Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Having just returned from the #BlogPaws Conference in Nashville I have been pondering many of the conversations I had. Many of them started with, “I really want to make a living as a blogger. How can I do that?” My advice remained constant, “Treat your blogging and your blog tasks like a business.”
How does one do that? Well, I harken back to my somewhat nagging advice of: Have a business plan. Yes, you want to get right to the business of blogging, but you need to know who you are, what your business will be and what steps you will take to get there. A blogging business plan is your roadmap toward blogging success.
Here are seven other items to consider before you jump into full time blogging:
- You will not be an overnight success. Gasp! Yes, it’s true. Many of us full-time-making-a-living-at-it-bloggers toiled for years before we were able to quit our day jobs and blog full-time. You need to be willing to put in the time to make it happen. It may mean working at your full-time day job and working on your blogging business after work and on the weekends. You need to be willing to commit to the toiling away in obscurity until you “make it.”
- Writing for a living is not romantic. Blogging is a business. Writing for money is a business. As such, you have to treat every blog post, every social media update and every word you put forth as part of your overall business branding. When you become a full-time blogger you need to give up the notion that you can lounge around in your pjs all day (although sometimes we do!), eating bonbons, watching television and waiting for the muse to strike. You may want to wait for the muse, but your creditors won’t want to. You have to treat your blogging as a means to an end, if that end is to be a full-time paid blogger.
- You need to meet people face-to-face. Yep, it’s true. Even an introvert like myself needs to swipe on the lipstick, slip on the heels and head out to networking meetings. Why? I need to have my name “out there” so that when I am seeking new clients I have relationships upon which I can build into clients. I need to shake hands, hand out my business card, set up getting-to-know-you coffee dates. Online networking is great and I do it daily, but in order to truly grow I (and you) need to get out of the house and attend events.
- But 1,000 people visited today! Keep in mind that traffic and eyes on the page does not always equate to cash in your pocket. Yes, traffic is what advertisers and brands are looking for if they want to work with you, but it may not put food on the table. Do the ads that show up on your blog appeal to your particular reader? Are you making the most of affiliate partnerships? You need to maximize any and every opportunity that comes your way. People may love your Doggie DIY, but is that putting money in your coffers? Look for ways to maximize your efforts and turn them into cash. Have you considered writing ebooks and selling them on your site? It’s a great idea. Ask me about that if you’re interested.
- Time management matters. Why? Not just because I said so, but because there are myriad tasks that a wanna-be full time blogger is tasked with and you need to budget your time to do them all. Simply being active for six hours on Facebook on Monday and then not going back to your page until Thursday is not good time management. You need to be consistent with your efforts. Blog on a regular schedule so that readers know when something new will show up. Interact with your followers on social media. Reply to comments on your blog. Map out the tasks you need to accomplish daily and then get to it.
- Don’t rest on your laurels. Yay! You had a fantastic day and your blog saw an upsurge in views, your social media updates saw a slew of shares and comments and your Google+ page had hundreds more views today. Woohoo! Now what? Do you dance around the room, eat a cookie and then take the day off? Nope. You figure out what caused this sensational upsurge and you work to replicate it. Give ’em what they want! Your blogging and social media efforts need to be consistent because slow and steady wins the race.
- Build your team. What? You’re not making any money but you need to build a team?! Yes. Hint: There are other bloggers out there who are in your same boat — just starting out and in need of a team. What can you do? Team up with them. You can either find a blogger you admire to work with you as an accountability partner, or find a blogger who is an accountant or a lawyer or a social media guru and talk about trading services. It’s a win-win.
What full-time blogging fallacies did you first think of when you started your blogging business? What tips could you offer to a newbie blogger?