5 Ways to Make Blogging a Successful Business
Blogging has been an extremely popular pastime. Some people blog to share a passion about something. Others blog to provide a narrative of their life to people who are interested in reading about them. Others blog to raise awareness of things that are important to them. Finally, others blog to create interest in their products or services. Eventually, when a blogger’s audience becomes large enough and there is enough interest, many bloggers begin to see an opportunity to use their blogs as a money making vehicle. If you are at that point, here are 5 ways in which you can turn your blogging hobby into a successful business.
1. Selling Products and Services
Many people start their blogs as a way to sell their products and services, or as a way to sell third party products and services. An example of the latter would be creating a blog to sell cosmetics, candles, and gift baskets as an independent sales representative of a larger corporation. You can earn money by driving sales traffic to your eCommerce website, etsy shop, or other location where consumers make purchases. It is important to remember however, that your blog should be focused on providing great content that your readers can use to solve their problems, not on pitching products or services. For example, the following topic would likely not be attractive to your readers:
“10 Reasons my Scented Wax Candles Are Perfect For the Holiday Season”
However, this topic would be:
“10 Innovative and Budget Friendly Holiday Decorating Ideas”
2. Premium Content Sales
If you generate enough interest in the content you give away for free on your blog, people may be willing to pay for content that is more advanced, more involved, and even more insightful. Just remember that people will have much higher standards for premium content than they will free content. Many bloggers have successfully monetized by selling e-books, podcast and video series, and even blog content. In order to sell premium content, you have two options. The first is to offer a subscription based service where others pay a regular fee to access premium content that you produce on a regular basis. The second is to sell premium content by the piece to whomever is interested, either directly from your blog or a third party site like Amazon.
There are several options if you would like to generate income through paid advertising. The first is to work directly with individuals and businesses who would like to purchase advertising space on your blog. The second is to go through a third party for PPC (paid per click) advertising. Many people use Google Adwords for this. Finally, there are options that are less direct. For example, you can mention products in your blog content, write product reviews, or create sponsored or underwritten blog posts. Sponsored and underwritten posts are posts where you are either paid to write a post on a specific topic (sponsored), or where you write on any topic but include a note that the post has been made possible thanks to a specific company.
If they believe that your audience matches their target customer persona, some companies will pay you to host a giveaway. Essentially, you write a blog post that contains information about the giveaway, and how customers can enter. In return, the company provides the prize. Just be aware that in many cases, the payment offered to you will be in the form of free products or services. If you have relationships with other bloggers who cover subjects in similar niches to yours, you may be able to work as a team to get a company to do a cross blog giveaway.
5. Events Personal Appearances and Presentations
If you have a large enough audience, and have positioned yourself to be an influencer in your space, there may be demand for your knowledge outside of the online world. Here are a few examples:
- In house training, presentations, or in service sessions at corporations or organizations
- Personal appearances at conferences and events
- Speaking engagements
You can market yourself as being available to provide these services, or you can partner with other organizations and event coordinators to create events or become a part of events that are already in the works.