In the last couple of weeks, I’ve shown you:
- What a blog blueprint is
- How to get started with setting high-value goals, and
- Tips for increasing your footer’s effectiveness
If you ask me, I’d say it’s about time to see a little blog strategy in action!
Marianne of Design Your Own (Lovely) Blog is one of my favorites. Not only is she a total sweetheart, but she has unbelievably action-packed posts and her passion for helping others is clear. Marianne’s blog can teach anyone from new bloggers with no idea of where to start to web developers who could use tips on things like images, post titles, and branding.
To hear it from Marianne herself:
DYOB exists to teach & inspire female solopreneurs & bloggers to beautify their blogs DIY-style. My mission is to show women that things like CSS and design are not scary things and that you can build the business of your dreams with a blog to match your aspirations. I show you how to do this by sharing free and premium educational resources, feedback, advice and inspiration.
And let me tell you, she does just that.
So on to the blog blueprint. Marianne told me about her blog’s main and supporting goals. I went through her blog to illustrate where those goals are on display. Turns out, she’s doing a great job!
Main Goal: Full-Time Income
The ultimate goal for Marianne’s blog is to make a full-time income through products and services, allowing her to leave her current job. Her products and services aim to help women make their blogs beautiful in a way that allows them to save money and grow their own business.
That’s a pretty hefty goal! Without some solid supporting goals it would be hard for Marianne to get where she wants to be. But let me tell you, she knows what she’s doing and her passion for helping others really shines through.
Supporting Goal #1: Grow An Email List
As we discussed in this post about defining high-value goals, people aren’t likely to make a large purchase the first time they discover your blog. They need to become familiar with you and learn to trust your content before they’re ready for that big step. Getting into someone’s inbox is an important part of that. You should definitely feel honored each time someone hands over an email address.
Marianne understands the importance of this and has added email opt-ins into her blog strategy. Other than content upgrades in her blog posts she has several great opt-ins placed for readers to run across.
The most important part is that she isn’t asking for an email address without giving something in return. She’s receiving an email address and, in return, giving access to a valuable library of exclusive content. (And let me tell you, it’s packed full of good stuff!)
The first time we run across a great opt-in is right on her homepage. Before you’re even able to get distracted by blog posts you’ll see this form. If it’s your first time on her site it may not be likely that you’d enter an email address, but after checking out some amazing posts you’d know that opting in for exclusive content was an option.
The next place you’ll see an opt-in is in her blog sidebar. It’s placed right near the top where more people are likely to run across it and opt-in.
And lastly (and my personal favorite) is this opt-in in her footer. If you’ve read this post or this post, you’ll know how important I’ve found it to be to have a good strategy for your blog’s footer. After Marianne’s readers make it to the bottom of a post and are completely blown away by her actionable content, this opt-in is waiting!
Supporting Goal #2: Digital Products
A great way to build trust with your audience is to offer products in a range of price points. Readers are able to start out with content that is affordable and valuable to them specifically. They can then make the choice to move up to higher-priced products once they see that your content is worth the investment.
A great way that Marianne does this is through her wonderful (and affordable) eBook, “Blog Beautiful: 50 Tips + Fixes To Make Your Blog Glow!” Personally, I am 100% convinced by her value-packed blog posts that this eBook will show a complete return on investment.
And she even has an amazing affiliate program where you can make your money back from just 3 sales!
Supporting Goal #3: Build Connections
I have to start out by saying that I love that this is one of Marianne’s supporting goals. It’s so important to show your audience who you are as a person so they can feel connected and gain real trust in you and your content.
Marianne mentioned that she plans to begin hosting webinars and Periscopes to get live interaction with her readers. In addition to that, I noticed several ways she’s building trust through her blog.
To start, the first item in her blog sidebar is what you see below. A friendly and welcoming picture, an introduction, and an explanation of who she helps.
Next is the header on her blog’s homepage. Again, another welcoming picture allowing readers to get an idea of who they’ll be learning from the moment they view her site!
And a few other things I noticed:
- She gives free blog design feedback in her monthly Dear Marianne posts
- She has a wonderful About page, including fun facts
- She is personable, responsive, and helpful on social media
- All of her content is written in a welcoming and conversational tone
- She runs her own Facebook group where she’s always willing to offer help
As I’m sure you can see, Marianne makes real connections with her readers a priority, which is one of my favorite things about her!
How Can You Improve Your Blog Blueprint?
To recap, Marianne’s ultimate goal is to make a full-time income through her blog by helping fellow female bloggers. In support of that goal she focuses her blog on growing her email list, offering digital products, and building connections with her audience.
After seeing a blog strategy in action, what can you do to improve your own? Let us know in the comments!
If you need some help getting started you can sign up for my free course, Jumpstart Your Blog Blueprint, which starts Monday, November 16!