It seems as if everyone has a blog, but running a blog as a business is the step that many people skip. We’re diving into exactly what is a blog business.
IE 130: What is a Blog Business with Jeni B of Biz Mavens
I am so excited about today’s guest! If you listen to this podcast regularly, you know I am all about turning your hobby blog into a business, if that’s what you want.
After all, that’s what allowed me to leave my stressful inner-city teaching job to spend more time with my family and even allowed my husband to leave his high-stress job in sales. I am all about taking what you’ve been building and turning it into something more.
And that’s exactly what Jeni of Biz Mavens does. She helps women go from blogger to entrepreneur. Jeni focuses as much on who you are becoming as a businesswoman as she does on what you are accomplishing along the way.
Jeni shared so many truth bombs in this episode. I can’t wait for you to hear her wisdom!
How to Treat Your Blog Like a Business
So many of us who started blogging back in the early to mid 2000’s got our start in blogging because we wanted to share our creative ideas with people who would come along for the ride with us.
The focus was on what we were doing, what we were thinking, and what problems we were facing and solving.
This blogger-centric focus is the way to have a hobby blog. Even if you’re making money, if your blog’s focus is on your life, it is a hobby blog.
On the other hand, a business is there to provide a service or a product. A business exists to offer some type of transformation for the customer.
When your blog is a business, your reader can see how you will help them solve their problems, how they will change as a reader, or what type of transformation you will take them through.
A blog that is a hobby focuses on the life of the blogger. A blog that is a business focuses on the life of the reader and those whom the blog serves.
Ditching the Herd Mentality
Jeni didn’t start her business as a blog strategist or an online business consultant.
She began as a medical transcriptionist, then she began building websites for doctors and dentists. She was eventually hired to do blog design and had a very successful business designing blogs before she took her side hustle of blog strategy and consulting and turned it into her full-time gig.
What she saw during her years of blog design was a type of herd mentality.
It seemed that instead of figuring out what their audience needed, bloggers were only interested in what everybody else was doing and following suit.
Bloggers assumed that if they did what another blogger was doing, they would see the same level of success as that other blogger.
“If you are always copying what another person does, you will always be behind them.”
You have to come to the point where you stop calling yourself a blogger and you start calling yourself a leader. You are a leader of your people. You are going to act in the best interest of the people you are serving and want to serve.
Knowing Your People
You want to be building actual relationships with real people. Forget the tired, overused avatar exercises.
Here are some questions to ask yourself –
- Who is reading your blog?
- Why do they trust you?
- What do you offer them in terms of transformation?
- What do they want?
- What will happen if they don’t follow your advice for change?
- What have they tried before that didn’t work?
After you’ve been at this for a while, you begin to see the same story repeating itself. You can guess the answers to questions you ask them before they answer you. You know them.
Know Who Your People Are Listening To
Your blog readers aren’t only reading your blog. They are likely reading other blogs and getting advice from other sources.
A good leader will know how to address these other sources.
And honestly, sometimes it means expressing your opinions in a rather bossy way that gets the attention of your reader and sets you up as the expert on the topic.
As a leader, you have to be prepared to lead.
You have to not be afraid to tell your people what to do and how to take the steps necessary to see their lives change.
You have to be courageous enough to point out the flaws in the other information they’re getting in order to help them see true transformation in their lives.
Know the Journey They Need to Take
Before you can become a leader for your audience, you have to understand what they need to change, what transformations they need to make in their life.
This happens through intense listening.
You’re listening to them through the emails they send you, through social media, through their questions.
One of the biggest shifts you have to make to go from hobby blogger to businesswoman is to stop targeting demographics and begin targeting psychographics.
You are leading a group of people who tend to have the same limiting beliefs. As you talk to them, you begin to understand their journey and how to take them where they need to go.
You begin to establish the first steps for them. You recognize the roadblocks they will hit along the way. How can you help them overcome those roadblocks?
As you lead them through that journey of transformation, you develop authority and become the leader your people need.
Stop Drinking the Social Media Koolaid
Bloggers are conditioned to believe that social media followers are the end-all, be-all of their business. And nothing could be further from the truth.
*One email subscriber is 27 times more valuable than one social media follower, on any platform. *Jeni has the stats to back this up.
Jeni has built her own multi-six figure business using email. She literally doesn’t use social media for her business.
Social media can be helpful for listening to your audience and getting to know them and the problems they face. But when it comes to talking to them, you want them on your email list.
The likelihood of them seeing your posts on social media is close to not at all. The odds of them seeing your email in their inbox is near 100%.
As you deliver emails that help them with the transformation they need, they now have the choice of whether or not to open those emails, but at least it is now their choice; not the choice of those who manage the algorithms that are stacked against you on social media.
If you learn to write amazing emails that make the recipient feel like you’re talking directly to her, that is centered on her problems and needs, you won’t have to beg her to follow you.
If you want your business to thrive no matter what the social media algorithms do, master your email. It’s the one piece of your business that doesn’t change and that you own.
How to Write a Great Email
A lot of bloggers feel like email is too hard because they’re comparing what they do with what the big companies send out.
Jeni wants you to forget all that. Throw away the newsletter templates that you use to email your list once a week. Newsletters don’t convert.
Instead, when you sit down to write to your list, write as if you’re writing a friend.
Do you have a super fan? Put her picture behind your computer and look at it as you write to her. Write in that conversational style that you would use if you were literally writing to her alone.
Stop looking at the flashy emails you get from the brands and large companies. That type of email shouldn’t be your goal.
Your goal with email is to have conversations that convert.
Jeni developed the 7-Day Blogging Detox, which is a free email course, for bloggers who need to stop doing all.the.thing. All.the.time.
It’s meant to quiet all the voices that are telling you all the things you have to do. It offers help in deciding what is important to you and your business.
This course helps women who are stuck in blogging burnout, and maybe even ready to quit, take a step back from the ledge.
It is not only possible to grow your business by doing less but you are more likely to see massive success when you focus on the most important things.
When you are doing the things that serve your life well while also serving your audience and their needs well, everybody wins.
If you’re interested in trying out these ideas, get yourself on the list for the Blogging Detox today!