One of my favorite things to do is to analyze successful people. I read about their stories and watch their interviews to hear their experience and their advice.
A lot of people like to do this to get inspiration or a glimpse into exclusive wisdom. But if you’ve ever heard the stories of several of these different ultra-achievers, you begin to notice one thing: none of them attained their success in the same way.
The same applies to building a lifestyle business. There are lots of different ways to create a successful blog. There’s no one right way to do it, and I can tell you that once things start rolling in motion, there are lots of moving parts.
A huge aspect of building your blog is troubleshooting. What’s working and what isn’t?
Perhaps the hardest part is figuring out where to start.
No matter what your method, there are a few musts that I truly believe every blogger should do. That’s why I put together 5 things that should be on your blogging to do list.
These are the items that are instrumental to every successful blogger. They’re the cornerstone of building a profitable blog, and they’re the items that have worked for me.
So, clear your calendar, you’ve got a to-do list to take care of.
If I had a dollar for every time I told someone to niche down…
It’s true though-narrowing down your niche and being as specific as possible is really the #1 most utilitarian piece of advice I could ever give about growing a business.
Because audiences are uniquely specific.
Businesses have to know their audiences because even one small factor can change the way people perceive it.
You never want to be too broad. But that’s one of the most common mistakes I see new bloggers make. They try to appeal to everyone, and because they aren’t spending time getting specific, they end up appealing to no one.
Think of it this way: The people who are looking for great fitness content like workouts and recipes might not be the same people who are looking for craft tutorials or party planning ideas.
Could they be? Sure. But someone scouring the internet for fitness tips is going to be different from someone looking for knitting patterns.
Audiences even differ within the same category. For example, people looking for 15-minute beginner workouts have different lifestyles than advanced fitness enthusiasts. And they’re going to be interested in different types of content.
Knowing your audience will help you create content that best appeals to them.
So, get specific. What is your blog about? Who do you want to appeal to?
At Ideal Me, we’re a lifestyle blog. So, we do offer a wide range of content. We create content in every area that we feel constitutes part of the Ideal Me lifestyle.
But within our large lifestyle categories, we’ve narrowed down by creating specific subcategories so that our different audiences can find the content that aligns with what they specifically want, like, and need.
If you’re a fitness blogger that wants to focus on overall fitness, consider segmenting your blog to include categories for each specific level of fitness so that you can create custom content for audiences at different places in their lives.
Segment Your Mailing List
This is one of my favorite tips. Don’t just segment your blog-segment your mailing list. It makes sense when you think about your audience. An email you send out about crafts might not be relevant to your fitness junkies.
If some subscribers begin to get a lot of emails that they feel aren’t relevant to them, what do they do?
If you segment your mailing list based on audience interests, you’re able to send out relevant emails and offers that people want.
One of the best ways to do this is to survey your subscribers. Send them a little survey and ask them what they’re most interested in hearing about.
Then, just create different email groups in your automator. DIY lovers get one email while business gurus get another.
I do that at Ideal Me frequently. I’m always checking in to see what my audience wants to hear about.
This is such an invaluable way to learn about your audience because a lot of people will be very specific about what they want. You might learn that people don’t want just recipes, but that they want specifically paleo or vegan recipes.
That information is gold because it helps you create the most relevant, appealing content.
Build A Newsletter
Once you do have a list of email subscribers, building a newsletter should be your next step.
Have your newsletter go out regularly on a schedule so that your subscribers are getting consistent communications from you.
This helps you build a lasting relationship with your subscribers.
Release your newsletter on the schedule that works best for you. Bi-weekly, weekly, twice a week, your choice.
Use your newsletter to start building trust and expectations of consistency with your audience.
And don’t be afraid to engage with them!
Like I mentioned above, I survey my subscribers regularly. Ask them for opinions, ask them questions.
Respond to comments they leave or create a forum where you can create a community.
We have a crochet forum for anyone who signs up for our 30 Day Crochet Challenges. It’s great because we can interact with everyone in the forum and send updates.
It’s just a great way to help build and maintain relationships.
Blogging is about community and people like to get to know you, so let them!
Don’t Be Afraid To Make Money
A lot of bloggers are really hesitant to sell on their blog.
I get it—it feels weird to self-promote and you don’t want readers and subscribers to feel harassed by offers.
But the thing is, this is your business. You need to convert readers into buyers.
That means you need to monetize your blog. Don’t be afraid of plugging products in your posts and emails.
I know a lot of people are afraid they’ll turn people off by doing this, but if that was true, the tons of profitable blogs out there wouldn’t exist.
If you’re offering products, experiences, or services of real value, people aren’t going to just unsubscribe if you shoot them a quick email about it.
And if they do, well, then they weren’t the right person for your blog anyway.
There are strategic ways to monetize your blog so that you aren’t just selling to an audience.
Drop some relevant links to courses that you offer in blog posts where it’s natural. Create great products or classes that offer real value.
Join great affiliate programs that match your own blog’s values and interests and expose your audience to their great content.
There are tons of ways to monetize your blog, and you have to stop worrying about self-promoting. Be confident in what you offer. This is your business—vouch for it.
Blogging is about community! Say it again for the people in the back.
Seriously, the people I’ve met through my online journey have been incredible and I love forging relationships with fellow bloggers and business owners.
You learn so much from each other. Get out there and meet some people in the blogging community.
Join Facebook groups and Pinterest boards. Or just reach out to some fellow bloggers with an email letting them know you’d love to get to know them.
You never know who you’ll meet or what kind of relationship you can create. Maybe somewhere down the line, you’ll partner with them on some cool challenge, or maybe they become a great source of advice.
The bloggers in Facebook groups are so helpful and willing to share their own experience. If you have a question, they’re a great resource to turn to because they’ve been where you are.
Blogging is About Relationships
If you aren’t taking these steps in your own blogging business, then it’s time to get a jump on your blogging to do list.
Blogging is all about relationships. Every item on this to do list revolves around building and understanding them.
Figure out who your audience is and what they want, build a relationship with them, create great content they want and need, and build up your blogging community network.
Narrowing down is the root of everything—you have to know your audience.
So, if you’re struggling to know where to start, these steps should help guide you in the right direction. They’ve definitely helped me.
If you want more guidance on how to launch a profitable blog, make sure you sign up for our Launch a Six Figure Blog This Weekend training course.
Learn the strategies I use to niche down, create killer content, and monetize my blog. Sign up here!