Today on the show, I talk about all the changes I’m making and the things happening behind the scenes of my business. I love sharing that and I know it can be so valuable because it gives you an idea of what you might be doing some time from now, it can help you see what aspect of your business you might be neglecting and change your strategy, or just motivate you to set new goals or finally take care of something that hasn’t been going well such as email marketing or your product suite or your content marketing plan.
If you’re new here and don’t know what business I’m talking about, that’s 2 in 1, a blogging and a course creation business, and I also teach bloggers and course creators how to do the same. It’s just my jam to learn the ins and outs of something, make mistakes, get some results, and then teach others how to do it smarter and with less confusion.
Tune into the episode below or scroll down to read the article:
- How many hours I work per day now
- What exactly I do during them
- The 2 groups of people I’m serving and the 2 success paths I created for them
- How I restructured my website based on that
- What I deleted and updated inside my email marketing tool
- How I plan to update and grow my affiliate program
New work schedule
One big change I made recently is to start working on my business for a minimum of 5 hours every workday no matter what.
That’s a big deal because all the freedom I had got me to a point where I was mixing personal growth with actual business activities, wasn’t working many days in the week, and of course the income was affected by that.
So to get back into a routine and reach the big goals that I have, I needed some discipline. Now those 5 hours are a non-negotiable and I accomplish so much. My brain quickly got used to the new daily schedule and I also feel more satisfied by the end of the day.
As for what I do in those 5 hours, well I decided the first one is for answering emails, anything email marketing related, administration, research, etc. Basically, all the tasks that don’t fall into the 2 other categories I’ll tell you about.
This first hour is also a great way to ease into the actual work that follows in the next 4.
So, the next 2 hours out of the 5 are for the course business, and the final 2 for the blogging business. This works so well.
I also wanted my mind to be on the business more these months after having many months with little work in the spring and summer and taking it easy.
So even if one weekday now I work more than 5 hours, which is totally okay of course – I always let inspiration guide me, that doesn’t mean the next day I’ll do less. A non-negotiable means it’s happening no matter what, and now, that means 5 hours of focused work every weekday.
So if you aren’t seeing any growth in your business, have lost the spark, lack dedication or else, why not try something like that? Even if you’re still at your day job, you can imitate that sort of discipline by dedicating 1 or 2 hours in the early morning or in the evening, and more hours in the weekend. But make it a non-negotiable if you wanna make it work.
Now let’s get to the juicy part. This was just about my workday, but here’s what I’m actually working on once I open my laptop these days.
The big picture
First, let me describe the big picture and how it’s changing so everything else can make sense.
Now, running 2 businesses might mean you constantly leave one behind, can’t focus on any of them fully, are overwhelmed and simply do too much. But they have things in common.
I was first a blogger and one of the 4 ways in which I monetize the website is with digital products, so then I focused on that and became a course creator.
When it became a priority, that meant:
- planning and executing launches
- creating more products
- updating some
- interacting with students
- having sales funnels
- getting feedback
- improving my messaging
- writing better promo emails
- warming up my audience before sharing an offer
- selling confidently, etc.
The blogging business, on the other hand, is about:
- growing traffic
- publishing content
- optimizing it for search engines
- improving the performance of the website
- getting email subscribers and nurturing them
- doing affiliate marketing
- forming relationships with readers
- keeping up with trends in the industry
- tracking analytics
- keyword research
- improving the user experience, etc.
So I always have something to do for both businesses. This also keeps things interesting, I can literally never be bored. Most of the time all I want is to create content because that comes naturally to me. But all the other things are necessary to keep things running and growing so they keep me busy and I constantly learn new skills because of that.
Here’s what I mean by saying that the big picture changed.
There are many categories I cover on the blog, even personal growth, lifestyle design, manifestation and anything money-related. But I wanna narrow things down.
The 2 types of people I can serve are those that want to build a blogging business and those that want to be course creators. That’s who my programs are for, that’s who I want on my email list and who I can help the most.
So I created 2 success paths. If you head to the homepage, you’ll see what I mean. Redesigning it and restructuring it was with that in mind.
There’s so much happening on the website but that can confuse new people who stumble upon it. And while many others will enjoy the content and still sign up to my list and maybe sometimes invest in my programs, I wanted to speak to those 2 audiences. To show them the resources I have specially for the kind of business they wanna build and help them get there.
The 2 success paths
One of the first sections on the homepage gives you the chance to choose your success path, to become a blogger or a build a digital product business. Clicking the button in each section will take you to a special page I created recently.
One for bloggers, which is designed well, shares the main lead magnet I have for bloggers, links to more pages I have on how to build a blog, how to grow one and how to monetize it, because these are 3 big aspects of that business model.
Then I share the income reports that’s I’ve been publishing for years where you can see all my revenue and expenses and what exactly I worked on.
I also interview business owners and for that that, you’ll find a section with interviews with some of the most successful bloggers on the Internet. Then I feature my main blogging course, Blog to Biz System. There’s the Blog Audit and how it can help them, there are testimonials and more offers for the bloggers that want to take this to the next level.
The other success path takes you to a different page. There you can get my freebie for course creators, read the latest articles on the topic of building a digital product business, check out the podcast because it’s mainly for that, read interviews with course creators, see the steps you can take to start that business, and for those who need help, there’s my signature program for course creators, Bold Business School.
So now those people interested in one of the 2 business models see what I can offer them. If the freebie I have speaks to them, they sign up and join my email list. They also get tagged based on that interest which is one of the many ways in which I segment my audience inside my email marketing tool.
The goal is to not promote blogging products to those who only want to create courses, and vice versa. I wanna serve you better. And all this is part of the sales funnel.
I also placed those 2 pages inside the menu and removed the categories I had there before that. I made some changes to the design too, but smaller ones, such as adding a bit more black here and there especially on buttons. I’m about to redesign other pages too.
Now let’s talk about my email list. I’ve had it for years so things got a bit chaotic there. That means many lead magnets and opt-in forms for them because I was trying to talk to everyone some time ago. Also there were old sequences and automations.
If you aren’t familiar with these, they are terms used inside ConvertKit, my email marketing tool. Some can be called differently if you sign up for another provider.
The point is that you create a welcome email series for new subscribers and automate it so they start getting those emails from you once they sing up for a freebie.
I had a lot of cleaning to do inside my dashboard. I also had many Rules, these are simpler automations such as when a student enrolls in a specific course, to tag them so I can email only them later.
ConvertKit is connected to my course platform, Teachable, so a lot is happening between the 2.
What I’ve been doing in the last days is to first make decisions:
- what lead magnet stays and why
- which old opt-in form for another freebie can be updated for a new one
- deleting or updating sequences
- setting up the automated welcome emails
- making sure I don’t repeat myself
- testing the opt-in forms, and so on.
Mistakes can happen easily here and it can lead to annoying subscribers by not sending them the content they signed up for or messing things up with tags and emailing the wrong people from your email. So I had to watch out.
There’s more work to be done there but I definitely updated a lot. Many other things weren’t that quality anymore, had a totally different branding, or were aiming at getting the wrong people on my email list. I don’t just want everyone there, I only want those 2 groups I told you about because I can serve them.
I might also clean my list soon which is something that can be done once a year and it involves removing cold subscribers. Those who signed up but who haven’t opened your emails for a long time and haven’t clicked anything there. You’re still paying for them so better remove them from your list and stop sending them newsletters and offers.
The next thing going on behind the scenes is related to my course business and the affiliate program I have for my offers.
Affiliate program updates
It all started by creating the final module for Bold Business School. It’s called Course Creation Magic and it’s where you can find Teachable tutorials for actually bringing your program to life, outlining it, engaging with your students, getting feedback and testimonials, connecting Teachable with ConvertKit and doing some automations so you can welcome your students to the course, and creating your own affiliate program.
It happens through Teachable, it’s super easy, and there are many ways to invite existing students or other people from your audience to become affiliates and then give them the resources they need to promote your products effectively.
I have over 70 affiliates but they aren’t active, only some are. For some time now I’ve been thinking of paying more attention to them, starting conversations, inviting new people to the affiliate program, explaining how it works, welcoming them and giving them the next steps, and just supporting them as they share those offers with their audience. But I didn’t really get to it.
I was mostly busy with finalizing my product suite but that can turn into a trap because there’s always another course I can create. At some point I gotta stop and optimize what’s currently going.
So using some new Teachable features that I didn’t have when I first started the affiliate program, I’m gonna make a few changes now.
I’ll create an application form and share it with people. I’ll update the promo material I had for affiliates such as graphics and product images and add it to Teachable so they can access it from their affiliate dashboard. Now it’s in a Google Drive folder that I share with them.
I will update the way I share next steps with them once they show interest in joining the program. That can be with a workbook, page on my site, email or anything with screenshots of what to do once I’ve activated their affiliate dashboard. That’s to make sure there’s no confusion and they can easily find their affiliate link, add their PayPal address, get the promo materials and eventually make sales and get big commissions.
But if they aren’t sure what to do, they are less likely to take action. Then both of us are missing out on opportunities.
There’s also a very, very good course I got a long time ago on how to manage and grow your own affiliate program so it might be time to finally dive in.
I can also start an affiliate newsletter and contact them once a month, share tips on how they can make more sales, answer their questions and keep them motivated. And there’s just so much more I can do. So that’s one of the things I’m now preparing for, planning, researching, and soon it’s action time.
In the meantime, I’m working on the usual – finalizing content for Bold Business School – and even though there’s a lot of time till I open the doors again, I’m creating the vision for the next launch. I want every launch to be different, to have a theme, to test a new way of promoting the offer.
I’m making my business more interactive without social media. That means paying more attention to my email subscribers and their needs, asking them more questions, using feedback forms more, both with email subscribers and with existing students.
I’m preparing something new and big, a membership for bloggers, where we can connect, learn and not feel alone in our business. This and Bold Business School will become my 2 big offers, one for each success path. It’s also the 2 products that I will keep creating content for and I’m excited about it.
But I also don’t wanna rush into it because I have so many ideas and I can’t act on them all, I gotta choose the best ones.
That’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed it. What’s going on behind the scenes of your business?