This article includes links I have been paid to include but all blogging tips are my own.
I am often asked by friends and fellow bloggers how I have gone about turning blogging from a hobby into my job. It will be 3 years in a few months since I started blogging and there have been so many changes along the way. Initially I blogged for a hobby, a way of sharing my experiences and posted only once a week. I knew some bloggers earnt money from their blogs and hoped maybe one day that would be me but was happy just sharing my story. So what changed? How have I gone from that to blogging most days and earning a reasonable income from it?
Firstly it is important to remember that whilst blogging can be a job it wont work for everyone. I believe being able to write well enough to make money from it is a skill and like any other skill some people will struggle to do it. As a blogger you are self employed so this means you need some self discipline in that you make yourself work when you need to and take time off when needed too. It is not like running a shop where there are set hours to decide on, business signs to buy and shop front signs. Business cards however are handy and depending on how you feel comfortable a desk or even an office could be useful too. So here are some tips from to see if you could do this.
Always keep your morals, never write about something you don’t agree with.
Everyone starts somewhere, accept at the beginning you will not make money.
It will be hard work and you will need to learn lots, use your bookmarks well and make notes if you need to.
Be sociable online – other bloggers will be invaluable in your blogging career, chat to them.
Be different – don’t be afraid to be different and share things that not everyone will agree with.
Make sure you come across friendly and approachable, this will help attract new readers to you and make brands want to work with you.
Be prepared to negotiate and haggle. This is business you want the most money you can for your service and your clients want to pay the least they can. Be confident to haggle and get the best you can.
Accept that sometimes you will feel like a failure.
This wont be easy but it will be worth it, if you enjoy it.
Always build genuine traffic because otherwise it will not help in the long run if every blogger you know clicks on your content you will have no true readers!
So how did I do it?
For the first year I was blogging I didn’t earn any money at all, I didn’t even try to. I worked on building my audience, enjoying my blog, and making it what I wanted it to be. After this I decided to look at doing reviews, paid work and building my blog further. This is the point I think many people struggle with. It is important to remember that brands work with people who they can see do a good job. Until you have a lot of content and examples of what they are looking for you are unlikely to get paid work. Starting off reviewing small items you are sent or buying items yourself is the best way to start.
There are many things brands look at before deciding to work with you, online presence (eg following), writing style, niche (ie what you write about), domain authority (how you rank in searches) and of course you as a person. These are all things you need to work on before you are likely to get paid work. It isn’t as simple as starting a blog and getting work quickly so bear this in mind. I was blogging for two years before I started earning more than the odd £50 here and there.
I love my blog and love writing, there is no way I could do this if I didn’t. Every blogger I have spoken to goes through phases where they are really demotivated by their blog. Everyone has times when they just have a bit of writers block. The difference is the love for it keeps us going. If you don’t enjoy it then I think the chances of you succeeding in turning it into a business are limited.
I am very open to working with different brands and sharing a variety of things I think my readers will like but more importantly I think I know what they don’t want to see. This I believe is also a key to success. In my eyes my readers are my friends who I am sharing things with that I think they will enjoy. I would never encourage my readers to buy things I wouldn’t buy myself. This is another thing to think about.
If you want to blog and turn it into a business like I have then remember to be creative, enjoy it and also be business like about it. If you try to do everyone who emails you to work with you a favour then you will never earn much at all. Be strong and be decisive and in time you could have your own blogging business too.
At least working for myself from home I don’t have to worry about conference rooms, business premises etc.
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