To make your life easier, I highly recommend focusing all your efforts on things related to your big project – but diversifying the format. Diverse formats can still feel cohesive… if you have a book but also sell a course, teach a workshop, have a digital toolkit, sell things your shop – but it’s all the same topic – no one bats an eye. However if you try to cover many topics you end up having to reach different audiences, tailor marketing messages to different mindsets, and double or triple your promotion time.
This is why people often break projects out into separate websites. It’s really hard to write to multiple types of potential readers / customers.
You might be able to pull it off one day, but when you’re starting out it’s hard enough to do it right with one core message. And if it’s not working, it can make your brand feel disjointed or make it hard to troubleshoot why no one is buying (is it sales message A or message B or product C?).
DIVERSIFY TO MONETIZE
Almost all the big epic projects of the world don’t pay great. Writing a book might net you $8,000. Making a documentary could take 2 years and get you $25,000. No one is living on these things. Instead they diversify their product lines and use different formats to increase income.
It also allows you to do more with less. If you have one loyal reader who will buy your book for $25, then that person has identified themselves as a) liking your stuff and b) liking this topic. If you can offer them more things, a course $39, a workshop $250, an event $99, a year of coaching $900, a digital product $19, and so on… they are highly likely to buy at least one of those things. That changes your income from say $25 to $250. You need 10x less readers to make the same amount of income.
A WORD OF CAUTION
There is a reason that we don’t think of the product line first – because this can cloud your thinking. Don’t try to reverse engineer this and consider what topic has enough product options for you to pursue. START with the passion for the big project and then figure out what side products makes sense.
It is okay to be a little vague in this regard. There are things you can learn as you go and confirm with audience testing. For example, you might have a big goal of launching a popular podcast. You know you can definitely teach about podcasting down the road… that’s all you need to know for that side product. You know you’ll have advertising on your podcast. Fine. Don’t worry about the details. This is purely to create a list that as fleshed out as makes sense.
EPIC GOAL: PODCAST
-advertising on podcast
-e-course on podcasting $299 range
-e-book on the most popular tips podcast
-paywall for old episodes after #100
-advertising on the web
-summit / retreat for my podcast topic
HOW DO BLOGGERS MAKE MONEY?
The do a big splashy epic project then they monetize the side products. People want their favorite creative things free, but will pay for practical stuff. So we let them have our stuff mostly free, then upsell them on all the ancillary products. Interestingly, I think this model lets people pay according to their level of interest. Peopled deeply involved will pay the most and the merely curious pay nothing.
Brainstorm at least 10 ways to monetize your blog. YES 10.