Long ago, when the marketing agency I was consulting with first began building websites for clients, blogging was still in its infancy (we’re talking zygote stage), and few people were using the Web in the way we do today.
Weblogs were definitely in my peripheral vision, and I am proud to have been one of Twitter and Blogger co-founder Evan Williams’ first groupies.
But “following” Evan was a fascination, not a concerted effort to improve my marketing savvy, and it took me a while to fully wrap my brain around the genius of what he was doing.
Talk about being a day late and a dollar short.
But I have learned a few lessons since then and have made a very good living helping others to jump onto the Internet bandwagon, build a profitable business, and have fun doing it.
This post explores a handful of those same strategies. But this isn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill, systematic approach to generating traffic, converting leads into sales, and creating a lasting presence online.
Because while those systems are an invaluable part of your online success, one thing has become very clear to me over the years: If you’re going to be profitable online, you have to do it from the inside, out.
The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Small Business
Building a 6-Figure Blog: An Inside Job
If it sounds like I’m going to suggest that you and your team (if you have one) sit in a circle, sing “Kumbaya,” and wait for Spirit to make your SEO decisions for you, you’re off the hook.
What I am suggesting is that you become hyper aware of what it is that you and your customer are looking to accomplish online.
Because once you get clear on that distinction and are able to satisfy your needs and those of your customer, success naturally follows.
So what are the 5 Steps to 6-Figure Online Success?
Step 1: Ask Yourself, Who Am I?
This first step starts where all business endeavors should: with a question. Who are you? What best describes you and your style? Are you the social, chatty type that is attracted to bloggers who teach with stories (hi!), or are you a numbers and systems person who loves stats, charts, and infographics?
There is no wrong answer here. In fact, the only way you can get it wrong online is to not be yourself. That’s why it’s crucial that you pinpoint and own your unique style.
Step 2: Identify Your Ideal Client
Step two goes hand in hand with the first. Because once you know who you are online, it’s very easy to focus on the types of people you want to attract.
Here’s a tip: If you’d like to be fabulously successful online, you want to get really, really clear about who your ideal client is.
And here’s the fun part: You get to make this stuff up. You get to decide who that person is.
If you see your ideal client as a middle-aged female who earns $200,000 annually and knows when the next Jimmy Choo trunk sale is going to happen (and has instructed Siri on her iPhone to remind her days in advance), write that down.
If you’re feeling a male target demo, 18 to 24, who lives in his parents’ basement and considers beer pong and “Guy Code” the epitome of entertainment, write that down.
And have fun with it. Remember, the clearer you can get here, on paper, the more you’ll speak to your ideal customer through your blog, and the easier it will be to attract them to your site.
Step 3: Define Your Primary Call to Action
What is it you want people to do when they come to your site? Leave their name and email so that you can begin building a relationship and lead them through a sales process? Comment on a post so you can develop a dialogue? Like or +1 your post so that you can gain audience share and climb to the top of Google?
Ideally, you probably will want them to do all of the above, but in order to communicate a clear and concise message, you need to identify a primary call to action, and then structure the function of your site from there.
Step 4: Take Charge
Once you’ve defined your primary call to action, you want to make it clear and easy for your customer to do what you want.
Don’t assume that they know you’re looking for comments just because there’s a comment section on your blog.
Ask them to comment. Better yet — tell them to do so. “Do you like what you’ve read here? Leave a comment below” works like gangbusters.
Do you want them to leave a name and email to build your list? Place an opt-in box at the top right of your page where it can be seen, tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do, and where.
Step 5: Give Your Future Income a Purpose
Okay, this last step is, admittedly, a little on the woo-woo side.
But does it work?
You bet. So much so that my husband and I recently re-tooled our entire online presence around what it takes to make money from the inside, out.
Too many people jump online with little to no idea how they’re going to stand out, and an even vaguer idea of what that success means for them.
Don’t make that mistake. Give your money a purpose. Write out what you need to earn every month in order to meet your bills, then add in an amount on top of that that will go right into your rainy day fund.
Once your expenses are covered, figure out what you need to earn this month in order to save up for your vacation or Christmas, buy a new computer, or get that training you’ve had your eye on.
Whatever the amount is, write it down, keep it where you can see it, every day, and watch what happens.
Putting It All Together
I heard someone say recently that success in business is only five percent marketing. The other 95 percent is all about what you do on the inside.
If you’re ready for your blog to start pulling in six figures (or more), put these five steps to work and watch how things begin to come together for you when you do. The results can be nothing short of amazing when you make your success an inside job.
About the Author
For nearly twenty years, Pamela Schott has developed leading-edge marketing strategies for clients of all sizes. She is a contributing author to Speaking Your Truth, an Amazon.com bestseller for women entrepreneurs. Together with her husband, Pamela runs a small business success blog