Marketers often talk about this concept of the avatar, but very often people new to the business are confused by what it is, how to use it, and how to make it up. In this episode, we discuss the reader avatar and how to actually develop it. Doing so will allow you to create much more effective content as well as products your audience will actually want down the road.
We take a minute to pause and look at the big picture of where we are with the Coffee Break Blogging series. In this episode I share with you the big vision of the show, review the full 7 stages we will be going through, and take stock of where we are now.
Hello and welcome back to Coffee Break Blogging where we are going to continue on our series to creating and growing a profitable blog-based business online.
Now actually, what we are going to do today is we are going to take a quick pit stop in our series and we are going to review where we are at. And also; it occurred to me that I have probably not done a super-fantastic job of explaining exactly how this podcast is going to be working, so let me try and do that now.
How This Works
See, this podcast as some of you guys may know, used to be called The Blog Program. And it started way back at Episode 1, obviously. And it was a very different type of idea then. The episodes were longer and the topics were a little bit all over the board, to be honest with you. And then I went into a hiatus; at least on a couple of occasions, really because I have not yet developed a really good system for continuing with the podcast and feeling as if I was creating something of lasting value to people. So toward the end of last year, which should be 2014, (which is kind of weird that I am calling it “last year” because this is just the beginning of the New Year at least as of the time I am recording this) I set out to re-define the podcast and I started off with Episode 30. That was when I announced that I was going to make some changes with the podcast and very shortly thereafter; either Episode 31 or 32 I believe, where I officially started calling it Coffee Break Blogging.
Now the idea behind Coffee Break Blogging is very simple. First of all, I often drink a cup of coffee while I am recording it. 😉 I like coffee like a lot of people do. A lot of times I drink a cup of Bulletproof. Have you tried the bulletproof coffee where you put grass-fed butter in it and a little bit of oil? It’s actually really good. It might sound a little odd but it is one of the best cups of coffee you have ever had in your life. If you are not familiar with it, just go to Google and type in “bulletproof coffee” you will learn all about it.
Anyway, so I am often having a cup of coffee while I record it but the other thing is; that I am shortening the episodes whereas, The Blog Program used to be 30 to 40 minutes a piece. The average length of a Coffee Break Episode is 10-15 minutes and that’s about it. Now, the other thing that I am doing is that now all of these episodes go in a particular sequence. They go in an order.
Every single episode, I start off by saying that “we are going to continue on our series to creating and growing a profitable blog-based information online” (I had to read it on my screen because it is kind of something that I wrote for myself) Now, the thing is that is exactly what this is. This is not just a standard podcast where everything is kind of random that whenever I feel like talking about it in any particular episode. It actually goes in order. It goes in an orderly series and the entire aim of the series in the long term is going to be to create and grow a profitable blog-based information business online… from scratch. And that is where we got started.
We got started in the early 30’s in terms of episode numbers. I started off with Episode 30. I think, certainly by 33 or 34 I started to get in with a regular rhythm with regard to moving forward in the series. Now the series is more or less taped out for the several months in the future and it is all based on something that I call “The 7 Stages of Building an Online Business.” Now I am going to quickly run through what these stages are and you can link; if you go to the show notes for this episode, over at the Blog Marketing Academy, click on “Podcast” at the top and you will see all of the episodes right there. And you could go and look at the show notes for them. So a link to this is a big Infographic that I have created. It is The 7 Stages of Building an Online Business.
The Different Stages
Now, what we have been doing here in this podcast up until this point, Episode 45, is we have been working on stage 1. Stage 1 is the foundation where the primary purpose of Stage 1 is to identify your market, the problem that you intend to solve, your avatar and what your solution is going to be. The whole idea of Stage 1 is that you’ll know what the transformation is that you are going to be in the business of delivering to people. You are going to know who you are going to be serving and how you are going to teach them to do it. Now that is the minimum viable product of Stage 1.
Now, are you going to have every exact thing figured out at this point in terms of every single specifics of your product and things like that? No, you’re not. This is Stage 1. But you should have some idea of the solution that you are going to propose to people and you should have a really good idea of the problem that you are going to help them solve and who you are going to serve, and how you are going to be reaching them. This was all the stuff that we talked about in the last several episodes of the series where we talked about Finding Your Niche and Researching Your Target Audience. In the last episodes we talked about your Avatar, we have talked about Developing Your Business Model. These are all very important fundamentals to go into Stage 1 of the 7 Stages of Building an Online Business.
So that is where we are at. As we say here today, at Episode 45 of Coffee Break Blogging, (it’s weird how I have a hard time saying that, verbally!) we are now about to wrap up Stage 1. And we are going to move in to Stage 2.
Now, Stage 2 is what is called Platform. What we are going to be doing on Stage 2 is talking more about the actual set up of your blog. The branding, your logo, setting up your various core pages, creating your blog posts, creating core landing pages, internal links; basically all the things that are more of in the area of creating content and the mechanics of setting up your blog. That is what we are going to be talking about in the next episodes of Coffee Break Blogging, coming up. Now that is Stage 2 with regard to our platform. And the goal that we are going for on Stage 2 is that your blog is going to be set up. It is going to be populated with some core content. It is going to be aligned around that transformation. Go back to Episode 42 where I talked about the Transformation Map. That was a very important episode. And lastly, you are going to be ready to actually begin serving your prospects.
Now in Stage 2, I am not saying that we are going to get all the set up before you ever tell anybody about your blog. I am not a big believer in an endless road of preparation for some type of a launch. In fact, the entire idea of a launch for a blog is usually a little stupid because really, the launch is a “non-event”. Nobody knows about it yet. So, you know, as far as getting out there and generating traffic and all that; you can definitely start doing that but we are going to be talking about in the next many episodes about the various aspect of the setup of your blog, the design, the branding, the content and a lot of those various things.
I am going to quickly run through some of the other stages that are coming up that we are going to be eventually getting through in Coffee Break Blogging…
Stage 3 is about your email list. We are going to be talking about developing lead magnets and lead funnels and building up your follow up sequences.
Stage 4 we are going to be talking about traffic building. Obviously, traffic is the lifeblood of an online business. Without traffic, it’s literally would be like your body’s heart shutting down and it ain’t going to live. So we are going to be talking a lot about syndicating channels, social media profiles and effectively promoting on social media. We are going to be talking about videos; we are going to be talking about podcasting like what I am doing right now. We are going to get in to paid traffic funnels because I believe that paid traffic is where we need to be… (Quite frankly) I think a lot of bloggers get stuck into the mindset of doing everything for free. But the thing is, when you have a legitimate blog profit funnel set up, you can actually afford to do paid traffic and you will not be losing money. It is all a manner of having some offers on the table and tracking your Analytics, which is all stuff that we are going to get down into. We are also going to be talking about building out your editorial calendar and planning out your content marketing. Very important in terms of traffic building and we will be talking a little bit about guest posting and things like that.
Now, Stage 5 is about delivery. All of these come down to delivering to your customers and collecting money for it. So when it comes to Stage 5 we are going to be getting down into delivering that promised transformation in whatever way that makes the most sense for your business whether that be a membership site, a simple eBook, doing coaching; whatever. We are going to be talking a little bit about sales funnels. We are going to be talking about creating our products.
We are going to talk about making offers also known as “monetization” but not in the typical context that many bloggers have it where we are littering our blog with banner ads and stuff like that.
Banner ads can work but generally you are chasing chop change. I am not a big believer of wasting a lot of time with banner ads. I am a big believer in developing a real business around what we are doing because that is sustainable in the long term.
More of it…
Now, once you have got in through stages 1 through 5 of the 7 stages, you pretty much got all the core components set up. And you are going to be doing this over time and you are going to get better at all these things, too. But by the time you got to Stage 5, you have got a proven concept, you have actually got traffic coming through the door and you are actually making offers and making money. So at this point, you have got a fully operational online business.
But there are 2 more stages, but they are more growth oriented stages because Stage 6 is all about growth. This is all about tweaking what you are already doing and getting better at it. This just comes down to building additional traffic funnels, tweaking your conversion rates, perfecting your offers and even making more offers. Also delivering the transformation more efficiently and just perfecting your game. That all comes under Stage 6 and Stage 7 is all about expansion. This is usually when you are getting a more mature business, you start thinking about systematizing what you are doing, outsourcing to Virtual Assistants, doing joint venture with affiliates; things like that. All more advance stuff that when you are starting out, you don’t need to worry about any of it. Maybe VAs at some point, we’ll talk about that down the road. But that is all stuff that I am generally putting under Stage 7.
So that is kind of where we stand here with Coffee Break Blogging. If you are not actually subscribed to the podcast, I definitely recommend that you do get actually subscribed to it so it is actually downloaded to your phone automatically because these episodes do go in order. If you listen to them out of sequence you will get value from each episode but it is not going to be the actual logical beginning to end sequence of starting up your business from scratch and building it forward.
So that is the primary reason why I definitely recommend that you not only subscribe but become a regular listener. And I really hope you will continue to find that value here at Coffee Break Blogging. I hope that you go to iTunes and leave reviews for me. It helps me expose this to more people. I love creating these things for you; it’s just a lot of fun. It is also great for me now that I have developed a really system for creating it. So I am not going to run into the problems that I had in 2014 where I just kind of let the thing go. It is not going to happen this time around because I am really getting a take and I know exactly where we are heading with these things.
So that is where we are in Coffee Break Blogging. I think I blabbed long enough about it and I hope to see you in the next episode; Episode 46, where we will get started with Stage 2 of our overall plan of action here and we will start talking a little about “Where To Host Your Blog”. Okay?
I’ll see you then! 😉
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