Jess Renzi’s transformation from Blogger to Business Owner
I know what my audience wants and needs and how to deliver it. I can better address them in a way that captivates them and concentrate on my 4%. I’m grateful to know that it’s not about posting content 3x/week, but posting content that LEADS to actionable items that will make you MONEY. Blog smarter!
— Jess Renzi, Wanderlust PTs
She knew she could help people. She knew she had information they needed. And she knew she had the potential to turn her knowledge into a profitable business.
After being referred to the Blog Smarter program by a friend-of-a-friend, Jess stopped acting like a blogger and started running her site like a business.
And now, 1 year later, she has multiplied her email subscriber list (24X what it was a year ago), tripled her income, and is poised to launch the course she developed last year for the third time.
Wanderlust PTs helps new grads of physical therapy programs learn about travel + work opportunities and helps them make the transition to a travel therapy lifestyle.
As traveling physical therapists (PTs), Jess and her husband Gabe had made their share of mistakes. But after 7 years of learning, living the traveling PT lifestyle, and constantly getting asked questions about how to become a traveling PT, they decided to start a blog.
But after a full year of blogging, they weren’t connecting with the people they wanted to serve, and all they knew to do was “keep writing more blog posts.”
“Nobody could find us,” says Jess. “If you typed in ‘travel physical therapy mentorship’ on Google, it didn’t populate or anything. I might have gotten one subscriber every month.”
Having already helped people in real life, Jess knew she had the ability to help more. She’d written some core blog posts and actually was generating some traffic (796 pageviews in March 2017), but no one was sticking around. And one new subscriber per month wasn’t going to pay the bills.
The crazy part?
Everyone says, “You need to niche down.” …but she already had a niche! Jess knew exactly who she wanted to reach. She simply wasn’t connecting. Jess says, “I was excited but overwhelmed. I knew there was something more out there, but I didn’t know how to go about doing it. I knew I could reach more people. I knew I could build something that generated income for us, but I didn’t know how to do it.”
Then, while visiting some friends in Colorado, Jess met a grad of the Blog Smarter program named Meghan.
“She was like, ‘Yeah, if you really want to learn how to do it right, you should look into Blog Smarter,’” recounts Jess. “I knew I wanted to reach more people. I didn’t know how to do it, and this course gave me that opportunity.”
The first step?
Narrowing her target market even more.
“I thought I came into Blog Smarter knowing who my avatar was. We talked a bit about whether I should make it every traveling therapist or if I should just cater to new grads,” Jess says. “Jeni did a good job of explaining. Look, just because you say ‘new grads’ doesn’t mean that other people aren’t going to contact you. And that’s exactly how it’s gone.”
Jess went step by step through the process of narrowing down her target market so she could restructure her business around connecting with — and helping — just that person.
And after just going through “Empire Building 101,” the first lesson of the program, Jess said, “I’m feeling EMPOWERED. EXCITED. Like I’m back in college (which is a good thing). Ready to wake at 6am to listen to the next session. APPRECIATIVE.” And by the end of the program, after learning how to convert more visitors into subscribers and actually making those changes on her website, her confidence was skyrocketing.
But we all know that excitement and confidence alone don’t transform a business. To quit your day job and move full-time into your own career, you need…
On June 29, 2017, just one month after graduating from the Blog Smarter program, Jess wrote:
…and now, one year after graduating, her list has gone from 48 to 1,147 engaged members.
So it makes sense that the program also gave Jess…
“I’m no longer questioning what I should be doing,” says Jess. “I have a definite roadmap and prioritized what I need to best grow. I know with what voice to address my audience. I know to only concentrate on the 4% and don’t feel guilty about missing those who don’t fit my avatar. And the fact that I’ve already developed my lead magnet — so simple, and yet so powerful!!! Thank you!”
Simply by learning how to listen to real, live members of her target market, Jess realized that she needed to do a better job of communicating on her site in a way that would resonate with her superfans. And once she started doing that? She started getting found.
“Before Blog Smarter, Google didn’t list us at all in search results when using applicable keywords,” she recalls. “Now we populate on the 1st and 2nd page of Google for those keywords!”
*Note: Blog Smarter does not specifically address SEO. Instead, it focuses on attracting + converting real people (not bots). Any Google ranking changes Blog Smarter grads experience is a side benefit. Although a great one.
And because more of her site’s visitors are actually converting to subscribers, it has directly led to…
“My big aha moment in Blog Smarter was that my blog isn’t my business,” Jess says. “I needed something to sell or do.” So she decided to put all her energy into developing a consulting business and creating a course for her target Superfan.
And now, one year later, Jess is taking the plunge: from physical therapist to full-time Biz Maven.
So does that mean Jess is cranking out tons of blog posts to support her business?
As successful as Jess is, it’s not because she’s been blogging every week — or even every month.
Since focusing on building her consulting sessions and creating and promoting her new course, Jess has hardly blogged at all: she’s written just 6 posts in the past year, for a grand total of 17 blog posts on her site.
The secret sauce?
She’s only writing blog posts that point readers to her products + services. She’s making every post count.
“You don’t need to publish new content all the time,” says Jess, “which is the opposite of what Marie [Forleo] and Amy [Porterfield] say…but I’m thinking, Hey, I’m killing it over here on 17 blog posts, so I’m just going to leave it that way.”
To be clear, Jess’s page views have risen some in the past year, but not dramatically. But because of the business she has built beneath her blog, they don’t need to.
And in December, just 7 months after graduating from Blog Smarter, Jess wrote this:
After Blog Smarter ended, Jess spent the next 6 months researching how to create her own course and actually building it.
“After the Blog Smarter program, I knew I needed a course,” she says. “Blog Smarter got me on the product-creation train, and I’m actually creating thousands of dollars worth of revenue. I’m hoping to maybe hit five figures with my next launch.”
In the coming months, Jess is continuing to develop her marketing message and launch plan as she reaches more people with her course.
“Every day I’m talking and consulting with people, which also helps funnel them to the course. Then they know and trust me better too.”
Jess is continuing to work on her sales process, building her 1:1 coaching/consulting program. And she’s looking to hire a project manager to help her move through her to-do list.
Jess says, “Before the Blog Smarter program, I had an idea that it could grow into something, but I didn’t have clear focus on what or how to get there, and now I know it’s just a matter of time and my ability to produce in order to get where we want to. It was fuzzy before, but now I’ve got my glasses on, and I can see what I need to do and where I need to go with it. It’s easier.”
I’m no longer questioning what I should be doing. I have a definite roadmap and prioritized what I need to best grow.
Jess Renzi, CEO, Wanderlust PTs & Blog Smarter grad
If you’re ready to step up to Smart CEO, you’re invited to join the Class of 2019 for the Blog Smarter mentorship program.
Mark your calendar for Monday, October 22nd, when enrollment will open.Get all the details on the Blog Smarter Program