I attend several events around the city for bloggers and influencers. To be honest, it’s a bit surreal to me. When I started blogging almost eight years ago, no one knew there was money in it. Now that the general population knows they can earn income blogging, they all want in. The problem is they don’t treat a blog like a business.
Fortunately, at least in my area, there are several workshops popping up to teach bloggers how to treat their blog like a business. They are doing workshops that cover everything from accounting to sales. If you’re also a blogger who is wondering how to start turning your hobby into a business, here are a few places you can start.
Decide how you’re going to make money
The first step in treating your blog like a business is figuring out how you actually make money. There are two (kind of three) options here.
- You already have a business (or are building a business) and a blog is a marketing tool.
- The blog itself gets you hired for specific services pertaining to content creation.
In the former example, you have a company and your blog is just one part of your sales and marketing funnel. For example, I have a student who is a travel agent and her travel blog helps her get clients.
In the second, the blog itself is what gets you paid. This usually looks like content marketing work, affiliate marketing and spokesperson work for major brands.
You can also have some sort of a hybrid and add multiple sources of income as time goes on, but in the beginning stages I recommend sticking to one or two things.
Figure out where your clients and customers pay you
The second step is to figure out your sales and marketing funnel. In other words, you need to determine how someone goes from being a blog reader to a paying customer or client. Here are a few examples:
- Your following doesn’t actually pay you, but corporate brands hire you as a spokesperson because of your following.
- Blog readers purchase affiliate products from your website.
- Potential clients go to your site for advice, join your email list and you market your products and services to them.
Each scenario has a slightly different roadmap depending on how you’re actually making your money. When treating your blog like a business, it’s important to know what this process is so you can structure your business accordingly.
Create a marketing budget
There was a time when you could use social media and everyone would see your content for free. Sadly, those days are behind us. You need to look no further than the recent Facebook changes to see how this has changed over the years.
That being said, businesses have marketing budgets and as such your blog should as well. This may look like ads or services that help drive traffic or build your social media presence. Fortunately, these things don’t have to cost you a whole lot, but you do need to invest just like you would in any other business.
In order to treat your blog like a business, you need to deal with numbers, logistics, and marketing. While this isn’t the fun part, it is what actually gets you paid.