Turning Your Blog into a Business
Written by James Garvin for Gaebler Ventures
Blogging has quickly become one of the mainstream activities that individuals and businesses alike participate in. It has allowed everyone to communicate their individual ideas and beliefs; something that prior to blogging was difficult to do effectively and efficiently. But blogging can be much more than a hobby and many bloggers have made blogging their full-time job.
There are millions of individual and corporate blogs that have revolutionized personal communication and expression.
Blogging has changed the way individuals and businesses communicate and provides a platform for individuals to create mass readership. For the majority, blogging is a hobby or a way for businesses to keep customers informed. However, for some, blogging is not only a full-time job, but an extremely profitable business that provides them with the freedom to work from anywhere in the world (so long as they have an internet connection).
So how do you take your blog and turn it into a business? For one, you need readership. And to get readership you need to offer something unique and valuable to offer. You must also find effective ways to spread the word about your unique and valuable offering. Lastly, you need to find ways to monetize your readership. Google adwords may have made a few individuals millionaires, but for the majority, Google adwords is a lazy way to try to monetize blog traffic that yields very disappointing revenues.
What to blog about? Blogging is a creative form of expressing your knowledge, opinions, and thoughts so you need to blog about something you know, and know very well. You also need to blog about something that you are extremely passionate about, just like any business. Blogging requires a substantial amount of content to be written, so if you don't like cooking and are writing 300 articles a year about cooking, good luck! Writing about your passions and knowledge isn't enough; it has to be something in which there is an interest and a need in the market. If you are a parent and like to write about parenting, pick something more unique, such as such parenting in the city, or teenage parenting.
Once you've chosen your specific topic and target customer market, you need to get the word out. The best marketing is word-of-mouth marketing from readers who have found your blog and tell others about it, but this process can take some time, sometimes years. To get a jumpstart on promoting your blog, join online forums that are related to your blog and post answers or questions to the community. Serve as a resource for consumers looking for more information; don't just list your website address in the comment box of other sites. You should also be actively involved offline promoting your blog. Host local seminars or groups and network with other local people who have a shared interest in what you blog about.
Finally, once you have your blog and your readers, you need to find a way to make money. Advertising may provide some money, but it won't be enough to support yourself on. Offering a premium service, such as a newsletter, or training program, or other that premium members can get access to is one alternative. The other is to sell other peoples stuff on your site and receive a commission each time one of your readers buys something. This is known as affiliate marketing and can be an effective way to monetize a blog.
Blogging can be much more than just a hobby and it can provide you a way to follow your passions and give you the flexible lifestyle you've always wanted.
James Garvin began his education studying biotechnology. In recent years he has turned his interest in technology to helping two internet startup companies. The first business was an online personal financial network and the second was an e-marketing platform created to help entrepreneurs demo their web sites. Currently a student at University of California Davis, James is spending his summer incubating two new online businesses and writing about his entrepreneur experiences.
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