Hosting events can be a great way to monetize your blog.  The beauty of hosting events is that you earn revenue from both the registration fee and sponsors. In addition, events create new opportunities you can offer existing advertisers.

The biggest obstacle in launching an event business is the amount of risk that is involved. You may need to invest a ton of money into securing a venue, catering and marketing materials before any revenue is coming in.

You can often save money by cutting corners and creating strategic partnerships with vendors. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when launching a new events. 

Here are a few of my favorite examples of how bloggers have built amazing event businesses from scratch: 

1. Founding Moms

Jill is the founder of Founding Moms,  a support network for mom entrepreneurs. I met Jill at TechWeek Chicago, and was blown away with how great she was at cutting corners and building successful businesses from nothing. Jill started hosting meet ups for mom entrepreneurs in her local area, and received so much positive feedback that she spun it into a business. She started partnering with mothers in other cities to host similar events, and using smart blog content and ebooks to reach new entrepreneurs. Today, Jills network hosts meet ups for 8,500 entrepreneurs in more than 42 cities across the country. 

2. Bloggy Boot Camp 

 

Tiffany is the founder of Bloggy Bootcamp, a series of mini-conferences hosted in 6 new cities every year. Tiffany is a powerhouse in the blogging space, and was able to leverage her community to build an amazing series of events.

Large conferences can have huge overhead costs, which is why most of them only happen once or twice a year. Tiffany saw that bloggers in smaller areas were desperate to connect ith other bloggers, but didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars to attend a conference.

She created amazing one-day workshops, which allowed her to launch multiple events all at once. Not only did her events sell out almost immediately, but major sponsors came on board because they were so interested in the opportunity to connect with large groups of regional bloggers.

3. Maria Killam

Maria Killam is a nationally-recognized color expert, and the founder of a popular home design blog.  Maria developed a system that allows you to find the perfect paint color for any room. Maria built a huge following by sharing her techniques and design advice on her blog Colour Me Happy

Today Maria host private workshops to show designers how they can use her methods and business tools to build their businesses. Marias events are so inspirational, because she is giving designers access to everything she has learned building her business.

4. Penelope Trunk 

Last year, Penelope Trunk started hosting live-video courses through her well-known career blog. Her courses were so successful that we spun it into a company. 

The beauty of online events is that you have no overhead.  You no longer have to invest time and energy into developing an event without knowing if you will make money.

 

A year ago, I deleted all of my blog posts and shut the site down.

A month ago, I launched and have focused a ton of energy into building this community. Being a freelancer working from home can be incredibly lonely, and this blog gives me a way to connect with new people around my ideas. Which is pretty much all I ever wanted.

I have been blogging for a month straight now, and thought I would share my results.

Why did I start this blog? (some background) 

I am a big idea person, and I love coaching people on how to grow their business. You can put me next to anyone in the world, and I will come up with some idea for them. Its my special skill.

Once I was sitting next to a man who owned a boring a museum in the Midwest. He was tasked with growing attendance to the museum, but no one cared about the president they featured. I gave him ten new ways to build his business, but I got so excited talking about museums that I spilled my coffee down the front of him. I knew my ideas were good when he continued to talk to me after I spilled the coffee.

I started this blog as a way to share my ideas on business and social marketing. Online publishing has opened up so many new career and business opportunities. I wanted to make this blog a resource for exploring the new career paths the social web has created.

My goal for this blog:

I love teaching and have access to tons of amazing experts that I curate into online courses. My goal for this blog (on the business side) is to build a community that can leverage my courses for their business.

My Strategy:

Drive traffic to site–>engage them in content they love–>Incentivize them to subscribe–> Engage them in more content they love–>Convince them to take a course 

What I did this month:

  • Published 18 original blog posts
  • Each blog post was shared on three-times on Twitter and once on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
  • Sent 2 newsletters to my blog subscribers
  • Sent 6 emails to blog business subscribers
  • Published guest post on penelopetrunk.com
  • Published a free ebook to incentivize new subscribers 
  • Created dedicated page for my Blogging Guide

The Results:
2,437 people came to my site–>They viewed a total of 4,989 pages–>371 subscribed to my newsletter–>Average 55% open rate for newsletter content–>Hosted one course earning $220 in  revenue

Goals for next month:

  • Publish 18-20 original posts on cassieboorn.com
  • Publish more guest posts to increase traffic to site
  • Distribute more content to newsletter subscribers
  • Launch 6 new courses

Last week I quietly released my new free ebook, “5 Days to a Better Blog.

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A few years ago, I launched a program on my blog in which I showed bloggers how to land PR coverage for their blog. The program exploded, and we ended up covering a wide array of blogger business related topics.

This ebook is a compilation of the best posts, tools and resources from that program. The book is totally free when you subscribe to my newsletter.

 

After you read this book you will have:  

  • Clear goals for your blog, and a plan for reaching them
  • The secrets for optimizing blog and social posts for traffic
  • An about page that increases your business
  • Tricks and tips for increasing traffic to your site
  • A complete media kit for your blog
  • A list of relevant media contacts and a pitch that will leans your coverage

Subscribe here.

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I love finding new apps that actually make life easier.

Here are my 5 latest must-have career apps:

Workfolio is the perfect platform for the professionals that want an online presence, but aren’t interested in blogging. This site allows you to create a simple one-page website highlighting your skills. Setting up your site is totally free.   

Blinkist is the app that makes you appear well-read, without having to actually read. The app turns books into easy-to-digest  outlines that you can quickly scan through. The app is totally free, but you will quickly need to upgrade to the paid version. ($6.99 a month)

Good.co identifies your personality type, and then shows you the companies you would be a great fit for. They have a ton of features, and an amazing blog. When you log-in they give you surveys on your past positions, and allow you to not only grade individual organizations but direct managers.  

Photofeeler–Have you ever wondered what people think when they see your profile picture? This site allows you to test different images and crowdsources opinions on whether you look: likable and competent. The site is totally free to use.

Easily.Do--The best to-do app I have found to date. They sync your email, calendar and social profiles into an easy to scan to-do list. My favorite feature is that they notify you of special announcements your friends make. The app is free, with paid upgrades available.

twitter

Last night someone on Twitter asked if it was better to focus on building a huge base of followers, or to focus on a building a quality community to connect with. 

My answer? Both. 

I have spent more than five years on Twitter, and helped dozens of influencers implement strategies for increasing their following. The truth is that there are simple steps you can take to building up a twitter following, but it is a total waste of time if you don’t know what you are going to use them for.

Are you building a twitter following to increase traffic to your site? Are you trying to attract new leads for your business? Connect with like-minded professionals? 

Before you decide how to build up your twitter following, you need to understand why you are doing so. 

Once you know why you are trying to increase your following, you will have a clear picture of the type of people you want following you. 

Below is a step-by-step strategy to building a large quality twitter following in six-weeks flat. 

  1. Make sure you have a profile picture that represents you in the best way. You can use PhotoFeeler to find out which picture makes you look the most likable and competent. Fill out your bio, include a link to your site. (aka make sure you look pulled together)
  2. Every night for a month, follow 50 new people who are relevant to your goals. (A great way to find new followers is to find influencers in your niche, and see who they follow) 
  3. Each day, watch your twitter stream and unfollow anyone who doesn’t interest you, spams your feed or looks irrelevant to what you are building. 
  4. Tweet 6-8 links to interesting articles each day. (schedule them ahead of time with Tweetdeck
  5. Engage 4-5 followers each day via re-tweets & @ replies 
  6. Once you have a solid base of twitter followers, start focusing on getting top industry influencers in your niche to follow you. (A few ways to get big influencers to follow you–comment on their blog regularly, retweet/@reply them often, tweet links to their articles and include their twitter handle. Just don’t go overboard, or you will look like a creepster) 

If you follow this plan for six-weeks you will have a large base of highly-engaged followers whom you can leverage to meet your business goals. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past few days, I have had a number of new readers coming through the site. If you are new here, this post is for you.

I have spent the past six years writing online, which can make it hard for new readers to find some of the content I love best.

Here is a quick guide to help you through the site:

If you are here for career advice…

How to survive the gig economy. 

College are failing their students (and what they can do about it) 

How to find a job using Twitter 

How to find a mentor (part one) 

If you are interested in the business side of blogging….

Three things you need to know about monetizing your blog. 

Find your blogging career path. 

Or check out our complete blogger guide 

If you are a PR professional….

Why bloggers think your pitch sucks.

5 Major shifts happening in the PR industry 

While you are here, make sure to subscribe my newsletter and you will receive a copy of my new ebook, “5 Days to a Better Blog.”

Subscribe here. 

Enjoy!

Cassie

 

There are a billion guides on how to use affiliate marketing for your blog. I have (tried) to read a lot of them and was overwhelmed with all of the details involved in making money with affiliate marketing

If you love affiliate marketing or find joy in studying data and systems, this post isn’t for you. If you are looking for easy ways to monetize your blog posts with affiliate links, this post is everything you will need.

For purposes of this experiment, I am going to cover two types of affiliate programs:

Open affiliate programs, High-dollar affiliate programs and referral programs. 

Open Affiliate Programs: 

  • Low-margin affiliate programs include companies that offer a small commission for any sales you send to their site.
  • These programs offer a small percentage of sales, but have a huge inventory of product you can promote.
  • Most of these networks are easy to get into, and can be a great way to earn extra money from products you would write about organically. 
  • It can take alot of time to learn a new affiliate network, so I recommend doing some research and finding the network that makes the most sense of your blog. 
  • If you rarely cover products on your blog, you probably wont earn substantial revenue from affiliate networks. 

A few of the most popular open-affiliate programs:

Amazon Affiliates
Share a Sale
Skimlinks 
Reward Style 

High-Dollar Referral Programs:

  • High-dollar affiliate programs are companies that focus on selling one or two products, and offer a high-paying incentive for referrals you send to the site. 
  • These programs are great for bloggers at every level, because you can earn such a high commission for each referral. One post featuring the product could earn you significant revenue.
  • The key to earning revenue from these programs is to pick a couple of select products that make total sense for your audience, and promote the heck out of them. 

A few of the most popular high-dollar referral programs:
Shopify
Workfolio
Danielle Laporte
Quistic 

Product Credit Referral Programs: 

  • Referral programs allow you to earn free product for every new customer you refer to the site. 
  • While these programs don’t allow you to earn money directly, they allow you to earn free products. This is a great way to promote companies you already love, and earn rewards for doing some.

A few of the most popular high-dollar referral programs: 

Gilt Group 
ePantry
Stitch Fix

What affiliate programs do you recommend?

mediummm

Last week, we discussed publishing content on Medium, and a few readers had questions on how they can use Medium to grow their blog.

“Can you republish your blog content on Medium? How can you use it to drive traffic? What is the benefit of publishing content on Medium?”

When Medium launched, they only allowed a select number of influencers to publish. Today, anyone can publish content on Medium, and they have built an insanely engaged community.

What is Medium?

 How can you use Medium to grow your blog?                                                 

  • Medium has created a number of tools that allow you to amplify your content to their community.
  • Search: Medium users can search for specific topics or keywords they want to read about. Covering hot topics and highly searched categories can increase traffic to your post.
  • Collections: Medium allows you to create (and contribute) to topic specific collections.
  • Anyone can start a collection, and Medium users can subscribe to the collections they find most interesting.
  • When you post on Medium, you can easily submit your post to collections who have established followings.
  • This allows editors the ability to quickly curate content, and gives writers access to a new audience.
  • Beautiful layout: Every post on Medium is optimized for mobile readers, social sharing and turns your content into a highly engaging experience.
  • Publishing posts on Medium allow you to transform your content into beautiful magazine like posts that people are more likely to share.
  • Here is a guide to writing on Medium.

Should you use Medium for your blog?

There are a number of blogging platforms that offer opportunities similar to Medium. Here is a guide from Thorin Klosowski to choosing what platform is best for your blog. 

 

 

 

 

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There will always be people who will tell you that you need massive traffic to make money blogging. The reality is there are a million different ways to make money blogging, and not all of these ways require a ton of traffic. 

I recently announced a new course that will show you how to earn two thousand dollars a month off of any sized blog.

Since the announcement, I received a ton of emails wondering how it was possible to earn an extra $2K off of a small blog.

While $2K/month sounds like a huge goal, it is really just a series of baby-steps.

Here are three new ways to think about monetizing your blog: 

1. Specialize Your Niche! 

When you reach a huge audience, you have to filter through all of those people to find the ones who will buy something from you. When you specialize your content to reach the exact people you want to sell to, you build a small audience of very targeted consumers who are very likely to buy something from you. 

The more specialized the coaching business you have, the less people you need to read your blog.

For example, Michael Adams is a food expert who helps food entrepreneurs find co-packers for their product. Michael has an entire blog about creating food products, co-packing and how to make a food business successful. 

If Michael had just launched a food business blog, he would have to filter through all of his readers to find the people who had a food product they were ready to manufacturer. And the reality is? That would probably only be 5% of his entire readership. The other 95% are never going to buy something.

Instead, Michael created content that directly targets the person he is trying to reach. He is reaching the people who are actively seeking out information on how to find a co-packer. And when those people arrive on his site? He has a variety of books, software and interactive coaching to solve their problems.

2. Create a Reoccurring Revenue Stream 

The membership model is my favorite, because you can make a sale onces and have continual revenue from it.

One of my favorite blogger membership sites is from Going Home to Roost. Bonnie launched the Roost Tribe to give creative entrepreneurs access to amazing resources. 

You pay $5 and each month you get tons of premium content, free ebooks and design materials you can use for your business. 

Making that purchase is such an easy decision. You get a ton of resources for a price you cannot find anywhere else on the web.

And the best part? It is coming from a source you trust.

From a blogger perspective, this is a genius way to consistently increase the revenue you make each month without increasing the amount of work you need to do.

3. Own Your Local Region

When you think of “blogs,” most people assume they have a national (or international) readership. It’s the internet! Why wouldn’t you try to reach all of the people? 

This is the reason; regional blogs are so often overlooked. If you start a regional parenting blog, you can own the entire parenting sector of that community

MomsLa is an amazing community for moms in the Los Angeles area. They sell highly integrated partnership with local businesses, and work with national brands trying to reach that specific community.

The reason that they are so successful is that they focused their efforts on a very specific group of moms, and are able to totally own their niche.  This work in smaller regions as well. The Quad Cities Mom blog has the largest community of moms in their entire region.

Don’t overlook your local market. It can be another path to monetizing your site.

The secret to making money blogging is not reaching a billion page views and shilling for free product. The secret is figuring out what kind of business is going to work for your life, and then consistently working towards your goal.

I really hope you can join me for my course next week.  You will get access to (4) live-streamed sessions where we will discuss tons of different ways to monetize your blog, and work hand in hand to find the path that is right for you.

You can register here. 

Use the discount “BLOGBIZ” to get the course for $10. 

(Discount expires Sunday. )