This will be our final Coffee Break installment for the year 2015. We’ll be on a brief hiatus and then hitting the ground running in the new year.
But, to that end, I thought it’d be a good idea to review where we’ve been this year, how things are moving along, and where I intend to take the show in the year 2016.
In this episode, we will discuss:
- The original reasons I started Coffee Break Blogging
- Why I do solo shows and don’t generally have interview guests
- A review of the “7 Stages To Building An Online Business” and where this podcast currently stands in the 7 stages
- What I’m looking to do with this show in 2016
- What is going to happen after the 7 stages are done?
How This All Started
Okay… So, here we are. This is going to be the last episode of Coffee Break for the year 2015. So what I am going to do today is we are going to kind of review where we’ve been and kind of where we’re heading with this podcast; kind of give you a little bit of back story, so to speak, especially if you have not been following us in order since the beginning of Coffee Break Blogging.
Now, if you are not already aware, Coffee Break Blogging actually started out as a different podcast. It started out as something called “The Blog Program” which is one of my more “creative” titles, I admit; 😀 The Blog Program, really original. Now, that Blog Program was very “hit and miss”. I mean, we were really all over the board in terms of schedule, in terms of topic. I did have some guests; I had some guest that you guys would know, like my man Chris Ducker; had several others on the podcast. But the thing is, the podcast was very irregular and for that reason I kind of like started off with a big bang and then it kind of dropped off the radar because regularity is a very important thing when it comes to podcasting.
And so, later on in late 2014, I actually decided, “Listen… If I am going to bother podcasting at all, I need to take this thing seriously. I have been blogging, as in written blogging for many, many years now and that has never been a problem for me. So why; for the life of me, am I taking podcasting less seriously?” And so, with that in mind, I said “Okay, listen. If I am going to do this, I am going to do this.” I also was not too particularly crazy about the Blog Program as a name.
So when I started brainstorming how am I going to bring this thing back, I had a few things in mind. First of all, I wanted to be a lot more regular about it, of course. Now, I realized that if I was going to be more regular about it, I needed to have a plan of action. Not only that, it will probably would have been helpful if I made each episode a little bit shorter and not shoe for that 30 minute mark, so to speak. So that helped influence what is now Coffee Break Blogging. And the reason why that was called “coffee break” is of course, many times; including right now, I have got a cup of coffee in front of me when I am recording it, so that always helps. But the other thing, too, is that coffee break is typically short. You know, we stop doing what we are doing and we have a little coffee break. And that was kind of the intention here; is that you would be able to come in and whether you are having a real coffee break or not, you would have the short break, you can listen to an episode of Coffee Break Blogging in some applicable thing; something you can immediately take away and do something… And that was the idea. So that was what led to the name “Coffee Break Blogging”.
The goal was to make each episode very applicable. Something where you could listen to it and you would go off and do something. It wasn’t as if I was going to give you an assignment; it was just that each episode was relevant. I specifically do not want to go out and do another interview-style podcast because everybody does one. Everybody seems to think that “Oh, I am going to start a podcast. And then I am going to have guests on the podcast. And then we are going to chit-chat. And then I am going to get my expertise by association with my guest. And they are going to help me promote my show. And then I am going to get famous. And then I am going to have a killer podcast and be just John Lee Dumas on Entrepreneur on Fire.” That is what everybody want, and I specifically did not want to go on that direction. It isn’t because it is a non-workable direction but specifically because everybody is trying to copy my man, John Lee Dumas, and I am not interested in doing so.
The other thing, too, is my company here is called the Blog Marketing Academy. That word “academy” means that I teach. I am a teacher. M’kay? Now, I also want to position myself as the expert and I am not even going to dilly-down around this. When it comes to this particular topic, I am an expert. And so, if I am the expert; not only that I want my audience to look at me as the expert and come to my Academy to learn how to do it, why am I going to have a ton of guests on the show all the time and do it that way? It just didn’t make any sense. And so, with that in mind, I went toward the short-form podcast, it was going to be primarily a solo show which you will notice that this is; and we are going to go in a particular order. So going back to the word “academy”, the word academy speaks to education. It is like the idea of a course. Well, courses have a particular structure to them. Not only that… at the time there was a rise in what is called serial podcast. It was the idea of podcast where it came out in episodic form. Each one is an episode; an installment in an ongoing storyline.
And I was like “Well, that is a really interesting idea that kind of really works well with what I am doing here with training with the Academy.” And so, one thing led to the next and I decided I was going to do a solo podcast where each episode was going to be a little shorter than usual although they have linked in a little bit and they are going to go in a particular order. And that order is what I call The Roadmap. It is the 7-Stages document where you could actually head on over to coffeebreakblogging.com and download this document for free. It is a 7-Stage Process of growing an online business from scratch and that is exactly what we are doing here with Coffee Break Blogging. So going back to October 29th 2014, I did Episode 30 of The Blog Program, where I said “What’s Coming Up!” I talked about the changes that we were going to be making; and then surely on November 4th 2014, with Episode 31, we moved officially into Coffee Break Blogging, we have not looked back. We started out with Phase 1 and we have been going through the 7 Stages ever since.
A Quick Review Of The 7 Stages
Now let’s do a quick review of the 7 Stages here. Again, head over to Coffee Break Blogging, not only can you view the archives of the show but you can also download your copy of the 7 Stages of Building an Online Business.
Stage 1 is Foundation where we are talking about identifying our market; identifying our niche, learning who are Avatar is; who our serving. And not only that… Identifying our solution. And on the Blog Monetization Model that I teach at the Blog Marketing Academy this is coming up with our Product/Market Fit. That is essentially what this is. It is coming up with product/market fit. And in fact, I might make a few edits of the 7 Stages document to reflect better the model that I am teaching inside the Lab. But a lot of it, it is mainly just a terminology shift there.
Stage 2 is talking about our Platform. This is where we are setting up the blog, getting our branding set up, logo, the various core pages, our pillar blog post, setting up landing pages, internal linkage, etc., etc. All the stuff that is on your website; that is where we were starting to set up in Stage 2.
Stage 3 we immediately go into List Building. Building our email list. We are creating lead magnets and we’re creating lead funnels and squeeze pages and email autoresponder sequences… This is all stuff that we have talked about here in Coffee Break Blogging where we were going through the episodes discussing Stage 3. So there is a lot back there. There is a little button there, by the way; so if you go full-archives and you will have all 142 episodes of the show just listed out there for you to go back and listen to.
Stage 4 is Traffic Building. Now on traffic, we were setting up syndication, building up social media profiles, we talked about videos and podcasting and content calendars and guest postings… All these things that was all in the category of building our traffic.
And then now… Right now we are actually in the middle of Stage 5 which I call Delivery. Essentially, this is the money-making side of the business. This is where we are setting up what bloggers often call “monetization.” But I call it delivery for a very specific reason; and that is because that is how money gets made… By delivering a solution to somebody who wants it. Delivering some-thing or some product or some service to a group of people who are asking for it. And that is why instead of calling it monetization or making money and focusing of the outcome of the delivery, I just get to the point and I call it Delivery. That is what you are actually doing; you are delivering a solution.
And so for the last many episodes of Coffee Break Blogging, we have been talking about various aspects of delivery. I am going back on my list and it looks like we started Stage 5 back in Episode 109, talking about why banner advertising is the dumbest way to monetize your blog. And we have gone on from there. So here we are, over 30 episodes later and we are still in Stage 5 currently talking about all these various aspects of Delivery. And as we go in to 2016, we are going to take up from there; we are going to be going over other topics related to delivery. Sales funnels, offers, conversions, making sales. And that is what we are going to continue to talk about here in 2016. And then we are going to move on to Stage 6 and 7.
Stage 6 is Growth. This is where you have a business with a proven concept but now we are in the Growth Phase. Where we are doing things like tweaking our incoming traffic sources, tweaking our conversions, making our offers better, creating more offers and delivering our transformation to people in a more efficient way. So these are things where we are going back, we are making things better and proving the way things operate.
Stage 7 is Expansion. This is where we are moving out beyond solo thing and going into the territory of “Real Business”. This is where we start systematizing things, we start hiring Virtual Assistant and potentially, even employees, if you want to go that route. We start looking at affiliates and joint ventures and we start just making a bigger operation.
So those are Stages 6 and 7 and yes, we are going to be getting there as well, here at Coffee Break Blogging. So, again, today we are at Stage 5 and starting in 2016 we are going to continue on Stage 5 and then get in to 6 and 7.
Now I want to address the idea of what’s coming up with Coffee Break Blogging… I have had a few people ask “What is going to happen when you get to the end of the 7 Stages?” And so, let’s talk about that a little bit here.
As I did last year at the end of 2014, I sat down and planned out all the Episodes of this podcast for the entire year in advance. Now, there has been a few shifts along the way, but generally speaking, I held pretty close to that schedule. Now, I intend to do the exact same thing this time around. So I have got a couple of weeks on the calendar here, before 2016 rolls in and I also have the very beginning of 2016 to do this. But I am going to be sitting down and pre-planning a good chunk of this show all the way through the end of 2016. It really helps me to not only make sure that there is some method to how I do the show; but it also makes it easier for me to actually create them. Because then, it is kind of like when I talked about in the last episode, where I talked about separating your decision making from your execution; well this is my way of doing that with regard to my podcast. I sit down and I make all the decisions about what am I going to be talking about in advance and then it is just a matter of sitting down and hit the record button and going.
And also, by the way, I never do edits on these things… I mean, my VA tacks the intros on and stuff for me but these are one-take deal so even if I flub, you listen to me flub. I don’t go back and edit things out. I don’t know how other people do it.
So I am going to be doing that, maybe planning out 2016 in advance… There could be some audio changes to the podcast; I am going to continue essentially doing the same basic thing, but I might make some changes to the audio at the beginning and on the end; the intro and the outro, so to speak. It could be a few little logistical changes in that regard to kind of update it. Like I said, we are going to continue through Stage 5 and then go right into the Growth Phase in Stage 6 and then the Expansion Phase – Stage 7.
Now, to those of you who have asked what am I going to do after that…? Well, does business ever end? No…. It really doesn’t. Business is never really done. And I don’t intend for Coffee Break to stop either. We are going to continue doing audio lessons even after Stage 7 because if we go back to Stages 1-7 there are, and inevitably; and I already know of many, of topics that I could easily talk about that are relevant to Stages 1-7 that were not on the initial plan. And so that is a big part of what we are going to be doing… is going back and putting in updates and giving additional applicable information that will be ready for you at the various stages. And perhaps, what we will do is I’ll specify in there what stage it belongs in. But business never stops and we are always growing and that is the way Coffee Break is going to be doing as well.
Now, the other thing I will mention is that, I also may open up this podcast to guests. Now, I know what I said about not doing interviews in the outset, but as we move in to a different phase of Coffee Break Blogging, it might make sense to begin doing guest appearances again; start having people on and we will have conversations with people on various topics. Now, again, I am a big believer in not copying everybody else. So the last thing I would want to do is sit around and try to act like John Lee Dumas and ask the same questions to each person, blah-blah-blah. I am not interested in going there. He has got a great thing going on, John is a great dude. It is just not what I want to do with my podcast. And so if I will have guests come on, it is going to be different; it is going to be David style. We are going to have more conversation and it is going to be about particular topics. It is not going to be floating the guest’s ego or promoting their business or anything like that. Although we will do that a little bit, but it is going to be more about bringing on other expertise because I do not pretend to know everything. And there are other topics where other people would just be better equipped to talk about than me because they have got more experience with it and so we are going to have them on and we could talk about other things that we already spoken about here in Coffee Break Blogging but do it with two people rather than just me.
So that is kind of where we are heading here with Coffee Break in the year 2016; it is going to be a lot of episodes coming up because we are still doing 2 a week, and that is a schedule that up to now I still intend to keep. And it is going to be a lot of fun. I think there is going to be a lot for you to look forward to in 2016 with this podcast.
Now, I am going to end off with one request of you… If you have been listening to the show for a while and you have been getting value out of this podcast, I would request for you to don one thing for me right now. I know that I always request for you to go to iTunes and do a review for me and stuff like that, which I would of course be very appreciative of you doing. But right now, with regard to everything that I just said, I would like for you to answer a single question for me.
The question is:
How can I best serve you on this podcast?
That is what I want to know. I want to find out what you need and want from me, specifically as a listener of this podcast. As you now, this podcast will continue to be a free resource for you; I hope you will listen to it regularly and I want to deliver as best as I can.
And so answer the question for me: How can I best serve you on this podcast?
And I want you to email me your answer at [email protected]. Nice and simple, just open an email and let me know. It could be a one sentence deal, you do not have to type out a paragraph; just let me know your answer: How can I best serve you on this podcast? And email me, like just as soon as you hit the stop button on this podcast, do it. Even if you are on your phone, you have got an email on your phone; open up your program and send me your answer to that question.
With that in mind, I have enjoyed talking with you in the year 2015 and I will see you in 2016 as we kick off moving along on Stage 5 here at Coffee Break Blogging.
I’ll see you then! Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year! 😉