With the rise of social media and online influencers, a lot of people are turning to their computers to provide an income. Escaping the rush hour commute and the overbearing bosses will sound like a dream come true for many, but it’s less of a far-fetched dream than you might think. Many professionals may already have a blog that they write for on a semi-regular basis, but many will not realize that they could turn that blogging hobby into a steady source of income. If you don’t have a blog yet, don’t worry; it’s incredibly quick and easy to set up your own website. There are pages that provide a detailed rundown of all the companies that offer a service to get your blog up and running, and if you visit their website, you’re bound to find a good match for your needs.
Once you’ve set up your website, it’s time to get blogging and start earning a real income. Below are the main points that you should consider in order to turn your blog into a successful business.
Typically a word you hear in the offline world for a business, however due to the growth of self-employment and social media based jobs, brand is now an incredibly important word for the online community too. Your brand is a combination of how you present yourself to the public world, and what people say about you and your business when you’re not nearby. In part, it is the context of the word of mouth which is spoken about your business, and since you will be relying on both marketing, and recommendations, for new followers, it may well be the bread and butter of your success. Therefore, it is important to present a professional and committed presence in the online world and ensure that your content is trustworthy, reliable, and well informed. As well as integrity, you will need to thoroughly plan out your branding. A clear and easy to use website which compliments your theme (see below), and a visually pleasing color scheme and logo, will only help to promote your business even further. Your blog needs to be distinctive so that it stands out from your competition.
Theme And Target Audience
Even though you may have started a blog as a hobby alongside other employment or studies, it is still a potential business and source of income, if you grow quite a large following. It’s important to pick a market for your content without being too specific or niche – whether that be beauty, fashion, lifestyle, or health – and stick under that umbrella for the first couple of months. You can expand as you start to learn what topics you enjoy writing about most – but for appealing to followers, in the beginning, it is better to specialize in one topic than to be a jack of all trades, and a master of none. You can then build your brand around your chosen target audience. It is also important not to drastically narrow your scope too far, as you could find you are too specific to even gain a good following. Covering everything under a main umbrella heading, like the ones previously mentioned, will help you not only to be more creative in your writing but also appeal to a wider audience. When you start to gain a following, it may be beneficial to look at who else your followers are reading and take inspiration; or you could even ask your followers what they want to read about next. Taking the time to personally communicate with your followers and listen to their opinions will show that you truly value their support and input.
Choosing a writing style that is in tune with your niche, and that you are extremely comfortable writing in, is important. For example, if you are creating a well informed and well researched business blog, writing in a chatty more relaxed style may work against you when it comes to gaining loyal followers. You may also want to consider your target demographic. If you are appealing to a younger audience, writing in academic English may not be the best way to entice them. It is crucial that you should choose a writing style that you can maintain consistency in, as shifting styles from article to article will not only disorientate your audience but be harmful to your brand.
When starting out, your marketing strategy will be one of the most important factors in how you will get people to view and follow your blog. You can spend hours perfecting your first few posts and the design of your layout, but if no one knows about your blog, you will not gain any traction in the online community. Using your social media, and creating a professional page for each platform, to continuously share your blog will help you to reach a large amount of people in a short space of time. Joining blogger specific Facebook groups will help you to become known in the community, and potentially give you the answers to any questions you have and the support you’ll need in your first couple of weeks. Remember, everyone started off with no followers; it’s good to listen to the experiences of other successful bloggers even if they are your competitors. You can also do online giveaways that require sharing a post to be entered into. Everyone loves a good freebie, and you’ll cover a lot of ground without actually doing any of the labor yourself. Asking as many people for feedback as you can online, and taking on board any constructive criticism you receive, is crucial to your first impression presented to the community. It will show that you are always striving to better your blog, which will be respected by both followers and other content creators alike.
It is always good to gain followers quickly, but it is the loyal followers who will constantly read and support your work that are your main route to success. In the offline business world, you gain loyalty by providing excellent and efficient service every time and rewarding your customers from time to time. Contrary to what you might think, the online world isn’t too dissimilar. Rather than providing a high level of customer service, you need to be focusing on creating high-quality content that is honest and doesn’t mislead your viewers. When working with brands remember to not be too promotional, and if something doesn’t do what it says on the packaging, tell your readers. Working up a trusting relationship with your followers will be more beneficial for you in the long run than to wax lyrical about the first couple of opportunities you get too much, and so really damage your following. With a large following, opportunities will come to you, so it is important not to sell yourself out too quickly and fall short on the first few hurdles. Similar to the offline world, rewarding your readers for their loyalty is something that will not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Hosting a giveaway, or sending out merchandise or presents to your followers that have been there from the beginning, will not only show them that you are grateful for the opportunities they have allowed you to receive but also help to solidify their loyalty.
Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas on how you can turn your favorite hobby into a successful at home business. Remember that integrity is key to the longevity of your business, and your loyal followers are the key to your success.