Let 2018 be your year to turn your blog into a business!
Last year I started my blog and after just a month I was able to start making money from it. In my first 3.5 months of blogging, I was able to make over $1,300! Do you want to turn your blog into a business, but aren’t sure how?
Read on for my tips for taking your blog from hobby to business and making money blogging this year!
Go self-hosted WordPress
If you don’t already have a self-hosted WordPress blog, you need one!
There are a lot of blogging platforms out there like Blogger, Wix, Squarespace, etc. But none of them are as good for making money and having control over your content as a self-hosted WordPress blog!
To get hosting, you can sign up for Bluehost for just $3.95 a month. If you already have a blog on a different platform, they will help you transfer it over.
Bluehost is great because they automatically install WordPress for you. WordPress is easy to use and almost every serious blogger uses it.
If you need more help starting your own self-hosted blog, check out my step-by-step guide.
Define your blog’s purpose statement
A lot of bloggers want to monetize but can’t seem to make any money form their blog no matter how hard they try.
Often this is because they don’t have a defined purpose for their blog. You need to figure out…
- WHO your target audience is
- WHAT they need help with
- HOW your blog provides value and helps them
This is your blog’s purpose statement. For example, mine is “I help girls start their own blogging biz.” My purpose helps me build an engaged audience, create valuable content, and determine the best ways to make money from blogging.
If you want to turn your blog into a business, you need to be writing HELPFUL and VALUABLE content. Remember to write for your audience and not just yourself.
Build your email list
I cannot stress this one enough! If you don’t already have an email list for your blog, you can start one for free with MailChimp.
In order to get subscribers, you will need to create an opt-in freebie (something small like a cheat sheet, short ebook, video training, etc. that you give to your subscribers in exchange for signing up) and promote it everywhere.
If you’re having trouble getting subscribers, check out my post Why No One Is Signing Up for Your Blog’s Email List for some solutions.
You might be wondering why you need an email list for your blog. It’s because your email list is your most valuable tool for making money as a blogger. They are your most loyal readers, they trust you, and they’re the ones most likely to buy whatever you’re selling.
Grow your blog’s traffic
If you want to turn your blog into a business, you need readers. Now you don’t need hundreds of thousands of page views (my blog gets just a few thousand page views a month) but you need some people to be reading your blog!
The best ways to get traffic to your blog are by:
- Using Pinterest (click here to read more about my Pinterest strategy)
- Posting in Facebook groups for bloggers
- Guest posting for popular bloggers in your niche
- Promoting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- Using SEO in your posts (Get the free Yoast SEO plugin)
Growing your audience can be a slow process and there are no easy shortcuts, but one tip is to follow the 80/20 rule. Spend 20 percent of your time writing blog posts, and 80 percent of your time promoting them!
Establish yourself in your niche
This is an extremely important step in taking your blog from a hobby to a business. Establishing yourself in your niche means making yourself known as an expert in your area of blogging.
You can accomplish this by connecting with others in your niche, guest posting for influential bloggers, starting your own Facebook group, and writing useful, authoritative content.
You should also develop a personal brand. This includes the way you write, your blog’s look and feel, and your social media presence.
For example, when I’m on Pinterest, I will see a pin on my feed and immediately know which blogger created it based on its “branded” design.
Once people start seeing your name on other blogs and on social media more and more, it will help build trust, which you need if you want to be able to successfully sell to people!
Get started with affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is the best way to start earning money with your blog. I began making affiliate sales when I had just 1,000 page views as a new blogger. If I can do it, so can you!
Essentially, affiliate marketing is promoting a product and receiving a commission when someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link.
These are my favorite affiliate if you need help finding some to join.
You can include your affiliate links in blog posts that you write, and when people click your link and make a purchase, you will earn a commission. Some types of blog posts that work best with affiliate links are.
- List-style posts (gift guides, round-ups, etc.)
- How-to guides/tutorials
- Product reviews or comparisons
Here are some more tips for writing high-converting affiliate blog posts.
Launch a product on your blog
Selling a product on your blog is another easy way to turn your blog into a business. I launched my ebook Get Paid to Pin last month and it has been a great source of income so far!
Aside from ebooks, there are plenty of other products you can sell. Check out my list of the top digital products for bloggers to sell to get some ideas.
You can also sell physical products on your blog. (You can add use a free plug-in like WooCommerce to add a shop to your blog.) I have seen bloggers sell everything from coffee mugs to planners to travel gear on their blog!
In order to sell a successful product on your blog, you should think of something that will help your audience and is relevant to them.
Start writing sponsored posts
Another way to turn your blog into a business is by literally getting paid to write blog posts. You can do this by working with brands on sponsored posts.
One way to find sponsored posts is by applying to networks like Linqia, Activate by Bloglovin’, or Social Fabric. You can also reach out to brands directly and pitch posts to them.
Good luck and happy blogging!
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you purchase through my links. I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and love.