How exactly does one blog for profit? How does blog monetization really work?
Many bloggers try, yet unfortunately too many don’t succeed. Yet, there is a very good reason why it proves so difficult for most bloggers.
In this ultimate guide to REAL blog monetization, we’re going to thoroughly cover the business model for blogs. It is a system which works. It is a system that is based on actual business fundamentals that, quite frankly, have existed long before the internet.
Table Of Contents
- The Cold, Hard Truth…
- This Is A Road Map For Real Blog Monetization
- The 3 Ways To Grow Any Business
- The Blog Monetization Model
- Step By Step Through The Business Model
- Proven Product/Market Fit
- Next Up: Your Traffic Source(s)
- Your WordPress Blog As The Hub
- Acquiring Leads
- Monetization In The Business Machine
- More on The Front-End Offer
- Your Membership Site Offer (Or Core Offer)
- Higher-End Offers and Profit Maximizers
- Automated Followup & Retargeting
- Ongoing Community Engagement
- That’s The Overview. What’s Next?
Let’s start off with this cold, hard fact…Bloggers who build blogs make no money. Bloggers who build businesses can make serious money.Click To Tweet
The Cold, Hard Truth…
One doesn’t “monetize” a business. It is monetized naturally. However, all businesses require marketing and a central place to conduct business… and this is where the blog comes in.
Now, if you’re serious about conducting real business on the Internet and you’re OK with making money, then stick around. I’ve got more to share with you on this blog post.
If you’re OK being one of the 90+% of bloggers out there who make less than a dollar a day blogging, feel free to leave.
If you’re OK with using your time tweaking Adsense tags or finding new places to stuff affiliate links all around your blog, you can go now.
If you’re OK living on the content hamster wheel, where you constantly have to just create new content over and over and over again, spending what’s left of your time “engaging” on social media and dreaming up new “epic” content… all to make roughly 1% of your monthly page views back in income (which is pretty average)… then by all means, hit that back button and have fun out there.
I’m here to play a different game.
I like to do what works.
If you are as well, let’s get started…
This Is A Road Map For Real Blog Monetization
What follows is a road map to how to really make money blogging. It is powerful, it is based on tried and true principles, and it is efficient.
This is a business system.
It also happens to be based on the same kind of business system that you’ve seen all over the place. You’ve seen countless online businesses do it, but you will have seen it in a ton of offline businesses as well. Everything from Amazon to insurance to car dealerships – you name it.
To preface this system, let’s lay a few ground rules…
- Realize the truth that blogs don’t make money. Businesses make money.
- Money will get made by gaining customers.
- The only way to gain a customer is to sell them something.
- In order to sell them something, you’ll need to gain their attention first.
A business makes money by solving a problem for people or filling a demand. It does this via a product or service.
But, let’s look at what most bloggers are trying to do to monetize…
Banner ads, you say?
Child’s play. And an incredible waste of traffic, because your only hope to making decent money with banners is to attract a ton of traffic (we’re talking thousands of visitors daily). And trust me, by the time you’ve done the work to make that happen, you could be making multiple times the amount of revenue if you were selling something directly than by sending them to somebody else’s site for a few pennies.
The average revenue for a thousand banner ad views, industry wide, is $2.80 (and dropping all the time). Now, considering that you’re likely going through an ad network of some kind who will take around 30% of the revenue, that means you’re getting about 70% of it. Which means for 1,000 views on your site, you make around $1.96. It doesn’t take a math wizard to see the tragedy of that one. Plus, so much of it depends on the market, so many bloggers earn far less than even that.
Affiliate marketing, you say?
Yeah, that works. But, thing is… those affiliate marketers who make good money are VERY well aware of this business model. They use it even though the product isn’t their’s. Those who don’t… the ones who just plaster a few affiliate links on the blog and cross their fingers… well, they don’t usually make much money at all.
Plus, we must keep in mind that making an affiliate sale is giving somebody else a customer – not you.
Affiliate marketing isn’t really a business. I look at it as a profit maximizer. But, it isn’t a pathway to sustainability in most cases.
So, OUR plan is to turn your blog into a true business platform.
The 3 Ways To Grow Any Business
This comes from Jay Abraham, a very well known business executive and author.
There are 3 ways to grow a business…
- Get more customers.
- Increase the number of sales each customer makes.
- Increase the average value of a sale.
In order to do that, there is a business machine behind the blog that is intended to sell. Each of these 3 growth levers are built right into the design of the business model. The blog may be the public face – and a very effective one. But, the formula is simple…
[highlight]BLOG + BUSINESS MACHINE = $$$$$[/highlight]
It is similar to an iceberg. There is the part that you see above water and then the part that is hidden beneath the surface. The blog and the business machine behind it work together. The blog has the task of attracting people as well as segmenting people into groups based on their interest, and the business machine has the job of selling.
There are different tools and strategies that come into play at different parts of the model.
Most bloggers spend most (or all) of their time working on the stuff above the proverbial water line. The stuff below that water line tends to be the stuff “internet marketers” do. In reality, however, those are simply the tools of business.It is time to tear down this artificial line between blogging and marketing.Click To Tweet
If you want to provide real value for people and solve people’s problems and make money doing it, then both things co-exist. They’re not even separated. Blogging IS marketing.
So, let’s see how this all works…
The Blog Monetization Model
When you go out there to figure out how bloggers make money, a lot of things will come up. Things like:
- Premium content
- Online courses
- Affiliate programs
- Banner advertising (like Google Adsense)
- Sponsored posts
- Being a for-hire freelance blogger
However, it all can feel quite random. Throw in all of the strategies that are supposed to make it all work (email marketing, content marketing, etc.) and it can feel like a true maze to figure out how successful bloggers make this work.
What we need is a true business model. A model which brings things together and focuses on real fundamentals. Earning money as some kind of media outlet (using advertising and other traffic-based income streams) is typical of the blogger mindset. However, if we focus on building a real business and not a blog, things get easier.Forget all the seemingly random blog monetization strategies. Instead, focus on building a real business model around your blog.Click To Tweet
So, let’s begin with a bird’s eye view of our business model for blogs…
That’s the global view. Let us now go through each section of it together so you will understand how this works.
Step By Step Through The Business Model
Let us now walk through the whole business model, from the top down and step by step. Starting with the thing which it all depends on…
Proven Product/Market Fit
This comes first because it is so crucial. And the reason a lot of bloggers fall on their face is because they skipped right over it and headed straight into setting up their blog.
“Blog monetization” – the way it is traditionally done – usually fails because the whole basis of the blog wasn’t based on a solid product/market fit. It was based solely on an interest or passion – and that isn’t good enough. Anybody who advises you to start your online business solely based on your passion is just blowing fairy dust up your butt.Anybody who advises you to start your online business solely based on your passion is just blowing fairy dust up your butt.Click To Tweet
No amount of work is going to magically create good income if you’re in a crappy market.
At the core, the basis of any business is a pretty simple thing. Your business is designed to deliver an outcome. In much of the training I do, I refer to this as the transformation.
This is a kind of before and after, but in the context of whatever your business is delivering. In the nutritional and diet market, the transformation is obvious. Very often they literally show the transformation with before and after photos. But, this before and after is found in all markets.
What people are looking for, searching for, and BUYING is ultimately found on what sits on the other end of that transformation. They’re seeking an outcome. People don’t buy products, they buy outcomes.
When the transformation you deliver is known, it maps out beautifully to everything else. Product ideas and even blog content begin to fall into place. There is alignment.
With this in mind, the essence of product/market fit is finding that group of hungry people (people who are actively seeking a transformation or outcome) and then finding out what product they are looking for. Within this exercise, we would use various tools and exercises to determine how big the market is and what kind of prices will work. We will also delve into the head of the people in this market to find out exactly how they think and envision this transformation for themselves.
This entire business model is contingent on having an offer that your target market wants. As we travel the Online Business Roadmap together and I help you build your business, we do not start with blogging. We begin with what I call the minimum site framework and our sole mission is to prove your product/market fit.
Having your product/market fit down forms the foundation of everything else.
[highlight]For more specific information, read: Ultimate Guide To Choosing Your Niche: Finding A Good Market For You[/highlight]
Next Up: Your Traffic Source(s)
This machine that you build is going to be fueled by traffic. Traffic is your gas. That traffic comes from a number of “gas stations” that go by the name of Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, etc.
Your traffic can come from anywhere. It could be online videos you’ve posted, podcast episodes, guest posts, syndication on sites like SlideShare or Medium, your various social profiles, search engine optimization efforts…. and yes, even paid advertising. You don’t have to be doing all of this stuff at the same time. Some traffic sources will be better than others for you.
Getting traffic can feel pretty difficult. It is especially hard to get off the starting line. Once you get some momentum, then your traffic begins to snowball and things become easier. But, those early days can feel impossible.
The good news is that this very business model SOLVES your traffic problem.The good news is that this very business model SOLVES your traffic problem.Click To Tweet
Let me explain. 🙂
Most bloggers rely almost exclusively on SEO, lots and lots of content, social sharing and perhaps a side of guest posting. Kicking that off from zero is an uphill fight. Trying to solve a traffic problem this way is like farting upwind. SEO is very much a long-term play and it is also hit-and-miss. And social media is turning more and more into a “pay to play” environment. Facebook, for instance, has decreased organic reach of standard Facebook posts substantially, to the point that sharing something to your Facebook page with 1,000 fans may only result in as little as 50 of them actually seeing it.
The absolute most predictable and reliable way to get traffic is to buy it. To pay to reach the exact kind of people you want to reach.
This is literally the difference between growing your own vegetables versus just going to the grocery store to buy it. Most bloggers today are doing the equivalent of growing their own garden. And most don’t have a “green thumb” so it dies or never gets off the ground to start with. Other people (the smart ones) just go to the traffic store and buy traffic.
The only way to be able to spend money on traffic without going broke is to be making some money on the other end. That’s exactly what this model provides. This blog business model literally fuels itself.
If your funnel has things a person can buy, then it allows you to pay to acquire them. For instance, if you knew that for every 100 people who came through your funnel, you’d make $10… then that means you could spend up to $10 to send those 100 people to your funnel and you wouldn’t be losing any money. Yet, those people are getting onto your list and maybe becoming a reader of your blog (and potential future buyer) even if they’re one of the 99 who didn’t buy.
But, don’t worry. This isn’t as hard as it might seem. At this point, just realize that a fully developed blog-based business is going to utilize both organic (free) and paid traffic. And all of it points to your main hub – your blog.
And that’s our next step…
[highlight]For more specific information, read: Ultimate Blog Traffic Guide: The Straight Talk About Building Traffic And Getting Visitors To Your Blog[/highlight]
Your WordPress Blog As The Hub
At the core of this system is your “home base”. That’s going to be your blog. It is the hub of the entire thing.
But, this isn’t just a blog full of opinions, rants and pictures of your vacation. No, we’re talking about a blog which is specifically set up for conversions. The name of the game of your blog is a very simple funnel:
- Attract people with awesome, helpful content designed around the things they’re seeking.
- Get them into your funnel by getting them to connect with you through a highly specific “next step”.
Your blog will most definitely lead with value. You’re giving away your best and you’re not holding back. As an example, behold this very post. 🙂
To really grasp what we’re doing here, it might even be best to stop calling it a blog at all. The word “blog” suggests that we’re interested in readers, comments, followers and shares.
Instead, we’re building a strategic and engineered content marketing environment. Every post is created with a purpose. Every design element is put there for a specific marketing aim. It might be using WordPress and have all the trappings of a blog, but this is done with more intention.
This is your marketing hub. Your business platform. Your home base.
I don’t even suggest that you launch right into routine, frequent blogging. That’s not strategic. I personally execute what I call The Redwood Strategy. This is a highly efficient content strategy that will have you spending less time blogging, yet have highly optimized and brag-worthy content your prospects will love. You also want to take the time to really craft each post (see the anatomy of the perfect blog post) because – remember – it is there to serve a function for your business, not simply fulfill a spot on your calendar.
Your primary goal will usually be to get them to become a lead. This means we’re putting them on our email list. Sometimes we may also use things like event registrations or even to engage with chatbots. But, the main point is to move them from “random person on the internet” to an actual subscriber that you can reach out to further.
The last element that requires explanation is our retargeting list.
It is par for the course that not everybody who visits your site is going to subscribe and become a lead. However, retargeting allows us to capture all of our traffic into a pool of people that we can then reach using paid advertising. As Retargeter defines it…
Site-based retargeting is the practice of serving ads to people who visit your website after they leave. These ads appear on a variety of other sites around the web, keeping your brand in front of your bounced site visitors in an attempt to bring them back.
No doubt you’ve seen this before. It is quite easy to do (and surprisingly affordable). It turns your site into a big wide net, capturing anonymous users into this pool of people that you can then reach again. You don’t know who they are. But, it gives you the ability to reach them again and bring them back.
You can use those retargeting ads to bring them back to your blog, direct to a landing page, or any other thing you think might be of interest that can get them engaged. This retargeting is done using Facebook, Google, or any number of ad networks that provide this ability. It is incredibly common.
A properly engineered blog-based business will be capturing all traffic into these retargeting audiences – even segmenting them into sub-audiences based on the pages they visit. It is very powerful and very much enhances the power of your blog as the hub of your business.
The primary purpose of your blog is to elevate a person’s status from an anonymous person on the internet to a known person who has risen their hand in interest of what you do. A lead is simply an individual with an interest in what you are selling.
A person can “raise their hand” in a number of ways:
- Subscribe to your email list (by far, the most common and important form of lead acquisition)
- Sign up for a webinar
- Call your place of business
- Take a quiz or free test (usually, again, in exchange for an email)
- Engage with a chatbot, live chat, Messenger, etc.
All of these mean that the person has reached. It means you now have the ability to get them to know, like and trust you. You have the ability to engage with them and strengthen the relationship. All of this is important in order for them to be a real prospect for what your business machine will offer.
Very commonly we will offer what is called a lead magnet in order to entice them to subscribe. It means just what it says… it is a magnet designed to attract leads. It is something specific that they can download in order to solve some problem or give them something they want. It could be a PDF download, a video, a course, a book, a webinar… all of it is fair game.
One thing that is important to keep in mind, however, is that you do NOT need big giveaways to be an effective lead magnet. In fact, usually the smallest lead magnets win. The key is specificity. The more specific the lead magnet in terms of what it is promising, the better. It will usually convert better – PLUS it better sets up the person for a paid offer.
The goal isn’t just to put people into our email list. The goal is to attract the right people most likely to be interested in what you sell.
You can control this by the nature of the lead magnet and how it is paired up with the offer.
You will then offer these opt-in opportunities via forms on your blog. Those forms are positioned in places where they are most likely to take action. The most effective location for opt-in is right within the blog post. Often called a “content upgrade”, it is an opt-in for a highly relevant lead magnet that is specific to the page they’re on. For instance, you’re now reading about lead magnets, so this is a suitable place for me to include this content upgrade for a free download of 45 lead magnet ideas:
Many people also place relevant opt-ins at the top of a blog post, the bottom of a blog post and the blog sidebar. The very top of the blog (right below the header) is another highly effective place to place an opt-in form.
The tool of choice for opt-in forms, in my opinion, is Thrive Leads (offered by Thrive Themes). This fantastic plug-in enables you to design any kind of opt-in you want, test different forms to see what works better, easily position them anywhere on your blog. It even offers some conveniences like lead magnet delivery.
Aside from opt-in forms on your blog, you will be making use of landing pages. A landing page is simply any page that people “land” on by clicking on another link. It is a single-purpose page designed to accomplish one specific goal. For instance, here’s the landing page for my weekday newsletter called The EDGE:
Notice how this page has no menu items, no sidebar – no distractions. It has a single purpose – to get somebody to opt-in for The Daily.
Your blog-based business will make use of many different landing pages for different purposes. My tool of choice to design these pages is Thrive Architect (also from Thrive Themes). I have designed all of my own landing pages with Architect and I highly recommend it.
So, your blog will be your marketing hub, as we discussed. And on that hub, you’ll have a combination of optimized blog posts and landing pages. All of which is ultimately designed to acquire leads.
From there, they enter… the business machine. 🙂
[highlight]For more specific information, read: Ultimate Guide To Building An Email List: List Building That Works And Makes You Money[/highlight]
Monetization In The Business Machine
The business machine is just a term I use to describe the money-making backend of your blog. It is the part of your site that makes sales. In many cases, readers of your blog will never really see it. After all, it is really only relevant once they’ve become a lead. You may have sales pages for your products visible on your site, but typically there’s not much in the way of marketing taking place until they’ve become a lead.
This machine is essentially a sales funnel. Over time, it will present a graduated series of offers to your prospect when the time is right for them. Designed well, this is actually part of achieving product/market fit. Your business may ultimately offer different products, but we want to offer the one which is the best fit for the individual seeing it.
Your business machine, when fully developed, will have different levels of offer (with increasing prices) presented in the order that makes sense for the customer. These 3 levels are:
- The front-end offer. Usually a “no brainer” offer designed simply to turn a lead into a customer. The entire purpose here is simply customer acquisition.
- The core offer. This is your main offer. In my approach, I am a huge fan of the membership site for one’s core offer (explained below).
- High-end offer. Some more expensive offer that increases the overall customer valuer. Popular options include coaching, done-for-you service, etc.
These are broad classifications of offer types and not a strict template. For instance, not all businesses really need a front-end offer. Sometimes, you might not offer “high end” offers, but instead use bundles or other cross-sells to increase your transaction size. Nothing is set in stone here, but the idea is to remember the 3 ways to grow a business listed above. These 3 funnel levels are designed around them.
The funnel is listed in graduated order. For instance, if a person just bought your front-end offer, they should immediately see your core offer next.
More on The Front-End Offer
There is a HUGE difference between a person who opted into a list just to get a freebie and a person who has bought something from you. So, there is a definite value to your business’s growth to increase the number of buyers as much as you can.
This is where the front-end offer comes in.
This offer is presented to them right after they opt in for the lead magnet. This product doesn’t have to be big at all. In fact, it can work against you if it is.
The front-end offer should be specifically targeted to a specific problem, with a specific solution. It should be closely related to the lead magnet (because they obviously already demonstrated interest), and it should be priced in “impulse buy” territory. In many markets, prices of $10 or less are within “impulse buy” territory. People don’t usually have to think all that hard about spending less than $10.
The amount of money which changes hands here isn’t really all that important. The real purpose of the front-end offer is to fundamentally change the relationship with that person. They’re now a customer.
You’ve seen these offers all around you:
- One dollar trial offers
- Free books, just pay for shipping and handling.
- Cheap Kindles (because they know you’ll buy books on it)
- Cheap oil changes (because you know they’re going to upsell you)
- Get 10 CDs for a penny and then be enrolled in a monthly CD club (remember the old BMG music days?)
Make the front-end offer as irresistible as you can. The goal is to maximize the percentage of new leads who buy it (that’s your “conversion rate”).
Your Membership Site Offer (Or Core Offer)
The core of your business will be your core offer. As Wikipedia defines it:
A core product is a company product or service that is most directly related to its core competencies. The core product enable the use, benefit or problem-solving service for which the consumer is purchasing the product.
Essentially, then, your core offer is your main product which enables the transformation that your business is centered around. For this site, for instance, my core offer is THE LAB.
So, your core offer could be a training course, a service, consulting, etc. However, my absolute favorite format for a core offer is the membership site.
There are many different ways to put together a membership site. As a platform, this is one of the few ways that you can actually turn a blog into your true “place of business”. You can sell any product or course directly on your site, using any pricing model you want, using a membership site platform. Personally, I use MemberMouse on this site.
When most people hear “membership site”, they think of monthly or annual recurring billing. While I don’t generally recommend one jump right into this (you should sell a few one-time things first), this is where I think you should aim. Monthly recurring revenue is the “holy grail” of online business. This provides a sustainable, growth-oriented business model. As long as you have more members joining than who cancel, you’re on a growth trend. And the revenue can really add up.
For instance, let’s take a small membership site with the following assumptions:
- 5% Member Churn (which means about 5% of members cancel each month)
- Average of 20 new members per month
Here’s how the revenue would add up:
Within a year, this program would be earning a steady $3,665.74 per month. And it would just keep going. Keep in mind, too, that this revenue wouldn’t include any front-end sales and no back-end (high end) sales. This is just steady revenue. There are also a number of things you can do to tweak the revenue outcome in your favor, such as offering annual memberships, limited-time bonus offers, or even split-testing the price.
The compounding effect of a membership site and knowing your numbers gives you some real power. In the above model, a monthly rate of $30 instead of $20 would have you making about $5,500/month by the end of month 12. When you consider front-end sales and backend sales that would be natural in this business, you in essence would have a six figure business by the end of a year.
See the power of this?
The membership site model is the ideal business platform for a blog. For one, we’re creating content anyway so this is just a natural extension. Second, it literally turns your blog into your business. But, it is also highly leveraged since you can then splinter off any piece of content from the membership into a front-end offer. Two birds, one stone. 🙂
[highlight]For more specific information, read: Membership Sites: 6 Reasons Why You Should Turn Your Blog Into A Membership Site To Make Money[/highlight]
Higher-End Offers and Profit Maximizers
Once somebody buys your core offer, you don’t want that to be the end. After all, it is always easier to sell to your existing customers than acquire new ones. Plus, increasing the average customer value is the 3rd way to grow a business (see above).
There are a number of ways you can go about this:
- Make a high-end offer, at a higher price point. Coaching or a service offer is popular.
- Make followup sales.
- Promote complementary affiliate products and earn commissions.
When you buy a burger at McDonalds, you’re asked “want fries with that?”. That’s an upsell. When you go to buy any product at Amazon, you’ll see the “Frequently Bought Together” option which lists 3 products you can buy as a bundle. Buy a laptop at Best Buy and you’re offered a support contract or warranty.
These are profit maximizers. They’re intended to do just that… maximize the profit.
You can do this, too. Can you bundle a second product in with the first for a higher price? Can you offer some back end offer to your members, such as the option to hop on the phone with you?
Automated Followup & Retargeting
Each step of your funnel has email marketing campaign(s) that go along with it. This is where your autoresponder sequence comes in. It is just a series of emails you’ve written in advance which get delivered to people in that specific part of your funnel.
We also, once again, use retargeting (optionally) to back up the offer which they are seeing at that stage of the funnel. So, the whole process works like this:
- They become a lead through an opt-in.
- They are immediately put onto an email sequence of emails that lead them toward buying the front-end offer which matches that lead magnet. Simultaneously, they will see that offer on your site.
- If they don’t buy right away (and most won’t), your emails are sent to them so you have the ability to make that sale in the future.
- Simultaneously, they are also added to a special retargeting pool specific to that offer. The result is that they may now see ads for that front-end offer on Facebook or via Google Ads while also getting emails about the same. These multiple touch points make it more likely they’ll convert.
This automated marketing will last for some appropriate length of time. For a cheap front-end offer, I wouldn’t go more than 2-3 days on it. For a core offer, the followups might go on longer. Over time, you can slow down, email them less frequently, or disable retargeting.
If at any point they purchase, they move to the next level in your funnel and begin again.
So, your entire business machine is comprised of multiple platforms, WordPress plugins and tools working together:
- Landing pages (built with Thrive Architect or some other page builder) to present the actual offers.
- Your email list (I prefer marketing automation with Drip, although Aweber is a great tool for those just getting started)
- Retargeting via Facebook or Google Ads or any other retargeting network you prefer. Retargeting is optional, but it helps.
Some people may even combine the use of Facebook Messenger and a chatbot (built with Manychat) to help move their funnel along. You can also use evergreen on-demand webinars using something like EasyWebinar. There are a lot of tools you can use here and you certainly don’t need them all.
The goal here is to make the sale. And you want to automate it as best as you can. Put in the work to design the business machine and perfect it over time. As it gets more effective, that’s how you begin to have a business which “makes money while you sleep” so to speak. Passive income is alive and well, but you have to build it first. 🙂
[highlight]For more specific information, read: 7 Ways To Use Your Autoresponder to Get More Traffic And More Money[/highlight]
Ongoing Community Engagement
It is a simple fact of life that not everybody is going to buy from you. Statistically, a majority of people who you make an offer to aren’t going to take you up on it.
Thing is, they make take you up on it later. I’ve had people sit on my list for months – even years – before ever buying from me. You just never know when and why. One day, something you say just strikes a chord and they decide to buy. Thing is, if you’re not following up with them regularly and maintaining that line of communication, then you’re going to lose out.
This is where ongoing community engagement comes in and why it is so fundamental to how your business must work.
Whether somebody buys from your or not, your goal is to continue and strengthen that relationship over time. You want to continue to provide value and re-engage them with you and your brand. You want to bring them back to your site over and over again.
This is done using any number of ways to keep your community engaged:
- New blog content
- Email broadcasts and newsletters
- Live chat, Messenger lists, chatbots
- Social media updates
- Live video
Most of this is nothing new to the average blogger. We know we want to keep people engaged. However, we also want to do it with our business machine in mind, too. 🙂
See, the big picture purpose is that, ideally, we’ll get members of our community to re-enter our business machine and buy something else. We want repeat sales. That’s the business goal.
To that end, our community engagement will do more than simply send people back to our blog posts and send newsletters. We also want to circle back and re-engage them into our funnels. For instance:
- Send them to landing pages for other lead magnets they haven’t gotten yet. If they opt-in, it engages them in another funnel around that theme and they may buy.
- Send them to targeted blog posts with targeted calls to action.
- Occasionally send them direct offers, special offers, flash sale offers, etc.
- Send them surveys and other questions designed to help you segment your list, learn more about them, and perhaps match them up with followup offers.
You will do this while building your relationship, offering value and being as helpful as you can. Marketers that do nothing but pitch offers and affiliate products to their email list only harm their relationship. It is all take and no give. That’s not a well-executed engagement strategy and can really hurt your business over time.
Your community is the life blood of your business. Take care of them. Only try to sell them what’s right for them. Be as helpful as you can. They’ll reward you for it.
That’s The Overview. What’s Next?
The Blog Monetization Model that we’ve just gone through is the big picture of how to build a reliable, sustainable online business around your blog. It simply works.
What we’ve just done is an overview. As you might expect, there are definitely specifics that go into building each portion of this business model. For instance:
- How do you structure each element of your blog to turn it into a strategic content marketing environment?
- How do you craft offers people will actually want to buy?
- How do you sell to people while not coming across as too pushy?
- How do you build, market and maintain a membership site?
- How do you craft content that powers this whole thing
I couldn’t possibly cover everything in one article. This one is already long enough! 😉
The real answer, however, is THE LAB. The Lab is our training and community platform for blog owners like yourself. Inside, I create full training courses which are aligned around building this very business model. All of it is oriented around The Online Business Roadmap.
The Roadmap is the 5-phase plan which moves Academy students from zero (no list, no blog, no product, no traffic)… all the way to scalable, money-making operation. The Roadmap takes students step-by-step through the Lab training library so you never lose sight of what you should be working on – and when.
It usually feels rather overwhelming to build something like this from scratch.
My goal has always been to make things simple. Blogging for business… simplified.
I hope this graphical model gives a better oversight into how all this stuff works at the big picture level.
Now, it is time to build it.