If you have been at this blogging thing long enough, you know that it’s often a full-time job of writing, marketing, and networking. Many of us start out with high expectations of thousands of views and money streaming in via sponsors, affiliates, and ads.
When it doesn’t happen, the logical conclusion is that making money through a blog is no longer a feasible option. The problem is it’s not true.
Of course it might not be true the way you’re thinking about it. Passive advertising streams are hard to depend on and are subject to the whims of an ever-changing Google algorithm, ad blockers, and mobile devices.
But your blog can be monetized.
Actually, it can be transitioned into a business.
But it’s going to require you to jump over the following mindset hurdles.
I just write what I want – it’s my blog after all.
Maybe you fell into blogging by accident. Perhaps you think that because it’s just a hobby, there’s no reason to go all “strategizing” on yourself. But if you were sitting in your living room having tea with your Grandpa and told him you had an idea for a new business, he’d probably give you a stern lecture about drawing up a plan.
Transitioning your blog into a blog for business means you need a plan. A strategic one. The blog has to stop being about you, and start being about the people you are going to serve.
Business is complicated – I just want to write.
Business is really not complicated at all. It’s very simple. If you provide a solution and put it in front of the right audience, you have a business. Your blog has an audience right? Now you need to discover what problem they have that you provide the solution for.
Why should I spend money on something that isn’t making me any?
It’s only in the age of the Internet that we’ve grown to accept the idea that your business can make millions right out of the gate without any sort of monetary investment. Back in the day, a new business owner would go to the bank for a loan and pay it back over several years. You need to spend money to make money. You may not have wanted to justify spending money on your blog when it was just a hobby (which is a whole other mindset issue in itself because how many people spend money on sewing or golfing or cooking or reading or…?), but it’s absolutely essential that you get the rights tools and skills in place if you want to make a profit.
So many of my followers never visit my blog, it feels like such a waste of time sending emails and being on social media.
Another issue that again, goes back to this idea of views and traffic…have you ever sent out email blasts with just a snippet of the post because you want them to click through to your site to record another view?
Why? What is it about views that seem to equal money? What if instead you delivered the value right in the email? Made it so easy for them, they didn’t even have to click a button?
There are lots of ways to find your customers, and it’s not about sitting on your blog hoping they come and find you. It’s about going out there – into the world – and engaging with them where they are. This might mean in an email, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, groups, etc. It also means putting your content in places other than your blog.
My audience doesn’t need anything from me.
You need a marketing budget for your business. Yes you have an audience already, but there are a lot of people that don’t know about you yet. How are you going to find them? Bloggers can get very myopic. There are millions of people out there who you have access to because of the Internet. That’s an amazing opportunity.
The blogging world is so exhausting, why would I want to add more to my plate?
In the blogging world, it’s common for a blogger to have mostly other bloggers as his/her audience. The problem is that it becomes an incestuous clique that doesn’t really amount to anything more than a hamster running on a wheel. Everyone visits everyone else’s blog but to what end?
In the business world, networking happens to strengthen each other’s services. It happens for the purpose of bringing in more business. If you plan to transition from hobby blogger into a business, you’ll need to network with other bloggers strategically – not just write a post and hope they comment. And by the way, how is all that comment hopping helping you? It all goes back to the glorious over elevated “view”. This mindset must go so you can have energy to dedicate to tasks that bring a return.
I want to tell you why small business owners envy bloggers…
In a way, you as a blogger are in a better position to succeed with a small business than a small business. Here’s why:
When a small businessperson comes to me and wants to learn how to market themselves online, there is a LOT of work to be done. I need to get them up to speed on blogging, social media, advertising, how to right great content, how to build an audience, how to capture email addresses, etc. etc.
It takes months of consistent blogging before their website gets some traction with Google.
How many of you already have a platform (even if it’s a small one), a social media following, an email list, and a lot of content to work with?
What you need is a product or service that your existing audience wants.
When you have that (and are able to jump over these mindset hurdles), you’re in a position to build a business quickly and effectively.
Interested in the guts of transitioning from blog to business?