It’s no secret that you can make a full-time income blogging. There are so many ladies, moms, and creatives killing the blogging game and creating a life for themselves they love. It’s not easy, but by following my steps below you can start treating your blog like a business from day 1 to start meeting your blogging goals in no time. Here are my top 7 tips on how to treat your blog like a business from day 1!
1. Have a Plan
This is a business. Successful businesses have plans. By a plan I mean clear goals that you want to meet with your content and income. You can do this by mapping out what you want to achieve in dollar amount or content wise. For me, before I launched my blog I wanted to have at least 15 blog post written, edited, and posted. Therefore I’d have content to actually promote on social media. Content planning is important for a lot of bloggers consistency and the same is true for me. The more content I have written and just waiting to be scheduled, the better.
Dollar amount wise, many look to make their first $500 or $1000 blogging and map out how they plan to make that money. There are many ways to monetize your blog including affiliate links, creating your own products, ad’s, and sponsorships are among the most popular. When you’re just starting out it is a great idea to focus on one or two ways to monetize your blog.
I know making money blogging is easier said than done which is why you when you pick one or two ways to make money, it’s time to actually make a plan of how you’re gonna do it. Many bloggers start off with affiliate marketing and ads which is a great combination! Ads are totally passive and you don’t have to do anything at all to make money from them.
Affiliate marketing on the other hand in the beginning is active. Very active. Many bloggers make it seem like affiliate sales fall out of the sky overnight and the reality is they just don’t. Affiliate marketing is a skill. A wonderful skill that once learned, can bring you in passive income. But in the beginning, there’s nothing passive about it. Spend your time dedicated to learning a skill or creating a product, because these are the best ways to make a full time income blogging
Everything I have discussed so far goes into the making of a plan. Having a roadmap of your short term and long term goals is vital to your success. If you have no idea how you’re going to make any money, you will spend your time promoting the wrong things, applying to every single affiliate company, and filling up your site with ads. Having a plan puts things in to perspective. And when you first start blogging you need perspective.
There will be days where you might want to quit. If you’ve never built a website, and you know nothing about SEO, marketing, or branding (how a lot of us start) you will feel in over your head. You might feel like you made a mistake. You might feel like you will never be able to succeed at this. This is when perspective kicks in. Blogging is a skill. A lot of different skills actually. Which means you can improve. You can go back to your plan, review your goals, and take it as step by step process. I don’t believe in “beating blogging overwhelm” because learning new skills is freaking overwhelming. Believing in yourself when you’re not making the progress you want is hard. So you will be overwhelmed, but that’s okay, because you have a plan.
You can start a blog for free. You can even make money on a blog that’s free. I know, because I’ve done it. However, if you’re looking to start a blog and make more than a few hundred bucks doing it, that’s when you need to be self hosted.
I’ve technically been blogging for 4 years. I started my first blog on a free platform about college. I wrote about the college experience, being an English Major, and shared study tips. After about a year, I started offering cheap services to blogging friends for some extra cash. In another year, I was making a pretty decent side hustle for a broke college student just teaching people how to take notes and giving short English lessons.
Everyone says it’s not possible with a free blog. It is. I’m living proof.
Is it a good idea if you’re really looking to take this seriously? Nope.
When you’re blogging on a free platform, you do not own your content. That means if at any point in time the platform goes to internet heaven (rip Daily Booth and Vine) All your content is gone. All those people who loved your content are gone. Just like that.
When you’re depending on your blog for any part of your livelihood, that is a terrifying risk. One that I was not willing to take a second time.
Being self hosted has allowed me to monetize my blog in ways I was not able to before. I can use ads now, apply for sponsorships, and have affiliates take me seriously. None of which I could do on a free platform.
Technically when I was making money with my free blog I was offering services to make money. Which was cool, but it’s not gonna get me to six figures without being seriously burnt out. You need passive income for that. A luxury you do not have on a free platform.
That’s why you need to be self hosted.
For hosting, I use Blue Host. Many bloggers have a lot of negative things to say about it and claim bloggers only endorse it because they make a ton of money in affiliate income with it.
It’s true, there are bloggers that make a lot of money with Blue Host.
There are also a lot of bloggers making a lot of money promoting Site Ground. And just about any other hosting company.
Bloggers don’t make a killing because they are somehow unethical, they make a lot of money because they have a lot of traffic and are great at affiliate marketing and make a lot of money from all of their affiliates.
In fact, most people who bash Blue Host and bloggers who promote it do so in order to sell another hosting company. Go figure.
I chose Blue Host because it is affordable, reliable, and accessible to anyone with any budget. The best part of blogging for me is there are no gatekeepers keeping anyone from achieving their goals. You can make money blogging with a degree or no degree, come from any background, have years or 0 experience and still kick butt. And that’s pretty awesome.
It’s not an exaggeration to say blogging has taken people and their entire family out of poverty.
I believe Blue Host helps people do that by:
- Making hosting affordable. Upfront, you can get hosting for a year for $59.40 a year with my discount, that’s less than dinner and a movie for two!
- You can install WordPress with one click. They do all the hard work for you and making setting up your blog a breeze
- They have a wonderful customer service team, with a team specifically for WordPress. They have always answered my questions quickly and went above and beyond to help me on my journey
So with my link, you can click here to get a special discount on hosting just for my readers. It is an affiliate link that is no extra cost to you. I would never recommend something I didn’t use and love myself.
3. Do Your Research
Research is crucial if you have never had a blog or made money online. The blogging community is amazing and there are so many amazing bloggers that you can learn from. Many of them offer in-depth FREE email courses on how to monetize your blog, write evergreen content, or boost your presence on social media. If you find a blogger you really love, try subscribing to their email list for more tips. Or poking around their blog to see if they offer any freebies like an email course or mini ebook.
One of my best pieces of advice regarding research though is to simply read other blogs. In your niche or not, this is the most hands-on approach you can take and has helped me so much. The more you read, the more you can understand how it’s done. Do they engage with their audience? What kind of posts are getting the most attention? What are their titles like? Can you spot their SEO strategy? A lot of bloggers stress themselves out worrying about things like How do I write a good blog post? How do I know if it’s good?
They have anxiety about writing because they’ve never written anything before and think they’re bad writers. The good news is, you don’t need to be a good writer to write great blog posts.
You don’t need to be a good writer to write great blog posts or make money blogging.
Writing is truthfully so little of the job. I come from an academic writing background. I have two degrees in English. I am a “good writer” but when I first started writing blogs posts they sucked. Even the first version of this post sucked.
Harsh, but true.
I came off stiff, robotic, and very teacher-y. It was hard for me to shake my rigid training.
Even though I am a “good writer” every style of writing is different. I had never written a blog post before. After reading a lot of blog posts, I learned. Just like you will learn.
That’s the great thing about this blogging thing, no matter how we end up here whether you’re a single mom who’s never worked outside the home or a lawyer who gave up the job they hated, the internet levels us. Everyone’s a newbie in the beginning. No one knows what they’re doing at first. That’s why you’ve gotta do your research.
One of my favorite parts of starting a blog is I got to read more of blogs I loved anyway just with a more critical eye. The point of reading other blogs is not to imitate, because what works for one blogger might not work for you and your audience, but to help you lay your groundwork for blogging and pick up the tone.
Investing in education and courses is also going to be great for your business and is very much apart of doing your research,
You have to spend money to make money and courses and e-books are a great way to do this.
E-books tend to be cheaper than courses if you’re looking to save a little more, and can be just as informative. If you’re starting out I would focus on purchasing ebooks and courses on the ways you want to monetize like buying an ebook on affiliate marketing.
I also suggest looking into a course or e-book about Pinterest if you’ve never used the platform for business. Pinterest can be a game changer for traffic once you master it but it’s a bit of a learning curve at first. Purchase a course from someone you love and whose results you want to imitate.
Blogging is a career that evolves as you do, so investing in yourself and your business will prove to be useful for many years to come and you’ll be glad you did it. Keep a notebook for taking notes as you go through various posts and books to keep things organized and come back to later.
4. Write Content That Solves Problems
If you’re going to make your blog your business, you can’t write about just anything.
Let me explain. This does not mean you need to choose some super specific niche, in fact, I don’t even believe in focusing on a niche.
Niches go about things the wrong way. They can come off salesy and campy and assume that every person that likes that one thing can be appealed to the same way.
Now, just because I don’t believe in niches doesn’t mean I don’t believe in getting super specific. Because you will need to get super specific.
I believe if you get super specific about who you want to inspire, and what you want to inspire them to do, then you don’t need a niche. Do you want to help 20 something year old moms work from home? Do you want to help busy families cook healthy with your quick recipes?
These are specific.
You can get even more specific by asking yourself how old they are, where do they hang out, and what do they like to do?
Having an audience in mind is crucial to being able to relate to them.
You can’t treat your blog like a diary.
Writing about just yourself doesn’t help your audience. This doesn’t mean you should remove your personality from your work, in fact, adding your personality into your work helps your audience get to know you and trust you!
Butttt, writing a daily post about your morning and what you ate for lunch that’s only 200 words isn’t exactly going to rake in the cash.
If you can write content that you think your potential audience will love and benefit from, it will be a lot easier to drive traffic to your blog and monetize it.
It is a win win situation. Provide value, and you gain loyalty, trust, and support.
5. Be Consistent
A huge part of being professional is being consistent.
Even though a lot of us want to be able to work from home in our Pj’s, we still have to treat our blog like work, because it is.
This means setting aside daily times to work as well as off days. I block my days out with a different task each day. I try to take weekend’s off except for social media and upload a new blog post on Friday’s.
Setting a schedule does not mean only working from 9-5. I didn’t go through all the trouble of working for myself just so I could work 9-5. It just means setting a schedule that works for you.
I am most inspired at nights. This means I spend hours clicking away at new posts, creating new pins, and organizing at 1am. This seems crazy to some people but it is what works for me right now, so it is what I do.
Allow yourself to find your flow. Don’t feel like you have to work at any hours. Just do what works for you and what feels right. If that is at 9-5, great. If not, great.
Uploading consistent blog post whether it’s once a week or twice a month helps your audience to know when to expect your work though. You can do this by batch writing and then scheduling out your blog posts and making it seem like you are super organized even if you are more of a batch creator like me.
Search engines also reward you for being consistent by ranking your website higher in search results.
Nothing is worse than having someone that finds your blog, reads your content, loves it, and then you disappear for weeks before writing another post.
Try as hard as you can to be consistent. It is super important in the beginning when you are just trying to find your footing and get your name out there. If you put in the work your efforts will be rewarded and you will see results.
6. Engage On Social Media
Social media is currently the best way to promote anything, whether we like it or not.
Social media is hard for some and easier for others. I happen to love social media and learning about is fun for me. I get excited over which hashtags perform better, editing pictures, and writing Instagram captions!
Either way, engaging on social media is crucial to building your audience and driving traffic to your blog in the beginning. There are outliers like people who are masters of SEO and get all their traffic from organic searches but for the most part, social media is going to be fastest way to start growing your following and traffic.
Depending on what you write about, different social media’s work for different people.
Mommy bloggers do well on Pinterest as a general rule, whereas Instagram is usually more important to travel bloggers, fashion bloggers, and lifestyle bloggers. Political blogs do best on Facebook and Twitter.
These aren’t rules set in stone just trends. So it’s important to test out what works for you.
I would suggest sticking to no more than two accounts to focus on at first not counting Pinterest because Pinterest isn’t really a social media.
As a general rule, video is king and so using it can really help your traffic. Try to pick a mode of video whether it’s youtube, IGTV, Insta Stories, or Snapchat.
Videos show your beautiful face and create a special kind of connection with your audience that is important to building a community.
7. Keep Track Of Your Business Expenses
Blogging as a business means taxes.
It is crucial to keep track of your expenses and income in a way that makes it easy to either do your own taxes or take them to a professional.
I am implementing this by using an excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything I buy or spend money on for the blog, as well as any money I might make.
Keep receipts of things you buy for the blog!
Don’t wait until the end of the year to try to get everything together to do your taxes, start getting everything prepared now so it will be a lot less stressful as well as you will be able to write off as many expenses as possible.
It’s also important to keep track of the money you make so you can make sure you’re investing back into your business. Your business can’t grow if you’re taking 100% of the profit every single month.
Instead, give yourself a paycheck. Just like you would at any other job.
That’s all for my tips on treating your blog like a business.
Don’t forget that you don’t have to get everything right at first to start making steps to your goals and seeing success.
Putting pressure on yourself is normal when you are passionate about something but it is important to remember that everyone starts somewhere so as long as you’re making an effort, you can’t go wrong. By implementing these tips, I actually made money my very first month! Click HERE to take a look at my very first income report!
Haven’t started a blog yet or blogging is your favorite hobby but you want to start making some cash? What are you waiting for, click HERE to learn how to set up your money making blog the same way I did and make money your first month too!
Until next time, Don’t give up on your daydream!