I started a blog in 2008.
I had a 9-month old daughter, and as much as I loved her and enjoyed being with her, I was going crazy with next to no grown-up “work” for my creative brain.
I wanted to write, so I put all my creative energy and imagination into coming up with a name for the blog: The Mom Writes. (Yes, I know.)
Soon people began to notice.
I had readers commenting, sending me emails and then, one day a reader emailed to ask if I would write for his site. I said yes. He wanted to know my rates and just like that, I was in business.
I’m here to tell you how I’ve used blogging to build a six-figure business and how a blog continues to be my top marketing strategy, even after 7 years.
Since then, I’ve worked with more than 100 small businesses as a business blogger, social media copywriter, and community manager. My little blog has helped me build a six-figure business – and remains my number one marketing strategy.
Here’s how I did it:
1. Start smart … but actually start
One of the things that helped me most was overcoming my perfectionism and just starting. I had a blog on Blogger. No, not self-hosted or anything fancy. I had a simple free template and no header either.
You already know the story behind the blog name. So, you know that wasn’t perfect in any way.
Nothing was perfect. But I started. Jumped in with both feet and did it.
Don’t let perfectionism hold you back. (Don’t get me wrong. Perfectionism is great in many cases – but not when it’s holding you back.)
2. Copy my 3-pronged strategy
Growing a blog can take time, unless you supercharge it with a three-pronged approach: Google on one side, your readers on the other side, and your niche in the middle.
This approach helped me land clients within the first 6 months of blogging.
My niche was parenting and simplifying life at home.
My readers started resonating with my content because I was just like them. I knew what they struggled with and shared how I resolved those struggles. And I always let them know that I’m a writer and what I enjoy writing about.
Naturally, they would think of me each time someone in their circle mentioned they needed a writer.
Google started loving my content because I used my growing SEO knowledge to optimize my posts. This helped bring targeted traffic from the US and Australia to my blog.
More readers = more eyeballs on my content = more business.
This three-pronged approach is what I’m using to date, including with my content marketing site, Content Bistro. It still works.
3. Your blog posts are your portfolio
When you’re starting out and don’t have a portfolio to showcase, a blog is your best friend.
Direct prospective clients to some of your best content. I’d share links to blog posts in their niche, whenever possible. For instance, a baby products website loved my posts on co-sleeping and reading to my toddler and hired me to write for their business blog.
Do this, and you’ll have a much stronger conversion rate. Ask me how I know!
4. Invest intelligently
Being a writer online can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to invest funds and what to bootstrap on.
There are courses, website themes, tools, conferences, and so much more that requires forking out cash.
Some of these investments are smart, but some are unnecessary.
Invest in a professional looking design for your blog and website. Invest in courses and mastermind groups that build your knowledge and give you community support.
Invest in conferences where you can meet fellow bloggers, writers, and business owners.
This August, I flew across the world from India to Australia to attend a blogging conference. A big investment but it was totally worth it. I learned a lot, met some amazing people, and came back with a couple of new clients as well.
5. Build a bouquet of services
Finally, and most important, use your blog to offer a variety of services.
Besides writing for freelance clients, I coach beginning bloggers and aspiring work-at-home moms, sell e-books, and offer community management and Web, SEO, and social media copywriting services.
All of these services add up to my income every year.
If you’ve stayed away from building a blog, reconsider. It can be one of your biggest business-building tools and probably, the most inexpensive one as well.
Does your blog bring you clients? Share how you do it in the comments below.
Prerna Malik is a gourmet copywriter and community manager for time-starved entrepreneurs at Content Bistro. Snag her free eBook, Social Sizzle, to supercharge your social media.