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Lots of people want to know how to turn a blog into a business these days. Since blogging has become such an established a trusted career path, more and more people want in on the action. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about blogging full-time. Mostly from people who have no idea what it actually entails. It’s a lot of hard work and long hours but it’s so worth it.
Today I want to share some beginner friendly advice on how to turn a 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 in 2018 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 about how to turn a blog into a business:
Accept that it will take time
Even now, 7 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
Learning how to grow a blog into a business means learning that you need to work hard. It takes a lot of grafting and learning as well as a lot of time and patience. I know there’s a huge taboo and naive outlook on bloggers who make an 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
Mindset plays a huge part in this. Over the years, my mindset really has changed 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. If you want to grow your blog into a business, you’re going to want your numbers 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.
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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.
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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 so don’t look at it as one. Get your business cap on and start looking at your blog from a business 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. 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.