I tripled my business income this year.
I’m so excited to share with you how I did it.
Here’s a quick recap of my income over the last few years…
- In 2015, I made $8k from my blog (while working as an attorney)
- In 2016, I made $30k from my blog (while working as a financial planner)
- In 2017, I made $45k from my blog (while working full time as a financial planner)
I didn’t take my blog that seriously in the beginning, so depending on where you’re starting from this could be very quick, or seem kind of long.
In 2018, I’ve made over $165k (and there’s still half a month left).
For those of you wondering, my expenses are about $36k, and then after those are deducted I pay taxes out of the net income number ($165k – $36k – taxes = what I take home). This, of course, is an estimate and subject to my accountant helping me at the end of the year!
In 2019, my goal is to triple it again. Because… why not?! 🙂
If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — How I Tripled My Online Business Income This Year.
2018 was amazing. I did so much.
Here are a few highlights from 2018…
- I quit my full time job as a certified financial planner in April
- I started running my business full time
- I created 6 digital products to sell on my website
- I paid off a ton of student loan debt (~$35k)
- I moved out of Ohio to Chicago
- I got into an $18k coaching and business program without paying for it (full story here)
- I became a certified life coach
- I started a podcast, Design Your Dream Life With Natalie Bacon
- I tripled my business income
One thing I want to mention here before I go on is that I make it a point to separate my goals from my happiness (I talked about the difference between happiness and goals here). I say this because I don’t want this to seem like an unrealistic highlight reel. It’s genuinely exactly what I set out to do. It’s the plan I created last year. And I made it happen. But that doesn’t mean I expected to be happier as a person. I’m very centered and happy as a person because I find that from within, not from my goals.
So, how did I do it?
How did I triple my income in 1 year and quit my job?!
I learned how to make money online selling digital products.
But if you’ve been reading blog posts about this topic, you know that it’s not enough to just create a digital product and expect the money to come in.
It takes a lot more than that.
That’s what I’m hoping to clear up in this post.
So, here’s a look at how I tripled my income this year by making money online selling digital products.
How I Tripled My Business Income This Year By Selling Digital Products
These are the exact steps I took. Some are obvious, while others are not.
It’s super important to note that each one of these steps is equally important to the other steps.
1. I took Six Figure Blogger
The first step I took to make money online selling digital products was to take the course, Six Figure Blogger.
It showed me exactly how to create and sell digital products on my website.
You’d think that this step alone would be enough.
But so many other students have taken this course and not gotten the same results.
So, what’s the difference?
I did many other things simultaneously with this course that allowed me to get the results that others don’t.
I’m not special. You can do these things, too.
2. I shifted my mindset and committed to the process
After taking Six Figure Blogger, I immersed myself in personal development work, which laid the foundation for using the tools I learned.
What I’m saying is I shifted my mindset and got serious.
I decided that I was going to create a constraint in my life where I only take one course at a time and do everything in the course exactly as taught.
I committed to taking massive action, which means producing (not consuming).
It took me an entire year to implement everything from Six Figure Blogger.
I got up at 4AM, while I was working full time, so I could produce my best work before the workday started.
I worked during my lunch hour.
I gave up a lot of weekends.
But whenever you commit, and you go all in, you get massive results.
And that’s what I did.
It took a lot out of me.
It was hard.
It was intense.
It was “product creation mode,” as I like to call it.
But it was just for a season.
And it was 1000% worth it.
I tripled my income in one year.
3. I increased my productivity
As part of the personal development work I was doing, I implemented new strategies to create better results.
Instead of “working on my blog” I started scheduling the exact result I expected to get during a particular time frame.
I no longer allowed myself to obsess and be a perfectionist.
I became okay with producing “B- work.”
As an entrepreneur, you have no idea what the market is actually going to respond to. Experts give tips and advice, but at the end of the day, all that matters is if it actually works in the market.
If you spend too much time obsessing and perfecting, you’ll never produce enough to get the results you want. You have to create 10 things to get 1 success. If you spend a year creating 1 thing, you’ll never stand a chance.
After you produce and know what sells, you can go back and improve it.
There’s no place for perfectionism in entrepreneurship.
Making money online by selling digital products is highly dependent on your ability to produce and test things in the market to see what works.
4. I created 3 eBooks
With my mindset, commitment, and focus in check, I got to work.
The first part of this was creating 3 eBooks.
I followed the steps in Six Figure Blogger exactly.
I used ClickFunnels to sell my eBooks.
The 3 eBooks I created are:
- How I Made $45k In 1 Year Blogging While Working Full Time
- Dream Year: How To Achieve Your #1 Goal This Year And Feel Good Doing It
- Budget Spreadsheet Bundle
I started with eBooks because I figured that I would make mistakes and I would rather have that happen on a smaller scale than in my courses.
I also started with eBooks because I wanted front-end, lower priced offers in my Shop.
By no means do you have to start with eBooks or create eBooks at all. This is just what I did.
5. I created 3 eCourses
Next up, I created 3 eCourses.
This took months.
I used (and love) Teachable for this process. All my courses are in a school that is hosted on the Teachable platform. It’s very easy to use, and I highly recommend it if you want to sell courses online.
First, I created Design Your Dream Life Academy.
This is my baby. I’m obsessed with it. I honestly think it’s the best course I sell, but I’ll tell you that it’s the hardest to sell because it’s one of those things that people don’t think they need until they’re in it.
Second, I created Blog With A Full Time Job.
This is my most popular course. It shows you a very different way of starting an online business, while working full time (without being overwhelmed). It includes mindset, productivity, and time management strategies as well as marketing strategies that are missing from every other beginner blogging course I’ve ever seen. What I’m most proud of is that this course is the exact foundation that will set you up for scaling your blog into a profitable business. The beginner blogging courses I took didn’t do that, so I had to figure it out on my own.
Third, I created Money Mindset For Her.
This course is insanely valuable because it gives you the exact process for creating different money beliefs that will take you to a whole new level with money, so you can attract it without resistance or force. It is my most recent course, so I think it has the highest level of my personal development training that I learned through my life coach certification. If you stress with money at all, you really have a lot of work to do and it starts with your mindset. The solution to that problem is in this course.
I’m so proud of all my courses.
What I’m most proud about is how much my students love them. I get so many emails every day from students sharing their transformation stories.
I always over deliver in value in all my courses because I want to make sure my students get more than what they’re paying for. It’s something I obsess over. I always want to make sure I provide more value than the cost of the course.
6. I used email marketing to offer my products to my audience
Once the courses were created, I had to actually sell them.
To make money in business you need to know what you’re selling and how you’re selling it.
The “what” is #5 above.
The “how” is this step. For me the how is email marketing.
I sell my courses primarily through my email list.
I use ConvertKit to do this.
You can get 30 days free with ConvertKit when you use my link.
There are many email marketing strategies I use (a lot of which I got from Six Figure Blogger).
Here are a few posts on email marketing that you may find helpful…
- ConvertKit vs Mailchimp vs Aweber vs Drip – Email Marketing For Bloggers
- The Most Important Blog Metric To Make Money Blogging
- How I Grew My Email List to 10,000 Subscribers in 7 Months
7. I learned and implemented direct response marketing to serve my audience
The last step is that I switched my focus from brand (influencer) marketing to direct response marketing.
Brand marketing is where you focus on yourself. You promote your brand and how awesome you are.
Direct response marketing is where you choose a target market and offer them an irresistible offer directly. The focus is on the customer, not on you.
I studied the OG’s (original gangsters!) of direct response marketing and implemented many strategies that are counter to what you hear about in brand and influencer marketing.
For example, your website design and images don’t relate to how much money you make – at all. They’re purely for vanity.
Now, I’m first to admit I like things to look nice. I just make sure I don’t expect this to generate income for me.
This is just one example of a difference between the two types of marketing.
So now I focus on serving my audience by providing value to them. It’s all about them. You might see my story a lot on this site, but the way it’s written is intended to show me as the guide (not the hero) if we’re using “story brand” lingo. I talk about myself only as a way to show my audience that they can do it, too.
A Final Note!
I couldn’t be more proud of myself for the last year.
I set out to take Six Figure Blogger to become a six figure blogger, and I did it.
Next up is seven figures. 🙂