How To Create A Profitable Blog.
That is probably the thing I am asked about the most.
It’s what we all want, right?
You don’t just want the fame, the fans and the free lipstick.
You also want to be able to replace (if not exceed) your full-time income with profit from your blogging.
And why not.
Blogging is super fun, and can be awesomely fulfilling, and yes it can be profitable too.
As long as you follow these 10 simple commandments.
How To Create A Profitable Blog #1 – Thou Will Know Thy Audience
Yes, yes, I know. I bang on about this a lot.
But one of the main differences between a blog that is a hobby and a blog that is a business is who it is aimed at.
If your blog is created mostly for your own shits and giggles, or as a place for you to pour out your heart, or vent your rage, or showcase your life. Then the person who benefits most from your blog is you. Which is rad. But it is then quite tricky (not impossible, just tricky) to turn that blog into something profitable.
Where as if your blog content is created to be useful or enrich the lives of a group of people other than yourself (and yes, the more specific that group as the better), then it’s actually kind of hard NOT to make money from it.
How To Create A Profitable Blog #2 – Thou Shalt Be Insanely Useful
So once you know who your blog is aimed at, aka who is going to benefit from the content you are gorgeously crafting. Then you now need to go an just be insanely useful to that person.
This really goes hand in hand with commandment #1, because the better you know your audience. What they like. What they hate. What they dream about. What scares them. What obstacles are in the way for them right now.
The easier you will be able to create insanely useful content for them.
And you know what happens when you create insanely useful content??
One-off readers become life time fans. And those fans tell their friend, and share those insanely useful things on their social media. And then Google thinks you are rad as well, and the slow moving snowball that is blog growth starts to pick up pace.
How To Create A Profitable Blog #3 – Thou Will Honor Thy Schedule
This isn’t just about when you post, or how often. Or what day you send your newsletter. Or how often you share things on Facebook.
No, this is also (and more importantly) about when you commit to your blog and carve out regular (and non-negotiable) time to work in and on your blog each week.
And even to the point of what you work on, when, in that pre-carved out time.
As much as a creative brain will normally push back on any kind or routine or structure at first. There is just far too much evidence that shows even creative types are more productive when they work to a schedule (and as time is precious… let’s not waste it OK?).
How To Create A Profitable Blog #4 – Thou Will Seek Out Blogging BFFs
Being crazy passionate about anything is normally easier if you have a tribe of people around you that “get it” (and you).
And this couldn’t be truer for blogging.
You need to find even just a handful of people who you can brain storm with, vent to, share ideas with and even team up with to create exciting things together.
Oh, and they are usually extra fun to drink wine at blogging events with, too!
How To Create A Profitable Blog #5 – Thou Shalt Give Away (most of) Thy Farm
When people are planning on making their money from selling information products, like eBooks, programs, coaching and online courses, there can be this fear that if you give away too much of your secret sauce then people won’t want or need to buy your products any more.
And yes, that is true… to a point.
If you solve their problem completely…then they won’t need to pay for your solution anymore.
But, you do need to still give a LOT for people to know that you are actually going to be able to help them.
For them to trust you, and what you have to offer.
And also to make you stand out from the other 99% of the Internet that is just regurgitating stuff and has nothing real to add.
You need to prove that you know your stuff.
And yes some people (actually most), will just take that free info and that’s it.
And you have to be OK with that (you are still helping them after all, and that’s not a bad thing).
But then there will be a good portion who want more.
More of you. More personal help. More structure. More next-level sauce.
I normally try and keep it to about 40/60. So I still keep 60% of the good stuff for my paying clients and paid products, and then I share 40% with my audience.
So don’t be scared to share the secret sauce, OK, there’s plenty to go around!
How To Create A Profitable Blog #6 – Thou Shalt Outsource & Systemise
Whether you are blogging full-time, or it’s just your side-hustle for now, you will already know that there are never enough hours in the day (or days in the week).
And there are definitely not enough hours for you to be wasting them on doing repetitive or dead-simple tasks (aka things an app, or a VA, or even a toddler could be doing… if you have one handy… just saying).
And I know saying “systemise” can be a scary word, but even if it’s as simple as creating a Google Drive Spreadsheet, which you book mark in your browser, and then saving all your hashtag groups, common links you paste etc.. into it (or you can create keyboard shortcuts).
Or creating canned responses in your email software, so any email responses that you write regularly, you are just cutting and pasting each time.
Or setting up email automations and automated follow ups for things like ad enquiries.
Or automating and bulk-scheduling a portion of you social media. Or getting someone else to do it for you.
It all comes down to making your 10 minute tasks, take only 5. And your 1 hour tasks, take only 40 mins. And collectively all that time you save can be used on more important things.
Things like doing the stuff that makes you money.
How To Create A Profitable Blog #7 – Thou Will Be Imperfect (& That’s Ok)
One of the main excuses I hear bloggers spout about why they haven’t done that very important thing they know they NEED to do. Is usually because they are worried it won’t be perfect. Or it won’t go perfectly.
They are worried their skills aren’t up to scratch yet (guess what, they only get better when you actually practice them).
They are worried things won’t go to plan (they never do, so move on).
They are worried people won’t like what ever it is they want to do (it could happen, but they will never get a chance to like it if you don’t do it. And if you do create something that flops, no worries, just learn from it, dust yourself off, and carry on)
Perfection is NOT the aim here.
There wouldn’t be a million memes on Pinterest dedicated to this very topic if it didn’t have at least a hint of truth to it.
And actually most successful entrepreneurs right now will tell you that it’s better to try something, something that is NOT perfect, test it, tweak it, try it again. And then when you know it works, THEN you polish it up and make it perfect (because you’ll waste a lot less time that way!).
How To Create A Profitable Blog #8 – Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbours Blog
Along the same lines as commandment 7, is the mortal sin of comparison-itis.
It can be crippling.
And the thing is it’s usually not all that accurate.
And it’s definitely not at all productive.
You see, you never really know what goes on behind the scenes of any blog or business.
How much work they really put in, how long they have hustled for. The things they have sacrificed.
I don’t care how rosey their Intagram profile is.
No one does this stuff without a little sweat and several tears.
So why get yourself into a tizz about someone else’s success?
You’ll get your own, don’t stress, as long as you don’t get derailed by stuff like this along the way that is.
How To Create A Profitable Blog #9 – Thou Shalt Create Thy Own Products
Repeat after me (as many times as you need for it so sink in!).
The only way to create a truly stable, profitable and scaleable online blogging business….
The type that truly gives you that dream life you are striving for….
…Is if you have something to sell.
Yes, there are people who make a lot of money off advertising, and affiliates, but they are usually SEO geniuses, or online marketing wunderkinds. or they have millions of visitors each month.
And also, it can all go away overnight.
So while I don’t think there is anything wrong with monetising that way, I truly believe that the best way to create a profitable blog is by creating products and services of your own.
Then you don’t just have complete control, but you also get all the profits (not just a small percentage).
Oh, and it’s way more fun and satisfying too.
How To Create A Profitable Blog #10 – Thou Shalt Never Give Up
Even if you totally disregard the other nine commandments, this one is a non negotiable.
Yes, things will get hard. Yes, things will break, or algorithms will change, or someone might be a bit of a dick to you one day.
But the only way to absolutely, 100% guarantee your blog will not succeed is… if you give up.
So if you need to take a day off, or take some deep breaths, or drink litres of wine with your blogging BFFs then do it.
But tomorrow, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on trucking.
And just know that every blogger has set back, every bloggers has “throw in the towel” moments.
But the ones that make it, the ones that are actually a success, they are the ones who keep on going no matter what.
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What are the rules you live by when for how to create a profitable blog?