2020 was the year when I created my business mindset to guide me in converting my blog into business.
And yes this post contains affiliate links. I only link to products here that I use and trust.
For some people this is a no brainer. For others it is nearly impossible because of self-imposed, limiting constraints.
The primary reasons for this difficulty was that I made false assumptions about:
- the worth of my knowledge
- the ability of my client base to pay
- misunderstanding my market
A Fair Price for Women’s Words
Most people accept external validation for the fair market value of their skills.
I have learned to question fair market values in general due suppression of women’s wages and salaries in general and the devaluation of predominantly female career areas. The Economic Policy Institute’s research findings detail inconsistency and inequality in wages and salaries. I also question whether the construction of fair value is fair. S&P Global provides a reasonable discussion of the topic.
If you allow society to define your worth without your active participation in that definition, you may be getting screwed.
I was aware of all this, so why did I feel a need to rebuild my blog with an eye to business practices?
Most blogs, even ones created to make money, make no money. Ads on your blog might make you a tiny bit of money, but probably not even enough to pay for a secure hosting service. This is one of the tenets I stress when I teach groups about blogging.
I told myself I was providing meetups to women bloggers to recruit for my coaching services. I undervalued my coaching services and did not even begin to think about ROI per the in-person meetups (classes).
My practices were more geared to offending no members of the group than making money. I said things like, “this is really a focus group for my big offering that I will do next.” Or, “These are my friends, I can’t charge them.” Or said/thought unsupported things like, “The women who attend are fixed income and can’t afford to pay me.”
Initially, I wanted to create a supportive group of bloggers more than I wanted to make money. I also needed a vehicle for creating a curriculum. And my meetups built a good reputation. And I so enjoyed interacting with the brilliant women in the group.
I loved teaching and coaching. But as life changed for me, after several years of hosting meetups I felt the need to, and was encouraged to share, what I was teaching with a larger group of people.
There were groups spinning off from my group and I took this, not as an insult, but as having worked with a successful niche that that expanded. In 2019 I took a sabbatical and stepped off the treadmill of posting and teaching to figure out what I really wanted to do and where the real needs of the women I wanted to help lie. I ultimately decided I did want to continue to develop the women’s legacy project.
Education About Business
So I began looking at what it would take to advance this site to the next level so I could offer my classes to a larger swath of folks. I needed a product and I needed to get over my skittishness about asking for money for my products.
I decided to take a course. I knew women, one woman from my meetup, who had done well that had worked through Elite Blog Academy’s program. So that is what I decided to do. I signed up for the new offering that helped students work through the course in six or nine months.
I apparently had to:
- hear someone say directly to me all the things about profit that I had heard but not internalized
- learn the worth of and how to build an email list
- learn at least one complete method of building sales pages and a sales funnel
As a booky empiricist I had to walk through the whole process with the “details” that too many online gurus do not share.
Of course when I signed up for the course in February 2020 I had heard of the Covid19 virus, but the pandemic did not become ruthlessly apparent until a month after I signed up.
Not Good with Gurus
My feathers ruffle when people pronounce what any “should” do. I am such a relativist by nature; I trained in anthropological relativism to boot. So, following any one person’s plan or course is quite difficult. I question everything and everyone! Don’t take it personally.
RSO, Ruth Soukup Omnimedia, was what I decided to go with because she shares her processes. Sometimes Ruth says “should”. I had to get over that. She is adamant about her method and will “Ruth” anyone who doesn’t want to follow her basic core actions. I won’t go into what those are as that is the essence of her core offerings. Once you have “Been Ruthed” you know it.
RSO essentially spins off Ruth’s own procedure from the standard funnel mechanics of tripwires and lead magnets. I needed someone or something, a program, to hold my nose to the grindstone as I learned and implemented the basic marketing elements. Her course did that.
For email and building an email list I decided to go with ConvertKit primarily because of the way it interfaces with WordPress and other software I use. It took me a while to understand the need for an intermediary software like Lead Pages, but I decided to use it too to generate landing pages.
I host my site with WP Engine. I truly care about security and yes WP Engine can have a hefty price, but security and site speed are extremely important to me because of you. I use the best!
Some of the best practices I had already adopted prior to taking the course were following basic copyright law. I only use photographs which I have a right to use, either by a free commercial use license such as provided by Unsplash, or by a paid commercial use license by Haute Stock or Canva.
At some point I will update this post and maybe turn parts of it into a reference page.