327 How to Grow a Successful Blog with Raving Fans – with Jamerrill Stewart

Do you want to build a loyal audience of raving fans around your blog?

Well, then you’re in the right place.

Jamerrill Stewart shows exactly how she was able to do this using her blog and YouTube channel.

Listen to This Episode

Who is Jamerrill Stewart?

Jamerrill Stewart is the creator of Large Family Table – where mega motherhood and real life meet.

As a mom of 8, she has full days of homeschooling, toddler chasing, and overworking her slow cooker until it begs for mercy.

Jamerill Stewart LFT

Jamerill Stewart, owner of largefamilytable.com

She doesn’t claim to have all the mega motherhood answers figured out.

But she does share her journey to inspire other mothers who are on similar journeys.

What does she share?

  • Tips on homeschooling
  • Her large family life
  • Other tips and tricks on practical strategies for feeding a “herd” (of kids, that is).
  • Much more…

Jamerrill’s Story

Jamerrill started a blog back in 2011. It was a simple hobby blog where she shared pics of family travel with her family members.

Jamerill kids

Jamerill with some of her kids.

It was more of a creative outlet than anything else.

At that time, she also started curating content for a homeschool Facebook page.

During that process, she found herself reading a bunch of other homeschool blogs.

That’s when a thought hit her – I could do this!

She knew she wanted to write a book on the topic. But to sell this book, she needed to have an audience.

So she started a blog called Holy Spirit-lead Homeschooling.

By the summer of that year, she had 10K people who liked her page and her blog got over 3K page views/day.

How did she do it?

She understood her audience. 

She was homeschooling her kids, so had a good idea of what homeschooling mothers dealt with.

audience content

Understand your audience and create lots of content with them in mind.

As a result, she focused on providing encouragement for those mothers.

She published LOTS of great content.

To keep providing value to her audience, she published a few times per week.

While her schedule wasn’t consistent, she showed up often.

She leverage guest posting.

She knew that posting on other homeschooling sites could get her more traffic, so that’s what she did.

Jamerrill started contributing to A LOT of homeschooling sites. And she leveraged those post by linking back to relevant resources on her blog.

She focused on LEARNING.


Focus on learning

Because she wanted to grow her audience, she consumed content about blogging.

Using sites like Amy Lynn Andrews and Problogger, she learned as much as she could.

And then she followed that up with taking action.

She worked HARD!

work hard

Work hard

It’s the thing so many people don’t like to hear. Blogging takes work.

And even though Jamerrill had a busy homeschooling life, she worked a lot (and HARD).

At some points on her journey, she spent as many as 50 hours on her blog.

How? She worked in the morning before the kids got up, during nap times and after they went to bed.

Turning the Blog into a Business

At the end of 2011, she attended a blogging conference called Relevant.

She was also able to attend a mini-weekend mastermind retreat. There was one mom who made $10K selling a planner she created.

For the first time, she was seeing other bloggers actually making money.

She left those events inspired and determined to turn her blog into an actual business.

Blog into a business

Turn blog into a business

By that time, she was already spending 15 – 20 hours/week on her blog.

She came back home and prayed that God would show her how to make $3-400/month on her blog.

She woke up the next morning with a business plan.

She had decided start a new site to refer people to Kindle books about homeschooling.

She called that site Kindle Homeschool (Now Free Homeschool Deals).

By recommending Kindle books as an affiliate, she started making money.

In her first month, Jamerrill made as much as her house payment.

By her 3rd month, the site’s income equaled her husband’s salary.

By month 6, it brought in twice as much as her husband’s salary.

How? A combination of affiliate deals, recommending freebies and Adsense.

Free Homeschool Deals

Free Homeschool Deals, another one of Jamerill’s websites.

It took a lot of work, but by June 2013, her husband came home full-time.

Large Family Table

By the summer of 2015, she started to slow down (but not by choice).

As a result of working so hard at a desk for so long, she suffered a neck injury.

Jamerrill went from working 50 hours to 25 – 30 hours/week.

There was a lot to do, but Jamerrill hired help and trained people to work on the site.

By that time, she felt like she was missing her voice and knew she had to do something about it.

That’s when Large Family Table was born. Today, this is her main focus.


Large Family Table website

Growing a Loyal Audience of Raving Fans

I brought Jamerrill on the podcast because of how much her audience loves her.

As bloggers, we want our readers to come to know, like and trust us. When that happens, we are able to help them more and are able to build solid businesses.

Her audience started with her on her first adventure into homeschool blogging. They then moved with her to Free Homeschool Deals and continued on with Large Family Table.

They consume her content like it’s going out of style and are hyper-engaged.

Here are Jamerrill’s simple tips for growing a loyal audience of Raving Fans…

Get real with your audience.

Get real

Get real with your audience

There are so many bloggers out there who try to make themselves look perfect.

In a world of contrived perfection, Jamerrill prefers to get real.

When you do well, be real.

When you make mistakes, be real.

One mistake Jamerrill made was naming her site Kindle Homeschool. Now obviously Amazon owns the Kindle trademark and what she did was illegal.

Did she know it at the time? No. It was a mistake. Did she hide that from her audience?

No, she did the opposite. She wrote an article and titled it “I have egg on my face, but God gets the glory”.

Share your journey.

People don’t connect with brands, people connect with people.

Your goal isn’t only to get people to buy. It’s to get them to connect with you. That’s how they become loyal fans.

How will they connect with you? By seeing themselves in you.

How do they see themselves in you? When you share your journey.

Chances are your audience experience similar things to you. Chances are, they have similar struggles.

Share those stories. Share those struggles.

One of the first vlogs she ever did was “Mommy, who broke your neck“.

journey share

“Mommy Who Broke Your Neck?” – one of Jamerill’s blog showcasing one of her jouneys.

Was it all pretty? Nope. But it was her journey.

Expect a slow and steady long game.

Slow and steady

Expect a slow and steady long game.

Loyalty doesn’t come overnight. It’s the result of providing value and connecting with your audience over a long period of time.

But if you’re real with your audience, share your journey and provide value to the right niche, you’ll win.

That’s contrary to what a lot of internet marketers teach, but it’s the core of what I stand for.

And I’m glad that Jamerrill was able to come on the show and share a little bit of her journey with you.

The Blogger Dream Team

Jamerrill is a part of the Blogger Dream Team. This is a mastermind group that I launched recently for top-performing bloggers.

We do have slots available right now and I’d love to have a conversation with you to see if we’re a right fit.

If you are a top-performing blogger that would like to take things to the next level, I want to invite you to apply here.

Resources Mentioned

The post 327 How to Grow a Successful Blog with Raving Fans – with Jamerrill Stewart appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.

Source: https://www.becomeablogger.com/26000/grow-successful-blog-with-raving-fans/


How to Start a Coaching Business and Look Like a Pro from the Get-Go

So. You want to start coaching.

Why wouldn’t you?!?

You get one-on-one insights from your audience that you can use to make your blog more interesting, and you can make some money without creating an entire e-course from scratch.

Offering coaching on your blog is a smart business decision.

But how do you do it?

Like, how do you collect payment? Or get people to schedule a call time without sending 15 back-and-forth “when is good for you” emails?

And when you do get people on the phone, what do you say?

Today we’re going to walk you through all of that:

  • How to create a coaching offer people can’t say no to
  • How to set up your coaching biz so people can easily buy and schedule sessions
  • How to structure a one-hour coaching call and make sure it’s valuable for your clients

This is where the rubber meets the road—and if you stick to it, where your blog meets everything you’ve ever wanted it to have: dedicated readers, profit, and influencer status.

Sounds good, right?

So without further ado, here’s how to start your own coaching business:

#1. Create Your Mouthwatering Coaching Offer

The best way to get readers to want to hire you as a coach is to give them something to look forward to as a result of your session. Yes, “coaching” means they’ll get to talk to you and pick your brain, but most readers will want a little more than that.

So to create your first offer, start with the end result someone will get after coaching with you.

Are you a business coach who will help them decide on their pricing? Are you a web designer who can give them ten ways to optimize their website conversions?

Decide on an outcome that will be for the benefit of the reader, and build an offer around that.

Here’s an outline to help you:

  • Identify what you know is a big pain point for your audience that you can solve quickly.
  • Outline what parts of it you’d easily be able to tackle in a 30-minute or one-hour phone call.
  • Identify the deliverables the customer gets and can use at the end of the call.
  • If you feel creative, come up with a fun name for the package. (Just don’t get too cutesy to the point of confusion.)

For example, one of my “coaching” offers is called an “On-Site Copy Teardown.” During the one-hour call, I walk people through their website copy and review any on-site data with them. We find ways to improve their copy so they can get more conversions instantly, without a page redesign.

#2. Set Up Your Coaching Biz and Make it Run Smoothly

**rubs palms together vigorously**

All right, let’s get you set up to advertise, book, get paid for, and deliver your first coaching sessions. We’ll cover:

  1. How to set up your sales processing system so people can purchase your coaching
  2. How to set up a booking system so people can make appointments on your calendar
  3. How to create a sales page so readers can find your offer

It’s a lot of little of steps, but it’s something you can tackle in one afternoon.

Note: I’ll be showing you a free way to get everything set up, but you can easily use a service like SimplyBook.me which is relatively inexpensive and makes setup and booking even more streamlined. Also, I’m using WordPress, but most of this can still be applied if you use another content management system.

1. Set Up a Way to Get Paid

When someone buys your coaching offer, two things need to happen:

  1. The buyer needs to receive an email or PDF with a link to your calendar, so they can schedule a session.
  2. You need to receive the payment in your bank account.

For the first, you need to have an e-commerce platform. And for the second, you need a payment processor like Paypal or Stripe.

For the e-commerce platform, we’ll use Payhip.

I use Payhip to deliver some miniature e-courses that I sell because it specializes in digital downloads, but I’ve also used it as a free way to sell one-hour Copy Teardowns and 30-minute Copy Review Sessions to my students.

First, go to Payhip and sign up for a free account:


After you log in, click on “Account” in the upper left-hand corner, then click on “Settings.”

Go to Payhip Settings

Click on the “Payment Details” tab, and you’ll see a prompt to connect either your PayPal account or your Stripe account.

Go to Payhip Payment Details

You can use PayPal (or PayPal and Stripe) if you like, but I prefer Stripe because it makes credit card payments much easier simply because that’s the only option. People don’t get confused with the additional options of paying with a PayPal balance or hooking up their bank accounts to send an e-check, like PayPal sometimes presents.

Stripe’s got a super-easy-to-follow setup process. If you don’t have an account yet, go to Stripe’s home page and click the “Create Account” button, and you’ll be ready to go before you know it.

Stripe - Online Payments

2. Set Up a Way for Clients to Book Sessions

Now that you’ve got a way to collect payment from people, you need a way for them to book coaching sessions with you.

For which Calendly is perfect.

First, go to Calendly’s home page and click on one of the “Sign Up” buttons to register for a free account.

Stripe Sign up

After signing in, choose Event Types in the main menu bar. Choose whether you want to open 15-minute sessions, 30-minute sessions, or 60-minute sessions by clicking the “on” switch in the appropriate event type box.


Then, click in the center of the event type box to edit the options for it.

Edit Calendly options

First, select which times you are available for coaching sessions.

Then, in “Invitee Questions,” add any questions you want people to answer before the call. (You might also ask for their Skype username here, or their phone-number if you plan to call by phone.)

And finally, integrate with Google Calendar to add the booking to your calendar and to have an invitation sent to both of you.

Go to Calendly - Invite Questions

3. Create and Upload Your Coaching “Product”

Now we’re going to create the “product” that you’ll sell.

And yes, you’ll technically be selling a coaching session rather than a digital download, but in order to use Payhip, you will need a digital “deliverable” that people will download instantly after purchase.

My download is nothing more than a PDF instruction sheet on how to schedule the coaching session they’ve just paid for, and instructions on what to do in the booking process.

Here’s what it looks like:

Update with your coaching product

Very simple and straightforward, but it gets the job done.

The important part, though, is to make sure this document includes a link to your Calendly page so that people can book sessions with you. After that, include any other instructions you feel are necessary based on the coaching offer you’ve set up.

Then, go to your main Payhip dashboard, and click on the “Add new product” button:

Payhip Dashboard

Upload your PDF, give it a title, and set your price.

PayHip will also ask you for a cover image. If you have a blog logo, you could simply use that. Otherwise, Canva lets you create simple but good-looking graphics that are more specific to your offer.

Upload digital product, cost & cover image

Then you’ll need to add a product description. Most people who get to this page will come from your website or email list and already know what they’re buying. But this is a great place to reiterate the benefits of what you’re offering and what’s involved in your offer.

After that, all you have to do is select a relevant category and click “Add Product.”

Payhip - Add Product Description

And you’re done! You offer is officially for sale!

4. Publish Your Sales Page So People Can Find Your Offer

Phew. Almost there.

All you need now is a sales page so people can actually find your offer and buy a session with you.

Ideally, you want to create a distraction-free page for this. (Meaning no menu, no sidebar, and no buttons that lead to anything other than your coaching offer.) This gives page visitors two options: buy or leave.

Fortunately, many WordPress themes come with a distraction-free landing page template. (You’ll have to check and make sure, especially if you’re using a free theme.)

Go to your WordPress dashboard, find Pages in your left-hand menu, and click on Add New.

Publish your coaching page

On the right-hand side of your content editor, look for a widget called Post Attributes and see if it offers a landing page template.

Select the landing page template
Note: If you don’t see this option, it might mean that your theme doesn’t offer a landing page template, or it might mean that it has a different method for creating landing pages.

Google [name of your theme] “landing page” to find out. But if you discover your theme doesn’t have a landing page option, don’t worry.

You can try an online app like Leadpages or a plugin like Thrive Architect to help you build and publish the landing page. (Yes, they cost money, but they also have pre-built templates that have been tested for high conversion rates.)

Now that you’ve set up your page as a landing page, give it a name, adjust the URL if needed, and add your sales copy.

Adjust your URL and add sales copy

And once the sales copy is written, of course, you need to add the buy button.

To get the code for this, go back to your Payhip dashboard and click on the Share/Embed button that appears next to your product listing:

Make a Payhip product Buy Button

A window will pop up, and you’ll click on the “Embed Button” tab in that window.

You’ll see the embed code right away, but before you copy it, click on the “More Options” text below the embed code.

This drops down an entire menu of settings where you can adjust the button text, the size, and the display options until it all looks the way you want it to.

After you’ve adjusted the button’s looks to your specifications, copy the code and go back to WordPress.

Payhip - Embed Button Code

Click the Text tab in the upper right-hand corner of your content editor, and paste the button code where you want it to appear on your page:

Use WP text editor to paste Payhip Button

Now, publish the page and add it to your main menu.

First, click “Publish” on the right-hand side of the page editor.

WordPress - Publish

Then go to “Appearance” in the left-hand menu, and click on “Menus.”

Go to Appearance - Add to Menu

Then add a check in the box next to your new page, and click on “Add to Menu.”

Add to WordPress Menu

And that’s it!

You’ve now got a coaching offer for sale. (Congratulations!)

Hint: Rather than stopping at putting the page in your website menu, drive traffic to your offer in other ways, too. Your website sidebar, social media profiles, mentioning it in your blog posts, and sending information to your email list about your offer are all great ways to get attention to it.)

#3. Run Your First Coaching Calls Like a Seasoned Pro

With figuring out your offer and adding it to your website, you’ve already done most of the work.

But then you get the first booking for your first ever coaching call . . . and if you’re like most bloggers who like blogging because it means you can sit behind a screen and not be in the public eye 24/7, you start to get a little nervous. Maybe even sweat a bit.

And allll these insecurities start coming up:

  • How can I coach people when I’m not perfect at this myself?
  • What if they hate what I have to say?
  • What if no one follows my advice and they shame me on the Internet?
  • What happens if I end up on a call with someone for two hours instead of one? Should I send them an invoice for double the price or just leave it be?
  • What if I don’t have enough material to fill the hour they paid for?

Which is why it’s important to remember that you do have something special to offer. If you’re passionate enough to start a blog and write regularly on a topic, chances are you know more than at least 80% of people about that topic.

It’s also important to remember that when people pay for something, it means they’re putting their skin in the game and will be invested in your advice. They’re not expecting you to be perfect—all they need is your advice to get them to the next step.

And while some people will want to just talk and talk and talk about their problems, you’re the coach here, so you’ll need to rein in the conversation and keep it focused on the outcomes you want to deliver within that one-hour conversation.

With time, you’ll become more practiced and discover what works best for you as you do more coaching sessions. But to start out, here’s a great timeline to guide the conversation that keeps everything neatly inside of one hour, and makes sure your client feels heard.

Use This Coaching Call Timeline to Schedule Your Talking Points

Talking Point and Time Estimate Time Elapsed
3-5 minutes: Exchange hellos and small talk, and ask client to talk about their pain point. 5 minutes
5-7 minutes: Client talks about their pain point and you ask clarifying questions to make sure you’re on the same page. 10-15 minutes
5 minutes: Pick out three major areas to talk about and run them by client to see if they’re on board. You’ll allocate 15 minutes to each point, and can move on to more at the end if you have time left over. This serves as your 45-minute warning. 15 minutes
15 minutes: Talk about and give advice on Point 1. Make sure it’s conversational and that you’re asking the client questions like, “Does that make sense?” and “Does this seem doable?” to keep them engaged. 30 minutes
Give 30-minute warning and transition to Point 2. 30 minutes
15 minutes: Talk about and give advice on Point 2. Make sure it’s conversational and that you’re asking the client questions like, “Does that make sense?” and “Does this seem doable?” to keep them engaged. 45 minutes
Give 45-minute warning and transition to Point 3 45 minutes
10-12 minutes: Talk about Point 3. (It’s usually the least crucial of all three points.) Again, keep things conversational. 55 minutes
Give a 3-5 minute warning and ask if they have other questions you can answer. 55 minutes
5 minutes: Quickly answer questions or, if the client doesn’t have any questions, give a recap of the points you went over and talk about how you’ll follow up after the call. 60 minutes

Honestly, I know 15 minutes might sound like a lot of time to talk about one point, but it’ll go surprisingly quickly. You’ve got a lot of knowledge in your head about your particular topic area, and 99% of the time, clients who pay to get on the phone with you will eat it up and ask all sorts of questions.

If you find yourself in the position of a client having a million more questions and you’re at the 58-minute mark, try not to worry too much. Politely tell them you’ve only got time for one more question, that you’ll follow up with a list of notes on what you’ve gone over, and that if they feel like jumping on another 30-minute or 60-minute call in the next week or so, they can.

Using the reason of having another call lined up after this client is a great exit, even if you don’t actually have one. And honestly, you’ll find most people will have 100% respect for the boundaries you set.

#4. Give Your Clients That Little Bit of Extra After the Call

After the call, as I’ve hinted above, you’ll want to do a brief follow-up with the client as a way to officially close things out and give them the information covered on the call as a point of reference.

Most people will take their own notes, but the follow-up email is always a nice touch and increases their feelings of loyalty toward you as someone who has their best interests at heart.

But in addition to the customer support side of after-call follow-up, you’ll want to take the opportunity to jot down what you learned during the call for your own purposes.

It doesn’t have to take more than 5-10 minutes, but writing down the following things will go a long way toward making the most of these calls for a better blog and blog-based business:

  • Things that surprised you about this client’s particular situation
  • Patterns you’re starting to see in your coaching clients
  • Things you weren’t aware people in your target audience struggled with
  • Any new blog post ideas that came to you as a result of the conversation

Equipped with this information, you’ll be able to make your blog more interesting and engaging for people in your target audience, and to validate the ideas you have for products that you hope to make money on in the long run.

You’re Ready! Now Get Yourself Some Coaching Clients

Coaching is the perfect way to connect with your audience and see what makes them tick.

I’ve seen it in my own business: Since I started coaching, I’ve become more relevant to my audience and I’ve strengthened my business at least ten-fold.

I can write content that I know is interesting to them, I know what they’re struggling with, and I know what kind of products to put together so I can generate income from my blog.

And while none of this will happen overnight, you’ll see results from your blog much faster if you coach people in your audience early … even if you only get a few clients here and there.

So create your offer, set up your coaching business, and make your first coaching calls.

It’s never too early to start.

About the Author: Chelsea Baldwin is the founder of Copy Power, where she teaches copywriting and helps entrepreneurs make the kind of “bang-bang” impression that gets remembered (even days after people leave your site). Use her free 3-part email course to learn how to write astonishingly memorable copy for yourself, even if you’re not a writer.

Source: https://smartblogger.com/how-to-start-a-coaching-business/

326 Your Questions: Giving too Much Away and Creating Review Blogs

In today’s episode, I switch things up a little.

I answer two questions that were left on my voicemail hotline. If you’d like your question to be answered in a future episode, call (888) 835 – 2414.

Listen to This Episode

Question 1: How do you start and grow a review blog? – Marco

Educate Your Audience

More than just reviewing a blog, provide value and high-quality education to your audience.

This is a great question. A lot of people are interested in creating review blogs because it’s easier to see how these blogs can be monetized – affiliate links.

If you review a product and someone clicks your affiliate link to buy, you earn a commission. But most people approach this the wrong way.

Instead of trying to be a blog that focuses on providing reviews to make money, be one that focuses on providing value to your target audience.

In other words, the principles are very similar to starting and growing any blog that’s focused on educating others.

It starts by having a clear picture of who your target audience is. Ask yourself:

  • Who he/she?
  • What are his/her goals?
  • What is he/she struggling with?

Once you know those things, your goal is to create the perfect review blog for that person.

To do that, it has to be more than a review blog. It needs to provide value and high-quality education.

The best example I’ve found: The Points Guy (more than a review blog).

The Points Guy Website

The Points Guy is more than a review blog. It aims to educate their readers, too.

Here’s what they do (and what I would recommend for you to emulate):

They understand who their audience is – people who are looking for smart ways to travel and maximize any trip while saving money and maximizing their experience.

To cater to that audience they publish:

  • Hands-on travel advice
  • Creative ways to book flights
  • Details about the latest changes to all major airlines, hotels and credit cards

And of course, a MAJOR feature of the blog is that they have all kinds of reviews of hotels, flights and credit cards.

Whenever I want to find out something related to travel, I go there.

I recently signed up for the American Express Platinum Card after reading a bunch of credit card reviews on their site.

Now my entire travel experience has been transformed because I was well-informed before signing up.

The question is – how can you provide as much value as is humanly possible for the person who is looking for the kinds of reviews you want to write?

Here are a few more practical tips:

Start by reviewing what you already own.

One of the things that attracts people to the idea of having a review blog is the ability to get free stuff to review.

Well, that comes as your reputation grows. To grow that reputation, start by reviewing the things you already own.

Do your research.

Do your research

Do your research

Analyse what other reviewers in your industry are doing. What’s working for them? What are they missing?

Know the products you are reviewing. Research the features and benefits. Become an expert on that product.

Don’t cut corners.

The best reviews are thorough. When you are finished with the review, ask yourself this question – Is this the best review I can make.

The better your review, the more trust you’ll earn. Go all out.

This will also help in the future when you start reaching out to brands for free products.

Don’t be a reviewer. Be an educator.

Your job isn’t to review the product to get a sale. Your job is to educate your audience so that they can make the best decisions for THEM.

When you do that, you will earn their trust. When you earn their trust, you will be more likely to earn the sale.

Connect with the product creator.

Connect with the product creator

Connect with the product creator

One thing companies love seeing is awesome reviews of the products they create. If you do a great job at the things above, you should be proud to share it with them.

Also they will be excited to see what you’ve done. These relationships go a long way to help you grow as a blogger.

I’ve had some of the best opportunities as a result of my reviews.

Connect with similar companies.

Once you have a portfolio of great reviews under your belt, reach out to other companies. Explain what you do and show them examples of your work.

Let them know that you would love to work with them to create high-quality training/reviews about their products.

You never know – you just might get stuff for free.

Question 2: How much value can I give away without giving away too much? If I give all my value, I have nothing else to sell. – Chris Morgan

This is a very common question. In fact, it’s one that I’ve even asked.

It makes sense on the surface – If you give everything away, you won’t have anything to sell. However, I look at it differently.

As a blogger, my goal is to provide value to my audience. The more value I provide, the easier it is for them to get to know, like and trust me.

Give as much as you can

Give as much as you can

Instead of asking how much I should hold back, I focus on giving as much as I can.

I know what you’re thinking – then you won’t have anything to sell.


People will always pay for what’s valuable to them if it’s presented in the right way as a solution to their problem.

Here’s an example . . .

When I build my biology blog (which I sold last year), I gave everything away. I created videos teaching biology, without holding back.

But I also knew I wanted to make money.

So I took the same content I gave away for free, repackaged it as an ebook and sold that.

Why did people pay for something that was available for free? They were actually paying for convenience.

Yes, they could go to my blog and click around to every page to find the content. Or they could buy it as one simple ebook.

Something they could take with them, consume from any device, whether they were online or off.

Here’s another example . . .

I never hold anything back on Become a Blogger or in my podcast. I give as much as I can.

But I also have my coaching club.

Yes – you can go through all of my podcast episodes and put together a cohesive picture of how to build a successful blogging business.

Or you can get access to me, and the structure of my coaching club.

Here are a few tips to help you decide how to do this . . .

Give generously.

I said this already, but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s not about how much you should hold back. It’s about how much you can serve your audience. Serve first.

Charge for structure and convenience.

If you give generously, there will be LOTS of info on your blog. They can find what they need. Or you can create products, courses, etc to provide structure to the value you provide.

People will pay for structure and convenience because it makes their lives easier.

Charge for access.

Charge for access

Charge for access

Your time is your most valuable asset. Charge accordingly. Yes, they can get superficial access to you via your blog. But there are lots of opportunities for you to charge for access to your time.

Make business decisions based on data.

Regardless of how much you give, there will always be more you can give. Yes, you can repackage what you already offer, but there’s always room for you to create something new.

I recommend using data to make those decisions. Survey your audience. See what they are struggling with. Use that data to come up with interesting products or services you can sell.

Do you have questions?

I’m going to be including more questions in my podcast episodes from now on. If you have questions, go ahead and ask them by leaving a voice message on the hotline.

The number is (888) 835 – 2414

The post 326 Your Questions: Giving too Much Away and Creating Review Blogs appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.

Source: https://www.becomeablogger.com/25991/your-questions-giving-too-much-review/

7 Totally Legitimate Ways to Make Passive Income from Your Blog

You’re skeptical.

You hear about bloggers who make money while they sleep — bloggers who take epic vacations or spend all their time with their families, and at the end of each month, they still have money coming in.

It sounds too good to be true. Especially when you’re slaving away every day and can barely make ends meet.

But it’s not just an urban legend. Once your blog draws a steady stream of traffic, you can turn it into a passive income machine. You can make money on autopilot and you won’t have to resort to any shady tactics to do so.

Check out these seven totally legitimate ways to make passive income from your blog.

#1. Sell Resources and Templates You Created for Personal Use

Sherry, the Canadian blogger behind the blog Save Spend Splurge, found herself in $60,000 worth of debt after college.

This is a predicament shared by many millennials today. But instead of paying her debt back slowly with minimum payments, Sherry created a budgeting template in Excel that helped her get that entire debt load off of her back just 18 months later.

After starting her personal finance blog, Sherry realized something. If her Excel template was powerful enough to clear her debt in 18 months, it could help her readers too.

So she called it “the Budgeting Tool” and listed it for sale on her blog for $50:

The Budgeting Tool

She then made it easy to find by adding a link in her top menu and sidebar:

link to resources from top menu
link to resources from sidebar

You may have created some resources for your personal use that would be useful for your readers, too. In fact, maybe you’ve created a resource that they’d be happy to pay for.

For example, if you blog about weddings and you’ve created your own invitations, you can sell them as printables. If you blog about graphic design, you have probably created Photoshop templates that you could sell. Or if you’re a travel blogger, you could sell bag-packing checklists or trip-planning worksheets.

Whatever niche you’re in, chances are there’s plenty of opportunity for selling such resources and templates.

#2. Ship Physical Products (Without the Inventory Headaches)

When you think of selling physical products on your blog, it might seem like a nightmare. You imagine yourself in your living room, surrounded by products and empty boxes, with dozens of printed-out orders in hand, and you’re trying to make sure everybody gets exactly what they ordered.

But these days, you can sell products without needing to store, package, and send them yourself. You can use dropshipping companies that do it for you.

Dropshipping is a method of ecommerce that lets you transmit orders directly to the supplier. The supplier will then take care of the packaging and ship the product directly to the customer.

You don’t have to lift a finger, your spare bedroom doesn’t have to turn into a stockroom, and the USPS guy won’t come knocking on your door every day.

Benny Hsu from Get Busy Living sells his own t-shirts through one of these companies:


Benny uses Teespring, a shirt and apparel dropshipping and manufacturing company that allows you to design your own products and sell them via its platform.

He earned $100,000 in five months through selling t-shirts. He tested several designs and after he found which ones sold well, he could sit back and watch the sales come in.

Offering a physical product on your blog doesn’t have to mean constant inventory management. It can mean dropshipping and selling your products passively for years to come.

If you’re interested in pursuing dropshipping, you can find a list of dropshipping companies here.

#3. Become Your Own Book Publisher

Given that you’re a blogger, I assume you love writing. So publishing an ebook is a perfect way to generate passive income. It offers a way to get recurring payments for the words you write down.

This is what Tracy Gillett does on her blog, Raised Good:

publish your own books

She sells The Lost Art of Natural Parenting for $17. She’s set up a sales page on her blog, and also sells it to her subscribers through an email autoresponder series, allowing her to sell her ebook on autopilot:

publish your own books - 2

The beauty of publishing ebooks is that you can offer them to your readers as a digital download, wiping your hands clean of having to handle and ship a physical book. Once you write it, it can truly be passive.

Having written the 129-page ebook in 2016, Tracy can now earn money from selling it for years to come, no matter whether she’s traveling, working in her day job, exploring, or spending time with her son.

#4. Promote Other People’s Products and Earn Steady Commissions

You probably use several products related to your blog niche, right?

I might even guess that you love some of those products. If you nodded yes, then you can probably reap the benefits of this “holy grail” of passive blogging income: affiliate marketing.

Leanne Vogel, a nutrition educator and the blogger behind the keto blog Healthful Pursuit, uses many supplements in her own diet. So when she’s writing blog posts or recording podcast episodes, mentioning those products is natural.

When one of her audience members buys from her referral link, she makes an affiliate commission. And that, my friends, is “passive income”: referring your audience to products you know and love and getting paid for it, too.

For example, check out how Leanne places an affiliate link for Perfect Keto products in her blog post:

promote others products

She incorporated the link naturally within an article, giving her audience a discount just for them.

Leanne gets a commission for referring sales to Perfect Keto, and her audience finds out about a product that she loves and uses. It’s a win-win.  

#5. Sell Courses That Teach Highly Desired Skills

Your audience wants to develop skills that will help them fulfill their goals. You can get paid teaching them those skills. And you don’t even have to do it in person. (Wouldn’t be passive if you did, now would it?)

Blogger Sarah Lambert writes a photography blog for moms, and she gets to do just that by selling online courses to her audience, teaching them how to do what she loves to do.

She first offers a free email challenge to grow her email list and prove the value of her courses:

sell niche courses

She then sells a course that teaches her audience how to use their cameras to take great pictures of their children.

sell niche courses - 2

All you need is the course content, and a course-creation platform like Teachable or ClickFunnels.

You can sell the courses on your website like Sarah does, through your email list, and by mentioning it in articles where it fits.

This can make you a lot of money as courses can sell for high dollar amounts. Many bloggers charge anywhere from $100 to $1,000 for their courses. When it comes to pricing your course, you should keep this in mind:

If you want to charge high prices, you absolutely can, but you must make big promises. Similarly, if you want to charge low prices, you absolutely can, but you must make small promises. In either case, though, the value of the promise should be at least 10X the price.
— Jon Morrow

Online education is a $107 billion industry. A lot of that profit comes from bloggers selling courses around their topics. They organize their content into a learning system and add immense value to their readers’ lives.

What can you teach your readers that would add value to their lives?

#6. Create Software That Fills a Desperate Need (Even if You’re Not a Developer)

When Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income launched his podcast, he couldn’t find the perfect podcast player. He wanted one that looked good on his site, but also had the capabilities that the established podcast players had.

Instead of waiting for somebody else to make a better program, he hired people to create the player he wanted: The Smart Podcast Player.

Pat sells the podcast player on his blog and in his online courses about podcasting.

create software to sell

He reports earning over $14,000 from the player in September 2017:

create software to sell - 2

Not too shabby, right?

Ever use software and wish it were better? Does your audience desperately need an app that doesn’t even exist yet? Consider making it (of having it made) yourself.

Admittedly, this requires you to either be a developer or be able to hire one. But if you can swing it, you can profit.

#7. Offer a Challenge That Will Change Your Readers’  Lives

In 2014, I began to enact dozens of tiny changes in my life (like waking up earlier, making time for fitness every day, and journaling). I blogged about many of these changes as I saw them make a positive impact on my life.

As these small changes turned into habits, I realized something:

Every small, positive change we make in our lives pays compound interest.

Enter The Unsettle Challenge: one of the ways my blog makes passive income.

offer a challenge

The Unsettle Challenge is a paid email series that delivers one email a day for 30 days, each challenging the reader to make a positive change in their lives, like eliminate wasted time or drink a green smoothie every day.  

I charge $30 for it — one dollar for each day of the challenge — and sell it to my subscribers through an automated email:

offer a challenge - 2

The challenge still sells, even two years after I launched it.

And I haven’t touched the sales email, the challenge, or the sales page at all since it launched.

In an online world full of free challenges, you might doubt that you can charge for a challenge, but I’m proof that you can — as long as the challenge offers value.

Turn Your Blog into a Passive Income Machine and Start Living the Dream

You started blogging because you love your topic.

You want to share your passion with the world, add value to your reader’s lives, and do what you love.

But you also want to earn a bit of money from your blog. And what better way to do that than to earn passive income — so you can do what professional bloggers are known for: travel the world, make money at home in your pajamas, and spend more time with your family.

The good news: There are plenty of opportunities to earn passive income from your blog, from affiliate marketing to creating your own physical products. You just have to figure out which method suits you best.

About the Author: Sarah Peterson writes insanely useful guides on marketing and entrepreneurship at Unsettle.org.  Get her report, 10 Free Tools That Reveal the Product Your Audience Is Begging For to finally start making money from your blog… the right way.


Source: https://smartblogger.com/ways-to-make-passive-income/

325 How to Create a Blogging Sales Funnel to Increase Your Revenue

Do you want to increase the revenue your blogging business revenue?

Are you looking for a way to do that in a more automated way?

In this episode, I will share how to create a blogging sales funnel that will take your business to the next level.

Listen to This Episode

Why Create a Blogging Sales Funnel

This episode is taken from a talk I gave at Social Media Marketing World about creating sales funnels. In that talk, I shared why it’s important in a very interesting example.

Go ahead and watch this short 3 minute video and you’ll get the point:

Two Blogging Sales Funnel Concepts

Let’s address two ways to look at blogging sales funnels..

1. From blog visitor to repeat customer.

From Visitor to Repeat Customer

From Visitor to Repeat Customer

A blogging sales funnel is a system that you can use to take a casual blog visitor to a repeat customer.

When people visit your blog, some of them will signup to your email list and become leads.

Some of those leads will visit your sales pages and become prospects.

Some of your sales page visitors will buy and become customers. And some of those customers will love you so much that they decide to become repeat customers.

This is one basic way of looking at a blogging sales funnel. But there’s another way . . .

2. From awareness to advocacy.

From Awareness to Advocacy

From Awareness to Advocacy

In a second model of a blogging sales funnel, you can bring people on a journey from awareness to advocacy.

As you create content and put it out there, people will become aware of you.

As they see you show up consistently, they become familiar with you.

When they see your offer, some will move to consideration.

Some of the people who consider your offer will make a purchase.

Of the people who purchase, if you continue providing value, some will become loyal to you.

And a smaller group will become advocates for your cause/business.

There are two key factors for taking casual blog visitors down your funnel.

Nurturing a relationship and providing value. You will do this by using a simple email sequence.

Your Approach

Choose one and perfect it for your business

Choose one to start with, customize it to your business, refine and perfect it.

I will be sharing three plug and play funnels with you. But I don’t want you to try to set up all three.

Instead, I would like for you to choose one to start with, customize it to your business, refine and perfect it.

Once you have done that, then you can do the same for a second funnel.

With that said, lets get to the funnels…

Kim’s Relationship-building Funnel

Kim is a client of mine who blogs at Not Consumed – a blog devoted to building victorious families. Her funnel is a 6 day funnel that is powerful for connecting with your subscribers.

Kim's Blog - Not Consumed

Kim’s Blog – Not Consumed

It works regardless of if you have something to sell. What’s unique about what Kim does is that she NEVER hard sells.

Let’s get into her funnel.

It starts with 3 lead magnets for her 3 categories of content and uses 4 emails.

Email 1 – Your Gift

Your Gift

Your Gift

SUBJECT: Here’s your [free gift]

As soon as someone subscribes to her email, she sends them an email. In the email she does the following:

  • Thanks them for signing up
  • Lets them know that she’s always looking for ways to help them and that’s what the free gift will do.
  • She lets them know that she wants to honor the time they’ve given to her by signing up.
  • She asks them to take 3 minutes to watch a video letting them know what the blog is about.
  • She gives them a link to download the freebie.
  • She includes a link to a FAQ page in case they have trouble downloading the freebie

Notice that she doesn’t only link to the free gift. She tries to provide value even in this simple email. She also focuses on serving them.

Email 2 – My Story

Write Your Story

Write Your Story

SUBJECT: In case we haven’t met

Two days after signing up, she sends them one of the most powerful kinds of email.

It’s an email where she shares who she is – her story. She gets vulnerable and shows her imperfections.

But she does it from a perspective of how she can help them.

After sharing her story, she asks them to hit reply and tell her about them.

What’s amazing is that she gets an 85% response rate and takes the time to respond back to each one.

This email is powerful because it gets her audience to connect with her at a deeper level.

It also increases the chances that her emails will reach their inbox in the future.

Email 3 – Reminder + Gift Card

Reminder plus Gift Card

Reminder plus Gift Card

SUBJECT: Did you get the [free gift] you requested

This is a simple email reminding them about the free gift she gave them. She includes the following:

  • In case you haven’t had a chance to download the free gift, here you go (includes a link).
  • Did you know that I have 2 other free gifts? Go check them out if you’re interested.
  • One more thing – to thank you for subscribing, here’s a $5 gift card.

What’s fascinating is that she gets a 30% conversion on the gift card, which is a coupon code. Also, changing the wording from coupon to gift card made a big difference in conversion rate.

Email 4 – The Struggle

SUBJECT: The most important thing I want you to know

In this final email, Kim focuses on their struggles by sharing the following:

  • The nuts and bolts of who she is and what her blog is about – the idea of feeling consumed with life and how you don’t have to be.
  • She appeals to their emotions by focusing on their struggles.
  • She lists a few of the struggles she knows her audience deals with.
  • She asks them to reply and let her know which of the struggles they identify with the most.
  • In her P.S. she links to an article where they can read the rest of her story

The key thing I want you to notice in Kim’s funnel is the lack of emphasis on selling.

Instead, she focuses on connecting with her subscribers at a deeper level.

Yaro’s 2-week Email Sequence

Yaro Starak blogs at Entrepreneurs Journey. He was my first blogging mentor and uses a very effective funnel for selling his products.

Yaro's blog - Entrepreneurs-Journey

Yaro’s blog – Entrepreneurs-Journey

It’s a 2-week email sequence with 4 emails each week. Here are the emails:

Email 1: Life Story

This is an email that has the following info:

  • Your background (your life story)
  • The story must relate to the problem you are helping your audience solve.
  • Your story should follow the popular Hero’s Journey format.
  • The goal is to demonstrate your authority while building trust and rapport.

Email 2: Ah-ha

Ah-ha Moment

Talk about an ah-ha moment

The goal of this email is to talk about an ah-ha moment you had related to your product. In this email, you should:

  • Explain your failures to appeal to your subscriber’s emotions.
  • Give a detailed description of your breakthrough.
  • Translate this into the concept that you teach.
  • Give your system a name.
  • It’s important to explain what your system is, but not get into the details of the how (yet).
  • Link to your product offering

Email 3: How-to

In this email, you should:

  • Dive into how to implement your system.
  • Keep in mind this is just and introductory lesson.
  • Breakdown the steps.
  • Make sure that the steps deliver an actual result.
  • If you can use examples to show the steps, do this.
  • Let them know that to go even deeper, they can check out your product.

Email 4: Case Study

Case Study

Case Study

Has anyone used your product/service and had success? I hope the answer is yes. If so, then do the following in this email:

  • Tell the story about your client/customer
  • This will show proof that your system works
  • To find out more about that product, they can check out the sales page.

Email 5: Special Offer

This email marks the beginning of week 2. In this email:

  • Introduce your subscribers to a special week-long offer.
  • When introducing the offer, give them a reason for the offer.
  • Give them details about the product.
  • Include a special link or coupon code to claim that offer.

Email 6: Rejections

Not everyone will take you up on your offer

Not everyone will take you up on your offer

By this point in the funnel, your subscribers will have some key rejections in mind. Not everyone will take you up on your offer. In this email:

  • Address those key rejections.
  • You can find out what the rejections are by tracking questions and refunds (if you have any).
  • You can do this in a simple FAQ format.

Email 7: Product

Your product

Your product

In this email, include:

  • An in-depth product pitch. Explain the details of the product.
  • Explain any bonuses that come with your product.
  • Describe the delivery formats (i.e. video, mp3s, handouts, etc).
  • Mention the details of your guarantee (i.e. 30-day money back guarantee).
  • Remind them to buy before the special ends.

Email 8: 24 Hour

24 Hour

24 Hour warning that the offer will end soon

This is the last email in the sequence and probably the most important one. In most cases, this is where most sales will happen. Include:

  • A clear warning that the offer expires in 24 hours.
  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Briefly highlight the product benefits.
  • Emphasize that this is their last chance to get in with the special offer.

As you see, this funnel is way more aggressive than Kim’s funnel. But it’s also quite effective depending on your audience.

It also doesn’t only sell. It provides value by giving some actionable info to help your subscribers.




My Webinar Funnel

The single most effective strategy I’ve used for making sales is doing webinars.

But these webinars don’t work by themselves. I combine them with an 8 – 14 day email sequence.

Pre-Webinar Emails

Webinar + Email

I combine Webinar + Email

Here are the three emails that go out before the webinar:

Email 1: Thanks for Registering

This is a very simple email where I include three things:

  • Thank you for registering
  • Here are the webinar details (topic, date and time)
  • See you soon.

Simple and to the point.

Email 2: Before we Get Started

Depending on when the person registered, this email will go out on the next day. The main goal of this email is to get them to connect with me. Here’s what I include:

  • A personal story. The personal story shares my why. Because if people connect with why you do what you do, they will be more likely to care about what you do. In my case, I share a picture of my family and talk about how I left my job to work from home so that I can be with them.
  • I then ask them to hit reply share their why.

Like with Kim’s situation, I get tons of replies from this email, and I reply to every one.

Email 3: Reminder



This is a simple reminder that goes out on the day before (or the day of) the webinar.

Because people tend to get a lot of emails, it’s a good idea to send a reminder so that it can be top of mind.

Post-Webinar Emails

The emails that go out after the webinar are the most important emails in this funnel. It’s where most sales usually come in.

Email 4: Replay + Special Offer

Replay plus special offer

Replay plus special offer

Here are the elements of this email:

  • Thanks for joining me on the webinar.
  • At the end of the webinar, I made a special offer. Here are the details.
  • Give a deadline (I usually go with 3 days after the webinar, but this varies depending on the audience).

Email 5: Personal Story

Here are the elements of this email:

  • Share a personal story
  • This personal story must relate to the problem your product/service solves
  • The goal is to connect with your subscribers even more and help them see the value in what you offer.

Email 6: Questions + 1 day remaining

Here are the elements of this email:

  • Answer 2 or 3 questions about your product.
  • The goal is to overcome objections.
  • Give the 24-hour warning about the special offer coming to an end.

Email 7: 12 hours remaining

Here are the elements of this email:

  • Time Limit

    Time Limit

    Reminder: there are only 12 hours remaining.

  • Emphasize one huge benefit of your product. Not a feature, but a benefit.
  • Give them the link to buy the product.

Email 8: Last chance

Here are the elements of this email:

  • This email should be short, sweet and to the point.
  • Let them know this is their last chance to join.
  • Emphasize the deadline.

Recommended Tools

Recommended Tools

Recommended Tools

There are a few tools that I recommend that are great tools for helping you optimize your funnel. Here are those tools:

For creating opt-in pages

  • Thrive Architect: This is what I use for creating my opt-in pages. I like it because it looks good and you don’t need a monthly payment to use it. This is a little more technical to setup than the second option, but much more affordable. And the result looks great.
  • LeadPages: This is an easier system for creating opt-in pages. But it can be pricey because you pay a monthly subscription.

Email marketing services

There are many email marketing services out there and any would work for the funnels I shared here.

My favorite (and the one I use) is Drip. Other alternatives are ConvertKit and Active Campaign.

For creating urgency

There are two tools I use for creating a sense of urgency in my campaigns:

  • MotionMail: This service allows you to create countdown timers for your emails. It’s very easy and compatible with any email marketing service.
  • Thrive Ultimatum: This plugin allow you to create time-sensitive campaigns on your blog. It will automatically redirect people when your campaigns are over. It will also add countdown timers to your blog. It’s very powerful.

Where will you start?

Now that we have gone through the three different funnels, this is the question I leave with you.

Which funnel will you start with? Let me know in the comments below.

The post 325 How to Create a Blogging Sales Funnel to Increase Your Revenue appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.

Source: https://www.becomeablogger.com/25962/blogging-sales-funnel-increase-revenue/

The “Quit Your Job” Checklist: 8 Boxes You Must Tick Before Flipping Off Your Boss

It’s intoxicating, isn’t’ it?

Your dream of entrepreneurial freedom.

Every spare moment is consumed by your up-and-coming business as you toil, plot and plan.

It’s been a side-gig until now because you’re still tethered to your day job. But you can’t wait to march into your boss’s office and plonk your resignation letter on his desk.

You’re unsure now is the right time, though. What if you’re not ready? What if you take the leap and land in financial ruin? What if your business is a laughable failure and you wind up counting your pennies for your next meal and begging for work to keep the lights on?

Oh crap! Feels risky, right?

It doesn’t have to be. Because you can take precautions. You can minimize the risks. And you can make sure the time is right.

The 4 Big Risks of Quitting Your Job to Work for Yourself

Staying in a job you hate will condemn you to misery, right? But what if quitting winds up making you even more miserable? In truth, it’s a possibility many people ignore. Because leaving the security that comes from a steady job with a steady income means, in the early days, you’re as vulnerable as a tiny boat in an angry sea.

Here are the four biggest risks you face when quitting your job — especially if you quit too soon.

Risk #1: Your Business Fails and Now You’re Unemployed

Most new businesses fail within the first five years. And you’d be naïve to think it couldn’t happen to yours. So be smart and watch the horizon with vigilance in case your brilliant idea isn’t quite as brilliant as you think it is.

Financial momentum can be hard to maintain. Then bills mount up, your bank balance starts to redline, and you’re forced to look for a new job to make ends meet. Ouch.

Risk #2: You Face a Financial Crisis and Can’t Make Ends Meet

Even if your business is booming, that doesn’t mean you’re financially safe. You could lose a major client, wind up too sick to work or get sidelined by a horrid life event.

And let’s face it, if your income dries up you’ll sink pretty damn fast. You’ve got to be financially responsible to survive in the entrepreneurial world. It’s not sexy, yet it’s undeniably essential.

Risk #3: You Discover You Don’t Have What it Takes

Working for yourself ain’t easy. And the fact is that not everybody has the discipline and tenacity to see it through.

The freedom of being your own boss, working in your PJs and avoiding long torturous meetings is enticing. But it’s this very attraction that lures people who aren’t always cut out for it.

The truth is that many people suck at being their own boss. Many people underestimate how much hard work it is. And many people start to endlessly procrastinate when they no longer have a boss breathing down their neck.

Risk #4: You Hate Self-Employment as Much as (or More Than) Your Day Job

Just like a sparkly new love affair, it’s easy to fall head over heels with your new business idea.

In the early days, the little annoyances seem insignificant. Then, fast forward three months and you’re sitting in your home office, feeling isolated from the world, stressed out over disappearing clients, and you realize the honeymoon is over. Misery engulfs you as your new reality is a far cry from what you expected it to be. Maybe self-employment wasn’t the answer to the problem you had with your job after all.

8 Boxes You Must Tick Before Leaving Your Safe, Cozy Job

Now you know the risks that come with quitting your job to work for yourself. And let’s be real — you’ll never eliminate those risks completely.

But if you tick the following eight boxes, you’ll know you’ve taken proper precautions to minimize the risks. You’ll know the time is as right as it’ll ever be to send that resignation letter. And you can feel confident you’ll land on your feet when you do.

#1. You Know How Much Money You Need to Survive Each Month

First, if you want to stay financially safe, you must calculate how much money you need each month to keep your head above water.

So, for one or two months, track all your expenses, and when you’re done, divide them into two columns: essentials (food, rent, utilities, debt payments, etc.) and luxuries (Netflix subscriptions, nights out, etc.).

The sum of your essential expenses makes up your survival budget — the minimum amount you need to survive each month without running into serious trouble.

Then, from the luxuries column, pick three expenses (at most) that you feel you can’t live without. Give yourself some financial wiggle room to accommodate these from time to time, to keep yourself from growing resentful. (It’s difficult to remain motivated when you can’t  indulge from time to time.)

Let’s call this your minimum income goal — the minimum amount you need to live in relative comfort every month. This will decide whether you can tick the next box.

#2. You’ve Earned Enough Side-Income to Cover Monthly Expenses for Five Months Straight

Now, once your side income meets your minimum income goal, you may be tempted to send your resignation letter straight away. But hold on…

If you want to be careful, you shouldn’t celebrate too soon. Meeting your goal one month doesn’t mean you’ll meet it again the month after, or the one after that. It may just mean you had a good month.

But if you’ve earned a consistent side income for five months straight, you can feel confident you can keep it up once you quit your job (especially since you’ll have more time on your hands).

#3. You Have a Financial Life Raft That Will Sustain You for at Least Six Months

Next, you’ll need a fully stocked hardship fund. Working for yourself means you carry all the risk on your shoulders — which is exciting and terrifying at the same time.

What if your website faces a huge drop in rankings due to a Google algorithm change? What if Facebook changes its ad policies which severely limits your reach? What if you throw your back out and can’t get any work done while you heal?

To avoid a crushing financial crisis, you’ll need to save up enough money to cover your essential expenses for six months minimum. It’s the smart entrepreneur’s contingency fund that’ll give you the time you’ll need to get back on your feet or, if necessary, find a new job.

#4. You’ve Had Your Side Gig for at Least Six Months, and It Still Excites You

You’re going to spend day and night with your business, so it’s got to be the thing that gets you out of bed, not the thing that sends you diving back under the covers. True entrepreneurs live and breathe their business — by choice. It never fully leaves their mind, even on days off.

If you haven’t spent time working on something every day, you won’t know if you’ll enjoy it.

But if you’ve already worked on it for six months alongside your day job, and you still feel that ping of excitement, you’ll know it’s what you truly want. On top of that, you’ll also prove to yourself you have the self-discipline to succeed.

#5. You’ve Written down Your Short- and Long-Term Goals

Ever worked hard all day and not achieved a thing? Bumbling about with no clear direction is a recipe for fast and definitive failure.

To stay focused and moving in the right direction, it’s essential to have two types of goals. A short-term goal you’re 100% confident you can achieve. And a long-term, slightly audacious big picture goal.

Both should be written using the SMART goal formula: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timed. Mark your measurable progress checkpoints clearly on your planner so you can tick them off on a weekly, quarterly and annual basis.

Doing this means you’ll stay on the right track to business success. If you ever find yourself struggling to meet your goals, you’ll discover it in time to change direction, and not too late to avert disaster.

#6. You’ve Mapped All Your Activities for the First 12 Weeks After Quitting

When you no longer have a boss chasing you with deadlines, it becomes tempting to slack off. You may convince yourself to enjoy your newfound freedom for a while, and that can send you down a path of poor productivity and dismal results.

That’s why you need to establish momentum early on, which you can only do through consistent and continuous action. So your best safeguard against productivity sabotage is to plan with military precision.

Type up a detailed twelve-week action plan, so you know exactly what you’ll be doing each day — starting from day one. Then, start doing.  It’s your recipe for success.

#7. You’ve Identified Two Alternative Work Locations

Like it or not, going from a bustling corporate job to a lonely home office can be a shock to the system. Working for yourself may become a slippery slope to darkness as you begin to crave conversation and accountability. Self-employment may soon start to feel like a productivity-zapping isolation cell.

You can avoid this by finding ways to meet your need for human connection that doesn’t involve begging for your job back.

Prepare yourself with a list of at least two alternative work locations that enable you to be part of a crowd while working for yourself. Look for local co-working spaces and coffee shops that offer free wifi.

In many cases, sitting in a coffee shop for a few hours each week as you tap away on your laptop can be the perfect antidote for loneliness.

#8. You’ve Recruited at Least Three People for Support and Accountability

It’s impossible to survive, let alone thrive, in the entrepreneurial world alone. If you’re serious (and I know you are), you simply must surround yourself with people who support you and people who hold you accountable.

It can be the difference between sinking or swimming as you discover what it takes to work for yourself.

Here’s a quick hit list of things you can do:

  • Find two to five people with whom you feel close who will support and encourage you and your plans. Look to family or friends and share your goals and progress with them.
  • Join local business networking groups and online forums — and start contributing.
  • Surround yourself with guidance and advice by finding a professional mentor, or hire a business coach.
  • Commit to weekly accountability meetings with people from courses you’re enrolled in or groups you’re a member of. Ask someone to be your accountability buddy or join/start a mastermind group.

And those are the eight boxes you must tick to determine you’re ready to leave you job. Here’s an infographic that sums them all up (click on the image to see a larger view):

8 Boxes You Must Tick Before Leaving Your Safe, Cozy Job

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8 Boxes You Must Tick Before Leaving Your Safe, Cozy Job
The “Quit Your Job” Checklist: 8 Boxes You Must Tick Before Flipping Off Your Boss from SmartBlogger.com


Ticked All the Boxes? You’re Ready to Quit Your Job

You know that taking the leap into the entrepreneurial world is not for the faint-hearted — and it excites you more than anything.

If you’ve ticked all eight boxes, you should feel confident you can safely quit your job.

You’re now prepared for the adventure with a clear roadmap, a solid safety net and a strong support network.

You’re ready to transition from employee to entrepreneur.

Now is the time to stop playing a small game.

Because freedom awaits.

About the Author: Miranda Hill is a writer and coach who helps life-hungry souls get unstuck from the chaos of life. If you want to stop spinning your wheels, hopping from one thing to the next in search of answers, discover the “10 Mindset Secrets That Set Truly Successful Writers Apart” and realise your full writing potential today.

Source: https://smartblogger.com/when-to-quit-your-job/

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Making Money in Your Underwear

That’s the dream, right?

No dragging your butt out of bed at an ungodly hour, sitting in traffic, being stuck inside an office all day, and slaving away your life for a measly paycheck.

Instead, wake up whenever you feel like it, saunter over to the laptop in your skivvies, and sip a cup of java while you “work.” Take a vacation whenever you want, spend time with your loved ones, and travel the freakin’ world.

Hell, yeah…

Too bad it’s just a fairytale, though. We’ve all seen the scammy ads about making $80 an hour filling out surveys, starting your own online store in a “virtual mall,” making megabucks from reselling old crap on eBay or Amazon. There are a gazillion different variations, all of them promising you easy money, all of them stoking your hope of a better life, all of them a little too ridiculous for you to believe in, even though you really, REALLY want to believe.

But you’re not a fool. You know they’re not telling you the truth. It can’t be as easy as they make it sound.

And you’re right. I’ve made my living on the Internet for eight years now, and while it’s certainly nice, there’s also a lot nobody is telling you. Not because it’s a secret, but because most people don’t actually want the truth. They want to believe it’s easy, fun, straightforward.

If anything though, it’s the opposite, and that brings us to the first lesson:

Lesson #1: You can’t do this in your “spare time.”

Regardless of whether you’re starting a blog, building an online course, or creating your own virtual storefront, you probably don’t think of it as a “business.” It’s a project, a hobby, a “side hustle.” No offices, no employees, no budgets or business plans – it’s just you tinkering around in your spare time.


Well… not if you want to succeed.

In my experience, people who make a nice living online view it as a business from day one. That doesn’t necessarily mean they get an office or hire employees, but they approach it with the same mindset any sane person would have when starting any other type of business.

For instance, let’s say you’re starting a dry-cleaning business. You’d probably go to work for another dry cleaner first, learn the craft, figure out how you would do things differently, save your money, and then launch your own competing dry-cleaning business with a solid understanding of the market and what it takes to succeed.

In other words, you would put serious thought and effort into it, start preparing months or even years in advance and work your ass off for several years to make the business take off. That’s a normal mindset for anyone starting a new venture.

For some reason though, people’s mindset is entirely different when thinking about making money on the Internet. They are looking for quick and easy, not hard and long. They want a way to game the system, not a way to win the game. They try to minimize their investment of time and money, not maximize their ROI.

And I’ll be straight with you:

That’s dumb.

Making money on the Internet is just as difficult as making money in any other type of business. The capital requirements aren’t as high as opening a brick-and-mortar store like a dry-cleaning business or a restaurant, meaning it’s easier to get started, but you’re also facing global competition. You’ll need to be better, smarter, and faster than entrepreneurs only competing in their local markets.

making money on the internet

The only appropriate mindset is to accept that you are investing years of your life and every penny of your savings into a venture that might ultimately fail. If it does succeed, it’s also not going to be because of your creative genius or some magical technology that makes money pop out of your computer. It’s going to be because of hard work, sound thinking, and skill.

Especially skill. Let’s talk about that next…

Lesson #2: Being smart isn’t enough.

We’ve all heard the story of the stereotypical Internet entrepreneur. Some smart kid sees an opportunity nobody else does, works night and day to create a groundbreaking product, and then goes on to become filthy stinking rich. In other words, the equation is something like this:

Smart + opportunity + hard work = success.

And that’s a beautiful story. Like many stories, it’s also mostly true, but it’s missing some important details.

To make money online, you do need to be smart, you need to find an opportunity, and you need to work hard. All those variables are totally accurate. What no one tells you is that there’s one additional variable that’s just as important as all the others combined:

Skill. If we were to modify our equation, it would look like this:

(Smart + opportunity + hard work) X Skill = Success.

And here’s the part that’s really hard to wrap your mind around:

The specific skill you need changes depending on the opportunity. If you want to start a freelance graphic design business, you’d better be a pretty freaking good graphic designer. If you want to start the next Facebook, on the other hand, you’d better be a pretty freaking amazing programmer. To be more precise, you need whatever skills are necessary to capitalize on the opportunity better than all the other smart, hard-working people pursuing the same opportunity.

In other words, you need to be elite. I’m not sure what the precise measurement of “eliteness” is, but if I had to put a number on it, I would say you need to be in the top one percent of all people worldwide with your skill. That might sound scary, but it’s actually not a very high bar because the vast majority of people doing anything suck. If you have at least a little natural talent for the skill, you can probably become a member of the top one percent with a few years of diligent work and study. Here’s how…

Lesson #3: Education is everything (and nothing).

The whole mythos around Internet entrepreneurs is they spurn education. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates dropped out of school. Tech billionaire Peter Thiel pays entrepreneurs $100,000 NOT to go to college. That’s as “anti-education” as it gets.

Or is it?

If you look a little deeper, you’ll find that most entrepreneurs are devout believers in education, but they also believe that certain systems of education, such as universities, are fundamentally flawed. They espouse a more experimental model of learning where the student states their assumptions, poses a hypothesis, and then proceeds to test that hypothesis, not only to learn but also to hone their skills in the real world.

In other words, entrepreneurs learn how to teach themselves. Not just by reading books, not just by listening to teachers, but by observing the world around them, thinking about what they see, and then coming up with their own interpretations. They don’t depend on anyone to “break it down” for them. They figure it out for themselves.

And it’s not just a learning style. In many cases, there’s no alternative.

With making money on the Internet, for example, there isn’t a degree program or book that’ll teach you everything. It doesn’t exist, and it never will, because the Internet is evolving too quickly. By the time someone created the book or degree program, most of it would be out of date.

There’s one exception: skills. Many of the skills necessary to build an online business either don’t change much, or they are easily transferable. For example, if you learn one programming language, it’s relatively easy to pick up another. Negotiation, business writing, and marketing are skill sets that haven’t changed much in decades or even centuries.

And it’s useful to have a teacher. If you’re learning how to write an advertisement, for example, you can learn a lot faster if you have a master copywriter critique your ads.

In my experience, this is where books, online courses, and other forms of traditional education shine: the acquisition of evergreen skills. You can then apply those skills in the real world to continue learning. For instance, the following skills are always in demand and have long-term value:

  1. Copywriting
  2. Graphic design
  3. Programming
  4. Content creation
  5. Content promotion
  6. Marketing automation
  7. Public speaking
  8. Ad management
  9. Social media management
  10. Project management

Freelancers with elite skills in one or more of those areas often make six figures per year, working completely online. They get to choose their hours, travel when they feel like it, and, and live a pretty awesome lifestyle.

Granted, it’s not total freedom, because they do have to work, but they also have a lot of control over how they work, and in my experience, that’s what really matters. Here’s what I mean…

Lesson #4 You don’t actually want freedom.

Let me guess…

You love the idea of building a passive income that flows into your bank account like clockwork every month?

Maybe it’s the idea of working in your underwear, choosing your own hours, traveling the world, or whatever. The idea is passive income = freedom.

And here’s the good news:

It’s true. Over the last eight years, I’ve built a passive income “machine” that’s allowed me to travel and live a life most people only dream about.

But it took a long time. Contrary to popular belief, passive income isn’t just something you can create out of thin air. It takes time to build, and it’s a five-stage process:

  1. Learn a valuable skill. We discussed this one in the last couple of lessons. I recommend picking one of the ten skills and taking online classes.
  2. Practice until you are elite. Again, you are competing against everyone in the world, so it’s essential you’re in the top 1%. The bad news is, you’ll probably start in the bottom 10% and work your way up, usually by working as either an employee or freelancer.
  3. Start your own business. Once you’ve built a collection of elite skills, you’ll probably run across an irresistible opportunity, and you’ll jump in with both feet. It’ll take you several years or maybe even decades to become a successful entrepreneur.
  4. Replace yourself. Passive income is the result of turning what you do into a system that runs without you. Sometimes an employee replaces you, sometimes you can automate everything with software, and sometimes you simply teach what you’ve learned through an online course.
  5. Fine tune the machine. The bad news about passive income is it’s almost never entirely passive. Yes, you can reduce your number of hours, but you’ll still want to spend a few hours each week fine-tuning the machine. This is where the idea of the “Four Hour Workweek” came from.

And let’s be clear:

You don’t receive any passive income until the final step. From start to finish, I don’t know anyone who has done it in less than five years, and it takes most people 10+.

I realize that’s way more work than you probably anticipated, but here’s the good news:

Chances are, you don’t really want total freedom. What you actually desire is flexibility, and that’s much easier to achieve.

What’s the difference?

Well, freedom means you can get up every morning and do whatever the hell you want. Play golf, go surfing, travel to Paris, or just stay in bed all day. You’re in total control of every aspect of your life.

Flexibility over Freedom

Flexibility, on the other hand, only gives you partial control. You still have to work, but you decide when and where. For instance, maybe you take your family to Italy in the summer for six weeks, work every morning and evening on your laptop, and then gallivant around the rest of the day.

Still sounds pretty good, right? And the good news is, it takes far less time and effort to get there. Maybe 6-12 months.

Here’s how: take a few online courses on any of the skills I recommended, do a bit of free work for friends and family as a way of building your portfolio, and then apply for virtual jobs requiring that skill. You may not make a lot of money to start, but as your skill grows, so will your income, and you’ll eventually find it easy to replace your day job.

You can also accelerate the process by moving to a cheaper country, which brings us to:

Lesson #5: It sucks to be an American.

Probably going to get flamed for saying that, but it’s true, and not just for Americans. Living in Canada, England, Australia, or many European countries is just as tough, and the reason is simple:

It’s expensive.

Between our houses, cars, meals, gas, and all the other little expenses, it’s hard to survive in most cities for under $3000 per month. In some big cities like San Francisco, New York, or London, you can barely get by on $8-10k a month.

But take a look at this…

Jon in Mazatlan, Mexico

I rented a luxury condo on the beach in Mazatlan, Mexico for $1600 a month. A meal at a restaurant was about four dollars. I could get a reputable doctor who spoke English to do a house call for $20. Altogether, I spent about $3,000 a month, and I lived like a king.

And here’s the crazy part:

I was able to make that much working only 20 hours a week as a writer and editor. As my skills improved, eventually my income crossed $10,000 per month – more than three times my living expenses.

There were also tax advantages. I won’t go into the details here, but Google “earned income tax credit.” It’s complicated, but you can actually save a lot of money on your taxes by leaving the US.

Altogether, it’s far easier to make a living online when you’re living in another country, and the lifestyle is better too. The biggest reason I came back to the US is that I eventually started my own company, and banks get a little nervous when you’re processing more than $1 million per year in credit card transactions from your laptop on a beach in Mexico. No idea why… haha. It was also nice coming home after living abroad for years.

The bottom line?

Not only does the Internet give you opportunities for increasing your income, but it also gives you ways to reduce your expenses substantially. It’s by no means a requirement to move to another country, but it certainly makes making a living easier, and when you’re getting started, you can use all the advantages you can get.

Here’s How to Get Started Making Money Online

So, we’ve covered a lot of ground here.

Mindsets, skills, passive income, having the flexibility you want to live the way you want. Hopefully, it’s all starting to make more sense.

But chances are, you’re wondering what to do first.

Should you create an online course? Start a blog? Find a freelance gig where you can learn and grow?

There are a lot of options, and the truth is, all of them are viable. Nobody follows exactly the same path.

But here’s what I recommend:

  1. Figure out what skills come naturally to you. Chances are one or two of the ten skills I listed are easier for you than for most other people.
  2. Buy a few online courses on those topics. In the future, I’ll publish some recommended courses, but until then, just use Google.
  3. Start applying for freelance gigs. You might get rejected a lot at first, but eventually, somebody will say yes, and you’ll make your first dollar off the Internet.

From there, you can scale up. Maybe you’ll start your own business with employees and offices, or maybe you’ll just become a highly paid freelancer. Neither path is right or wrong. It’s just two different lifestyles.

The bottom line?

Making money online isn’t a fairytale. You can do it. You just have to be smart about it and have realistic expectations.

Good luck!

About the Author: Jon Morrow is the CEO of Smart Blogger. Check out his new blog Unstoppable and read the launch post that went viral: 7 Life Lessons from a Guy Who Can’t Move Anything but His Face.

Source: https://smartblogger.com/make-money-online/