Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Ask yourself this question: Is your blog a business or a hobby? Is this something you’ve ever considered before? If not, why not? What is the reason you had a website or blog built? Why did you buy a domain name? (You do have your own domain name, right?) What makes you sit in front of the computer on a regular basis and churn out blog posts and take the time to update your website as well as your social media pages?
What are the next steps that you need to take in order to make your blog a business rather than a hobby? What would you consider a success when you look at which category your blogging falls into? Do you need, or want, to make money from your blogging efforts? Are you blogging simply because you love to write and hope that people will find your blog and perhaps comment? Your success is measured differently than my success or the next blogger down the lines’ success. Whatever level you’re writing at could very well be the plateau you wanted to achieve and if so, congratulations! If, however, you’re looking to leave your full time job, become a guest speaker at blogging conferences or make connections with celebrities in the pet blogging world, you need to treat your blogging as the business that it is.
If you report to an employer, do you think that he or she simply gets up in the morning and ho-hums it through the day? (Yes, I know there are bosses that do that, but go with me here) Most individuals in positions of power such as running a company go there because they knew what they wanted and they worked toward it. Chances are they worked long hours, late nights and are at the cutting edge of trends. These are all items that a pet blogger who wants to turn his or her blog into a business needs to consider. If you’re working a full time job that is not your blog, you need to commit to working long hours to get your blog posts written. If you are not well-versed in the aspects of blogging or technology then you need to become a constant learner. How can you take your blog from hobby to business endeavor? Here are my tips:
- Read the masters. You know who the rock star pet bloggers are. Read their posts. Learn from them. Compare their posts to your own. How could you begin to do what they do? What expertise or experience do they have that you lack?
- Look at your blog with a critical eye toward improvement. Do you own your own domain name? If not, you really should. They are inexpensive to purchase at GoDaddy. Having a website that looks like www.yourname.com rather than www.yourname.blogpost (or wordpress).com makes it look as though you’re not serious about your blogging aka business.
- Invest in yourself and your business. Whether you live in a rural area of the country or in a thriving metropolis, chances are you can find places at which to network with other entrepreneurs. If you work from home, like I do, you need to get out of the house and meet new people; it’s crucial for your mental acuity and just as a way to breathe new life and fresh ideas into your blogging endeavors. Another way in which I believe that bloggers who are serious about their business need to invest in themselves is by attending blogging conferences. BlogPaws 2014 is fast approaching, that’s true, but for many of the serious bloggers in the community they knew the conference was coming for more than a year. They made a commitment to themselves and their blogging business to attend the conference in May. How did they do it? Myriad ways. Many of them signed up when we offered the early registration discounts. They started searching for flights to and from the conference last year. They calculated the costs of the conference registration, the hotel room and travel costs and they budgeted for it and started squirreling away the funds they needed. They were/are serious about taking their blogs to the next level or maintaining their blogs at the current level. They knew they needed to invest in themselves and that meant being at the conference where the social media rock stars and pet bloggers of note gather.
Regardless of the business that you’re in, making a commitment to yourself and your personal growth is necessary to stay current and ahead of the curve. If you’re not willing to commit to yourself, do you wonder if you’re simply going to be spinning your wheels when your blogging competition is taking steps to enhance their experience and credibility?
What can you do to invest in your business and your blog? Do you consider your blog a business endeavor or a hobby?
(Photo Shutterstock Chipmunk Saving Money)