If you’ve been blogging for a while now, you’ve probably entertained the thought of turning it into a real career and business. But do you have what it takes to kick it up a notch?
Ask yourself a few questions before you quit your full-time job to focus on turning your blog into a business. Do you post chaotically, whenever you find a few spare moments? Do you use a generic email address for your blog? Do you pay little to no attention to analytics?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it might mean your blog is still just a hobby. However, if you feel you’re ready to turn it into a source of income, there are a few things you can do to start.
1. Set Some Clear Goals
The first thing you want to start with is setting a few clear, long-term goals you want to achieve through your business. Break these primary goals into smaller, more achievable ones and work your way from there by crafting a clear plan with set deadlines for each objective. That way, you’ll always know where you’re heading and what you’re working for.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of Growing
At some point, you’ll find yourself juggling way too many things at once. Don’t assume that you have to sustain it all alone, just because you started as a one-person show. Businesses grow, so asking for help is nothing wrong. Quite on the contrary! It shows how far you’ve come and how you’re continuing to expand and transform into something bigger. Start with an assistant for daily, mundane tasks, a professional for marketing or financial issues, or a consultant to help you understand the bigger picture.
3. Introduce Marketing in the Equation
Now that you’ve decided to turn your hobby into a real business, you need to start focusing on marketing. Prepare thoroughly for this, and make it a priority because it will make the difference between a successful business and a blog where you just write for fun.
Copywriters always make sure to understand your audience and their needs and create content that they’ll find helpful and relevant. Study your analytics to identify the types of content that your readers prefer. And, last but not least, invest in paid advertising to boost your most successful posts and increase your audience.
4. Track Your Progress
Any business conducts reviews to analyze their performance and adjust their strategies accordingly. If you want to turn your blog into a business, you should treat it as such, and take note from other companies and the way they handle their periodical reviews.
As a business owner, you should know your status at any given time. Use your analytical data to see how your blog is doing and record everything in a spreadsheet to have a better understanding of your progress. That will also help you readjust your approach if you notice that something is going wrong or if strategies are not as effective as expected.
5. Monitor Your Income
The moment you start making money through your blog will be one of the best in your life, but don’t let yourself overwhelmed by your excitement. As a business owner, you now have the responsibility of paying taxes on your income, so you’ll have to pay close attention to every little penny and where it goes.
Always track your expenses and income, and make sure you have a well-crafted financial plan.
6. Offer Yourself a Salary
If you think it may be smarter to reinvest the money you make back in your business, you’re not exactly wrong. Especially if you’re just starting out, you should probably consider using the revenue to grow your business and get it up and running. However, if it’s been awhile since you’ve started to take things more seriously and put effort into turning the blog into a real business, then giving yourself a modest paycheck isn’t the worst idea.
Keeping a small sum at the end of the month will reinforce the idea that this is happening and that you’re working hard to grow your business. It will also make you more aware of the fact that to keep retaining that sum, you’ll need to be constantly on your feet, or else you won’t be able to give yourself a paycheck anymore.
Taking blogging to the next level can turn out to be the best decision you can make. If you feel there’s potential there and if you truly want to succeed, then go for it. Just make sure to dream big and plan carefully!