I’m still in shock even though this discovery happened months ago. You see, I am an entrepreneur and business coach first and backed into blogging from a long hiatus just recently.
I did once have a blog before blogging even existed, but that’s a story for another time. Let’s just say, xerox machines, cutting words out of magazines and glue sticks… to give you a hint for now.
If you are a blogger and you are reading this, you are sitting on a virtual goldmine! I don’t know how it is possible that everyone who has the desire to make real money blogging, as in 6 figures a year or more money, isn’t talking about this.
It all started at the BlogHer Pro conference back in December of 2014. I can’t even remember why I went there in the first place because, what I discovered once there, hugely overshadowed my original intent… whatever it was.
Oh, I just remembered! I wanted to learn what bloggers were doing to attract and engage readers and make money. I wanted the most up to date inside scoop as I was developing my site for Mom’s to live better lives.
So, I’m arriving at the BlogHer Pro conference as a business coach for passion based women entrepreneurs, and I’m ready to have my mind blown.
Well, I did have my mind blown, but not at all in the way that I expected. I’m pretty sure they call it BlogHer “Pro” because it’s for bloggers who are serious about making money. Once there, I began to question if that was the intent of the conference.
I want to be clear, I am not bagging the conference, it was actually really well put together and I learned a ton about a lot of aspects of blogging.
What I was surprised by was the difference between my understanding of how online business building and strategy works and what was being focused on at the conference. And guess what? They were totally different. There was only, somewhat random, mention about this one thing that bloggers have, that has them sitting on a “virtual” goldmine.
You see, my work with my business clients who are just starting out, often begins with a passion that they have or a certain modality or service that they want to provide. Then we look at who specifically their business will serve. From there comes the hard work of attracting and engaging a following of people who are interested in their specific offerings and have grown to know, like, and trust them… usually before they’ve even purchased anything.
The above process takes 6 months of hard work on my end and theirs, just to press the go button of beginning to attract and engage with potential clients/customers.
Hello Blogger friend reading this! Guess what? It takes a full year sometimes to get my clients to where you are already sitting. You have a following, you have engagement, you have people who like what you’re all about and they trust you. Do you have any idea how valuable this is?
What blew my mind at the conference was this old, tired and seemingly frustrating way of thinking about making money blogging from affiliates, advertisers and sponsors. As if you just use your straight up willpower to engage more readers through social media, guest blogging, commenting etc., and somehow magically you will make great money blogging. That’s how it works right?
No! It really doesn’t work that way… especially not these days. There is a very small percentage of bloggers who make real money this way. And there are huge downsides to it. For instance, check out top Mommy Blogger Dooce’s story on how much fun it was for her before quitting.
What?!? She was actually one of the very few raking it in with sponsors and affiliates. Why quit now?
I guarantee that now most, if not all bloggers who are making decent money to great money, are in part, selling their own product or service, and that the largest percentage of their blogging income comes from selling their own goods.
Let’s go back to Heather Armstrong from Dooce.com for a moment, she was making multiple 6 figures from her sponsors before she quit blogging. What is she choosing to do now instead of blogging and why is she leaving it behind?
In her recent interview in Cosmopolitan’s get that life column, “How I Became a World-Famous Blogger”, here’s what she said she’d like to do now:
“I want to speak and consult and help others navigate this ever-changing landscape.”
She also said,
“What I want for Dooce is for it to go back to being what it was when it was my hobby. I’ll write and post a photo of my dog when I want to.”
What can we learn from someone who has come full circle with blogging as a business through advertisers and sponsors?
- That it’s a lot of hard work
- That you inevitably lose some or a lot of creative control
- All of a sudden what was a hobby becomes more of a “job”
- Your income is dependent on an outside source that doesn’t really care about your relationship with your readers as long as it’s selling their products.
There is so much more I could say here. I know there are positive aspects to doing blogging and business that way, but… If we are hearing from the mother of all “mommy bloggers” that she is quitting because the tides have turned… it’s definitely something to take a look at.
My wish for you as a very talented woman who has a voice to share a message through your blog, is to make great money, continue to have creative license to do what you want and become even more potent in what you are offering buy selling something of your own making. This is the direction to take a closer look at.
Back to the Blogher Pro conference. Most of the bloggers I spoke to about this phenomenon of pots of gold in their blog, were hugely resistant to the idea of selling their own stuff. I don’t want to go into the why I think this is, instead I want to share what huge corporations are doing with blogging in order to make fat profits. And how you, if you so choose, can without a shadow of a doubt, make great money blogging, selling things that actually benefit your readers for real.
Let’s look at Dove the soap company. They are blogging! I want you to look at them just as another blogger and not as a huge corporation. If you haven’t seen their blog posts you can check this one out, so you know what I’m talking about: Real Beauty Sketches
Their blog theme is about “real beauty for women”. Their supposed mission is for women to feel confident in their beauty, not anxiety. They create these super slick polished videos that get millions of likes on Facebook and shares all over the place on every social media platform.
Let me ask you this…What does a bar of soap have to do with women feeling confident about their beauty?
I am not going to question the intentions of Dove here, (even though I have questions, lot’s of them.) Maybe there is someone over there at Dove headquarters who really truly cares about women’s self-esteem and confidence in their beauty…
But, what I can guarantee is that their super compelling and thought provoking “blog” posts are part of a larger strategy to get people to buy their products. That is their #1 reason for creating these Ads, no mistake about it.
Wow, isn’t that crazy? They have become bloggers with the end outcome to sell soap!
Just to drive this home, check out how GE is utilizing “blogging” to drive people to their unrelated products:
“What the heck?” Is what I have to say.
You are a real blogger! You actually care about what you are blogging about. You care about your readers and you have something unique to share that only you can offer.
Why is it perfectly ok for these huge corporations to make money blogging when ultimately they are leading people to some product that really has nothing to do with their “blog” post?
Yeah, You! You have something in your blog that is hugely valuable to your readers that has everything to do with what you post about it. You could not only be making money by offering this value to your readers, but could be providing something that will be hugely beneficial to them.
I am begging you to consider this possibility for yourself and really for the world.
I’m just going to say it. I feel angry when I see Dove com-modifying women’s “beauty and self confidence issues”. It’s soooo twisted!!! Uggghhh!
I am passionate about real people, like you, who actually care about real people and want to make a real difference or start a real movement to affect real positive change on this planet, making real money and sharing those gifts that they are really here to share!
I say, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Dove, GE, Nabisco, Starbucks and the list goes on, are all posing as bloggers with the hidden agenda of selling their stuff that ultimately isn’t great for the planet or for people.
What can we learn from them?
That blogging works!
These companies spend millions upon millions of dollars to find clever ways to market their goods.
Well, it just so happens that right now blogging has proven to be a great way to ultimately sell stuff. You don’t have to guess or wonder if this is a viable option for making money blogging.
It obviously is!
I’m not saying what you ultimately sell has to change the world, but my guess is that it will leave a person happier, and you as a woman with more freedom to truly enjoy your life. The world needs a lot more women in that camp.
If you’re left thinking, “Well, what the heck would I sell?” Let me quickly share some ideas.
Bloggers in Business Potential Products or Services:
- Online Courses
- Membership sites
- Audio/Video products
- Speaking Engagements
- Physical products
- Live experiences
I think you get the point. If that’s not enough to get the old wheels turning, below are examples of real life blogs, and things that I made up that they could ultimately sell.
All the examples above are completely made up, and with very little thought put into it. If I was coaching any of these bloggers into selling their own product or service I would take a lot more time finding out what they would want to offer and what their readers would love for them to provide.
I made the chart above to hopefully open your eyes just a little bit to the possibilities of what you could sell that would actually be very beneficial to your readers.
My caveat here is that there is formula that I use at bloggers in business if selling your own stuff is new for you and for those who already sell stuff.
We have a formula that funnels your ideal readers into purchasing something from you in a way that is gentle and seamless, leaving everyone happy.
But, that is for another blog post.
I hope this post has been eye opening and helpful to you on your blogger in business journey. It would be so awesome if you commented below and threw out some ideas of a product or service that you could see selling through your unique blog. Also, if you already sell your own stuff, let us know below how it is going… the good, the bad and the ugly.