I often get asked if someone can turn a hobby blog into a business. Meaning, whether or not they can turn their blog, which is mostly them writing about a hobby like fashion or beauty, into a full-fledged viable business.
People seem to assume that this a feat accomplished by only a select few. After all, there are only so many Michelle Phan’s and Jaclyn Hill’s in the world. However, speaking as someone who did turn her hobby blog into a business, it can be done. It just requires you to be more strategic from the beginning.
Build it and then promote it.
People mistakenly assume that if you build a blog the readers (and the money) will come. I lived in that space for some time before I truly understood online marketing, and in most cases it’s simply not true. You must promote your work and let people know it exists. This is one of the keys in turning your hobby blog into a business.
Learn how money is made.
Even if the followers do come, that doesn’t necessarily mean the money will. An article from Fusion published back in December noted how even some of the most well-known YouTube vloggers still have to wait tables to pay the bills.
I may not know what their specific situation may be, but I do know from experience that you need to have something to sell in exchange for dollars if you’re going to turn your hobby blog into a business. It’s a combination of hustling, sales and knowing how to move people through a customer map.
This also relates back to the promoting and putting yourself out there. People aren’t simply going to throw their money at you (though some might), you have to actively seek the opportunities. In the case of some of these YouTube celebrities, maybe they need to approach companies for sponsorship opportunities.
Stop hiding behind a computer screen.
One of the biggest turning points in turning my hobby blog into a business was when I stopped hiding behind my computer screen. I started attending blogging conferences in my niche and local networking events in my area. This then turned into some paying writing and coaching clients.
The point is that it’s very easy to hide behind your blog. There’s something about coming out in public settings that makes being a professional blogger a little more real, and for some people that can be scary. I know it was for me.
Start thinking like a business owner.
The biggest struggle I had when turning my hobby blog into a business – and the biggest struggle I’ve seen with coaching clients – was to start thinking like a business owner.
A lot of people, including myself, started a blog because it was a fun way to document a hobby or challenge. Once it gets to a point where you see the opportunity to make money, it requires you to think a little differently. You suddenly realize you have to become more strategic, and for some people this presents a challenge – especially if they’ve never had any sort of business background or training.
Fortunately, there are tons of coaches and consultants out there that can help you put all the pieces together. Plenty of people make a living blogging now, so it’s certainly more mainstream than it was a few years ago. This means there are plenty of places to find support and help as you turn your hobby blog into a business.