Are stuck on the content creation treadmill in your business?

Posting daily, or maybe multiple times per day on social media, trying to gain attention, but it feels like you’re just drowning in a sea of voices, and no one’s really listening?

Even worse, does it feel like you can’t take a day off without messing up the algorithm or torpedoing your engagement and visibility?

You might be thinking, “If this is what it takes to build an online business, then I’m not even sure if it’s really for me.”

Thankfully, there’s another way to grow your audience that requires a very different type of energy. 

Blogging with an SEO strategy.

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Benefits of blogging 

With blogging, you can put focused, high-level attention into deeper pieces of content that really connect with your people. 

You can spend your time answering questions that you know your ideal customers, clients, or readers are desperately looking for. 

And you can do all of this with the confidence that the content that you’re spending time on isn’t going to get lost like a flash in the pan.

It’s going to continue to work for you and attract people to your brand for literally years to come. 

How does blogging work in 2023?

There still seems to be some confusion out there about what a blog is, so I’m going to start out by telling you what a blog is NOT. 

A blog is not a glorified personal journal.

A blog is not a stream of your thoughts for people to subscribe to and follow every week.

A blog is not a place to brain-dump whatever’s on your mind at any given time. 

Really, a blog is not even about you. 

When you blog with business goals in mind, a blog is a place where someone can go to find the ultimate resource on the subject that your ideal customers, clients, or readers are interested in.

For example, a vegan food blogger would aim to create the best place on the internet for people to go to find vegan recipes.

A geriatric dietician would aim to create the ultimate resource for people who are caring for the elderly and looking for trustworthy information. 

A pediatric dietitian might create a website for parents who are trying to find everything they need to feed their children under five years old.

See how these examples are user-focused and benefit-centric? 

Your blog is not a collection of your favorite vegan recipes, a handful of tips that you’ve gleaned from working in long-term care, or just one-off posts with some information on picky eating. 

You’ve gotta think bigger than that.

If you want to stand out and become an authority within your chosen niche, blogging with strategy and intention is the way to do that consistently, over the long term.

So, bottom line, you can jump off the crazy content creation treadmill and hop on the slower-moving train to long-term online business success. 

Because by creating content that you know people are looking for in Google, It just becomes a game of persistence and consistency.

How does blogging for business work?

First, you’ll need to do some keyword research to figure out what people are searching for online that you have a realistic chance to rank for in the Google search results.

Then you can schedule these topics into your content calendar and focus on publishing blog posts consistently over time. 

Eventually, your hard work will snowball until you’ve built something uber-successful that brings you tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people to your website every single month. 

And then you can do with that audience what you will.

Here are a few popular ways people make money from blogging:

#1) Display ads

If you can get 50,000 people to your website each month, which is definitely possible after a few years, you can join a high-end ad network like Mediavine and make $1k+ every month in passive income from display ads on your website. 

That way, you’re getting compensated month after month after month for the content you made literally years ago.

This is one of those scenarios where you put in a lot of effort upfront for a low payoff initially, but then it flips and you’re making way more money than expected for the same amount of effort over time. 

#2) Affiliate links

You could also create content that contains affiliate links and earn hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars every single month when people purchase products that you recommend within your content.

And that’s also a pretty passive income stream. 

For example, last year I made an average of $2,000 per month in affiliate income, simply from recommending other people’s products to my existing audience. 

#3) Sponsored content

You could also pitch yourself to brands to create paid content on your blog that features their products or services. 

It’s not uncommon to earn hundreds or thousands of dollars per piece of content, especially if you get a lot of visits to your blog and have a loyal following. 

#4) Digital goods and services

You could also create digital goods, online courses, maybe a membership site, services, or group programs to sell to people in your audience.

When I ran a nutrition-focused membership site, I was able to quickly grow it to a $30,000 per year project, working on it just a day or two per week and without doing any formal advertising thanks to the power of organic traffic. 

And likewise, last year my online course brought in over $270,000 in revenue, and that’s without spending one cent on paid advertising. 100% organic.

You could build any of the income streams that speak to you.

Want to know more about blogging as a business? Here are the 3 blogging business models to consider and how to select the one that’s right for you.

Building an audience is key

One of the keys to having a successful online business is establishing a core audience that trusts you.

You need eyeballs on your brand, and blogging with an SEO strategy, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to gain that audience. 

It’s not a quick way to grow, but it’s a slow, steady, and reliable way. 

SEO is not going to get you 100,000 views the day after you post something, but it can bring you 100,000 people every month, once you’ve built up a collection of content.

How to tell if you’re getting traffic from Google

You can use a tool called Google Analytics to check whether you’re getting traffic from Google to your website, but it requires some setup. 

Not sure how to get started? I walk you through it step by step inside my SEO Made Simple course, or you can find many tutorials on YouTube.

Once you have it set up, you can track:

  • How many people are visiting your website every month.
  • How they’re getting there.
  • What content they’re looking at once they’re on your website.

All of which is great information for any business owner.

Here’s a quick demonstration of how to find out how many people are visiting your website from organic search.

Go to Reports → Acquisition → Traffic Acquisition

Adjust the date to show the last 30 days, and check how many overall sessions and organic search sessions you’ve gotten.

{insert screenshot}

This is a screenshot of stats from my old food blog that has not been updated since 2017, but is still getting over 100,000 people reading it every year.

(Which is an incredible testament to the staying power of SEO.)

You can see that it has received just over 7,000 sessions in the last 30 days.

Sessions are basically individual visits to your website. 

In order to qualify for higher-end ad networks like Mediavine, you need 50,000 total sessions in the last 30 days.

You can also tell how much traffic you are getting specifically from search engines (like Google) with the “organic search” sessions metric.

If you are getting less than 10,000 monthly sessions from organic search, you have a huge opportunity at your fingertips if you dive in and learn SEO today

If you are getting more than 10,000 monthly organic search sessions and you haven’t really focused on SEO yet, you are sitting on an even bigger goldmine. With a few tweaks to your strategy, you could double that traffic in a few months.

You can also see the other ways that people have come to your website.

Direct means they typed in your website directly into their browser, or they bookmarked it and they came back, or if you get a lot of traffic, from Google Discover, that often shows up as direct traffic as well.

Organic Social is people who visited your site through social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, etc.

You can see that the number of people visiting my website from Google is almost ten times higher than social media. 

By understanding how to create content that matches what people are already looking for in Google, you can get so much more out of your content creation efforts long term.

The bottom line

If you’re not getting thousands of people to your website every single month from Google, you’re really missing out on a huge opportunity. 

You have the expertise. You just need to get out there and show it off. 

Become the authority in your space that you’ve always wanted to be.

And do it on your own time, with focused, introspective work that will build on itself for years to come and really make a difference in people’s lives. 

So your assignment today is to:

Number One: Install Google Analytics on your website if you haven’t done that yet.

If you’ve just set it up, wait a week or so before you look at your stats so that you can extrapolate enough data to figure out what your average monthly traffic might look like. 

Number Two: Determine your total sessions and organic search sessions from the last 30 days.

If your organic traffic is less than five or ten thousand, you are really missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your audience and your brand.

If you’re currently getting over 10, 000 people to your site every month, you’re just sitting on a gold mine with just a few tweaks to your strategy. 

Number 3: Tell me what you’ve found inside The Unconventional RD Community on Facebook. 

I really want to see what people are doing out there and where they’re at with growing their organic audience through Google.
And if you’re ready to learn more, watch my free masterclass on growing your audience without spending all day on social media or paying for ads.

Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.