Starting a blog in a mountain town in 2009, I felt like I was pioneering an unfamiliar industry. I knew I was creating my own mountain to climb, with no idea on how to monetize a blog, but I trusted a nagging voice telling me to write and tap into my talents, and so I began writing about true love …. after marriage, and children, documenting our parenting journey as we blindly navigated it.
My inspiration was Heather Armstrong, a blogger whose pseudonym was Dooce, a name given to her by co-workers. Dooce was making a good living off of writing that began with her breakaway from the Mormon Church after she began questioning religion in college. Her writing was brave, and her story far more compelling than mine, but I knew I had some key tools that I could humorously deliver to other parents, and so I began writing, either waking up, or going to sleep at 4 am, in those precious hours when the sweet breath of my boys was nothing but peaceful … and quiet.
Becoming a Mommy Blogger
Navigating the world of mommy blogging while also navigating motherhood, was a bit turbulent. Everything I knew I learned on the fly. You can read all about my journey on the blog. I rollercoastered, soaring when being creative and crashing when focusing on the bottom line. I inhaled books that I listened to while cooking and cleaning. Books that taught me about business as I tapped into the brains of; Tim Ferriss, Sam Harris, Steve Pressfield, Gabrielle Bernstein, and Tony Robbins. I studied and persevered, innately knowing what to do next but not knowing where it was taking me. Just trusting. I also reached out to all the business bureaus, and that is what led me to be picked up 11 years later by a non-profit called Consult Your Community (CYC). Consult Your Community is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that inspires communities into action by empowering small business owners and drive change in their communities.
Organizations Helping Community
It is so crazy that just when I seriously had given up and let go of what I had been attached to for so very long, everything clicked into place. My blog was on the market and I had interested buyers. I was done. Burned out. Ready to get a real job, but with the support of CYC I climbed out of the rut. Together we did a deep dive into the infrastructure of my organization and brought clarity to my business model. We took the two entities that I had built, Aspen Real Life and Aspen Business Connect, and strategized on how to meld them together. We built a membership structure and a shop so that I could now feature local artisans and better serve my community. CYC filled in all the holes, expediting my progress tenfold, and for that, I am forever grateful.
Now I am well on my way to attaining a dream that I had given up on; to have platforms with enormous viewership so that I may share voices, support businesses, and authentically and intentionally create community. And now I am ready to share my wisdom with all of you so that you do not have to go through the pain that I did. So here you go!
Ten Steps to Monetizing Your Blog
1. Build Your Audience
- Don’t start off too broad. Develop your niche by focusing on topics that are in your wheelhouse. This will make it easier to develop your persona and demographic.
- Be diligent.
- Post daily or weekly to start.
- Bring in other writers so you don’t get burned out.
- Invite people you admire to be guest bloggers.
- Ask to guest blog on other sites
- Comment on the other media sites that you admire. It will Draw people to your site.
- Do what you can to help others by platforming them on your blog.
- Grow your network on LinkedIn
2. Gather Your People
Don’t attempt to do this alone. Gather your peeps who have your back and who you have a great workflow with. For a time you will have to do it all yourself, but find a way to pay those who can take off your task list the work that weighs you down so you can stay in your genius.
3. Find an Excellent Web Developer
Your blog will become your business, and your web developer will become like a business partner to you. They must truly understand your vision. If somebody who is working for you frustrates you, don’t stick with them. Find somebody new.
4. Offer Membership Options
5. Create Content on Other Sites within Your Niche
6. Create Ads
Use Google Adsense and create ads on Google and social media to attract your targeted audience.
7. Bring in Brands to Advertise to Your Niche
8. Widen Your Circles with a Podcast and Webinars
If you are going to create a podcast, an online course or Webinars, Get educated on what kind of time you will need to put in, and how to monetize it. Don’t start something you won’t be able to keep up with.
9. Offer Consulting Services
10. Sell Merchandise
And my last words of advice? Be patient! Nobody achieves results without putting in the work. The real success starts when you start attracting a nice audience. That’s when you realize that your challenge has pivoted from fear to one of confidence, and even victory.
I am proud to be in a place that I can assure you that if you do the work and persevere, the floodgates to success will soonn open.