I won’t tell you that I have it all figured out when it comes to building a business around my blogs. Nor will I claim, like some, to make millions from my blogs or from the products or services I sell related to my blogged books, my other books, or my blog topics—at least not at this point in time. (I hope one day I can say that!) I won’t even tell you I’m an expert on building a business around a blog. What I will claim, however, is that I’m a good ideator. I know how create ideas for courses, products and services related to books and blogs. I also know how to inspire people to take action and get results. I know how to develop a plan and to help my clients fulfill that plan—and their goals and purpose.
I’m not negating the need to know how to set up a product launch, write a great sales page or email, or run great preview teleseminars. If you want to learn these skills, go to the experts, like Alex Mandosian, Lisa Sasevich, Kathleen Gage, and Chris Garrett. But before you get to the point of needing that information, you must have an idea about what products and services you want to create.
As both an authorpreneur and a blogpreneur, you possess a unique opportunity. You have both a book—possibly in the blog stage or already published—and a blog around which to build a business. You gave birth to your book on your blog, and your blog continues to provide a primary vehicle for book promotion as well as for you, the expert on your subject matter. Even if you write fiction, you can cross over to nonfiction or you can become an expert on a topic in your novel and create a business around your book and blog. As any type of book blogger, author and blogger, you can focus on both your book and on the content produce on your blog going forward as you plan out how to monetize what you do.
The Fundamental Steps to Entrepreneurship
Think about it: Every business, just like every book, begins with an idea. The proverbial light bulb goes off. Just yesterday I heard about two guys who left Google to start a businesses. They brainstormed and came up with the idea to sell used high-end clothing online, so they started www.twice.com. Their business started with an idea. Then they took action. Along the way, they figured out how to make their idea work.
Building a business around your blog also has two fundamental steps: creating ideas for your products and services and taking action to create them. Of course, you may need to learn how to create them if you don’t know how to run a teleseminars or webinar, use PowerPoint, record a video, produce audio, set up a membership site, create an ebook, or use PayPal. But you can learn these things or you can hire someone who does know how to do these tasks. (I’ve provided a bit of information on some of how to do some of these things in the posts I published this month.) And you can do so as the need arises. If you don’t have ideas or know what steps to create to manifest those ideas, then the rest doesn’t matter. First comes ideation and then action. Action will take you to the solutions you need to make your idea work.
Step 1: Ideation
Sometimes an idea just pops into your head. Viola! You are on your way. Other times, you have to work at it. That means possibly doing a mind map or some other type of brainstorming activity. Once you settle on an idea, you can move forward.
To build a business around your blog or book, you can develop more than one idea. The first idea should build upon the next to help you create a brand and move your customers and clients form the lowest-priced item to the highest. Your offers should serve both beginner and more advanced people who happens to find your blog. So spend time developing ideas not only for your first product or service but for those that will follow as well.
Step 2: Action
Once you have a minimum of one idea, it’s time to create an action plan. Determine what steps you need to take to actually make those ideas become manifest. How do you produce them?
Make a to-do list of everything necessary, including “learn how to do X,Y and Z.” Create a deadline for when you want the product or service available, and then work backwards to create a timeline for when you need to take particular action steps on your to-do list. This is Goal Achievement 101. Put the action items on your calendar. Make time for them. Do them. Without action your idea remains just an idea.
Create Your Plan
Be sure you plan revolves around products and services about which you feel passionate. Your offerings should also fulfill your purpose and the purpose of your book and blog. If they do, you will find selling them much easier. In fact, it won’t feel like selling, and customers and clients will be attracted to you and what you sell.
If you need help brainstorming product and service ideas or creating a business plan for your blog or blogged book, you can find that assistance in How to Build a Business Around Your Blog, my new home-study course. It contains two-hours of video, a 12-page workbook and a bonus handout. I’m also available for a consult on the topic.