Building a successful blog that brings in lots of traffic isn’t really that difficult. If you blog long enough and put enough content out there you’re bound to bring in the traffic. But building a successful income-producing blog is a different story. Now you have to transition from treating your blog as a hobby to treating your blog as a business. Here are eight aspects to consider to turn your hobby into a business.
Setting goals for your blog is the most important step you have to take. It’s not enough to say “I’m going to make money with my blog.” You need to decide how you’re going to make money and how much money you want to make. If you only want to make an extra $50 a month there are about a zillion easy ways you can do it, but if you want to replace the income you’re earning at your full-time job, then you’re going to need to get creative and work a lot harder.
The foundation of any successful blog is traffic. To generate enough traffic to hit your income goals you’re going to need to target a specific segment of the market, you’re going to need to find products or services to promote and you’re going to have to develop a marketing plan. Every aspect of a successful business blog involved setting goals.
When you’re working for someone else your responsibility ends the second you hit that time clock at the end of the day. As a blogger, you are the only one responsible for your success. It’s important to understand that every decision you make affects your business.
For example, take a day off and you lose out on an entire day of promotion. Ignore your emails and you alienate potential customers. Ignore your stats and you ignore opportunities for improvement. Don’t want to take the time to learn what you need to learn to advance your business? Fine. But you’ll have no one to blame but yourself when it fails.
Set Up A Work Schedule
It’s easy to get burned out fast on blogging. Your computer’s right there so why not sit down and just send one more Tweet or add a quick blog post? But, there’s a difference between being driven to succeed and driving yourself insane. Set up a work schedule and stick to it, otherwise your blog will soon be just as stressful as your job.
Don’t forget to include time for yourself and your family and friends. Just because you have your own business now doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your personal life. In fact, that’s the worst thing you can do.
Manage Your Time Wisely
When you do sit down to work, manage your time wisely. Turn off the TV and your cellphone and get to work. Develop a daily schedule – check emails only twice a day, set aside one or two hours for writing, give yourself a specific amount of time to spend on your social networks and reading and commenting on other blogs.
If you want your blog to become your primary source of income then you need to make it a priority in your life. When you’re working for someone else it’s a priority to get up out of that bed every morning and get to work so you can punch that time clock. Even though you weren’t happy with your job you knew that if you didn’t make it a priority you wouldn’t earn any money. Your blog is the same way. If you don’t put your blog at the top of your list of priorities you’re not going to make any money.
Manage Your Budget
Most people get into blogging because you really can start your own business on a shoestring. The key word there is “start.” You can get a good start on your blogging business without spending any money but eventually, like any other business, you’re going to have to spend money to make money.
It may be that you have to spend money on educational materials or software, and you’re definitely going to need web hosting and an email service provider. Just be aware that you’re going to have to spend money so it’s important to learn early on how to manage your budget.
Set Up A Bookkeeping System
Right from the very beginning you should learn how to use spreadsheets and files to keep yourself organized. In the beginning you’re just going to be, well, blogging. But every business has some type of record keeping involved. You’ll need to track stats like traffic and sales, keep track of guest blog posts, and monitor ad revenues. Use your records to monitor your progress and set new goals.
There may come a time when it will benefit your business to outsource some of the work. For example, you might find it helps to hire someone to write your articles so you have more time for promotion. Outsourcing isn’t always necessary and it doesn’t always mean you have to hire someone in the traditional sense. You could work out some kind of collaboration with another blogger. Just be aware that, just like any other business, eventually your blog is going to become to big for you to handle it all by yourself. Hey! You should make that one of your goals!