Making the Shift from Blogger to Business Owner: Type-A Bootcamp Walt Disney World [Part 3]

African American woman checking her piggy bank for moneyIs it time to make some money with that blog of yours? I had the privilege of presenting with Adrianna Domingos-Lupher of Next Gen MilSpouse at Type A Parent Bootcamp in Walt Disney World last week where we inspired some amazingly talented bloggers to make that shift to business owner.  This post is the last in a 3-part series about what we shared at the conference. You can find Part 1 here: Making the Shift: Five Truths to Tell Yourself About Turning Your Blog into a Business and Part 2 here: Making the Commitment: Five Practical Tips for Making the Shift From Blogger to Business Owner.

It’s interesting to study how people make money online. I love peeling back the curtain and really digging in to how the cash flows in an online business. Some of the more predictable revenue-generating strategies for bloggers include ad networks, affiliate income, sponsored posts and ambassadorships. Lucky for me, there were fabulous speakers at Type-A Bootcamp who shared generously on these topics! A special shout out to Missy Ward of Affiliate Summit and Debbie Bookstaber of Element Associates for the scoop on affiliate marketing; and Roo Ciambriello of Neon Fresh, Titania Jordan of Cool Mom Picks and Kelly Whalen of The Centsible Life for their negotiating tips for working with brands.

Adrianna and I shared a few ideas of our own…some of which may open your eyes to a new revenue stream for your business. In fact, we know from personal experience that the potential in these strategies could possibly be more lucrative for small businesses and new bloggers. So you may want to consider one of the following in your mix!

Making the Money: Five Ways to Make Money as a Blogger and Business Owner

1. Speak and Host Events. While not all speakers are compensated for their presentations, there are plenty of paid speaking opportunities out there for experts. If you’re comfortable on center stage, then take a look at you niche and your audience, determine what you can offer and start pitching to event planners and association managers. You can even consider online speaking (webinars and teleseminars) and hosting your own events where you can speak and bring in sponsors and other speakers like Kelby Carr does with Type-A Con.

2. Start a Consulting Practice. Many bloggers are also full-time consultants who earn a living by sharing their knowledge on a wide variety of subjects such as marketing, social media, photography, creativity, nutrition, fitness, finances and more. They get paid by the project or by the hour to help other businesses or individuals succeed. How can you turn your area of expertise into a revenue stream for your business? [Read more...]

Making the Shift from Blogger to Business Owner: Type-A Bootcamp Walt Disney World [Part 2]

Beautiful woman displaying the screen of a laptop computer – isolated

Ready to make the shift from part-time hobby to full time business owner? I had the privilege of presenting with Adrianna Domingos-Lupher of Next Gen MilSpouse at Type A Parent Bootcamp in Walt Disney World last week where we inspired some amazingly talented bloggers to make that shift to business owner.  This post is the second in a 3-part series about what we shared at the conference. You can find Part 1 here: Making the Shift: Five Truths to Tell Yourself About Turning Your Blog into a Business

Today, we’re talking about what it takes to make a commitment to your business. Sometimes we tend to dabble in a business…experiment with our ideas…play in the space for a while. But eventually, there comes a time when we need to invest in the business. This is what it looks like when you’re ready to make that commitment:

Making the Commitment: Five Practical Tips for Making the Shift From Blogger to Business Owner

1. Invest in great branding. There’s an incredible tool called the Internet and it can help teeny tiny businesses compete with massive companies in pretty much every industry. But just because your business is teeny tiny, doesn’t mean your branding should reflect that. If you had only a few dollars to spend on the business, I would invest it in a great website, with branding that speaks to your ideal customer and functionality that makes the experience easier for your visitor.

Unless you are a graphic designer or web developer, please don’t try to tackle everything on your own. Yes, you can build your own site. Yes, you can create your own graphics. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. At least not all of it. If you’re pulling your hair out trying to create graphics or learn coding, then maybe it’s not your gift. Maybe your time would be better spent somewhere else in the business while someone else is working on the branding. That’s not to say you need to spend thousands of dollars before you begin earning money. You can start with a free WordPress.org website theme and work with a graphic designer to create a custom banner. Ask her to create some brand standards for consistency when it comes to fonts and colors. Then, as you grow, invest in upgrading the site with a new theme and more custom graphics. 

And while you are investing in branding, make sure you create a consistent look and feel across all of your social media channels and platforms. You should have the same images, colors, fonts, etc. everywhere your business appears on the web or in real life. I recommend Matt and his team at TweetPages for this job – a fabulous Christian family-run business with superior customer service and great quality design.

2. Make a clear and consistent call to action. Bloggers love RSS subscribers. That means people actually want to read what we write! They get our blog posts delivered to their inbox so they won’t miss a thing. But business owners love email subscribers. That means readers opt in to receive email messages from us. This is how online businesses develop relationships with customers and make sales. What is YOUR goal on your blog or website? Do you want visitors to subscribe to your email list? Call for an appointment? Join your community? It’s your job to understand what you want people to do when they visit and make it easy for them to take action. It’s time to get strategic!

3. Take your business seriously by establishing a professional foundation. This means doing the stuff that sometimes freaks us out – like establishing a legal entity (consult a lawyer to find out which one is right for you), obtaining a business license and Tax ID number, opening a business checking account, creating contracts and non-disclosure agreements, developing policies and procedures, getting business insurance, trademarking your brand, etc. While you are at it, make sure you’ve got a professional email address and phone number. No more Hotmail or AOL email addresses for business! [Read more...]

Making the Shift from Blogger to Business Owner: Type-A Bootcamp Walt Disney World [Part 1]

typeawdw CollageQuick – which title describes you best: “blogger” or “business owner?” Most of the moms I work with would consider themselves a business owner who uses blogging as a tool. But if you’re one of those bloggers who recently found herself creating something bigger than a blog and learning to monetize her hobby, then this post’s for you! Or, if you’re just getting started in your business AND your blog, stick around — there are a few tips for you here as well.

I had the privilege of presenting with Adrianna Domingos-Lupher of Next Gen MilSpouse at Type A Parent Bootcamp in Walt Disney World last week where we inspired some amazingly talented bloggers to make that shift to business owner.  Some of them are “accidental entrepreneurs” – moms who had no intention of going pro but their blogs took off and they followed. Others were very intentional about their goals to earn a living with their blog – they knew how to blog (much better than me), but they needed the skinny on the business side of things.

Here’s what we shared with them. I’ve divided it into three parts because there are a lot of tips to cover and I know you don’t have a lot of time to read. So, take it one day at a time. Baby steps. We’ll start with making a shift in your mindset…

[Blogger to Business Owner Part 1]

Making the Shift: Five Truths to Tell Yourself About Turning Your Blog into a Business

1. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything. Sounds like I’ve been sniffing Tinker Bell’s pixie dust, but it’s true. If you want others to take you seriously, then you have to believe that you’re worth it. And YOU are! So don’t apologize for where you are in your business or hide behind your excuses…stand confidently and know that YOU are more than capable!

2. It’s easier than you think. Running a business isn’t easy. But we often make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. We freak out about taxes or website development or making sales calls… But here’s the good news: the one thing you are most afraid of is probably the one thing that someone else thinks is easy peazy. So the solution is simple: reach out to a friend or colleague who has done what you want to do, and ask for guidance.

3. You’ve got to get over yourself. The things that usually get in the way of success are universal. Things like: I don’t have TIME to do this…I don’t have the MONEY to grow my business…I don’t know HOW to do this…I’m AFRAID it won’t work…I feel GUILTY because I should be spending more time with my family. We’ve ALL felt this way at some point. I’m not saying you aren’t special – because you are SUPER special – but these are not unique and insurmountable obstacles. Just ask any other mom entrepreneur. If we can do it – so can you! [Read more...]