Where are you struggling when trying to monetize your blog?

Hey all, I’d love to hear what all of your biggest challenges are with monetizing your blogs? Where are you running into trouble, what questions do you have about the ways to make money, where are you faltering?

Thinking up products to sell. I did do an ebook after our clubhouse meeting a few months ago. I made over $500 during the week of Masters but now that has stopped mostly since it is a time-sensitive subject.
I want to make something that is passive income, will help people open their homes to all kinds of guests. My focus is from a Christian ministry perspective. Building community around the tables. People let their guard down when good food is in front of them and open their hearts to those around them.

I’m trying to come up with things to sell, am working on an ebook but can’t think of things to sell other than cookbooks.

Love the goals behind your potential products, such good intentions!

I talk about this for websites in general, but it’s doubly important for products: who is your exact audience, and what is the problem you can solve.

Just spitballing, but a good potential audience would be the hosts of these dinners. And if someone wanted to put one together (especially as things are opening), what problems do they have and how can you solve them?

Obviously recipes are a big one, but I think there’s a lot more things they would need:

  • What ice breakers can they play?
  • Any fun decoration ideas?
  • A meal plan based around pre-cooks to maximize time with the guests
  • Invitation “swipe copy” they can print out and mail, or email to guests
  • Leaning into the “christian ministry” aspect, are there games, conversation starters or other things that work especially well if some guests aren’t real religious

Those could be in a book form, a digital course, or a combination of
"You will get my recipe book and meal plans with 5 complete theme ideas, as well unique downloadables for each one including ice breakers, invitation designs, and printable check lists to make sure your next “YOUR NAME FOR THESE EVENTS” is a stunning success. "
– that’s something you can’t just google, right?

And any of them could be broken into individual posts to “start small”, see what resonates with your fans, and attract SEO traffic.

Just a few ideas just from really leaning into that concept of “opening your homes” and “building community” and what it takes!

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What is the focus of your blog, and who are the fans you are most trying to serve?

And heck, long term you can come up with everything printed out and go sell them at Christian conferences as physical products packaged all beautifully :slight_smile: “Christian Community Dinners in a Box” :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your time to brainstorm and write all this. I am printing it out and use it as a part of a brainstorming session. I was talking to Megan and I mentioned I want to add an area to my site called “party in the freezer” It would have recipes that you can make and freeze that are party-worthy; appetizers, desserts, or even whole meals. I want them to be ready to host in minutes and not miss an opportunity to open their home to friends and even strangers that cross their path. A few years ago I was in a place where I always had a Sunday meal ready on Saturday. We made it a point to invite new people that visited our church to come to lunch afterward. It was amazing how many people were craving this type of impromptu hospitality. We really built community around our table. Somehow I want to capture this for my audience to do the same.

Such a wonderful concept and way to really bring joy and community into people’s lives!

Professional moms who like to cook and entertain. I’m trying to solve the problem of something interesting to make for dinner and making things for entertaining that will wow her guests. I focus on seasonal and comfort food. It’s so broad. I’m working on an ebook for weeknight dinners to sell. Not sure how to narrow it down and come up with something else to sell.

What a great way to build a community, no one does impromptu anymore.

That sounds great Barbara!

I’d keep asking the question “what problem am I trying to solve” to get more and more granular. Each larger problem (“wants to make interesting things for dinner” and “wow her guests”) will have many sub problems.

Go through and list all of those out, then you’ll start to get a good idea of the foundational problems you can solve.

For example, under “wow her guests”, what problems do you need to solve that bigger problem?

Some are like “recipes for food that looks fancy but is actually easy”, “fancy meals you can make ahead and ‘reheat’” (or "finish at the last minute), “top skills to improve to level up the quality of a large amount of your meals”.

Then each one of those has more sub problems, like for “fancy meals you can make ahead” it has the sub-problems of “basics of how to prep meals ahead of time”, “what sauces/sides hold best over time”, “proper ways to reheat foods” as well as more “tool” based solutions like “Your pre-set dinner party planner”, “a checklist for a ‘stress-free’ dinner party”, etc.

You can start solving those smaller problems, which are usually pretty easy to solve by themselves, and see which ones your audience really relates to. Then they can be fleshed out and grouped into books, courses, lead magnets, kits, downloads, etc.

Thanks Jason, that was so helpful and gave me lots of ideas to start working on.

Glad it helped out! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any follow up questions!

A little late to this question, but right now my biggest challenges are:

  • steadily declining page views for the last 6+ months (resulting in less ad revenue)
  • trying to boost my affiliate sales (for one item in particular that’s very relevant to my niche - the sales are ok, but not great)
  • figuring out what to do with an e-book I created last year that never really went anywhere (I got two sales from a “pre-sale” I did, then didn’t really launch it after that).

I know what to do for the first one (analyzing which posts are losing traffic and updating them where necessary), but the second two are a little murky for me. @jasonlogsdon if you’ve got any advice or resources to point to, I’ll take it!

Not late at all!

For both products, I’d look at what is the customer arc they solve. What problems are they solving for the people who buy them and what transformation do they create in people?

Then you can examine how can you showcase that better through new, or existing, content.

Often repetition is the key to selling pretty much everything, so make sure you find every post those products relate to and mention them in it, it can even be as simple as one or two in-context one line pitches like “and if you want this made easier, check out this affiliate prodcut/ebook, it’s great”.

Making sure that’s in all your relevant posts, and creating posts that showcase the benefits of what you are trying to sell is a good way to raise your Fans awareness of what you are offereing.

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Hi all-

Also late to this party but jumping in here…I have tiptoed around this. Right now, I am just monetizing (and very minimally) through ads but have been thinking about an ebook as well around all things pasta. How to properly cook it; best shapes for type of sauce; five easy building block / base pasta sauces that become many…stuff like that.

I’ve also toyed with starting something around creating menus for gatherings (something that I’m always asked for help with) but am not sure how that is monetized unless that then becomes an ebook as well? Maybe a FB group? YouTube channel? I have no idea where to go with this.

I’d also like to work with brands/sponsored posts as well but am not finding the right brands as I run into the whole “you don’t have enough followers” thing.

Clearly I need to focus somewhere…lots of ideas. I like the idea of repeatedly asking the question of “what problem am I trying to solve”. Thanks @jasonlogsdon for driving this bus!

“Lots of ideas” is definitely a great thing! And really intimidating!

That’s one reason I suggest often starting small. Can you break down those ideas you have into their small component problems, then solve several of those?

Try doing 2-3 from your pasta book

  • a cheatsheet for pasta shape and sauce pairings
  • your favorite “must know” pasta sauce and how it can be used to create other sauces
  • etc

Then 2-3 from your gathering idea, really dive into the type of gathering and the type of people that would host it. Create a few articles or cheatsheets around that.

Then you can see how your audience responds when you share them on social, in your newsletters, and other places. It’ll give you an idea of what is resonating.

At that point, you can either create more content around that idea to flesh it out, or start to look at monetizing it. But at least you’ll know how your audience is using it (and you’ll have the posts already done that will be driving traffic when you try to sell it).

For brands, if there are some you’d love to worth with, just start using their products, engaging with them on social, and starting to form those connections, even if they aren’t paid yet. If they see you doing good work, and using their products in good ways, they’ll be more likely to want to work with you in the future.

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Such great suggestions. I don’t know why I couldn’t see these things! Love starting small and makes it feel more doable. Thank you @jasonlogsdon !

It’s always easier to see solutions to other people’s problems! I get stuck on my own stuff all the time :slight_smile:

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