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.

Right?

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/

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324 How to Build a Profitable Personal Brand Business – Chris Ducker

How do you build a profitable personal brand and turn that into a successful business? Are you trying to build a personal brand with your blog?

Do you want to leverage that personal brand to build a profitable online business?

If so, you are in the right place. In this interview, Chris Ducker shares his best tips to help you make that happen.

Listen to This Episode

Who is Chris Ducker?

Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker is the bestselling author of Virtual Freedom and founder of youpreneur.com—the entrepreneurial mastermind community that helps experts become the go-to leader in their industry.

A serial entrepreneur, Chris has built several businesses since venturing into the world of entrepreneurship in 2004, which today collectively house over 450 full-time employees and generate a multi-seven-figure annual revenue, worldwide.

A highly sought-after keynote speaker, trusted international business mentor, blogger, and podcaster, Chris is featured regularly in Entrepreneur, Inc., Success, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and several other key media outlets.

Chris recently relocated back to the UK after many years based in the Philippines, and now lives with his wife and four children in Cambridgeshire.

Why “Youpreneur-ship”?

A few years back, Chris came to a realization. After building successful business, he analyzed who did business with his companies.

Quote Chris Ducker

Quote Chris Ducker

What stood out was that those people only did business with his companies because of him.

They had to buy into him before they could buy into what he had to offer.

That’s when he saw the power of a personal brand. He was able to build his businesses because of his relationships.

Relationships are important and we should treasure them. What we do, as bloggers, centers around this concept.

And you build those relationships of trust by showing up and providing value.

But to do that, there is one element that’s needed.

“You must be seen to sell in order to build influence” – Chris Ducker

How to Build a Profitable Personal Brand

Let’s assume that you’re convinced about the power of building a personal brand.

Let’s say you understand that this can help you build a profitable business.

The next question is – How do you do it? Here are Chris’ tips:

Start with Defining

You have to start by defining who you are and what you want to be known for.

Chris recommend doing the Youpreneur self-awareness test. Get a paper and draw a line down the middle.

On the left side, create your “flatter yourself list”. Write down all the things you are good at.

On the right side, create your “keep it real list”. These are the things you are not so good at.

This exercise will then become the blueprint for you to follow. Your goal is to do more of what you’re good at and less of the other stuff.

Start Creating Content

It’s time to start creating the content that you think your potential audience wants to see/hear.

If you keep at it, you will notice that in 6 months, something magical will take place.

Your audience will start talking back to you and sharing things like:

  • create content

    Start creating content

    What they need help with

  • What they struggle with
  • What they enjoy
  • What they don’t enjoy

As you get that feedback, you can start refining your content and create more of what they want.

Your goal is to become somebody’s favorite content creator. Once you are 100 people’s favorite, you can build a business.

Spread Your Message

It is important to have a media company mindset. Now that you have your content, it’s time to get the word out there.

Spread your message

Spread your message

Some important questions to ask are:

  • What kind of authority do you want to be?
  • Why is it important?
  • What does that look like?
  • How can you spread that message going forward?

Once you have explored those questions, it’s time to get personal.

It’s important to get to know your community members personally by GENUINELY caring.

The more you comment using a multimedia mindset, the more of an impact you can have.

Instead of responding to a tweet with a simple tweet, do a 15-second video reply.

Send thank you cards. Do the simple things that stand out more than the usual things everyone else does.

Listen to your Community Members/Audience

This is a very important part of business that a lot of people ignore.

Listen to your community members

Listen to your community members

Your community should be the people who shape your business through their feedback.

Your role is to be the problem-solver. And if you do that well enough with enough class and substance, you will be blessed to put a price tag on your solution.

Start creating the solutions to the problems your community tells you about.

This can be as simple as coaching/consulting or more involved like a membership site.

And if you need more…

Rise of the Youpreneur

Rise of the Youpreneur

It’s obvious that Chris knows his stuff. And fortunately, he has put together a great book that walks you through this process in great detail.

If you are trying to build a profitable personal brand business, I  recommend for you to grab a copy.

The Rise of the Youpreneur is available wherever books are sold. But, I highly recommend you grab it from his site, because there are some sweet bonuses available.

Infographic

Personal brand chris ducker

INFOGRAPHIC: How to Build a Profitable Personal Brand Business

The post 324 How to Build a Profitable Personal Brand Business – Chris Ducker appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.

Source: https://www.becomeablogger.com/25932/build-a-profitable-personal-brand-business/

7 Ironclad Reasons to Podcast (Even If You Hate the Sound of Your Own Voice)

Look, I get it…

You hate the sound of your own voice. You’re unfamiliar with the tech. And you feel much more comfortable typing than you do talking into a mic.

So you may feel hesitant to start your own podcast. Maybe you even feel intimidated by the prospect.

But you should do it anyway.

Because podcasting can pay major dividends for you, your blog, and your business.

Podcasting has been on a steady increase over the years both in the quantity of shows produced and in the volume of listeners.

It reaches people across genres, languages, and economic status, and if you strategically bake podcasting into your content plan, you can reap its many dividends.

Here are seven ways podcasting can help you boost your blog and business.

#1. You Build a Network Your Competitors Will Envy


When you run a podcast, you can invite influencers as guests and interview them one on one. It’s an excellent way to build connections.

Most people like the idea of gaining free publicity for their work, so they’ll often agree to spend 30+ minutes with you to get exposed to your audience.

And when you spend time cultivating the relationship before, during, and after the interview, you can build a powerful network of people who can help you grow your business and blog.

Over the last two and a half years, I’ve interviewed more than 100 guests for my own podcast. While I’m not best friends with every person who’s come on the show, I have kept in touch with people with whom I had a strong connection.

And some cool business opportunities have come out of those, which wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t established the initial relationship through my podcast.

#2. You Can Bask in the Spillover of Other People’s Star Power


Some time ago, I had Tucker Max on my podcast. (In case you don’t know, he’s a three-time New York Times best-selling author.)

His team reached out to me and pitched Tucker as a guest to promote his new business, Book in a Box.

Once the episode went live, I got this message from a friend in my network:

build influence and social proof

Leveraging the authority of those you associate with is a smart way to build influence and social proof.

When you interview people for your podcast, particularly folks with larger followings than you, it boosts your credibility. Your audience will think, “If she has so-and-so on her show, she must know what she’s talking about!”

And you don’t have to wait for your dream guests to come to you. You can reach out to them and explain why coming on your show would benefit them.

Don’t know how? Here’s a great resource on how to land big guests for your show, even if you’re a newbie.

#3. Your Ideas Reach a Brand-New, Highly Engaged Audience


Through blogging, you can spread your ideas to a wide audience. But through podcasting, you can put those ideas in front of a new audience that your blog might never reach.

While there are some people who read blogs and listen to podcasts on a regular basis, many people do just one or the other.

And listenership continues to grow for podcasts — at more than 20% year after year.

Even better, data reveals podcast audiences are super-engaged. A whopping 85% of listeners hear all or most of a show and the average listener consumes five hours and seven minutes worth of podcasts each week.

People aren’t quick to turn off a podcast once they start listening, and they can listen to a podcast while doing something else, like cooking, driving or walking the dog. It’s an ideal medium for busy people.

So repurposing ideas you’ve shared on your blog for a podcast is well worth your time — especially the ideas that have already proven popular.

For example, here’s an article I published on my Inc. column that showed the results of research I’d done with entrepreneurs:

repurpose blogs for podcast material

When I saw the message resonated, I switched up the headline, added a few additional points, and published it as a podcast episode.

repurpose blogs for podcast material - 2

With this one article and podcast episode, I was able to double the amount of people who were exposed to my message.

#4. Your Unfiltered Voice Builds an Even Deeper Bond with Your Audience


You can build a connection with readers on your blog, no doubt. But with podcasting, your audience hears your voice and personality, your inflections and emotions, as well as your laughter.

They’ll feel like they know you much more intimately, which bonds them to you more strongly.

A few years ago, researchers conducted a study where they asked participants to rate their degree of connectedness and bonding after having participated in in-person, video, audio, or written communication with a friend.

As you might’ve guessed, the greatest level of bonding occurred through in-person interactions, followed by video chats, followed by audio.

Instant messaging came in last among the options.

When you consider how the brain processes information, this phenomenon isn’t surprising. Researchers, educators, and consultants Louisa Moats and Carol Tolman explained it in more detail on Reading Rockets:

Spoken language is “hard-wired inside the human brain. Language capacity in humans evolved about 100,000 years ago, and the human brain is fully adapted for language processing… A related fact should be self-evident: Reading and writing are acquired skills for which the human brain is not yet fully evolved.” (Liberman, Shankweiler, & Liberman, 1989) Human brains are naturally wired to speak; they are not naturally wired to read and write.

 
Reading and writing are skills we may take for granted today, but these skills have only recently become prevalent among the human population. By contrast, we’ve been speaking and listening for ages.

It’s no surprise that hearing someone’s voice makes us feel more connected to them than just reading their words.

#5. Your Bank Account Will Get More Direct Deposits


Adding a podcast to your content marketing can directly increase the revenues for your blog and business.

The most common way people monetize their podcasts is through selling sponsorships, or commercial spots that are read before and during an episode.

John Lee Dumas is host of the hit podcast Entrepreneur on Fire. Every month he publishes an income report for the business he’s built around the show. For December alone, his sponsorship revenue for his daily podcast was more than $64,000.

podcasts can increase your revenue

The larger the audience is for your show, the better you position yourself to earn a decent income from third-party sponsors.

But getting sponsors for your show isn’t the only way to monetize your podcast. Many hosts promote their own products and services to their listeners through designated ad spots.

You could highlight your online course, your coaching packages, or even relevant affiliate offers.

My friend Vernon Foster is a podcast coach at PodParrot. He says many of his clients make a ton of money with their podcast by highlighting their own products. He recommends podcasters with audiences of all sizes do the same:

You don’t have to be Tim Ferriss, Lewis Howes or Gary Vee either. There’s [sic] a lot of real estate podcasts you’ve never heard of that are quietly making a small fortune selling high-ticket [offers].

 
Side note: I met Vernon through my podcast, which goes to show how it can help you build your network!

#6. You Give Google More Reason to Notice You


Bloggers have long been on the hunt for ways to drive traffic to their blogs through SEO. The good news is that podcasting can help you with that as well.

Whenever you publish a new episode, you can add relevant written content to the “show notes” page on your website, which is indexable by search engines. Transcripts and detailed notes with time stamps are smart ways to add content to your site that might rank for long-tail keywords and draw more traffic.

Not only that, podcasting can also help you get links, which can boost your site’s authority in the eyes of Google. Whenever you have a guest on for an interview, you have a good chance they’ll link back to it from their site.

Lastly, publishing podcasts on your blog can also increase the average amount of time people stay on your site. Google likes to see this as well.

Here’s what SEO expert Phil Singleton of Kansas City Web Design said on the subject:

To the extent that you can, adding rich media in, like a podcast audio or a video, is super important because one of the hottest topics in terms of on page SEO is increasing the amount of dwell time on the site. [. . .] If you can get people to land on the page and click the audio file on your website, they stay a lot longer. Your dwell time goes through the roof, even if it is only a few people because a 15-20 minute podcast has a lot more people listening through longer.

 

#7. You’ll Be Prepared When Oprah Calls


Podcasting will you get you ready for future speaking opportunities that can expand your reach.

Imagine your blog getting so popular that you get called for a talk show interview, a TEDx talk, or to be a featured speaker at a conference. You want to be ready, right?

Having experience speaking in both scripted and off-the-cuff formats will prepare you for when those calls come.

When you step up to the mic on a consistent basis, you will discover your most relevant messages, refine your voice, and overcome any fears of public speaking that might otherwise hold you back.

Through podcasting, you’ll build your speaking confidence until it feels natural.

A few months ago, I was a featured expert on a program with an NPR radio affiliate. The show’s producer read an article I published, and he invited me to speak more in-depth on the topic and to answer questions from listeners who called in.

My experiences in podcasting, both as a guest and a host, prepared me to be comfortable speaking without a script.  As a result, I am ready to seize bigger opportunities that come my way.

It’s Time for You to Step Up to the Mic

Give your expertise an even bigger stage. A stage that enables you to transform the lives of even more people who crave your solutions.

Sure, it’ll take some practice.

But don’t most things that are worth it?

You don’t have to produce the next Serial, This American Life, or Smart Passive Income to reap the benefits of podcasting.

You’ve simply got to create a show that speaks to your ideal audience in a meaningful way.

You’ve already got the knowledge. And you’ve already got the ideas.

Now all you need is the mic.

About the Author: Sonia Thompson is a marketing strategist, consultant, and author focused on helping you create remarkable customer experiences that help you win more customers and keep them coming back for more. Grab your Podcast Launch Resource Sheet, so you know exactly what you need (and what you don’t) to start your podcast.

Source: https://smartblogger.com/why-podcast/

323 The End of Learning with Leslie

You read that right. This episode marks the end of “Learning with Leslie” – the podcast.

Rather than write out an explanation of why and what this mean, I would rather you listen to the episode.

Listen to This Episode

Fortunately, the end of Learning with Leslie is the beginning of something else.

I can’t wait to take you on the journey with me.

The post 323 The End of Learning with Leslie appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.

Source: https://www.becomeablogger.com/25918/the-end-learning-with-leslie/

322 How to Increase the Value of Your Product with Minimal Effort

Are you looking for ways to increase the revenue you make from your blog?

Wish you had a few things you could try to day?

In this episode, I will share 7 things you can do to increase the value of your digital products.

Listen to This Episode

Lets Start with an Example

I started a biology blog a few years ago. Most of my content was videos.

At some point, I decided it was time to start making money with that blog. One of the things I decided to do was create and sell an ebook.

This was my first ebook and I wanted to make it special. I wanted people to see it and immediately think it was valuable.

So I decided to add more value by linking the content in the ebook with my videos.

Ebook Content are linked to my YouTube Videos

Whenever the buyer came to a section of the ebook that needed explanation, there was a solution.

Click the video icon and it will take you to a blog post with a video explanation.

It was such a hit that I sold thousands of dollars worth with minimal promotion.

Why Increase the Value

Increasing the value of your products can result in more money from your blog in your pockets. Would you complain about that? I’m guessing not.

Here are three ways this can happen:

  • value pricing

    The higher the value of your product, the more you can increase its pricing.

    It empowers you to increase your pricing. If the value of your product is higher, it’s quite logical that you can increase your price of that product.

  • Convince those who are on the ledge. Whenever you promote your product, there will be those who need some extra convincing. Adding more value to that product might be the thing to push them over to the bright side.
  • Increase Retention. If you’re running a membership site, one of the big challenges is retaining members. Well, the more value they get from your site, the less likely they will be to cancel.

Seven Ways to Increase the Value of Your Products

Alright, you’re sold. But now you need some practical ways that you can increase your product’s value. Let’s dive into seven ways…

Add more formats of content

Add more formats of the content

There are three main formats for your digital content – written, audio and video.

With my ebook, I added video content to my written content and that increased the perceived value. As a result, it was easier to sell.

What if you have a video course? Why not add some written handouts or downloadable MP3s? With more formats, you cater to more learning styles.

Add high-value bonuses

Add high-value bonuses

Who doesn’t like bonuses? It feels like you”re wining a prize, doesn’t it?

If you don’t have any bonuses to go along with your product, then create some.

I give bonuses like a 4-week jumpstart, Q&A repository and ultimate checklists.

Other examples are complementary courses or special high-value interviews.

Do live coaching calls/Q&A sessions

Do live coaching calls

Having a course is great, but there will be people with questions. Why not get them on a live coaching call or q&a session?

That’ll give them the security in knowing that if they have questions, they can get answers.

Now, the assumption here is that you know your stuff well. As long as you do, this can be an easy way of providing value.

Do webinars

Webinars are a great way to provide extra educational content to your customers.

When I first launched a course teaching people how to blog, I had an up-sell for six live webinars.

These webinars covered more advanced topics. So I was able to charge much more for those who wanted access to the webinars.

Catalogue all questions

questions

Catalogue all questions

Organizing your questions and answers strategically is VERY valuable.

I started doing this when I first launched my coaching club in 2014. Since then, I’ve done 2 coaching calls every single month.

As a result, we now have hundreds of questions catalogued in the member’s area.

I do this by recording each question and answer individually. I then catalogue them by question, topics and asker.

I use Swiftype so that if you start typing a topic, it will pop up every question on that topic.

A free option to this is Algolia.

Add a Community

Add a community

Add a community

Going through a course can be a very isolated activity. Adding a community adds a layer of support and interaction that increases value.

I do this by way of a private Facebook group for my members. The beauty of this is that they are able to ask questions at any time. They are also able to interact and engage with other members.

One thing that has been VERY effective for me is recording video responses to every question.

Build affiliate marketing into your content

affiliate links

Build affiliate marketing into your content

If appropriate, build your affiliate links into your program. By doing this you can increase the amount you earn per customer.

I use the Pretty Links plugin to create easy and memorable links to affiliate products.

I also make sure to have a consistent naming system for all my affiliate links. For example, my affiliate link for Thrive Themes is becomeablogger.com/thrivethemes. For GetResponse, it’s becomeablogger.com/getresponse.

Of course, you should ONLY promote something as an affiliate if it’s helpful to your customer.

Let’s wrap this up

So there you have it – seven ways to increase the value of your products.

I want to leave you with these two questions:

1. Do you have a product to sell?

2. If so, which one of these tips will you add to your products to increase it’s value?

Let me know in the comments below.

Resources Mentioned

Infographic

increase product price

7 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Product with Minimal Effort

The post 322 How to Increase the Value of Your Product with Minimal Effort appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.

Source: https://www.becomeablogger.com/25888/increase-value-of-your-product/

Why All Bloggers Should Offer Coaching (Yes, Even You)

You started your blog because you want people to read it.

You want your blog to connect with people. You want your content to reach a wide audience. You want to build a base of fans that gobble up your every word.

And yes, at some point, you also want to make money from your blog.  

Because let’s face it … as much as you love to write, you didn’t start your blog as a journaling project. (If you did, this article isn’t for you.)

But here’s the thing … if you want your writing to connect with people, you need to connect with them first.

And the best way to connect with anyone is to talk to them — as in, one-on-one.

That’s why every blogger should offer coaching.

Yes, even you. Even if you don’t think you can.

“But… My Niche Really Isn’t Coaching-Compatible…”

You sure about that?

Okay, I won’t lie — some niches do lend themselves to coaching more than others. Everyone’s heard of business coaches, dating coaches, and fitness coaches. And if you blog on those topics, coaching people will feel like a natural step.

On the other hand, nobody’s ever heard of a web design coach, an anxiety coach, or a travel coach. Those niches aren’t quite as compatible with coaching as the previous ones.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t offer a coaching-like service.

You don’t have to label it “coaching” if it doesn’t feel natural, but you can offer something that gets you one-on-one time with your audience.

For example:

  • If you blog about web design, you could offer website reviews and feedback sessions.
  • If you blog about anxiety, you could offer guided meditations or in-person teaching of techniques to calm down.
  • If you blog about travel, you could offer sessions where they tell you their dream trip, and you help them create the ultimate money-saving itinerary.

So let’s be clear: You don’t have to be a coach in the traditional sense of the word. The important thing is that you get to talk to (and help!) your audience in a one-on-one setting.

You do not have to be a coach in the traditional sense of the word.

“But… But… I’m Not Ready to Be a Coach!”

Let’s be real. Your first coaching sessions will always feel scary, and you’re not going to feel ready the first few times you do it.

But you shouldn’t wait to start coaching until you feel ready, because you won’t feel ready until you start coaching.

Jeff Goins started coaching early in his blogging career, and even he admits he was mostly winging it at first:

Early on in my blogging career, people started asking me to coach them. I had no idea what this meant or how to do this. So, of course, I said yes. I began meeting with people in person and on the phone and seeing how I could help them. When we met, I realized what Derek Sivers says — ”what’s obvious to you is amazing to others” — is true.

 
Yes, you read that right. One of the world’s most popular writing coaches had little clue what he was doing when he started coaching. He was just confident he could help people get results, so he said yes.

And that’s the point: Coaching clients don’t expect you to be perfect. They just want you to help them get results.

If you have enough knowledge to run a blog on a certain topic, you have enough knowledge to get people results on that same topic. Right? Right. (Otherwise, I doubt you’d have started your blog in the first place.)

If you’re uncomfortable charging people at first, that’s totally understandable. (And even honorable that you don’t want to take money without first proving your value.)

To get past this, go ahead and offer your first 5–10 coaching calls for free. You’ll not only gain experience running a coaching call, you’ll also gain the confidence to charge people for a session when the time comes.

3 Critical Reasons You Should Offer Coaching to Your Audience

Are you feeling convinced that you can offer coaching on your blog?

Good, then we can talk about why you should.

The truth is, coaching can be a godsend for your blogging business.

I’ve been blogging for almost four years now, and it’s only been in the last year or so that I got the readership, engagement, and profitability I’ve wanted all along. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I also started coaching about a year and a half ago.

Here are three ways coaching will benefit you as a blogger:

#1. You Gain New Insights and Create More Engaging Content


One of the coolest things about coaching is that clients will tell you their own specific struggles without you having to guess. I know that sounds uber-simplistic, but how many hours do you spend scouring the web for information on your audience instead of just asking them directly?

Coaching clients are incredibly forthcoming with what they need your help with, which means you’ll gather a ton of valuable insights for your content strategy.

Take Jacob McMillen, who noticed some tangible data differences after running his first coaching/mentorship program. He’d reached the six-figure mark as a writer, and wanted to know how he could help other people do the same.

I decided to mentor 10 writers for 3 months and see what would happen. I priced it at $200 per month to make it accessible and all 10 spots were filled within a few days. My hope was that, even if I wasn’t successful, I would get a more intimate understanding of what was really holding people back.

 
From mentoring only ten people, he already got a wealth of information and results. It was a lot of work, but worth it in the long run.

After the group mentoring experiment, he realigned his content marketing based on the information he collected, and saw the following results:

  • Average article views increased from 1,218 to 3,802
  • Average time on page increased from 3:38 to 6:21
  • Average shares increased from 72 to 99

After his coaching experiment, the insights he gathered helped him develop more compelling content for his particular audience, and as you can see, his engagement shot way up.

#2. You Can Start Earning Cash Right Away


One of the best parts of coaching is that you can make money right away.

As we saw above, Jacob mentored ten students at $200 a pop, which means he brought in $2,000 he wouldn’t have otherwise.

In my own business, I let people book one-off sessions ranging in price from $125 to $200, and sometimes I even book month-long programs for corporate teams for thousands of dollars.

It’s relatively quick and easy money, and you don’t even have to spend time creating a product. Coaching is something you can start to offer as soon as you get readers. (Or even sooner, if you explore other ways to score your first coaching clients.)

Even if you don’t start out charging $100+ per session, and even if you’re only getting the occasional client at first, it’s still cash in your bank.

Yes, even if you only book one session per week and only charge $30 to $50 for it, that’s still money coming in. (And it means you’re officially “in business” as a professional blogger.)

#3. You Can Validate and Refine Your Product Ideas


As Pat Flynn put it: “If you truly want to know whether or not a product will sell or not, you’ve got to get people to pull out their wallets and actually pay you for it.”

He’s right. You’ll never know if you’ve got something worth paying for until someone pays for it.

One of the most popular ways to make money as a blogger is through product development — but with the amount of time that takes, it can be a risky venture if you don’t validate your product idea beforehand.

And you can validate your product idea by selling coaching sessions aimed at helping people reach the same goal. You’ll already know people are willing to pay for it, so you’ll reduce most of the risk up front.

Not only that, but the insights you get from coaching will help you refine your product and maximize its effectiveness.

James Johnson based his entire first course on the results he got from coaching:

I was looking to find my first product to run through Freelance Writers School. I needed to find out what people needed, and what I could deliver to them in a small space of time.

So I asked around some freelance friends on Facebook, explained to them what I was doing, and offered to coach them for free on some of the problems they were having in their business.

 
James got one friend on board and asked him what his problems were. James then offered his solutions, and when they worked, he’d add them to his course as modules. When they didn’t work, he’d cut them and try something new.

When James was done, he’d helped his friend grow his freelancing business, and he’d assembled 90% of a course.

He then continued to test his solutions on paid coaching clients, noting where they hit roadblocks or had further questions. This helped him refine his course further, making it even more helpful and easier to navigate.

Start Coaching Right Now and Reap the Many Benefits

Your first coaching offer doesn’t have to be perfect, especially if you’re at the first stages of using it as a method of market research and a simple stream of revenue.

You’ll refine your offer(s) over time, and only experience with coaching can teach you how to become a better coach for your audience.

You’ll learn so much about your audience, build a better blog, earn some money, and gather the information you need to make your blog more profitable in the long term. (Plus, you’ll be helping people with your knowledge, which is rewarding in and of itself.)

It’s a win-win-win situation, and the world is waiting for your expertise.

So give it to them.

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/why-offer-coaching/

321 How to Build a Service-based Business Around Your Blog – Prerna Malik

Are you looking for a way to start making money from your blog?

Having you considered providing a specific service?

Prerna Malik share how she built her service-based business using her blog.

Listen to This Episode

Who is Prerna Malik?

Prerna Malik is a conversion copywriter and founder of Content Bistro.

Content Bistro - build a service-based business

Content Bistro

She crafts profit-boosting sales and email copy for high-impact launches.

As a result, she has worked with industry leaders.

People like Amy Porterfield, Bushra Azhar, Carrie Wilkerson, Katrina Springer, April Perry Wilson and many others.

Prerna’s Backstory

When Prerna had her daughter, she decided to leave her corporate job to be able to stay at home.

Nine months in, she needed a creative outlet and started a blog called “The Mom Writes” as an online journal.

She wrote about topics related to parenting and green living.

Prerna and family

Prerna and husband Mayank with their daughter. Source: contentbistro.com

After hearing about Twitter from her audience, she decided to start using it. It was a great way to connect with her audience, and it was working.

After writing on her blog for a while, she started getting noticed.

Companies started approaching her to write for them and manage their social media.

In January 2010, her husband got very ill. Later that year, it got so bad that he had to quit.

They were both at home and their medical bills were piling up. Not to mention having a young daughter at home.

It was a trying year. But it was also the year that they decided that they HAD TO make the business work for them.

How to Build a Service-based Business

When she first started their business, her budget was minimal. She estimates that she spent about $100 that year – the price of hosting.

How did she do it? Here are some of her tips…

Cold-emailing potential clients

Prerna searched on Google and in business directories to find potential clients.

She also used Similar Web to find sites that were like the sites she found.

Make sure cold emails are effective by doing proper research

Her goal was to find as many sites in the parenting and green living space as possible.

But she wanted to make sure her cold emails were effective. She recommends the following tips for crafting good emails:

  • Do your research. It’s important to know who you are emailing and use their first name. Look at their site and make sure you understand where you can provide value.
  • Keep it short. People are busy. Don’t waste their time.
  • Be professional. Make sure your email doesn’t have typos and grammatical errors.
  • Be yourself and have personality. 
  • Use a template, but customize it. Don’t say the exact same thing to everyone. Use your research to connect with them – even at a personal level.

Price yourself well

Price yourself well

Price yourself well

Prerna says that it’s important to price yourself according to the value you provide. She always priced herself based on her experience and expertise.

In the beginning, that was on the lower end. Over time, and based on research, she started increasing her price.

Follow-up

If you don’t hear from your contact in 3-5 business days, follow up with another polite email.

follow up emails

Send follow up emails if you don’t hear from them

Some of the questions Prerna would include in those follow-up emails were: Do you have a question? Can we help you? Would you like to hop on a call?

If you still haven’t heard from them in a week, follow up again. A great question as this point is – “Have you had a chance to go over the email?

Finding Clients

By going through this process often in the beginning, it got easier.

Not only that, she found that she would have to do this less over time.

Because she provided a great service, she started getting more referral. Now, most of her clients come via referral and her blog.

Systems and Processes

Over the years, Prerna has managed to 10x her business. Part of the reason for this is the systems and processes she uses in her business.

systems and processes

Create systems and processes to manage your business successfully

Here are some of the things she suggests:

  • Have a marketing/editorial calendar. She uses one to make sure they are being effective with their content. It helps you get work done and allows you to keep promos and goals in mind.
  • Keep a close watch on your finances. Prerna says it’s important to know where you are each month. You should also have an idea of what things will look like in upcoming months. This helps you to meet your income goals and informs your marketing calendar.
  • Own your calendar. Whether paper or digital, it’s important to plan out your time. Each week, Prerna plans one day for content, three for client work, one team day and 1 for marketing/learning.

She also has a detailed process for onboarding her clients. Here’s how it works in her business

  • Once clients sign up, she has them fill out an extensive questionnaire. This helps her understand their audience, offer, values, mission, vision, goals, etc.
  • extensive questionnaires

    Giving out extensive questionnaires may help you understand your clients well

    They then have a kickoff call, where they go through the questionnaire together and fill in any gaps.

  • She then does a content audit, where she analyses their content to get a better feel for their business.
  • Then she does her research. In this step, she will interview clients/customers and analyze the competition. She will also mine reviews on Amazon if applicable.
  • She then starts writing.
  • Her editor then edits the copy.
  • The process ends with a client meeting where she presents the copy to them.

In Summary

Prerna was able to build a successful serviced-based business around her blog.

Her skill was writing. Yours may be something else.

Her skill has value, but so does yours. My hope is that you’re inspired by her story.

And if you’ve been thinking about using your skills to provide a service to your audience, take action.

She shared how she was able to do it. Now you go, do, and then come back to share!

Infographic

build a service-based business

How to Build a Service-based Business Around Your Blog – Prerna Malik

The post 321 How to Build a Service-based Business Around Your Blog – Prerna Malik appeared first on Become A Blogger by Leslie Samuel.

Source: https://www.becomeablogger.com/25863/build-a-service-based-business-around-blog/