Many people dream of becoming a popular blogger as it’s a great way to make money writing about the things that interest you. However, building an audience and turning your blog into your full-time job is not always an easy task. It can be tricky navigating the different ways to monetise your content and then there’s the whole other issue of keeping track of your income and registering as self-employed. Here we will look at some of the best ways to turn that blog into a money spinner and the best ways to manage your resulting income.
Top Tips for Building a Blog and Turning It Into a Business
Understand the Difficulties
Before you dive straight into setting up your blog or attempting to turn it into a business, it’s important to understand that it’s very unlikely to take off overnight. Unless you already have a large and burgeoning audience, it will take time to grow your readership and build your blog into a business. It’s important to know, before you ever begin, that blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme, meaning you will need to be more realistic about the returns and the time you will need to dedicate to it. If you are willing to put effort into your blog, you will more likely see it become a success over time.
Choose Your Content Carefully
There are two important questions to ask yourself when deciding on the kind of content you will publish on your blog: what will I feel passionate about writing? How can I create content that tackles my chosen subject from a new angle? Finding a topic you feel passionate about will not only make your writing richer and more interesting, but will also make you much less likely to give up early on – increasing your chances of success. Finding a subject you can write about from a unique angle will give readers a reason to follow your blog over the thousands and thousands of other options available to them. If you are struggling to find an interesting topic why not research other blogs out there? Look at what other bloggers are doing well and what they are doing not so well at – and research topics which are trending by looking at Twitter, Facebook and Google trends.
It’s a mistake to see other blogs in your subject area as competition – just because another blogger in your field is successful and making money doesn’t mean there’s less out there for you. The business of blogging isn’t a zero-sum game. It can be incredibly helpful to build relationships with other bloggers and create your own little community. Writing for each other’s blogs and linking to one another is not only a great way to help build your audience but will also help boost your search engine rankings.
Build an Email List
An email list is a great marketing tool and a really good way to keep your audience engaged and updated. If you manage to build a loyal and dedicated audience you will find it much easier to turn your blog into a full-time business. Unless your blog is receiving a lot of traffic every month, your core loyal audience will be the ones to help you make money – they will be the ones who will want to buy your products and support your business ventures; by building an email list you will have a direct line of communication with these readers.
To Ad or Not to Ad?
Advertising on your blog is probably one of the best-known ways to make money. However, to make any kind of meaningful sum of money through advertising, your blog will need to have a regular sizeable number of visitors every month. Advertisers often either pay every time someone views their ad or someone clicks their ad. The problem is that many people today use adblocker, so will never see the ads in the first place, and the amount of money advertisers pay per view or click is so minimal that you will need hundreds of thousands of views a month to make good money.
Become an Affiliate or Sell Your Own Products
A quicker and easier way to make money with your blog is to include affiliate links. Affiliate marketing works by placing links to the sites of brand partners – companies you’ve chosen to work with; these links are tracked so that you will receive a percentage of any purchase made by someone clicking your link. Alternatively, why not start selling your own products alongside your blog? Many blog platforms allow you to add shop and payment plugins. You could sell your own merchandise or even your own products and bring in another revenue stream.
Be Smart with Your Finances
If you plan on earning money from your blog – even if you haven’t started doing so yet – you will need to register as self-employed. It is also important to start bookkeeping; it may not be the most exciting prospect, but it will help you keep on top of your income and any taxes you might owe. It’s also unlikely that your income will remain steady from month to month so it’s a good idea to start budgeting as soon as you begin to earn money. One way to help you budget is to create a financial calendar; a financial calendar will give you an idea of what you can and cannot afford from month to month. You can plan for the big social events and save accordingly and just generally have a better idea about where your financial month is going.
Remember to Have Fun
The most important thing in the whole blogging process is to enjoy it. Remember why you started out – to make money doing something you love! Try not to let concerns about income streams get in the way of your passion and good writing.
This post was written by Chris Smith. He is an independent writer and blogger at Spend It Like Beckham. His blog mainly focuses on finance and sports, and he has had features about a variety of topics published on sites including the Huffington Post, GoDaddy, The Guardian and The Telegraph.