HOW TO TURN YOUR BLOG INTO A BUSINESS
By Shana Lynn Yao
Blogging - If you're reading this article, you probably have one or want to start one - but somewhere in your vision of "living the blogger lifestyle" and the confusion of how to actually make money from it and have time to do it - it always seems to get put on the back burner.
I get it. As a business strategist who works to help people turn your life experience into a business, I not only work with clients on this but have grappled with this same issue myself. And it wasn't until recently that I actually discovered my love of blogging and just how to figure out all of the steps to monetizing it and make it work for my own goals. And now, I'm not only recommending you start a blog or start to get serious about yours, but I'm here to tell you that it's actually the best way to turn what you love into a business and life you love.
You've heard it before - that writing is the best way to figure out your own problems. In fact, research shows that writing actually helps you express your real emotions and turn them into actual words so that you can turn them into actions and move forward in your life.
But life is busy - and unless you're intentionally writing everyday - the truth is, few people actually do it. And that's why blogging and turning your blog into a business may be something you may want to consider.
It's called - getting paid for being who you are. To live in the full expression of yourself, share your expertise and life experience with others, feed your soul AND get paid.
So now we know WHY you should start a blog - now let's dive into HOW to turn your blog into a business. Here are a few of the most asked questions to help you get started. Whether you are just starting out or have a business and want to get serious about blogging, this blogger QA will help you get to your next steps.
How do you know what to write about?
What do you love? Create a vision board of the things that you love. Love fashion? Fill it with the styles you love. In 10 years, what do you want more of in your life? Grab some magazines and do a little creative dreaming to make your board your board your vision. Then write down a list of EVERYTHING you love. (and I mean everything!) Not just what you like or what you think would make money, but what you love so much you would write about it, talk about it, and do it every single day even if you weren't getting paid.
Like for me, I love helping people turn their passions into a business - I do that for friends, for people I meet a the grocery store - it's just what I love to do and know how. I love fashion, all things about expressing your personal style, holistic health, and creating productive habits. So that's what my own blog - THE DAILY MAGAZINE (<<<subscribe here) is about.
I like so many things, how do I narrow my niche?
As I wrote about in a previous article, you don't need to narrow your niche or just choose one thing to blog about. All of that incorrect advice of picking a niche is misleading. In fact, you don't need a niche - you need to build a BRAND.
A brand is the umbrella that sits at the foundation of your blog/business. It's the thing that you as a person are all about. It's the unique opinion you have over what you said you love in the first question. Your brand is what YOU DECIDE It is . You don't have to pick a niche as a multi-passionate entrepreneur, you have to DECIDE it and CREATE it.
So if you like fashion, health and cooking - what is the thing that makes you unique in all of those things? With everything you do, there is a common tie. It's something that makes you unique and different. Maybe it's because you believe everything should be minimalistic. That your fashion sense is minimal, your health beliefs require low maintenance, and your cooking only has a few ingredients. Great! Your brand is about helping people live a minimalistic lifestyle and you blog about the things you love.
See? With a little clever thinking, anything is possible.
How do you get people to notice your work?
First, you actually have to START. You have to stop wondering if you should do this, researching how to do it better, and doubting whether you have the right subject or if your writing is good enough. JUST START.
Second, to get people to notice your work, you need two things:
In order to get your work noticed, you have to do it on a regular basis. To attract people who want to read your blog (and it's all about your number and quality of readers), you need to develop trust with them. This is done by actually being consistent with your blog. Whether it's daily, 3 times a week or weekly, you need to invest time into writing and sharing your work. People are busy - and just like you - they have other things going on. Make it easier for them to want to follow you by being consistent and sharing it with like minded people everywhere you can. That can include on all of your social media accounts, Stumble Upon, Delicious, Tumblr, Bloglovn... there are a lot of places to share it - but the first step is to just START.
How do you prevent yourself from getting in a creative funk and always stay on top of your game?
Writers block is real. It happens to everyone but as Steven Pressfield, the author of the War of Art says, he has creative inspiration everyday. It just so happens everyday at 8 am.
Set up a regular schedule that you are committed to following. That "C" word should be tattooed on your forehead. :o Yes - if you want to reach your goal to turn your blog into a business, you actually have to hold yourself accountable to your own dreams. If you can't rely on your own self, then you may not want the end result.
That sounds harsh, but as with anything in life, perseverance and commitment are required. Once you have commitment, then use these creative and FUN ways to spur your creativity.
- GO for a walk
- Play with your dog or kids
- Go shopping (a personal love of mine)
- Go to the gym
- Clean the house
The point is, when you're really stuck, it's just because you're overthinking. And possibly falling into doubt and fear. Always making sure you are doing things you love and getting outside of your own head will help your creative mind stay focused when put to task.
How do you turn your blog into paid sponsorships from your favorite brands?
This step actually comes later once you start getting a following to your blog and social media, but to get started towards that goal, actually start targeting those brands in your blog.
That means to start doing brand specific posts. To up level your own blog, your photos, and your overall brand focus towards something that brand would see value in. For example, if you are targeting Chanel and yet your blog is about Gucci, chances are that's not something Chanel would value.
But that being said, overall, depending on which brands you target, up leveling the quality of your blog, your brand, your photos, and developing your own skills are things that every brand looks for.
How do you develop a loyal following and readership?
Invest in the people who invest in you. People - your community of readers and followers on social media are your tribe of loyal fans. You want them to know that you value them and want the best for them in the areas you specialize in. Take time to respond to their comments. To address their questions. And to always know that they look to you for your leadership and guidance.
The truth is, having readers for your blog is not something to be taken lightly. Whether it's one person or 100,000 people, every person is one individual that has chosen to take time out of their day to read your blog. That means, my dear blogger friend, that YOU are quite amazing. That every time you realize that you're actually more awesome than you may think you are, you get one step closer to living out your dreams.
And that's it! Obviously, there is so much more to cover and I can't do it in one article, but stay tuned. In the meantime be sure to start building and growing your brand on the number one blogger's platform - Instagram!
Tell me in the comments below what your blog is (be sure to put a link so others can follow you) and what you blog about. Cant' wait to see you shine!