How To Turn Your Blog Into a Business And Monetize It

How To Turn Your Blog Into a Business

Blogging has long been touted as a way for people to earn money online. The basic premise is actually simple. First, you build a large audience of loyal website visitors. Once you have that, you can then turn your fans into paying customers.

Now it may all seem too easy, so you might think that it’s harder than it looks. You’re actually right, but it’s still doable. That’s especially true if you use our guide to help you in every step of the way?

So, What’s a Blog?

Before anything else, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what kind of business we’re talking about. A blog is a website (“weblog”) featuring content you either create or curate from other sources. If you’re the blogger, you’re responsible for what get’s featured on the blog. Normally, you update the blog regularly.

The tone of the blog is typically casual. It’s not like a formal website with technical treatises and formal news reports (though of course, you can do that stuff too). Instead, the average blog is a lot more casual. The tone is similar to how you’d talk to your friends when you’re relaxing and hanging out, rather than a formal presentation at a business meeting or a lecture in a classroom.

The subject topic of the blog depends on you. In general, it depends on your interests and passions. You should be so interested in talking about your subject that it doesn’t really sound like work to you. Consequently, your articles should attract the attention of others who share your passions and interests. So your blog can be on any topic, including a particular TV, pretty celebrities in general, various consumer items, or any hobby that you might spend time on. Think of any topic under the sun, and chances are there’s a blog out there on the web.

Now that we know what a blog is, it’s time to take the proper steps on creating

Picking Your Blog Topic

If you’re like most people, you probably have several interests. You can then pick among them that can help make you money down the road. Your best bet is to make your particular topic specific enough so you can minimize the amount of competition you have to deal with. You can even be more specific about the location. So, for example, you can have a blog about being a punk fan in San Francisco or a coffee lover in Seattle.

But first of all, your blog has to be interesting. This is the key ingredient. It has to feature content that people can’t easily find somewhere else. You can then do in-depth articles on relevant topics, and answer questions fully that people keep asking. You should post lots of photographs, and even videos will be a nice touch.

Just keep in mind that your topic will certainly determine (and limit) the kind of monetization options that will be available to you later on. You may also want to do research on your current competition so that you know how much you have to catch up on and what you can offer that others don’t.

Picking Your Blogging Platform

Here you have 2 basic options. You can hit the ground running with hosted platforms. The Blogger platform is already tailor-made, and it’s even free. The same goes for WordPress.com. You may also find other platforms, but you may have to pay for membership.

You can also just host the site yourself, and you can go with the tried and tested WordPress.org for this. You will have to pay a monthly fee to host the site, and then you will have to do some research on how you can set up your site. However, this option does give you a lot more leeway on how you can customize your website’s appearance and organization.

Another business blog option is to go with Shopify. This will give you a website that has both an e-commerce section as well as a blogging platform. You can also make use of hundreds of available apps to increase the functionality of your Shopify website.

Personalize Your Blog

Think of a good name for your blog, and then buy a domain for that name so you become the owner of yourblog.com. Once that’s done, you can then pick a theme for the site that matches the name and the chosen subject matter.

The theme includes picking the right colors and fonts to use on your website. If you are catering to a younger crowd and the topic isn’t all that serious (like music and fashion), then it makes sense to use bright colors and playful fonts. You’ll want to be more sedate and conservative if your blog tackles a more serious subject like healthcare or finance, and your audience is mostly made up of people in their 40s.

You won’t have to start from scratch, however. Regardless of which blogging platform you pick, you will undoubtedly have lots of themes to choose from, and some are even free. However, free themes are understandably more popular so if you pick a free theme there’s a greater chance that you will end up with a website that looks very similar to many other sites online.

Build Momentum for Growth

Once you get your blog going, your next goal is to build a subscriber base. Each subscriber represents a loyal reader, whom you can reach and then later turn into a paying customer. The good thing about your email subscriber list is that it belongs to you, even when you switch platforms later on.

So make sure your website has a prominent sign-up form so that your readers can receive email messages from you.

Update Your Posts Regularly

Actually, it’s best if you can update it on a regular basis. If you have to update weekly, at least update on the same day each week. But regular daily updates are better so your readers can visit daily, and it can become a habit for them to look over your site for new content.

Of course, you may find it difficult to produce new content on a daily basis. But there are tricks you can use to make it easier for you.

  • You can republish old articles after upgrading it to include new and recent developments.
  • You can reformat old written blog posts into infographics or quizzes.
  • You can accept guest posts from other people.
  • You can add links to related content on other sites. They may even reciprocate and feature links to your site so you can gain new readers.

Monetize

Once your blog has amassed a decent following, you can then start monetizing.

  • You can become an affiliate and send your readers to the seller websites of the products you recommend.
  • You can get paid to feature and reviewing various products.
  • You can even start selling your own stuff online.

When you’re able to monetize your site, you’re well on your way to success. Who says there’s no money in your interests and hobbies? With your passion and a blog, you can celebrate your kinship with others who share your interests, and lien your pocket with profits along the way!

Also, check out these Top 10 Low-Cost Online Businesses for New Entrepreneur

Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: john@lastartups.com

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