A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Melyssa’s Blog + Business Goals for August 2015

Hey friends! At the beginning of each month, I share in-depth look at my blogging and business goals for the month ahead. I find that crafting goals at the start of the month is a great way to align my work with the intentions that matter to me most. It’s also a way to keep me focused and dreaming big. Not to mention, sharing these goals for everyone to see makes me even more motivated to complete them. Today, I’m sharing how I did in July, as well as some big goals I’m striving toward this August. 

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Melyssa's Blog + Business Goals for August 2015

Woooo! I’m feeling pumped on life right now, y’all. July was a pretty great month and now I’m looking forward to August and all of the changes it will bring. I announced recently that I won’t be taking on any new one-on-one clients, which produced a majority of my income each month. Instead, I’ll be working on creating more info products (eCourses, eBooks, etc) for my readers so that I can help more people at one time and build a stronger community-based business.

A lot of people have asked me if I’m scared about this transition, but the short answer is, “not really.” Maybe I should be more fearful about starting something new, but I have this sense of optimism that it will work out. If not right away, then one day. It’s the same kind of optimism I had when I initially quit my job as an English teacher to start my own business (with no money and a small audience). If you firmly believe things will work out, they usually do. Or at least, that’s what works for me. We’ll see. :)

Now, here’s how I did on last month’s goals and what I’m cookin’ up for August. Woo!read more

Why It’s Important to Manage Client Expectations (And How To Do It) | One of the most important things you'll do as a freelancer, business owner, or creative entrepreneur is exceed the expectations of your clients. This can be tough when everyone has a different vision, but today we're uncovering the exact steps you can take!

Why It’s Important to Manage Client Expectations (And How To Do It)

My husband has a motto he likes to live by, one that I think most people would find fairly depressing. He says, “The key to happiness is low expectations.” Kind of a bummer, right? It’s not exactly a phrase you’d want cross-stitched on a pillow. But still, even though it’s a pretty dismal saying, I have to admit, it actually makes a lot of sense. Think about it: so much of life’s disappointments come from our totally out-of-whack expectations. The movie that doesn’t live up to the hype, the 5-star dinner that ends in food poisoning, the $100 haircut that looks nothing like the picture you brought in. When expectations are not met, it can quickly lead to disappointment.

Why It’s Important to Manage Client Expectations (And How To Do It) | One of the most important things you'll do as a freelancer, business owner, or creative entrepreneur is exceed the expectations of your clients. This can be tough when everyone has a different vision, but today we're uncovering the exact steps you can take!

And the same is true in business. When a customer is dissatisfied with a service, it’s usually because they were expecting something far different from what they ended up getting. But the tough part about expectations is that most people are not so great at communicating them. In client relationships, this can quickly cause conflict. If you run your own business, perhaps you’ve had the experience of dealing with a client who seemed to expect that you be able to read their mind. I mean, how can you please such people?

As a business owner, the reality is that all of your clients, even the super chill ones, come in with preexisting assumptions. That’s just how human beings are, which is why it is essential to be deliberate about learning how to manage expectations. By shaping your client’s understanding of the service you provide, you are better able to ensure that they have a positive experience.

Still, it’s hard enough to manage our own expectations. How in the world can we figure out how to manage someone else’s? Well, if you want to master this skill, here are a few key ways to get you there:read more

How I Made $12,000 Last Month From My Blog + Business

How I Made $12,000 Last Month From My Blog + Business

Ahh makes sense to do an income report for June at the end of July, right? ;) But for real here, I’ve considered sharing income reports for awhile now and it took me this long to muster up the courage. I’m actually transitioning my business to something totally different right now, so I thought this was as good a time as any to start sharing my income reports so that we can both see how my income fluctuates as my business model changes. More on that down below!

How I Made $12,000 Last Month From My Blog + Business

But first, why am I sharing this? Well, like I mentioned, I’ve thought about sharing these behind-the-scenes income reports for a long time, but hesitated because I didn’t want to come off in the wrong way. After some thinking, I realized that the reason I wasn’t sharing them is because I was letting my fear of what people would think overshadow how much I could be helping people by telling them how I earn money.

See, for most traditional jobs out there, you get the opportunity to google “(Job Title) Salary” and find tons of information on how much money you can make in a certain career. You could also just as easily look at real job postings to find the same info. But for blogging or running your own online business? There’s no benchmark to compare yourself to. There are plenty of articles about making money online, but few that give specifics as to what income you can expect or achieve — and how.

I know that tons of TNC’s readers yearn to make some moo-lah through their blog or online business, so I want to share these monthly income reports as a way to educate and (hopefully) inspire you about what is possible. So, my friends, today I’m sharing the breakdown of my income and expense report for June 2015. Let’s party.read more

How to Define Your Own Version of Success (Instead of Living Someone Else's!)...There's also a FREE 3-page workbook. BOO-YAH!

How to Define Your Own Version of Success (Free Workbook With Thought-Provoking Questions)

We’ve all grown up hearing the cookie-cutter version of what it means to be successful. Get a fancy job, make lots of money, have a beautiful house and a loving family. Consciously or not, we tend to hold our own success up to these benchmarks.

How to Define Your Own Version of Success (Instead of Living Someone Else's!)...There's also a FREE 3-page workbook. BOO-YAH!

But while these achievements and milestones may be fulfilling to some, not everyone fits into this life plan. If you spend your life chasing someone else’s dreams, you may appear successful on the outside, but inside you’ll know you’re not fulfilled. Today, I’m exploring how to define your own version of success, so you can do away with comparisons and keep your eyes on your own paper. read more

5 Backdrop Ideas For Blog Photography Under $30 (And How to Create Them)

5 Backdrop Ideas For Blog Photography Under $30 (And How to Create Them)

Have you wondered what’s common among those breathtaking pictures on Pinterest and Instagram? While they all have a remarkable subject in the foreground, they also have an absolutely eye catching backdrop. A great backdrop highlights the subject and adds character to the photo. For many people, it also creates brand consistency, since it gives them a particular background to use over and over again.

5 Backdrop Ideas For Blog Photography Under $30 (And How to Create Them)

If you are looking for some awesome background ideas to make your photos stand out on Instagram, Pinterest or your blog, we have you covered today. And guess what? They’re all under $30! read more

5 Reasons Why a Business Partner Is a Good Idea

5 Reasons Why A Business Partner Is A Good Idea

Your business is your baby. You brought it to life, you’ve taken care of it, and you take tons of pride in watching it grow (plus, just like a proud parent, you can’t seem to help sharing it on Instagram). That being said, as an entrepreneur, it’s natural to be protective of your business. It may be difficult, perhaps even frightening to imagine handing it off to someone else.

5 Reasons Why a Business Partner Is a Good Idea

But sometimes that’s exactly what needs to happen in order for your business to grow. If you are a solopreneur, perhaps you know the feeling of being a bit stuck creatively or having way too much on your plate. If that’s the case, you may want to consider enlisting a business partner, someone who can share your ambitions and help you reach your full potential. Sure, it can be a vulnerable experience to invite someone into what you are doing, but it can also be totally worth it. Here are just a few reasons why:read more

15 Effective Ways to Get More Clients (And Keep Them Coming) | Struggling to get clients or keep a steady stream coming? These in-depth strategies will -- hands down -- help you to book your services in advance and find tons of new clients for your business.

15 Effective Ways to Get More Clients (And Keep Them Coming)

15 Effective Ways to Get More Clients (And Keep Them Coming) | Struggling to get clients or keep a steady stream coming? These in-depth strategies will -- hands down -- help you to book your services in advance and find tons of new clients for your business.

Running your own business can be stressful, but actually getting clients to keep your business afloat? That can be one of the most difficult and anxiety-inducing struggles for a business owner. In today’s post, I’m sharing 15 in-depth strategies that will — hands down — help you get more clients for your service-based business. Want to be booked months in advance? Here are my favorite ways to do it:read more

How to Use an Uncommon Google Analytics Report to Grow Your Blog's Traffic

How to Use an Uncommon Google Analytics Report to Grow Your Blog’s Traffic

I’ve had Google Analytics since around the time I started this blog over two years ago. I’ve explored most of the reports, check it regularly, and fancied myself a competent GA user. That is, until I discovered one new-to-me Google Analytics report that kind of blew my mind.

How to Use an Uncommon Google Analytics Report to Grow Your Blog's Traffic

The uncommon report you, too, may never have viewed before? “Search Engine Optimization.” The reason you may not have viewed it (and why I hadn’t, either), is because you need to “enable Webmaster tools” to gain access to it. This step is actually quite simple, but if you’re anything like me, the fact that an extra step is required is enough to make you disinterested in it altogether. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

Now, if you’ve ever explored Google Analytics, then you might have found a page that looks like this:

How to Use an Uncommon Google Analytics Report to Grow Your Blog's Traffic

This is a list of the top search terms that lead people to my site. But oh? 95% of them are listed as “not provided,” meaning that until now, I had no idea what they were. In today’s tutorial, I’m going to show you how to find out exactly what those mysterious terms are and how you can use them to drive more traffic to your own site.

Want to know why the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) reports will become your new BFF? Ever wonder the exact terms people search for when they discover your site? Wishing more people would click over from search engines? I’ve got you covered with today’s Google Analytics tutorial perfect for bloggers or online business owners who want to up-level their website’s effectiveness. There’s also a free worksheet to help you along the way!read more

How to Choose a Focus for Your Blog (And Why It's The Most Important Thing You'll Do As a Blogger) | Choosing a focus, especially for a lifestyle site, can feel daunting and really...what's the point? In this post, I'm uncovering why it's beneficial for you, your blog's growth, and your readers. Holla!

How to Choose a Focus for Your Blog (And Why It’s The Most Important Thing You’ll Do As a Blogger)

Hey blogger bud! I had another topic I wanted to share about today, but I realized that post just wouldn’t be as useful if I didn’t write this one first. Gotta have that foundation, right? I’ve also been getting questions about this on Twitter and thought, gah! My peeps need this! So, my friends, here we are. Today’s post is all about choosing a niche for your blog and why it’s truly the most important thing you’ll do for yourself, your blog, and your audience.

How to Choose a Focus for Your Blog (And Why It's The Most Important Thing You'll Do As a Blogger) | Choosing a focus, especially for a lifestyle site, can feel daunting and really...what's the point? In this post, I'm uncovering why it's beneficial for you, your blog's growth, and your readers. Holla!

When I started The Nectar Collective, I really didn’t have much of a niche. Like glitter at an elementary school, my content was all over the place. I wrote about anything that interested me and that I thought other people might enjoy, too: self-development, blogging tips, travel, recipes, my life, my dog’s life (seriously, there are entire posts dedicated to my dog). It was fun to have total freedom in my content, but as my blog slowly grew into a business, I began to realize that I could reach a lot more people if I wrote about a lot less things. 

Wait, hold up. Let me repeat that because it’s important: I could reach a lot more people if I wrote about a lot less things. 

It might sound counterintuitive to growing an audience, but the more you focus your blog, the more of a chance you have to increase your readership and reach. Ready to rock and roll? Let me break it down for you.

First, let’s check out a couple scenarios to explain this whole niche business and why it’s important:read more