Turning your blog into a viable business is one of the most challenging steps for any blogger. While many people dream about a life where writing about their passions generates enough income to earn a living, very few people can achieve this. To begin with, it’s a good idea to be satisfied making small steps and gradually building up your revenue streams bit by bit. As with any online business, it takes a great deal of time and commitment. You’ll be up against some pretty stiff competition, but top bloggers find themselves making a good income by wielding the influence they have built up.
The biggest blogs are no longer one man bands, and there is often a team of people working behind the scenes to make these blogs as profitable as possible. Take a look at these few steps that can lead you towards blogging success.
Find Your Area of Expertise
Whether solving problems, giving advice or simply keeping people entertained, every blog has a distinct purpose. Pretty much every subject has been covered before, so try to find ways of putting your own spin on your particular area of expertise. Write about a subject that you find endlessly interesting, and you should always have ample material to fill your pages.
Your Blog Page
Your blog page should be easy to use, and will clearly communicate what your page is all about quickly and effectively. The majority of users to your blog will be first-timers, so you will need to find ways to hold their attention and keep them coming back. A pop up on the homepage is a good idea that invites them to sign up to a mailing list. You should make sure that your blog has a clear and identifiable brand so people can recognize you instantly.
You should have various social media pages that are regularly updated and direct people back to your blog page. This is where around 50 percent of your online traffic is going to come from. It’s also important to think about search engine optimisation or SEO, so that people are able to find your page organically through their online searches. You should also try to network with other bloggers to try to get mentions on their page and backlinks through to your own blog. Guest blogging is another way of building a following.
Cross-sell Through Your Blog
Once you have established a big enough following, you can start approaching companies to mention their products in your blog. Top bloggers make a good income through posting product reviews or giving mentions to specific services through their posts. You can also run giveaways and competitions with the prizes being provided by your partner organizations. Companies know the level of influence that bloggers hold, and they are willing to pay large amounts of money for their products to get mentioned by a trusted blogger. Be careful about overusing this tool however, as people are likely to switch off if your page is full of too much cross-selling.
As well as mentions within the posts themselves, your blog page can also have direct banner ads, display ads, video ads, or text ads. This is another way to form partnerships with companies, and you can offer various different packages at different fee levels. People are much more likely to click on advertising when it is targeted, so contact companies that are in your blogging field. They will know that by appearing on your blog, they have access to a captive audience that may be difficult to find elsewhere.
Once you have a loyal following, you can have a premium content section of the website that asks people to pay to receive additional material that is not available on the main part of the blog. This could include access to extra newsletters, exclusive competitions and even merchandise. Giving away a coffee mug or keychain gets your brand out there, and allows more people to get to know your blog.
Sell Your Services
Once you have established yourself as an expert in your own particular field, you may find that people are willing to pay for your insights. If you are a travel blogger, you can put together your own travel guides of particular cities or countries. If you are a knitting blogger, you can sell your own patterns online. Blogging is a great way to get noticed, and can be used to support any other ventures you have going.