from hobby to real business…
are you Taylor or Alexis?
Taylor versus Alexis is something I came up with to show you the different camps bloggers fall into when trying to grow their blogs.
Although they’re not technically real people, they were created based on the daily talks + interactions I have with my community. Their traits are absolutely real and based on real people.
You’re currently Taylor or Alexis. Which one?
You need to read the rest of the page to figure that out.
One of them makes no money from her blog….or nothing significant….and the other one is rocking it.
So…let’s get to it!
Ya know the Sunday scaries? I don’t think I had actually heard this phrase at that time…but one thing is for sure…I had them. I couldn’t sleep. I was anxious all of the time. I was up for HOURS every single night. I dreaded going into my school to teach every single day. This started in 2009…and by the time my school year rolled around in September 2010, we decided this was the year to make my escape from teaching. Things were changing in public education and it became less about what the kids needed and more about state testing and teaching to perform on tests. I couldn’t take it. On the beach in August 2010, my husband Dan and I, made the decision that this would be the year I quit…so now we had 11 months to figure it out. I didn’t take the safe road….although I did interview for some other teaching jobs in suburbia that May. I knew in my heart I wouldn’t get them, because I didn’t want them.
What did I do?
I doubled down on what I was good at.
I took a risky decision to start a food business. Helping people eat healthy.
I started Pure Bliss Eats (now Blissful Eats because of a ™ issue!) where I created whole grain snacks.
That day I quit over the summer was one of the best, most momentous days for me. A stress and weight had MAJORLY been lifted.
That next day August 17, 2011, it was time to get MAJORLY serious. I needed to replace my teaching salary, which was a very stable, consistent, well paying salary!
Except I had no business model. I had no business plan. I wasn’t making any money besides a few free products….which do not pay the bills.
I was hoping to make 50% of my money running my food business and 50% from my blog.
….and this is exactly when I started operating as an Taylor.
I’m always trying to grow my blog. I’ve tried so many different strategies and tactics to increase my pageviews…but one thing always happens…I get frustrated.
I’ve googled the heck out of “how to grow my blog” and have read almost everything on the first three pages of google.
I was constantly looking for the one thing that would grow my blog. I’ve tried:
- Share groups
- Blogger networks
- Posting new blog posts daily
- Posting on other blogs
- Commenting on other blogs
- Commenting on instagram
- New hashtags
- Follow strategies on Instagram
- Reaching out to advertisers
- Put ads on my site
- Creating a posting schedule
- Learning about Pinterest
- Accepted free products from brands
Each strategy requires more time and pulled me in a different direction.
I didn’t feel like I had a real business….and I wasn’t even sure if what I was doing helped people.
I didn’t do anything consistently….
When I tried to survey my audience…I didn’t hear anything back.
I have been a pageview seeker.
Everyday I tried to find more info online on how to build my blog. This isn’t very effective because… I don’t have THAT much time.
It would all go into creating new content and then researching how to grow and make money…..and how to get brands to work with me for more than just free product.
It wasn’t very effective…like at all.
I spent hours every week and I felt like i was still in the same place. My pageviews barely budged.
It’s frustrating and disheartening.
After months of doing this, I decided to concentrate just on ad revenue and sponsored posts.
For 14 days straight I sat down and emailed every brand I could think of that I wanted to work with.
I also put up some Google ads on my sites and reached out to some ad companies in hopes I could bring in a few bucks every month.
After a few weeks…no responses….
Okay, there was one from a company who offered to send me two jars of nut butter.
While I do love nut butter….it doesn’t pay my bills. (But it would be pretty cool if I *could* pay my bills in peanut + cashew butter….)
I decided to create an ebook in more hopes to bring in money.
14 breakfast recipes. It took me 3 months to create and shoot the pictures.
I learned how to do landing pages, a gumroad checkout page and I got some emails ready to send to the people on my newsletter list.
I had everything ready to go and I was excited to finally make some “passive” income.
(It’s funny to think of this as passive, since I put 3 months of work in to create it!)
I hit publish, posted in all the share groups, sent an email to my newsletter list and waited for the sales to roll in.
I ended up selling 5 ebooks, which I was pretty happy about.
But then I realized….is this going to be it? All this work for $35???
There has to be a better way.
I was happy because I had made some money online…but not nearly enough for the amount of work I put in.
And it was not sustainable….there was no consistency to it.
I was trying everything…. I wasn’t focused.
I was listening to a podcast…and something clicked for me.
It was my BIG A-HA moment.
I realized I was operating as a Taylor…(even though I hadn’t named that Taylor term)
I realized I had hit my limit with the money I could earn if I stayed a Taylor….
Alexis has a strategy to grow her business. She is focused and knows what her money making zone is. She also knows thats where she needs to spend the majority of her time.
Alexis understands what her readers + clients want from her. She knows why they visit her site and purchase her products.
Before she started creating any products to sell, she took the time to talk to her audience + got on the phone with her most engaged readers to talk to them to see how she can help.
She treats her website as a resource to help her readers and to provide solutions to their problems. She knows that she helps people and that her readers rely on her to be a trusted resource for all things gluten free.
The majority of Alexis’s time is spent building relationships with her readers. She realized that the more time she spends understanding them and their needs, the better she can solve their problems.
She serves a specific tribe of people and once she realized that the majority of the people coming to her were doing so for gluten free desserts, she put 80% of her resources into creating simple single serve gluten free dessert recipes.
She does not serve all markets or niches and she’s not afraid to talk right to her people, who want quick gluten free baking / dessert recipes.
She knows that by talking right to them, she can make a connection with them.
She would rather be everything to a small group of people….than nothing to a large group.
Alexis realized, the more she can serve this group of people, the more of a real business she had.
Anytime she has a new idea, she consults with her audience and they tell her what they think.
It’s also helped her with brand relationships. She can present brands with long term partnerships ideas, that truly fit with her audience because she knows + understands them so well.
She’s been known to share snippets of her conversations between her and her audience, with brands, so they can really see how great of a fit it is.
Not only does she focus on creating products for her audience, but she’s also expanded into doing wellness presentations + workshops for major companies.
She never thought that she would be paid to speak or travel…but it’s been a steady stream of income for her.
By serving her loyal tribe she can build consistent revenue that she is in control of.
Finding her niche was the best thing she did for her business.
Taylor and Alexis both work hard!
The fact that Taylor concentrated on the wrong methods was not her fault. The system + method is wrong.
If you see yourself more as Taylor…it’s ok. You will find your way whether or not you follow me or someone else.
But at the same time…doing more of what’s not working is not the answer.
You need to start working more strategically and testing your methods to see what is working best for you.
If you’re ready to fast track your growth you need to become an Alexis.
Become a trusted resource for your tribe.
Understand the problems you are solving for your audience.
Take the time to learn + connect with your people to see how you can help.
Run your business to make a positive impact on your audience.
From that A-HA moment I started to build a REAL, STRATEGIC business. I focused on my tribe of people and what they want + need to help them succeed with their blogs.
If you are a Taylor, you CAN change and become an Alexis, but you have a choice to make.
The good part is you’re looking for a strategy. The method, like with Taylor, is the problem, NOT you.
In 2016 I made a major change to my business. Yes, it took me 5 years to do so…
I changed the way I think. I changed my core beliefs.
I became an Alexis.
My mission is to:
- Treat every person like the real human they are. You’re not just another number to me.
- Clients first. My client’s needs are at the core of everything I do.
- Create value.
How bout you?
Do you have the guts to become an Alexis?
It’s time for you to make a decision.
Are you ready to become an Alexis? To start making money right NOW and get to your dream life you’ll need to figure out your next steps.
Your next step and the answer is inside the Blogger to Business group. Look out for an email in your inbox tomorrow with when you can join!