So you want to start blogging for money and making your blog a business? You want to earn some money from it and have it be a “real deal” vs an expensive, time consuming hobby? Here are 5 ways to turn your blog from “entertainment” to “business” without losing yourself.
Tips on Blogging for Money
Treat it like a business
Probably the MOST important step of all in blogging for money is to start treating what you do as a business. Being professional is more than just having the right invoicing platform, it is in the way you communicate, your ability to deliver what it needed and in the timeframe required. So how does one make the switch from “hobbyist” mentality to “business-minded”?
Start by valuing yourself and your service. Understand (and believe) that there IS a value you bring to the industry, and that there is a reason that people purchase the services and products from influencers like yourself.
By starting to wear a bit of confidence in your abilities, your language should start to change during your conversations and by “walking the walk” eventually you will start to believe in yourself.
As well, start showing up to “work” in the mornings. Create a plan of what you want to accomplish, and stick to it. Do NOT let facebook distract you, and get your work completed. While your job may be a tonne of fun, remember that you are not here to play, but just to smile while you work. Blogging for money may end up being a passive income, but at the beginning you need to put the time and effort into it to create a stable foundation.
Figure out what you sell, without selling out
The first step in blogging for money is to define your products. If YOU don’t know what you sell, your potential clients definitely won’t. Start with a simple work with me page, explain your values and the benefits of working with you. Clarify WHO you want to work with, and why you think you would be the right person to do the work.
Influencer “products” are usually broken down into 3 groups:
1. Product reviews – this is when you will provide a review, narrative or social promotion in exchange for product. You should have a minimum value of product here that you will review, as well as a caveat that will define your boundaries (i.e. it must be a product I love, or even if your product is less than <value> I may still choose to support your messaging)
2. Sponsored content – This is branded product, written to promote a message that you are directly compensated for. You can state your rates here (if you want) or link to a media kit (if you want) but I prefer to have a direct conversation with a brand regarding pricing and messaging. You can add here different types of sponsored content that you can provide, i.e. custom recipes, crafts, DIY, branded narratives, detailed product review etc. Also a good idea to LINK to some previously published sponsored content so they can see how you performed the work.
3. Other Products- This is where the list is ENDLESS. As an influencer your “other” products usually follow your special, enhanced skills or personal strengths. Items that can be included here are YouTube videos, twitter or facebook parties, integrated campaigns, freelance writing, series sponsored posts (i.e. a porch makeover with multiple brand posts all wrapping together into one) and about a million more. Anything from custom photography to live events, so think outside the box and allow your special products to evolve as you grow into your business.
This is your menu of options, and it is a necessity when starting (or continuing) to monetize. How will someone know they are sitting in a cafe that serves food and not just someones kitchen table if there isn’t a menu in front of them (or a sign on the door)
But make sure that WHATEVER products you offer, they are in alignment with YOUR VALUES. If it doesn’t feel right to sell it, then it shouldn’t be on the list!
Build your inventory value
First of all, what is inventory? Inventory is directly related to your PRODUCTS (see above) If you are selling sponsored content on your site, and blogging for money from brands, your available inventory is the number of sponsored posts you can publish in a month (there should be a limit by the way!! You don’t want to “over indulge” with brand messaging and lose your personal story)
So, to improve the value of your inventory, we need to work on a few things:
- Numbers: We know it isn’t always the size that matters, but sometimes bigger CAN be better (or at least more expensive) Work on growing your site reach and pageviews to authentic readers, grow your social following AND engagement. Make it a goal to authentically increase these numbers and the value added will be there.
- Define your niche: Understanding WHO you talk to is almost as important as talking. Know who your market is, understand how to get them to engage and make this a key definer when you start to pitch brands. If your readers are 90% 35 year old women who love to ski and knit, your ability to target this specific market to a brand who is looking will be better than the other blogger.
- Get better: Writing branded content ISN’T easy, there IS a skill to it. Brands are looking for product placement these days, more than straight up advetorial. They want to see how you incorporate their product into YOUR life and online story. Practice, get feedback and ask the brand for their suggestions when you work with them. Trust me, writing a GREAT branded post is harder than you think (and well worth a higher price tag to a brand)
Treat the your website like a business by building and strengthening it’s reach. Fine tune your products and understand your market!
Learn & network
It truly doesn’t matter WHAT industry you are in, you must keep learning and growing within it. Attend conferences, do online courses, book a coach to help you grow, or do all of it! There is constant change in this industry and new methods and ideas are being added to the pot daily. If this truly IS a business, you will be passionate about being the very BEST you can be at your job.
And meet people, grow your network, have conversations that explore ideas in the industry. Your network is a powerful tool and amazing resource, so build it, nurture it and respect the connections.
I heard a quote, I think it was on HOUSE, many seasons back, but it said “If you are not willing to chance making a fool of yourself, you will never achieve true greatness” Take leaps, have courage, define YOUR path, don’t just take the one that is well worn and easy to travel. You are worthy of taking big steps and making your business deliver what you need. You have every right to be here that any other person does, so apply your best to it, reach out, apply, say YES and throw your name in the hat! You will make great progress just by having the courage to take the chance!
Today can be the start of a whole new approach to your blog or website. Today you can start by sitting down and logging on and looking at your assets as a source of pride, and of income. If that is what you want, then go! You always have support!