Revitalize Your Blogging By Leaving Your Comfort Zone

The following guest post was written by Pat B. Doyle of www.PatBDoyle.com

Up until now, I have been making money online by blogging. I have monetized my blogs with AdSense and affiliate programs. Pretty much the same thing that plenty of other bloggers are doing.

But now, I am venturing into a new area. I am starting to create my own products. This week, I wrote my first ebook, which I will be selling as soon as I can get it set up on Clickbank.

I thought I would pass along some of my experiences and lessons learned, to encourage others to venture outside of their comfort zone.

If you are used to blogging, creating an ebook is fairly easy.

You are already used to writing. If you have loyal readers, you must be good at writing in an engaging way. Just think of your ebook as a series of blog posts.

I did not find writing the book to be hard at all. I was just relating my own experiences, so it did not involve a lot of research. It was basically just organizing my knowledge and writing it in a way that was understandable.

These are the same skills I have already been using with my blogging.

Writing a sales letter is hard.

It took me as long to write the sales letter as it did to write the ebook. I believe this is because it is a totally different kind of writing. Instead of writing to inform, you are writing to sell.

You realize that you need to be a lot fussier about how you write your sales letter. You only have one chance to convince someone to buy your product.

With blogging, your readers don’t expect miracles with every post. As long as you are usually good, one mediocre post is not going to kill you.

The hardest part is trying to maintain quality on your blog while writing your ebook.

It used to be easy to find things to write about on my blog. I had time to check out other blogs, think about things, and let post ideas come to me.

Now, in the middle of product creation mode, it is hard to switch back to blogging mode. My mind becomes focused on the ebook, and that is the only subject I can think about. And I don’t want to blog about the subject of the ebook, for fear of giving away the whole book for free!

I think the solution to this dilemma is to give yourself time to do both. Instead of immersing myself so completely in writing the book, I should have just devoted a few hours a day to it, leaving time to do my usual blogging activities and come up with subjects to blog about.

That is what I plan to do with my next project.

It is very satisfying to create your own product.

Despite the difficulties, I am glad I created this product. Everyone is blogging these days, but how many people are creating products? It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to have created something more lasting than a blog post.

People generally read blog posts once and then forget about them. Hopefully, my book can be used as a reference for a long time to come. It is kind of fun to think I have created something substantial and helpful.

Now I can truly say I’m an author :) and not just a blogger.

Venturing out of your comfort zone really increases your confidence.

I have been blogging for years. I only recently started my blog about blogging and internet business, but I had been blogging about other subjects for quite some time before that.

So it really feels good to venture into another area. It really gets your adrenaline going.

And finding that I was successful at writing a book really improved my confidence. It showed me that I can attempt something new and be successful at it.

In conclusion, I would recommend that all bloggers expand from blogging into a different area once in a while. While your blog may suffer temporarily while you are immersed in the new venture, the lessons you learn will ultimately give you a broader base of experience, and you will find you come back to your blog with even more to blog about.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

9 comments

  1. I think selling your own product is the only way to be successful in today’s business climate, lest you have the resources of Madison Avenue. Someone else will always be able to buy a product cheaper than you (think WalMart), but if you build your own, you always have something unique to compete on.

  2. Thank for the post Pat. I’ve been thinking of writing an ebook or two myself so I’ll be interested to hear about your continued success with this one. I’m glad you pointed out it’s not too hard. That will help motivate me.

    I think it’s ok to post some of what you’re writing in the book as blog posts. Maybe not all of the book, but a few blog posts can serve as a teaser for the book or even give you some data for market research. If you write about something that generates no comments or buzz then maybe it’s not a topic with a market. On the other hand a post that generates lots of comments and buzz becomes something you know will lead to interest in the book.

    @John – I hear you. However I think there are still ways to compete even if your product isn’t unique. You might not be able to compete on price, but you can still compete on value. That won’t work with a product that has become a commodity since commodities are usually bought on price alone, but it will work with non-commodities.

    You can of course still sell other people’s products as an affiliate or sell a service.

  3. @John – I agree with you. Another good thing about creating your own product is that you can endorse it wholeheartedly. With someone else’s product, there might be aspects of the product that you are not happy with. With your own product, you are in total control of the quality.

    @Steven – good points. Today is the first day, but sales are going well. I’m really glad I did it. Future products should be a lot easier, now that I have the first one done.

  4. Good points Pat. It’s human nature to be uneasy getting out of your comfort zone but the worst case rarely happens and good things usually happen. I ready your book yesterday and already did a few things mentioned in it. Have you considered turning it into a video product? Camtasia videos seem easier and of higher perceived value to me but to each his or her own. Good luck with the book.

  5. As usual Pat you hit the nail on the head. Great points you make about product development. I have developed dozens of products. The first (with virtually anything) is the most challenging.

    I like your point about how rewarding developing your own product is. It is one thing to sell for others and something completely different to create your own.

    Another wonderful post as usual Pat. Great job.

    Kathleen

  6. Pat I’m curious how you decided upon the topic for your first ebook. Did you have several ebooks in mind and just decided to tackle this one first or was there a specific reason for choosing Blog Traffic Jump Start?

  7. Steve, it was kind of funny how I got the idea. I was reading Caroline Middlebrook’s blog. She got a lot of traffic in a short time also. One of her commenters remarked that she should write a book about how she did it. But she replied that she didn’t want to. This gave me the idea, though. I figured there would be a demand for this type of knowledge.

    I have a lot of other ideas too, but I decided to do this one first because I had just achieved a lot of growth with my blog and thought I better capitalize on it before it became old news. (The subject of traffic would not grow old, but it would be old news that my young blog got so much traffic.) Also, it was an easy one to do, because a lot of it was still fresh in my mind.

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