To Succeed You Must Treat Your Blog Like a Real Business
Some people have a blog as a hobby, and other take it far more seriously and want to turn it into a business. That is possible, as blogs can be your business without a problem if you go the right way about it.
Have A Plan
If you want to turn your blog into a successful business you need to treat it as though it is one. Any business needs planning and a blog is no different. You should start by deciding what your niche is and then do some research about the audience you will be targeting.
If your blog will be a review site, for instance, you should be planning which items you will be reviewing. If it is going to be a lifestyle blog, are you able to arrange some interviews maybe with some of the well-known lifestyle guru’s? Can you find someone to sponsor your blog and perhaps give you some freebies or you to use as prizes in a contest? All these things need considering and should be part of your plan.
When you know exactly what your niche is the next thing you need to plan for is how you will promote it. It is not much use having a brilliant blog if no one knows it is there.
You need to set up your website which should be attractive to anyone that views it. It needs to be very user-friendly so that they can easily navigate through the different pages, or they will not bother going past the first one.
Assuming you do not have a fortune to spend on marketing, you should dedicate some time to social media. Even the largest of businesses do this, as it has the potential to reach more people than any other way with the only cost being your time. Use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to start connecting with your target audience and post on them on a regular basis.
You have to do this, as your blog is always only as good as the last post you did, and those are soon forgotten. Never be afraid to put a link through to your website.
Blogs are writing about a particular subject, but videos and images can be used too. They are becoming more popular, and it is said they will drive more traffic to your site, as people are more likely to watch them than read some written text.
Lastly, plan your goals so you have a very clear picture what you are aiming for. Plans can change, and you need to be flexible in case that happens, but with no plan in place at all, your blog will never turn into a successful business.
You will need to be organised in the way you work and in the way your upload content to your blog. Have clearly defined categories that people can access without a problem.
On your landing page, it should be apparent how to get into any articles, how to find your contact details and how to go back into the archives. An about your page is always good as well, as people love to hear the stories of how bloggers and others businesses started.
If your blog looks organised it will inspire confidence in the readers, and in any potential advertisers.
You should not let the blog take over your life. Organise definite working hours. Treat it as you would any job and have a starting and finishing time. There may be occasions when you have to work ‘out of hours’, but as far as possible stick to your allotted working day.
Establish Your Brand
Thousands of new blogs are started every week, each one of them hoping to be a success. Just putting content onto a site may bring you a bit of interest bit that will soon wane. You need to establish your brand so that you stand out from the rest.
Pick a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to spell. Too many people never find the site they are looking for because they spell it incorrectly. Search engines do a wonderful job of suggesting sites when a word is obviously misspelt, but you do not want to have to rely on yours being included.
Have a simple and straightforward logo that appears on everything you do, as well as on any printed stationery such as business cards and letterheads. This will help to brand your business for readers and for any potential business associates.
Build Some Trust
If you are really serious about turning your blog into a business, you need to build some trust and credibility among your audience. Your reputation can be made or broken in seconds. To create the trust you need to constantly turn out high-quality content that people are interested in.
As you do this you will gain more followers, and the more followers you have the more chance you will have to be able to make money from your blog.
If someone comments in a negative way on your blog or one of your social media posts, always reply in a positive manner, as positivity is one if the biggest trust builders.
Create Your Business
As soon as your blog starts to make money, there are certain legal responsibilities you have. You need to inform the Inland Revenue that you have started a business and they will issue you with a Unique Taxpayers Reference (UTR). This number stays with you for life unless you are ever declared bankrupt when you are given a new one.
This part of the process is very easy and can be done by phone or online. However, dealing with your accounts and tax returns is not so simple. You need to find a good accountancy firm to handle these things for you. Tax accountants will generally save you more than they cost, and will take all the stress out of this side of your business.
There are a couple of things to remember. Tax accountants charge for the work they do by the hours. Therefore, the better order your books and records are in, the lower your bill with them will be. They will quite happily sort through a black bag that has had all the paperwork thrown in, but you will have to pay for the time it takes to sort it all out.
The other thing is that these people have trained for many years to do the job and they will know all the legal ways for you to save on your tax bill. Listen to what they have to say, and do not assume that you know better then they do.
So now everything is in place for you to be making money from your blog. You have to accumulate a lot of followers before you can do this, and the more you have the better the returns will be.
People who advertise on your site is where the money comes from, but they will not want to do that if you only have 20 people a week viewing it.
Affiliate programs are a good way to start. This is when you promote someone else’s products on your site, so they are not technically an advert. However, each time some links to the product from your site and makes a purchase, you are paid a commission. The terms of the affiliate program differ from company to company but the one thing most of them have in common is that these commissions do not stop. They are paid for as long as the affiliation between you both exist, so after a while can be bringing you in a monthly payment with you doing very little for it.
Google AdSense targeted text ads generated by Google on your pages. They appear in boxes that are headed ‘Ads By Google’. The ads will show somewhere on your site and are paid for by the businesses that use AdWords, which is the pay-per-click program of Google. The ads reflect the content of your site, so they are more likely to be clicked on. Every time some does click them, you get paid.
This is another source of income that you will not have to do much for, except keep your site up to date and relevant to your followers. The more of them you have, the more clicks are likely to happen which will increase the income from this source.
Another alternative is to approach companies directly to see if they would like to place an advert on your site, for which you would charge them. They will only want to do this if they think it might be beneficial to them, so you should only approach companies connected to the content of your blog.
The income from these different sources can add up to a significant amount, although it nay tale a little time for it to build up to a living wage.
Blogs are becoming a very popular way to start a business and can be very lucrative if you have found the right niche and to it correctly.