Did you just start a blog? Or maybe you’ve been blogging for a while and feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Despite all the awesome content you’re putting out, you still have a few page views and you’re ready to throw in the towel.
Don’t just yet.
What you need to do is to quit thinking of your blog as a ‘side project’ and start treating it as a business.
When you go from a hobby blogger to a professional blogger mindset, things start to shift. In a good way.
1. You are more strategic
What’s my mission? Who’s my buyer persona? What are her (his) needs? What are my short and long term goals? What do I want to accomplish this year? Answering those questions is critical to get traction and get your blog to the next level.
Spending time thinking about your goals is a game changer. It will get you from hobby blogger to business owner. When done with intention, it will get you to invest in yourself, narrow your niche down, improve your blog design, branding, promote in a timely fashion and much more.
2. You invest
Start up investment
Blogging is a business and as in any business you need to invest (some) money to make money. Even though blogging has relatively cheap starting costs compared to any other business out there, there still are areas you will need to invest in if you want it to get off the ground.
And as you get into it with a business mindset, you are more likely to consider the following:
- A premium theme vs a free WordPress theme
- A proper hosting domain vs a cheap one with poor quality customer service
- Good quality stock photos vs your own pictures
- Potentially a DSLR camera vs your iPhone or small camera (depending on your niche)
- A good email service provider vs.
Invest in yourself
Unless your former job was in digital marketing and content creation, you’re probably pretty clueless as you start. Training yourself will set you up on the right path and allow you to grow your traffic quicker so you can start monetizing.
And you will be more inclined to spend money on a blogging course if you are a business owner rather than just a hobby blogger.
3. You improve your design / branding
Having good quality content is essential. It’s what makes your readers come back.
But the reality is that even with the best content in the world if your blog is cramped, confusing or just too much to look at, readers won’t stick around.
Take shopping for example. You are much more likely to stick around at a neat, beautifully-designed shop than you are at a cramped one that looks more like a disaffected warehouse.
The same goes for your blog. The design is part of your reader’s experience. Blogs with neat, coherent designs also appear more professional and cared for. And your readers are therefore more likely to trust you or buy from you.
Hobby bloggers don’t spend much time or energy crafting a great looking blog. But why spend so much effort on creating content if readers don’t hang around?
4. You make it about the reader
The founder of ProBlogger, Darren Rowse, started a blog in the early 2000’s. Back then, it was a personal blog that covered pretty much everything from spirituality to photography and even blogging.
While his traffic grew, not a lot of readers could relate to every single post that he wrote. Some of his readers complained about his scattered approach and eventually gave up reading his blog altogether. That’s when he had the idea to split it into a number of niche blogs that focused upon specific topics.
This decision was a key factor in his success. Each of his blogs now targets a specific need and is as a result much more useful to his readers.
5. You grow your tribe
Narrowing your niche will attract more loyal readers. The kind of readers who can relate to every single post you write and will stay with you for the long run.
Those readers connect with you through emails or via comments. They ask questions. They ask for help. Some might even become friends. This is the start of a growing community of like-minded people coming together around one topic.
Only as you become a professional blogger can you see the importance of being in close contact with your readers and setting time aside to answer emails, comments.
6. You start making money
So you have strategized and invested some money in the right areas. You have a nicely designed blog, great content, you promote on the right platforms and connect with your readers on a regular basis.
Now you are ready to monetize.
It’s time to put together high quality products such as ebooks, courses or services that are of high value to your reader. Depending on your niche you could also decide to monetise through ads or affiliates.
From hobby to 6-figure income
A lot of successful bloggers started out with a hobby or personal life blog. And while they learned a ton during that initial phase, it wasn’t until they started getting serious and considered their blog as a business that things took off.
Let’s take Abby Lawson from Just A Girl and Her Blog for example.
After working part time for a while, she decided to take a break to stay home with her two boys. But she explains that ‘while she loved being able to spend so much time with her kids, she started feeling like she was losing herself a little’.
She started Just A Girl and Her Blog in January 2013 on a whim. At first, she spent time writing about all kinds of topics not really knowing where her passion lied. While her traffic grew over time, it wasn’t until a year later, when she saw the potential behind blogging, that she started working it like a business and started seeing her page views increase dramatically.
From there, she set herself on a mission to learn everything there was to learn about blogging. With her husband, she started strategizing, taking courses, joining mastermind groups. Abby’s once little side project grew to an incredibly successful family business that made them over $40k in December 2016 alone!
A stroke of luck? You could think so if Abby’s was an isolated case. But it isn’t.
Rosemarie Groner, the woman behind The Busy Budgeter is another example of the amazing potential behind blogging. Unlike Abby, Rosemarie started a blog with the hope of earning extra cash to support her family. She had become a budgeting expert through successfully reducing her family’s budget:
‘I knew nothing about blogging. I didn’t understand how I would make money. I didn’t know what a niche was, or a target audience. And my computer skills would embarrass an eighth grader.’
In September 2014, Rosemarie took the plunge, started The Busy Budgeter and took a blogging course ‘Elite Blog Academy’ that she completed in 9 months. After 10 months, she was making $2,000 a month. 18 months later, she was making over $20,000 blogging.
While Rosemarie and Abby’s reasons to start a blog were different, they have something important in common.
They only started making a full-time income once they started treating their blogs as a business.
The possibilities to making money through blogging are endless.
Treating your blog as a business even if it’s just a side business (and not your day job) will generate a series of actions that can grow your online presence in a significant way. With some passion, dedication and hard work, you will end up making money from it.
If you already spend time creating and publishing content for fun as a hobby blogger, why not take it a step further? Why not turn your passion into your full time job?