When should you get a mentor and how much should you pay for one? I hummed and ahhhed about this for months when I started my blog. There seemed to be no easy answer as everyone I asked had a different opinion.
Some said you could find everything you needed online for free. Others said that everything online was outdated and no longer relevant.
Some said that mentors were a waste of money and others said that they were worth their weight in gold. So what was I meant to do? I’m going to share what I found out too late in the hopes that you don’t make the same mistake…
First let me explain what a mentor is (for those who are not familiar with the term). A mentor is someone who has already achieved what you are trying to do, and will work with you to show you the quickest and easiest way for you to achieve it too.
This is different to a coach. A coach will encourage you to take action by helping you to determine your goals and keep you accountable for them. They may offer tips, hints, methods or strategies to help you achieve your goals but they don’t necessarily have any experience or success in your particular field.
For example, a business coach will offer general business advice and guidance. They will help you to find the right people to move your business forward but they might know nothing at all about your particular business or trade.
A mentor on the other hand knows a lot about your business or trade and has been successful in it themselves. They have expertise that can be passed on to those who are looking to learn. The help and support that the mentor offers will help their student achieve their goals much more quickly than if they were to work either on their own, or with a general business coach.
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First, ask yourself what you want to achieve with your blog. This will determine whether you might need a mentor or not.
Let’s look at each of those questions in turn.
If you want to make money from your blog and turn it into a business then you are going to need to develop certain skills. These will include:
The most important part of your blog is the content contained within it. Therefore you need to know how to create content that is going to attract viewers. You also want them to engage with it, share it, comment on it or click on it. If you don’t get this right your blog will never be successful.
You will need to learn how to do copywriting for your adverts and promotional content. This is a skill set in it’s own right and well worth developing if you are going to get serious about running your blog as a business.
Then you will need to learn how to market that content and promote those adverts if you are going to encourage as many visitors as possible to your blog.
You are going to need to know a bit about branding as you will need to be recognised instantly online if you are going to keep ahead of your competitors. You are also going to want to align your business with your branding so that you are giving a consistent message.
If this is what you are hoping to achieve then you will probably do well to use a mentor.
If you want to blog for fun as and when you feel like it then you will still need to learn about content creation and how to engage with visitors to your blog but you might not need a mentor as you can pretty much figure out what works for yourself as you are not on the clock or under any pressure to bring money in.
If you are looking to use your blog to attract visitors to your website to help with sales there are a few things you are going to need to learn
To attract people to your website in the first place you are going to need a good clickable headline, and then some good content that offers value to the visitor. You will want to include calls to action in each of your posts if you are to get the visitor to the product or service you are trying to sell.
For people to be able to find your blog post or website amid the millions of others online, you are going to need to know about (and use) SEO, search engine optimisation. If you are not letting Google know what your website is about, it’s not going to rank it and so no one will find it.
Your posts and website are also going to need excellent, high definition imagery. You will actually be penalised by Google if your images are not high definition. Your customers won’t be impressed either. So you are either going to have to learn where to find these high definition images or you are going to have to learn to take them yourself (which is the better option).
So, if you want to use your blog to attract more visitors to your website and make more sales you would probably benefit from a mentor.
You might just want to use your blog to showcase your products or services, not actually make sales directly from it. This is fine, but you will still need to know about all the things we mentioned above. Imagery and SEO are key to your products or services being found online.
To recap then, you should probably get a mentor if you are doing anything other than just running your blog purely for fun.
Costs for mentors varies massively. It usually depends on what level you are at and how much of a transformation you are looking to make. The more transformation, the more it will cost.
It will also depend on the profile of the mentor. Obviously, rich and famous mentors are going to be charging an awful lot more than someone who is not rich or famous.
I think, and it worked for me… Find someone who is not too far ahead of where you want to end up. Blogging, like everything else is a process and unfortunately you can’t short cut the process entirely.
Although a mentor will considerably shorten the learning curve, and will undoubtedly save you lots of wasted time and money, they cannot wave a magic wand and have it all done for you in the blink of an eye.
You will need to work with someone who can work at your pace and who recognises your struggles and anxieties. It is no good working with someone who is way ahead of you in the game and therefore cannot relate to your lack of budget, skills or experience as this will only lead to distress on your part.
Also, someone who is not too removed from your level of competence is not going to be as expensive as someone who is 3 or 4 levels above where you are now. You can always seek them out when you are ready, and can afford the extra expense.
I can best answer this by way of my own story…
I worked for about a year trying to get a blog off the ground. I was constantly upset that no one seemed to be visiting my blog and reading my great blog posts. (They weren’t so great back then I have to admit).
But that wasn’t the problem, even if they had been totally awesome they still wouldn’t have reached my audience.
Because Google didn’t know my blog existed. I hadn’t asked for it to be ranked and so it wasn’t sending its bots to read my content and rank me.
I wasn’t syndicating my posts, sharing them across my social media sites. I actually thought that was bad and was considered duplicate content – shows what I knew back then.
I had no idea what SEO was and so I wasn’t optimising my posts for search engines. I wasn’t using keywords in my headlines or content.
Each time I published something I was just talking to myself. It was soul destroying. I got more and more frustrated with myself and thought about just giving up.
But then someone introduced me to a guy who had been blogging for a few years and this turned my whole life around. I now run 2 successful blogs, a stand-alone blog (this one) and a blog which is attached to my business website.
By having someone show me the ropes I went from a frustrated, failing, no hoper blogger to a successful business blogger in about 12 months.
My mentor helped me to avoid stupid novice mistakes which would have held me back and possibly black-listed my blog with Google eek! He saved me tons of money as he showed me what tools I could get for free to schedule and promote my blog posts.
He showed me how to format my blog and content so that it was more visually appealing and encouraged a longer time on site. He taught me how to find images that were high definition and free to use – even commercially.
He taught me about keyword research and how important that is if you want to be found by your ideal audience. He also taught me how to write attention grabbing headlines that would get clicked, and even showed me a free tool that enabled me to analyse my headlines before publishing them.
In the end, he ended up saving me more than he cost me. That is the lesson I want you to take away from this post. It’s not about how much a mentor might cost you, it’s how much they can save you.
For example, I spent £600 on scheduling tools that I could have got for free. I spent £400 on courses that just gave me other shiny objects to go chasing after rather than concentrating on getting one thing right. I spent £800 on website costs – I now pay just £40 for 2 whole years. I spent £144 on an email service provider, I now have the same service for free. These are just the things I can remember but I know there were lots more besides. Total saved = at least £1,944 He cost £1,000 over the 12 months I worked with him, that is an overall saving of at least £944.
You see, you don’t know what you don’t know and this is where the scammers get you. They tell you that you need these fancy tools and services that cost lots of money. But in actual fact, there are often much cheaper, or even free alternatives available.
You will be sold course after course that will show you how to solve just one piece of the puzzle at a time, and then you still have to go and figure out how to put them all together and make them work for you.
Having someone who can show you what to avoid, what to do, when to do it and how to do it is priceless. It can literally shave months (or in some cases years) off your journey to success.
Working with someone who will not only teach you what all the pieces of the puzzle are, but will also help you put them all together is worth every penny.
Just knowing that you have someone to talk to, someone to ask for help, someone to guide you along the right path is, in my opinion, well worth whatever you pay.
But you need to make sure they are a good mentor. Check out their credentials. Are they knowledgeable about blogging as a whole, or just one aspect of it? Can they teach you the whole process or are they just an expert in one field (email marketing, content writing, SEO)?
Have a look at their mentoring programme. Does it contain online elements that you can tap into whenever it suits you? Do they have lifetime access? Do they offer personal support? Do they have a community that you can become a member of? Are they using a professional platform for their programme that is user friendly for their students?
If you can find someone who can offer all this, they will probably end up saving you more money than they cost you, and that my friend is a darned good business investment.
If you would like to be mentored by me, I can assure you I have all the credentials, and I also have a complete 1 year mentoring programme with ALL the bells and whistles. Want to know more?Click here where you will be taken to my business website for the full details.
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