There is a difference between running a blog for your business and starting a blog to earn an income. In 2014 a blogging business was one of the top 14 new start-up trends according to the Telegraph but what is a blogging business?
Blogging Business Basics
So you are not a business owner, you don’t want to run a business that gets you clients, instead you want to take a hobby, passion or specific niche and earn an income from it. That’s a blogging business.
How do you earn an income? Through things like advertising, sponsors, affiliate fees, subscribers, merchandising and more.
Emmerdale (yes I do watch it!) are currently highlighting this in their show. There is a character who loves to garden. He creates gardening videos and places them on his blog. He is a vlogger and thanks to his video he manages to gain a sponsor.
This sponsor pays him to make videos and mention them, they also place a banner on his blog and he earns a fee should someone buy something. That is how a blogging business is born.
Another way to run a blogging business nowadays is to start a YouTube channel and regularly add (and promote) your videos.
Fashion bloggers, beauty bloggers, travel, food, anything to do with fitness, health and diet. Even lifestyle bloggers earn an income from their blogging business.
Business bloggers get free products
Not all of them of course, but often big brands will want popular bloggers to promote their product. It is not unheard of for popular beauty bloggers to be sent makeup, fashion bloggers are sent clothes.
In every industry on every topic there is a potential for a large company to want to send you something to review. You usually (but not always) get to keep the item too, which is quite exciting.
Putting in the hard work before the success
Now if all of that sounds exciting that is great. The potential is huge, when you find the right topic, and you can get so much out of being a professional blogger but here are a few cons to go with the pros.
You need to work hard. Being a blogger is all about creating content. Whether it is written content or videos you need to be able to put REGULAR content together. How regular differs from one professional to another.
The people who have the most success seem to create content on a regular basis. Daily usually. And not any old type of weak arse content either. It has to be well written, well researched, include photos (depending on niche) and basically educate.
Most professional blogging businesses also have guest bloggers so they are not doing all the work. They invite other people to write content for their blog.
They usually insist on original content that is not available anywhere else online, so if you decide to become a guest blogger for a popular site you will have to write out all your content from scratch.
The content they create is informative, it is educational or entertaining and it is LONG. Professional bloggers will write a blog post that is 1,500-1,800 words.
Using social media
You must be willing to put in the work to grow your social media accounts and you need to be regularly active on them. There is no need to be on them all – that will be exhausting and a full time job all on its own.
Once you choose your preferred platform you need to work at sharing others, gaining trust and building followers.
I definitely prefer Twitter as my chosen platform and nowadays tend to avoid Facebook. If you can employ someone to build them all for you then that’s great. If you work alone chances are you will have to limit how many you spend your energy on.
My second platform is YouTube – although I took all my old videos down now I have a swanking HD video and professional lighting.
It can take 2-4 hours to make a 5-7 minute video. Editing, rendering and uploading takes time. Add to that a length blog post that needs to be written, checked and rechecked and you can see how running a blogging business can take up your whole day.
That’s before other things like marketing your blog and focusing on search engine optimisation, link building and generally building your online presence.
Choose your platform based on where your audience hangs out. If you are writing a travel blog Pinterest and other image related sites will be better for you.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up
On the path towards blogging stardom you will probably hit many bumpy roads, and this is not a business to go into if you don’t think you are cut out to keep slogging away without seeing anything happening.
The internet is unpredictable. No one knows who the search engines are going to favour or who they are going to slay. You could spend years blogging and blogging and blogging before you ever see any return. Are you ready for that?
It will help to ensure you keep going if you pick a topic you love. That way you are writing because you enjoy it. You love the topic. I recently started blogging about vegetable juicing and following a vegan(ish) lifestyle. This is going to be my blogging business.
When I came on the internet in 2005 it was to enjoy the passive income that comes from being online. I got pulled into helping others (which is a natural part of who I am) and my consultancy work took over. In the background I was still running other blogs but not seriously.
This is another reason you should pick a topic you are passionate about or you may run out of things to say very quickly. In fact even if you love and are passionate about your topic there may be times when you may find it difficult to find things to write about or make videos on.
The sheer volume of time it takes to blog kills off many bloggers. All the hours they miss out on family time because they are blogging makes it difficult for many people.
Running a blogging business is definitely NOT for the faint of heart
If you need constant praise and recognition this type of online business might not suit you because you may not get that at the beginning.
When you are spending hours creating all this wonderful content and no one leaves a comment, two people share it and nothing else happens you have to plant your feet and stay strong.
It is easy to start on this path and give up. Many do. It is not an easy business to run. However, the rewards are ample too and that is where you need to put your attention.
I was made a promise when I came online. A number of experts (who I paid handsomely for their advice) told me I could earn a six figure income using my laptop and living anywhere in the world.
In two years my son turns 18 and its my intention to make good on that promise so I can travel and spend months at a time away from the UK. I want my blogging business to earn me an income so I don’t have to focus on where my money is coming from.
I love the WordPress websites I design. Happy to create one for your professional blogging business 🙂
I also love the WordPress workshops I run and the people I get to meet.
What I truly love though is knowing, while I sleep, that I am earning an income. One that flows in without me having to be in the room and all I have to do is something else I love to do – and that’s write a blog post.