This is a question you might need to answer a ton as people wonder how in the world you’re making $5,000+ a month from this simple website that you’ve created.
What does a blogger do? (usually followed up by, “Can you make money blogging?”)
A blogger writes content that is helpful to the audience. The content answers a question and fulfills a need.
I wish I could make it more complicated than that for you but that isn’t the case. However, that doesn’t really answer the question of what a blogger has to do to build a successful online business.
That’s kind of a different question, right? And that’s the question that I’m going to answer in this post.
The goal is to help you understand what a blogger does to build a successful business that allows them to work anywhere in the world.
And if you’re reading this hoping that you can be a blogger for someone else then don’t worry, it will all still apply to you.
What Does a Business Need?
I think this is the first important question to ask because without a business there is no need for a blogger.
So what does a business need?
Thankfully, the answer is not that complicated. Every single business in the world follows the exact same formula with regard to making money.
Audience x Offer(s) = Money
For a business to succeed, it needs an audience and an offer. That’s it. This is how to make a living as a blogger.
This is important to understand because it’s going to help you understand what a blogger does. When it comes to offers they can be your own products, affiliate marketing, or even ads that you have on your site.
Quick note: If your “money” is the ads on your site, then your audience is the advertisers, and your “offer” is the traffic that you bring in.
So if I’m a blogger and I understand that blogging is a business, then I know that I need an offer. With Odd Noodle students, we always recommend they start by creating their own offers because nobody wants to wait to get a lot of traffic to join an ad network.
Now that you have an offer what else do you need?
Looking at the formula above it’s clear that you need an audience.
And that’s where a blogger comes into play.
What Does a Blogger Do? Attract an Audience.
Her site was doing just 20,000 sessions a month (not a lot) but she was making $3,000 a month from that.
Audience x Offer(s) = Magic
But the big question to ask is how do you attract an audience?
Bloggers Solve Problems
This can be pretty hard to wrap your head around, but great bloggers solve problems. They look at what their audience needs and they help them with it.
Unfortunately, most bloggers don’t do that and that is why most bloggers fail.
However, imagine that every single day you thought about your audience and how you can best serve them. So every single day you set out to do that.
Over time how could you fail?
Nobody has ever said, “Well, she failed because she helped too many people.“
It just doesn’t happen like that and that’s why the bloggers that spend their time helping others solve their problems end up succeeding.
It’s easy to say that a blogger just sits down and writes random content, and yes some do.
But we are talking about the bloggers who are able to quit their jobs, help their partners quit their jobs, hire people, build up successful brands, and in general live their lives the way that they want.
What do those bloggers do?
How to Be a Great Blogger
So maybe now that you have a better understanding of what a blogger does and how they make money blogging, you are thinking that you want to be a blogger as well.
But you just don’t want to be a blogger who has a hobby they are embarrassed to tell people about.
You want to be a blogger that Oprah looks up to.
I love that about you. Don’t lose that energy.
But how do you make that happen? Great question and I think you deserve an answer.
I’ll break these things down into steps that you can follow.
1. Commit to 3 Years
Being a blogger isn’t something that has an immediate return. But it’s also why we dive right into creating a digital product almost immediately both with our own blogs and how we teach our students.
It’s important to understand that you probably won’t create a successful blog overnight.
I don’t care who you follow, who you listen to, or who you want to believe. Building any type of business that reaches the level of success that you want is going to take time.
Unfortunately, too many people quit way before they’ve given themselves a real shot at this.
So I tend to follow a rule. If I’m about to invest time, energy, and sometimes money into something I ask if am I willing to commit 3 years to it.
Now I know that 3 years might seem like a long time and I’m not saying that’s how long it will take you to build a successful business. What I’m saying is that if I know I can commit 3 years to something then that gives me time to succeed.
That’s a lot different than saying I’m going to give myself 6 months because 6 months goes by really fast and it adds more pressure than I need.
Think about it.
The first month you’re just getting your feet wet and understanding what you need to do. When that month is over then you only have 5 months left!
However, when you know you have 3 years to make this work you allow yourself a bit more freedom to not reach success immediately. You’re more willing to experiment and really give things a shot.
If you know you can’t commit at least 2 years to make this work then to be honest don’t give it a shot. However, again I want to emphasize that by no means should it take you 2+ years to start making money online.
It’s the approach that I’m taking with Obsidian Tavern where I want to be viewed as an authority for teaching people how to build worlds.
2. Choose Your Audience
Next, you need to commit to an audience.
Some people will say this is picking a blog niche, but I like to see it as choosing an audience. When you’re choosing a topic that can feel limiting and the reality is that you’re never talking about a topic when you write.
You’re speaking with your audience.
For example, this site is in the business niche but is that helpful for me to figure out what to write about?
Not at all.
Instead, I need to figure out who my Hero is and then I can begin to think about content that addresses their needs because again if I’m not creating content that serves them then there is no point to this.
3. Create an Awesome Resource
Your blog is not a blog.
It’s an amazing resource for anyone who decides to visit. Your blog is now something that people should get lost in because it provides so much for them.
This means you need to create content that fits within this awesome resource.
Your best strategy is to start building out Topic Clusters.
Too many bloggers fall into the trap of writing content across a number of different topics to start off simply because they have a lot of interest.
I get it.
I have a ton of interests as well but if I want to get started with something and be seen as an authority then I know it’s best I focus on one thing for a bit.
For example, here at Odd Noodle, we help you build an online business that covers a lot of different things:
But could you imagine what would happen if we started writing one blog post for each of these topics? It would take forever for people to view us as an authority in anything!
So what we did is first focus on blogging. We created an extensive library of blogging resources so that people could see that we are authorities on the topic. Then we moved on to another topic and fleshed it out before moving to another.
Don’t ever feel like choosing an audience means that you are limiting yourself. In fact, you’re giving yourself a better chance of succeeding as you get to fill in the content holes that the bigger competition misses.
Because we started with an emphasis on blogging we could look at the content that nobody else wanted to write because they didn’t think it was worth the low amount of traffic.
However, when you’re starting off any amount of traffic is good!
4. Promote Your Library
There is no point in creating this wonderful library of value if you’re not going to share it with those who would benefit from it.
Remember, you’re creating a resource for someone but if they don’t know that the resource exists then what is the point?
It might as well not exist.
So how do you promote your library?
It depends on what approach you want to take. There are a ton of different things that you can do:
And while it’s cool that you have plenty of options for promoting your content it’s important that you don’t try them all at once. You’ll lose your mind and become extremely frustrated.
Instead, focus on one or two, get good at them, and then move forward with another if you feel that it could be a good opportunity for you.
5. Be Consistent
This is the final thing. Once you’ve nailed down everything that we talked about above then it just comes down to being consistent with it.
If you do this stuff consistently then over time you will succeed.
One way to look at it is that you’re planting seeds. You don’t get to plant a seed and expect to wake up to a tree the next day.
Instead, what you do is plant seeds every single day and then look back over time to see that some big ass trees have grown over time.
That is what is going to happen with your blog.
When you put your head down and do the work you’ll begin to see that one day when you look up you’ve created something special.
And other people will notice that as well.
A Blogger Does What an Entrepreneur Does
The reality is that a blogger is an entrepreneur.
They have to come up with the concept of the business, create the offer, and do the marketing.
A blogger, a successful one, is never someone who just sits down to write.