It’s super fun and exciting that I’m officially a full time blogger.
Three years ago, I knew nothing about blogging. I was in massive student loan debt, and I was in a career I hated.
Fast forward to now, and I build a completely new career online that started with my blog.
The way I did this was to transition slowly from working full time to being a full time blogger by building up my blog income one month at a time as I worked in my job.
So, I want to go over how I suggest working full time and blogging.
How I teach blogging is different than most people. Instead of focusing on writing, building your brand, and working hard, I teach how to make money from a website with your blog as the marketing tool.
If you want to blog just to write for fun (or about your life), then this post is not for you. If you want to start a blog that’s a business (i.e. you actually make money from it), then this post will help you.
I spent the last 3 years blogging and working full time. I did pretty much everything wrong for the first 2 years (created products that didn’t sell, barely had anyone visit my site, and had no real strategy for making money online).
Last year, I made $45k blogging while working full time.
This year, I built my blog up to the point where I could quit and become a full time blogger.
For the last couple months I’ve been making $14k blogging per month (crazy!).
If you would’ve told me 4 years ago I’d be blogging full time and in my third career in 4 years, I never would’ve believed you. I had no experience in business or online marketing at all. I had a ton of student loan debt, and I was working full time.
In this post, I put everything I’ve learned about blogging into a 5-phase system for how to start a profitable blog with a full time job.
I’ve always talked about 3 phases of blogging (starting, growing, and monetizing), but I’m adding 2 more phases because I think they’re super important for your success if you’re working full time.
The phases of starting a profitable blog when you work full time are:
- Phase 1: Prepare and Plan
- Phase 2: Start and launch
- Phase 3: Grow
- Phase 4: Monetize
- Phase 5: Advanced strategies
Within each phase, there are steps you need to take to do it right the first time (many of these come from so many mistakes I made along the way).
This is a “big picture” blog post so you can really see the forest instead of the trees.
My first 2 years of blogging, I spent so much time in the wrong “trees” without having an idea of the forest. If you’re anything like me, this post will help you see the big picture when it comes to making money blogging with a full time job, including everything to avoid.
I included resources for each phase at the end of each section to help you go to the next level for that phase.
And with that, let’s get started!
Phase 1: Prepare and plan
When you are starting a blog when you work full time, the preparing and planning phase is SOOOO important. Don’t underestimate this phase because it sets the foundation for everything else.
This phase is not about passively learning, though – it’s about taking action to set yourself up for success.
1. Master your mindset
The first part to preparing and planning is mastering your mindset.
You can learn all the how-tos you want, but if you’re not committed to focusing on your blog, you’re not going to make money while working full time.
More than half of the questions I get form bloggers are about fear, doubt, time, focus, planning, or lack of commitment. These are all mindset problems – not tactical problems.
Be very clear about whether you have a mindset or a tactical problem. If you have a mindset problem, a tactical answer won’t fix it.
Check out this post about how to improve your mindset.
2. Set goals and expectations
The second part of preparing and planning is to set goals and expectations.
You need to have an end goal for your blog so you can choose a strategy for turning it into a business. You can always change your goal down the road, but you need to have one to start with.
The most important end goal to make is whether and how you want to monetize.
For example, if you want to make money with affiliate marketing and selling your own products or services, that’s going to be a very different strategy than if you want to make money as an influencer, working with brands and sponsorships.
I prefer going the product and service route (not the influencer route), but the choice is yours.
Don’t just wing it. Make sure you choose. Otherwise, you won’t do either and you’ll just hope your blog will make money without a strategy, and it won’t.
3. Plan and be productive
The third step to the preparing and planning phase is to plan and be productive.
For blogging with a full time job, this step is soooo important! You cannot just “work on your blog” whenever you have free time and expect it to become a business.
This doesn’t work.
You need to come up with a specific plan for when you’re going to blog, what you’re going to do during that time to blog (what you’re going to produce during that time), deadlines to complete tasks, and what you’re going to give up to make sure you have time for this.
My first 2 years of blogging, I kept allllll my other activities and didn’t give anything up. I kept cooking, reading, going out with friends, and doing everything else I was doing before blogging. The result was that I barely made any money. I wasn’t putting in enough time to do it. It wasn’t until I stopped all the other extra hobbies and solely went all in on blogging in my extra free time outside of work that made the difference.
Here’s a good resource with 21 simple ways to be more productive.
4. Understand the blogging game
The fourth step to the preparing and planning phase is understanding the blogging game.
Everything in life is a game. The key is to figuring out how to win the game ahead of time, so you don’t lose.
I heard Dean Jackson on I Love Marketing say once that humans love games – they just don’t like games they don’t know how to win.
Keep this in mind when you’re blogging. You need to learn how to win the game.
There are many ways to frame the rules of the blogging game and what it takes to win, so keep this in mind – the way I articulate it may be different than what you’ve heard before and it doesn’t mean that other ways are wrong.
Here are my rules of the blogging game…
- Blogging is a business.
- To succeed in business you need to find the target market you want to serve, ask them what they want, then create it. Never fall in love with an idea and bring it to market if you don’t have evidence for it being profitable (money, health, and relationships are great niches to start with, btw).
- Once there is a product to market match, grow your business through direct response marketing. This means using your blog as a medium to connect with your audience and provide results ahead of time. Your blog is the marketing tool – not the product or service that you make money from.
- Always provide more value to your audience than they expect in return. Always over deliver.
- Your readers must know you, like you, and trust you.
- Your job is to serve your audience — not to become popular.
- Traffic, email marketing, and building relationships are the biggest factors to building a profitable blog.
- Sequence is everything in marketing, and therefore, business. The sequence to launching a profitable blog is your sales process and it looks like this: Search/Social Media/Podcast –> Blog –> Freebie –> Email Funnel –> Sale
Said differently, you need to…
- Know who your target customer is
- Know what your offer is
- Have a solid product to market match that’s potentially profitable
- Get traffic to your website
- Use your blog as a tool to provide results ahead of time to your readers
- Build an email list
- Have a good relationship with your readers so they know you, like you, and trust you
- Make sales
These are things I’ve learned over the last few years. Two other resources that will go much more in depth about making money online that I high suggest reading are two books by Russell Brunson:
- Dot Com Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online
- Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movement of People Who Will Pay for Your Advice
5. Brainstorm your biz plan
The fifth step to the preparing and planning phase is for you to brainstorm your business plan.
You need to niche-down your focus and decide 3 things:
- Target market or customer
- Service or product
- Medium to market it (presumably, your blog)
- Target market or customer
The first part of your business plan is defining your target market or customer. You need to decide who you’re going to serve – and be intentional about it. This can make or break the success of your blog, so do this carefully.
Do not choose a topic to blog about just because you love it or are passionate about it. Like Dan Sullivan says, never fall in love with a business idea until you have proof in the market that people will pay for it.
Here are tips for choosing a target market or customer.
- Choose a hot market because that means there’s opportunity to make money in it. If the market is dead – run. Do not start a blog in this market.
- Choose a market that is willing to pay for the product or service you’re thinking about offering.
- Choose a market that’s similar to you because you’ll be able to identify with the people in it (this isn’t a requirement, but makes it easier).
- Choose a market that you have experience with serving.
You want to be able to have a product to market match. What this means is that the product (or service) you’re offering matches the market you’re offering it to. You have to choose the market carefully.
Suggestions for choosing a niche:
- Make money
- Personal development
There are opportunities to monetize a blog in any of these categories.
If you niche-down even further, you’ll get stronger relationships with your audience and be able to serve them more easily (e.g. single, working women who want to make money online). The narrower the better. You can always go broader down the road.
When I decided who I was serving everything changed. It made the biggest difference in my blogging success. I can’t emphasize this enough. I transitioned from “talking about my debt” to serving young, professional women in their 30s who want to design their dream lives, with sub niches in blogging, personal development, and money mindset.
You’ll also need to come up with a blog name during this part of the process. Do not spend more than 3 days brainstorming a name. It doesn’t matter that much for your blogs success.
- Service or product
The next step in creating your business plan is to decide on the product or service you’re offering.
There are many ways to do this, and you can change your offerings as you go.
You can make money with affiliate marketing. You can offer coaching. You can create your own eBooks and eCourses. You can become a freelance writer.
“Blogging” and writing blog posts is not how you make money. You make money from people paying you for proving value.
You need to decide what that value is going to be.
Here are suggestions for what the product or service offering you can create to offer in exchange for money through marketing on your blog:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling eBooks
- Selling eCourses
- Display advertising
- Freelance writing
- Sponsored blog posts (brand relationships)
The best way to find out what your target audience wants that they’re willing to pay for is to ask them. This is hard if you haven’t built an audience yet. But as your audience grows, one of the advanced strategies is to ask your audience through surveys, social media sites, or email marketing what they want that you can offer them.
- Medium to market it (your blog)
Once you have the target customer and the product or service you’re going to provide, you need to market it.
You can market your product or service to your target customer in many ways, including through a blog, podcast, social media, YouTube, or something else!
Again, the key takeaway here is to understand that your blog is the medium that you’re using to market your products and services to – it’s not how you make your money. It’s the medium through which you market your offering.
You run an online business and you market that business through your blog. This is how the big time bloggers make their money online.
Your blog is not what makes money – your business is. Your blog is how you market the product or service you’re selling. Even if you are monetizing through affiliate marketing, you’re still selling affiliate products.
You can market your business through other ways, like a podcast. But for purposes of this post, I’ll assume you want to market your biz through your blog.
This is how you win. You don’t get too tied to the medium. You get tied to serving your target customer. When you do it this way, it doesn’t matter if the Pinterest or Facebook algorithms change because you’re not committed to the medium. You can change the medium and always find where your customers are.
Phase 1 Prepare and Plan Resources:
- 21 Ways To Increase Your Productivity That Actually Work
- 47 Simple Time Management Tips (For When You Don’t Know Where To Start)
- 9 Tips For New Bloggers
- How I Make Money Blogging And Work Full Time
- An Honest Review Of 8 Planners And Journals
Once you’ve prepared and planned, you’re ready to move on to starting and launching your blog.
Phase 2: Start and launch
Once you are committed, have your mindset in tact, have a schedule in place, and a specific business plan for how you want to monetize your blog, you are ready to enter Phase 2 – starting and launching.
This phase is about the nuts and bolts of getting your blog up and running.
I like to use the house analogy for understanding how a website operates. The land is the domain. The house frame is the host. The decorations are WordPress.
I am only offering instructions for starting a blog using Bluehost (as the domain registration and host) and WordPress (as the software). There are other ways to start a blog (that are free), which I do not recommend. You’re starting a business – you’re going to have to pay for your website if you want it to be profitable.
1. Register your domain name
The first step to the starting and launching phase is registering your domain name.
You can check your domain’s availability here:
Register your domain name with Bluehost here to get started.
After you register your domain name, you’ll sign up for hosting. Then, you’ll have to sign up for WordPress. I like to use the analogy of building a house: your domain is the land, your host is the house, and WordPress is the inside decor. You need all 3 to run a blog successfully.
2. Register with a host
The second step to the starting and launching phase is registering with a hosting company.
You can get Bluehost hosting using my discounted link for $2.95 per month. For this discounted price, you pay for 36 months upfront.
Once you sign up for Bluehost hosting, you are ready to install WordPress and design your site.
3. Install WordPress
The third step to the starting and launching phase is installing WordPress.
You’ll be prompted in Bluehost to install WordPress, which you should do. This will allow everything to sync properly.
Once you have your hosting up and running and WordPress installed, you can move on to designing your website.
4. Design your site
The fourth step to the starting and launching phase is designing your website.
This can be a nightmare for so many newbie bloggers, but it really does get easier as you go. So, just commit to the process and know that you’re in good company and the problems of headers and footers and spacing will resolve over time.
There are so many ways to design a site. The good news is that your site design won’t make or break your ability to make money blogging.
The bad news is you still have to design your site!
Here are my best tips for choosing a theme…
- Not all theme are equally as good.
- Free themes won’t be updated as regularly and it will be harder to get support with them. They’re going to have less features and customization options, too. You’ll spend a lot more time dealing with a free theme trying to fix it than a paid theme.
- Divi Theme is a great beginner theme to get started with, and it is very popular because of the customizable page builder. You can build a theme just like my blog with Divi (I’ve done it, so I know it’s possible). For those of you who like my theme, Divi is a great option.
- I use Genesis and Parallax Pro for my actual theme because that’s what was recommended to me a couple years ago. It’s great and advanced, but fair warning – it takes a lot of customizing and more work to get it to look the way you want (I recommend this only for intermediate bloggers).
Here is a look at my home page that you can create using Divi Theme.
Here are my best tips for designing your blog.
- Look at your competition as examples of what you like and don’t like.
- Less is more.
- Put your face all over your blog so your readers can get to know you more.
- Use a sidebar with your bio and an author box below your blog posts.
- Include social share icons, like Socialwarfare (what I use).
- Put up a killer About Page, making it really long and detailed about your story and how you can help people.
Your blog design is important, but it’s not that important. What I mean is that it’s probably more important to you and your ego than it is to you making money online. You don’t need to have the most modern, fancy website to actually make money blogging.
Get your blog up, design it, and move forward. You can always come back to the design in the future.
Phase 2 Start And Launch Resources:
- Bluehost (hosting company)
- Divi Theme (design theme)
- iMark Interactive (who I use for tech help)
- How To Start A Blog Tutorial (step by step tutorial)
- 100 Blog Post Ideas (blog post to get started writing)
Once you’re done starting and launching your blog, you’re ready to focus on growing it.
Phase 3: Grow
Once you have your blog up and running functionally, you are ready to enter Phase 3 – the growth phase.
This phase is about developing a content strategy, getting people to visit your website (driving traffic), growing your email list (email marketing), networking (connecting with other bloggers), and building relationships with your audience so they know you, like you, and trust you.
1. Develop a content strategy
The first step in the growth phase is to develop a content strategy for your blog.
Each blog post you write should have a purpose behind it (and that purpose shouldn’t be “because I want to write it” if your goal is to make money blogging). If you are writing a blog post purely for your enjoyment and to share with the world, then you don’t need a strategy and you can write about whatever you want. However, if you want to make money blogging, you need a strategy.
Here are different purposes you could potentially have behind blog posts:
- To increase traffic (search engine optimization)
- To promote an affiliate product or your own product (sales centered content)
- To build your email list
- To increase social shares (virality)
- To build a stronger relationship with your readers (more personal story)
There are many ways to produce content with a legit strategy behind the post. Here are examples…
- Publishing an income report on your blog with the intent of providing proof of making money blogging so that people sign up to start a blog with your process.
- Explaining your process for productivity in a blog post, while promoting your productivity course.
- Writing a review of many tools you use for food preparation on your food blog, using affiliate links.
- Talking about how to improve your marriage in a blog post, while promoting your relationship coaching at the end of the post.
- Writing about building a six figure freelance writing business and promoting your email list and writing course in the post.
- Mentioning one product in a blog post that you were paid to include, as a sponsored post.
- Creating a massive list of the 100 wardrobe essentials if you’re a fashion blogger, with the intent of Pinterest virality.
- Writing a personal blog post about transitioning careers, with the intent of building a stronger relationship with your audience.
To start developing your own content strategy, begin with the end in mind (like everything in blogging!).
Keep in mind if your end-goal is to have a profitable business, a majority of your blog posts need to be a marketing tool to promote your product or service or get people on your email list where they’ll be exposed to it
Here are tips for creating a blog content strategy…
- Every blog post should have a purpose behind it.
- When you write a post, always speak directly to your target customer.
- Focus on providing results ahead of time – solve a problem for your reader (people read thinking “what’s in it for me” WIFM).
- Honesty, authenticity, and building trust are super duper important. The more people know you, like you, and trust you, the better.
- Pinterest, YouTube, and Google are the 3 search engines worth learning search engine optimization for (keyword research is worth your time).
- The title of the blog post is more important than the content. Learn title headlines copywriting.
- Publish at least one blog post per week (up to 3 is a good goal).
- Blog post length depends on your strategy (longer posts are better for Google rankings; shorter posts are better for social media reading). I say anywhere from 1,000 words to 3,000 words is a good range.
2. Build relationships with your audience
The second step in the growth phase is about building relationships with your audience.
The more your target audience knows you, likes you, and trusts you, the more successful you’ll be at blogging.
The way that you get your audience to know you, like you, and trust you is:
- Always speak directly to your target audience.
- Actually help your reader solve a problem.
- Be honest and authentic above everything else.
- Provide more value than you expect to get back in return.
- Make your content about the reader not about you.
- Use email marketing to engage with your audience and strengthen your relationship with them.
If your audience doesn’t trust you, your blog is done. And if you don’t have an audience at all and are just talking to the world without any focus, your blog isn’t a business.
Remember to focus on your reader and build trust. This is how you grow a following.
It’s better to have 1,000 raving fans than it is to have 10,000 casual fans. Focus on your core audience. That’s how your blog becomes a profitable business.
3. Build an email list
The third step in the growth phase is building an email list.
Your email list is the path through which you can make a lot of money blogging. This is why pro bloggers say “the money is in the list.”
The way you build your email list is you start with the end in mind (again!). You take your offer (what service or product you’re selling) and you create something similar to it that provides results ahead of time and offer it as a freebie on your site.
For example, I have a course called Design Your Dream Life Academy that helps people master their mindsets, productivity, time management, goal setting, and habits. I have lead magnets (freebies) that people can get for free that are closely related to this course. This includes a 7 day free training, a cheat sheet, and a checklist. A reader who lands on my blog and wants to grab a freebie that is closely related to the course is very likely to be interested in the course if she likes the freebie because the course is so similar to the freebie.
Your lead magnet or freebie is what you give to someone visiting your blog in exchange for their email address. This is a crucial step in the business of blogging sequence.
Once someone knows you can give them results (which is the purpose of the freebie), they’re going to like you and trust you. Then, you’ll want to buy from you when you offer something because they’ll have confidence that it’s going to be good.
Nothing is more important than your email list when it comes to blogging. It is a key part to making money online.
I highly suggest using ConvertKit to build your email list because of the functionality and design that is specifically made for bloggers.
4. Get traffic
The fourth step in the growth phase is getting traffic to your blog.
You need traffic to make money blogging, but traffic isn’t the end-all-be-all. I care more about my email list than I do traffic. But traffic still matters.
There are soooo many ways to drive traffic to your blog. If you have money to spend, driving paid traffic via Facebook ads is the way to go.
For getting free, organic traffic to your blog, the best way to go is with through a search engine. I suggest Pinterest, Google, and YouTube as the top 3 ways to drive traffic to your site organically because they’re search engines (unlike Twitter and Instagram, for example).
I use a Pinterest strategy on my blog. Most of my traffic is from Pinterest. I highly recommend Pinterest Traffic Avalanche for growing traffic with your blog. This is probably the fastest way for a new blogger to drive traffic for free.
For Google and YouTube, I suggest learning about optimizing blog posts with SEO using keyword research once you have other growth strategies down. It’s really important for your blog, but it takes a lot of time and gets complicated fast.
The biggest piece of advice I have for you for driving traffic to your site is to focus on writing things other people are searching for (not on whatever you’re in the mood to write).
The fifth step in the growth phase is networking. This is where you get to know other bloggers and online entrepreneurs to grow your own business.
You can do this through guest posting, getting on podcasts, swapping videos on your respective YouTube channels, or something else.
Networking and knowing other bloggers won’t make you a lot of money, but it will come in handy for growing your blog. You’ll have more opportunities and it will be easier to promote your work, naturally.
Be careful not to focus too heavily on other blogs and bloggers. It’s easy to do because the blogging community is awesome. Try to remember that your job as a business owner is to serve your audience and provide valuable content to them. This has nothing to do with other blogs.
One amazing side effect of networking, though, is that you’ll get around other people who “get it” when most people in your personal life won’t – they’ll be very confused at your new obsession with your blog.
Bloggers will always get it. There’s friendship and opportunity in networking.
Here are a few pics of my blogging people… I love them! <3
6. Set up your biz
The sixth step in the growth phase is to set up your business.
In the beginning, the most important thing for you to do is track your income and expenses and keep all your receipts.
If you do nothing else, you’re operating as a sole proprietor.
As your blog grows and you make more money, you’ll need to use a more robust accounting system and pay quarterly estimated taxes (I highly recommend using an accountant).
You’ll also consider what type of business entity to be down the road beyond a sole proprietor (e.g.: I’m a single member LLC).
Don’t get too freaked out about this now, just revisit it down the road.
Phase 3 Grow Your Blog Resources:
- Pinterest Traffic Avalanche (Pinterest course)
- My Review Of 4 Email Marketing Services For Bloggers (blog post review)
- How I Grew My Email List To 10,000 (email marketing post)
- 10 Dos & Don’ts For Growing Your Blog (beginner blog post)
- How To Increase Your Blog Traffic (blog post to increase traffic)
- The Best Resources for Bloggers (the best tools for taking your blog to the next level)
- 10 Ways To Improve Your Blog Right Now (blog post to improve your blog right now)
- 5 Books Every Blogger Should Read (blog post with the top 5 best blogging books)
After you’ve grown your blog with traffic and email marketing, you are ready to move into the monetization phase.
Phase 4: Monetize
Once you have started to grow your blog, you are ready to enter Phase 4 – the monetization phase.
Remember, blogs don’t make money – businesses do.
You need to have a specific strategy for providing value to your target audience in exchange for them paying you. If you don’t have this down, it doesn’t matter how good your blog posts are, how much traffic you have, or how big your email list is.
1. How blogs make money
The first step in the monetization phase is understanding how blogs make money.
Well, as I just said – they don’t! 🙂 Businesses make money.
Your blog is the medium that you’re using to promote the value that you’re providing to your target customer.
(The only exception to this is if you’re going to monetize solely with display advertising and you’re just going to focus on getting millions of pageviews per month and monetize with ads. For most people, this isn’t a good strategy, especially in the beginning.)
For purposes of how to practically do this, you can choose a number of ways.
Here are the most common ways bloggers make money:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling eBooks
- Selling eCourses
- Display advertising
- Freelance writing
- Sponsored blog posts (brand relationships)
I like monetizing with selling products (your own and affiliates) because it’s the most scalable (unlike sponsored posts and services).
When you use affiliate marketing on your blog, combined with selling your own eBooks and eCourses, you can add in other monetization strategies (like display advertising and sponsored posts) as a bonus way to diversify your income.
This is what I do, and it works very well.
2. Decide how to monetize
The second step in the monetization phase is deciding how you want to make money blogging.
You need to have a strategy for monetizing your blog. You need to be able to measure your progress. You can only measure your progress if you’re intentionally using a strategy.
How you want to monetize is up to you.
That said, I’ll give you my suggestions. 🙂
If you want to create a scalable business with potential for passive income, use affiliate marketing and creating and selling your own products.
If you want to become an influencer, then you’ll have to go with sponsored posts.
If you want to create a job for yourself, focus on providing a service-based business, such as becoming a virtual assistant or freelance writer.
Whatever you choose – choose intentionally.
You can change your mind and move into another direction down the road, but if you don’t choose one path and instead try to do everything, you won’t succeed because you’ll have too much going on and won’t be able to focus on implementing one specific strategy.
3. Create a strategy
The third step in the monetization phase is to create a specific strategy for making money blogging.
I suggest investing in an online course or blog coaching for your specific monetization strategy so you can avoid all the time it will take you to learn it on your own.
This is what I did with Six Figure Blogger. I decided I wanted to monetize through selling products (eBooks and eCourses), so I took Six Figure Blogger. I implemented everything. And bam. One year later, I’m a Six Figure Blogger.
Here’s a look at my interview I did with Alex from Six Figure Blogger…
You can have that kind of success. You just have to find a teacher. Stick to learning only from that teacher. Then, implement everything you learn from the teacher.
That is what I did, and it worked like crazy.
If you are just starting out (and if Six Figure Blogger seems too much of an intermediate level monetization course), then I suggest looking into Make Money Blogging For Beginners.
Other than that, the point is to make sure you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel or wing it. You’re much more likely to make money blogging with a specific monetization plan in place based off something you know works.
4. Consider other ways to monetize online
The fourth step in the monetization phase is to consider other monetization methods for increasing your cash flow.
If you are tight on cash and finding it hard to invest in your blog, you could start freelance writing or doing VA work on the side to get some start up money for your blog.
I used to freelance write for extra money so I could pay for my blog expenses. I did this until I made enough money to stop. This was so helpful for paying for my design, email marketing, and a few other essentials to get things going.
Phase 4 Monetize Your Blog Resources:
- Six Figure Blogger (course that helped me become a six figure blogger)
- Make Money Blogging For Beginners (beginner blogger course)
- Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing (course for growing your affiliate marketing)
- How To Make Money Blogging (blog post describing how bloggers make money)
- How I Made $45K Blogging In 1 Year While Working Full Time (how I made $$$ while working full time blog post)
- How To Make Money Freelance Writing (how to make money freelance writing)
- How We Make Thousands Every Month Writing (blog post with super inspiring stories of people making money writing online)
- How To Make Money As A Virtual Assistant (how to make money online a as VA blog post)
- 8 Bloggers Who Make 5 & 6 Figures Every Month From Blogging (a look at 8 different bloggers’ income reports)
After you’ve put basic monetization strategies in place, you’re ready to move on to more advanced strategies and take it up a notch.
Phase 5: Advanced strategies
After you have a monetization strategy in place and you’re making over $1,000 per month blogging, you can move into Phase 5 – Advanced Strategies.
This phase is about taking everything you’ve done up to this point up a notch.
You’ll get into advanced marketing, advanced email sales funnels, advanced growth strategies, advanced monetization strategies, and incorporate influencer marketing, if you want to.
1. Advanced marketing
In the advanced marketing step, you’ll dive deep into learning the ins and outs of marketing. You’ll study direct response marketing, and apply what you learn to your business. If you do this right, you’ll likely double your revenue.
2. Advanced email funnels
In the advanced email sales funnels step, you’ll learn how to create email sequences that are 5-10 days long, where you build trust with your audience, followed by making an irresistible offer to them.
You’ll get email marketing down to a science and focus on growing your list and engaging with your list to increase revenue.
This is where the magic happens.
3. Advanced growth strategies
In the advanced growth strategies step, you’ll focus on traffic strategies, including Google SEO and Facebook advertising. You’ll figure out which platforms are best for growing traffic to your site and how to convert the traffic you get.
You’ll discover new ways to get traffic, like outreach to other blogs and podcasts. You may start secondary channels to market your products or services, like starting a YouTube channel or your own podcast.
4. Advanced monetization strategies
In the advanced monetization step, you’ll improve your product or service offerings, making more products, improving them, or charging more.
You’ll start to put together the piece of the puzzle that the way you’re paid is directly related to how you market your product or service. You may reposition yourself or your offerings so you can increase your revenues.
5. Influencer marketing
In the influencer marketing step, you may decide that once you’ve reached a certain profitability level, you want to focus more on popularity and grow your social media platforms do more interviews sharing your story.
When you do this, you’re clear about your intentions and won’t confuse profitability for popularity. You know that influencer marketing is a different ball game and may not increase revenue at all. After all, you can be very popular and not profitable.
Phase 5 Advanced Strategies Resources:
- Six Figure Blogger (the course I took that taught me how to become a six figure blogger)
- Dot Com Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online (excellent book on how funnels work)
- Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movement of People Who Will Pay for Your Advice (excellent book on the art of how to master marketing in your specific funnels)
- ConvertKit (the email marketing company I use and highly recommend if you want to make money blogging)
- Teachable (the platform I use for hosting my courses)
- ClickFunnels (the best builder for funnels and sales pages – I use this and love it)
- Lead Pages (the best landing page software that I use for my lead magnets)
- Opt-In Monster (the best company for exit intent popups that look professional)
- How I Made $5K in 5 Days On My Blog (blog post where I share how I launched my first course)
- The 15 Best Podcasts For Making Money Online (great marketing podcasts blog)
Courses I Recommend
The courses I recommend for starting a blog while working full time are…
- Six Figure Blogger – a blogging course for learning how to increase your blog income up to six figures with advanced strategies (for intermediate bloggers).
- Make Money Blogging For Beginners – a blogging course for learning how to make money blogging when you first launch your blog (for beginner bloggers).
- Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing – a blogging course for learning the basics of affiliate marketing.
- Pinterest Traffic Avalanche – blogging course for learning how to drive traffic to your blog from Pinterest.
- Flourish With FB Ads – Facebook course for learning FB advertising (use code Natalie20 to take 20% off).
- Earn More Writing – a course to learn how to make money freelance writing.
Blogging Tools I Use
The blogging tools I use and/or recommend for starting a blog while working full time are…
- BlueHost – the hosting company I recommend for new bloggers.
- Divi Theme – the theme I recommend for creating a blog design.
- ConvertKit – the email platform I use and highly recommend.
- ClickFunnels – the service I use to build sales pages on my blog.
- Teachable – the platform I use to host my coaching programs and courses.
- Tech Help for Your Blog – the service I use for technical issues on my blog.
- Lead Pages – the service I use for all my landing pages for my freebies.
- Opt-In Monster – the service I use for capturing leads (aka the pop-ups that collect email addresses).
A Final Note!
I know that this blog post is a lot of information. But, it’s one that you can always come back to (you can save it to Pinterest here) for future reference.
Again, the 5 phases of building a profitable blog when you work full time are:
- Phase 1: Prepare and Plan
- Phase 2: Start and launch
- Phase 3: Grow
- Phase 4: Monetize
- Phase 5: Advanced strategies
This is the 5 step process that you can use for launching, growing, and monetizing your blog with a full time job. It’s how you start a blog that is actually a business. This is how you make money with an online business. It’s not how you become famous.
Always, always, always:
- Value > Profitability > Popularity
I made the mistake of focusing on networking, guest posting, and influencer marketing right away, instead of focusing on my own audience and having a specific monetization plan. I was all over the place for the first two years of my business, focusing more on popularity instead of profitability. If I would’ve had this information then, I could’ve saved so much time and energy. That is my hope for you with this post!
Cheers to making money blogging while working full time!