There's more to building a profitable blog than just "write great content".
Anyone who practices long enough can learn to write well.
The hard put is melding together a strategy with that superb blog, email, and social content.
It's starts with:
- your project(s)
- your strategy
- your plan
- your content
- your delivery
- your follow-through
So if earning money (passively) through your content is appealing to you, then this post is exactly what you were looking for.
But first, snag my 8 simple content hacks to help you create a better, stronger blog. [ It's FREE. ]
8 content planning, strategizing, and development email tips to stimulate growth in your online presence.
Okay, fore note: I'm assuming you already have an idea of what you're going to do to create or heighten your income stream.
If not, bookmark this post and watch this intro video first.
If so, read on:
Step 1. Decide On And Solidify Your Projects [And Launch Dates]
Before you even consider planning out your blog content for any period of time, you have to know what you're launching.
And before you even think of a project to pitch to your audience, you should know what your audience will actually buy.
You've built an audience full of email marketers.
Because you write about email marketing.
But, you decide that you're tired of focusing on that type of content and want to branch out into video marketing.
You start working on a project to help educate your audience about filming low-budget, high-quality videos for business growth.
But you've continued to write about email marketing throughout the project...
(Because, hey, that's what the audience you've built wants.)
Then, one day, you launch this course on videos to your email marketing -loving audience.
Can you imagine how shitty your sales would be?
I did something like that back in 2015... And it hurt.
I launched a product that my audience didn't give two craps about.
So before you even decide on your project(s), you need to survey and / or talk to customers and emails subscribers.
(I recently did this. I'll share the results with my Growth Hackers Group soon.)
So the first thing you need to do—outside of knowing what your audience wants, that is—is to lay out your project(s) for "X" period of time.
Then, you need to decide when to launch based on your audience's demographics.
EXAMPLE: Much of my audience are mompreneurs.
If I launch a time-commitment necessary course during summer, financially and time management -aware moms won't buy it.
Because most parents don't always send their kids off to camp over the summer. Many want to enjoy time with their families when they can.
Why buy a course in the heart of summer that you can't start until Fall?
See where I'm going with this?
So when you're scheduling your projects, again, get informed on your audience makeup.
If the launch month or timing is bad, you can have the best product but it still won't sell well if you don't consider your target audience's lives.
Step 2. Develop Your Content Ideas Based Around Your Project Topic
Just like in our email marketing blogger example, you shouldn't publish content on your blog that's unrelated to your project.
(At least not if you want to make sales on said project, that is.)
This is where I like to use my brainstorming and mind mapping technique.
[ Exemplified here ]
Take the title or main idea of your project, and break it down into composite pieces.
Then break those pieces down into smaller pieces, and so on.
You can use that exercise to come up with course sections. And the blog content that'll support your project.
Bear with me, I'm getting to the big picture here.
Step 3. Schedule Your Content In A Way That Builds Interest For Your Project
You know about pre-selling, right?
Whether you take in actual money or you create intentional buzz around your project, you're "pre-selling" it.
And one of the best ways to do this is through your blog posts and emails.
Sometimes it's dropping hints about your project.
Other times it's taking photos of your project in the building stages to pique curiosity.
To engage and interest your potential customers and readers, you can:
Slip in photos of your project into blog content. (It prompts emails, comments, and questions—let me tell you...)
Drop hints in your posts. Something like, "right now I'm working on..." or "...and I'll share more on that next month."
It's like the P.S. section of your emails.
You want to keep your readers opening, clicking, and engaging with your emails, right?
So, you give them little teasers here and there. Great idea to pop in a P.S., huh?
Why not do the same thing in blog and email content leading up to a launch?
Okay, the point is simple:
Create content that directly relates to the project. You can even go as far as taking small pieces from your project itself and include it in blog and social content.
Schedule the content in a way that it builds toward the "epic" and final solution to "X" problem your project solves. That means you need to create awareness. And it means you need to kinda poke the wound your customer wants to heal. (Your project is the ointment and bandage.
EXAMPLE: This is a terrible example, but it's legit so I've got to share it...
When I was about 10 years old, my mom was taking my brother and I to this dentist in the ritzy beach community across the bay from us.
Apparently it was common practice for this practice's dental assistants to "subtly" damage young patients' teeth. You know, to ensure their parents have to bring them back in.
(Of course we didn't know this going in. But we realized it soon...)
After 3 "perfect" exams prior, this one assistant decided to knock a whole in the center of my tooth.
Bad thing for her, my teeth weren't "soft" so I felt it crack.
I remember running out to my mom, screaming.
She pulled my brother out from another room and we left.
Unfortunately we never went to a dentist again after that.
SIDE NOTE: A couple years later we found out that that dental office was known for its corrupt practices. (Yeah... This was back before the Internet was huge.)
And again, although this is a "bad" example, it revealed something to me.
Unlike the dentist that created problems he could later fix—guaranteeing himself return customers that spent more and more money each visit—you can provide solutions to existing problems your audience already faces.
So, the next dentist got to fix my tooth in this case. You know, after having 3 babies and the pain finally made me go to the dentist around 28 years old...
Step 4. Create A Free Download Or Email Course That Generates [More] Interest In Your Project
So, since you're pre-selling and working on your project, how can you interest people outside of your blog, email and social media?
Yep. A free email course.
You can even throw in a download with it to encourage more signups.
(But after acquiring lots of "free seekers" through PDF freebies, I went over to the extended education realm of freebies instead. I'll explain this soon in the Growth Hackers email series.)
Your free email course should be simple and easy to create.
You just need the right tools to get you there.
Some ideas on what you can include in your free email course are:
An introductory email. Something to help your audience understand exactly what to expect from you and that series.
Snippets of trainings from the course itself. (But send them bite-sized little pieces each day instead of creating a novel-length email they won't read.)
A breakdown of one course section, split into several emails = a free email course. (Kind of a play on the second idea...)
Step 5. Create Content That Sells The Course Without Even Having To Pitch (Yet)
This is where reader-focused content that pre-sells comes in.
Because each of your readers and customers come to you at one of three levels of need:
The Ignoramus. (Not "stupid", but ignorant.) They like what you do and write about, but they don't know (or don't care) that they have a problem. So, they need you to peel back the layers to reveal that they do or will have a problem if they don't do "X" to prevent or stop it.
The Interim. They know they have a problem, but they're not in a rush to fix it. It's something that's not too important to them right now, so they won't make a move till they feel like they "need" to. They need to be continually reminded that their problem is going to blow up in their face if they don't do "X" soon.
The Inclined. They're very aware of their problem. And they're desperate to fix it. They're ready to buy, they just need to know they can trust you. They need to know you're the right person "for the job".
And each of these three levels need you to:
prove your authority and expertise
prove that you can (and will) provide the solution
care about actually helping them (and not just care about their bank accounts)
continually remind them of the problem(s) in your emails, blog, and social media content
It's like Joshua Earl's A2E approach.
Entertain + Educate + Agitate
In a recent email from Josh (who emails daily—love it), he mentioned this as a showcase response to one of his readers—Chad.
Chad went on to tell Josh that:
My inbox gets hit with all kinds of stuff, some of which I never even look at, but I don’t want to unsubscribe just in case there’s something interesting that comes across.
A lot of that stuff goes straight to the deleted items because I like to keep a clean inbox.
Since you’ve been sending out your emails after the first of the year, I’ve read every one of them. I really enjoy them. Nice work.
I'm another one of "I never miss an email from Josh" readers.
His content is incredible.
He knows exactly how to write to pique his target audience's interests.
And I'm telling you, I rarely read most of the subscribed-to emails that come into my inbox. But I do read every single one of his, as soon as they hit my inbox (for the most part) daily.
Josh's emails are entertaining. He:
- tells stories and gives real-life examples.
- showcases many of his email subscribers', clients' and customers' questions and reframes them for his email list.
- regularly reminds his audience of their "problems" by answering questions and reframing the responses.
- regularly overcomes concerns and objections with his transparent emails.
- shares tips to help his audience on the "what" (acknowledging the problem) and "why" something happens level, and gently pitches the "how" every hand full or so of emails.
And let me tell you, as soon as he mentioned his "Behind The Scenes Of A Six-Figure Email Course", I bought it immediately.
I didn't care about the price or probably even what was in the course (although it's incredible) because he primed me so well with his daily emails that he hit every one of the "Totem's Of Trust".
proved his authority and expertise through his emails and other content
proved that he can (and does) provide the solutions you're looking for
cares about helping his audience (and not just about their bank accounts)
continually reminds his audience of the problem(s) through email, blog, and social media content
(See the benefit in building trust and authority through email courses?)
Step 6. Launch, Adjust, And Repurpose Immediately
Once your project launches, you have more than just promotion to worry about.
Remember all those posts (and email series) that mentioned the course?
That content needs to be edited and updated too.
So, it's easiest to keep a list—in one of your notes app or in a spreadsheet—of all the posts and even emails (that you can repurpose or continue to use in an email series) that hinted on and pre-sold the project.
That way instead of a line saying something like:
"...and I'll share more on that in the course debuting in March..."
You'd update it to something like:
"... I share more on this in the [insert name of course + direct link here]..."
See how that works?
A simple fix that you pre-mapped and can easily update.
What can you do to create a cohesive and profitable content plan right now?
Email me if you have questions or any thoughts you'd like to add. (Sorry I deleted blog comments...)
But, seriously, how can you create some buzz and jump-to-it buyers using your blog and email content right now?
Let me know via email or @GoffCreative on Twitter.
P.S. Comments, emails, running a business and being a mom of 3 were just too much for me to handle. So, blog comments got the boot. But the lack of a comment box doesn't mean I don't want to hear what you think! Share your thoughts with me via @GoffCreative on Twitter or directly via email.
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