Do you find it hard to bring your blog to the next level? After growing my blog to 6-figures, I’ve learned some valuable shortcuts. Every blogger can benefit from these, no matter where you are on your journey.
1. Make a business plan. It’s so simple, yet I’ve never heard this tip mentioned before.
If you’re a blogger, I bet all my Stardew Valley gold coins that you’ve never written a business plan for your blog. Big mistake. A business plan will change your mindset, help you untangle all the knots, and make focus on what matters in your blogging business.
Business plans consider marketing, positioning, branding, strengths and weaknesses, operations, and much more. Everything can be tailored to a blog, and it helps you have a big vision.
2. Hire a team. If it’s too early to do so, have a plan of who to hire.
The solopreneur life will get hard, so plan your hires in advance and aim to build a dream team. As a blogger, you’re most likely wearing a ton of different hats, like I did for many years.
After hiring freelance contractors for various odd jobs, my first team member was an assistant. I suggest that you do the same as a blogger, as you’ll free your hands from emails and other tasks that aren’t necessarily growing your business.
I also suggest that you hire for the specific task, instead of having a “jack-of-all-trades” assistant. This means, hire someone whose duty is design, someone whose duty is social media, and so on. Make a list of tasks you want off of your hands, and plan to fill those holes as early as possible.
3. Use an organization tool such as Asana.
When I first started blogging, I woke up every day and “blogged”. I had no real schedule, and I was creating content based on my mood that day. Truth be told, this is still how I operate sometimes, but there was a major change: I use Asana, which is free and oh-so-powerful to declutter your brain.
Asana has my content calendar and ideas for future posts. It organizes my social media ideas. The brands that we work with. Our templates. All the tasks that need to be done. Every task can be scheduled in a calendar and assigned to a person on your team. Using this tool added a whole layer of professionalism to my business.
4. Sell your own products. You’ll grow as an entrepreneur.
A thriving business makes money. When it comes to blogs, we can monetize with brand deals, display ads, and affiliate partnerships. All of these rely on other people’s products, and we’re only getting a small fraction of revenue.
However, when you’re creating your own products, you’re taking home 100% of the profits. Especially if the products are digital, since there are no fees for inventory.
Selling your own products will also come with its own set of “entrepreneurial” challenges.
My first product was a skincare accessory called a Rose Quartz Facial Roller. Since it’s a physical product, I had to deal with sourcing, negotiating with suppliers, packaging design, and of course, sales (which doesn’t come naturally to me). Not only did selling a product generate extra revenue, but it expanded my skillset.
5. Strive for professional visuals, whether it’s branding, design, or photography.
In my opinion, this tip is the hardest because it requires a considerable investment. Finding professional designers (read: good designers) is definitely hard. I’ve used Upwork and Fiverr, and although there are some “gems” there, they’re needles in a haystack.
A professional agency will charge five-digits for branding and web design. If you’re at that point in your business, it’s an amazing investment, and one I wish I made years ago.
If investing in your design isn’t yet possible, you can create stunning visuals with photography. Great photography will make your content stand out. If you look at all the top creators and bloggers, you’ll notice that their photography is often top-notch.
6. Collect emails and use your mailing list.
In most online businesses, the mailing list is a major revenue-booster. Think about it: retailers constantly send out emails promoting their latest sales or launches. Although you probably don’t want to be as spammy as Nordstrom (sorry Nordstrom), you can nurture your mailing list and send out valuable offers when it’s appropriate.
Another way of monetizing your mailing list as a blogger is to offer brand sponsorships directly in the emails. This is sometimes called an “email blast”, and it’s a great way for brands to connect with an audience or promote a sale.
Throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks is not a strategy, and these tips are meant to guide you in your blogging process and give you a few key pointers. If you’re just starting out, I hope you’re able to use them to steer your business in the right direction.