How to Turn Your Blog into a Successful Business
Blogging can be a great way of sharing your thoughts, passion, skills, and ideas with the world. But while writing and interacting with your readers is, without a doubt, a lot of fun, it would be even better if your blog provided you with some kind of return for your efforts. Even better: This effort turning into a regular, full-time business.
But how to turn your blog into a successful business? Although it’s no longer that easy, especially considering the fact that the competition is fierce, there is still a lot of room for those who are willing to put in the work.
How to Start a Profitable Blog, 7 Tips
Ensure That You Have a Consistent Brand
Before you start thinking about monetizing and growing the traffic of your blog, it’s essential to look at where you already are. What kind of posts have you posted? Do you think there is a consistent message? If you are writing about everything that comes to your mind, what you’re really doing is showing that you aren’t good at anything.
That’s why it’s crucial that you find a niche. Of course, you can still write about your favorite topic. Just make sure that it can be turned into a business – which means that there are people willing to read about it and products or services which you could promote. There is no point in running an obscure blog which cannot be scaled to a level that would allow you to generate a full-time income out of it.
Naturally, you could write about multiple topics and niches – but do you think you can compete with giants such as Mashable or Tech Crunch on your own?
pic credit https://mashable.com/
Reach Out to Other Bloggers
Once your branding is fixed, it’s time to start actually building the traffic. While there are multiple sources of traffic, let me simplify things and divide them into four main categories – SEO Traffic, Referral Traffic, Organic Social and Paid Traffic (both search & social). Which one you should start with?
Everything will depend on your experience and budget. But, assuming that it’s probably your first blog and you are still learning the ropes of online marketing, I would suggest that you don’t touch paid advertising – at least not yet. Instead, you should focus on attracting as much organic and referral traffic as you can. And the easiest way of doing that is building relationships with other bloggers.
How to do that? The easiest way is reaching out to those who accept guest posts and asking them if you can write a quality piece in exchange for a link back to your site. But, keep in mind that everyone is doing that already. Because of that, it’s important to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
Instead of simply looking for blogs that accept guest posts, you should look at the best blogs in your niche and try to build a relationship with their owners and editors. Become an active part of their community, connect with them on Twitter and Facebook, give them comments and suggestions. Just don’t butter them up – nobody likes that. By doing that and staying patient, you can get yourself much stronger backlinks than your competitors.
Learn as Much as You Can about Your Audience
It’s important to remember that if you want your blog to be successful, you can’t be writing it for yourself. Every post should be written with your readers in mind. And to ensure that what you write and offer them is what they are looking for, you need to learn about them as much as possible – from their geographical location, age, and interests, to income and employment details.
Of course, those details will vary. That’s why it’s so important to segment your audience based on different criteria. Another crucial thing is to find your most loyal readers – as they are the ones you should listen to the most and pay extra attention to what they say. Where to get the data about your visitors from? That’s actually very easy – the first thing you can do is install Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel. Both tools can provide you with lots of useful demographic data at no cost.
pic credit: Google Analytics
Keep an Eye on Resources
As your blog keeps growing and the traffic increases, you need to pay extra attention to your server resources. For example, if you have started out on a cheap shared hosting package, you should consider migrating to a better solution. Why do you need to upgrade?
A quality server environment is a must if you want to provide your customers with high-quality user experience and ensure that the site won’t freeze or crash anytime there is a traffic spike. Just make sure that it comes with an exclusive access to resources as not all cloud hosting packages offer that. An excellent hosting package that guarantees dedicated resources is cloud hosting by Hostinger.
Why a cloud and not another hosting solution? This is because managed cloud hosting is not only fast but also very convenient. Especially considering the fact that you don’t have to worry about anything – the support team takes care of the backend, which means that all you need to do is focus on growing your business.
Once your blog gets traction, it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to monetize it. If you have a skill which you could offer as a service – go for it. But if you are writing about a topic which makes it hard to offer any kind of services, you might want to look for products which you could advertise. How to find the best ones?
If you believe the niche is full of physical products, head over to Amazon and just search for keywords related to your niche. If your thinking is right, you should find thousands of products which you can promote for a fee. And what if your niche is more intangible – for example, you are writing a financial blog?
In this case, you can head over to a website like OfferVault, where you can find and compare hundreds of different offers. And the best is, the offers come with different types of monetization – from sales to a simple lead generation where you get paid for each person that leaves their email. Speaking of which…
pic credit https://www.offervault.com/
Start Collecting Emails & Build Your Own Following
You can’t always rely on attracting more and more new visitors. Especially that on average, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it costs to retain an existing one. Of course, your blog readers are not exactly your customers – but, if you start monetizing your blog, you should perceive all of them as potential clients – regardless of whether you promote your own services or just those of others.
The easiest way of retaining your visitors is to build an active email list and active social media following. To do the former, come up with an attractive lead magnet which you can give them in exchange for an email address. To start growing your social media profiles, encourage your visitors to share your content, follow you on social media, and interact with them there. And once you move on to paid advertising, you can use retargeting to bring them back to the most profitable posts and pages (for example, those promoting your services or including affiliate links).
Keep Testing and Stay Consistent
Last but not least, you should always look for a way to improve. Introduce A/B tests, check different ways of monetization, and multiple variations of your homepage. The best is, thanks to free tools such as Google Optimize, you don’t have to pay a dime to run simple tests that can help you boost your conversion rate or session duration.
Of course, even the best strategy, excellent products, and active social media following won’t help if you don’t stay consistent. Building a blog is not easy – but it’s a very rewarding experience which can be turned into a very profitable full-time business – as long as you stick to it and treat it seriously.
Host blogger’s comments:
Wrapping Up: How to Start a Profitable Blog
Mary’s tips were easy to implement and all but one of her tips are free. Only the hosting involves an expense.
Readers, please share so bloggers wishing to make money learn how to start a profitable blog.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Do you have any suggestions about how to start a profitable blog?
Note: This post reflects the opinions of the guest author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Janice Wald or Mostly Blogging.
Author: Mary Derosa
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