We live in the age of the Internet, where anything is possible if you put your mind to it. You have unlimited resources at your fingertips to connect you with people who will help make your dreams come true, and that includes learning how to make your blog a business.
People pick up blogging for different reasons. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom who wants to earn her own income, or maybe you’re a college kid who is desperate for some extra cash. We’ve all been there, and if writing is one of your strengths, blogging can be what helps you get on your feet. All it takes is knowing where to start.
That can be confusing! There are so many sources out there that’ll tell you to start in different places and take different steps to generate an income with your blog. Once you have some basic knowledge about how to get a blog going, you’ll get an idea of where you want to start.
1. Consider Your Readers
When you start your blog, you have a lot to consider, but your first thoughts should always be about your readers. This means narrowing down what you’re going to write about based on the needs of your target audience.
Bigger blogs have multiples categories or tabs to organize their content, but when you’re starting out, you need your readers to identify you with a topic. Start off with one or two main categories to write about and start building your audience from there. As you grow, they’ll be excited to hear more from you on new topics, but they’ll need a subject to ground themselves in first.
2. Plan Ahead!
This cannot be stressed enough. It’s something that can break beginning bloggers! The first couple post ideas get published and then they have a moment of panic. What do you write about next? We’ve all been there. Pulling a blank on your next post can make you think that maybe you’re not meant to be a blogger after all.
Not knowing what to write sometimes is perfectly normal! That’s why you should use a content calendar. Content calendars are where you write down inspiration for posts and revisit them later. You may not want to write about that idea on the day it’s scheduled, but it could inspire you to write something similar. If anything, a calendar will make you feel like your blog has a consistent future, which can be exactly the encouragement you sometimes need to keep going.
3. Write A Good Hook
A hook is the first sentence of a post that intrigues readers to keep scrolling, and you should have a good one in every post. Trying to draw in readers with a nice looking page or fancy pictures will only get you so far. They’re there for your content, which has to be gripping. Don’t stress about it, though! There are plenty of people online who will teach you how to write a good hook. Take some notes and try some ideas out on friends to get their input!
4. Buy A Domain Name
Domain names are what appear in the URL of every blog. Sometimes they’re the exact blog name and sometimes they’re different. This is because you have to buy domains before other people get to them. Get yours as soon as possible and don’t worry about it too much. If you end up disliking your domain name, you can stop paying for it, let it expire and get a new one.
5. Make Your Blog Beautiful
After you’ve got your content thought out and a domain bought, you’ll need to make your blog visually compelling. The look of your website lets people know if they can trust you. If it’s professional-looking, they’ll be more inclined to read what you have to say.
You can buy premium blog themes buy for a one-time price that’ll make your site look like you’ve been a pro at blogging forever. If you have a graphic designer as a friend, you’re truly lucky! Get their input on the site to get feedback, but know that you can trust the premium themes to be good. That’s why people pay for them! You could also pay a graphic designer to build a custom site that’ll be unique to your blog.
6. Invest In Scheduling Tools
Learning how to market themselves is another common breaking point for new bloggers. It’s up to you to get your name out there, which is why it’s essential to link your social media to your blog. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will act as your bullhorn, so get posting! However, the more you sites you market on, the more your time will be eaten up.
As with most things, there’s an app for that – or at least a website. Scheduling tools help businesses who are active on multiple social media platforms manage their online presence. Take some time to try some of them and figure out which will help you the most. Then start posting!
7. Treat Blogging Like a Job
If you were going into an office every day to work, you’d sit down at your desk and focus on the task at hand. Blogging should be no different, but it will be more difficult. You won’t have a supervisor looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re doing your work. You’ll have to play that role on your own.
Schedule out your blogging time like you would at a full-time job. Spend a few hours in the morning and then take a lunch break. Work a bit more and then go for a quick walk to refresh your mind. Then mentally clock out at a designated time, so you don’t overload yourself. This will help you stay productive and happy at the same time.
8. Make a Mailing List
A mailing list keeps readers coming back for new content. If they read one post and love it, they’ll be inclined to subscribe to your email list to hear when new, similar content becomes available. It’s also useful for keeping track of who’s visiting your page. And those numbers will be helpful for the next essential step to start making money with your blog!
9. Create a Media Kit
Businesses are nothing without their connections, so get people introduced to your blog. Create a media kit that you can send to other businesses you’d like to partner with. They might pay to put an ad on your blog or have you sponsor them for a certain amount of time. But to do that, they’ll need to know if their brand will fit with your content, which is what the kit will do.
If you’re just beginning, convince businesses that you’re the next big thing by showing them stats about your views or mailing list subscribers increasing, and which popular posts would match with their company mission or products. You don’t need to be famous to send out your kit. You just have to make other businesses just as excited about your blog as you and your readers are.
10. Be Consistent
Part of gaining readers is making a personal connection with them, and that is partially based on how reliable you are. Your readers will appreciate it if you make a plan and stick to it. Using your content calendar and your daily schedule, figure out how much time you can devote to writing posts, and decide from there how often you’ll be posting.
When you’re just trying to start making money off your blog, learning the details of every step of the process can be overwhelming. So what is it you should be doing again? Here’s a refresher.
- Consider your readers
- Plan ahead
- Write a good hook
- Buy a domain name
- Make your blog beautiful
- Invest in scheduling tools
- Treat blogging as a job
- Make a mailing list
- Create a media kit
- Be consistent
Don’t feel rushed to get everything done in a week. Take your time on your blogging journey and stay encouraged. Even if it’s your business, blogging should be enjoyable, so remember just to breathe and get writing!
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