A Blogger's Guide to Network Marketing
A few years ago I took a chance on myself and started a food blog. I knew absolutely nothing about blogging or web design, but I loved it, so I dove in. This led to months and even years of late nights, often crying, trying to teach myself how to run and promote a food blog.
But it felt worth it, because I was building something I loved, something that was just mine. And then everything changed. I gave birth to our sweet son Jack a month early, and he needed to spend some time in the NICU. Suddenly I didn’t have the luxury of just staying up late to get my blogging and editing done. I had no time, and I needed to figure out a way to make money from home.
I was already working as a freelance writer, but the blog felt all-consuming. Shortly after we brought home all 4 lb and 15 oz. of our sweet boy, I decided to shut down the food blog. I loved it, but it just wasn’t worth the time, especially when I was only making tiny affiliate sales off it.
So after getting clear on what I wanted to share with the world and how I can best serve, I rebranded and launched carriemadormo.com. I am crazy about my brand, but I knew that I had to learn from my mistakes in the past. I couldn’t let a blog takeover my life again. I had to be both passionate about my work AND strategic with my time.
So I started researching. I learned how much ad sales have changed and how it is just not feasible to survive on ads alone. I read about sponsored posts, affiliate sales, and consulting. In the end, I wanted this to be MY brand. I wanted total control, and I didn’t want to give up my little corner of the internet to ads for other companies, so I needed to get creative.
I kept offering writing services, as well as coaching. And then I took the biggest leap of my career… I joined a network marketing company *shudder*
So first of all, let’s get it all out here. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear network marketing or direct sales? Be honest.
Annoying Facebook posts?
Spammy Instagram messages?
Because I thought all of those things. And honestly, I still think a lot of those things. Many of the women I know in network marketing are hard-working, passionate entrepreneurs who have just never been trained in marketing. So when their company tells them to post certain images everyday, they want to be successful, so they listen to their company. But that’s just not how online business works anymore.
Why should bloggers even consider network marketing?
So now you’re thinking, well Carrie if you’re so against network marketing, why did you go for it? Fortunately I found a tribe of heart-centered, service-based entrepreneurs doing it right. I also realized how much I could leverage this income stream…
How much of a commission do you make off of your ads or sponsored posts. Do you make 35-50% of the sale? No way, but you would with network marketing. Once you find the right company for you and your blog, you’ve already done the work of connecting with the right audience. Now you can offer them an amazing product and maybe even business opportunity!
When it comes to making money with your blog, there are a lot of pieces that are outside your control. Ad budgets change, Facebook algorithms change, just about everything changes. But when you’re promoting your OWN company, it’s a lot easier to make a plan. You can plan exactly how you want to share it and what value you can add to it. Maybe you could run a free challenge or host a free workshop to launch it. It’s all up to you and your creativity.
Find your tribe
OK work-at-home mamas, tell me this. How often do you let a week go by where your only contact with the outside world is through Facebook? And how do you feel by the end of that week? I feel stressed, run down, maybe even a tad resentful.
We need community, and the right network marketing company can give you that. Team meetings and conferences give you a chance to connect with fellow mamapreneurs who are on your same path and want to support you. There is truly no substitute for the camaraderie that comes with this opportunity. By far my favorite part!
This sounds great, but how does it actually work?
I know what you’re thinking. If network marketing is this easy and fun, AND you can run your company online from your blog, what’s the catch? There’s no catch. You just need to follow the right steps.
Find the right company
First it’s all about the company. I couldn’t be successful with just any products. I chose to partner with a vegan nutrition and skincare company, because I’m passionate about health and self-care. When I told my friends about it, (I was so scared they’d judge me) everyone told me, “that’s so you!” Find a company that is just YOU.
Become a product of the product
After you find the right company and team, it’s time to use the products. In order to recommend products to your friends and readers, you have to truly love them. Otherwise you will feel awkward and inauthentic. Try it all out and see what you love. Then go all in and become a product of the product. Have your own stories to tell about how much it has improved your life.
Incorporate it into your life
This goes along the same lines as becoming a product of the product. When I first joined my wellness company, I was very focused on how much to share it. How often should I post about the products? Should I post about it at all? That’s when one of my friends who is at the manager level - the level below getting her free Mercedes ;) - gave me some great advice.
“Don’t worry about how to incorporate the products into your social media,” she told me. “Incorporate them into your life, then share your life.” Lightbulb moment.
I began just enjoying the products in my life, seeing how much better I felt, and then naturally wanting to incorporate that into my brand.
Share your life
Now this may be the hardest part of the equation. I’m all about loving the products and learning more about them, but when it comes to sharing my life, I still hesitate. A lot of fears come up when it’s time to share. Here are just a few that have stopped me in the past…
“Everyone is going to think I’m obsessed with myself.”
“I’m not thin enough to sell wellness products.”
“Everyone is going to think I’m not making a good income if I start this.”
Ouch, it’s seriously hard to admit and type those, but it’s true. I’ve said all of those things to myself over and over. But here’s what I’ve found. Every time I share a particularly truthy post, more and more people reach out to me. Not because I found some perfect marketing formula, but because I was real and raw and they felt that. Being vulnerable allows me to help more people, case closed.
Ugh, but really? Network marketing?
Look I get it, I really do. I have thought about writing this post for months, but always held back for fear of turning people off. But here it is. Partnering with this company has changed my life, and it just got to the point where not sharing that because I was scared was just selfish.
So you’re ready to start looking into this? There is a company in just about every niche, so do your homework. Find one that speaks to you and try it out. Talk to the consultants. Try a sample. Take a step forward.
If you’re interested in hearing about joining my team, I’d love to grab a virtual coffee and chat about how it could complement your biz!