I grew up near the ocean in Southern California in the early 1990’s. During that time, my dad would take me sailing on an 27ft boat called the “Bold Lady”. We would navigate the waters from Long Beach Harbor to Catalina Island for the weekend. A 27 mile trip across the Pacific Ocean.
On our first voyage, I remember having a great sense of doubt. I thought to myself, “there’s no motor! How are we ever going to get there?” But after my father thoroughly explained the tools and tricks of a well prepared sailor, I was slowly persuaded. He showed me how we could use the wind, be resourceful, leverage information from the boat’s instruments, and watch the horizon.
Looking back, my childhood fascination of using problem solving for getting from point “A” to point “B”, has become a helpful skill in my professional life. Blogging isn’t much different than sailing. It’s one of those careers that seem impossible until you understand how to “use the wind”.
While this article won’t have explain the entire solution for making money as a blogger, it will touch on a few critical tips to point you in the right direction. And at the end of this lesson, I’ll share a another means to learn even more.
6 Critical Steps For 6 Figure Blogging:
1. Content Isn’t King
Let’s get real. People don’t have time to be loyal to more than a few blogs. Shockingly, too many new bloggers think wrong here. Inexperienced teachers state, “content is KING!” And with this new information, novice bloggers begin creating lots of new content. As a result, their hopes are set in the weak strategy of, “If I write it, they will come.” But they often don’t.
Because content isn’t king, usefulness is.
It took me a few years to let this truth sink in. Like many of you, I was the blogger writing for quantity and quality. Sure, my articles were pretty good too. But today, I have shifted to only writing one article per week. It’s not about the word count. It’s not about the timing. It’s not about a catchy headline. It’s about creating a lesson. It’s about offering value. It’s about sharing authentic, vulnerable emotion. My articles are easy to read. They’re empathetic. And they’re useful. Since this shift, my readers have not only been more consistent, but more committed. My blog has become their guide on their life’s journey.
So ask yourself: How can I create useful-rich content that helps my readers get to where they want to be? How can you step into the shoes of your readers and offer them a lesson more valuable than than those of your competitors?
2. It’s About You
This might be the number one insecurity of new bloggers. Novice bloggers have a deep sense of illegitimacy. They believe, “I don’t have the authority or the experience or the training.” But that’s a lie.
Our world has convinced us we need qualifiers to be valuable to others. It just isn’t true. Successful blogging is made up of writers who can share their story. What they’re learning. What they’re feeling. The real secret to success as a blogger is relatability.
People don’t follow blogs, they follow people.
Newspapers columnists have proven this truth for over 100 years. Articles from a faceless website, magazine, or newspaper just don’t connect with the reader’s emotion. Your audience is looking for attachment. They are looking for someone who inspires them or shares their reality.
So don’t be shy in your writing. Write from your story. Share your uniquness. Don’t worry about your credential. There’s nothing more humbling than realizing thousands of people enjoy you just for who you are.
So ask yourself: How can I include more “me” on my blog? Have you added personal photos? Do you include your story in every article?
3. Capture Is Critical
People often brag about how many visitors their blog received in a given month. I smile. Because it’s never about how many people come to your site today that matters, it’s about how many will come tomorrow.
Returning visitors is my key metric as a blogger. It’s the core of my success. Any blogger with a catchy headline can have a one-hit-wonder. But you can’t fake 1,000,000 monthly readers 23 months in a row.
Return visitors don’t just happen because of your kick-butt writing skills.
Returned visitors come back because you captured them. For me, you’ll notice I have opportunities strategically positioned across my entire site. First time readers can join my email, follow me on social media, buy my book, register for my events, or enroll into my course.
The goal of the blogger is to pull readers into your platform. Bring them into your universe where you can make your content a habit for their life.
So ask yourself: Am I effectively capturing emails, likes, and follows? Am I offering other ways for new readers to get into my universe?
4. Influence Equals Income
Now most people will say, “bloggers make money on ads.” Sure. That’s true. And it’s an important piece of your income model. But the real wealth is driven by influence. People ask me all the time, “How are you making $65,000 per month blogging?” While this is a very complex question, I can assure you the foundation is built on influence.
Over the past few years (I’ve only been blogging for 3 years), I have built trust one reader at a time by producing consistent, useful content. This consistency combined with quality and history (3 years) has created influence.
People listen to what I say. I have earned the authority, trust, and results required to sway people’s opinion.
With this influence, I can sell them quality products, books, and courses. I can also sell them tickets and consulting and even personalized advertisements. Your personality becomes the value. Your personalized stamp of approval or endorsement is what brands are looking for. Your name tied to theirs, is a win.
Surprisingly, building influence is not that difficult either. This is why you see make-up vloggers, food podcasters, mommy bloggers, and Instagram photographers all making 6-7 figure incomes.
The lesson is this: Influence is the result of consistent, useful content over years at a time. If we want to make a healthy income blogging, influence should be your intention. There is no shortcut to influence either… But I can promise you this, one year from now… you’ll wish you started today.
5. Platform Is The Goal
Let’s zoom out for a moment. I don’t want you to think that building a widely read blog is the goal. It’s not. The goal is to build a platform.
For reference reasons I define platform as: The culmination of useable influence owned by you.
Your platform includes your blog. But it also includes your social media accounts, email lists, mailing addresses, podcast subscribers, readers of your books, and students enrolled in your curriculum (if you sell courses). Consequently, this should alter your entire growth strategy. Building a platform requires a multi-faceted approach to influence. You’re required to acknowledge and discern the difference of communication and culture for each area of influence.
For me, building my platform goes far beyond my blog posts. It spills into my books, my speaking engagements, the way I communicate on Pinterest, the vulnerabilities I share on Instagram. But don’t be confused. They all share the same mission, the same vision, and the same goal. Build an active and engaged platform.
So ask yourself: Are you building a blog or a platform? What needs to change to start putting your platform as the goal? Also, where is your platform weak and what can you do to strengthen it?
6. Shortcuts & Blindspots (My Favorite)
I believe if I sat with you for two hours, I would save you an entire year of blogging mistakes. In 120 minutes you would jump 365 days closer to success. I know this for two reasons:
First, we love shortcuts. What apps do you use, what tools work best, what topics perform well, how should I structure my weekly emails, when should I post, how do I get people to follow me on social media? The answers to these questions are MASSIVE shortcuts. And shortcuts get us to where we want to go, faster.
Second, is blindspots. We want to avoid the mistakes others have made. We want to know what hasn’t worked for others so we don’t spend hours, days, or even months investing in the wrong areas. Revealing blindspots is a critical skill in being a successful blogger.
I’m going to do both for you. This isn’t some corny sales pitch either. This is something I really believe in. Over the past few years we’ve had over 2,0000 people start their own profitable blog and business with our StartupCamp curriculum. If you’re serious about building an online influence and writing for a living consider my offer below.
Was this article helpful? What stood out? Any strategies I left out that you can share? Let me know in the comments below.