By now our website is rocking and rolling. We have content coming out on a regular basis and people coming to our site to check it out. We’ve got an email list that’s growing slowly and have a short autoresponder series going out to them over a couple weeks.
If you haven’t checked out the previous posts in this 1 hour per day and $100 per month series then make sure you go through those first before you go any further:
- Finding At Least One Hour Per Day To Work On Your Online Business
- Finding $100 Per Month To Invest In Your Dream Business
- The First Month Online: What To Spend 1 Hour Per Day and $100 Per Month On For Maximum Results
- The Second Month Online: Now We’re Making Progress
In month #3 we’re going to be focusing on reaching out to other bloggers/sites to see what we can do to help then and get ourselves in front of their audience. We’re going to be looking at monetising our site now by surveying and asking our audience “what are you struggling with?”. Finally we’re going to start planning out a product we could potentially create based off the feedback from the survey… Which is they way product creation should be and I’ll explain why in a moment.
Some exciting stuff!
We’re also continuing to batch out blog posts and social media like we did last month. Keeping on top of this is important so we have the majority of the month to focus on growing our business.
Are you ready to move onto month #3? I’ve got another cheatsheet for you for this month as well so you can easily see what’s happening and when. Download that bad boy so you can follow along:
LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT PHAT DOLLAR
First we have our two recurring fees from last month… $7 for our hosting with BlueHost and $19 for our email service provider AWeber. We’re also going to put $10 to one side for blog post images so we can keep added awesome pictures to our site without having to worry about copyright issues.
We’re going to be dedicating the remaining $64 towards Facebook or Twitter ads. Let’s keep the traffic coming as we start to figuring out how we’re going to monetise our site. I haven’t tried using Twitter for ads but Facebook allows you to really hone in on who you’re targeting. So Facebook would be my first choice to spend money on ads and I’d set a daily budget of $2. When you finally start making money you can increase this if you wanted.
That’s it! Our $100 is going to be well spent and by the end of the month we’ll have we need (visitors coming to our site, an email list growing, a blog with content dripping out over time, relationships with other bloggers in our niche and access to a video library to learn even more to progress our business) to almost guarantee success. We just need to be consistent and put in the hard work.
GET THE ELBOW GREASE OUT… IT’S TIME TO WORK!
We’re going to spend the first 4 days batching our blog content just like we did for last month. Spend an hour each day writing one blog post and schedule it to go out on a Monday or Tuesday (or whatever day you’ve decided to post on). Don’t forget we’ve got $10 in our budget for images so don’t forget to make them look awesome!
RESEARCHING OTHER BLOGGERS IN OUR NICHE
On day 5 we’re going to be doing something a little different. We’re going to spend one hour researching different blogs and Facebook groups within our niche. We want to know what other people are doing so we can model, not copy, them on our own blog.
You can use Google to find other blogs but just searching for something related to your niche. For example, if we’re working on a home bakery website we would search for things like:
- Home bakery (uh… duh!)
- Cook cakes at home
- Baking pastries at home
- Baking bread at home
- Home cooked muffins
- … You get the point.
Searching like this won’t work on Facebook as well as it does on Google. If you find Facebook groups or fan pages of the blogs you’ve found then follow them as it’s better than nothing. Instead on Facebook I’d use terms like:
- Home bakery
- Home baking
- Baking at home
- Homemade cakes
- Homemade pastries
These sorts of terms will work on Google as well but are better than the previous examples to use on Facebook.
You should be able to find 10–15 blogs AND 10–15 Facebook groups in an hour. Make sure you bookmark all of the blogs and websites you find because we’ll be using this research for later on in the month.
For the next 3 days we’re going to focus on attention on reaching out to these bloggers and Facebook group owners to see if we can help them out with content on their sites. We want to see if we can write a guest post on their site because they have the audience that we’re after. If we can write an epic piece of content on their site with a link or two back to ours we should get people visiting our site.
The reason we’re doing this outreach in month 3 is because our website is set up to amazing people with almost 20 blog posts and we have an email autoresponder set up which should capture their email addresses. These people will hopefully become a part of our audience.
Guest blogging is a great method, that’s free, to get in front of our target audience and drive them back to our site. The only issue is that we have to make sure the guest post is truly awesome so that the site owner will actually post it on their site. This will also help build your reputation in that niche and will give you a portfolio to send to other blog owners you’d like to write a guest post on.
A lot of bloggers who accept guest posts will say so on their site. They’ll have a ”Write for us,”“Guest Post” or ”Contribute” link normally in the navigation bar or in the footer. We can find the blogs pretty easily with the help of our good ol’ friend… Google.
We can search for these blogs but typing: YOUR NICHE + “Write for us”
Obviously you’ll want to change the YOUR NICHE part to whatever your niche is and make sure to put the “Write for us” “Guest Post” or ”Contribute” in quotations. This means Google will search for those words in that order. So using our home bakery niche as an example, a Google search would look something like this:
Hopefully when you’re researching your list of sites earlier on a few offer guest posting opportunities. If not, a search like this will help you find some that do and add them to your list.
We’re going to email these bloggers to see if we can write a post for them. A lot of them will tell you on their site what sort of posts they’re looking for along with things like: article length, pictures, topics, no. of links back to your site, etc. And others won’t
For those that do, pitch your post idea to them conforming to the rules they’ve laid out. For those that don’t, ask them what sort of post they’re after right now and the requirements for that post. Once you’ve got you’re answer you can start writing your posts. We’re dedicating 3 days for writing these posts because we really have to make them awesome… Ideally they should be better than what’s on our own site!
This is going to be a focus for the months ahead too so keep in mind what works and what doesn’t when pitching your ideas to other bloggers.
PIMPING OUR ABOUT PAGES FURTHER
After we’ve spent some time reaching out to other bloggers we’re going to spend an hour making our “About” pages pop a little more. Like I’ve said before, the about me page is most likely going to be one of your most popular pages, especially if you’re going to be the face of your business.
This is the page where we’re going to tell our story and show our audience why they’ll want to stick around to listen to what we have to say. No pressure! 😀
Check out other bloggers and see what they’re doing on their about pages. Take notices of parts that grab your attention and think about how you could incorporate something similar into your about page.
Amanda Berlin, a communications specialist, has a great PDF that breaks down what a great about page should include. Pair this with researching what other people are doing and we’ll be able to tweak our page to really connect with our audience. If you want Amanda’s PDF you’ll be able to find it over here.
Also, don’t forget that cheatsheet if you still don’t have it yet. I’m sure you do already… I’ve mentioned it 50,000 times now 😉
WHAT CAN WE CREATE FOR OUR AUDIENCE?
I’ve seen many people go out and create a product they think people would want. They end up wasting weeks, or evening months, creating the eBooks, videos or audio files to only see they awesome product fall flat on it’s face.
We’re going to do things differently.
They best way to get sales for your products is to create something people actually want, not what you think they want. To figure that out there’s a few things we can do:
- Email/survey your audience.
- Have a short Skype call with your audience (probably the best option to get the best feedback).
- Look at Amazon reviews.
Ok, I’ll break those down for you.
EMAIL/SURVEY YOUR AUDIENCE
There’s one simple little question you’re going to ask the people on your mailing list or in forums/facebook groups where your audience are hanging out. That is: “What’s the number 1 thing you’re struggling the most with write now with [YOUR NICHE HERE]” and then you’re going to listen.
I’ve got this question in my email autoresponder series and I get some awesome replies back. Product, blog post, video and future podcast ideas have come from my own audience by just asking that little question. You can even use a service like Survey Monkey which will allow to create a 10 question survey and get 100 responses for free. I wouldn’t have more than 4 easy to answer questions on a survey at the moment just so you’re likely to get more responses.
This is similar to the previous suggestion except you’re now going to have a 10–15 minute Skype call instead.
Email your list and ask if anyone wants to have a short conversation to help them work through what they’re struggling with at the moment. You can really dig into their problems and hear the language they use to describe their problems. The words they use are important to help build an emotional connection when it comes to selling the product once you’ve created it.
Have as many conversations you can and see if there’s a similar problem the majority of them are having because that’s going to be your product!
Probably the most underused method!
Go and find books in your niche on Amazon and go through some of the 3 star reviews.
Use the 3 star reviews as these are less likely to be bias. 5 star and 1 star reviews aren’t going to provide you with useful information, at least not all the time. Read through the reviews and see what people are saying. Are they saying things like “I wish they went through XYZ in-depth more” or “I liked X but didn’t understand Y” or “There was nothing on XYZ in this book”… You get the point.
These are all things you can include in a product that would make it better than the book. Also do through the contents page and see what topics the book covers because they could be potential blog posts or things to also include in your product.
BRAINSTORMING PRODUCT IDEAS FROM THE RESEARCH AND AUDIENCE FEEDBACK
On day 20 you’re going to start collating the results of the research you’ve done so far into a spreadsheet. Start listing out all of the problems people are having and keep note of how many times the same problem is repeated… These problems are going to be the ones you create products for.
If you’ve also managed to arrange Skype calls with people in your audience then you’ll be doing those on day 20 too. Add your findings from these calls to your spreadsheet.
Day 21 is when we start to plan out a potential product we could create based off of the results of our research. This is also where the fun really begins because we’re going to decide whether we’re going to create an eBook, videos or audio (or a combination of the 3).
Go through all the problems people are having and think about what you could create to solve it… Using a mixture of eBooks, videos and audio files. Start with going through the most popular problems first as these are more likely to be popular seller.
Before we even create a product we will be asking our audience if it’s something they would like first. Just so we’re not wasting days/weeks creating something people don’t want. Right now we’re just coming up with ideas.
CREATE LAYOUTS FOR A HANDFUL OF IDEAS AND SURVEY YOUR AUDIENCE AGAIN
Now we’re going to take a handful of the most popular problems people have and start laying out what we could create to solve them. Just tackle one problem with the product you’re going to create. Keep things very simple for version 1 and you can always expanded it later for versions 2,3,4 etc.
Think about what eBooks, videos or audio files you could create and package together. Don’t go creating them but just write down what topics you’d cover in your product and what they would be (eBooks, videos, audio files or a mixture of the three).
Once you’ve done that with a handful of the products you can then email your list to see which they would be most interested in purchasing.
You could even pre-sell each product and see which one people are actually going to pay money for. You’ll also get money through the door before you’ve even created it. This is an advanced product validation technique so if you’re brand new then I wouldn’t worry too much about this. Read this post over at Harvard Business Review about pre-selling your idea if you’re interested in this concept.
Hopefully within the next few days you’ll have enough feedback from your audience that you’ll have a product you can go out and create. Something you know your audience wants!
Don’t be afraid to get on Skype again and talk to people about your product ideas too. They’ll be able to give you more in-depth details on things they’d like to see and what you’ve got in your plans that could be taken out. Remember we’re aiming to create a simple product first. Once it starts selling you can improve it based on customer feedback.
THE WEEKLY TASKS… SOCIAL MEDIA AND COMMENTING
From day 17 onwards you’re going to spend one hour every week reading through other people’s blogs within your niche. Guess what!? We found them earlier in day 5!
The aim of this is to show our knowledge and expertise in our niche by leaving helpful/thoughtful comments on their blog posts regularly. Don’t just comment on the post though. Also help answer questions other people are asking on the posts too.
The more helpful be can be the better. This will get the attention of the readers of the blog and will get them thinking “who is this guy?” which will lead them to you and your site. You’ll also get the attention of the blog owner which might lead to future guest posts, podcast interviews or some other collaboration. If you become valuable and helpful to their audience and the audience loves you then they’re highly likely to work with you and help promote your brand.
One thing you shouldn’t do is promote yourself in their blog comments. This isn’t respectful and will land you in hot water with the blog owner because it looks like you’re trying to steal their audience. You’ll ruin any chance working with them in the future and if they are close with other bloggers in your niche then word could spread. You could ruin your chances with several bloggers.
If you have a post on your own site that would really help someone specific in the comment section then definitely post it because you’re helping someone out. Just don’t link to your site with EVERY COMMENT you make. Even link out to other websites that would help people.
YOU’RE NOW SET UP FOR SUCCESS
First off, congratulations for making it this far! Over the past 3 months you’ve made giant strides in setting up your business with just 1 hour per day, 6 days per week.
Let’s recap what you should have:
- A website with 18 blog posts and each month batching 4 blog posts to be scheduled once per week.
- An email autoresponder series with a few emails that’ll be sent to people when they sign up to your list.
- A great lead magnet that’s going to attract people to sign up to your email list.
- Your website set up with the essential plugins and pages.
- A list of other blogs within you’re niche who you’ve hopefully started to develop a relationship with by either writing a guest post or commenting on their blog posts.
- A kick ass About page that connects with your audience.
- A few ideas on products you could create based off struggles your audience have so they’re more likely to buy it.
- Traffic coming organically through Google and from our Facebook Ads.
- A warm happy feeling growing bigger and bigger each day…
How awesome is that? How far do you think you would have gone without a little bit of help?
Your business is now in a position to take off because you’ve taken the time to lay down the foundations. Everything from here on out will be built upon what you’ve done in the last 3 months. You can extend your email autoresponder series by adding your popular posts to the sequence, collaborate on projects with other bloggers and create your own product or promote something as an affiliate.
Once the money starts to come in from the latter, I’d recommend investing it back into your business on tools to help automate your business. If you haven’t seen my toolbox of resources yet, you should check it out. All of the tools I currently use, or have used in the past, are in there.
If you still haven’t grabbed your cheatsheet I’ve created to help you each and every day then make sure you click on the download button below. Print it out and cross off the days as you go!
NOW I NEED YOUR HELP DUDES AND DUDETTES
Now you’ve been through the 3 months and have built up a stable foundation I’d love your feedback so I can improve the roadmap for you and everyone else.
If you could leave me some comments down below with what parts you struggled with, anything that confused you, anything you feel is missing that would make this legendary and your feedback in general. I’d love you guys if you could do that.
As always, if you have any questions also leave them in the comments below and I’d be happy to help you all out.