On Friday, we kicked off our month-long focus on the business of blogging. If you missed that first post, it’s packed full of inspiration and motivation. Go check out The Business of Blogging: Think Like a Boss! Then, head back over here to dig into your next steps… getting started!
Aimee’s post left us feeling fired up to “Do the work!” But, where do you start? There are a few things all influencers need to have in place in order to start the work.
3 things you need to turn your blog into a business:
A Way to Make (and Spend) Money!
Start with a Tax Identification Number (called an EIN). Your earnings as a blogger have to be reported to the IRS, and the EIN enables you to do that without using your personal social security number. Here is more information about applying for an EIN.
Once that’s in place, open a bank account for your business. Why? It keeps your earnings and expenses separate from your personal finances to, first, keep an eye on your cash flow to make sure you’re actually earning a profit and, second, to have an organized list of income and deductions for your taxes.
Some companies you work with as a blogging pro will want your bank account info for direct deposits, so it’s a good idea to have a biz account instead of sharing your personal banking info.
Learn more about keeping track of your income and expenses with these bookkeeping tips for bloggers.
Plans and Goals
Before you start, you have to know what success looks like to you.
I liken this concept to a road trip to your family reunion. Everyone in your family has the same destination, but your route will differ from members of your family coming from different starting points.
In business, no two people are starting from the same point, and no two people will have the same definition of success, the end point. You need to figure out what that looks like for you and create a road map to achieve it.
If you want to turn your blog into a business, you need two crucial plans: a business plan that includes short- and long-term goals, and an editorial calendar.
What’s the risk of not planning? As we all know, it’s easy to fill your entire day refreshing social media and replying to emails. You can be very busy all the time without ever really being productive. A business plan and an editorial calendar keep you focused, motivated, and on track to that successful end point.
Not sure where to start?
- Here’s a primer how to create a blog business plan.
- Here’s everything you need to know about using Trello to create a comprehensive editorial calendar.
- Here are 3 ways to monetize your blog (a monetization strategy is a MUST, of course, within your larger biz plan).
- Bonus plan: A social media plan makes a great addition to any blog business plan. Learn why bloggers need a social media plan and how to create one.
A Time Management System
This one’s a little more fluid than the first two. However… You can’t do the work unless you can manage your time.
Many of you who want to turn your blog into a business are also working a day job or raising kids or herding a handful of pets. You can have all the logistics in place, a shiny new business plan, and a perfectly organized calendar, but unless you actually set aside time to do the work, the work will never get done!
Seems obvious, of course, but the implementation of all those plans is where most people fall flat. You have to want it enough to make the time.
If you need some kick-butt motivation to figure out your time management, check out these 5 actionable tips pet bloggers can use to get more done or, my personal favorite, follow this one-week plan to higher productivity through time blocking.
Now what? Join the discussion!
All month long, we’re going to be talking the business of blogging in the Social Learning Community. Not yet a member? Sign up! Or, if you’re already part of the community, head over to the Courses page and look for The Business of Blogging course.
Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws blog manager. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com.