Blogging

My 7 Blogging Commandments For a Purposeful and Profitable Blog

When you’re starting your blog, it can seem like a long and difficult road to cross to get where you want to be. What should I focus on first?! Will people care about what I have to say? Will I really make money doing what I love? Is this even worth it?

These narratives are all too familiar to me. But I want you to know that yes, you can achieve all those things. And more.

In last week’s post, I shared how to simplify your strategy to help overcome beginner blogger overwhelm. Finding clarity about my path has allowed my blog to move closer to where I want it to be, WAY quicker than I ever expected.

I started this journey with a game plan. Everything I’ve accomplished this year was no accident–it was on purpose. With that said, I want to share the top 7 strategies that I focused on the most that are the root of my success.

I’m calling them my “7 Blogging Commandments” because I believe that anyone can find the success they’re in search of by implementing them too. Keep reading to learn what I focused on most to grow my blog to 50,000 monthly page views, over 1,500 email subscribers, and how I earned my first $1k…all in the past year!

7 Blogging Commandments of a Purposeful and Profitable Blog

Define Success On Your Terms

Disclaimer: success looks different for everyone. For me, it looks something like this:

  • Helping my audience grow their blogs with actionable strategies
  • Growing a community of like-minded souls who are in search of positivity, passion, and purpose
  • Being able to monetize from what I love doing
  • Setting realistic goals and achieving them

Getting clear on what success means to you and not what everyone else thinks is the first step to achieving that success.

Let’s do this!!

7 Blogging Commandments For a Purposeful and Profitable Blog Click To Tweet

1. Clear Mission Statement

I feel like a broken record everytime I talk about having a well-defined purpose and mission statement for your blog, but it is TRULY the foundation for success.

Before I discovered my purpose I would show up on my blog every day lost and confused. Once driven by sharing my passions and expressing my creativity, I got trapped in a dark hole of the blogging world and money became my motivator.

When I realized that trying to get rich quick wasn’t going to happen and it made me feel like sh*t, I caught myself and took a step back.

I paused and figured out my core reasons for starting in the first place. Then I moved on and figured out how I could add value to OTHER people’s lives. And that’s how I created my mission statement.

Now I know exactly what kind of content to create and am always buzzing with ideas. Whenever I lose inspiration or doubt myself, I turn to my mission statement to motivate me.

I wouldn’t have been able to get this far or know where I’m heading without one.

How To Grow a Profitable Blog

2. Clean and Professional Website

You want to impress people that land on your site with a professional design that’s also easy to navigate.

It is SO important to create a user-friendly experience for your readers!!! If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they will exit out. No questions asked.

It’s also really important to have high-quality and cohesive images that match your branding. People are VISUAL creatures. We are attracted to PRETTY things, especially when we read blogs!

Truth bomb: Even if someone’s writing is complete garbage, if they have great images on their site, they’ll hold someone’s attention longer than a blog with amazing writing but crappy images and a messy design.

First impressions are everything.

Getting a professional website template and nice photography is one of the best things a new blogger can invest in to get their blog off the ground.

Most of the time when I see a great design, I think that the blogger’s been doing this for years. When I find out she’s only been in the game for a month I’m SO impressed!

Your website is one of the best investments to get your blog off the ground. Click To Tweet

3. Stand Out Branding

The beauty of blogging is that a million different people can write about the same topics, but they will never all sound, look, or feel the same for the audience.

With the power of personal branding, we all have the best tool we need to succeed online: ourselves.

Having a brand is important for bloggers because while the industry is so oversaturated, we’re able to distinguish ourselves through our story, message, and what makes us unique.

Before my rebrand, I never thought I could find a corner of the internet where people would actually listen to me. Or get inspired by me. Or even learn from me. I thought, there’s already a blog for that. And that. Oh and that too. There’s no way I can stand out from everyone else.

And then I learned something I’ll never forget: there will always be someone out there who wants to learn from you. Or get inspired by you. Or listen to you. Because you’re unique. Humans all have different personalities and some people just don’t resonate with others. And I think that is SO powerful.

We all have the best tool we need to succeed online: ourselves. Click To Tweet

The Power of Branding: A Real Life Scenario

The other day I found this blogger who had on point branding and content. Once I realized she had a YouTube channel I immediately clicked over, excited to watch her video about making a “successful to-do list.”

Within a few minutes of starting the video, I had to exit out.

I was immediately turned off because I just wasn’t jiving with her personality. Although she had some great video topics, I couldn’t stand to watch that girl talk about anything.

Getting past the fact that I’m a bit of an asshole (just honest if you ask me), do you know how powerful that is?

We can all talk about the same subject, but we can NEVER talk about it in the same way or attract the same audience. This girl has over 30,000 YouTube subscribers, so obviously people are resonating with her.

Use your brand as a vehicle to drive your message into the hearts of your audience. Click To Tweet

And I much rather go listen to someone else talk about creating a successful to-do list…It’s not about WHAT topics we talk about, it’s HOW we talk about them with our personality. USE THAT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!

Like I said, yes there are a million blogs. But there’s only one you! Use your brand as a vehicle to drive your message into the hearts of your audience and allow you to connect with people.

4. Email List Strategy

Another broken record.

I will NEVER not hype up having an email list for your blog.

However, I don’t think the biggest thing bloggers get wrong is that they don’t have one…it’s that they aren’t implementing a strategy for it.

The purpose of an email list is first and foremost to grow and connect with your community. Then when you earn their trust, you can begin to sell to them without being “salesy.”

I’ve been growing my email list for over 9 months now and I didn’t start making any money from it until a few months ago. It’s also how I landed my first coaching client, who reached out to me!

Just like your branding, having a strong email list strategy with a purpose is another powerful vehicle to propel your blog further and reach your goals faster.

It’s definitely a journey that takes time and patience, but once you gain the momentum, the wait is WELL worth it.

One thing bloggers get wrong is not having a purpose for their email list. Click To Tweet

Reaching the milestone of 1,000 subscribers (in 7 months!) was a huge accomplishment for me this year. But I started out slow and even doubted that I would achieve it.

But I made sure to create monthly goals and projects to help boost my list such as a free workshop I co-hosted back in August.

Again, that was on purpose.

5. The Right Kind of Traffic

It seems like all anyone wants these days is traffic.

Traffic, traffic, traffic.

Which I totally get. But I feel like some bloggers are a little too obsessed with it. My question for you is, once you get all that traffic, what are you going to do with it?

While traffic definitely needs to be in your growth strategy, it needs to be done in an intentional way.

If thousands of people are landing on your site and you have nothing more to offer them than just a blog post, what’s the point? Their journey essentially ends right then and there when you have the potential to do so much more.

My point is that you shouldn’t be entirely focused on getting more pageviews, but pageviews from the right people a.k.a. your target audience. When the right people are showing up they will want to stick around longer.

Traffic is important, but the right kind of traffic is most important. Click To Tweet

Use traffic as the mechanism to send your readers on a journey with the goal of building connection and earning a profit. They’ll sign up for your email list, you’ll build trust with them, and then they’ll be ready to purchase your new product or affiliate link you’re promoting.

Unfortunately, the chances of people showing up on your blog and purchasing something from the very first encounter are slim. I mean, what does it take you to pull your wallet out before you buy something online?

6. Community

I wouldn’t be where I am today without Y’ALL! For the 3 and a half years I had my fashion blog, it was SO hard to stand out online and grow an audience.

I had no idea what was “wrong” with me. It was really discouraging for my confidence as a blogger and made me want to give up.

Then I realized that I had been playing the game alllll wrong and the secret to growing your following was by creating community around your blog and brand.

About a month before I rebranded, I started reaching out to other bloggers on social media and email. My intention was to initiate thoughtful and meaningful conversation. In what seemed like an instant, I was finally growing that audience I was in search of.

I rebranded In Search of Sheila with an emphasis on growing a community of like-minded souls who share a passion for blogging, authenticity, and connecting with others. With that mission in place, I’ve truly been able to grow my blog through the power of community.

My biggest advice to bloggers who feel alone, alienated, or are struggling to stand out online is this: make an effort to join an online community and spend time building relationships with other bloggers.

A Facebook group with less than 1,000 members is a good starting place. These smaller, intimate settings will allow you to have a voice and find your community.

I have one you can join called the In Search of Blog Squad. You can join us here!

Without your readers, you’ve got nothing. Click To Tweet

How To Make Money Blogging

7. Intentional Goals

This last commandment is something that has allowed me to grow as quickly as I can: goal-setting!

But not just any goal-setting, intentional goal-setting.

But what’s the difference, Sheila?

Intentional goal-setting is when every goal you create has a meaning behind it. You’ve asked yourself why you want to achieve it and your reason aligns with your values, lifestyle, and most importantly: your purpose.

When I created my goals to reach 50,000 monthly pageviews and 1,000 email subscribers, they weren’t just so I could reach a certain milestone and brag about it. (Okay, only partly!)

I created those benchmarks to push and challenge myself. Since my big overarching goal for my blog is to quit my 9-5, I knew that the first major area I had to focus on was sending traffic to my blog and growing my email list.

And boom. Goals achieved. Before the deadline. 

How To Find Your Path

I know these strategies might give off the “easier said than done” vibe but all of my success didn’t happen overnight. I figured out what I wanted to achieve, I envisioned having it, and I took action to make it a reality.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Whether we succeed or “fail” is a reflection of what we choose to do with that time.

Blogger tip: We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Use your time intentionally. Click To Tweet

When you make the time to get clear on what you want in life, it’s that much easier to take action and make it happen. Seeing the big picture will help you create small pathways to help you get there.

Blogging With Purpose: Coming December 15, 2017!

If you’ve been on an undefined path for your blog and have been feeling lost, I want you to know that I can totally relate.

That’s why I’m creating a resource that I wish I had at the beginning of this year when I was all over the place and with the wrong intentions.

My ebook, Blogging With Purpose: The Ultimate Guide To Finding Your Focus, Creating Your Community, and Monetizing your Mission is written for the blogger who is in search of clarity and is determined to turn their passion into profit.

By implementing my exact strategies, you’ll eliminate the overwhelm, get clear on where you want to be, and reach your destination by using your time INTENTIONALLY by focusing on what matters most.

‘Cause girl, I know we don’t got all the time in the world, especially with everything else going on in our lives.

I can’t wait for this to launch on December 15, so be sure to get on the waitlist to stay up to date as we get closer to the release!

How To Successfully Grow Your New Blog

 

LET’S SUM IT UP

I know that was a lot, so let’s review my 7 Blogging Commandments to give you a refresher and commit them to memory!

  1. Clear Mission Statement
  2. Clean and Professional Website
  3. Stand Out Branding
  4. Email List Strategy
  5. The Right Kind of Traffic
  6. Community
  7. Intentional Goals

I believe that our blogs can be very powerful tools to make an impact online AND allow us the freedom to lead the lives we’ve always wanted. We CAN profit from our passion, as long as we throw a little purpose in there too.

We CAN profit from our passion, as long as we throw a little purpose in there too. Click To Tweet

LET’S CHAT

What is one strategy that has helped you reach your blogging goals this year? What are you looking forward to implementing next?

And be sure to share the image below on Pinterest to help others grow their blogs!

How To Make Money Blogging With Purpose

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  • Sepideh

    Once again, you’ve mind-blown me.

    I feel like I need to have a notepad and write down my comments as I read through the blogpost because when I get to the comments section, I don’t remember everything I wanted to say!!

    This is such a great post and there’s SO much that we can do as bloggers that it can be overwhelming but I’ve been focusing on Pinterest and my email list (building freebies!) so that has helped narrow it down. It’s hard to not want to do a whole bunch of other stuff at the same time.

    The first thing that I want to do though is to make my website more professional (but you know that already haha) so that’s the first order of business hopefully in the next few weeks!

    http://www.elleisforlove.com

    • hahah I looove that you want to take notes! I feel like that with a lot of blogs too 🙂

      I think you’ve got a good flow of things you wana do: get your website design updated so you can set the tone for your readers. Then focusing on your Pinterest strategy because it’s a big traffic driver plus once it’s up and running you can have that on auto pilot and then tackling that email list!! You got this!

  • I’m so saving this blog post!!

    One aspect that has really helped me is the importance of community. I had another blog earlier in the year so I was already networking with other bloggers in many FB groups. Now that I’m starting a new blog soon, I did join a few new groups and started to make myself known. I think it’s really helpful to form relationships with other bloggers; it’s fun! It’s really interesting to see that blogging is not competitive at all. We collaborate with each other, we help each other out. 🙂

    • Yesss, community is SO important and a huge factor in my blog’s growth. It’s crazy how much it can do for your strategy plus making friendships with other bloggers is something so valuable to have in life!

  • This is SUPER helpful, and definitely eye-opening. I definitely feel like I’m one of those unclear blogs with no real purpose. I think it’s time to sit down, create a business/blog plan and run with it! Thanks for the help 🙂

    • Thanks for reading Nicole! I’m excited to hear you’re ready to create your plan…you got this!!

  • I love this post so much. And some of it I still really need to work on..like finally getting to the e-mail list I have been putting off for the longest time. I know you always preach about this and I just need to bite the bullet and get it done! Ahhhh

    Enclothed Cognition

    • hahaha new years resolution!! Plus I’m always here if you need help 🙂

  • Khizar Shaikh

    This is SUPER helpful
    Regards
    MiiKey MiiSport Grey Wireless Bluetooth

  • I just love this whole post so much. You’re always so insightful.

    I totally relate to when you just don’t vibe with someone’s brand. There’s some bloggers who I feel like I’m supposed to “like” and I just don’t connect with them at all. I feel like you’re always so real in your posts and in your social media content that I can so easily connect with you and have it feel real! xoxo

    p.s can’t wait for your book – congrats on being an almost-published author 🙂

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