When I first “launched” this site a couple years back (and by “launched” I mean anyone could actually see it online), I took what I now call the “story-driven” approach. Blogging on its own is not a business, only means to an end. To approach blogging as a business, treat your blog as the tool that promotes your business.
The best bloggers use stories to promote their business.
Do your stories serve a purpose to your audience? – Click to Tweet
If you’ve taken a “story-driven” approach to building your blog, it’s ok! I’ll show you what you need to do to turn your site into a “business-driven” website.
How “Story-Driven” Sites Are Different From “Business-Driven” Sites
If by blogging your goal is to share stories for purely personal reasons, that’s fine. Having an audience you can connect with and inspire to action can be fulfilling on its own.
The truth is, blogging can be hard work. Well, it is if you’re committed to doing it in a consistent basis.
If you’re secretly hoping that your hard work turns into a source of income for you, it may be time to come clean with yourself and put it out in the open. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with your desire to want to be rewarded for your efforts.
“Story-driven”sites encourage the audience to consume stories and jump from page to page. The most business-like thing a “story-driven” site will do is ask for an e-mail address. Often, there is no primary purpose for collecting contact information other than to keep the audience in the loop when new stories come out.
Why “Story-Driven” Sites Make Lousy Business Sites
Designing your site for maximum content consumption is a worthwhile strategy if your goal is to maximize your audience’s “average time on site”.
The shortcomings of this approach surface when a blogger’s initial goals change. After plugging away for a while, the blogger decides they now want to do more than share their journey.
They now want to profit from the site they’ve created and the audience they’ve built. They know they want to do it, but just don’t know how to “monetize” (make money from their site).
An example would be the blogger who starts experimenting, begrudgingly, by putting ads on their website. I say begrudgingly because ads do have a negative connotation, which bloggers rightly feel will alienate their audience and turn them off the site.
Trying to build a blog around ad-income is the laziest income strategy possible, and quite possibly the least effective one. For one, a site needs lots of traffic (visitors), to make ad-income work.
A better strategy is to incorporate affiliate marketing into your plans. This one is trickier to execute because you have to find a way to organically weave the product you’re promoting into your story. The advantage is that it’s more effective than ads.
It’s a good strategy as long as you’re honest about the product you’re offering to your audience.
Is there a better way to make money from your site? Absolutely!
In fact, you don’t have to change your writing style at all, or compromise how you interact with your audience. All you need to do is turn around your blog from “story-driven” to “business-driven.”
How do you make the switch from a “story-driven” site to a “business-driven” site?
Not hard at all it turns out. All it takes is a small change. Engaging that mental gear will make all the difference.
Tune in Wednesday to find out how. Read Part 2 here and learn how a successful “story-driven” site accomplished the switched to “business-driven.”
Does a “story-driven” model work for you?
Agree or disagree? Share your opinion in the comments below!