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Take The Next Step

This post was most recently updated on July 28th, 2016

 Ready to take the next step in business I’ve been doing a lot of individual strategy sessions, lately, and one thing I have found that so many people have in common is their fear to “take the next step” in their business.

People get comfortable performing the same tasks day in and day out.  They get good at them, people give them positive feedback for it, and they want to stay in that space.

Breaking out of that comfort zone, though, is the only way to move forward.  Sure, it’s scary.  It will almost certainly result in new obstacles, challenges and failures.

It’s so much easier staying where you are.

The question is, do you want to be where you are.  Or do you want more?

If you want more, and are ready to take the risks and discomfort that come along with it… they you may be ready to take the next step.

In this post, I will talk mainly about bloggers and show ways they can take a leap forward in their business.

Stock Your Blog With Killer Content

You may have been blogging for quite some time now.

Every day you are learning new things to improve and streamline your business. 

No matter how you look at it, though, blogging does take some time. You have to write some good content, then deliver it in the form of a blog post..

Make sure to put plenty of time and effort into giving your readers great content all the time.  This is the foundation of your entire business.

If you don’t have a system in place for delivering great content on a steady basis, then you don’t have a business.

Once you’ve got that system down, you’re ready to do business.  But don’t let yourself get too comfortable.

It’s time to take the next step.

Drive Traffic

That means getting as many people as you can to see your post.  

A great way to do that is by sharing it on the social media platforms.  The main ones are Facebook, Twitter and Google+… but the more sites you share it to, the more people will see it. 

So you don’t need to stop with the big 3.  Youtube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, StumbleUpon and others will also get you lots of juice. 

Now, you’re ready to take the next step again.

When people visit your site from social media links or discussions, they’ll want to see how active your blog is.  Greet them with plenty of visible buzz right on your own blogsite.

Here’s how you take that next step. 

Encourage Engagement

A certain percentage of your visitors will be just “readers.”  Others, though, will engage with you on a deeper level by sharing your content on their favorite social sites, and by commenting at the end of your post.

You can, and should, encourage readers to get engaged in this way.  The most direct way is with a clear “call to action” in your post, usually at the end.  Simply ask them to please leave a comment and share the post on their social sites if they found it valuable. 

If you don’t ask people to do this, many won’t think to.  When you do ask, though, they’ll be strongly encouraged to get involved in that way.


Now, you need to take the next step once again.

To reciprocate for your commenters and social media syndicators, you should go to their blogs, comment and syndicate their content on your own social sites.

Don’t be so quick to skip past the social media links you find on their blogs, too. You need a presence in social media, so take some time to socialize with people for further engagement.  Visit their Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ sites. 

Now, stop now for a moment and think to yourself how much time are you spending on this?  Don’t make it consume your entire day, but allocate a fair amount to it so it gets done and, oh yeah… do it routinely and consistently.  That’s how to build your organic reach.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Build A List

Evaluate your blog as a business. 

For instance, what are you offering on your blog?

Affiliate products? Your own products? Maybe nothing at all, yet.

When you view your blog as your business, you know there must be a method for monetizing it.  If there’s not, then it’s not a business model, it’s just a good-will excursion or a hobby. 

The most important way to build a business on your blog is to get visitors to subscribe to your email list.  That way, you can always contact them with offers and valuable information that keeps them engaged and doing business with you.

That doesn’t mean to follow people everywhere with annoying pop-ups and banners.  It means to give value, then simply ask them it they’d like to subscribe to your email list to get more of the same kind of value.  No need to be pushy or rash, here. 

You’ll build a much better business with people who truly want to follow you, rather than tricking them into joining your list. 

People who want to be there will continue to engage with you.  Those who don’t simply won’t open your emails, they won’t click through on your embedded links, or, if you’re lucky… they’ll just unsubscribe.  If they don’t sincerely want to be on your list, you don’t want them there.

Building a good, responsive list is critical.

But it’s not the end of the journey.

Build A Customer Base

Let’s take the next step.

To build a customer base with your blog, you could start writing some blog posts that promote your affiliate products, or invite people to explore your business opportunity.

Once people get to know you, they’ll be far more likely to be receptive to these kinds of articles than they might otherwise. 

Don’t overdo it. 

Remember, 80 to 90 percent of your posts should be presenting good, valuable information.  The remaining portion can be used for promotion.

Ready to take the next step once again?

Monetize Your Blog – Scenario 1

Lets take this scenario, for an example. 

You have written a few e-books. They can be free ones or maybe they are on Amazon. You went through a learning process to write, edit and publish them.

Great job! 

You’ve just learned a whole new process that you successfully put into action.

You could take a break, but…

Now is the time to take the next step.

Why not teach others how to duplicate your success, by writing, editing and publishing their own e-book?

Take the next step and offer a workshop or a paid webinar to teach others how to publish their books.

But this is not just for fun, it’s your business, remember? Value your time!  Create a fair price point that reflects the time and effort you put into learning this skill to enhance your blogging business.  What would it be worth for others to learn to do this, too?

That is one example.

Here’s another one.

Monetize Your Blog – Scenario 2

Say you are a network marketer who blogs to build a team for your primary opportunity.

You have been at it for a while and have successfully built a strong team.  You meet with them every week to help them develop stronger marketing skills.

You are good at it, so of course you want to share what you are doing with your downline team. You want to keep them enthused, informed and increasingly  skilled.

What do you think you need to do to take the next step in this situation?

Well, you can write an e-book with the how-to instructions for the team. You can even go a step further and create a digital product with video tutorials about network marketing, blogging and related topics.

You can share these things with your team, to make it stronger and more effective.  They’ll benefit from it and do a better job.  You’ll benefit by having a stronger, more professional team.

Now, you can take these same trainings and offer them to your blog visitors. This time, though, you’ll sell them because the people reading your blog are not your team members, they are prospects and customers,   

Network marketing is something you have mastered and so you are putting your information out into your blogging marketplace, and attaching fair value to  it.

Monetize Your Blog – Scenario 3

The next step you need to take, is to put a clearly defined value on your time, energy and expertise.

If you have the notion that “no one is going to want this” or “I don’t know enough,” then you may not be ready to do produce your own product, or offer your services. 

I will tell you to stop before you take the next step and decide whether or not you’re ready to put your own products and services on your blog.

I consult people all the time who under-value themselves. If you think that others won’t pay you for your knowledge, it could be that you need to deal first with the issue of low self esteem. YOU need to acknowledge that one.

You need to raise your standards, and understand that your hard work and all your knowledge is worth something to someone! They need to pay for it.

Don’t get caught in the trap of feeling bad for setting a price on your information or services.  After all, you give out free information every time you write a blog post don’t you? Ahhh that made you feel better didn’t it?

I’ll share my own story with you here.

A while back, David and I hired a coach to help us develop our first product. After many revisions and tweaks, we came up with a price. Our coach almost flew through the phone and said NO!

We totally over delivered on it, but buckled when we had to come up with a price point.  Being it was our first product, we were undercutting the price point. Why? Because it was our first one!

Thank goodness we hired a very capable coach.  He put a higher ticket price on it not so much so it would pull more profit, but to establish it’s value.  Well actually…he wanted it to be even higher, so we compromised.

I’m not saying, here, that you need to create your own product.  I’m saying that if you do, you need to require fair value for it.

Even if you’re promoting affiliate products, you need to require people pay a fair price for them.  You need to get comfortable with this in order to take the next step of running a business on your blog.

People want to know why my business has been doing so well.

The answer is that day after day, I got out of my comfort zone and took the next step in my business.

Because of that, many good things have been happening! We’ve gone on to create more products and services and build a solid following.

Take The Next Step

So now my friends, I ask you, are you ready to take the next step?

Are you prepared to get out of your comfort zone, and take the next step to confront and overcome new obstacles that stand between you and the success you’re striving for?

It’s easy to do the same thing day in and day out, and feel good about knowing your game.  But you never move forward unless you step out of that comfort zone and take the next step.

The the next step today.  And again tomorrow.  And the next day and the next. 

If you let your journey be built on a series of small steps taken daily, relentlessly, without fear and without accepting the failures you’ll experience as anything other than opportunities to form new solutions… then it will be a very exciting and rewarding journey, for sure.

Your Blog Is A Sales Funnel

Are you on the verge of  moving forward right now?  Have you been thinking of abandoning the cozy nest?  Are you ready to take the next step?

I would really like to know.

Thank you and be blessed,


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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112 Responses to Take The Next Step

  1. Rachel Lavern
    October 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You pack a lot of info in this post but I zeroed in the comfort zone part of it 🙂 It does seem that taking the next step is very challenging for a lot of entrepreneurs.

    I am working with a corporate group once a week and have been encouraging them to not judge harshly when they take an action that is out of alignment with their target–but to lovingly look at what happened. That was because they were seeing it as failure rather than as a
    learning opportunity so that they could course correct. And, I am being called to play a LOT bigger and it had been getting uncomfortable.

    I still sometimes waste time doing random stuff in my business, such as editing one of my web pages. It isn’t urgent to do and I can lovingly look at what I did and notice that I am prioritizing fear and my comfort zone because I am afraid to take the next step on that exciting, scary target in my business. And, I can lovingly make a different choice the next time I sit down to work.

    It is all about WHAT I choose and HOW I choose it. Am I choosing it because my gremlin is beating up on me and telling me how awful I am for not doing what I said I would do. Or am I being loving and patient with myself as I learn this new skill? Also, am I allowing my Inner Wise Woman point out the ways in which I might be letting my fear and desire to be in my comfort zone rule?

    Thanks and have a great weekend!
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..There is a Solution to All ProblemsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 25, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Hi Rachel,

      Thank you so much for sharing this comment to shed more light on the subject at hand.

      Taking that next step can take some time. We have to go “inward” and try to find out what the heck is holding us back. As you mentioned, you gremlin is beating up on you. But here is the advantage of that: You have acknowledged it is your gremlin. That is the first step. Now that “wise woman” can chase that gremlin away!

      Yes indeed it is a choice! But sometimes we tend to do other tasks like editing one of your web pages lol. Those tasks are easy for you, but it is procrastination isn’t it? lol

      Rachel, you have been online for a long time and do know so much. It is time to label yourself LEADER…. Wear that hat like a queen!

      I am sure that you will overcome this stumbling block because you understand it. But sometimes you need a little push…so give me a shout out and I will gladly talk this over with you if you want.

      Blessings to you,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Build Your BrandMy Profile

  2. Willena Flewelling
    September 28, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    Wow, Donna — you packed a lot of value into this one post! I’ll need to come back and read this one a few more times. It’s been encouraging, watching you and David grow in the past couple of years, and watch your business grow with you. I’m learning from you!
    Willena Flewelling recently posted..Believe You Can 100 Day ChallengeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 28, 2014 at 10:55 am #

      Hi Willena,

      Gosh we do go back a long way don’t we? It is a joy to me to know that you consider this post valuable to you. Also encouraging!

      Yes, when I look back I do see how much David and I have grown, and it feels so great to share the knowledge we have learned along the way.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  3. Kyle Holcomb
    September 24, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Tons of great content here! I haven’t put too much thought behind creating my own products yet, but I am still interested in getting some coaching to take my business to the next level. I appreciate what you have shared with us and I am looking forward to getting to know you better!

    • Donna Merrill September 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      Hi Kyle,

      We are constantly taking our business to the next level. It is something that will never end. The way to do it is to have a clear goal in mind…I mean really clear! Then take the necessary steps forward to achieve that goal.

      Coaching is always around, some free, some paid. It doesn’t mater which way you go, as long as you find a product or service that will get you there.

      Believe me, I have gone through many in my experience, some great, and some just didn’t fit with me. It is all about business.

      There are no sure guarantees out there. It is all up to you and how you take one learning experience and put it into action. It is a two way street to get to the next level. Just don’t try to rush it….because it does take time, persistence and patience.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  4. Nanda Rahmanius
    September 24, 2014 at 3:44 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Great article from you!
    You arrange the points in this article very well. 🙂

    One thing I realized, I never ask my readers to share my post on their social media accounts. I realized this when reading your article. I should do this in the future I guess.

    Indeed, the “comfort zone” is very dangerous to our success. If we get stuck in a comfort zone for too long, then we may not have the opportunity to gain greater success.

    I think, if we had been in the comfort zone, then we should get out of there and do something that even greater than ever. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Donna.
    Keep up the hard work and have a nice day for you.

    Nanda Rahmanius recently posted..5 Easy Tips to Help You Write Great HeadlinesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      Hi Nanda,

      Oh yes, at the end of each post, give your readers a call to action by inviting them to comment and share. I had some avid readers of my blog that never comment nor do they share on the social sites. When I asked them why, most of them said they were too intimidated. Go figure?

      But we must keep in mind that if there is a new person following us, they may feel that way, so we want to give them the feeling of open arms…and find a way like asking them a question to contribute.

      Oh that “comfort zone” is a dangerous place to be. We all get stuck in that, but when acknowledged, we do have to address the issue inside of us and find out why. Once we do, we can take some action.

      Thanks for your comment and have a great week,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  5. Christi Johnson September 22, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Donna…this is such a major problem for most bloggers. Shoot! It’s a problem for most business owners. Taking the next step is so easily translated into “taking a huge risk that could fail,” and so we don’t take the risk.

    Still, taking that “risk” is exactly what is required if we want to advance in our careers. There is SO much conflicting information out there, and I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Thank you for this, Donna. Time to step up my game!
    Christi Johnson recently posted..I Am A Mom Before I Am Any, Other RoleMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

      Hi Christi,

      Yes indeed, taking the next step is like taking a huge risk that could fail. So what is failure? A teacher that guides us to a different road.

      Over the years I’ve taken so many risks that I could write a book! (hmm…maybe will one day!)

      But as they say Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Yes…I did make money, loose money, and then picked myself up and made it again.

      To me business is like the ebbs and tides of the ocean. Sometimes it is calm and quiet and we have to wait for the tide to come in.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  6. Emmanuel
    September 22, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    Hello Madam Donna,

    Do you know this comment of mine comes in as the 101 comment of this post? This obviously shows how engaging this post of yours is.

    Many of us started blogging and all that we thought we needed to do was to just write and that was all but obviously there is more to do after writing.

    Taking the next action is what matters the most at the end.
    Thanks for this piece and please do have a great week,
    Emmanuel recently posted..Ambassadors of Blogging PovertyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      Hi Emmanuel,

      Number 101 … for some reason this post has become popular. Even though my SEO is not up to par….go figure?

      You are absolutely correct. People do start to blog and think that all they have to do is write. But there is so much more to it.

      Yes, taking the next action is what matters.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  7. Barbara Charles
    September 21, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Funny I read your post today. Today I woke up this morning worried about how to make more money. I’ve been doing the same old thing for a year now and although I’ve had some success, there is got to be more and I do believe it. I want to be like the big dogs.

    Today I realized that I was not doing enough. There’s got to be more.I do believe I am on the verge of doing more and I’m looking for someone to help me. But it can’t just be anyone because I’m determined for success.

    Great post and thanks for helping me see clearer.

    Barbara Charles recently posted..How To Find Leaders For Your Network Marketing TeamMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

      Hi Barbara,

      So great to know this has helped you. You have reached successful levels. But one thing in business that is a given…there are ebbs and tides. It happens with every business, and I guess I’m used to it because I’ve had my own business for most of my life.

      The key to success is not to look at those big dogs, but to look at yourself. Be in competition with yourself, make a plan, follow it religiously and take the necessary steps to get there.

      I just know you will find your way.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  8. Elise Cohen Ho
    September 21, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    As always, you have given many wonderful tips. My favorite part of the article is when you speak of fear holding people back. If people face their fear and move out of their comfort zone they will find amazing beauty. Thank you.
    Elise Cohen Ho recently posted..The September 11 AttacksMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

      Hi Eiise,

      Fear is a terrible thing. But the good news is that it can be fixed. We can face our fears in so many ways.

      Comfort zones, excuses, and all the like are common. But if we acknowledge our fear, whatever it is, and work on it, we feel the wonderful feeling of being free!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  9. Lisa
    September 21, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    Hi Donna, what an inspiring post. You are so right, many are so comfortable doing the same thing that they don’t change things up and try new things.
    I believe my weakness is I don’t do enough self promotion. I’m not happy with the results of my 2nd eBook but I don’t believe I promoted it well. That is something I have to learn to do and then jump in to just do it.
    I’m kind of a humble person so promoting my own stuff is hard most of the time. And pricing things for one’s worth is another hurdle many of us face.
    Thanks for sharing your success with these Donna, great post!
    Have a great new week ahead!
    Lisa recently posted..5 Reasons A Blogger May Slow Down Writing Blog ArticlesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

      Hi Lisa,

      I understand how you feel. I was in that same place a long time ago. I thought I could NEVER charge people for my services. But I remembered clearly a lecture I had in college when I was studying to become a therapist.

      The lecturer made a good point: He went on to talk about charging and said that if people get things for free they don’t value it as much as if they paid for it. That thought gave me the push.

      As for promoting yourself, it is a must do! If you don’t do it who else will? Besides, you owe it to your followers for them to know that you wrote an ebook, And BTW put a price on it and don’t give it out for free.

      Free stuff is great for opt-ins, but it is a teaser to a bigger picture.

      Have a good week and know that you are worth it!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  10. Dexter Roona
    September 21, 2014 at 2:03 am #

    Hey Donna congrats on another rocking post, yeah the dreaded comfort zone where everything is cosy Outside the comfort zone is real scary, but a little of the scary is good for you as those steps you take become second nature and part of your new larger comfort zone and who doesnt want an even bigger comfort zone!
    regards Dexter
    Dexter Roona recently posted..Why MLSP MyLeadSystemProMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      Hi Dexter,

      He He…I like the way you put that! Those comfort zones once broken is a step in the right direction.

      I find the more I do it the easier it becomes. There is always changes in all aspects of life, but when we can go with that flow, it does become easier.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  11. Andy Lockhart
    September 20, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    Hey Donna

    Great article. Taking the next steps and breaking the habits of doing something is always tuff. Humans are creatures of habit and are happy to keep doing what they are doing even if they don’t work.

    We all know the good old phrase about the money is in the list? Getting people on your list is all important and you are spot on using all the social media you can.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog.

    Andy Lockhart recently posted..Is the Urchin Annoying you?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      Hi Andy,

      It is human nature to stick to our comfort zones and breaking habits is a difficult task to do. We are creatures of habits, but we know we can change them.

      It takes acknowledgement of the situation, determination, and most of all a way to do so.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  12. David Merrill 101
    September 20, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    It’s always a challenge, Donna, trying to break through barriers that seem to stand between us and our long term goals.

    Taking some purposeful action to get a bit closer to your dreams is what helps you move forward, and avoid getting stuck in failure, or worse yet, sinking aimlessly into the comfort zone you talk about.

    All the blog monetizing scenarios you give are good examples of getting out of your comfort zone, and taking the next step toward achieving your goals.

    Interesting post, Donna. I know you’ve coached a great many people in overcoming their fears and achieving breakthroughs in many areas of their lives. You clearly have a talent for helping people grow and move forward.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted..Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

      Hey David,

      If anyone knows how many people I’ve coached helping them overcome their fears, and achieving breakthroughs in their lives it would be you!

      You have been there for the past decades while I was doing this. As my “business partner” you talk to my clients when they set up appointments and you hear all their praises he he.

      Thanks for coming over and writing such touching words.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  13. JacsHenderson
    September 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Real true grit here Donna! Circling in our comfort zone should be a short-lived place to be.. but the next step forward does often involve the ‘me’ inside and all the swirl of ‘ am I worthy/capable/experienced/valuable questions about ourselves.

    But it is a step forwards and that must be done when being a business blogger. And if we have to explore ourselves for the confidence to take that next step, then we must, and finding a kindred coach will do wonders – then the step forward becomes a step up the ladder.

    Love the way you effortlessly talk us through the steps in your post, which you have walked and I’m sure beaten challenges at each stage … beautifully crafted from experience.

    I have a host of plans scheduled for action …it helps to place things on a ‘one step at a time’ basis,to avoid overwhelm and still keep living!!

    An absolute pleasure to spend time here today 🙂

    JacsHenderson recently posted..Transform Your WordPress Blog Into A Marketing Machine!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

      Hi Jacs,

      I am delighted by your comment! I like what you mentioned about exploring ourselves for that confidence to take the next step. Not an easy task to do. I do believe it is an ongoing thing as a business blogger.

      As we grow our business, we cannot do so without growing ourselves. If I listed all the stuff I went through to grow my inner being, I can write an ebook……wait….maybe I should lol!

      Good to know you have your plan of action and taking that one step at a time approach.

      To your success!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  14. Mark
    September 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Some really great points Donna!

    And for sure, it can definitely be an incredibly scary thing to try and move forward, especially when you don’t have the luxury of an extremely experienced coach and or mentor like you and David to guide us each step of the way!

    Invariably you get so wrapped up in the what if’s and should I do this or that.

    Which of course just leads to more inaction, self doubt and unfortunately, virtually nothing truly meaningful gets accomplished, and you simply continue to be incredibly frustrated and stuck!

    The emotional roller coaster ride that you describe is so spot on! Thank goodness there are capable coaches out there like you & David that actually care enough to help nurture and guide budding entrepreneurs in the right direction!

    Because with the right coaching, guidance and mentoring, who really knows what’s possible!

    Thank you and David so much Donna! For not only caring, but showing us the way forward as well!

    It truly does make a world of difference!
    Mark recently posted..Introducing Seven Effective Ways To Make Highly Controversial Issues Extremely Profitable!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you so much for the kind words. David and I just love coaching you my friend. Since our last phone call, I can see the changes that you have made and it is incredible.

      But, we cannot take the credit. We can only give you the information and what YOU do with it is where credit is due.

      Now, that’s what a coach can do. We can first set up a strategy to see where you want to be, work on a plan, give you the tools, but you built the house!

      To your ever going success!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  15. Leena Shah
    September 19, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. This reinforced the conversation we had a week or so ago and I am still working on the future plans we discussed.

    I admit sometimes I still settle in the “comfort zone” but as you said you have to step out of that a little bit each time to move forward.

    Have a great weekend. Thanks For Sharing me keep it Up
    Leena Shah recently posted..Top 10 Best Alternatives Google Adsense For Your BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 20, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      Hi Leena,

      As long as you are working on your future plans, it is taking the next step. It is all about taking action upon it as well as accomplishing it.

      We all love that “comfort zone” but we all need to push ourselves out of it. And yes, do it a little bit at a time and you will succeed!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  16. Di
    September 19, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    Wow Donna,

    this blog is awesome, detailed, easy to read. It flows from one point to the next like thats the way it is.

    So many good details points to mention.

    It must be a time for clarity and focus and get on or get off, whatever we are doing.

    Not sure why we have this attitude of safe nests and often keep doing what is not working or just keep doing what is working but in a mediocre way. The old known “fear of the unknown” I suppose!

    So many of us moving into a new way of and new energy of operating.

    Thanks Donna
    Di recently posted..Katrine Antique AuctionMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 20, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      Hi Di,

      Glad to know you enjoyed this post. Yes, once we re-evaluate our situation and re-focus to a point of clarity, we can then take the next step!

      If we just keep doing what we are doing and feel the safety, it is a signal to move forward, change things up and take that next step!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  17. Erika Mohssen-Beyk
    September 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    Hi Donna ,
    You are a great teacher ,
    thank you for sharing your experience ,
    we all can learn t from you .
    You give a lot of value to your readers
    and I am happy to see in the comments
    everybody is motivated to take the next step.
    Thank you

    • Donna Merrill September 20, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      Hi Erika,

      Thank you for your compliment. I do appreciate it Erika! Yes, when reading through these comments I am happy to see that lots of folks are ready to take that next step.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  18. Sue Price
    September 19, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    What an awesome detailed post. I love it and I really am enjoying the direction your blogging it taking. It feels like you have stepped into a new part of yourself.

    I think everyone can get into their comfort zone and get stuck. It applies to most things in our lives and is very much there in business.

    I am going through a process of really evaluating almost everything I do as I want to take my game to a much bigger one.

    I love the story you shared about arriving at a price point for your product. I had zero hesitation about charging top end fees in my accounting days and later as a business coach in an offline world. While I do not have my own product as yet I end up helping people and do not charge or charge too little. I am changing that.

    Awesome post Donna. Thank you.

    Sue Price recently posted..Keeping it Simple with iPAS2My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 20, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      Hi Sue,

      Yes, it does feel like I stepped into a new part of myself. It was all because I took that next step forward. It was a bit of a leap for me to turn blogger to marketer. There were so many changes that took place.

      As I change and grow, I like to share it with my readers because if I can do it, so can anyone else.

      When addressing the issue of a price point, you have loads of experience. Now as you work online, I am sure that people will pay a higher price for all your knowledge and help. Good to know you are changing that!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  19. Jackson Nwachukwu
    September 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This post is very timely because it’s actually what bloggers need to be reading at this present time of change. They say change is permanent but what I don’t really know is if the today’s bloggers are up to the task.

    Blogging is an unending journey. In fact, I see blogging as a novel which you will never get to know the end until you get to the last pages of the novel. What this means is that, change will continue to take place, what happens next is what your post has addressed.

    What I really do think is that we as bloggers in most cases feel so comfortable operating in our comfort zone. I always have this belief that the only time blogging success will be achieved is when a blogger takes a step forward to redefining the way he has been operating. If a blogger cannot step out of his comfort zone then he or she is yet to actually embark on the journey of blogging.

    What has kept most bloggers static is the fear to take a step forward. They feel so much comfortable, getting the same stats, same comments, same everything. There is always this fear that if I change my style it will affect me or kick me out of the game.

    Bloggers are also risk bearers, and the sooner we all know this the better blogging experience we all will have.

    Donna, you are have touched an area of blogging that has been abandoned by many. Thank you for bringing up this four words “Take the next step”

    Jackson Nwachukwu recently posted..Ultimate Guide and Resources to Write a Blog Posts That Matters – Over 2100 WordsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 20, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      Hi Jackson,

      Thank you for adding so much value to this blog post. Yes, I feel the same way as you when your write that blogging is a never ending novel! As we blog month after month, year after year, we do grow with our blogs.

      We, as bloggers need to get out of our comfort zone all the time. It has to be part of a mindset, otherwise, we will be stagnant with content.

      Indeed, what keeps most bloggers static is the fear to step out of their comfort zone and take a step forward.

      I’ve touched this area of blogging because I see too many talented bloggers being static. I see their potential to monetize…I see their unique value. So this is why I addressed this issue.

      Thank you once again,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  20. Mi Muba
    September 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    Hi Donna

    A very very thought provoking post.

    Your very first paragraph is attention grabbing. People are afraid of taking next step and try to be adjusted with whatever they have after getting in first step.

    I think taking first step is difficult and taking the next one is equally requires a lot of introspection and overall review of your progress.

    You wonderfully mentioned the three scenarios of blog monetization. It shows there is no rule of thumb to monetize your blog and one must fully analyze the scenario of his blog before taking any monetizing step.

    Thanks a lot for sharing a post on quite a unique topic.

    Have a nice weekend
    Mi Muba recently posted..10 reasons to give a damn if millions of blogs are already thereMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 20, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      Hi Mi Muba,

      That first step is quite fearful for many people. The next step can be just as difficult. But with introspection and review of progress, it can be clarified in our minds to push forward.

      Indeed, there is no rule of thumb when it comes to monetizing. We, as bloggers, need to take the necessary step forward to do so.

      Whatever it is that we do to monetize our blogs, we also have to study many things along the way. We cannot just shoot something out there. We have to analyze things, see who is in our target market, know marketing techniques, and have a good plan of action with a sales funnel.

      Thanks for your input,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  21. Marquita Herald
    September 19, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    I’d say from the comments you’ve obviously hit a hot spot with this post Donna – and it is so well written! You’ve covered it all my friend. I can especially relate to your point about the pricing as that’s something I’m grappling with myself at the moment – good lesson. The only thing thing that came to my mind is before ever getting to the taking that next step to be clear about what you want to accomplish. So many people have trouble being specific with their goals – it’s like the “I just want to be happier” syndrome. Thanks for the inspiration and great advice!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Life: How to Find the Missing PiecesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 20, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Marquita,

      Seems like most people that are commenting do have the same issue of pricing. I did too! It is so difficult to put a price on something we create. We can undervalue it…and that happens quite often.

      My advice is to have someone that has done something similar to give it a look and quote a price point. It will give more clarity to the decision.

      Yes, Indeed…people do have trouble being specific with their goals. Love that quote because it says it all. Once we encounter people like this, we have to take responsibility and start digging with them into their true desires.

      It takes some time…but it is well worth it.

      Thanks so much,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  22. Monna Ellithorpe
    September 19, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. This reinforced the conversation we had a week or so ago and I am still working on the future plans we discussed.

    I admit sometimes I still settle in the “comfort zone” but as you said you have to step out of that a little bit each time to move forward.

    Have a great weekend.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..What is a Media Kit and How Can It Help You?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 19, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

      Hi Monna,

      I’m so glad this post reinforced our conversation for you. And yes…that comfort zone is difficult to come out of but each little step will help you on your way!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  23. Sonia
    September 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    Hey Donna!

    I got so much from this post! I guess I’ve got all of the pieces here there and everywhere to move forward with my business but I have been feeling that I am not ready or even ‘worthy’ just yet to put a price on anything I can offer. And I have no idea why I feel this way.

    I came online a couple of years ago to learn how people make money from home.
    I have learned soooo much in that time – and have shared my knowledge freely. But not ALL of my knowledge as I’ve always passed the newbie on to someone ‘more experienced’ than me.

    Your article has awoken a burning fire in me that has made me realise that I DO have the knowledge, the ability and indeed the worth to jump forward and start earning a living from what I know.

    After all, it was the book ‘The Millionaire Messenger’ by Brendon Burchard that made me look in the first place!

    Thank you so much Donna for your wisdom and value.
    Sonia recently posted..Affiliate Blogging. Keeping up with it all!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

      Hi Sonia,

      Your comment made me so happy because You DO have the knowledge and the ability to jup forward and start earning a living NOW!

      As long as you have a good plan to follow…BINGO! Marketing is not an easy task. You have to figure out what exactly your end game is i.e. What do you want to do for people. I suggest getting a coach, or if you want to do it on your own, it will take time.

      There are many strategies one must use to market a product, but you need to search your soul and find out which one works best for you.

      Sending you inspiration and blessings,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  24. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    September 18, 2014 at 8:43 pm #


    You are amazing. You have truly taken that next step and the next step after that. I have watched you blossom over the years as your blogs and your business continue to grow and create tremendous engagement.

    I love the scenarios you presented – lots of food for thought.


    Dr. Erica

    • Donna Merrill September 19, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

      Hi Dr. Erica,

      We have known each other a long time and you of all people know how I’ve grown. Thank you so much for our kind words!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  25. Liz Delaney
    September 18, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    I thoroughly enj0yable post, Donna with so many interesting and pertinent points.I have grown to love blogging but it is time-consuming and then there is the sharing side of things as well. I must now work on my email list. I have known this for a while but after reading your post, know that I need not procrastinate any longer and just go and do it.
    Thanks..and have agreat weekend.
    Liz Delaney recently posted..Monday Musings – Spring CleaningMy Profile

  26. Chery Schmidt
    September 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Hello Donna, Wow have you covered some great points here GF!! getting out of that comfort zone.. Oh Yeh it is so easy to be comfortable doing the things we know how to do HUH? I am goint to re-evalutate a few things after reading your post here today.. Yes I do want to take the next step..

    Thanks of sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..9 Must Do’s When Communicating With Your ProspectMy Profile

  27. Andrew
    September 18, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Great post.

    Reciprocation is so important these days … you really have to take the time to go to other people’s blogs, especially when you have new visitors for the first time, and see their blog. And if they talk about something that’s interesting, comment. That helps with building engagement/relationships.

    But I want to jump right down to your Monetize strategies and especially the 3rd one you shared. Price point is honestly a major thing and it’s something I struggle with from time to time. I have an offline product (a newsletter) that I’ve been wrestling with the price for a long time and then decided that I’m adding so much value, I’m including audio with the product and on top of that, I’m providing 2 bonuses each month. SO that really helped me justify what the price was and should be.

    But price is a major thing and people need to understand that they shouldn’t undervalue themselves or the work they put in. That goes for products and services. When I start coming out with online products for my blog, I’ll be making sure not to undervalue any of it.

    Thanks for this very good post, Donna.

    Great job. Have a great day.

    – Andrew
    Andrew recently posted..4 Surprisingly Common Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Your Email ListMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      Yes, reciprocity is the key to success for any blogger. When I get a comment on my blog, before I answer it, I like to go to the commentor’s blog first, read it … comment on it and then share it on the social sites. A good practice indeed.

      When it comes to pricing it is a very difficult task for all of us. I find the best way to do so is to first figure out how much of your time is spent. Then ask a few friends to review and ask them how much they would be willing to pay for the information. It will give you a good guide line.

      For me, I asked my coach, and was amazed when he told me it was worth so much more than I thought.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  28. Manik
    September 18, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    Hi Donna,
    You share all important points here to get success in blogging as well as online business. All points are important and awesome and easy to follow also.
    Thanks for sharing such a great post. 🙂

  29. Nathaniel Kidd
    September 17, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I am definitely on the verge of moving forward. This is a very systematic approach to taking the next step. You have taken us by the hand and shown us step by step practical ways to take the next step.

    All of the tips were awesome but just to give you an example of what I mean: I never even thought about asking my readers to share my content. Actually my share buttons were all the way at the top of my blog, which meant that after my reader finished with the post they would have to scroll back up just to share.

    I wonder how many opportunities I have missed to have my content shared. I have now added my share buttons to the top and bottom of my post and I plan to have a call to action at the end of each of my posts asking for the share if they found my content valuable.

    As you know I am already a member of your Whirlwind Success Team and you just gave me another HUGE nugget today. Thank you for sharing.
    Nathaniel Kidd recently posted..California Thrill On a BudgetMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 19, 2014 at 12:19 am #

      Hi Nathaniel,

      It is always a good idea to give your readers a call to action. It will make them feel comfortable to comment. Also, you can write something like “do you agree” or “have you ever done this” Questions like this will help the reader to comment.

      You need to keep in mind that there are always people reading our blogs and don’t comment for whatever reason. I get feedback all the time that people enjoy reading my blog, but they don’t comment. When I ask them why, they sometimes feel intimidated. Or don’t know what to say.

      So that CTA is one that is needed.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  30. Miriam Slozberg
    September 17, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Wow this post is jam packed with methods to make your blog successful. I will definitely need to come back to re-read this. I am thinking of putting ad space on my blog as I am receiving enough traffic now and it is a PR 3. However, thanks so much for the other awesome tips!!
    Miriam Slozberg recently posted..Klout Tips from Artificial Intelligence and Machine LearningMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 19, 2014 at 12:11 am #

      Hi Miriam,

      So good to see you here on my blog. I’m sure glad you enjoyed this post. Yes, I realize there is a lot of information to absorb, so come on back!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  31. Arleen
    September 17, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Donna- Your steps to take a great. I have to say breaking out of that comfort zone was very scary for me. My forte is selling not writing blogs. I realized the importance of social media and knew it was my next.
    I am redesigning my website so that I can take it to the next level. It is also scary because the design is different. I worry, will people recognize who I am, but those are the risks I need to take so that my main site doesn’t get stagnate. You have to keep up with the tines
    Arleen recently posted..In Marketing Timing is Everything: Nissan’s Second Royal Baby TweetMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 19, 2014 at 12:02 am #

      Hi Arleen,

      Yes, we all have to keep up with the times and that means change and getting out of our comfort zone.

      I’m am sure that changing things on your blog will not effect those who follow you! Yes, it is scary, but no worries…people will recognize you.

      I just had to change my gravatar recently because my picture was outdated and there were different gravatars on different social sites. I just made the change, and no one got confused at all. Hope that helps!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  32. Amiti
    September 17, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Hi Donna,

    As always, fantastic post. I think that everyone is quite familiar with taking the next step, however those that run to monetize their blogs often forget about the baby steps, and that is what made this post so intelligent and useful (as well as your story of your own personal experience).
    Amiti recently posted..The Feedweb Feeder: Now AvailableMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

      Hi Amiti,

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, so many want to jump start monetizing their blogs that it can work against them.

      It does take some time, patience and persistence!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  33. Monika Sharma
    September 17, 2014 at 1:50 am #

    Hi Donna, “Take The Next Step” Nice post ! Donna, We have been hearing Content is king & it always play a powerful role in Marketing ! I appreciate some great point of this post like Drive Traffic, Encourage Engagement & Build A List ! These are really Strong points.
    Monika Sharma recently posted..6 Strategic Tips for Employers to Recruit on Social MediaMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

      Hi Monika,

      There will always be “the next step” when it comes to business. It is an ongoing thing we just need to do. Yes we do hear that content is king and yes that carries a lot of weight, but we need to keep in mind that beside content, there is engagement, driving traffic and especially building our list.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  34. Kathleen McCormick
    September 17, 2014 at 1:41 am #

    Well, Donna, I know you are doing a lot of things right! Primarily, for me, your blog is always well written with digestible information that I can at least relate to if not use.

    I think I am definitely in the comfortable blogger phase. I just got a kick in the pants though because my main social media community is going in a different direction and my mental health emphasis is no longer relevant. We always get what we need when we need it, right? LOL.

    Thanks for all your great posts and for your interest and support!

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Hi Kathleen,

      If your social media community is going in a different direction, and your mental health emphasis is no longer relevant, you can always “lighten it up” a bit!

      I always enjoy reading your blog because of all your experience. You write things that I and many others can relate to and understand. I just love the mental health because it is so much stronger than the “personal development” blogs. It has more credibility!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  35. Deborah Tutnauer
    September 17, 2014 at 1:01 am #


    I so knew we think alike from our interaction last week. Then I read this post!! Voila!
    I was writing about something similar, as you were writing this!

    I love “Take The Next Step”, because it really is all anyone can ever do. You can’t skip the next step and you can’t go anywhere without taking it. It’s a perfect visual image of the process of moving ahead in life and in business.

    In my own business, it seems like there is no end to next steps! LOL!
    Specifically the outline of this post was quite useful. In fact it reminded me that even though I always have links in my blog posts, I often forget to just come out and ask for comments and shares at the end. So I went back to a few and did that right after I read this.

    Thanks for great information Donna!
    Deborah Tutnauer recently posted..5 Things You Must Do to Accomplish AnythingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      I just read your blog and we seem to be on the same wavelength lol! I see business as steps. There is one huge goal I have in mind but I cannot leap into it but take the necessary steps to get there.

      It is a constant journey that I enjoy!

      Good to know you put a call to action to ask for comments and shares on your blog post. We need to remind our readers that we want to “invite” them to have their say!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  36. Brittany Bullen
    September 16, 2014 at 11:02 pm #


    Oooh, you’ve given me a whole lot to think about here.

    I felt like the part you wrote about undervaluing ourselves was written just for me! I’m always pricing things really low because I feel like I don’t have credibility somehow. Figuring out how to price things is so tough, especially because historically people in my demographic aren’t willing to spend much (if any) money on things!

    I’m thinking maybe a really compelling affiliate campaign might be more my speed… but for some reason I never get all that excited about promoting other people’s stuff… maybe because the commissions are usually not that great!

    The post I have linked in the CommentLuv has affiliate links in it. I’d love to hear what you think. I never want my stuff to seem insincere or sales-y.

    Glad to hear business is taking off! Good for you!
    Brittany Bullen recently posted..8 Things I Can’t Live Without (and Why You Need Them NOW)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Hi Brittany,

      Figuring out how to price things is very difficult to do. If historically people in your demographic aren’t willing to spend much, or if anything, you can create a sales funnel whereby some products are low range, some are middle and some are high.

      It all depends on what you are selling and what kind of marketing plan you have set. You can target certain people out of your demographic whereby they are willing to spend more money…just a thought!

      As for affiliate marketing, it can all be via your email list (if you have one). Start to engage there and keep to the 80/20 rule: 80 percent engagement and 20 percent an offer.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  37. Neamat Tawadrous
    September 16, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Wow, this is an excellent post.

    Yes, many times we move one step up and we stay there for a long time scared to move to the next one. I am guilty of this myself. Change is always painful but it is what is needed to grow and succeed.

    I like how your shared the different scenarioes of monetizing our blogs and how to put a price for our time and energy. That’s much needed as we sometimes undervalue our efforts which is not something helpful for our value or our business.

    Thanks Donna for an awesome share. I really enjoyed reading it and now on to the next step… Have a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted..3 Benefits To The Pain Of Personal GrowthMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

      Hi Neamat,

      Good to know you are on to your next step! Indeed, we can all go into that fear space when moving upward to the next step. It’s the “unknown” and we question ourselves. But nothing ventured, nothing gained!

      Yes, we tend to undervalue ourselves sometimes, and that’s when we need to reach out to our coach, or our business friends and run things by them.

      It is so surprising how much people will value what we put out more than we think.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  38. Karmakar
    September 16, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Donna…

    Today I have learned the word “Reciprocation”… Wow… 🙂

    Yes you are absolutely right.. I think I will dream about the word “The Next Step” tonight… Not only for my blog but also what I could be the NEXT step in my life…

    Thanks for making to think… 🙂

    Karmakar recently posted..CommentLuv Review: 10 solutions in 1 Blog Commenting ToolMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

      Hi Karmaker,

      Aha…Reciprocation! The only way to get anyone to your blog! Always put others first because karma has a good way of returning!

      Thinking about the next step not only in your blog but in your life is oh so important to do. We do get caught up in our daily routines, but we always have to keep in mind what is my next step to whatever goal we desire.

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  39. Sourav Saha
    September 16, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    Great post Donna I really loved how you explained in depth the monetization part.

    As you mentioned having great content is not enough. Reciprocation is the key to grow your audience.

    Along with that I guess a super promotional tactic is surely needed. I would say it’s good to stick with Derek Halpern’s 80/20 rule (socialtriggers.com/80-20-blog-building/)
    Sourav Saha recently posted..Why Responsive Web Design is Good for SEO?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

      Hi Sourav,

      Indeed it all comes down to that 80/20 rule! As long as we are giving the best content we can, 20 percent of telling our readers what we offer is pretty safe!

      And most importantly reciprocity is the best way to go as a blogger.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  40. Ravi Chahar
    September 16, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Hi Donna,

    You are right most of people get afraid to take next step for their business. I remember when I started my blog then I was not that much aware about plugins and more about WordPress and quite had some fer that if something goes wrong. But with the passing of time I have tried a lot to take best steps for my career.

    Bloggers should focus at the content they provide to their readers. Quality content always wins heart of your readers.

    If you are into affiliate marketing then one thing you need to keep in mind is link relationship building. You never know when will your readers turn to your clients.

    Like you said that bloggers should go back to the blog of their commentators because only then you can increase your circle and build trust.

    Such an extraordinary post like always.:)

    Hope you are enjoying this week.

    Ravi Chahar recently posted..How To Change Number Of Posts Per Page WordPress According To You?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

      Hi Ravi,

      Thanks for putting value into this discussion. Absolutely, we as bloggers need to always write for our readers and provide the best content we can. The more quality the better!

      And when someone visits our blog to comment it is a good practice to read and share their blog first before we reply to them. Reciprocity goes a long way!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  41. Carol Amato
    September 15, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Wow, how relevant and on point with so many of us online these days, I think you’re spot on with this article. Awesome post! 🙂

    I’ve heard a lot of the same message from the people I help, it’s human nature to want to stick with what’s comfy and familiar. It takes jumping into it, taking action by sheer willpower sometimes to learn what it takes to get to the next level. Doing is learning sometimes. I am a people pleaser and this can be a damaging mindset to have for me.

    I took a huge leap of faith when I used to do one-on-one coaching and set my prices higher than I was actually comfortable with because my mentor at the time explained that I needed to value my time or nobody else would either. I am glad I did. It filters out the kind of people you don’t want to work with too.

    This was an excellent prodding for me, Donna, and I really appreciate the time you took to painstakingly set all the info in and easy format so we can absorb it and learn, and lodge it in our brain to be able to do the things you suggest.

    My favorite part was about building a list. It took me a while to actually celebrate my unsubscribes. 🙂 I couldn’t agree more about if someone doesn’t open my email or click the links to check out my posts, I don’t want them taking up real estate on my AWeber list. Absolutely right!

    Thanks for this value-packed article, Donna – sharing right now.

    – Carol 🙂
    Carol Amato recently posted..The Importance of Finding Your Unique Voice as a BloggerMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

      Hi Carol,

      Thanks for sharing your input on this. Yes, when it comes to pricing, it is so difficult to select a price we are comfortable with. This is why we do need a coach…I say it over and over again lol.

      Someone has to give us professional feedback in order for us to come up with a price that is worthwhile. It is a huge leap!

      As for your favorite part, it is mine too! Building that list. I would rather have fewer people taking up my space on AWeber. Also, I try to target people that really want to learn and not just purchase my stuff and never look at it.

      I want to be involved and have them involved too. When it comes down to it all, I’m not doing anything for me, but rather for others. If they are not growing and taking the necessary steps to grow, it does no good for them nor I.

      Glad you enjoyed it.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  42. Sylviane Nuccio
    September 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    What an excellent step by step on how to become a successful blogger and run a successful business with our blog.

    There is more than just writing our blog posts, for sure, there much, much more to a blog and a blog post than that, and it takes going out of our comfort zone in a lot of cases as you’ve mentioned many here.

    As you would find out by reading my last post, my whole blogging business is into a reconsideration and I’m getting feedback that is bound to make me face the uncomfortable. But at times we have to go through that, in order to move forward.

    Great post, Donna
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..When Is It Time to Give Your Blog A Makeover?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      Yes, I read your last post! Decisions decisions! As you decide which way to go with your blogging and business, I think it comes down to your intuition. Sure, you have to weigh all the factors in. Many people had their opinions, but in the end, you need to choose which way works best for you, especially where marketing is concerned.

      You don’t need to be on the first page of Google for someone to opt into your services. Keep your marketing hat on and get out of your comfort zone. I’m sure you will make the best decision!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  43. Rachel Lavern
    September 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I hear you loud and clear on working with people stuck in the fear of the ‘next step’. They are serious about making a difference and creating a business they love, but somehow forget that they must make decisions and take action from where they want to be–even when they are not 100 percent sure of what that exactly looks like.

    It has sometimes been difficult to convince people that they do not need to worry because as you take the next steps forward, it will become more clear to you. I love immersing myself in an environment of high achievers. Their mindset, strategies and insights rub off on me and I see even more of what is possible.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..Make a LeapMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      Hi Rachel,

      I like the old saying “there is nothing to fear but fear itself!” Working with people who are full of fear may be a difficult task to help them take that next step. But if we give them one small thing to do and they accomplish it, then they just might catch on!

      I too love to be around people that are high achievers. Their mindset and strategies do rub off and the journey taken is a successful one.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  44. Susan Cooper
    September 15, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    Great post as always, Donna. Lots of important points to guide bloggers in the right direction. All of which I’m currently on the path of now myself. Taking it step by step. 🙂

  45. Adrienne
    September 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Boy did you hit the name on the head with this one my friend.

    I think as we come online and dive into building our own business we soon learn some of what it takes to get it to the next level. Things that are totally outside our comfort zones and it can be a very scary place to be. Necessary to move forward but scary at the same time. It’s just things we’re not use to doing and nervous about how people will take it.

    I’ve had two conversations with some top people about pricing my product too Donna. They told me the same thing to NOT undervalue you and that some people are going to expect it to be a higher price because we’ve made a name for ourselves now and they’ll think we aren’t where we think we should be if we come out on the very low end. I can see their point so I’m more comfortable now with the direction I’m going to go with this.

    This is a really great lesson for us all, thanks for pointing this out and I’m sure will make a lot of people feel much better too.

    Hope you have a fabulous week.

    Adrienne recently posted..Sponge Bob Can Help You With Technology OverloadMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      As you stepped forward to your next level it came to the point of putting a price on your product. Now I know how difficult that is because you are a giving person. But your time and effort is worth a higher price than you may have thought. Good to know you have talked to people and they had made you think about it.

      Just think of all the years you have been giving out such wonderful information on your blog that is free! And you will be still doing this. So if people cannot afford a product produced, then they can still get your information for free.

      But, if someone is taking their business seriously, they must have to pay for something…We did in our learning curves and coaching.

      So it just makes sense that you need to have a comfortable price point. Then later on in your sales funnel you can offer low to high levels as your product grows.


      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

    • Deborah Tutnauer
      September 19, 2014 at 12:29 am #

      I hear you Adrienne!

      Glad you are receiving a similar message about value and pricing from multiple places. As you know, it’s a real soap box of mine that people set prices based on outcome value of the product or service.

      So many struggle with this idea – particularly women . I think there is cultural component, a money meaning mixed up mindset, and fear, as you wrote about.

      As Donna so eloquently outlined ; Take the Next Step.
      Hope your week has been grand!

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted..4 Reasons Why your WHY Won’t Make you Successful in your Entrepreneur BusinessMy Profile

      • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

        Hi Deborah,

        You raise a good point here. I think for women it can be a struggle. I’ve just noticed that!

        Indeed, when it comes to putting a price tag on our products and/or services it can be a cultural component or a mixed up mindset.

        I experienced that many years ago when I started my off line business. My goodness, did I ever undersell myself…Until..I had to look into that magic mirror of the Self and raise my standards.

        Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  46. Deborah A. Ten Brink
    September 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Wow, Donna!

    My blog is pretty new and it’s been awhile since I was blogging regularly and you really gave me food for thought!

    I was laughing at myself after reading this. I have no “CTA,” call to action! 😀 So funny! How could I forget that!

    I am revising my “To Do” list! Thank you so much Donna!

    Appreciate your tips and blogging overview!

    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted..What Is In A Name? Your Brand.My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      When our blogs are new, we do forget that CTA he he he! But it is one of the first things we need to set up!

      We also need to have some kind of opt-in so we can engage with people via email or however one likes to engage with.

      I’m so glad this has given you food for thought!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  47. sean
    September 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Oh hey I am always taking the next step, inching closer every day to where I want to be.

    I read something earlier today that mentioned the law of averages, and basically it said the more you do something, the more steps you take each day the higher your average will be of succeeding daily.

    I think this is a great idea.
    sean recently posted..Networking Superstars…What is it?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Sean,

      Indeed! The more you do something the more steps you take each day will help your average to succeed.

      It is like a journey, and we need to keep on it and not stray. Along the way there are always learning curves to pay attention to. Then we apply them. Step by step…that journey never ends!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  48. Erik Emanuelli
    September 15, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    Inspirational, Donna!

    I recently changed my blog theme and framework,
    moving to Genesis.
    Not easy, but definitely worth it!

    The power of reciprocity, I think it really works online.
    Most of all, within your circles.

    Taking the next step.
    That’s right.
    Only with real actions you can reach success.

    Thanks for sharing,
    have a super productive week! 🙂
    Erik Emanuelli recently posted..How to Use Twitter Cards to Improve Your Visibility and Social Media AudienceMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Erik,

      Thanks for sharing! Changing your theme is wonderful. A few months back, I had to not only change mine, but the entire look of my blog.

      My Theme was outdated and I had no idea how much trouble it was causing on my blog. Once it was changed, things ran smoothly.

      And oh yea…that power of reciprocity is one thing that woks online. If we don’t use it, we loose it!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  49. Monisha Kapur
    September 15, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Hi Donna

    Thanks AGAIN for the great tips. Taking your business to the next level (expanding, adding, changing) is very important for growth and sustainability.
    I’ve been using my blog as more of a “lead generation” but not really doing anything beyond that. Think it’s time to start considering an e-book…

    Thanks for the tips Donna!
    Monisha Kapur recently posted..What to Wear on A First Date (The “Non-Cosmo” Version)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 11:55 am #

      Hi Monisha,

      Go for it girl. You have so much to share and an ebook would be fabulous! I know you are using your blog as a “lead generation” but there is so much more you can do.

      OMG my brain is racing for all the opportunities you can share with others! Give me a call one of these days my friend.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  50. Ryan Biddulph
    September 15, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    I love this Donna.

    My 2nd eBook went live today – a few months after my first one went live – and I’m about halfway through my 3rd eBook already. I’m running with it because I’m learning so many lessons from you, especially on the pricing front. When I released my first book I wanted the price low to generate some buzz, and to spread the word. Then, after a few weeks, i rose the price a bit. Then, one more time.

    Now I have a price point for my eBooks, based on the promise of my title – how many folks blog from paradise, right? – and the delivery of my content, and of course I have a few world class testimonials backing my eBooks too. Hey, you may look around to get a feel for what others are pricing products or eBooks at, but if you kill it on over delivering, charge more. I do, because it’s my worth, and I’ve only seen opportunities grow around me, like you Donna, by doing this.

    Take the next step….as you know too, it was just a few days ago when I started my blog consulting/coaching business…..gotta keep on stepping, right?

    Awesome message.

    Tweeting in a bit.

    Have a great week.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..8 Blogging Excuses that You Need to Release NowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 11:54 am #

      Hi Ryan,

      I’ve known you such a long time. Since you changed up your blogging, you started climbing like crazy. Everyone wants to know Ryan!

      Your first Ebook, second and now third. What happens is that once you raise your price and value your time, things start to fly. It’s like my first product…..wow what a big step that was. Now I can kick a product out once a month. It’s all about excitement and dedication.

      Never undersell yourself! Just remember this: You give all the free information that is needed on your blog…The rest of the information you have to give is worthy of a price!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  51. Enstine Muki
    September 15, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    This is what I call growth Donna and people should not confuse this with trying to catch many things at a time. Doing that will only lead to overload, confusion and retreat.

    Looking at the way you put your points, it has to be with taking your blogging from infancy to a certain level of maturity that generates positive results.

    People fear the unknown. The next step may appear to be the unknown but I think that’s just where breakthrough lies.

    Risk is the mother of discoveries – Enstine Muki
    Enstine Muki recently posted..Adrienne Smith, Harleena Singh and 6 others are F.A.K.E bloggers!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Hi Enstine,

      I like your quote “Risk is the mother of discoveries” Yes, it is call growth. Each and every step we take is growing.

      I always like to compare it with our first steps of walking. We, as humans learn how to walk one step at a time until we master balance. With that said, if we did it as babies, what prevents us from taking risks now?

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  52. Harleena Singh
    September 15, 2014 at 5:59 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Absolutely right in all that you mentioned here 🙂

    Staying in your comfort zone and doing the same things over and over again is easy. But if you want to achieve success and grow, you need to move out and step forward, just as you did, and many of us are doing.

    It certainly isn’t easy because to achieve something, you need to stop something or put a hold on it, and striking that right balance, when you are regularly blogging also, at times becomes tough.

    I haven’t yet created my own product or even an eBook, which are both on my agenda, but we came up with the idea of the blog community and forum, and are working for making a special place for bloggers and non-bloggers, where they can come and share their problems, of any kind, and find solutions and help each other. However, this does require a lot of work, as someone needs to monitor the forum activities and the new members who register, and with all of this the comments take a back seat at times and we sit over the weekends to catch up with it. It doesn’t end there because the thought process to keep adding new things to the blog and be creative is always there, and now with the forum community, all the more to encourage the members….so
    yes – way beyond our comfort zone presently…lol…but there is no gain without pain as they say 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..Is Link Building Necessary To Rank High In The SERPsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

      Hi Harleena,

      You have gained so much stride with your blog. It was always great, but now with the forum section, that I would say is stepping out of the box.

      To maintain that on your blog is so much work, but you do it so well. It is a huge project and I know how it is to immerse in one thing and playing catch-up on the rest of the days.

      You provide a great service on your blog and you also always leave the best comments!

      Every time you are here, or I see your comment on another blog, it is well thought out and adds flavor to the content.

      Here is to new things!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  53. Mayura
    September 15, 2014 at 4:39 am #

    Hi Donna,

    A powerful topic from the business perspective, and I love how you elaborated it with 3 scenarios and through your own experience 🙂 I know you have brought many offline businesses online and created your own product, hence you definitely know what you are talking about.

    Content, Traffic, Engagement and Reciprocation altogether works for the best. I don’t know much about building email lists, but they sure have been helping bloggers as I heard from top bloggers. Eventhough I follow the casual approach in blogging and quite consider it as a hobby, those 4 points have been immensely helpful on building authority online and even before I reach clients, they were at my doorstep asking for help.

    It’s not much of getting out of comfort zone I guess, but focused on learning to expand and offer better services while engaging in a few new projects. And… more on non-business activities 😉

    Thanks for the detailed post and getting our attention on where we should be focused on, Donna.

    You have a successful week there dear 🙂

    Mayura recently posted..How to Add a Simple Contact Form in BloggerMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Mayura,

      In the marketing industry, there is a debate weather or not to have that email list. I like it because it is a way to be in touch with people. That is where I can really get to engage with them.

      Even though following the casual approach is fine and works for you and many others, what if something does go wrong? At least you have an email list to contact people. Keep them posted on those latest and greatest things you can share.

      It builds more engagement and of course, 10 or 20 percent of the time, one can offer a product and/or service.

      You will be surprised how many people will say “I didn’t know you did that?” lol

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  54. Atish Ranjan
    September 15, 2014 at 1:57 am #

    Simply awesome post Donna. All the pointers are required enough to taste the success. Reciprocation and building email list are things where I am lacking which I am not able to because of time constraint but these are indeed important and I have to do something for this. Glad you wrote the post. It motivate me. Thanks!
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..How to build a Private Blog Network?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 10:33 am #

      Hi Atish,

      I’m so glad this motivated you lol. You know what is always said around the internet world….”the money is in the list!”

      Once you have your email list, it is a golden opportunity to building relationships and then selling your product and/or services. It is more of a one to one opportunity to connect with people.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  55. Akaahan Terungwa
    September 15, 2014 at 1:41 am #

    Yes, I have, Donna – though it wasn’t at all easy.

    I reached a point with my primary blog where I imagined further progress wasn’t possible. I had an eBook and was making money…my readers were also praising me and it seems nothing could be better…

    However, when I started getting more questions in my mail box than I expected, I knew I had to push out of my comfort zone and answer a higher calling. This, I did with starting a niche site and creating two amazing eBooks that I sold on it.

    You know what happened?

    The mails reduced and within 2 months, the income from the new site beat my primary blog hands down. Till date, I imagine what would have happened if I had not started the then ‘side blog’. Funny, the new blog was created as a way to help my readers who wanted to figure out how exactly I achieved what I achieved (monetization was an after thought).

    Donna, when nothing’s ventured, nothing’s gained…believe me.

    Today will certainly be a great day. Enjoy it!

    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted..BLOGGING MISTAKES AND LESSONS: 10 + 1 THINGS I DID POORLY THAT COST ME MONEY!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 18, 2014 at 10:24 am #

      Hi Terungwa,

      I just read your blog post and it is amazing! I like the way your new blog is set up, especially the last post you have done. Showing people the “mistakes” you have made and how you fixed them.

      There is no better way to teach people..and that’s what we are here to do with our blogs!

      What a great way you have changed up your blog to a new one. As people ask questions, we need to answer them. I am so glad you stepped out of your box and started a new one.

      When it comes down to it …all we need to do is really listen! Then we have to do as you did…take that next step and go for it.


      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

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