One of my favourite things to do in the morning while making my bed, preparing breakfast and taking a shower is to listen to podcasts. One sunny, beautiful morning, Naval Ravikant planted in my mind one of the best wealth-building hacks.
It’s about how I (or we) are not going to get rich renting out our time.
He said “People seem to think that they can create wealth through work. You probably think the same too. It’s not going to work. And there are many reasons for that, the most basic being that your inputs are closely tied to your outputs.
In almost any salaried job, even those that pay a lot per hour e.g a lawyer or doctor, you’re still putting in the hours and every hour you work you get paid.
That means when you’re sleeping, on vacation, taking care of your family, or retired etc, you’re not earning. You can’t earn non-linearly.
Doctors who get rich for example, open a business, a brand, a private practice, invent a medical device or process. So if you’re a doctor (or any job), you’re working for somebody else who’s taking on the risk, accountability and owns the intellectual property in the brand/business.
So they’re not gonna pay you enough. They’ll pay you the bare minimum they have to to get you to do the job. It can be a high bare minimum but still not gonna be true wealth when you’re retired.”
The idea here is to stop selling your time for money, which is what most of us do with our 9 to 5 jobs. Instead, find a job that goes against this concept, which doesn’t require you to put in the hours to get paid.
His recommendation? Coding and Media (Blogging, YouTube channel, podcast, or an internet-based business that makes you passive income)
Listening to that podcast was one more reason to keep building this blog and monetizing it in a way that will help me achieve my 2021 financial goal: get my monthly passive income to equal my monthly expenses.
The best blogging tips and tricks for beginners
If you’ve just jumped on the blogging bandwagon or you’re thinking about joining us, you’re not late. The internet is still highly unutilized, there’s still enough space to accommodate your dreams.
I will share with you my best blogging tips from my 5 years of blogging experience to help you build a blog that makes money.
1. Build your email list from day one
What is an email list? It’s a list of emails that you will collect from your blog readers that you will use to regularly send articles, updates, discounts, and other details to their email inbox.
Your email list is the most important asset in your blogging business. It’s where the money is. Why? Email is 40% more effective at acquiring new customers as compared to all other forms of social media.
You get to form a connection with the people in your email list when you regularly send them goodies and updates. By regularly hearing from you, they get to know and trust you. When you get to a point in your blogging business where you have a product or service to sell, people in your email list will be the first to buy from you.
I’m sure you’ve previously heard that people buy from people they trust.
You should therefore start building intimate relationships with your potential clients from day one. In fact, you can start doing this even before you have a website by building a landing page using an email software company such as ConvertKit for FREE.
“In digital marketing, a landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor “lands” after they click on a link on the web.” – Unbounce.com
To start collecting emails, build beautiful forms and landing pages using ConvertKit. This is what I use for all the forms you might spot on this blog. Below is an example of an investing freebie form so you know what I mean!
2. It’s not you, it’s them
Building a successful blog is all about your audience.
Yes, I know you’ve always fantasized about having a small corner on the internet where you journal about your biggest desires, rant your frustrations and store your favourite digital finds. While that can still happen, if you want to build a blog business that makes you at least $1,000 per month and eventually replaces your day job, you need to make it all about your audience.
You exist to solve their problems, that’s why they visit your blog in the first place. Provide your audience over the top value with every article that you publish, it’s the surest path to blogging success.
How do you know which problems your audience is facing? In 2 ways:
- Writing engaging content that compels them to interact with you.
- Through your email list.
You should often communicate with your fans by asking them which challenges they’re facing, which you’ll then solve. This is the best way to never run out of weekly blog content ideas! Ask your audience, listen to them and speak directly to them through your content.
3. You’re a business owner
Don’t treat your blog as a second class hobby that you do only when you’re in the mood!
This is especially true if your main goal is to make money online through your blog.
Put in the hours, invest in your craft and your business, stay consistent, be a professional in all ways.
How can you invest in your blogging business?
Very few bloggers succeed because:
- Most bloggers don’t do it professionally.
- Newbie bloggers are not willing to invest in themselves and their business.
- Bloggers think they can get everything for free and end up with a 6-figure blog.
Sorry, it won’t happen. All the good strategies in this business are deliberately hidden behind paywalls.
The best investment I made last year was to pay for the Launch Your Blog Biz course by Alex & Lauren. It’s worth every dollar!
4. Consistency is the name of the game!
Just like any other job, you’ve got to be disciplined and work hard. Writing is an art that requires you to schedule time and put your creative cap on.
If you’re not consistent, you’ll lose traction and your loyal followers.
One of the reasons my first blog failed is because I was madam inconsistency!
For the first 2 years, you’ll need to consistently publish at least one article every week.
5. On choosing a niche (blog topic)
One of the worst blogging mistakes you’ll ever make is choosing to write about anything and everything. This will confuse your readers, they won’t understand what your expertise is.
Simply select a topic that you’re interested in or have experience in. Find what you’re obsessed with, and don’t worry if there are already ‘too many people writing about the same topic.’
As Naval Ravikant says, “you can escape competition through authenticity. Don’t copy, don’t imitate. No one can compete with you on being you. You can turn your uniqueness into an online career.”
6. Manage your time like a pro
A few people ask me how I manage to stay consistent on this blog with a 9 to 5 job and also read so many books in a year. I wouldn’t brag that I’m the best at time management, I’m one the laziest humans you’ll ever meet.
Despite that, I’m still ambitious. So I invest in a few automation tools such as ConvertKit and focus on one thing at a time. Every time I focus on more than one task at a time, I end up feeling overwhelmed and give up altogether. I have become extremely good at being laser-focused on just one blogging task at a time.
As a blogger, your job includes:
- Content creation
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Customer service
- Finance management
- Web design
- Graphic design
- And more…
You now know that blogging is not a get rich quick scheme so you should be ready to stretch yourself mentally to learn all these things, especially at the beginning.
As you grow your blog, you will be able to hire and outsource for some of these roles. So how do you do it in the meantime? You have to get extremely good at time management.
You might need to make a few sacrifices for a while such as waking up an hour earlier or sleeping later, reducing the number of hours you spend with your friends or watching TV to get your blog business rolling.
In all stages, make sure you take care of your mental health by asking for help (I’m always an email away), taking breaks, nourishing your body with the right nutrients and having enough sleep.
7. Pace yourself: One thing at a time
This is the best hack when it comes to time management.
Always ask yourself ‘what is the most important task that will have the most impact on my blog today?’ Always start with that.
One of the things that you’ll soon be obsessed with when you start your blog is traffic! Some bloggers joke that our job description is actually to worship Google SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And boy, if that ain’t the truth!
You’ll excitedly publish one of your best blog posts and then…crickets…no one will read! To avoid giving up or taking on more than you can handle, start by being a master of one traffic source and ignoring the rest for a while.
Don’t spread yourself too thin especially if you’re also juggling a full-time job or school. My best recommendation is for you to start with Pinterest traffic. New bloggers can get as much traffic from Pinterest as old bloggers as it will give you a chance to be found through search faster.
If you want to be a guru at Pinterest and generate millions of views for your blog, check out the Pinterest Avalanche Course.
8. Blogging is a long-term game
It requires immense patience and time. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. If that’s what you’re looking for, don’t even start.
As soon as you sign up for hosting and launch your blog, be mentally prepared to work hard, face challenges and embrace trial and error.
You’re likely to feel overwhelmed at the beginning
Most blogs are a one-man/woman show. There’s a lot to be done from content creation, marketing, social media, search engine optimization, design…it’s worse if you also have a 9 – 5 job like I do.
The best approach is to create a daily schedule that ensures you cover all angles of your business.
Be in it to win by staying consistent despite the challenges.
9. Don’t be scared of self-promotion
My first blog was anonymous. I couldn’t risk, or rather I didn’t have the courage to publicly share my work and have it traced to me.
I had a multitude of fears that I just couldn’t get over…
Why the hell would anyone read what I had to say?
My friends and family would make fun of me if they ever discovered that I have a blog
Everything has already been said in the millions of books & blogs that already exist so I wasn’t going to add anything original to the world.
What if my articles suck?
What if my grammar is terrible?
Worse still, what if a potential or current employer comes across my blog and uses it against me?
All these stupid fears prevented me from growing through self-promotion.
If you’re scared to put yourself out there, read Austin Kleon’s small book: Show Your Work!
It’s literally a guide to self-promotion for people who hate self-promotion.
10. Avoid getting blogging advice from multiple internet gurus
There are hundreds, if not thousands of blogging gurus on the internet. If you have a limited budget and can’t pay for most stuff, you have to dig the whole internet looking for free tips on how to start a successful blog.
From my experience with my failed blog, I spent a lot of time looking for stuff that would help me make sense of why I wasn’t succeeding as fast as I had hoped. Why was I not anywhere close to making money from my blog? Why was there no one reading my articles even after I put in so much work? Sometimes I feel like I wasted 3 years of my life, even though I acquired a lot of skills.
Instead of making the same mistake, instead of consuming confusing information from multiple people who have different strategies, pick a tried and tested blogging guru and learn from them. They will help you come up with a plan, a step by step road map.
Eventually, I had to put my money where my dream is by paying for the Launch Your Blog Biz course by Alex and Lauren who are professional bloggers. They make over $100,000 per month from their two blogs and publish monthly income reports to prove it so you know you’re in safe hands.
If you haven’t started your blog, I wrote a complete guide in 7 easy steps. It’s so easy even your grandma could do it!
While building your blog biz, fear and self-doubt will be a constant companion. The hack is not to entertain them for too long. Do it while afraid. Can’t wait to see what you create!
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