Do you run a blog but you have bigger dream of building a business out of your blog? If YES, here are 5 simple steps to turn your small blog into a big business.
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What is a Blog?
A blog refers to an online personal journal or diary that is updated on a regular basis. With the aid of a blog, you can share information and your thoughts about any topic that you can think of. Literally speaking, your blog is anything you want it to be.
Why Start a Blog?
Initially, blogs were used mainly by people who use them to write about their daily activities and other related things. However in recent times, blogging has evolved past that stage. These days, people blog about far more interesting topics and they do it not just for fun.
According to data that was gathered in 2015, there are over 250 million blogs published on the internet and over 2 million blog posts are written on a daily basis. Taking this data at face value, one may think that the blogosphere is already saturated and as such not worth getting into. This however is quite far from the truth. With the right knowledge, anyone can become a force to reckon with in the blogosphere.
These days, it seems like almost everyone owns a blog; from food enthusiasts to voyagers, to wellness enthusiasts and individuals speaking on almost every area of interest and industry, they all have something to say. A lot of bloggers have been able to turn their blogs into a business and have been able to reap a lot of income from it due to their dedication, love for the blog, unique style and content.
What Does It Take to Turn a Blog into a Business?
Turning a blog into a profitable business is not an easy procedure nor is it a get rich quick gimmick. To make blogging work, you will have to put in a lot of hard work. This is where passion and love for blogging comes in. If you start a blog solely for the purpose of making money, you can get frustrated way before the money starts rolling in.
A lot of bloggers who have shown interest in earning money from their efforts and hobby have found many ways to do so. You should also have in mind however that whichever method or combination of methods you make use of in earning from your blog, it should be appropriate or tailored to your intention and content.
For instance, an agricultural blog may have a difficult time selling hats and T-shirts, while a blog that is based around a personality might become very successful at it.
More often than not, trying to get people to subscribe or pay for membership in order to access your content hardly ever works, because almost everyone will not be willing to pay for content that they can get for free elsewhere on the internet. Unless you have very dedicated subscribers and extremely unique content, you should consider other ways of making money from your blog.
Here are a few ways of monetizing your blog;
4 Ways to Make Money Out of Your Blog
- Sell adverts
The first thing you can do is to sell advertisements. This is however not recommended for bloggers who do not yet have steady traffic to their blog. If you don’t have a constant stream of visitors and you don’t have a set amount of traffic each month, then you should probably wait before you dive into advertising and getting paid to blog.
This is because you do not want to give people the impression that you just started a blog in order to make money. Also, you need to provide something for the advertisers. People will not advertise in your website if they are not getting anything in return. The whole point of advertising a product or service is to expose it to people and if your blog is not yet mature to carry out this task, then you should stay away from advertisements for the time being.
You can also make use of Google AdSense ads on your blog. With this, you will get paid per click or per one thousand impression on your ad. Therefore, you are not just getting when someone clicks on your ad, you are also getting paid for every thousand impressions (impression refers to whenever your ad loads up for someone to see).
Alternatively, instead of making use of AdSense, you can apply for an ad network. Depending on your traffic and the statistics you show them, they will decide if they want you in their network or not. There are some that are higher end than others and as such, their remuneration vary.
- Affiliate links
Affiliate marketing is a Business model where someone sells a product or service that is not created by them so as to earn a commission as a reward. The use of affiliate links is better if you have used the product or if you are a fan of the product in question.
For example, if you own a tech blog and you go ahead to post a post an affiliate link for sponges. A tech blog is not based on sponges, you have no use for them and your readers will not understand why you are advertising them. So just keep in mind to apply for affiliate links that can somehow be affiliated with you.
For instance, a Tech blog can go into affiliation with a hosting company to advertise their products for them. Since the blog has experience in this and probably makes use of their services, it would be easier to recommend it for others.
3. E-book sales
Once you have built an audience, you have to become known for something in particular. You can be known for financial and money management, blogging tips, lifestyle advice, health tips et al. You can create an eBook from any of these areas and put it up for sale on your blog. You should keep this intertwined with your blog. For example, if you blog about interior decorations, you can put together an eBook on tips for decorating. Try to keep it tailored to your audience and build it around something that they will find useful.
4. Merchandising: You may consider selling branded merchandise for your blog if you have a blog image or logo that lends itself to being printed on mugs, T-shirts, stationery, mouse pads, et al. In addition to helping you to promote your blog and earn money, you will get the pride of seeing your brand on all sorts of fun prints.
There are a lot of ways you can go about merchandising your blog. The first method would be to find a T-shirt shop and get them to print out a couple of t-shirts with your brand on them.
Alternatively, you can decide to sign up for an on-demand branding service. An on-demand branding service will simply a sell a variety of products that are basically blank canvasses for your logo or brand. These services usually have contents such as mouse pads, t-shirts, aprons, towels, cups, bowls et al.
Whenever you select an item that you intend to sell, it will be displayed with your graphics on it. These on-demand branding service providers will usually provide you with a customized link that leads to your very own products. You can post this link on your blog and your readers can purchase the products from there.
When they pay for the item, it will be printed and shipped to their location by the company. You only have to bother yourself with setting up the store and collecting the accruing revenue while the service handles the rest. Examples of on-branding services are Branders, CafePress, Direct Lines, et al.
If you want to turn your blog into a real business, here are a few tips that you can get started with.
How to Turn your Blog into a Big Business in 5 Simple Steps
1. Write great content consistently
The most important aspect of running a blog is the content your churn out. Consistently creating high quality content is a guaranteed method of getting readers to discover your blog and keep them coming back regularly.
You content serves to inspire, educate and entertain your audience, therefore you need to take them on a journey. You need to show them what you do and how you do it. You can then turn your quality content into tools which you can sell on your website such as eBooks, tutorials or programs.
2. Promote your content
Writing very wonderful content is only half the job especially if you are just starting up as a blogger. Your wonderfully constructed articles will not just go viral by themselves. Using your Facebook and Twitter account to promote your article is not just enough because there are billions of people on the internet but just a very tiny fraction of them are your Facebook friends or twitter followers.
To ensure that your content gets to as much people as possible, you will have to promote it. To promote your content effectively, you should make use of a combination of social media, email marketing, SEO, and outreach.
3. Build an email list of dedicated subscribers: an email list is one of the most powerful tools that a blogger can make use of to reach his or her audience. On a whim, Facebook hypothetically turns off your page or stop showing your content to subscribers. If you do not have an email list already, then you should start building one right away.
4. Monetize: when you have laid all the necessary ground work (that is, you have created consistently good contents, promoted them and have built your email list to grow your traffic and following) then it is time to reap the fruit of your labor. You can make use of one or a combination of monetization methods that have already been discussed above.
5. Be persistent: blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time, dedication and a persistence to be able to turn a blog into a business. Be persistent, increase your knowledge on blogging, try out new things to see what works and what is not worthwhile, optimize your blog etc. and you will surely succeed.