Disclosure: My posts contain referral & affiliate links labeled with "(aff.)" to products and courses that reflect supporting side hustles. I serve as a "lead" and potentially make a commission when readers make informed decisions to purchase or sign up for a service using these special links. I am legally disclosing that I am an Amazon affiliate and a proud affiliate to products I make references to on Side of Hustle. With integrity and credibility on the line, it benefits no one to direct to crappy products. I am more than happy to field questions about products I endorse and how to best serve you.
- 1 What is Blog to Biz Hive?
- 2 Course Information for BBH
- 3 Introduction to Blog to Biz Hive (Bootcamp)
- 4 6 Units of Course Content and One for Technical Training
- 5 Who is the targeted audience for BBH?
- 6 Pros about Blog to Biz Hive
- 7 Cons about Blog to Biz Hive
- 8 VIP Insight on Blog to Biz Hive Live (Last Year's Bonus)!
- 9 And of course, what about the bonuses this time around?
- 10 Why Melyssa Griffin is a REAL deal
- 11 My progress with her program
- 12 Other Courses by Melyssa Griffin
What is Blog to Biz Hive?
Melyssa Griffin's flagship or signature e-course Blog to Biz Hive (BBH) opens for enrollment twice a year. I signed up last year during one of the enrollment periods as a “VIP” member. In other words, I'm a fan, and she is a bee queen. In the assessment below, I share my experiences with her programs over the past year and my goals for the ongoing journey ahead.
Course Information for BBH
Blog to Biz Hive is about finding your blog's focus, growing an audience and monetizing (digital courses are booming!)
Building a blog takes hard work. The beginning modules guide you from the start (no blog) to end (setting you up to create products beyond the blog). Blogging is also learning to forage leads, doing a bee dance for your readers so they can also help themselves (sorry, lots of bee references!).Most of all, Biz Hive is a community of self-starting businesses. The best kinds of hustles!
Melyssa has over 5000 paid students in all her programs, 200,000+ email subscribers, over $1mil in sales in less than three years. If one wants to crunch numbers, that's minimum $233k in revenue every year. Giving back is also part of her nature, $130,000+ to date.
Introduction to Blog to Biz Hive (Bootcamp)
Outside of the first couple of days (fast action bonus), the best time to consider this course is during a webinars (slated for 8/29/17). The video series is a sneak preview what to expect as a student.
A few of interesting tips I've learned so far in the video series:
Subscribes are more enticing if you're offering an opt-in incentive that interests your audience rather a simple newsletter. Sprinkle at least five times on your blog. The “About” or a Header of a page are great places for a potential opt-in.
You don't have to be a Ph.D. (or someone with a highly certified) at all. People who start blogs or create courses simply do something that others want to do themselves.
6 Units of Course Content and One for Technical Training
- Module 1- Rapidly Grow Your Traffic With Fresh Strategies
- Module 2- Understanding Your Email List + Newsletter
- Module 3- Email List Growth Hacking
- Module 4- Map out Your Amazing Online Course
- Module 5- Build Your Entire Course From A to Z
- Module 6- Marketing and Launching Like a Boss
- Module 7- Tech Training
Who is the targeted audience for BBH?
Go-getters who want to turn a full-time business using their platform (a blog and an email list to start) and launching a course.
Pros about Blog to Biz Hive
- Printable transcripts accompany almost all the videos. Extremely helpful because I'm a visual, listener and a reader and I need subtitles to absorb information.
- Modules neatly organized. A module a month, be done in six months! You can certainly time it that way. A couple of sections, like recording and editing your courses, are likely going take longer (or shorter after creating the outline).
- Melyssa must be doing something right. There is no outside ad or sponsorship visible on this website. She uses her “list” to share what she finds worthwhile, and her sidebars are for her products. That's what her courses and content strive to do. She's about building YOUR brand, not someone.
- She has a Mastermind Course (which I hope to join one day after hitting six-figs. 🙂
- There's an accountability partner option that I wished I took advantage of where her team will match you to another Biz Hiver.
- She aces at webinars and virtual co-working sessions (part of last year's bonus)
- She's not afraid to do A/B testing. She passes on that information onto her students. She provides you the best “free” options to start and paid options when you're ready to upgrade. At the Live Event, we learned about more tools that boggle my awkward tech mind.
Cons about Blog to Biz Hive
- Presentation: I know this is part of branding a premium course, but my black and white printer printed all the cover sheets for each packet in faded gray. Luckily I have a laser printer because, on an inkjet, ink is money. I wouldn't be thrilled spending a small budget on solid colored cover sheets. Another detail is the lack of page numbers.
- A blog is not a get rich scheme. This course stresses that. The time I put into my blog, writing and rewriting older content, so it's more reader-friendly is a lot of work.
VIP Insight on Blog to Biz Hive Live (Last Year's Bonus)!
April 2017 as a VIP bonus, I had the pleasure of attending Blog to Biz Hive Live! in Venice, CA. There was something magical about the two-day event where I met ten other like-minded individuals who also had goals to reinvest themselves as entrepreneurs online.
Who is Melyssa Griffin?
Melyssa Griffin was an international high school teacher by day (stationed in Japan post-college) and graphic designer by side hustle. It wasn't long until she realized that there's more passion for developing an online community. Before Live, I knew her as a warm and nurturing online persona/millionaire entrepreneur. In person, I saw that she's thoughtful and quiet with a mischievous streak.
She knew early on that graphic designing for others isn't scalable and developing curriculum for others to grow their own business was. On the one hand, she could continue working for others on a schedule with a ceiling determined by project complexity or the number of clients she can reasonably take on. Or, she can develop a course and have a quality course sell itself. This way, she can spend a similar forty hours or less, while releasing a further inter-net and reaching out to wider range people with a targeted felt need.
Who is Kenny?
For two days, we had Melyssa and her close friend-turned assistant, Kenny's UNDIVIDED attention as we pumped out the framework for our growing businesses.
Kenny handles tech support, her online communities and much more (to the point that I have no idea how much he does for the Nectar Collective). It's a LOT; you don't see any of this behind a simple email. He's responsive as he is charismatic in-person. Believe me, we all want a Kenny in our lives! Melyssa has the incredible fortune to have one of her closest college friends to help her grow her own business. Speaks volumes on how Melyssa determines whom to keep close.
Kenny's specialty “niche” outside of his dedication to Melyssa's business ventures is brand ambassadorship. In his wilder days, he road-tripped across the country as a leader and enthusiast for brands that he worked with. Yes, that's an actual gig. Just before coming “home,” Melyssa reached out and they have been partners since.
Who else did I meet there?
- Together we were a group of 10. Everybody had their strengths and opened to being vulnerable. One participant showed up ambitious with an outline for a long course. Through Melyssa and group, we concluded that she might have too much material for her course. She ended up repurposing some more specific topics that could be standalone courses into bonuses for her course.
- Another was a schoolteacher excited to leave the grind to write a testing curriculum for other teachers.
- Another was starting out after leaving advertising corporate life. He showed up and immediately began implementing ConvertKit (email management).
- Another brought a friend/ interpreter along. Both ladies had a beautiful friendship. We were at dinner together and approached by followers of her Instagram persona.
- Others like me were figuring out how to structure our businesses. It was refreshing to hear perspectives from different stages of the process.
And of course, what about the bonuses this time around?
- Early Bird Bonus #1 (sign up before 8/23) The Getting Started Guide for Bloggers ($197) – I would love this bonus!
- Early Bird Bonus #2 (sign up before 8/23) Impressive Ads: How to Use Facebook Ads to Grow Your Email List and Increase Sales ($297)- created by her personal FB Ads Manager
- Facebook Community ($297)
- Pro-designed Blog + Opt-in Incentive Templates ($197)
- Plug and Play 10-Part Email Launch Sequence ($297)
- Launch Planning Masterclass + Schedule ($397) – created by her Project Manager
- Accountability Partner ($297)
- Mystery “special” Package mailed to your house ($49) when paying in full. Physical bonuses are not cheap to offer from an online perspective (sourcing, shipping, and packaging). Judging by her description of “cute office supplies and somewhere for your morning coffee or tea,” I would guess some office supplies or a mug/cup. Her website and style are impeccable, so this is an excellent un-necessary touch. Come on, who doesn't like a little something in the mail?
If that's not convincing enough…
Why Melyssa Griffin is a REAL deal
Closing down Online Business BFFs
In late June, Melyssa decided to close and archive her free Facebook group (Online Business BFFs) for online entrepreneurs. Some members were vocal about why one would close a Facebook group with almost 70,000 members actively thriving. Others proposed this closed access to Melyssa if you couldn't “afford” one of her courses. To this, I respect this decision and, in fact, applaud her ability to see a larger picture. Yes, that group brings her leads to her courses and it is DAMN impressive to have your name attached as a metric. What it comes down to is running a large active group (that's amazing!) and some smaller personalized groups.. naturally, your attention is more divided and often misdirected away from those who pay for the premium support. It wasn't fair to her and her staff to be that divided.
Sharing Her Advertising Strategies
The few days I spent with her, you could tell money isn't a motive behind that decision. Far from it. During Live, we did go over every gritty detail and no one in her position needed to share numbers or stats (transparency!). She felt that it was helped us visualize what it takes to do run Facebook Ads, email sequences and she disclosed how much work (weeks!) go into running a campaign each time.
In her early days, it was modest (think $<75/day or even a $75 during a full campaign run) and now, it didn't faze her in the slightest dropping thousands in Facebook ads. Course the eight of us, we ALL became a room of shocked-emojis processing the magnitude it takes to run a launch. She sees a marketing campaign as investment and part of the process. One must spend money to make money. She also undergoes A/B testing to see which aspects resonate most with her readers (and shares her strategies within Blog to Biz Hive).
At every point, she also emphasizes that it's a team effort.
Core Business Values
At what point do you know you're deviating from your core business values? Only you can be the judge of that. As an outsider, it's obvious to have a heart-to-heart with yourself and assess your happiness and sanity matches with where you want to take your business. For her to acknowledge that she's human like everyone else and spreading herself+team thin is a trait you want in a boss or leader.
She didn't crack with the pressure to keep a group open. It is selfish for anyone else to take over a group that she created and fostered and manage it as their own (that's stealing). That's her list (also one of her courses) that she built with time.
Pencils to Promise Fundraiser
- Goal was $70k and raised $120k for kids without adequate schools. Educations solves
- Gave incentives for every level, whether it was $10 to $1000. As an entrepreneur and blogger, she's always asking what's in it for the reader? It was brilliant introducing a final $10 bonus towards the end of the fundraiser to get in those last minute donors.
- It was a smart way to match demand for her courses and pair it with fundraising. If one took her up for the $500 level, it was a steal for both Pinfinite Growth and List Surge. And of course, all the other courses from the lower levels.
- Frequent updates when goals were hit. It built momentum for those who already donated or sway others on the edge of donating.
- She thanked everyone in a future blog post. Almost 800 people made a donation ($1+). That's at least 800 others that care a bit more. Every dollar count!
- Tangible numbers ($35k to build a school). Her goals set for 1week (recommended time: 1month). Exceeded that and kept the campaign running 1 more week to get a 3rd school.
My progress with her program
I'm struggling to keep up with Blog to Biz Hive and Elite Blog Academy at the same time. I decided that for me, Elite Blog Academy should be my priority until next year. I bought Blog to Biz Hive because I wanted to grow my audience and also has an extensive Pinterest course. One of my goals for 2018 is setting up Pinterest after avoiding it for so long. Melyssa is also more tech savvy compared to Ruth.
I'm not in a position where I'm confident about course-selling (or even if I wanted to), the grittier sections aren't for me just yet. It is also interesting because going through Elite Blog Academy right now, Ruth is also slowly dabbling into product creation, so Melyssa is slightly ahead of the curve here.
In December, I plan to regroup and finish up this course in 2018. There is a lot of good stuff (she isn't kidding!), but I will benefit more if I'm able to dedicate my focus to one course (course junkie!) at a time. Stay tuned for updates!
Other Courses by Melyssa Griffin
- Pursuit HQ Membership (aff.)
- List Surge (aff.)
- Pinfinite Growth (aff.)
- Social Media SuperHero (aff.)