Last week's Blog Mastery assignment talked about your business model and how it works with your blog. However, I feel you might have missed my point. You see, blogging is your second priority. If you are busy writing posts then you might be heading in the wrong direction.
It’s easy to forget that blogging isn’t your business. It’s a marketing tool for your business. Logically this inconvenient truth means that before you can blog you must have a business. Let's camp out on this topic today and work on a street-smart approach to building a successful business BEFORE you invest time in your blog.
The first question to tackle is simple but often ignored -
What is a business?
A business has customers, products, and product creators.
The plumbing business has customers with broken toilets, a toilet fixing service, and guys trained to fix the toilet. A successful business figures out how to find its customers, create a great product, and charge a price that keeps employees fed and customers happy.
Your approach to figuring out how to profitably balance customer needs, product development, and product delivery s your business model.
This weekend, I want you to create your business model. Once you do, you’ll discover the most important thing you can do for your blog.
- It isn’t writing (important but not critical)
- It isn’t sharing content on Twitter or Facebook (fun but not critical)
- It isn’t commenting and guest posting (useful, still effective, but not essential)
It’s the one thing you’ve probably been avoiding.
Creating Your Product
My new clients are often surprised that I totally ignore their blog until we’ve talked about their products. I want to know:
- What products are selling well
- What products aren’t selling
- What products are they currently developing and when will they launch
Why? Products attract customers. Products earn money. Money makes blogging a lot easier. I know. It’s hard to write an epic post if you are worried about making your mortgage payment.
That’s why I strongly urge you to think about your business model and get busy creating your first (or next) product. Set a timeline for completing it. Your product can be a new service, a physical gadget, or a digital product like an eBook or membership site. The key is that it needs to solve an irritating customer problem.
Tip: Is your product an ebook? Copyblogger is going all-in on helping scrappy marketers create an ebook in the next 30 days. Read about it here
How Great Writing Leads to Bankruptcy
There’s a myth about the incredible powers of “great content.” Bloggers across the globe are buckling down to write another blog post that will get them noticed and promoted. They believe that their awesome blog post will magically create new products, opportunities, and attract deep-pocketed advertisers.
No. Most of the time, this misguided devotion leads to frustration and for many financial disappointment. Remember, traffic only matters if you have a product. You can’t eat 20,000 “visits”. The gas company won’t accept your Google Analytics report as proof of payment.
Don’t fall for the great blogs = great businesses pitch.
Instead, do this:
1. Talk to potential customers and discover what irritates the “stuff” out of them
2. Build a product or service that solves their problem and delights them
3. Use a blog to show other potential customers how to identify their own problem and …
4. Use your blog to encourage readers to learn more about your solution (product)
A successful blog is simply a tool to create demand for your product and invite dedicated readers to become subscribers and customers.
This scenario leads to sales and profits.
My Catalyst service will help you figure out your product and give you a real plan for making money with your blog. Click here to jump on the phone with me and discuss your blog and your how I can help.
photo credit: kevin dooley