Blogging Advice Reviews

Growing your blog as a business

I’ve had the idea for this post sitting in the notes on my phone for literally months now but haven’t taken the plunge (plunge… isn’t that a brilliant word) to actually sit down and write it yet. Partly because there’s a lot of information involved and I’m a bit overwhelmed at where to start and secondly, I want it to be a good post (I mean obviously). I want it to be genuinely helpful and not just your average, “work hard and it’ll pay off the end xo” type rubbish. So I’ve taken quite a bit of time to think about what to include in this post, in a friendly and straight forward way. God, there’s nothing worse than clicking onto a “helpful” post only to not understand a word they’ve said, is there?ย 

So today I’m going to talk about (in words that you’ll actually understand) turning your blog into a business. In case you don’t know, before we get going, I’m a self-employed blogger. I’ve been self-employed for a good 4 or so years now – not always with my blog, I also had a small online book promotion business which I sadly closed down this year for a number of reasons. One of those reasons being that my blog picked up quite considerably to the point where I needed to put all my focus and attention into it. So as of right now, my blog is my main source of income and I’ve worked so bloody hard, especially over the last year or so, to really turn my blog into a business. So here’s what I’ve learnt and how I done it with extra links to take you to more detailed and specific posts on certain topics.

Accept that it will take time

Even now, 6 years into blogging, I know that I’m not going to be a huge success overnight. It will ebb and flow, some months your blog will do better than others, some months will be better income wise than others. That’s just the way it goes. So getting out of the mindset that this is all going to be a quick road to success is a good thing to start doing right now.

Be prepared to work hard

Growing your blog into a brand and a business is hard. It takes a lot of grafting, a lot of learning, a lot of hustling and a lot of time, patience and work. I know there’s a huge taboo and naive outlook on bloggers who make a part-time or full-time income from their blogs, that it’s “not a real job” and that they don’t really do anything, which if you’re a blogger yourself, will know that’s a huge misconception. You really do need to be prepared to put the work in, in order to make it work for you.

Believe you can do it

Okay, I know some of you are rolling your eyes at this one and a few years ago, I probably would have been to but over the last year or so, my mindset really has changed (probably due to doing so much Yoga, meditation and leaning about manifestation which again, I know isn’t for everyone) and I know now that we need to believe in ourselves, even if nobody else does. If you want something that much, your first step is to believe with all your heart that you can achieve it.

Work on your DA, page views and SEO

Okay now the wishy-washy stuff is out of the way, I’m onto the actual practical things which will help. You’ll always hear that “numbers aren’t the be all and end all of blogging” and they’re not, for some people but at the end of the day, if you want to grow your blog into a business, you’re going to want your views to improve and reflect that. Also, I’m not going to beat around the bush but some brand opportunities will require you to have a certain DA score or certain about of followers / views. Whether it’s fair or not is another argument but that’s just the way it goes.

Know where to look and put yourself out there

When it comes to brand opportunities, you need to put yourself out there and not just wait for the work to trickle in. It can be scary, it can be daunting and you might think you’re not good enough (a very common thought, don’t worry!) but you really do need to.

Get organised

Growing your blog means more work and more work means more “stuff” and that means you need to be organised with that “stuff”. I’m a huge advocate for organisation, a bit of a Monica Geller if you will. I know it’s a lot of work for one person but keeping organised will really help you in the long run.

Refine your USP

Each brand has their own unique selling points, their personalities, that “thing” that makes people sit up and pay attention. Think of brands like Lush, Innocent Smoothies, Liz Earle, Jo Malone etc. Blogs and bloggers need that too, especially in a time when there are thousands upon thousands of bloggers who are all trying to do the same thing. You don’t want to be like everyone else, you want to stand out but what makes you, you? What makes your blog unique? Is it your humor? Your photography? The topics you write about? Think very hard about what makes your blog unique, what people keep coming back for and utilize that.

Don’t forget the boring stuff

If you make money from blogging, you need to be registered as self-employed and declare any earnings – even if it’s not enough to pay tax on those earnings. You also need to keep a record of everything you earn if order to fill out your self assessment form at the end of each tax year. It’s really boring, let’s all agree it’s really bloody boring but it needs to be done. You can find out more information here.

Think like a business

If you want to turn your blog into a business, earn money from it and make a real good go of it, you need to alter your perception of your blog slightly. This is your baby after all, something you’ve worked so hard on for so long and it’s not just a hobby for you anymore (FYI, I’m not slating anyone who does just blog as a hobby but obviously this post is focused on those who don’t) so don’t look at it as one. Get your business mind cap on and start looking at your blog from a PR or a brands perspective.

Gain knowledge and advice from other bloggers

You don’t need to do it all by yourself and you’re never too late to learn something new about blogging, blogging as a business and earning money from blogging. Be open to accepting advice from other bloggers, read their posts, and follow their advice (if applicable to you). There’s plenty of bloggers who have already been through what you’re going through and already learnt what you’re trying to learn, so take positives from that.

Learn to accept rejection and failure

Ending on a right positive note here but it’s something that’s really important and something that anyone who works with brands needs to realise that rejection and failure are part of the package. Not all brands are going to want to work with you, not all pitches you send are going to get answered or accepted and sometimes you’re going to feel like you’re going backwards. I guarantee most bloggers have felt like this at some point or another (and if you haven’t, way to go!) but it’s a normal feeling and it sucks. But learning to accept rejection is something that will really benefit your mental state in this big scary blogging world. Remember how many bloggers there actually are, chances are any rejections won’t be personal.

I really hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions, please do leave them in the comments and if you have any more advice of your own, do share that too!

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

109 Comments

  1. Good post thanks for sharing. I feel totally clueless about how to make my blog profitable and struggle to find time. I have so many goals. Can you really make money from a book blog?

    1. Book blogging is definitely the hardest niche to make money from. Honestly I only started making money when I evolved into lifestyle.

      1. Thanks for your honesty. I love the niche I don’t think I’d be any good at lifestyle. Books and writing are my thing. But I’ll still blog. Maybe I just need a better job ๐Ÿคฃ

  2. […] opportunities. I’ve done various posts about it in the past (like this one, this one and this one) and I plan to do another one sometime soon with very specific links to places where you can find […]

  3. […] eBook, bagged myself my biggest blogging opportunity yet, worked with a number of amazing brands, turned my blog into a business and saw my income increase from extra pocket money to something a bit more […]

  4. […] and then through my blog – this has been the year that I’ve really knuckled down and turned my little space on the internet into my little business on the internet. I’ve seen a rise in almost everything; income, stats, following and […]

  5. myspottedblog says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for this and the links! I just tweeted today about needing help with SEO. Canโ€™t wait to sit down and read through your links. Thank you for the time you put into creating this and the adivce given!

    Cheers xx

    Rachel | http://www.myspottedblog.com

    1. Youโ€™re very welcome! ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  6. Victoria Austin says:

    Such a great post Jenny, I’ve just saved it to my new blogging board on Pinterest. x

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  7. This was honestly so helpful! Right now my blog is just a hobby, but I would love to make it into something more. Your post really gave me some insight into what I need to do when I’m ready to take blogging as a job seriously!!

    1. I’m so glad! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. This article is really helpful – I’m gonna have to save it in my browser because I need to get through all those articles you’ve linked! I think what I really need to do is to work on my unique selling point. At the moment, all I can think of is that I like to write in-depth blogging tips (but so do a lot of bloggers). I also post every day, but I’m not even sure that counts! Maybe I should work on my writing style? Yep, this is definitely something I’m going to have to look into a lot more… xx

    Alicia | http://www.aliciabynature.co.uk

    1. Iโ€™m glad this post has given you some food for thought anyway! ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx

  9. Saved! This is going to take some review. Great practical post! Thanks for the information, it means a lot.

    1. Hope you find it helpful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. This is so unbelievably helpful! I don’t really look at my blog as a “business” yet because I’m at uni and it was a hobby that took off more than I could have ever imagined, but I do make some money from it now and I could relate to this a lot. It really ebs and flows! Last month I made the most I ever made and this month I’ve made nothing so far. I’ve found that it really is all about balance, and yes, so much hard work!

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

    1. Itโ€™s so tough isnโ€™t it and crazy how the months swing from one extreme to another. I had that earlier in the year, where I made loads in one month and the next was only a fraction of that. Iโ€™ve loved seeing your blog grow! ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  11. YES to all of this.
    My big goal for next year is to focus on sorting SEO on my blog because it’s something I never considered when I started out (and tbh didn’t consider until this year, oops) so it’ll take TIME.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    1. Yeah I wish I had learnt about SEO sooner too!

  12. […] Jenny @ Jenny In Neverland talks about how you can make your blog into a business […]

  13. So helpful since Iโ€™m trying to get a late start on blogging!!!! Thank you ๐Ÿ˜ trying to find those devoted followers to connect with.

    1. Glad you found it helpful! ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  14. Love, love, love this blog post babe – thank you so much for sharing!! ๐Ÿ’œโœจ

    With love, Alisha Valerie x

    1. You’re welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Well done on your success and thanks for sharing these tips! Do you have any information on different blogging platforms? Iโ€™m using WordPress now but Iโ€™m not sure how to get the best out of it.

    1. Iโ€™m using WordPress so thatโ€™s basically the only platform I have any decent knowledge of, do you have any specific questions?

      1. Not as such. Just if you had any tips regarding the best way to use it.

      2. Erm, I think the publicise option on blog posts is great, do you use that? The theme is always important and making sure you have clear categories, a clear follow button, clear socials etc. I use the premium plan, which gives you access to more themes and personalisation which I really like!

      3. Thanks! Iโ€™ll look into all these ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. SHE IN THE KNOW (@Sheintheknow) says:

    I love this! It’s so insightful to see what I could be doing better. I’m a photographer mostly, but I would love to make a career out of writing, whether it’s through a fictional book, journalism or my blog. x

    http://www.sheintheknow.co.uk

    1. Sounds amazing! Itโ€™s definitely doable ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad you found this helpful!

  17. katesbeautyhome says:

    Thank you so much for you tips and advice yet again. You really help motivate and give such honest, reliable information. A massive congratulations on the e-book it has been a great help to me recently and I have started to make some changes to my own blog based on your tips.
    Kate x

  18. Nicculent says:

    your blog business posts are always so well written, full of wise words, and meaningful!i literally took notes from this post, it was that helpful.thanks for the amazing advice!

    1. Awh I’m glad you found it so helpful!

  19. This is great advice and I’m definitely sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you very much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. These are such great tips. Thanks for sharing them!
    xoxo Ros (ZenHealth.net)

    1. You’re welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Such a helpful post.
    Blogging is so much hard work compared to what others might think. Itโ€™s hard to combine it with a full time job, social life and other things we do.

    http://littlemissmelanie.com

    1. It really is – I don’t know how people blog and have a full time job as well as everything else!

  22. Starting the process of turning your blog into a business can be hard and seem like a big jump but it’s possible with hard work and determination! x

    1. It definitely is ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. 6 Years in an still going strong! you are such an inspiration!

    1. Awh stop! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Earning money from blogging is so damn hard, and you’re constantly working to make sure you can make ends meet!

    Love, Amie โค
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. It really is hard – nobody should be coming into this industry thinking it’s an easy route to riches because it definitely isn’t!

  25. Jenny your posts are always unbelievably motivating, helpful and useful and this one was no exception! I’ve always tried to think of my blog as a business but sometimes it can get a little tricky so this definitely helped put me right back on track! xx
    http://www.imjustagirl16.co.uk

    1. Thank you so much, that’s so sweet of you to say! I’m glad it helped ๐Ÿ™‚ Your blog has always been one of my faves! xxx

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