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5 Steps to Marketing Your Blog Even if You’re Broke

I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Your blog is a big deal. It’s the hub of your content marketing strategy and your first and probably best opportunity to market your business. It deserves your full attention.

There’s a catch. Its easy to pet, tweak, and optimize your blog and totally ignore marketing it. Most people hate marketing. They think it turns them into an oily unscrupulous salesman. Plus it’s sexier to work on design and buying fancy software and plugins. Even though its wrong, it’s tempting to hang on to the hope that if you build a great blog, someone will come.

So marketing is given a seat at the kiddie table.

I wish this was the only problem because I could show you the power of blog marketing, how it saves money, accelerates your growth, and creates customers for life.

But I would be missing the real issue for many solopreneurs and small business owners –

Marketing costs money and you’re broke.

All the excellent blog marketing posts in the blogosphere won’t matter if you just have $2.44 in your bank account. (Believe me, I’ve been there)

Don’t beat yourself up. Most of the people I work with are in the same boat, bailing water as fast as they can trying to find a way to keep their blog afloat.

Right now, let’s resolve to do something about the problem.

Don’t succomb to the myth that you’ll have the money to do marketing “right” when you’ve sold enough. You and I know that sales come after savvy marketing rarely before. Let’s also agree that blog marketing isn’t easy. There’s a lot more to it than just writing guest posts and pleading for attention on Twitter. Agreed?

Good. You’re probably wondering what to do next.

Step #1: Get Real about Spending

Understand that you will need to invest in your marketing. Yes, you think you are broke but are you really?

Start with your business expenses and determine where you can shift funds to marketing. Are there any paid subscriptions you don’t need? Are you spending money on advertising that isn’t working? Honestly review your spending and find the cash to add to your marketing war chest.

You just need a little capital to get the marketing ball rolling.

I raised $545 / month to start Pushing Social from:

  • Making my coffee at home instead of buying from Starbucks. Savings: $115 /month
  • Moving from Aweber ($40/month) to Mailchimp (Free): Savings: $40 / month
  • Canceling online subscriptions to magazines and paid newsletters I didn’t read: Savings: $200 (ridiculous, I know)
  • Canceling online tools that I didn’t need. I had bought access to fancy analytics and lead nurturing services that weren’t needed for a new blog: Savings $190.00 /month

I used the $545 for Step #2

Step #2: Get a Plan.

Notice I didn’t say create a plan. Even though many people believe they are great marketers, most aren’t. If marketing was just a skill then everyone would be great at it. But, marketing is an art that requires tons of trial and error experimentation. It’s not easy and nothing is guaranteed.

But you can boost your success by getting an extra pair of eyes to take a look at your business. Call up that family member who is a whiz at marketing. Find a local fast growing business, call the owner, and take them to lunch (or two). Talk to me. I can help you immediately.

You are looking for solid advice on what you are missing, where you should invest, and how to reach your ideal reader and customer. In my case, I knew what I had to do based on 15 years of helping other companies, I used the money to get expert help designing my products.

Step #3: Execute the Plan

Once you’ve received good advice, create and execute your plan. It sounds simple but it isn’t.

Many people I’ve worked with had an “idea” about their marketing plan – none of them had executed their plan. You can’t move to the next step until you put your plan into action and get some sales. Your plan may not work, but you want to know that now rather than later so you can correct your course and keep moving.

Step #4: 10% Marketing War Chest

Now, take 10% from every sale and put it into a separate account.

If you sell $1 set aside a dime. Again this is simple. The trick is doing it. The fastest growing blogs see their marketing as a cost of doing business and religiously set aside the money to market it. Do the same. Put aside 10% no matter what.

Step #5 Reinvest in What Works

Take your marketing war chest funds and invest in the marketing tactics that work. This investment will “leverage” the tactic by using your extra investment to get bigger results quicker. Soon your marketing program will be completely funded by sales.

Can you do this? What are some of the ways you can get started on your blog marketing now? Talk to me in the comments.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the CEO of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

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