You might have heard that “Blogging is not a Business.”
I know I’ve repeated it many times to clients and in my posts. What does this mean really mean? After all there are many people who have great blogs that earn a substantial income.
A business exists if you have a product, a customer, and a efficient process for getting that customer to pay for the product. A blog can attract readers. A blog can contain links to product offers. But that’s all.
The right way to build a great blog is to build a winning business first.
Focus on these 7 Business Building Fundamentals
1. Sell the idea before you create the product
Starting a business is risky. Thankfully you can manage that risk.
Before you spend a ton of cash building websites, hiring employees, and purchasing advertising, sit down with prospects and validate your business idea. Ask them if they would buy your product and for how much. Delay spending any cash until you’ve refined your idea and its value.
2. Rapidly Build a Prototype
Once you’ve gained a clear blueprint for what your prospect will buy, build the product. Follow your blueprint closely. Resist the temptation to create a product/service that has more features than needed. Use this product prototype for step #3.
3. Get Your First Sell
Get one sell and you can get 20. Work to sell one product to your ideal prospect as quickly as possible. The sell will boost your confidence and provide valuable information.
With your sell you’ll understand the price you need to charge, the benefits to promote, and how long it takes to convince your prospect to buy. This is critical information for the next step.
4. Test and Repeat
Constantly refine your product prototype with ongoing testing. Test new features, price points, and delivery process. Stay in close contact with your key customers so you can run new product ideas by them for validation.
5. Collect Data
Set up Google Analytics to capture as much data as you can. You should collect:
- Traffic Sources
- Conversion rates
- Average Cost by Sale
- Average Revenue per sale
- Time to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Sale
- Which content creates the most leads and sales
Your goal is to create a complete picture of your ideal customer’s behavior and habits. This data will help you build a highly effective purchase funnel that anticipates your customer’s needs.
6. Build your Business System
At this point you should have a clear process for converting strangers into prospects and prospects into customers. This process isn’t a guess, it’s backed up by data, sales, and customer feedback. You have a system when you can consistently attract the right type of prospect and turn them into a customer at a consistent rate. Remember your blog can help in this process – but it’s not the ENTIRE process.
7. Use Profits to Feed Yourself and Your Business
Successful business owners believe in a special dictum: Cash is king. Cash buys advertising, better graphics, software, and time to get your business running before you are forced to go back to the corporate grind. The reason I stress rapidly building a business is because I want you to have the cash to scale your activities.
With profits you can:
- License sophisticated software to manage your email list and put your business on autopilot
- Test traffic strategies that require purchasing clicks or attention via display ads
- Hire help to take low-return tasks off your plate
and much more. Remember that retweets, likes, and visits aren’t profits. You can’t feed your family or pay the mortgage with tweets. Race to earn your first dollar of profit and repeat the process.
It’s Simple. Time to Execute
Building your core business is simple: find a customer need, build a product to satisfy that need, and create a system that delivers the product for less than customers pay. Your biggest challenge will be executing your plan.