The Fast Track to Write Blogs for Money
I didn’t title this blog how to write blogs for money for nothing. 🙂 Today I went to my first session of FastTrac New Venture entrepreneurial training in NYC, and my brain is now BURSTING with ideas on how to accelerate my blog profits. I wasn’t planning to write about this course in this blog, but I learned so much, and writing about it helps me to remember. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration too.
One requirement of the New York State Department of Labor’s Self Employment Assistance Program (SEAP), of which I’m a participant, is that I receive a minimum of 20 hours of entrepreneurial or business training. Yay!
In 2010, I took a 4-Month Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) entrepreneurial course, and after graduation, even became a WIBO Facilitator myself. I taught my own group in Washington Heights, NYC in 2011. I figured that WIBO’s 48 hours of entrepreneurial training and additional facilitating would satisfy that requirement, but SEAP rules dictated that I get brand new entrepreneurial training while I was in the program. I love to learn new things – twist my arm!
In my WIBO days, the FastTrac program was a competing entrepreneurial course, and I had always been curious about how the courses compared. Now I planned to find out. When I went to the NYC Business Solutions website, the first difference is that the FastTrac course is now FREE for participants whose applications were selected.
Thanks to my Pajama Affiliates training, I was able to clearly explain how blogs make money in my Fast Trac application. I was thrilled (but not surprised) to receive an acceptance email the very next day!
I was excited about new entrepreneurial training because I’d take my intentions of starting a blog for money through the entire course. In other words, instead of focusing on case studies of other business owners, we’d each be focused on directing the course lessons onto our individual business ideas. WIBO did that too, which I loved, and I had a feeling that the FastTrac class was going to be good too. I was like a grown-up kid on the first day of school!
Our Fast Trac Course Leader, Larry, is a retired entrepreneur who sold his business years ago, and now teaches FastTrac “for fun”. I found him funny and kind, and I was impressed at how fast his mind worked, especially when it came to money. I was in the right place, at the right time!
Larry started the class by writing the following quote on the whiteboard:
“Begin with the end in mind.” – Steven Covey
Larry explained that we would each be giving a 10-minute Final Presentation at our last class session (#10), and that we’d be required to speak about our:
- Target Market (“The riches are in the niches!”)
This is how we would complete the course. After explaining the first 4 topics, Larry gave us a starter lesson on Revenue and Gross Margin, and had us create financial projections for Year 3 of our business. We then had to find a buddy in the class, and explain our numbers to each other.
A Relationship Coach who knew I was a Love Blogger asked to partner with me. While she and I were running our numbers to each other, Larry recommended that we shoot for revenues over $100,000. My jaw dropped. I had only been thinking about how I would replace my previous day job income, which had ranged from $50-70K over the years. If I wanted to have a blog that earned over $100K, I was going to have to think outside of that proverbial box. While I knew that some of my blogging colleagues in and out Pajama Affiliates were making that kind of income, I realized that I’d have to think BIGGER to create a blog with that kind of revenue. I was up for the challenge. Bring it!!!
Blogging for Money Online
Now that I was seriously wondering how blogging for money online was going to earn $100,000 or more, I was instantly reminded of the quote that entrepreneurs hear all the time:
“Work ON Your Business, Not IN It”
Even though you may be clear that you want to make money with your blog, it is still incredibly easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations, and lose sight of the BIG PICTURE. Larry recommended that we sit down each Sunday night to review what happened that week, and to make plans for the next. I admit that I haven’t been doing this consistently, so I added a Biz Review reminder in my Google Calendar.
Creating content is fun, but it’s also important to pull back the focus so we can be deliberate about where we’re going. And I soon understood that the ONLY “Fast Track” in business is to TAKE THE TIME to get your foundation right.
Once you are clear on A) Who you are, B) What you want to offer, C) How much you want for it, C) What you’re willing to do to get it, D) Taking consistent action, and E) Adapting as necessary, your momentum will build, and so will your business. Why wouldn’t it???
Towards the end of the session, Larry explained that success and failure of our businesses will always come down to the strength of our networks.
Larry also gave the class an ongoing assignment to talk to 3-5 people a week: competitors, collaborators, customer, clients, vendors, suppliers, etc. We were to ask them how they expanded their businesses, ask for referrals, and draw a map of our growing network.
I’m excited about the networking homework too, especially because my Pajama Affiliates network of fellow bloggers is already strong. I look forward to interviewing some of them, in addition to the other business owners whom I know in real life.
So between my Fast Trac class and my Pajama Affiliates classes for affiliate blogging, I feel like my blog is well-prepared! These ten sessions are intense, and I love it. Stay tuned for more blogs about the FastTrac entrepreneurial course, offered via NYC Business Solutions.