Most of the time, businesses start blogging as a way to build an audience. However, the reverse seems to be happening. More and more people including myself with blogs are starting to monetize their traffic. It makes sense because one of the hardest things to do as a business owner is grow your traffic. If you grow your blog first, you already have a solid following to support your business idea.
Starting a blog is easy, but if you want to make money later, you need to think about your strategy and set yourself up for success. It’s important to know what you need to grow your blog and grow your traffic.
What is a Blog?
A blog is a weblog of content updated regularly. It’s an online publication written in a personal tone, meant to share opinions, teach others, develop a personal brand, or sell products or services. Blogging is fulfilling, but it also requires commitment.
It’s important to be consistent, no matter how often you publish. Your audience grows to expect your posts, so keep at it, and don’t disappoint them.
How to Start a Blog?
Finding the time to flush out your ideas and do it consistently is another challenge with blogging. Once you find the time, starting a blog is straightforward. Consider your opportunities to monetize your blog, determine your audience, and plan a publishing strategy.
You need to think like an entrepreneur to make this venture profitable in the future, so map out the groundwork for your distribution and monetization now.
Ways to Make Money
Most people think of running ads on their blogs as a way to make money, but there are other ways. Building a loyal audience is more important than building a big one, and you won’t earn the trust of your followers by spamming them with ads all the time.
Instead, think of ways you can sell physical or digital products that align with your audience. Sell your services as a writer or designer. Publish a book. Create subscription-based packages with platforms like Patreon. Do paid reviews or become an affiliate for other brands.
You have to enjoy blogging for it to succeed. Dedicate yourself to serving your audience as best you can.
Pick a Niche
With all of the information on the internet, it’s hard to stand out. Try to choose a topic that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s also critical to choose a niche audience. There are so many internet users that it’s impossible to appeal to all of them.
You can focus on a specific location, present your content in a different style, or focus on a smaller segment of a bigger market. For instance, writing about steakhouses in Kansas City that serve steaks larger than forty-two ounces allows you to focus more deeply on your topic than choosing to write about steakhouses in general.
Choosing a Platform
When it comes to hosting your blog, you have two choices. You can host it yourself or host it on a paid platform. If you host it yourself, you have more customization options. You still have to pay a fee, but it’s less than a paid platform, and you have more flexibility in design.
Using a service to host your blog is the best option for those who don’t know a lot about design or HTML such as myself. Some options include Blogger, Bluehost, Godaddy, Ghost, Hostgator, Jekyll, Medium, Squarespace, and WordPress. I currently use Hostgator to host my WordPress blog. Think about how you want to monetize your blog because not every platform gives you what you need.
You can also use free platforms like Medium or Tumblr, Weebly, Wix. They have built-in audiences, making it easier for you to get started, but they provide less customization, and your blog design ends up looking like everyone else’s on the platform.
Picking a Name
This is a great time to think about what you want to name your blog. Unless you plan to build a personal brand or portfolio, don’t use your name. Think of something catchy, fun, and descriptive of your brand. This name should reflect your blog’s identity, add personality, and be easy to remember and type.
Thinking about how to grow your blog and having a solid plan in place helps you to build momentum quickly once you get started. If you don’t have a plan, you may end up struggling with distribution because you don’t have a strategy. Publishing is nerve-wracking, but having a plan can alleviate some of that.
Planning for growth involves collecting emails as soon as possible. Use a service like MailChimp to store your subscriber list and make distribution easy. It’s free for up to two thousand subscribers. You can also use MailChimp for signup forms, which is a critical piece of capturing this information.
Embed your signup forms directly into your content with a call to action to subscribe, so the experience is seamless for your audience and easy to manage for you.
Blogging can be stressful, but it’s also a blast. Use these tips to think about how you can grow your blog to make money later. The great thing about starting a blog is that you don’t have to quit your day job until you start making money. If done right, once you start making money, you’ll grow quickly.
Have a wonderful weekend and make sure to come back on Monday for more business education!