Today, all you need to get started to become a world renown entrepreneur is a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC, internet access and an idea.
How Exactly Do Blogs Make Money
In creating this new job for yourself, you are going to need to aim for stability through consistency. This means you're going to have to:
- consistently produce quality content;
- get subscribers;
- market your message; and
- be making a profit for all of that hard work.
What was that?
You're going to hire someone to create content, design your website, and manage social media?
Well, guess what? You'll need to train them first on what it is your brand stands for.
And every time you hire a new employee you'll have to:
- take time out of what you are doing to train them as well;
- answer their questions;
- review and revise their work; and
- all the other hand holding they'll require.
Your Online Business and You
How else are you going to keep it going without revenue?
Believe it or not, blogging is a business and a lucrative one at that.
It should return an income without you having to be writing and publishing every single day. It's recommended that you post quality content 2 - 3 times per week. And maintain your blog with a minimum of 2 hours per day.
In other words, this income should also be generated while you are sleeping, under the weather or on vacation.
If you want a brand for yourself that is credible, well read, deemed an expert or authority figure, and make you an income all at the same time you'll have to put in the work. And this begins with your personal brand.
Blogging is not only a great job, but a business that allows you to do several noble tasks, such as:
- Influencing people from the inside out;
- sharing and helping others through advice - making it a communication device;
- using it as an educational resource helping others to learn and grow;
- providing entertainment and relaxation;
- connecting people from all over the world. Enabling us to be better world citizens;
- spreading ideas to make others' lives easier;
- providing employment for you as well as for all the freelancers who benefit from this industry;
- fostering friendships through comments, forums and sharing on social media;
- swaying political opinions;
- reporting news to inform and keep up-to-date with current world affairs; and
- allowing you to dream, work towards your dreams as well as to help others achieve theirs.
Content is King
I continuously say content because I'm not only referring to well-written articles with all the right elements, but videos, podcasts, slides, and webinars too.
Fact # 4: Without content there is no blog so the importance of quality content can not be stressed enough.
When creating content you need to be at your best.
Taking strategic breaks is necessary to prevent frustrations.
If you have a hobby, take a break and go do it. For example, I've got several hobbies including reading, gardening and photography. But when I'm in my content creating role I like to garden to take a break. Reading and photography will involve many of the things I do and muscles I use while sitting at my laptop. Exercising is also a fantastic distractor.
It is not only key for keeping you fit, but to keep your creative juices flowing.
There are two basic models of blogging according to Yaro Starak:
1. The Magazine model and
2. Expert model
The magazine model has thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of subscribers and publish numerous times a day and derives its income from advertisements while the expert model allows you to earn an income even though you might have only a hundred subscribers.
This model uses a sales funnel.
The Magazine Vs The Expert Model of Blogging
Blog Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is a process where a blog is used to capture the attention of your audience, funnel some of those people on to an email list, and then sell a range of products and services to them. When managed well it can be quite profitable.
The Blog Sales Funnel is a strategy to attract people to your blog, then subscribe them to a segmented email list that delivers educational content designed specifically to sell an entry level product. This then leads people through the funnel to more comprehensive products and services at higher prices.
As you move through the funnel, there are fewer customers, leading down to your highest priced items, which are only purchased by your most dedicated raving fans.
7 Steps for Creating a Successfully Monetized Blog
The big question is, "Why do most blogs fail?"
- The blogger is motivated by money. Try focusing on enjoying the process of generating quality pillar content, that will solve your audience issues, and create a community of like-minded individuals.
Pillar content is content that is well written and appeals to different types of learners. Pillar content:
- grabs new readers and back-links;
- bring in more readers overtime;
- gets organic traffic - traffic directly from search engines;
- demonstrate your value by listing them in a start guide or articles page;
- can be repurposed into other content - content you can sell; and
- it is evergreen - good for all times - relevant even after a few years.
I've always been a big girl and currently weighs in at 265 pounds: the most I've ever weighed. Would you trust me if I told you I'm a fat loss expert?
2. The blogger selects the wrong niche. That is, choosing a niche that will not support a blog. When choosing a niche, it's best to select one that is evergreen and can be broken down into sub-niches. Like: relationship, weight loss or making money online. Your niche should also be something you'll continue to want to do even if you don't make a dime.
3. Have more than one projects running concurrently. Focus on one project at a time. This is a time when multitasking can be thrown out the window. Multitasking will cause you to be spread too thin, and will compound your frustration. Therefore, move on to new projects once you've got the current one up and running.
4. The blogger starts a blog about making money online when they never have made any money online. This might seem like a no-brainer, but I did attempt to do this and failed miserably during the planning stage.
Because I didn't have the consistent results needed to show. Without results, there is no credibility.
It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.— Sir Edmund Hillary
5. The blogger believes blogging is easy money, and that it will allow him/her to get rich quick. Blogging takes a lot of work and perseverance, especially at the beginning. It may take up to 18 months before you start seeing any real income. Remember, entrepreneurs start earning a profit after their first 5 years, as anything before that is capital to be re-invested in the business.
6. The blogger does not take the human psyche into consideration. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is what drives the human condition. If you can help your audience to accomplish the self-actualization elements you are well on your way to success.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
7. The blogger refuses to go with the trends. Change is the only constant.
That means the only thing that does not change is change.
So, because there is always changes in the type of content, technology, marketing strategies, and the desires of people, you should strive to have your blog evolve along with them.
Following these 7 steps should allow you to get a start on creating a successfully monetized blog.
Because now you know what not to do.
You Can Do This!
If you blog with the hopes of attaining financial freedom in the form of paying off your entire loan, whether students loan or mortgage, travel the world for however long you choose and give money to your family.
You can. In the words of Jon Morrow, former Associate Editor of Copyblogger if you want to:
- quit your job and become a professional blogger? You can.
- Travel around the world, living life to its fullest? You can.
- Dedicate your every hour to helping people and making the world a better place? You can.
Blog like you do every other successful thing in your life.— Shelly-Ann Smalling
Use these additional pointers to maximize your success.
- Keep focused.
- Make use of social media.
- Blog because it makes you happy.
- Leave valuable comment on others blogs.
- Guest post.
What steps are you currently using to guarantee your blogging success?
But most importantly, what steps will you be taking to improve your online entrepreneurial success?
Let's continue the discussion in the comments section below.
Here's to you and your success.
Ultimately, blogging is no different from any other industry, where the lions share goes to the relatively smaller group.
Will it be easy?
No, it won't.
You'll want to call it quits and some people who you love dearly will recommend you be straight jacketed and delivered to the loony bin.
I could almost guarantee you'll cry yourself to sleep at least once while wondering if you've made a horrible mistake.
- Go forth with clarity and purpose.
- Do not make decisions when you're feeling desperate.
- Take time to read and make notes, then refer to them in your decision process.
- Research, research, research.
As my Gran always say
"Never stop believing in yourself".