Blogging is one of the fastest growing industries around, with new blogs popping up all the time. Many bloggers are also looking to turn their blog into a successful business. The appeal of working for yourself makes blogging an attractive career option. A blog can spin off into an incredible career like it did for bloggers like John Lee Dumas. By the end of 2017, his site Eofire had grossed over 12.5 million dollars. But how can you get from hobby to business?
Know Your Audience
A detailed audience profile is essential in building your blog. You need to know who your audience is so you can effectively deliver the content they’re looking for.
Dig into your Google Analytics to begin getting some insight into who is using your site. In the Audience Demographics tab, you can start to get a picture of your audience. What gender are they? How old are they? Where are they based? What are their interests? Once you know, you can start tailoring your content to suit your demographics and build a loyal audience who’ll keep coming back.
Get Advertising On Site
Hosting adverts on site is a simple way to passively add an income stream to your site. You could sell ad space yourself to handpicked companies, or add adverts through a service like Google Ads.
Google Ads is the simplest way to add adverts into your site in an unobtrusive way. Once set up, Google will deliver adverts that are tailored to the person viewing your blog. Don’t be tempted to load your blog with ads. Choose a few unobtrusive spots for them to go, like the sidebar and don’t bombard site visitors with advertising.
Use An Offer To Bring In Customers
With that loyal audience you’ve built, you have a great base of potential customers. The next step is to get them over the line to spend money. Depending on what your blog is about, set up a relevant offer with a prominent opt-in on site. For example, ask site visitors to give you their email address in exchange for a free PDF of healthy recipes, or encourage them to join your mailing list to get your newsletter full of social media tips. Tailor the offer to your blog niche, and deliver quality content that will help encourage the reader to become a customer, whether you’re selling online marketing courses or recipe books.
Set Up Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing can be a great way to increase your income from your blog. Affiliate marketing means that if someone spends money with your affiliate partner, you earn a little of the profit if the customer came from you.
There are lots of affiliate schemes out there, and which you join is up to you. Amazon Affiliates is easy to use and has a huge range of products. You could also join a group like Awin, who have affiliate schemes with hundreds of businesses. You can also arrange an agreement with a business yourself, and track customer spending with an affiliate code.
Make sure you only recommend products that you actually think are good and are relevant to your audience. This builds trust and means your audience is more likely to buy things that you recommend.
Create A Product To Sell
Selling a product is a great income stream. What you create will depend on your niche. Ebooks are a popular option; you could sell ebooks that are business guides, travel guides or recipe books. If your niche is web design, sell WordPress templates. You could offer online coaching or learning courses.
Make it relevant to your content and your audience, and you have a ready-made customer you know is interested in your product.
If the blog is going to be the center of your business, you need to give it a lot of love and attention. You can’t expect your readers to keep coming back if you’re only posting erratically. Set up a content schedule and stick to it. Make sure your audience knows they can come back to your blog regularly and find new, quality content.
Promote Your Content
There’s no point in writing all this great content if nobody knows you’re doing it. Promotion is essential to bring in new readers, and new customers.
Promote your content with a marketing mix of onsite SEO, social media, email, and outreach. Make sure you use your social channels to engage too, not just promote.
Build An Email List
An email list is a great way to talk to your most dedicated audience members. A list of emails is a great tool, as it’s under your control. A large social following can be lost overnight (just ask those who built a business on Vine) but your email list is yours and always there. Having an email list doesn’t mean you have to send out a newsletter. Instead, use it to share your content, products, and any offers. You should be aiming to convert email subscribers into customers who spend money.
The internet is always changing, so it’s important to keep testing your income streams. Study your analytics to look for any changes in audience demographics and behavior, so you can adjust your content to match any shifts. Look out for new social platforms and see if they could fit into your promotional tools. Try out new ways of delivering content, and keep your content fresh. Don’t just stick with an old method if it’s not working. Keeping your content, products, and promotion new will keep your existing audience interested and will help to bring in a new audience too.
However you decide to monetize your blog, if you want to grow to large scale business, make sure you keep the paperwork in order. If you’re expanding from a one-man-band blog to a brand with multiple income streams, using a formation agent can help you properly set up a company to keep things in order and keep the money coming in.
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