How to Think Like a Professional Blogger ● #MyBlogMeansBusiness Series Day 1

Have you ever wondered how all these women claim to be making money with a professional blog? Maybe you have your own personal blog but haven't quite figured out how to be a pro blogger, or maybe you desperately want to have a blogging business but don't know where to start. I've been in your shoes before.

Whether you are wanting to blog in order to work from home or just want to start monetizing the blog you have, you are not alone. But you must know how to think like a professional blogger!

Are you thinking, "Sure, Allison, that sounds great, but what does 'think like a professional blogger' really mean?" Don't worry, I'm going to break it all down for you. And the best way to do that is to show you the difference between a hobby blogger and someone blogging for business. 

The things that I am going to share are things I have noticed in my own personal experience blogging, experiences with my students who are starting their blogging business, and even stories from my own blogging peers.

If you prefer video (and love to hear my voice!) then hop over to my YouTube channel to hear this information there. Don't forget to subscribe while you're there so you don't miss the future help coming your way.

Ok, let's get started with what hobby bloggers look like...

1. Hobby bloggers tend to focus on themselves

Remember when you were in school and kept a diary? It was a place for you to record your memories, reflect, and clear your head. You were writing from your own perspective, for only your eyes, and thinking about how the information impacted you.

Hobby bloggers tend to be like that. They write posts that are more like a diary. The purpose of the blog is not about how the information can change or shape the lives of others. It's more of a one-sided reflection. It's personal, shares their stories and is about them.

2. Hobby bloggers also lack a business plan

When someone is blogging as a hobby that is literally all they are doing. They're simply writing their thoughts and opinions into a blog post. They share the information with the world and leave it at that.

Hobby bloggers have no game plan for what they will share, who they will share it with, or how they will get the word out there. There is no formal, or even informal, plan in place.

How does that compare to a professional blogger?

Now that you know what a hobby blogger looks like let's look at what a professional blogger does.

1. Pro bloggers focus on helping others

Professional bloggers also might have posts that share parts of their story. They might be inspirational. But, the focus of the content is on how the information can change the lives of other people. If there are personal stories shared it also includes what their readers can learn from it.

Every single piece of content has value and a purpose. Their blog has a consistent stream of helpful content that is all based around the same topic.

2. Pro bloggers monetize their blogs

Professional bloggers are not ashamed to monetize their blog. They are focused on building a brand, which includes their voice, logo, colors, and whatever that "thing" is about them that separates them from the crowd. Then they find ways to monetize it with affiliate links, eBooks, products, courses, services, advertising, and so on.

3. Pro bloggers have a target audience

Hobby bloggers are writing for themselves, right? Professional bloggers have a target audience in mind they want to reach.

There's a saying in the blogging world (kudos to whoever came up with it) that goes, "if you write for everyone, you are writing for no one".

You must have a specific audience if you want to make an income and finetune your brand. Think about the gender, age, occupation, and demographics of the person you are writing to. What are their hobbies, likes, dislikes, and fears? The more you know about your audience the more effective you can be in reaching them.

4. Pro bloggers have a business plan

If running a blogging business is your goal, you need to have a business plan. If business isn't your strong suit it can be really intimidating to sit down and write out a formal business plan. But you can still do it if you have help from people (like me - hint, hint) that have experience.  

Your plan doesn't have to follow a specific format, but it should include things like what products you will sell, what your content is, your marketing strategy, who your target audience is, how you'll handle taxes, and the things like that.

You know what they say... "Failing to plan is planning to fail," and if you want to go from blog to business you need to do the work.

You don't have to figure out professional blogging all by yourself!

If you want help with writing a business plan you can find all the answers at the Blogging Business Club. There is a lesson that'll help you take it one step at a time.

 
 
How to Think Like a Professional Blogger-- One of the biggest challenges I see new bloggers run into is that they have a hard time figuring out how to make pro blogger decisions and run their blog for business purposes. Instinctively, we just want to write and share content! But you can seamlessly combine the two worlds by 1) helping people AND 2) supporting yourself financially.

I also cover all the tasks that you can expect to have as a professional blogger. I provide you with quarterly goals worksheets, as well as examples of my completed worksheets so you can see how it really works. After that, I show you how to apply the lessons to your own blogging business plan.

Professional blogging is not easy, but it is achievable. You can start a blog that allows you to work from home! I know because I'm doing it.

There are plenty of resources online, including my YouTube channel and the Blogging Business Club where you can find the help you need to succeed at pro blogging. The best way to really grow a profitable blogging business is to invest in yourself and your blog. That could mean spending the time to learn new information or financially investing in the resources to help you turn a profit. But it all starts with transitioning yourself to think like a professional blogger!

Bloggers: How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done!

Hey guys! Today I want to talk about working in different spaces within your home when you’re trying to be a professional blogger and beat procrastination at the same time—not an easy thing when you have children running around! #WAHMLIFE

(Psst! If you enjoyed watching the video version of this post, hop over to my YouTube channel  and don’t forget to subscribe!)

The two productivity tips I’m going to share are part of a lesson from the Blogging Business Club, an online membership club I run where I post monthly lessons on blogging tips and strategies. And understanding how to be productive is definitely one of them!

It’s hard work, but absolutely necessary if you want to actually run a business at home, day-in and day-out.

Home is where we’re most comfortable but also where we’re the most distracted. It takes a conscious effort every single day to ensure that we are being as productive as we possibly can. So you need to be really efficient to get as much stuff done for your business as you can for the day—especially if you have the duties that come with being a stay-at-home mom or having a full-time job (or BOTH)!

Home is where we’re most comfortable but also where we’re the most distracted. It takes a conscious effort every single day to ensure that we are being as productive as we possibly can.

In the Blogging Business Club lesson, I talk about the different roles you have within the home for those of you trying to start your business as a professional blogger or grow your already existing blogging business. If you’re like me, you’ll have important duties like:

  • Taking care of your well-being
  • Organizing your home
  • Taking care of your baby/babies
  • Everything else you need to do to manage your business!

If you’re not balancing those three different roles, you’re going to have a hard time being a successful home-based blogger (if that’s where you’re primarily working). You have to have just a little bit of harmony in order to consistently work and be successful in your business.

Cleanliness brings happiness, and that’s not to say that you need to deep-clean your house every single day, but you’ve got to be at least somewhat organized. Otherwise, things are going to be really chaotic, and who wants a chaotic workspace when they’re trying to be a professional blogger?

Okay, guys—let’s dive in!

It’s Not Impossible to Get Work Done at Home

Have you ever felt constantly distracted because the laundry hasn’t been done, toys need to be cleaned up, and the general chaos of your home just makes you want to run into an office for privacy and peace and quiet—but you don’t have one?

I completely understand, and I’ve totally been there before.

The fact of the matter is, I started my blog back when my husband and I were living in a different place. I did not have an office, and it was a long while before I even had my own desk to use.

So instead, I did all my work in the living room—and it was so distracting!

I have my young son James at home with me, and while he does go to a school program, it’s only a couple days a week for a few hours. Eighty percent of the time, he’s at home with me. I definitely know how hard it is to work when you’ve got kids at home or if you have other distractions.

Not to mention, running off to Starbucks or a library is probably not an option for you, and if so—no worries! It isn’t for me, either. I mean, I’d have to take my kid with me, and I’m sure Starbucks would appreciate not having a 3-year-old boy in their store for a couple of hours!

Luckily, there are still some ways to be productive—here’s what I do.

TIP #1 – Keep Your Favorite Workspace Clean at All Times!

The first thing I try to do here at home is make sure that any designated space I typically have is kept very clean, regardless of how large the space is.

Our previous place actually did not have an office. My new home does, but ironically enough, I don’t actually use it to work most of the time! It sounds really ungrateful and wasteful…but the office actually also doubles as a work-out space. It’s got a treadmill and weights, and then on the other side of the room it’s got my desk and other office stuff, so it just feels like there isn’t a whole lot of space for me to really spread out, which is how I work best.

So when I want to get work done, I’m actually at my dining room table about 85 percent of the time, and it works just fine for me. But to make it work, there are a couple of things that I have to do.

The number one thing is that I have to keep the space clean. I am not folding clean laundry here, and I don’t have random, non-blogging related papers spread about. Everything is kept really clean so that I can work anytime I find even a little bit of peace and quiet.

If you wanted to put it in one sentence, I have run a full-time business from a tiny portion of my dining room table just fine.

If you wanted to put it in one sentence, I have run a full-time business from a tiny portion of my dining room table just fine.

And if I can do it with being distracted as constantly as I am—I feel like I have a very short attention span—you can do it, too.

TIP #2 – Take Advantage of Any Downtime You Can Find

The second tip I have for you ties in to keeping your workspace clean, and that is to always, always, always take advantage of impromptu downtime.

Keeping the dining room table clean as often as possible is vital in helping me to stop procrastinating my work. This is so that when I have an unexpected 20, 30 minutes to myself—it doesn’t even have to be a couple of hours—where I feel like my son is playing quietly, I can go ahead and write up blog posts, scripts, outlines, and other things. It’s all about taking advantage of the moment.

Procrastination.jpgHow to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done-- It’s almost February and you need to stop procrastinating and get work done! In today’s video I’m talking about one of the #1 excuses I hear people say when they can’t get any blogging work accomplished.

And since I already have my favorite workspace clean and ready to go, I’m not drawn to procrastination. Cleaning up doesn’t cut into the little bit of time that I have, and so I can go ahead and get work done.

I wouldn’t even say that these are the niftiest, most elaborate productivity hacks of the year. They’re basic things, but they work for me.

Sometimes I feel like we block ourselves when we say, “Dang it, I really want to run a business at home, but I don’t have an office, and I don’t have a desk that I can go sit at.”

But you can do it without that.

The Bottom Line

It’s all about keeping your area clean, wherever it is you want to work, and grabbing those free moments when you can. It could be the dining room table, it could be the couch, it could even be a couple of bar stools at your kitchen counter for all I care. As long as you’re keeping them clean and ready for you to go and work there any time of the day, you can definitely improve your productivity.

These are just two of my small productivity tips, but I encourage you to find the strategies that work best for you.

If you’re interested in watching the lesson on other tips that I have on how to stop procrastinating and juggle the different roles that you’ll have as a professional blogger, then be sure to head on over to my YouTube channel or the Blogging Business Club, where I share the different strategies I use to run my own business.

Join with the coupon code YOUTUBE16 and you’ll get $5 OFF every single month too!

Now take action, set up your workspace, and get to work!

Sparkle Hustle Grow ● Unboxing A Subscription Box for Female Entrepreneurs ● *SPOILER ALERT*

Normally when companies ask me if I want to do an unboxing or product review for free, I say no. I'm tough on myself and make sure I say thank, but no thanks to anything I don't believe will fit in my niche or will help you guys in some way. This is why I'm thrilled about this particular company...

DISCLAIMER: The Sparkle Hustle Grow box was given to me free of charge and I am an affiliate for the subscription. However, I’m giving my honest-to-goodness reactions here so you can have peace of mind that this is a genuine review. :) 

What is Sparkle Hustle Grow? 

Sparkle Hustle Grow is an online community and subscription box for female entrepreneurs, and they sent me a free box to try out their product! I love watching unboxing videos so I’m sharing mine too so you can see my honest-to-goodness genuine reaction to all the items. - Allison Lindstrom

Sparkle Hustle Grow is an online community and subscription box for female entrepreneurs, and they sent me a free box to try out their product! Annnd they also sent a coupon code for you guys so you can save some money if you're interested in joining. 

Coupon Code!

Just click here and use the code LINDSTROM to get $5 OFF your first box!

The unboxing Haul

I personally love watching unboxing videos so I’m sharing mine too so you can see my honest-to-goodness genuine reaction to all the items. Pssstt...are you subscribed to my channel yet?

But you can keep reading if you'd rather just the text version of this unboxing... 

Sparkle Hustle Grow is an online community and subscription box for female entrepreneurs, and they sent me a free box to try out their product! I love watching unboxing videos so I’m sharing mine too so you can see my honest-to-goodness genuine reaction to all the items. - Allison Lindstrom

1. Savvy Community Access Pass. $39 value

The first item I pulled out was a coupon code for a 30 day Access Pass to the Savvy Community.

This online community is for female entrepreneurs looking for video trainings, downloads, forums, and so on. It's for a $39.00 value so that alone pays for the Sparkle Hustle Grow box, which is $24.00/month.

2. mini selfie ring light. $8 value

The next item I pulled out was a great Mini Selfie Ring Light. I was STOKED to get this! It's my 2018 goal to be more present on Instagram so this is going to be extremely helpful when I need to take a selfie but am lacking the natural light conditions I need. 

3. Woman with a vision notepad. $5 value

I got so excited when I saw this notepad because I'm all about the practical things! I constantly use notepads and I especially love it when it's a wider, more substantial size like this one. Mama's got things to write, mmmkay? 

4. Maengle the Hair-Tie Bangle. $28 value

I'd heard of these hair-tie bangles before (it's a bangle that also carries your hair-tie) but I'd never owned one. I have especially long hair and a toddler that like to constantly run around the house, so you better believe I wear my hair up 80% of the time. This is another great practical product from this box! 

5. 25 free square prints from Parabo Press. $8 value

I was JUST thinking about printing some of my favorite prints of James to put in my office so this couldn't come at a better time! I've never used this particular company before but the description said they come in an extra thick, matter paper so I'm excited about ordering. 

However, I did notice that shipping isn't free so there is a small cost associated with this item. 

6. Invia Drink Mix. $4

I don't typically use drink mixes like this so I'm not sure I'll personally end up getting any value from this iem. But they're supposed to help with concentration and energy so maybe I'll use these instead of having a third cup of coffee. Ha! 

7. Art Print by HeartSigned. $9 value

I absolutely loved this art print!

Here's to raising strong women

May we know them

May we be them

May we raise them

I don't have a daughter (yet!) but that doesn't mean I'm not going to put this up in my house ASAP. It's also made with heavy duty cardboards, which is an A+ from me. 

8. Girl, wash your face by rachel hollis. $22.99 value

I'm not sure if you've heard but I'm a major fan of reading and usually film in front of my little library shelf at home. And I'm just now wrapping up a book so I'm going to dive right into this one. 

It's written by a blogger and she goes over each of the falsehoods that she used to believe (and we probably all believe at one point!). It's the perfect inspirational book for female entrepreneurs like you and me. 


Award for Most Practical

I thought it would be fun to pass out a few awards and this first one goes to the Woman with a Vision notebook for being the Most Practical. I've already opened it and am using it! 

Sparkle Hustle Grow is an online community and subscription box for female entrepreneurs, and they sent me a free box to try out their product! I love watching unboxing videos so I’m sharing mine too so you can see my honest-to-goodness genuine reaction to all the items. Annnd they’ve given me a coupon code for you guys so be sure to get the description box below the video for $5 off! - Allison Lindstrom

Award for Most Likely to Use with My Business

Since this is a box geared towards female entrepreneurs, it was incredibly important to me that there were actually useful items included. It certainly delivered!

The Mini Selfie Light was a no-brainer because it seriously can't get more "blogger" than this! But I also feel like it tied with Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis since it's inspirational and written by another blogger. 

Sparkle Hustle Grow is an online community and subscription box for female entrepreneurs, and they sent me a free box to try out their product! I love watching unboxing videos so I’m sharing mine too so you can see my honest-to-goodness genuine reaction to all the items. Annnd they’ve given me a coupon code for you guys so be sure to get the description box below the video for $5 off!  - Allison Lindstrom

Award for Allison's Personal Favorite

My favorite product for use in my personal life is definitely the 25 free prints from Parabo Press. If you saw this video, then you know that we literally just bought a new house and I'm buying decor left and right. 

Sparkle Hustle Grow is an online community and subscription box for female entrepreneurs, and they sent me a free box to try out their product! I love watching unboxing videos so I’m sharing mine too so you can see my honest-to-goodness genuine reaction to all the items. Annnd they’ve given me a coupon code for you guys so be sure to get the description box below the video for $5 off! - Allison Lindstrom

My overall thoughts

I gotta be honest here, I wasn't expecting to be this impressed by the Sparkle Hustle Grow box! I was kind of expecting some semi-useful products but I'll likely use most, if not all, of them.

The drink mix is literally the only thing I probably won't use but that's mainly because I try to only drink water. I have this addiction to soda that's hard to beat and I have to live a water-only life to stay away from it. 

But overall, all the other products more than made up for it and I'm certainly in love with the branding and quality that Sparkle Hustle Grow has created! Are you going to join? Don't forget to use the coupon LINDSTROM to get $5 OFF your first box!

SPARKLE HUSTLE GROW UNBOXING MARCH 2018 ● SUBSCRIPTION BOX COUPON CODE-- Sparkle Hustle Grow is an online community and subscription box for female entrepreneurs, and they sent me a free box to try out their product! I love watching unboxing videos so I’m sharing mine too so you can see my honest-to-goodness genuine reaction to all the items. Annnd they’ve me a coupon code for you guys so be sure to get the description box below the video for $5 off!

Saving Money When You Start a Blog ● Blogging for Cheap

Money Saving Hacks to Blog on a Budget

When most people are starting out in the blogging world, they don't usually have a ton of money to invest in it. I know I didn't! And to be quite frank, I feel like a lot of us are not even sure that blogging is something we want to do forever.

We feel like we want to test it out and see if it's a good fit for the long term. And when that's the case, we're not interested in throwing hundreds and hundreds of dollars towards it. So I'm here to tell you that you can absolutely work with the bare minimum (when you're starting out) without blowing up your expenses!

And we all know how much I L.O.V.E. saving money so I thought it'd be fun to share a quick hack for saving some moolah as a blogger.

One of my favorite Ways to Save Money as a Blogger

One of the first steps you should take when trying to cut back on expenses is learning how to DIY stuff. Every penny counts, right? In addition to this list of some of the best ways to save money, I highly recommend you DIY your own logo!

When you initially setup your blog it might be tempting to reach out to graphic designers or professionals and have them design a custom logo for you. But it is so pricey and (in my opinion) very unnecessary! This is one of the places you should cut costs if you can do it yourself. Which brings me to my next tip...

But how do I diy my logo?

HACK! SAVING MONEY WHEN YOU START A BLOG ● BLOGGING FOR CHEAP--Looking for ways to save money as a new blogger? If there’s one thing I’m a fan of, it’s blogging for cheap…or as cheap as you possibly can when starting a blogging business! Here’s a nifty hack for saving money on your blog expenses! ● HACK! SAVING MONEY WHEN YOU START A BLOG ● BLOGGING FOR CHEAP

My recommendation is to head on over to Canva! I'm a huge fan of this site and I use it nearly every single day that I'm working on my business. 

The site itself is very user-friendly and and you can easily whip up a no-frills, minimalist logo in a short amount of time. They also have a ton of fonts, colors, and graphics that you can use to spruce up your work and really make it your own.

Just FYI: some of the premium graphics are a paid option but I honestly don't think you'll even need any of them to reach a finished product. My successful approach has been to keep things very minimalistic and clean and you'll have a logo that turns out great. 

In fact, this is my logo and while I handmade this (very!) minimalist design with Photoshop, I honestly could've done it with Canva. (Pssstt...I just used Photoshop Elements because I had it on my computer but you can seriously get away with using Canva for free.)

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 9.54.20 PM.png

That's my quick tip for today guys! Remember- there are times to spend and times to save, and your logo is definitely one of those areas where you can go cheap/free. 

And if you're interested in Blogging to Win, be sure to check it out before we close the doors! We only open the doors once every season so be sure to join the waiting list if you don't make it in time.