Note from Corbett: This is a guest post from Danny Iny at Firepole Marketing. Danny is a star student from Traffic School, and he has been a regular contributor to Think Traffic over the past few months.
“Your blog is a business.”
How many times have you heard these words, or words to that effect?
Itís in vogue these days to say that every blogger is running a business, with the potential of replacing their full-time income and freeing them from the 9-to-5 grind.
Except… it’s not true.
Most blogs are NOT businesses, and I’ll tell you why.
But first, let’s ask the question: what makes a business?
It’s What You Do, Not What You Think
When people tell each other (and themselves) that their blog is a business, what they’re really saying is that you should think of your blog as a business.
But as they say, if wishes were horses then beggars would ride. That’s the trouble – thinking about your blog as a business doesn’t actually make it one.
For something to be a business, it needs to do all of the following:
- Build awareness. In other words, create an audience that is paying attention to – and interested in – what you’ve got to say.
- Create interest. Once people are paying attention, they’ve got to like what you’re saying enough to stick around and take action.
- Convert sales. Once people like you, it’s time to start making money, by turning audience members into customers.
- Keep customers. It’s not enough to sell something once, you need to keep on selling to them, so that a single transaction turns into a profitable customer relationship.
And What About Your Blog?
Most blogs aren’t doing all of this – not even close. For most blogs, the current situation looks something like this:
- Moderate awareness. There isn’t a huge amount of traffic coming to the blog, but there is some.
- Lukewarm interest. Most of the traffic doesn’t subscribe to receive updates, and isn’t tempted by the lame 20-page e-book of stuff they already knew about the niche.
- Hardly any sales. In addition to weak traffic and lukewarm interest, there’s no real understanding of the target market, and no sales funnel. Hence, hardly any sales.
- Repeat customers? Don’t make me laugh! Yeah, this isn’t surprising – if people aren’t buying, obviously they aren’t going to keep on buying.
This is a very common picture, so don’t feel too bad if it sounds just a tad bit familiar.
The question is, why is this situation so common?
For Your Blog To Be a Business, Learn About Business! (Not Blogging!)
Most of the time, blogs aren’t businesses because the bloggers don’t understand business. And for blogging to be a business, you need to understand business!
- If you want to grow an audience, then study marketing, not traffic…
- If you want to create a product, then learn about value creation, not e-books…
- If you want to make money, then study finance, not passive income…
In short, if you want to build a sustainable business, then study business, not blogging!
And the most important fundamental business framework to understand is the Chain of Conversion…
Enter the Chain of Conversion
The purpose of marketing is to move people through the steps in the Chain of Conversion.
Here’s what the chain looks like:
- First, STRANGERS learn about you, and become LEADS (bloggers call this “traffic”)
- Then, LEADS like what you’ve got, and become PROSPECTS (bloggers call this “subscribers”)
- Next, PROSPECTS buy from you, and become CUSTOMERS
- And finally, CUSTOMERS buy from you again, and become REPEAT CUSTOMERS
So how do you turn your blog into a business?
Turning Your Blog into a Business: Fixing the Chain, One Link at a Time
If you want to turn your blog into a business, then you have to fix the Chain of Conversion, one link at a time. Here’s how you do it:
- Start by mapping out the chain. How many visitors do you have to your site, how many of them convert into subscribers, how many of them buy something from you, and how many of them keep on buying. (You can do this by using goals in Google Analytics.)
- Find the problem areas. Where do your conversions drop off? Identify the problem area (or problem areas, if there are several).
- Diagnose the problems. Ask yourself why you’re losing people at that particular stage in the process. Get outside help if you need, but arrive at a good answer.
- Fix the links, one at a time. Make whatever changes you have to make, until people are flowing smoothly through the chain.
Now the real question is what to do if you don’t know how to fix the problem areas? What do you need to learn in order to be able to do that?
Funny you should ask…
It’s All About Marketing
Moving people through the steps in the Chain of Conversion is what marketing is all about.
Now, there are some great marketing programs out there, but they all seem to be closing! Traffic School is great, but it’s closed to new members.
And as of September 1, the same will be true of Firepole Marketing.
That’s the program that I built with my partner, Peter. We invested over 2,500 hours to create the best training program on the market, and we’re so confident in what we’re teaching that we back it up with a $1,000/month guarantee – if by the end of the program you haven’t added $1,000 to your monthly bottom line, we’ll refund your tuition – no questions asked.
So what do you think? Is your blog a business, or not? Do you see how the Chain of Conversion can help you turn it into one?