As I shared in my last post, this little blog has totally changed our family’s lives. Last year I was able to quit my job as a school counselor to stay home with my two beautiful boys and it has been amazing. Unfortunately, we knew we wouldn’t be able to make ends meet with only one income, so I made it my mission to bring in some money while staying home. I was able to turn my blog into a business and I feel incredibly fortunate that I have been able to make extra money doing something I truly love.
(If you aren’t a blogger and could care less about behind the scenes stuff, this may not be the post for you. But have you discovered Hometalk yet? It’s got all the housie goodness you could want.)
7 Resources to turn your blog into a business
I’ve been blogging here at Lovely Etc. for almost five years, so this is definitely not a story of overnight success. And even now, I am far from the biggest blog on the net and I am make far less money than many big bloggers. In fact, I’m not making a full time income at all, but to be fair, I’m also not putting in full time hours working on Lovely Etc.
I made this huge change so that I would be able to be there for my boys while they are still little, so it really wouldn’t make sense to spend all of my hard-won time at home doing DIY projects and working on blog business. Instead I view it as a very flexible part time job doing something I love, that can be worked into my day during naptime, after bedtime, and occasionally when my little ones are keeping each other entertained. And even with these part time hours, I am making more than enough to allow me stay home with my babies which is quite honestly more than I dreamed possible even a year ago.
So what made the difference between this blog being a fun hobby and this blog being a profitable business that allowed me to completely change my lifestyle? A combination of some really strong motivation and a whole lot of education.
Once I got truly motivated to get myself in gear and turn my blog into a business, I got to work learning exactly how to do that. I bought ebooks, listened to podcasts, joined webinars, and took courses. Some of them were hugely helpful, others were a total waste of time.
Today I want to share with you the resources that really hit the mark and made a huge difference in turning my blog into a business. And yep, this post does include affiliate links to products I think are completely worth buying. You can read my full disclosure here.
I’ve read a lot of ebooks related to blogging on lots of different topics. Ebooks are fabulous because you can choose the books that are right for you and meet your specific needs. These are the books that really made a difference for me and helped me grow both my readership and my profits.
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers is written by a fellow blogger, Tasha from A Designer Trapped, who realized that she was making way more money through affiliate sales than other bloggers she knew. And not in a sleazy, salesman type of way either. She just figured out how to be a bit smarter about her use of affiliate links and it paid off big time. Simply by using the tips I learned in this book, I have increased my own affiliate earnings from a measly $47 last September to $126 in October and $690 in November. There are still plenty of tips in the book I haven’t implemented yet, but this little book easily paid for itself the first month after I bought it. You can get more info and a look at what’s inside here.
Bloggers & Brands
Bloggers & Brands is another ebook that really helps with the money-making side of blogging. This book was written by Shannon from AKA Design and covers everything a blogger needs to know about working directly with brands. One of my major sources of income as a blogger is sponsored posts. When I first started working with brands, I worked exclusively with blogging networks to find sponsored posts. This was a fantastic way to get started and I still work with lots of great blogging networks. But I found that often I had a hard time finding sponsored opportunities with brands that I really care about and support in real life. This book shows you how to approach brands on your own – the brands you really want to work with. It walks you through everything from finding the right person to contact and how to make your pitch to how much to charge. Again, this book paid for itself the very first time I successfully pitched a post to a brand. You can get more info on Bloggers & Brands here.
An Inbox of Opportunity
If you are a blogger, you already know that social media is incredibly fickle when it comes to driving traffic to those awesome blog posts you slave over. Absolutely every blogging guru out there preaches that building your email list is the most important thing you can do for your blogging business. Facebook controls your Facebook posts, Pinterest controls your pins, but you own your email list. It is the only way you can always reach your readers. An Inbox of Opportunity by Kirsten of Sweet Tea LLC, walks you through setting up your email list in Mailchimp, creating an awesome opt-in offer, and using your email list effectively. Since buying this book, my mailing list has increased by 25% and the click through rate on my emails has quadrupled. Get all the details here.
I love listening to podcasts about anything and everything and am always looking for new podcasts to add to my list. (Seriously, I’m currently subscribed to 30 podcasts – they just happen to be the perfect thing to pass the time while painting or doing laundry, two things I spend a lot of time doing.) Best part of learning from podcasts? They are totally free.
Brilliant Business Moms
BlogAid is a podcast that was started by two sisters with an etsy shop who wanted to help other moms running online businesses. They interview some of the top names in blogging and online selling as well as smaller, newer business moms who have had great success. I love that their podcast is full of good info while still being completely approachable.
Blog Aid is a podcast I just recently discovered. MaAnna shares quick tips and info about the technical side of blogging – wordpress, plugins, hosting, ads – the stuff most of us don’t know that much about. There is lots of good info shared and each episode is brief and to the point.
Smart Passive Income
This is basically the holy grail of blogging podcasts. Pat Flynn knows pretty much everything about making money online without being sleazy while you do it and he shares it all on his podcast. Some of the episodes don’t really apply to a little blog like mine, so I mostly just pick and choose which episodes to listen to. Even so, I have learned some really great stuff from Smart Passive Income.
Elite Blog Academy
I’ve also taken a few blogging courses, but the one that really stands out is Elite Blog Academy.
Elite Blog Academy offers step by step guidance for turning your blog into a business. One thing that I have struggled with big time is trying to figure out where to best focus my limited blogging time. There are so many things I could/should be doing to grow a successful blog that I always felt like I was drowning in to-dos. Elite Blog Academy provides a practical structure that guides you step by step through everything you need to do to create amazing content, grow your audience, and transform your blog into a profitable business.
As far as the nitty gritty details, the course includes
- 12 Comprehensive Unit Videos
- 12 Detailed Unit Workbooks with Video Outlines
- 16 Powerful Handouts
- 30 Purposeful Assignments
- Additional Training Webinars
- Accountability & Community within a Private Forum
- An EBA mobile app to access the forum on the go
- A weekly newsletter for added encouragement & motivation
It is recommended that you spend at least 12 weeks completing Elite Blog Academy in order to truly give it the time it deserves. Of course, with fitting my blogging business in during naptime and after my boys are asleep, it has taken me much longer. But hey, like I said, this side gig is allowing me to be home with them so I’m not complaining.
The thing that really sold me on enrolling in Elite Blog Academy to begin with is it comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. Anyone who completes the course and has not seen measurable results in both traffic and income growth will get your money back, no questions asked.
It’s a pretty well-known fact that I’m a cheapskate, but even I was willing to give the course a try with that kind of guarantee. And it was a gamble that definitely paid off in the end. This course has more than paid for itself – not just in knowledge, but in cold hard cash that I have earned using things I learned in Elite Blog Academy.
Enrollment for Elite Blog Academy is extremely limited, and will only be open for five days, beginning today. If you are ready to finally take your blog to the next level, sign up now to secure your spot! (And if you enroll by tomorrow at 11:59pm, you will also get access to a free Early Bird Bonus–the Daily Productivity Guide for Bloggers, which looks pretty cool!)
You can get more info, read testimonials, and find out how to enroll in Elite Blog Academy here.
So those are my top picks – of everything I’ve read about blogging for profit, these are the ones that made a difference. Do you have any suggestions you would add? I have a few more ebooks still waiting on my Kindle app, but I love to hear what resources have worked for others.