To be a professional blogger requires many skills and abilities from one person (that’s you) and how successful you will be will depend on how much you master the three skills of starting, growing and finishing in regards to growing your blog(s).
In his book The Monk And The Riddle by Randy Komisar, Randy talks about different CEO styles that he calls “starter, grower and maintainers” and I am using this concept as an analogy to help you relate to three styles you need to adopt or outsource if you are going to enjoy making money blogging. I call them starting, growing and finishing.
One of the joys of being a solopreneur is that you get to start and run your own online business, one of the disadvantages of being a solopreneur is that you get to start and run your own online business! It is a double edged sword and one that can completely kill your chances of success because not all of us enjoy starting and some of us start way too many things without focusing on growing or finishing.
There are three styles to running your blog business that you need to be aware of because if you are not in tune with any of them then you need to outsource it to someone that is or if outsourcing is not in your budget right now you need to develop the mindset of what it takes to become one of the other two.
We love to get things going (and I say We because this is definitely me!). This is the creative process of setting everything up. We think about what the blog is about, the name for it and may even enjoy looking for other blogs in a similar niche.
We definitely LOVE the research and startup phase and would happily start and abandon blogs on an ongoing basis. Mainly big picture people starters can see the “big picture” of why they started their blog but don’t want to get into the “details” (grower activities) of learning how to market it.
The downside of this is that nothing ever gets to a stage of growing and making us money because we become bored and move on. You will know that you are not much of a starter if six months or more after “learning” about blogging you still haven’t started your own blog! You procrastinate and find excuses – but all you really need to do is accept that you’re not a starter and you need help in getting that done.
You can not cure what you are not aware of and being unaware of your inability to start will be a permanent stumbling block for you. Once awareness is present then you can decide on your next move which will be to push yourself to start or to hire someone else to get your blog started for you.
If you are already running an online business and you recognize yourself to be a starter you might want to take a look at what you are doing to grow your business because you will not always naturally move on to this stage.
Starters can easily become unfocused because they are distracted by all the noise of emails coming in from other marketers with their new launch, their latest product or their latest piece of software. The thrill of moving on to something new will take your focus away from what you have already started.
If you are a starter it is important to recognize this in yourself and stop starting new things! Instead focus your attention on what you have and how you can either market it to make money (or more money) or stop doing it all together, which will free up some time to focus on your main income earner.
These guys love to continue building what you started. They take pride in watching a blog go from no subscribers in the autoresponder to 500 in a few weeks or months. If you are a grower you will be managing your blog and looking at short to long term objectives.
Details are important. How you will do what and by when, what works and what doesn’t, monitoring and tracking what is happening with your blog is important. You will want to focus on marketing your blog and telling people about it, watching it grow and getting excited whenever you realize something new has happened (e.g. you just received 5 comments in 3 days rather than 5 comments in 30 days!)
The growth of your blog is important. Starters will want to avoid this phase like the plague and that is why many of us don’t always enjoy a regular income until we accept and begin to implement this phase of our blog growth.
A starter will love putting together a plan of how to grow a blog over 6 months and the grower will enjoy taking that 6 month plan and executing it so that all the work that needs to get done is done. Of course when you are starting out it is important that you are the starter and the grower of this phase.
The downside of the grower is that you may never get round to starting. You are so intent on learning and discovering what could be that you procrastinate about ever starting!
The other downside is that you avoid starting new things that may bring in even more income or expand your blog. Once it is started you will want to get down to keeping it going and may lose sight of what you can do to improve.
This whole part of growing your blog can be outsourced to a large degree if you are a starter who hates the growing phase. You may want to focus on writing quality blog posts (although even that can be outsourced) and get someone else taking part in the activities that will bring you traffic like link building, directory submissions, article writing, Twitter promotion etc
If growing your business doesn’t appeal to you then you have two choices. Outsource it or find a partner who hates to start but loves to grow. Together you will make a winning combination!
Once something has been started finishers will want to see it through right to the end. They will take your 6 month plan I mentioned earlier and they will make sure that everything on that plan is completed within the time frame.
While growers will think – “over 6 months I want to promote my blog in 600 blog directories and take out 3 ezine ads so that I attract a total of 500 new subscribers” finishers won’t care about the 500 new subscribers part, they just want to know that the blog was submitted and the ezine ads went out!
Many starters are great finishers. We complete everything we set out to do but we are not always sure about the end result and we don’t always care. The downside of that mindset is you have no idea how effective any of your promotional work was. Growers enjoy testing and tracking, they track ads and they know which subscribers come in from which ads. Starters and finishers just want to put an ad up and know that it is done!
Can you see how very important the role of a grower is and why people will always want to work with you if you are one! Many people believe that what they need to make a project grow is a great starter but in fact while a starter is important it is the grower who will make a huge impact to the overall business in the long term.
Developing the skills of a grower is vitally important for your business if you can not outsource these skills. If you can afford to hire an SEO consultant, an adwords consultant and someone to write your content then you will have an awesome business but if you have to become these three people then you will need the mindset to develop these skills if you don’t have them.
Finishers as workers
Another important part of a finisher is getting stuff done, not only strategically like I mentioned earlier but also getting tasks complete.
How many things have you started and not finished? Maybe you have a half written eCourse or ebook on your computer drive, it actually took me many months to complete this book because I loved getting it started and thinking about the topic and what I will writing about but getting the writing done took a little longer!
When you are not naturally a finisher you will find that you start things which never get complete. There will be a number of things that will take your focus away from something you have started and if you let that happen too often you never end up finishing anything!
There is a huge problem with this though because when you have half finished projects or activities that don’t get complete it robs you of your energy. Think about that half finished paperwork or your half finished clearing out of a closet. How many times do you think about going back to finish it and how great does it feel once you are done?
Half finished work means you have something to continually think about. I thought about this book, talked about this book and blogged about the completion of this book for months before finally being able to say I have finished the book! It is a problem I am very aware of and luckily I am now at the stage where the growing part of my business will be outsourced because I like to focus on writing and starting!
Take the time to look through your half finished projects and see how you can use them as content for your blog, when I did that I ended up with enough content to fill a blog for a few years! The trouble with being a starter is I will complete something but then it sits on my computer and don’t use it because I am off starting something else new. Finishers will make sure that work ends up on your blog or being sent out to article directories so they are important people.
Again, you may want to look at what you can finish by outsourcing it to someone else so that it can be crossed off that ever growing “to do” list.
Being a starter, grower and finisher
It is important that a business is run by someone who has the capacity to develop all three skills if they are not something you naturally do. All three will exist within us to a lesser or greater degree and identify which one you are weakest at will help you avoid ruining your blog business.
It took me a couple of years to identify that I had missed out the grower part of my online business and once I had that I was able to adjust what I was doing to include growing activities (which is part of being the marketer) and everything changed in terms of the income I began to earn.
When you create a plan that focuses on making sure you carry out all three activities that come under starting your blog, growing your blog (marketing and promotion) and finishing your blog (exit strategies and getting the work done) you will develop the makings of a great business that will provide you with ongoing passive income for many years.
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