Here are my 9 ways to get your blog off on the right foot in 2021.
After a crummy year, I’m starting to feel much more optimistic about the New Year.
So, I recommend you take this time during the holidays to get yourself prepared to jump in in a new way come January.
Some of the ideas I present relate to mindset shifts, like believing in abundance and focusing on your audience’s needs over your own.
While, some of the ideas I propose are strategic, like figuring out what you can sell to your audience, getting comfortable showing your face on video, and joining our next six-week MiloTree Entrepreneur Coaching Group to grow your business in real time with our help.
If you want to jump on a call with me to discuss your goals for 2021, and how I might be able to help you, please click this calendar link and schedule a time.
I’d love to connect with you and help get your ready for what’s to come!
Table of Contents
- MiloTree App
- Catch My Party
- Six Week MiloTree Entrepreneur Coaching Group
- The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Facebook Group
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9 Ways To Get Your Blog Off on the Right Foot in 2021
Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the show. It is me, Jillian Leslie, founder of MiloTree, founder of Catch My Party, host of this podcast, business coach, and really business translator.
I take what is working in online business today, and break it down so that you can take these strategies into your own blog, or business. This is a solo episode. It’s my last recorded episode of the year, and what a year it has been.
I am hoping that 2021 comes quickly. I wanted this podcast episode to really be about empowerment. And what I mean by that is we all I think feel a little powerless right now with how the way the world is and how it has changed our lives.
So, what I wanted to do was talk about ways we can gain power to build our businesses in 2021, where we can hit the ground running. And I want to give you some things to think about some things to noodle on, maybe make a list of these.
A lot of them are about mindset or seeing the world through a different prism. But the goal of this episode is to get you jazzed up for next year, I have good feelings about what is to come.
And I do believe a lot of our businesses are going to change and bounce back. And I want you to be prepared. So, these are my nine tips. They include mindset, tactics, action steps. So, let’s get started.
Tip 1: Believe in Abundance For Your Business
The first tip I want to share is the idea that in order to grow a business on the internet, I think one successful strategy is to believe in abundance. There are two views of the world, one is abundant, and one is through the lens of scarcity.
And it’s funny because you can look around the world and you can see scarcity in your life. And you can see abundance in your life. And I recommend you focus on the places where there is abundance. And you focus on how you can take that into your business.
So, an example was I was doing a coaching call with a woman who wrote an eBook to help people build businesses in a certain niche, and she’s monetizing this eBook.
And I said to her, you need to share some of this information with your audience so that they understand and see you as an expert, and they want to buy your book. And her response was, “Yeah, but I don’t want to give away what is in my book.”
And I said, “Believe in abundance, give some of it away, let people know that you are this expert, maybe even.” And by the end of the call, she said, “Maybe I should give the book away for free.”
Because as we started talking, what she realized is that maybe there’s a bigger opportunity for her. Maybe she could do coaching or consulting on helping women build these businesses.
Maybe she could put together a course. Maybe she could put together a membership group. And maybe that eBook is a way to give to her audience so, that they trust her and they know her and they like her.
And it was so interesting, the shift that happened by putting on the glasses of abundance, versus the glasses of scarcity. And to kind of go along with this. I personally believe in karma. I believe that the more I give, the more I receive.
Now it’s not a gift to get, meaning I’m not giving so that I receive. But I do believe the more I give, the more comes back to me and I don’t know in what way and it’s typically not directly.
Well, I’m going to give $100 and all of a sudden $200 is going to fly through my window. But it is again, a way to think about our businesses with a little bit more space, a little bit more trust. So, if you can offer somebody encouragement, for example, do it.
Because putting that good into the world, I promise it will come back to you in some form.
Tip 2: Be of Service to Your Audience
And what this also then ties to is my second piece of advice, which is to really be of service to your audience.
Understand their needs and the problems that they are struggling with. Really, I think being an entrepreneur is all about empathy. Can I empathize with you? Can I put myself in your shoes?
Can I feel what you’re feeling, and then hopefully help you with my products with my services with my content. So, what I love about this idea of being of service, at least for me, it gets me out of my own way. It’s not the Jil show.
It’s not me bragging about my life, or sharing with you all of that. If I do share about my life, how can that help you? It’s funny, I’m an introvert. And I like though, to speak at conferences, because weirdly, I love to teach.
So, right before I speak, let’s say in front of a couple 100 people, I always get nervous. Because I think to myself, what if they don’t like my outfit, or what if I stumble over my words.
But then I do this mindset shift, where I say, I want to provide value, I want to be of service, I want to help these people. And weirdly, when I shift into that mindset, it’s amazing. I can come to life. And I can be outgoing, because it’s no longer about me.
So, I think it’s very free to focus on your audience. And I think it enables you to really kind of like roll up your sleeves, and get close to the people that you want to serve. And remember, it’s all about what’s in it for them, not what’s in it for me.
So, to be thinking about that.
Tip 3: Work to Build Relationships
And this ties in to my third recommendation, which is to build relationships in 2021. And again, this ties into this idea of karma being of service. I don’t know, what will come up these relationships.
I do know, the more relationships you build, the faster your business will grow. And I’ll give you some reasons. One, I do recommend you build relationships with other people in your niche.
So, your competitors, and remember my belief, the internet is a very big place. So, there is room for all of us. Reach out to people you admire, tell them you admire them, see if you can befriend them.
Because I bet, they know things about their business that they could share with you, and you know things about your business that you could share with them. And you could help each other.
Just even for example, me introducing my audience to you and you introducing your audience to me, because chances are, we don’t have the exact same audience.
And there are people in your audience who don’t know me, never heard of me and vice versa. That is a perfect way. What a way that you and somebody in your niche can help each other grow.
It’s also the thinking behind my Facebook group, The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Group. I know that’s a big long name. But it is about what I’m always asking people to do. Share their content, share their social media platforms.
So, we can all help each other grow. We can give advice, support, but even likes and follows and people were putting their eyeballs on your content. Again, relationships.
I think, as bloggers, sometimes we think it’s this idea of one-to-many I put content out there. And it’s seen by 1,000’s of people, let’s say. But I believe business building in 2021 is going to be much more one-on-one.
Another reason why I recommend building relationships is I want you to build relationships with your audience members, with your customers, with your clients. We coach a group, a monthly group.
And I challenge everybody to befriend three people in their niche or their customers to get on the phone with them to do something that wouldn’t scale. Because you’re not going to get on the phone with 1,000 people.
But you could get on the phone with three of your biggest fans. The people who always comment on your posts or always comment on Instagram who like what you do, and if you could get on the phone with those people and build that relationship.
One you’ll learn, you’ll hear the language they use to describe whatever problems they’re facing. And now you had a super fan, you’ve got a super-duper fan, now an evangelist. So again, think about doing those things that might be uncomfortable.
But where you can build connection, this is a year where everything has been changed. And it’s so difficult to feel connected. So, if you reach out and connect with somebody, I promise, that person will be grateful. So, think about it that way.
Tip 4: Figure Out What You Can Sell to Your Audience
Okay, my fourth piece of advice is to think about something you can sell to your audience. I believe that things are shifting. I love passive income, like making money through ads.
But I don’t necessarily think that’s the way that you will get rich. I do think that if you can offer whether it be a physical good, or a digital good. Or a course, say coaching, memberships, something where you can sell something.
Even if you start off with selling something for $5, just the act of selling something, figuring out a solution to your audience’s problem that you can monetize.
And the reason also, why I want to give you this challenge is because I do think this is going to come up in some of the other tips that I’m going to share.
I do think we have a tendency to hide behind our content, like oh, I’m working on a blog post or recipe or DIY or something like that. And we putting something out there to sell opens us up for possible rejection, what if it doesn’t work?
And so, it’s almost easier to go well, “Nope, I’m too busy, because I need to finish this blog post.” And again, that’s thinking in terms of one-to-many, and I put it out and it’s almost anonymous. There’s a pin that goes up on Pinterest, and people click over.
But I want you to get vulnerable and really think about putting something out that you sell and maybe nobody will buy it. But I promise you will learn from it. And you will get ideas for something else you can sell and try. I have two thoughts that relate to this.
Tip 5: Think Outside the Box
So, my fifth piece of advice is to think outside the box yesterday, I was doing a coaching call with somebody who sells printables. And she sells them in the party space.
And I said, “Okay, I want you to lean in to selling.” Because I’m a big fan of that. And it’s working for her. She’s selling these and I said, but I want you to now think a little what I like to call blue sky thinking.
Which means what crazy idea could you come up with that you could possibly sell to your audience, I was talking to a food blogger, and she said, “Hmm, maybe I could try selling Canvas totes in her kind of in her niche. And I said, try it.
So, definitely blue-sky thinking, think beyond what people in your niche typically do what they typically sell what kind of content they typically create. The sky is the limit when you have a blog or online business.
Tips 6: Test Your Ideas Quickly and Cheaply and Assume Many Will Fail
However, this is going to lead me to my sixth piece of advice. If you are thinking about something to sell, please come up with a way to test it quickly and cheaply. So, this seems counterintuitive to my last piece of advice, which is like go dream big.
Yes, dream big. But break it down into something using B-minus work that maybe you can’t scale at the beginning. But maybe would connect. So, for example, I’m sure you’ve heard of these stories.
People will go, “I’m going to have this idea to sell a product”. And before they sell the product, they put up a landing page and drive traffic to it.
Maybe with ads or something to see if people will sign up and click the buy button. See if people will open their wallets. This is very true with courses. I know a lot of course creators who sell the course before they even create the course.
And they don’t tell their audience necessarily that the course has not been created. But they’re thinking. I knew scrappily they are going well. You know what I have this blue- sky idea for something I could sell.
I don’t want to go spend a year I do not recommend spending a year making a course. But is there a way to test if people will buy it?
Could I reach out to those super fans, offer something that I’m potentially going to sell at a discounted price and see if they’ll buy it from me. That’s the way you get scrappy, and you test these ideas.
So, please, I hope you don’t leave listening to this thinking, oh, I’m going to go invest in a bunch of, I don’t know, production capacity, I’m going to fly to China, and find some factories to make a product that I’ve not tested.
I am such a believer in testing cheaply, and testing fast. And you want to know the reason, most of the time, your tests are going to fail. It’s true. I run so many tests, and most of the time they fail, but some of the time they work.
But the only way I get to the ones that work is by failing. And do I get sad and depressed and think that I’m a failure? To be honest with you, if you’ve listened to some of my podcasts in the past about my struggles with perfection? You know, I do.
But I’ve gotten used to it. I kind of go in going well, it might not work, but it’s my ‘at- bat’. David and I talk a lot about this as ‘at-bats’. And the more tries, it’s like dating, you have to kiss a lot of frogs.
So, please assume there will be failure in your future. But it’s okay. And if you are struggling, like let’s say you come up with this amazing idea. And you know, it’s going to be a homerun.
And hopefully, you test it quickly, and you test it cheaply, but it fails, and you feel just so deflated, gutted, please reach out to me at Jillian@milotree.com. Email me and I will tell you that I have been there. And I know exactly how you feel.
And hopefully, I will get you back up, trying again, because that’s the perseverant person is the one who succeeds.
No, I’m going to say the perseverant person who learns from their failures from what works, takes that information, and comes up with say, another test or another way to go. Those are the people that win.
Tip 7: Show Your Face On Camera
Okay. My seventh tip is to show up live on camera in 2021. And to show your face if you’re in my coaching group, you know, that I really push my members to do this. And they don’t want to and I didn’t want to in the beginning either.
But again, when I can trick myself and tell myself, this is not about me, this is not about people judging me, this is about me providing a service to my audience. That’s the way I can do it.
In fact, somebody in one of my group Facebook groups, just posted and said I went live for the first time and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
And I think what differentiates you from everybody else say in your niche is if you’re the person willing to go live. Willing to show vulnerability, willing to show up with, I don’t know a pimple on your face or no makeup or who knows what.
You have such an advantage because most people are hiding behind their content or all the things they have to do in their business. And they know they should go live and show their face or not even live just on video. But they won’t do it.
So, think about how this could be a huge advantage for you. And I want to push you in 2021 to do it. And you’ll see more and more people are doing it. And again, it is no longer this idea of one-to-many, even though you go live and a lot of people see it.
It is about building that one-on-one relationship with your audience members as individuals. So, please take this challenge. All you need to do let’s say is show your face in an Instagram story.
Or maybe experiment on TikTok or doing an Instagram Reel or going live on Facebook. That’s what I do. If you’re part of my group. Ready, here’s my plug The Blogger Genius Show & Grow Your Blog Group, please go find it on Facebook and join it.
You’ll see I go live in there at least once a week, usually on Mondays at 3pm to talk about my recent podcast episodes. To field questions and really just to connect and to show that I am this fallible human being.
Who might be wearing the same clothes that I wore yesterday in my last video. Again, I want people to feel like they can connect with me and that I genuinely want to be their friend, because I do.
So, that’s what I want to push you. If you’re willing to take the challenge, please go live in 2021. And the best part is in the beginning, when you go live, nobody will be there. So, it’s a great way to learn. And then you’ll get better at it, your audience will grow.
And recognize nobody is judging you as harshly as you are judging yourself. The truth is, we’re all set, I say this to my 13-year-old daughter. We’re also obsessed with ourselves, we don’t have time to think about anybody else.
Maybe we think about somebody for 10 seconds, but then it’s back to my own drama, and me being the center of my own universe. So, really take that to heart, I promise, nobody’s really thinking about you. And that frees you up to take these risks.
Tip 8: Show Up Consistently Even When You Don’t Want To
Okay, my eighth tip is to show up consistently. And I’ve said this on the podcast previously, when people say to me, what’s your success? How have you had so much success with Catch My Party?
How have you grown your audience, and then of course, you know, my line, it’s a long slog. It just means we show up and we show up, and we show up. And even when I don’t want to, I show up, and I have a headache, and I show up.
And I’m in a crappy mood, and I show up, and then I’m in a good mood, and I show up. But I commit to showing up. And it’s not sexy. And sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s easy, but it doesn’t really matter.
Because I’ve put myself on a schedule, and I do the work. And it is a long slog. Somebody on my podcast, Melanie Ferguson calls it a grind. Now, again, it is also the best job I could ever have. So, I don’t want you to think it’s drudgery.
But are there days when it is, of course there are. Are there days, I have to do stuff that I don’t want to do. Absolutely. But if you can show up, I promise that’s the secret sauce. That’s the thing.
And anybody who has a YouTube channel, for example, you know how they grow their YouTube channel? Because they’re pumping out videos consistently.
People grow their Facebook channel, or Facebook pages, you know how they do it? They’re showing up consistently.
Honestly, if there’s one secret I could share with you about how to grow your business. It’s showing up consistently being reliable, creating content.
Tip 9: Join Our 6-Week Entrepreneur Coaching Group and Grow Your Blog in Real-Time with Our Help
Okay. My ninth suggestion is to join our next MiloTree six-week coaching group, we are starting it January 12th, it runs for six weeks, we meet twice a week in person live, David and I show up. And what you get to do is grow your business in real time.
So, I’ll tell you a little bit about it. And if you go to our page, where we have information, you can read a bunch of testimonials. And I have to say that the people who have joined it, have loved it.
And they’re still with us, because they join our monthly membership group. And we still have relationships with all these people. So, David and I roll up our sleeves. And we get to know you and we get to know your business. And then we show up on Mondays.
Nope I’m sorry, Tuesdays and Fridays, live on Zoom. And we do a teaching session on Tuesdays and a Q&A session on Fridays. And everything is recorded and everything lives in our private Facebook group.
And we are available for questions all the time in our Facebook group. And it becomes this really close community of kind, generous, like minded entrepreneurs and bloggers, growing their businesses.
It is for beginning bloggers. It is for advanced bloggers because again, we’re tailoring it to you and to what your needs are. But we go through the entire process of building your business, from what your niche is.
And we’ll tell you if we think you need to niche down even further or how to really think about serving your audience. And not only do you get marketing and business stuff from us, but also David is a tech guru. And you get all of this technical support.
Any technical question that you have, David is there he’s available to help. So, it’s this nice kind of yin and yang thing. But I really encourage you if 2021 is your year, please join but here’s the best part. Get on a call with me.
To learn more about the group head to milotree.com/group. Super easy six weeks, we show up. And by the way, if you miss a session, you can’t be there, you can always watch the recording and reach out to us with any questions.
But it’s starting on the 12th. But if you want to get on a call with me, schedule a time, so I have a calendar app. And you can find that at milotree.com/meet, and you and I can get on a call. Whether it be on the phone or on Zoom, and talk about your business.
And I will tell you, what I think we can do for you and how we can help you grow your business. Again, here we go. I’m taking my own advice.
I want to connect, I want to meet you, I want to hear what your dreams are, what your goals are and what you’re struggling with. So, again, head to milotree.com/meet and sign up for a 30-minute session with me.
And really, if you want to take your business to the next level. And by the way, what we talk about, this is a business. So, every decision you are making is not just to grow your brand, it’s to grow your income.
That’s what we care about. We want you to grow a viable business so that you can live the life you want. If this sounds good, please again milotree.com/meet. Sign up for a time. If you want to learn more about what we offer milotree.com/group, really easy.
And I want to just leave you with some positive thoughts. I do believe 2021 is going to be a much better year than 2020. How could it not? But I do believe that a lot of healing is going to take place that people are going to reengage in 2021.
I think it is a great time to start your online business. I think work is going to look very different next year. So, I want to wish you a lot of health and a lot of happiness over the holidays.
And if you want to reach out please Jillian@milotree.com. I would love to hear from you. So, Happy Holidays. For the next two weeks. I’m going to replay two of my favorite episodes from this year so, don’t miss those.
And then I’ll be back in 2021 with new episodes that I’ve already recorded that are terrific. In the meantime, to stay in touch please join my Facebook group because I will still be very active there.
It is called The Blogger Genius Share & Grow Your Blog Facebook Group. If you go to Facebook search for Blogger Genius, you will find the group. Please join it I’d love to hang out with you over the holidays and I will see you here again in 2021.
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.