Welcome to the Free and Fearless Podcast.
This episode and the next one are all about answering your blogging questions. I’ll share with you real questions my readers and course students have asked and the things they struggled with the most, and I’ll give you the answers.
As I wanted to include as much valuable info as possible, I decided to turn this into 2 podcast episodes, so you can expect part 2 next week.
Here’s the episode:
- [2:10] How to know if your idea is good
- [3:45] A 3-step formula to find your niche
- [4:32] Can you make money in the personal development niche
- [8:16] What to do when you lack the confidence to start a blog
- [10:55] What to do when you don’t know where to start
- [11:59] How to monetize your platform as an author
- [14:00] Tips on traffic, monetization, content and Pinterest.
One of the most common questions I get is about finding the right niche for your blog. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons why so many women out there haven’t started a blog yet.
They either aren’t passionate about anything or have many interests and aren’t sure which can be their main blog topic. Or they get obsessed with finding the perfect, most profitable and in demand niche and they think once they find it, they’ll start that blog and the traffic and income will start coming their way.
But it doesn’t really work this way.
So in this first section of the episode, I’ll gather a few questions on that exact topic and if you have some trouble finding a niche or want to cover more categories on your blog but aren’t sure which, well listen up.
“How do I know if my idea is a good subject?”
That person told me: “I’m looking for change in my life. I love writing. I’m always reading about different subjects. How do I know if my idea is a good subject? Where do I go from here?”
And my answer is this: You love writing and want a change. You explore different subjects but want to know if your idea is good.
That’s the process of ‘finding your niche’ which happens right before starting a blog or any other online business. And here are some tips:
You can start a blog on a topic you’re passionate about and which is in demand and write content (if many other blogs exist in the same niche, that’s good). It will attract people interested in the same and they’ll see you as the expert because you’ll know more about them on the subject.
Because you’re passionate about the topic, you’ll also enjoy writing content on it not just for the first few weeks of your blog’s existence but for years.
That’s what I did. I started my blog Let’s Reach Success on the topic of personal development many years ago, but since then it’s evolved and now covers Online Business, Finance, Blogging, Lifestyle Design.
That’s because these are the things I’m doing with my life and getting better at so it makes sense to share my journey and what I learn along the way with my audience. It has turned into a profitable business over the years too.
As for your question ‘Where do I go from there?’, well you simply start a blog and learn all you can about blogging.
“How to pick a niche for my blog?”
Another reader told me: “My number one struggle when it comes to an online business is picking a niche. I don’t have anything in particular I’m interested in. I know I have all the energy and drive to create a business, but picking a specific topic to become an expert in has been difficult. “
It’s a common struggle but it’s also important to find the right niche before you start the blog or business.
Usually, the 3 things you’re looking for in a niche are:
- it’s something you’re passionate about
- it’s something you’re good at or at least know more about than beginners
- it’s profitable (that can be checked by seeing many other blogs in this topic that earn money or seeing products on Amazon in this niche that do well).
“Is there a chance to grow a personal development blog?”
Here’s something else I got from a reader: “I want to ask one question which always irritates me. I read a few articles that were saying there’s no earning potential in the personal development niche. The only source of earning is by selling self-help books. Do you think there’s any chances to grow in this niche?”
Yes, you can make money in almost any niche.
I just found ways to combine online business and making money online with the topic of lifestyle design and financial independence, which all starts with personal and spiritual development. And that’s how I lived my life too.
You can monetize your Personal Development blog with ads. Get traffic (through optimized content and a social media channel like Pinterest), sign up with a good ad network like Mediavine and make passive income.
Then, you can start contacting brands for sponsored content.
In addition, of course, you can find affiliate programs related to your topics and place links, as well as create an ebook and an online course. Courses are really profitable in any niche now.
So there you go, the 4 main ways to make money blogging applied to your niche.
“Is it the right time to start a blog or are people more into video content?”
The reader told me: “I have deep passion in writing about Self Improvement. I’m trying to start blog and wanted to ask if it’s the right time to start one in that niche or people are more into video content? Also, should I prepare articles first and launch the blog with them? Is this necessary? And what about driving traffic to a personal development blog?”
I – like many other bloggers – don’t do video content at all, it’s just not my thing.
Blogging is a wonderful business model and a great way to earn passive income online, so yes, every next year it’s becoming a better and better opportunity to start one.
As for preparing some content before starting the blog, the point is to start taking the steps now and invest a few hours weekly. You will get hosting + domain and will write these first articles, so no need to spend a lot of time deciding which one comes first.
The personal development niche is harder to monetize. You might get traffic, but if you have real goals to turn this into a full-time business one day, or even now, it’s harder.
The good news is that you can do what I did. I started with a self-improvement site because it’s what I was passionate about and wanted to create content around. And only thanks to that I was able to create so much content which helped the site grow.
Once you get traffic, you can monetize with ads. That’s for sure in any niche.
There are also many affiliates programs you can join related to the self-improvement niche and make money (for example health hacks and productivity tools and finance tips all fall into this niche). You can also create a course or book one day and sell it.
Sponsored content is another opportunity if you grow the site and start contacting brands.
If that doesn’t work in terms of monetization though, you can start writing more about other topics after a year or so (that’s what I did).
That will turn your self-improvement blog into a lifestyle blog which is almost the same these days. You will add Travel category, Money and Business categories, etc. And with them, there are endless opportunities to monetize.
So many people get stuck in that phase – finding the 1 topic you must blog about, when actually, you can always change direction later on.
People also have a hard time getting started and here are some of the questions I’ve received about this:
Lacking the confidence to be a blogger
One woman told me: “I don’t have much confidence and patience I tend to get bored easily.”
That’s a common struggle. But it’s also what people use as an excuse not to give things a try because they might not succeed.
So by not trying, you’re avoiding failure but also sabotaging your chances success.
However, there’s no real need for confidence in this. You simply must start.
Patience you definitely need, though, and you’ll have to work for that.
As for getting bored easily, the best way to stay motivated while working on your project online that you want to make money from, is to define the reason why you want to have an online business or be a blogger. That reason will keep you going.
I love reading the stories of other successful bloggers and see exactly how they started their blogs from nothing and turned it into a business. The Internet is full of these. That keeps me motivated and gives me ideas for new things to work on.
“What if people think I’m a scam?”
Here’s another confidence issue:
“What I struggle with about making money online or becoming my own boss is that I feel like it’s not going to work and that people may think it’s a scam.”
Here are 2 simple things to keep in mind:
The only way it’s not going to work, is if you give up. Because as long as you keep trying different ways to build a business online, eventually 1 will succeed and it might provide you with a full-time income from home.
Next, people might think it’s a scam, but there will always be naysayers. These aren’t the people you want to attract.
Also, you’ll take action not to be a scam such as starting a website and making it look professional, writing content about your topics and sharing it on different channels.
This itself will turn you into an authority in the niche after some time. It’s what I did with my blog too. I was basically writing a ton of articles for many months and also contributed to other sites and published some eBooks, after which people started seeing me as more of an expert because I knew more about them on the topic.
Don’t forget you should be constantly learning new things about the business model you choose and about your niche, and will build your expertise and develop great skills. Then, you can teach others through your content and products.
All this will will give you the confidence to see yourself as a real online entrepreneur.
If you don’t know where to start, the next question is for you.
“Where do I start?”
“I want to make a source of passive income and I am interested in technology. I’m ready to work hard but don’t know where to start.”
And here’s the advice I gave:
I mostly teach about making money blogging (which is the business model I have seen success with) and luckily, it’s also one of the easiest.
While I can’t tell you to create an app or another online tool and start promoting it yourself as that’s a really hard process, you can easily start a blog and write about the aspects of tech you’re passionate about to attract like-minded people.
Over time, you can monetize the blog traffic with ads. You can also become an affiliate for courses or all kinds of apps and tools that you can share with your blog readers and earn a commission every time someone purchases through your links.
Later on, you can also land sponsored posts on your blog or create your own digital product (such as an eBook or online course) on the topic and sell it.
The next question is from an author who wanted to monetize.
“How to monetize my platform as an author?”
“I’m a published author. I mean I didn’t publish a book but I did my short stories on a platform. I can write well ! But I don’t know how to make money with it. People suggest I start a blog and I’m interested in that. But I don’t know how to start or where to start . I lack clarity.”
The actual part of starting a blog is pretty straightforward. Here’s my free step guide on how to do it.
As for making money with your writing through blogging, the main ways are:
1. You will keep publishing content and promoting it, and when there’s traffic, you can place ads in it and earn from advertising.
2. You’re building a brand by having your own platform and publishing your content for months or a whole year. Then, you’re somebody in your niche.
You can use this in many ways, one of which is to work with brands. When you build authority (you can also become a guest contributor to other blogs and receive a link back to your blog in return), brands can reach out and sponsor some articles on your site and pay you for that.
3. You can combine some of your stories and publish them in the form of an eBook, which you will then sell online.
4. Once you have some experience with this, you can start teaching other writers how to become bloggers and make money out of their writing (and this is really profitable as well as really helpful).
You will basically show beginners exactly what you did on your journey so they can replicate the process. This can help you build an audience of authors and aspiring bloggers and you can eventually create a digital course and sell it.
And here’s the final question I wanna share with you today. It’s related to getting traffic and not seeing progress with your new blog.
“How do I get people to read my content?”
A female blogger reached out and said this:
“I’ve managed to start getting out some decent content on my blog, and a newsletter freebie is in the editing stage.
The problem I’ve got is getting traffic. With hundreds of ideas written down and safely tucked in a notebook to write about, I’m struggling with getting people to read what I’ve got to say.
My views have never topped more than 84/day and I can’t really begin to think about monetizing my blog until I’m at roughly 500 views daily.
While I’m trying to fundamentally see this blog as business, it’s hard to make money with no clients. Pinterest is frankly a mystery – though I like to think that my Instagram is ok even though my Twitter is awful.”
And here’s my answer to her and anyone going through the same:
1. Your mindset
There’s a reason why there’s a Module 1 in both of my blogging courses that talks all about getting into the right mindset for blogging, building the discipline to be a blogger, setting big goals as well as smaller and realistic ones for your first year of blogging.
All this is necessary so you don’t get to the point where you produce some good content and then wait for traffic. That’s discouraging and can quickly make a new blogger give up and decide this won’t work. But that’s not true.
From the words I saw you using in your email, I can see some mental barriers. Such as:
- believing you need to get to a certain number of page views before you monetize
- believing the traffic you have now isn’t enough even though you’ve published some good content
- saying Pinterest is a mystery.
There’s something you can do about each of these. I often remind myself that blogging might be about achieving big milestones over the course of a year or a few, but it’s all about the daily blogging tasks we complete that get us there.
So, don’t be hard on yourself in terms of not getting traffic or not having clients yet. But, be harder on yourself to keep taking action despite these outer factors.
At the end of the day (while looking at numbers and monitoring things is great for growth), you might get distracted by the numbers and end up waiting for more page views, Pinterest views, a client, etc, and thus lose focus of the actions you should be taking today to grow the blogging business a year from now.
Next you say, “I can’t really begin to think about monetizing my blog until I’m at roughly 500 views daily”
Why not? 🙂
This reminds me of other mental barriers readers and students of my courses share with me, such as:
- being afraid to sell a course
- not being ready to place ads on their blog
- being afraid to put affiliate links as people can think they are a scam because they haven’t grown their blog yet, or else.
Well, after reading about hundreds of professional bloggers over the years (and I’ve interviewed many of them), most of them regret 2 things: First, not starting an email list early on, and second, not monetizing from day 1.
So, my question to you is (especially that you’re in such a profitable niche yourself), what’s stopping you from joining affiliate programs, writing an affiliate review, and placing affiliate links in existing articles?
Affiliate marketing can be your first income stream. You can get traffic from Pinterest and you don’t need many page views in order to actually make your first affiliate sale.
You’d be surprised how many bloggers earn a real income with a really low number of pageviews.
Next, you said, “My views have never topped more than 84/day.”
You seem to be focusing on this number as it’s a problem, instead it’s an opportunity to always increase your traffic.
Ask yourself, what number will you be happier with?
You might notice there’s no right answer as once you get to that number and see it daily for weeks, you’ll need to reach another milestone, and another one.
But also, when did you start your blog?
I’m not sure if you know this, but it’s okay to give your blog a full year. You don’t need to grow it quickly in the first weeks or months. There’s a lot to figure out in the beginning and that’s exactly what you’re going through now.
You might be overwhelmed with information, not sure which traffic source or monetization method to focus on first, you might be creating more content than necessary. All this takes time and you need to find what works for you and your blog and double down on it.
Then, you refer to Pinterest a mystery.
So here’s your next task instead of creating more content (cause I see you’re good in content creation, which is great, but that can also be a way to procrastinate on taking care of other aspects of blogging such as promoting the content).
To make it on Pinterest, you don’t need many posts as you can create beautiful Pinterest graphics (for free with Canva, like I do) and make 5-6 for each post.
It’s possible that 1 Pin for every post will rank well in Pinterest and will get you views. You’re in the finance niche, which is perfect for that social media platform so you must learn all you can about it.
Okay, this last question was really good as so many people get stuck in similar stages. I’ll stop here, for today, and continue with the questions and my blogging tips next week.
Thanks for tuning in and if there’s a blogging question you have for me, message me on Instagram @letsreachsuccess and I’ll share what I think.
Also, if you enjoyed the show, leave a review on iTunes or just take a screenshot and share it in your Stories and make sure you tag me so I can thank you.