July 28, 2020
Note From Rochelle
Today I’m delighted to welcome my amazing colleague to the blog, Amanda Zieba. Amanda has published ten books and blogs at AmandaZieba.com. Today, she’s here to review the book, How to Blog for Profit by Ruth Soukup. If you’ve ever wondered how to make money from your blog, read on. (Oh, and the post includes graphics that I cannot include in the newsletter, so visit the blog for the whole experience!)
And don’t forget to check out the blog on Fridays for a #WritersRecommend post! https://writenowcoach.com/blog/
How to Blog for Profit
A Word Nerd Book Review
by Amanda Zieba
Raise your hand if you have ever fallen prey to a FREE (just pay shipping!) advertisement. Keep your hand up if you were actually satisfied by the product when it arrived. If your hand is still up, wave it around a bit if you absolutely LOVED the item you did not purchase, but were given.
It’s kind of a unicorn situation, right? Often times, the product leaves us feeling underwhelmed or wishing there was more. In the writing and self-education world, these freebies are often intentionally designed to only whet our appetite. Their entire purpose is to make us want more. But every once and a while, you stumble upon something good and if you are really lucky, GREAT.
As a writer interested in improving my skills I often sign up for free webinars and online lists that will send me a guide of some sort in exchange for my email address. Many of these free resources are helpful, but none has been so incredible as the book I’m going to talk to you about today.
How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup is the, hands down, most helpful book I have encountered on the topic of running an online blog and business. And I got it for free! (Thank you sponsored Facebook ad!) But don’t just take it from me. This book has been an Amazon #1 Bestseller and has sold nearly 500,000 copies in 10 different languages worldwide. It is currently in its third printing and has been completely revised and updated for 2020. I’d also like to note, as an indie author myself, that I am blown away and so excited by the success of this self-published book. Congratulations Ruth!
Ever wondered what it takes to create and grow a successful online business? Your step-by-step guide is here! Whether you’re an author, blogger, podcaster, or business owner–or maybe just want to know how to get started—How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) is jam-packed with easy-to implement advice for creating an authentic, successful, and profitable online business. With wit, wisdom, and the insight of someone who’s been there, New York Times bestselling author Ruth Soukup shares how she grew her own blog-based business into a 7-figure media empire. In this completely revised 3rd Edition of How to Blog for Profit, you’ll discover why blogging’s NOT dead and how you can harness the power of content marketing to grow any type of business. Master the art of creating compelling content that naturally attracts your own tribe of raving fans and loyal customers. Grow your audience faster by learning how to focus on the proven traffic strategies that actually work. Gain a clear understanding of all the options for monetizing your platform, as well as which revenue streams offer the best ROI. Improve your productivity, learning to work smarter not harder, and take concrete steps to transform your blog into a business. Learn what the most successful bloggers and online business owners are doing differently than everyone else … so that you can too.
So, what makes this book so darn amazing? For me it’s simple. There are tons of business books out there, especially for women, that spend a bunch of time hyping up the reader, convincing them that they are worthy of the task, that they can do the thing, that it’s even okay to WANT to do the thing. My matriarchal upbringing left zero doubts in that arena. I rarely need a pep-talk or boost of motivation. I just want to know HOW TO DO THE THING. And that’s exactly what this book does.
One of my favorite examples of this is in the first section, REFINE, when Ruth is writing about setting up what she calls, your home base, or your website. Instead of just telling you a website is important and that you need one ASAP, she breaks down the pros and cons of common options so that you can select the best one for you and your business and move forward.
In this first section Ruth also reminds us that while making money is a worthy end result, it should not be the only goal. And in fact, if it is our only goal, we are likely fail.
“The most successful businesses are the ones that actively seek to help their readers and customers. Even when you write from a personal view, make it about the reader.”
This advice is paired with several exercises that help you identify your ideal customer, their needs, their spending habits, and their dreams.
Ruth lives this theory herself and proves it in this book because the very next chapter after discussing the importance of identifying your customer’s desires, she delivers. Chapter 2 is titled: Content, Content, Content and starts out with this quote. “I’m just so frustrated! I’ve spent all this time creating what I think are some pretty amazing products, but no one is buying them! What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I ever seem to grow my traffic? And what do I have to do to make more money?”
Okay, back to the hand raising. Anyone ever said this? (Yup, my hand is UP.) These words were said by one of Ruth’s clients. She listened and listened and listened and then wrote this book to answer all of those questions and more.
Here’s a quick peek at the table of contents.
Whose hand is up NOW?!?!?
If you’re still here reading, I’m surprised. I likely would have searched the post for the BUY HERE button already, but in case you still need a little more convincing, I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from this evergreen online business advice book.
“Always keep in mind that sustainable traffic growth only happens if your content rocks. Getting people to come once is one thing; getting them to come back again and again (then tell their friends to come too) is what will ultimately build your online business.” (p. 83)
“If you think of your blog as a business, even before it makes a dime, telling people stops feeling like shameless self-promotion and a whole lot more like the thing you do when you believe in something.” (p. 87)
“Be consistent with the quality and schedule of emails that you send out. Become a fixture in your subscriber’s lives.” (p. 128)
“When you create your own products, you have the opportunity to create the exact solutions that your readers are looking for.” (p. 170)
“You are never selling a product. You are selling a transformation. People are looking for life to be made easier or improved in some way, to be inspired or uplifted, to be entertained, or to be able to master a skill or gain something that they didn’t have before.” (p. 174)
I’ll close by saying this. Ruth is relatable. She started as an average American mom, with two kids at home. She had an idea that, at first, her husband said was crazy, but she worked her tail off, and now, she is a wildly successful business owner, online academy-runner, and #1 bestselling author. I love learning from Ruth because she not only understands what it’s like to live in my shoes and amongst the dreams in my head… better than that, she KNOWS, because it wasn’t long ago (2012) that she WAS me (or a version of me).
Now, do you want to hear the BEST news? It looks like that blogging-unicorn is sticking around, because this book is still FREE (okay, you do need to pay for shipping), and you can grab it, right here. Or you can get it at Rochelle’s Bookshop Store.
About the author. Amanda Zieba is the author of ten books for children and adults and blogs weekly about writing, reading and all her word nerd favorites. If you liked what you read today, you can subscribe to her blog, Writing Wednesdays, by clicking here. If you are interested in starting your own blog, her content creating bundle (www.amandazieba.com/products) is a great companion to the book she reviewed here today. You can connect with Amanda on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.