Most of us become bloggers and/or online entrepreneurs because we want to be able to make money, have control of our schedules, and stay home. This is usually accomplished with selling products and/or services. However, most of our selling mindset holds us back.
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I became a blogger and and online solopreneur because I needed to earn money and contribute to my family’s finances. I bet this is the case with many of you.
Of course, there those of you who started blogging only as a hobby, and monetization was something you thought about much later. Maybe you’re not even thinking about it. That’s OK. There is absolutely nothing wrong with blogging for enjoyment.
However, for most online solopreneurs and bloggers like me, monetizing our websites and blogs is a priority. When I started Freelance & Marketing, of course one of the biggest goals was to help out other bloggers and blog about my experiences, what works for me and what doesn’t. Think of it as a guinea pig situation.
But, from day one monetizing has been a constant need. I needed to earn money, to contribute to my family’s finances. Moreover, I needed to do that because for the first time in my place I was not working actively, and I was not used to it.
When Should You Develop Your Selling Mindset?
If monetizing is important for you, or one of your big goals, then you should start thinking about your selling mindset from day one. I suggest this because you need to develop a strategy, have a plan in place, so you can start implementing it for successful monetization.
Even if you don’t make money initially, you still have to work towards your monetization strategy. When you intend to make money from your website or blog, you must approach it as a business instead of a hobby. This means you need to have the necessary tools, plans, and techniques in place. However, what’s even more important, is that you need to make peace with the fact that you’ll need to sell.
There are all kinds of resources out there that will tell you not to monetize unless you have a certain number of email subscribers, or regular traffic. While I love email marketing, and think it’s the most efficient form of marketing and selling, there are certain aspects to this general rule that I disagree with. Mind you, I disagree because I experienced it first hand with my own products.
I think monetization does not necessarily follow rigid rules. For example, if you don’t have your own email subscribers, then you can leverage someone else’s by offering them a cut/commission. If you don’t have a large social media following, again, use another person’s whose audience is your target audience.
If you’re ready to monetize, there is no “one size fits all” approach. Some bloggers or solopreneurs will have large website traffic, and will choose to monetize with ads and affiliate marketing. There are those who will create digital products and offer them for sale. Some will decide to offer some kind of service as an initial monetization method. This works great because you don’t really need to have traffic to offer a service. Elna Cain wrote a very helpful post on this. You can read more about offering a service as a means to monetization here.
Related: Read about how I offered a service and made over $5000 in my first 30 days of starting my blog.
Depending what your goals are, or what kind of statistics your website or blog has, there is a method that you can use to monetize your blog even from day 1 with no traffic or email list.
The biggest thing that most bloggers and solopreneurs have to adopt or change is a selling mindset.
Selling is Like a Dirty Word to Many Bloggers-This Must Stop
It’s not uncommon for many bloggers and online personalities to create content and blog for months or even years without earning a single penny. Or they earn so little that they might as well not have earned it at all.
Is this because their content is not good? Or their products and services are horrible? Or maybe they don’t have any traffic, email list or social media presence?
Sure, all of these could be true. But, believe it or not, it’s rare for someone to keep producing content for long and not have at least 1 or 2 good pieces. It’s also super rare for them not to have an email list or social media presence. It might not be a big list or following, but more often than not, they’ll have those also.
The major problem that holds most bloggers back is the act of selling itself. Selling is viewed as a dirty trick. It’s viewed by most like you’re taking advantage of others if you offer your product or service for sale.
This mindset cripples you and your business. There is absolutely no reason why you should hesitate to sell something you worked hard for to create. I am not suggesting you become pushy and aggressive with it. Don’t be that used cars’ salesman.
However, don’t be afraid of the act itself. Yes, sometimes when you offer something for sale to your email list, some people unsubscribe. You might think you worked hard to get those subscribers and it’s not worth losing them over a sales pitch.
Recently I promoted a new product that one of my colleagues came up. She created amazing Pinterest Pin Templates Bundle. Beautiful designs, varying sizes. I loved the product and purchased one for myself. I promoted to my email list because I truly believe that Pinterest is very important to us as bloggers. I had many unsubscribes because of my decision to promote. But you know what, that’s fine. This means that the people on my email list were not a perfect fit for me.
By the way, if you want to check out the Pinterest Pin Templates I mentioned above, you can do that here (Affiliate link).
However, I urge you to think of it differently.
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Why do you have an email list? What’s the purpose? Well, if we’re being completely honest here, the main purpose of your email list is to convert into buyers. If your email subscribers are not gonna convert, and are gonna unsubscribe if you so much as promote a product or service, then they are not your people.
It’s OK to let them go because you’re gonna be paying for someone who does not understand what it takes to run a business. I am not saying sell bad or low quality products.
On the contrary. Make sure that your products are as good as you can make them. Once they are at their best, sell with confidence. You’re running a business. Nobody would expect you to give free products all the time and not sell anything if you had a brick and mortar shop.
Change Your Mindset When it Comes to selling
Let me ask you this? Are you running a charity? If so, I commend you for it. It’s admirable. However, if you’re not, then this means you need to make money somehow.
The vast majority of mom bloggers, and bloggers in general, started blogging because they wanted or needed the flexibility, convenience and necessity of making money from home.
If this the case for you, then you need to realize that you will need to sell, promote, advertise. Essentially, you’ll need to do sales pitches to your audience.
Realize that there is nothing inherently bad about this. If you’re someone who works hard, creates quality content, gives away free resources, tips and tricks on regular basis, then having a product or service for sale is the logical next step.
Your real target audience will understand that your online website or blog is your business. You need to be able to generate income to stay afloat. Create quality, useful and valuable products. Offer services that will serve your audience, solve a particular problem they have. Offer them to your audience. Not everyone will buy, and that’s fine. But there will be those who’ll need what you’re offering and will buy.
To drive this point home, I’d like to bring a simple, yet relevant analogy. Do you get mad at department stores for selling clothing or shoes? My guess is, probably not. Do you buy it every day? Again, likely not. But, you buy it when you need it, and I bet you’re happy when there is something that’s being sold that you want.
Being a blogger or any type of online entrepreneur should not be any different. You offer products or services for sale. Clearly, you have to talk about it a little, promote it to some extent so that people find out about your products or services. From there, the people who need it, will buy it, those who don’t, won’t. Simple as that.
As bloggers and online solopreneurs whose goal is to monetize and make money online, you have to get used to the idea of creating products and services and offering them for sale.
Many bloggers’ selling mindset hinders them from taking their business forward because they hesitate to sell. They are afraid that their subscribers and followers will not like the fact that they sell instead of maybe offering things for free. I urge you to change your mindset. If you intend to make money, then you need to see your blog and website as your business.
Just because your business exists in the virtual world instead of in a brick and mortar store, doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a business. Offer value, help others, create quality products and services. Once all of these are true, selling is not inherently bad. It’s not wrong. Give your business a chance to succeed.
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This is very helpful! I do struggle with selling and I’m not focussing enough on it. You’re right, I’m not running a charity and I should change my mindset about selling. Thank you, I needed this!
Hi! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Definitely! You have to start valuing your services and products for others to do so also. You got this!
I totally agree when you said that we have to start having a selling mindset from day one. It is however not that much of a result but will definitely benefit in the long run. On a different perspective a business should also have a website where you could have blogs on the side.
Hi TJ! Thanks for your comment. I don’t say that you should sell from day 1, but that you should have the mindset for it. Before you sell, it’s important to develop trust and like with your readers. Otherwise, people won’t buy from a stranger that they hardly know, like or trust.
Thanks for sharing this info. I agree with you about “Selling Is Like A Dirty Word” and I find it’s not just with Bloggers but also with people who want to sell their expertise online. I see people complain about people wanting to charge them for their knowledge and expertise, like it’s an issue to want to make money. Time for a change.
Hi Karletta! Thanks for your comment. I definitely agree with you. If you’re offering a valuable product or service, you should get paid for it, unless you’re offering it for free (which, let’s face it, as bloggers we do). No one would expect to get free service or product outside of blogging world.
You’ve offered some great points here! I really think that that mindset of selling and it being sort of a dirty word and having negative connotations makes a bloggers job really difficult sometimes. If you can really focus on the fact and drive your focus to giving valued resources to your audience, it’ll never feel like selling. Great post! Thank you!
I completely agree with you Sasha! To me, the trick is in offering value. If I feel that the person in front of me is helping me with their product or service, then I don’t even think twice about the concept of ‘selling’