Hooray, I'm BACK from a mini podcasting hiatus!

Check out this episode to hear about what I've been up to for the last few months, plus learn about the THREE blogging business models and why it's critical to know which one applies to you BEFORE you start creating content.

The Unconventional RD Podcast Episode 61 - The 3 Blogging Business Models: Which One Fits YOU?

Episode Show Notes

Hi! Oh my gosh. I know I took a bit of a podcast hiatus recently and just kind of ghosted without formally saying anything. So, whoops, sorry about that. But I have been working fervently behind the scenes, getting everything ready to go for the latest version of my signature course, SEO Made Simple. And this course has been completely closed for enrollment for the last six months,

which was honestly way longer than I intended. When I initially closed enrollment in November of last year, I was anticipating having it be open again with my brand new fancy evergreen funnel (that I know I've been talking a ton about) by maybe February at the latest, but alas, we all know life has other plans. So in those last six months... I got pregnant.

Which, yay. We were trying. And we are expecting a little boy, our first child at the end of August. And of course with that new adventure came crazy fatigue and morning sickness for those first few months of 2021. And I was seriously not ready for that. And then just as that was letting up and I was entering the supposedly easy period of second trimester and I was getting all excited like,

oh, yay. I'm really going to hit the ground running here. I took our new seven month old Labrador puppy out to use the bathroom in our front yard. And I unexpectedly got pulled to the ground with the leash wrapped around my hand because he saw our neighbor's dog and wanted to play and went bolting over when I wasn't ready. And in the process of falling and trying not to land on my baby bump,

I fell very awkwardly and broke two fingers on my dominant hand really, really badly. And then it turned out. I actually had to undergo surgery while 19 weeks pregnant to get pins placed, to fix the fingers. And then I was in a cast for a month and I had to do everything left-handed which let me tell you is not easy. And then not to mention going through all that with the bare minimum of pain medication because I was pregnant.

So like, honestly, my productivity really took a dive after that. And I wasn't really in the best place mentally for a bit there, but after I got the cast off last month I really couldn't bend my fingers at all, which was a little bit alarming. And they were telling me that I might need to get another surgery because my tendons might've been stuck in scar tissue,

but I've been doing literally three hours of physical therapy every single day for over a month now trying to regain that movement and strength. And I'm actually thrilled to say that as of yesterday, I can finally touch my fingertips, the very tips of my fingers to the palm of my hand, if I try really hard, which is like step one of being able to make a fist and grip things again.

And so that's a huge, huge win I'm feeling really positive about that. Hoping that maybe I can avoid that second surgery, if at all possible. I also successfully cooked a whole dinner this week without needing help chopping anything, because for the longest time there, I couldn't grip a knife. So I couldn't really cook anything for myself, for my family.

So that was a huge milestone as well. And if you know me, you know, I love, love, love cooking. It's a form of stress relief for me. So to not be able to putz around in the kitchen for the last few months was really, really hard. So anyway, it became clear to me sometime within the last few months that if I didn't buckle down and put what limited time and attention that I had on getting this SEO course done,

it was never going to happen before the baby arrived. And that was just not an option. So I basically hid in a cave and finished recording and editing all the new content and I'm so, so, so excited that it's ready to be revealed to the world next week. And if you're already a student of SEO Made Simple, you already have early access to this new content.

So check your email for instructions on how to access it. I sent out a couple emails about it last week, I'llsend out a few more this week as well. And I also outlined in those emails, exactly what's been updated and improved. So now that that giant project is mostly done. I will be jumping back into the podcasting saddle again and posting episodes consistently.

But for this week I've been experimenting with doing some Facebook lives. You might've seen me, I've been on there talking about topics related to blogging as a business and SEO. So rather than reinventing the wheel, I thought I'd share some of that content on this podcast as well, since I think it's really important stuff that you, my podcast listeners should be aware of too.

And if you want to be notified about an upcoming masterclass, that I'm going to be hosting next week, all about growing your audience through SEO. I walk you through my four-step framework on how I've made that happen and how I help my students make that happen as well. And if you want to get notified about all the details when my course, SEO Made Simple,

opens up again for enrollment, please go join the waitlist at seowaitlist.com and just FYI. The only place that people will be formally invited to join the course will be through my email list. So if you're serious about joining or at least checking out the details about the course, again, please go to seowaitlist.com and enter your name and email to let me know that you want the invite.

But anyway, for this week, and next week, I'm going to be doing something a bit different on this podcast rather than posting my usual hour long ish episode on Monday, I'll be sharing two shorter 20 or twenty-five minute episodes throughout the week. And those episodes will basically be repurposed audio from the Facebook lives that I have been recording. And after that, I'll likely return back to my regular scheduled programming.

I still have a really great interview with Christine Dyan Thomson, all about money mindset, that I've been sort of sitting on that needs to be edited and released and a whole crop of amazing guests that I've been in contact with that are just waiting to be interviewed. So I'm very excited for everything to come and I'm thrilled the SEO course and the new evergreen funnel are basically ready to go.

The course will be open for enrollment on Monday, June 28th, for anyone who watches my free masterclass that I'm putting out that day. So if you want to enroll, make sure you check out that masterclass for all the details, since that's going to be the way to learn more about it and get access to the link to buy. And then from there,

I will be able to swing my attention back to the public facing content that I love to produce so much and focus on connecting with and serving you like usual. So without further ado, let's dive into today's Facebook live recording, where I talk with you about the three blogging business models and how to know which one is best for you. Welcome to The Unconventional RD podcast,

where we inspire dietitians to think outside of the traditional employment box and create their own unconventional income streams. We'll talk all things online business to help you start, grow, and scale your own digital empire. I'm super excited to be live with you today. And as I said, I'm the owner and founder of The Unconventional RD. And basically my whole brand is helping food and wellness professionals learn how to grow their online business audiences through blogging so that they can reach way more people establish themselves as authorities in their niche and earn as much money as they possibly want from their home, on the internet,

in pajamas, whatever, because that's what I'm doing right now. And it's possible for all of us. And my goal is to help more dietitians and wellness professionals accomplish that. So yeah, if anyone is watching live and you can see me and hear me, it'd be super helpful if you could drop an emoji in the comments. That way I know everything's working properly,

I think right now it's like me and maybe a couple other people. So that would be super helpful if you can do that. But basically, the question that I'm here to talk to you about today is a really super common one. So I'm kind of like getting back on the content creation horse here and making more videos. So I thought I'd address some of the most common things and questions that come up in my Facebook group about blogging.

So the number one question is probably, "How the heck can blogging actually help me grow my audience? And even more specifically, how does it help me make money?" Because as online business owners, that's often what it comes down to in the end. Like we don't want to waste our time on a strategy that's not really gonna move the needle. So many people, I feel, are like "blogging

shmogging." Like, why would I put all this time and energy into creating content when it feels like maybe no one's reading it or it doesn't seem to be having any noticeable impact on my bottom line? So if that's you, if you resonate with that question, give me a yes in the chat box. And I know this is a question, as I said, that so many people have,

because it does come up often in my Facebook group and DMs and emails, et cetera. So basically, what I feel like is, the internet can seem like this vague sort of nebulous thing that as wellness professionals, we kind of understand, but we're lacking that bigger picture of how everything plays together and exactly how creating content on the internet plays a role in our online business.

So after this live call today, I want you to walk away with a clear understanding of the three blogging business models that exist out there and how blogging, aka publishing written content on your website, can help you make money in different ways with each online business model. So by the end of this Facebook live, my goal is for you to be able to confidently classify yourself into one of these three blogging business models and know exactly how you could use blogging to kickstart your business.

So before, and I think this is really important because before you dive in and start creating content Willy nilly on your website, you need to understand your bigger business goals and make sure that that content you're creating is in alignment with your monetization goals. And I think now that I've been at this for a few years now, I've helped a lot of people.

Hundreds of people try to start their websites and their online businesses through my courses. I think skipping this step is one of the biggest mistakes that I see people make in the online business and blogging space. So I'm trying to have that not be you. And as I've worked with a lot of different dietitians who are in the online space,

it has become increasingly clear that there are these sort of three different buckets and three different ways that people use their website to attract an audience and monetize it. So if this is you and you're feeling a lack of clarity around this topic, hopefully this video will help you today. So what are the three blogging business models? Let's go over them one at a time.

And then once you know which model applies to you, then we can talk about the specific strategies that you need to be implementing in order to grow your audience online. Because the answer is not the same for everyone. So basically a lot of times people don't have clarity around this topic and that can lead to frustration, burnout, and just feeling fed up when you're trying to blog or attract people to your sites,

because who wants to create content that's not in alignment with your online business model or your monetization goals? Because then you really are wasting your time. So it's, it's easy to accidentally focus on the wrong things if you skip over this step and you don't see the bigger picture first. So let's review the three blogging business models. So business model number one is the publisher model.

And this model is for you if in your dream world, you'd be focused on content creation and you want to make money relatively passively with display ads. So joining an ad network and they put ads on your site and you get paid per impression or click on those ads. So this is like a volume game. The more people come to your site,

the more money you make. Or maybe you want to make money from affiliate links. So you write about certain products on your website or mention them, and you include special tracking links, where if someone who's reading your content clicks on that link and then buys you earn a commission. Or maybe you want to make money with sponsored content where you're working with brands and they are paying you to create content featuring their products or services.

And for a lot of people interested in the publisher model, they don't really have an interest in selling. Like they love writing. They love content creation. And so in their dream world, they're like, oh, if I could just write all day and have this money, like automatically deposited in my bank account every month, that would be great. So there are people out there that have this business model and it's a totally viable business.

Examples include things like food bloggers, mommy bloggers, travel bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, et cetera, who, as I said, make money from things like ads, affiliate links, and sponsored content. And there's pros and cons to every model. So I want to talk about that before we move on to the next one. So some pros of the publisher model is that your blog is your business.

So your full focus gets to be on creating content. You don't really have to worry about selling products or services. And as your blog grows, when you're thinking about the expansion phase and how to make it beyond just you, you're probably going to be looking at something like hiring a team of writers and editors to help you out. And this business model is more passive than selling digital products or services.

The cons though, is that it can take longer to create a full-time income because you really need a lot of website traffic for those revenue streams to add up to a full-time job or a full-time income, your income streams are tied pretty directly to your traffic levels. So how many people come to your website every month? And that's not always in your direct control.

So if you get hit by an algorithm update on any platform that you were relying on for traffic, IE, that social media like Pinterest or Facebook, or even Google, you could get affected by algorithm updates. And if all of your monetization streams are reliant on a steady level of traffic that can lead to some ups and downs in your business as well.

And since you're not selling your own products or services, sometimes you are at the whim of other companies advertising budgets. So let's say if you did a lot of sponsored content on your blog, and let's just pretend something like a worldwide pandemic happens and people are slashing their advertising budgets, you could have your bottom line impacted as well, because it's not directly in your control.

You are in contracts with other businesses. So that is the publisher model. So what do you think? Does the publisher model apply to you? If so, type publisher in the comments box, and I'm going to be using this replay over and over again. So I'm excited to see, you know, over time, how many people are interested in each business model.

So if you think that you would enjoy the publisher business model, type publisher in the comment box. The second blogging business model is the online business model. And this model is for you if in your dream world, you would sell digital goods like eBooks or templates or handouts and things like that. Maybe create an online course to serve your audience or run a membership site where people pay a monthly recurring fee to access you or exclusive content that's only available behind

your paywall. You'd love to run an entirely virtual business with leveraged income streams that don't require your direct one-on-one time. So in all of these scenarios, whether you're selling digital goods, you're creating an online course or membership site. You're not trading your direct time for money. So it's very different than booking one-on-one appointments with people where it's like you pay me X dollars per hour. In the online business model,

it's a one-to-many setup. So it's you spending your time creating this product, and then you offer it to the world and potentially a limitless number of people could purchase it. And there's no cap really on your income level. However, there's a lot of moving parts with the online business model. So as you expand and grow in this business, what you're looking at is probably going to be hiring a team at some point to help you scale and grow.

So examples of this include nutrition professionals who run online courses or membership sites in their specific niche, and they earn money by selling these things directly to their online audiences. So a lot of dietitians fall into this camp, and again, there's pros and cons here too. So some of the pros it's really great if you love teaching. And especially if you've been maybe like running a private practice for a really long time,

and you feel like you have sort of a proprietary process that you've developed, that you can help people achieve something with any sort of step-by-step thing that you're often doing again, and again, is great potential for something like an online course or a membership site. It's also a really great option for people who have already built an audience elsewhere, like on social media platforms,

for example, that they can sell to. Or if you have a really engaged large email list, that's very helpful if you are trying to sell something to people. And this business model is usually very profitable and you have full control over the assets you're selling. So that's a huge, huge plus for the online business model. Cons are that it really does require an engaged audience that trusts you in order to do really well and that just takes time to build.

But all of the business models sort of take time to build. There's no like shortcut, unfortunately to having a fabulous, super well-performing business. If you're trying to build an online business, you have to find your people, you have to connect with them and build that relationship. So especially if you're trying to sell something or a higher ticket item,

it requires that even more. And in this scenario, it's different from the publisher model. So in the publisher model, your blog basically is your business. It's all about the content you're creating and monetize through that content for the online business model. Your blog is more of a marketing channel for your business, not your whole business. So you will have your products that are separate from your blog,

which will be like your marketing channel. And because of that, it is a lot of work to create and maintain both paid and free content. So you have to think about that upfront and you will need to learn probably other skills such as email marketing in order to really take it to the next level with this business model. So what do you think? Does the online business model apply to you?

If so, type online business in the comments. I do think this is a super popular model for a lot of dietitians and wellness professionals. And then business model number three is the services model. And this model is for you if in your dream world, you would work with clients one-on-one. So you want to build a blog, perhaps an online presence,

but the root of it is you want to get more clients, more one-on-one work. So in your dream world, you'd love to run a service-based business, could be virtual. It could be in person like a private practice. And maybe for your expansion plans, you envision hiring a team of practitioners as your business grows, and maybe you will expand to some of the more passive income streams later,

but you'd like to master individual client work first. So an example of this would be a private practice dietitian who wants to move online. And once they start seeing more clients virtually one-on-one, and they're just not sure how to attract those people online. So the pros here, with the services model, blogging can be a highly effective way to bring in customers who will sign up to work with you.

And you can earn money oftentimes most quickly with this model because one-on-one personalized services are almost always in demand if you're truly solving a problem for your niche. And this business model can be pretty lucrative, but if you are just a solopreneur right now, working by yourself, of course, there is a cap on how many hours you personally can work one-on-one with people.

So at some point you'll have to have a plan to expand, either create different types of revenue streams, or maybe grow a team. Cons, again, it can take time to grow your audience and build that connection and trust required to book one-on-one appointments. And just like the online services model in this scenario, the blog is really more of a marketing channel for your business,

not your whole business. And probably the biggest con here is that it's just way less passive since you are trading your time for money. And you may discover that you might need to do more high touch things like discovery calls to get people to sign up for you for your services. So does the services model apply to you? If so, type services in the comments box.

And there are definitely a lot of dietitians who offer services and they're looking for more ways to attract clients online. So if that's you let me know, and as you can see, all three of these business models are valid online opportunities, but they're also pretty different and require different types of content creation and focus. So what often happens is new online entrepreneurs just get so excited about all the opportunities out there,

and they see all these different examples of dietitians doing super cool things online, and they just want to do all the things. So off they go, they're publishing blog posts, they're posting recipes, they're doing Instagram reels, Tik TOK videos, writing about anything and everything under the sun. And they have these huge goals.

They're like, oh yeah, I want to join an ad network. Of course, I want to make money from affiliate links. And I want to sell eBooks. I want to do an online course. Maybe I have a membership site and yeah. I have one-on-one services too. And that's, that's a lot. So yes, you can do all of these things eventually in your business if you want to,

but you really can't do them all really well all at once, straight out of the gate, that's kind of like jumping on a horse and trying to ride in four directions at once. Like basically you get nowhere. So my goal here with this call is to help you get clarity in your business so that you know what you're trying to accomplish first, so that then you can make sure that you tackle that goal,

your initial clear goal of how you want to make money, tackle that first. And then you can add more things to your plate afterwards if you desire. And what you want to accomplish does vary with each business model as well. So sometimes people get a little foggy on this too. They're not a hundred percent sure which business model they're going after, when they first start creating content on their website.

And so they might not be focusing on the right things or the right type of content to put out. So if you are the publisher model, listen up, this is what you need to do. So if you are a publisher and you're trying to make money through ads, affiliate links, sponsored content, et cetera, probably the number one thing that you need in order to have better luck with all of those opportunities is traffic to your website.

So you need a lot of people coming to your website. The more eyeballs the better, that is what's going to earn you more ad revenue, affiliate income, and probably sponsored brand work as well. The online business model people and the services model people, that's not you. So you, in, in those two business models, you are actually selling something,

either an online product or a service. And when you're selling something, you're usually selling it to like a target niche market, right? You don't just want anyone coming to your website. You need the right people coming to your website. You need to attract people who would be interested in buying from you, right? So those are very different needs depending on which business model you fall into.

Publishers need to create content around topics that lots of people search for on the internet because their goal is to attract a large volume of people. So they should also probably be publishing as frequently as they possibly can, because more content is going to equal more traffic and more money. And just a better bottom line. Online business owners and service providers that are selling something on the other hand need to create content around topics that their specific customers are searching for in Google.

Even if the volume of searches that happen every month is lower because they really need the right people reading their content in order to successfully pitch their products and services, they may not need to create content as often since creating targeted content is more important in these scenarios than creating large volumes of content. And like I said earlier, if this is you, if you sell something,

you are probably going to need to master other skillsets as well, like email marketing, or maybe discovery calls to really convert people from passive readers to customers. But in all of these scenarios, whether you want to make money from your content or from selling products or services, you still need an audience. And that is where the power of blogging comes in.

Once you understand how to create content that attracts the right audience to your site, the potential is endless. So basically what you do is you do some, some preliminary research called keyword research to understand what people search for online, through search engines like Google, and you can evaluate those search queries and you can see how many people search per month and how competitive they are.

And you can find the right combination of difficulty and volume where you think that you have a shot at showing up on the first page of the search results for those search terms, then you create the content on your own website around those topics so that when people, your ideal audience are searching for these things in Google, you are what shows up at the top of the search results.

That's the bigger picture overall goal here. So a fun example, I used to run and nutrition membership site, and I decided at one point that I was going to start blogging as a content attraction mechanism in my business. So in this scenario, I would put myself in the online business business model category because I had something I was selling. And I was trying to blog to attract people who might be interested in signing up for that membership site.

So on that blog, we posted nutrition articles that were related to the topics that we covered in the membership site, which happened to be about functional nutrition and 10 months after I launched that blog with just 10 blog posts on the site. So I was only posting one blog post a month. We were getting over 20,000 people to the website every single month.

And just from that, we were earning hundreds of dollars per month in passive affiliate income, through links to products that we mentioned in some of the blog posts and a full 40% of the new members that we were getting to sign up for the membership site every month were people who found us through blog posts that they found via Google searches. And again,

this was with just one blog post a month. So content creation really doesn't have to consume your life in order to get good results. So that's another common objection that comes up. And the thing I like the most about blogging content creation is that it's evergreen. So these posts kind of built on each other. So one month I have one post the next month I suddenly have two posts out there.

Third month, I have three posts by month 10. I have 10 blog posts out there working for me, bringing literally thousands of people to my blog every single month to each post. And then a percentage of those are converting into paying customers, email subscribers, et cetera. So basically all you need to understand is what you're trying to accomplish in your business,

and then use that knowledge to start creating the right types of content to meet those goals. So your assignment after today, after listening to this, is to really sit down and try to get some clarity on your business goals. So which virtual business model do you fall under? That's the first question. Are you trying to be a publisher, an online business, or a services person?

And then after that, once you know which business model you fall under, what type of content do you need to create in order to achieve your business goals? And if you can just answer those two questions like, Ooh, you're already miles ahead of other new bloggers and online business owners. So I'm going to leave you with those two questions to ponder over today,

but I'd love to continue this conversation in my Facebook group. So I'll be posting a thread in the unconventional RD community on Facebook, where you can share which blogging business model you fit into, and hopefully connect with others who are in the same boat. And the Facebook group is also the best place to ask any follow up questions about what we discussed here in this video.

So I will post a prompt in the group in a bit after this video ends, in case we want to continue this discussion. This is something I came up with myself. So I think it's kind of a cool way to categorize yourself in the online business space and get a lot of clarity on what you need to be doing to grow your business and how blogging can play a role in that.

So if you missed any parts of this live stream, make sure you go back and watch the replay because we covered three types of blogging business models that you could possibly have as an online food and wellness professional. We covered why it's essential to know which business model you fall into before you start running around and creating content and trying to do all the things.

And we talked about how, regardless of which business model you fall into, building an audience is really at the core of making it all work. And then we talked about how blogging can be that golden way to grow your audience organically online, meaning you're not paying for ads or followers or anything, without being chained to social media, without spending money on ads and without feeling like you are stuck on the content creation hamster wheel.

So that's it for today. Again, I'd love to continue this conversation inside my Facebook group, the unconventional RD community. So I think I put a link in the description below this video, but also you could just search for it on Facebook and request to join. And other than that hope you have a great day and I can't wait to continue this conversation in the group.

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