A simple guide for understanding the 4 Stages of Blogging. With some simple infographics and descriptions, you can easily see what stage of blogging you are in and what to do to get to the next stage.
This post was originally written on the blog Loving Life With Lee here.
Stage 1 of Blogging is Beginning to Blog (for real)
Focus on writing content and making good blogging habits. Consistency is key, and that’s where most beginners to astray for a while. Prepare your blog for the long haul as much as you can by creating a create website, design, and brand that will stand up to your reputation as a blogger and writer.
Focus on finding your audience by being active on social media as yourself, with a personal profile. Get to know the ins and outs and do your research on each platform a little at a time. Try the methods you learn about first in your personal profile and see what kind of engagement you get from your friends in real life. When you’re ready and know the basics, switch to a business profile or Create a business profile for your blogs social media presence. Begin to gain a following on 1-2 accounts to start. Learn everything you can about blogging, piece by piece and you can do that on Pinterest. (Note: I put myself to school as a completely self-taught online entrepreneur just like thousands of others with Googling & Pinterest. This is my blogging and business backup story for those who are interested, but there is a lot more important stuff to sort out here.)
Stage 1 Blogging Goals:
- You create steady and consistent blog content being published
- 1-3 social media accounts for your blog,
- You have established good blogging habits and begin to establish a schedule and routine to your workflow
- Focused on learning everything you can about blogging and collecting resources
What not to do as a blogging beginner:
Expect income and results from inconsistent efforts and procrastination led content.
Ever been to that one gas station in town that never seems to be open during the correct business hours.
Or one of the best teriyaki places in town, but they are always “out will return” sign. – You’d go there more often but most of the time you convince yourself out of the trip to save yourself the inconvenience.
Don’t do that to your readers and your first viewers. If they want to stick around, let them and welcome their return via email newsletter, subscription, and social media.
Stage 2 of Blogging Is Getting Serious (seriously)
At this point, you’re beginning to realize your potential to gain income and begin to think out of the box from what you originally thought you might be doing with your blog. You’ve honed some writing skills and found your voice. You have begun to grow a following, and hopefully an email list too. You’re ready to take the next steps to become a strategic marketer and hopefully you write an editorial calendar ahead of time. Or at least have settled on a workflow for your content creation process. You have grown a deep list of post ideas, and are beginning to shift into better SEO, Domain Authority and Organic Search using some more advanced tools and themes.
Usually an overhaul of your website, brand or graphics can take place here. At this point, your goals should be to begin to plan ahead, for growth and make room for success. Learning and deciding who you’re going to be, represent, and sell.
You have a story. It’s now time to share it with the world. You’re getting somewhere now, and ready to lift the veil for anyone who may not have seen, heard, or supported your blog efforts in the earliest stage.
Stage 2 Blogging Goals:
- Well branded and balanced blog and social media
- You have found your writing voice.
- You’re feeling comfortable and practiced in sharing your story and have found your audience, and hang out with them there.
- You have some idea of who the influencers are in your niche, and what they are doing right to gain traffic, engagement, and support.
- Beginning to get an idea of what you might want to create for a profit yourself.
- Maybe you have made some goals to begin networking for sponsored posts or guest posting.
- Maybe you have begun or started some affiliate marketing and are narrowing down your options and interests to begin monetization.
- You regularly set goals for your blog, viewers, followers, and growth tracking
What to do to get to the next stage of blogging:
You’ve learned a lot about blogging now and have to put in some practice to make a profit. It’s now time to really focus on the quality you are providing to your audience and begin to monetize your continued blogging efforts.
Stage 3 of Blogging Is Realizing You Know How To Blog
At this stage, you know a little about everything and are well practiced at things you have tried and succeed at more than once. You have established an email list and social media following and are actively engaged and know your audience and what they want. You know their PAINS AND GAINS, in other words, you know their problems and how to solve them. Which means, you know triggers for buyers and are actively pursuing a profit from your blog.
You probably have a workflow for creating and publishing posts, accomplishing goals, managing tasks, and tracking your campaigns. You know what has worked in the past and actively pursue your audience where they are. You are well branded and have an influence on bloggers in the Beginning Stages.
You have already done some networking and made connections with other blogs in your niche. Which means you are probably thinking and planning your own products and services to sell for the next stage. You are actively producing some income from your blog and investing in ways to delegate tasks you don’t wish to do manually anymore. And you’re trying to free up time to set yourself up for the big full-time switch to professional blogging.
Stage 3 Blogging Goals:
- Have established good blogging connections in your niche
- You have a significant following on social media
- You have a credible and valuable email list of subscribers.
- You actively engage with your audience to find problems and solutions for them.
- Income has progressed in a way that you can delegate and invest back into your business to help free up time to automate your content, email, and work on products and services of your own.
- You probably have multiple small streams of income and have some decisions to make about honing in on what you love, what works, what sells, and what captivates. Removing the distractions and things that didn’t fly in the first stages.
- Keywords & SEO for Organic Search is beginning to make a serious impact in your traffic
Bridging the gap from blogger to professional Blogger:
Most that get to this stage of blogging are realizing how much it takes, but understand how they are going to get there. Making the decision to dedicate to blogging full time and considering this a career choice to support your life. You will need to invest in the best. And find ways to delegate things and create a team, so that you can focus on making money in your business and creating content that will last. Bringing you into your future of diversity and becoming an influencer in your field of reach.
Stage 4 of Blogging is Being A Business Professional (…& blogger)
Congrats! Your making a full-time income now and are able to really focus on creating evergreen content, a massive email list, engaged social fans, and credible products and services that are actively being marketed and making your net profit.
At this point, if you haven’t made enough in Stages 2-3 to purchase a business license and starting to think a lot more seriously about the legalities and management of your blog’s business. This is where you get serious and start to focus on the strategies and systems that will make your business run smoothly.
This is where you can really start to take a back seat in your business and delegate all the tasks you don’t want to have to do alone. You spend money that recycles your content, creations, and consistently brings that money back to you tenfold.
You definitely have multiple streams of income and you know what those are to the T. You analyze, track, and get to nerd out and do things like case studies and analyze the data. To figure out what you can do and learn to maximize your profits, ROI, and SEO effectively.
You probably have multiple networking connections both inside and outside of blogging and your niche. You have opportunities that you turn down, and activities that you pursue. You have some serious ideas about future growth and investment for a better turn around.
And ultimately you live a life of freedom. You work from home, make your own schedule, do your very own payroll. And vacation any time you want.
What every full time blogger will tell you is the most important part of professional blogging?
They will tell you it took time, planning, and a lot of effort to retain quality service to produce a substantial income. That that this dream job will require you to consistently keep ahead of the curve by continuing to LEARN EVERYTHING YOU CAN ABOUT BLOGGING AND BUSINESS, in order to continue to succeed in this field.
How do I learn more about blogging?
Sounds pretty great right? The only trouble is, what to learn about blogging and business? And when? From where?
You could go to college and get a basic Business Degree, take some Graphic Design and Website Development Classes along the way and pay a fortune for an education in any field. (But that’s one of the major beauties of blogging…)
You can get your blogging education by yourself through self-study courses and products online! You don’t have to spend the money, there are SO MANY free resources out there, here’s a few. Okay so some of it is really repetitive, and there are these inconvenient holes of information about blogging sometimes.
I’ll be honest, I’ve spent the last decade of my life learning everything I can find about blogging, business, and modern marketing.
No Matter What Stage of Blogging You’re In Right Now…
No matter where you are in these 4 Stages of Blogging professionally, if you are a blogger and you know that this is a career that will take ongoing effort and education to pursue and succeed in. Only 4% of bloggers make more than $100,000 and all of them have been doing it for more than 4 years, full time. So I’ll be as transparent as possible when I say that this is not for everyone. But for those of you who re-read that Stage 4 graphic above, like, four times and it made you feel funny inside because THIS IS YOUR DREAM JOB! My advice is simply:
DONT GIVE UP!