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Three steps to creating a new service offering for your blog

Three steps to creating a new service offering for your blog

Posted 08th January, 2019 by Aidan

Despite how it may appear on the surface, good blogging is hard. As such, if you manage to develop a revenue stream in this area you may be reluctant to switch up or innovate what you’re already doing.

Unfortunately, never branching out from areas in which you’re already successful is not always enough to succeed in modern business. In fact, diversifying your offerings by creating a novel product or service can get both old and new customers excited.

In this post, we’ll break down everything you you need to do to get a new service offering off the ground successfully.

Why introducing new services is essential to your business

Let’s start by offering some context to the whole situation.

Beginning a blog is relatively easy, although that’s not to say it can’t be challenging to make it successful. This is especially true if you want to monetize it.

Unless you’re working as a freelance writer, blogging itself isn’t usually very lucrative. While you can use some kind of monetization method, such as affiliate links, product offerings like e-books, and myriad others, each of these requires dedication and focus to implement.

The real challenge comes when you exhaust the natural gains in whatever method you choose to implement. At this point, you can choose to either try and maximise your income through one revenue stream, or find a new outlet.

The latter option is often the more desirable for a few reasons:

  • You don’t have to rely on one stream of income, which relieves pressure.
  • Further to this, you can switch focus as the mood, or profit, takes you, which has a knock-on effect relating to the diversity of content you produce.
  • There’s something new to present to your existing customers, which keeps your blog relevant.

Overall, we’d say that constantly evaluating how you earn your income is as important as what you earn.

A deceptively simple guide for creating a new service offering in three steps

Let’s take a look at how simple it can be to create a new service offering, even if you’re starting from a blank slate. Of course, your first consideration should be your customers.

1. Consider what your customers want

Your existing customers are the lifeblood of your blogging career. In fact, common business statistics point to customer retention being more profitable than acquiring new customers.

This means finding your next service offering could be as simple as listening to what your readers and current customers want. How you do this depends on your setup, but a good start would be to utilise one or more of the following:

  • Comments sections, especially ones directly concerning your primary services.
  • Sales figures and analytics.
  • Surveys you conduct specifically relating to your service offerings.
  • Direct feedback from customers and users, including via email and social media.

Just to touch on the second point a little further, poring over your site analytics can tell you which of your site’s posts are most popular. While it’s not an idiot-proof method, the subject matter of those posts could offer some insight into which path you should head down.

2. Ascertain what you can actually offer

It’s all well and good taking the customers’ word on what they want, but what if you can’t actually deliver it? For example, some readers may want you to create custom content specifically for them, which would be completely unworkable in even modest numbers.

This is an important consideration, as you’ll now need to be realistic when it comes to the viability of the ideas you have in mind. A good way to look at this is to take what you currently offer, and see if there are aspects you could spin-off into their own service.

As an example, imagine you blog about small businesses, and also sell a companion e-book. You may have had many customers suggest that they’d like a hands-on consultation with you, which may not be feasible in your current situation.

However, you could create an online course in setting up a small business, complete with participatory elements such as a ‘Q and A’ session, feedback on branding choices, or a wealth of other direct involvement. The idea is to think outside of the box – ask yourself what you can do to meet your customers’ needs, without crippling your own interests.

3. Develop your new service offering as a minimum viable product using SMART goals

Once you have an idea of what the customer wants, and how you can deliver it, it’s time to get to work! Your first step is to plan and set goals. One way to do this is to adopt the SMART method.

For the uninitiated, this is a way of creating workable goals, based on the following parametres:

  • Specific. You should outline exactly what you’re looking to achieve.
  • Measurable. Your goal should be trackable, to give you an idea of your progress and how close you are to reaching it.
  • Attainable. It goes without saying that being able to achieve your goal is vital.
  • Relevant. If your goal doesn’t help meet the customers’ needs for a new service offering, you’ll need to revise it.
  • Time-bound. Setting a time limit on when the service should be implemented helps keep you focussed.

For example, “creating a new service” isn’t SMART, but “launching an online business development course and attracting ten paid subscribers within a six-month timeframe” is.

Once your goal is set, developing it naturally comes next. You might want to consider the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is basically a quick, cheap way of getting a project off the ground, and centers around launching the bare minimum needed to begin turning a profit. Once the MVP is deemed a success, you then have a great base to scale from.

Conclusion

The status quo can be a bad place. It usually means you’ve developed your business model enough that growth has slowed down. At this point, you have a decision: do you continue trying to maximize one revenue stream, or consider creating a new service to diversify your income?

Multiple revenue streams are key for any blogger’s continued growth, although creating a new offering can be tough.

In this piece, we’ve looked at a very simple way to create and develop a new service offering. In a nutshell, your customers will often let you know what they want, and marrying that to what you’re capable of delivering gives you a clear goal to reach. Simple!

Categories: Tips, Blogging, Marketing, Small Businesses

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