I recently had an epiphany that I just had to fess up to, and that’s the fact that I truly love my freedom and flexibility working from home. With that said, I have made a conscious decision to make sure that I balance what I do and how I do it to ensure that I manage multiple streams of income successfully, without compromising the various entities in which I do so.
The truth is, not everyone can do this. One of the downfalls of working from home is the challenge of getting caught up in the “shiny object syndrome”, while abandoning one source of income in chase of another. This my friends can lead to an epic fail and cause something that we know all to well to occur in your life, called burn out.
I’ve been there a time or two, and I know it’s because I’ve always been in the “chase mode”. Launching this new project, or this new business… on a 90-day run here or a 21-day challenge there.
Honestly, I’m getting too old for being in “chase mode” ALL THE TIME, and realize that “focus, consistency and being steady wins the race”.
I’m always reminded of the story of the tortoise and the hare, where the rabbit was too fast for it’s own good and had gotten comfortable taking a nap in the middle of the race, all to wake up and find the slow but steady tortoise crossing the finish line.
When I assess my Internet career, I’ve been at this since late 2007. And I can admit that I’ve had the tortoise mentality all too often. “Let me hurry up and build this business. Or let me hit the leader boards in this company”. And in the end, those different opportunities have come and gone but at the end of the day, my blog and its various income sources will be here as long as I continue to nurture it. So I’ve finally made the decision to do just that.
So what am I doing now you may be asking? Honestly, it’s nothing new. The thing is, I’ve simply made a decision to do what I’ve always desired to do, but never took the time consistently to get it done. And that’s to build my blog up as a powerful income-generating asset.
You see, I’ve had a blog since 2008. The name and design have changed multiple times, but the message hasn’t. That message has consistently been, “how to create a career working from home”.
My audience has pretty much been the same, and the content is evergreen, aside from a few software systems changing along the way.
The difference however, is that I haven’t done the best job with being consistent to build up the various building blocks that would allow me to build a powerful and lucrative blog based business.
So what is a blog based business you ask? I can’t say I have a formal definition, but in my mind this is what it is: “The ability to leverage a blog as a hub for various forms of e-commerce where information is given for free to an audience about a specific topic while providing various tools, resources, programs and guides that will convert into profit”.
There are various ways that someone can profit from a blog, but I’m going to focus today on the 3 ways in which I’ve decided to focus on monetizing my blog.
Here are the 3 key ways that I am turning this blog into a profit center:
- Affiliate Programs
- Personal Info Products
- Exclusive Boot Camps & Programs
There are obviously several ways that I can monetize the blog by doing things like Adsense, selling ad space, etc. but I believe in portioning things off, selecting a focus and building it out to see the greatest level of success.
So why did I select these 3 options?
Affiliate Programs: this has been my bread and butter since day 1, and had I been consistent with setting things in place, I would have been earning a strong 5 figure per month salary from this for years. Tools like hosting and email systems are essentials in our industry, and setting things up right to promote these various programs can do wonders over time. This is a huge focus of mine, to set up key passive income strategies for affiliate programs that I endorse and use consistently.
Personal Info Products: I have so many courses and programs that I put together that have helped so many people. I’ve just been bad at making them available for sale once the course has ended, which once again, has left so much money on the table. So I’m making a commitment to get all my existing courses up as soon as possible, so that it can be in evergreen status and available consistently to an audience that would love to pay to have access to many courses that I have taught over the years which are still relevant today.
Exclusive Boot Camps and Programs: every now and then, I am inspired to teach on something that has benefited me personally in my business. So this isn’t quite on the schedule yet to host an upcoming program, but I will get back to doing these in 2016.
First steps to success
In anything that you do, you must have a plan. My initial start to this project is to build a foundation of content that will be what we call “anchor posts”, which give a great level of information and insight on particular topics, and positioning this information to be discovered all throughout the search engines, so it can become a lead generation machine with the highest level of content.
The name of the game in this situation is FREE. You must give away high level, very value driven content for free that will give people confidence in you, and the willingness to share this content virally with others through social media, so that you can consistently attract new readers.
The second key focus is to provide a lead magnet, that will get these visitors to subscribe to your list, and be willing to spend more time with you moving forward, as they grow confident in learning from you and considering you a go to source for their needs in your niche.
So here’s how this looks:
- Goal #1: Create 3-5 pillar posts
- Goal #2: Create a strong lead magnet that will make people say “YES” to your offer.
Goal #1: What is a Pillar Post?
Pillar Posts are similar to anchor stores in a shopping center. Think about a local shopping center that you frequent, that has stores like Target, TJ Maxx, Ross, etc… usually, one of them is the anchor store, and in this case Target would be the driving force that gets people to visit the shopping center. As a result of them visiting Target, the likelihood of them visiting the other stores are pretty high. So most stores will put themselves in that shopping center to benefit from Target Traffic, which will bring business to everyone around.
Pillar Posts are the anchor stores where the information is so powerful and promising; that people begin to share the post with others and the content then goes viral. As a result of the Pillar Post, people will begin to look around the site for further information, which in turn will result to more eyes on the blog, more eyes on our resources and available products and more people potentially joining our email list.
Here’s an overview of Pillar Posts shared on http://bit.ly/pillarposts
What Is A Pillar?
A pillar is blog content, usually an article, which does some very important things:
- It will bring in a rush of new readers and backlinks (other sites linking to your blog).
- It will continue to bring in more readers over time as you and other people refer to it, even though it may be buried in the archives of your blog.
- Eventually it will bring in traffic from search engines (this is largely because so many other web pages link to it).
- You can list it in a separate area (like an articles/start page) with all your other pillars so your best content can easily be accessed and your value clearly demonstrated.
- It is not time dependent, so in twelve months’ time it will still be relevant and popular.
Another suggestion shared from the referred site listed above is this quote on how to leverage Pillar Posts:
“Write at least five major “pillar” articles. A pillar article is usually a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good “how-to” lesson. This style of article has long-term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.”
With this overview, the best way to identify what those pillar posts should be about is to identify the questions that most people have regarding your niche. In my case, my goal is to share with people my personal journey to create Passive Income while working from home, and supporting the lifestyle they desire, so I’ll be sharing content regarding steps to building this process out.
Goal #2: Develop a Powerful Lead Magnet
Honestly, this has gotten a bit old in our industry where people are truly over the “give me your email so I can spam you” kind of deal, so I’m going to be very strategic and value driven to where people are begging me to add them to my email list, so I’ll be sharing my lead magnet magic through the process of building this out!
Because I have a few other things going on outside of my blog, like my home based business, amongst a few other things, My current plan is to focus on blogging once per week but documenting step by step what I’m doing and why. This approach will help to fill everyone else in that follows me, so that they can begin implementing a similar approach if they’d prefer to, to build alongside of me in this process.
I have personal passive income goals right now, where I want to personally build up a consistent minimum income of $5k per week. To some this may seem small (because of my background) and to others this may seem like very ambitious goals (because the truth is, most people can’t get here overnight but I’ve been at this for over 8 years now), but I’ll share in another post, why I’ve selected this as my start number.
I will be documenting the process and putting a more in-depth overview in an upcoming community site, so stay tuned for that, and comment below with what you’d like to learn from me in this process.