Speaker Spotlight: Build A Business, Not Just A Blog


Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

Are you a “just” a blogger or are you a business owner? Do you continually look for ways to grow your following, get new readers and find new and better ways to promote your blogging efforts on social media? Do you invest in yourself and your blogging business; let’s just remove the word  “blogging” and go with “your business” by attending conferences and learning from experts? Once you’ve listened in and learned from experts do you take that knowledge back with you and incorporate it into your blogging efforts? We feel that individuals who invest in themselves and in their businesses will make more money than those who don’t — shew-tribe-201404-smallerthat just seems to make sense (dollars AND cents!) to us!

Mary Anne Shew,  who is staff  to Emma, the mom cat, and two of her kittens, Cody and Sophie. (Emma’s two other kittens had already been adopted) is a business owner as well as a pet lover. She has had cats in her life for over 30 years and is a believer in pet adoption. The cats pictured are the third set, which she and her husband  adopted from a rescue organization in 2012. She says she has also owned and loved dogs.

I caught up with Mary Anne and we completed an email interview to discuss her BlogPaws Conference topic which will be: Build A Business, Not Just A Blog.

If you’re a blogger do you have to take a big leap to go from that to business owner?

Mary Anne shared that almost every blog has the potential to become a business and it should meet at least these three criteria:

  • Whom you are serving (your target audiences)
  • What products and services you offer that they are willing to buy
  • Your abilities to run and manage a business. These are skills you can learn—no one is born with them.

During her session she will be talking to attendees about a very specific type of business plan that is different from the usual plan recommended for people starting a business. Intrigued? I was! She says the plan she uses is “on one sheet of paper and covers all the basics of running a business. It’s easy to use and change, yet it’s powerful and flexible.”

What would possess a blogger to want to “become” a business?

Most bloggers want their blog to be a business because they want to earn an income from it. However, most people have been trained by school and experience to be good employees, not business owners.

 Bloggers need to:

  • Recognize that they may have a gap in their background or skills in terms of what’s needed to run a business.
  • Accept the responsibility and take the initiative to get the learning they need. For example, learn marketing and sales skills.

The plan that Mary Anne will share with Conference attendees is one that will help a blogger ”understand what needs to happen to make her business successful. It also allows the blogger to understand where her current skills already fit and what new skills need to be learned. From there, it’s easy to find free and paid resources to learn those skills and apply them to her business.”

 What if the blogger is already making money from his or her blogging efforts?

For beginning bloggers, Mary Anne says that, the session gives them a solid path to work toward becoming a business. Seasoned bloggers create the same plan and often uncover resources and ideas they didn’t realize they had or that they weren’t leveraging.

If you’re looking for tips and advice of getting a blog-based business launched and running this session will be an example of how to set goals to get results.

What can a blogger do right now, today, to get moving toward becoming a business owner?

Mary Anne said, “Read books and blogs to educate yourself on what it means to be a professional blogger and a business owner.

Where should they start?

She recommends:

With all of the places a blogger could spend his or her money, why do you recommend the BlogPaws Conference?

BlogPaws is THE blogging conference because it has:

  • Seminars on topics critical for pet blogging success
  • Incredible networking opportunities in the pet community to make key connections and contacts
  • Vendors on-site offering the latest in pet nutrition, pet care, and pet products—topics to blog about as well as ideas to try
  • Opportunities to define and follow your path to becoming a professional blogger by talking with others who’ve led the way.

There is still time to register for the pet social media conference of the year!

maryanne_ShewMary Anne’s bio: Mary Anne Shew is a business coach and consultant who has helped dozens of small businesses improve their marketing, operations, and sales. By getting clear on goals, getting things done, and getting results, her clients achieve their dreams of being successful business owners. Her national practice includes a wide variety of businesses and nonprofits. She is a popular speaker for business and professional groups and an entertaining business expert who presents high value seminars and workshops. Connect with Mary Anne on LinkedInTwitter, and her Build a Blog website.

Read about all of the speakers here.

(Photo Shutterstock: Puppy on money)