How to Turn Your Blog Into a Thriving Business (+ Free in-depth workbook )
(This post may contain affiliate links. You can get more info here.) Hey you! I have a secret to tell you...I'm psychic! I absolutely know that you want to turn your blog into a business.
You're wondering how I know that, right? Well, you clicked on this post, silly!
First, I want to say congratulations on making such a great decision! Creating a blog is ridiculously awesome on its own, but to turn it into a business?! Genius!!! Turning your blog into a business is the one thing that every blogger desires to do. And I'm right there with you! In my time with this blog, I have created and implemented strategies on my blog that have turned it from a hobby site into a freaking awesome and booming corner of the internet!
Now, turning your blog into a business is going to take some work. But if you want to grow your blog, boost your income, and turn your blog into a killer business, you're absolutely going to love these tips I'm about to share with you -- and the free workbook too!
Alright, hon! Here we go!
Know Your Focus
So you're ready to start a business, huh? What's it about?
This is the absolute first question you must ask yourself before you continue on. Your answer should be specific and unique. Being unique is what's going to help you be successful.
And guess what?
You're already unique. Everyone is unique, but sometimes we don't realize how or what makes us unique! Or you simply haven't "discovered your extraordinary" as I like to call it!
Figure out your unique qualities, market it, and make it the core of your brand.
This is my favorite thing to talk about! When I first started my site, I
hated highly disliked this topic because I had yet to figure out my extraordinary qualities. But then I did some research, a little bit of soul-searching, and personal evaluations and I finally found it! Now you can too.
Once you discover your extraordinary, you've found your niche! Once you find your niche, you've found the core of your business!
Why do you need to know your focus?
One simple answer: you can get people to come to your site all day long, but if you lack focus, then your website is all over the place. And that means viewers will be confused. No one likes to be confused. People actually avoid confusion. Which means less click-throughs to your site, no audience, and no sales of your products.
Think about it this way, my blog is all about helping you create a striking and profound online business even while working full-time. I have exciting news though!!! I'm launching a gardening book. Are you going to buy it?!
Probably not, right? Don't worry! No offense taken! I totally get it too! I don't have gardening expertise, so why would you trust that content?! Viewers won't subscribe and certainly won't buy products from someone that does not seem to have any focus. I guarantee that if you show your readers that you have a direction and know exactly what you can offer them, it will make a huge difference in the success of your business.
(Click here to read exactly how to create super high-quality posts that your readers will trust and share.)
So, how do you find your focus you ask?
Well, look at your own blog first. Does it have a focus? And I mean, an actual focus. Not just "how to blog", but more like "teaching single mothers how to start a website and make money online". See the difference?
The more focused you are, the more credible you will be. If your audience can quickly describe what your business is about, the more likely they will buy your products. People like focus. So give them something to focus on!!
You can easily discover your focus by figuring out what your passions are, what you have knowledge or expertise in, and who's your target audience. Combine those three and you have your own incredibly special niche!
Every Business Needs a Brand!
So you've found your focus, right? But it doesn't end there. Your focus is your extraordinary. Now your products have to represent your extraordinary too! You don't only want your business to be focused, your content has to be focused too. You want your personality and unique qualities to be all over your products. Your audience should recognize your signature with just a glance.
You can turn your blog into a business and kick it into high gear by creating a consistent brand! Your brand is your personality, your colors, your creative writing techniques, your style, your aesthetic, your signature. Your brand is you.
The best way to create your brand is to create a brand guide. Write down all of your ideas, your favorite colors, the aesthetic you want your business to have. How do you want people to see you and your business? How do you want people to feel when they come onto your website? What's your overall end plan for your blog? Do a massive brain dump!
This is your time to be creative without limits!
Set Your Business Goals
Oh goodie!! One of my favorite topics!! Ok so, you've started your business and all, but where's it going? What's the end game? Do you want to make six figures from your business? Do you want to become a full-time entrepreneur? Is there a specific number of social media followers that you want to have by the end of the year or in the next few months?
All of these decisions are massively important. Not only for your business but for you. Having goals will not only streamline your focus for your business but will provide you with motivation during those times when absolutely have no motivation or willpower to keep going.
So remember when I said I was psychic? (but not really ) Just by clicking on this post, you've shown me and yourself that your top goal right now is to turn your blog into a business. Am I right? Well, that's just the beginning. Knowing your end goal isn't going to get you anywhere if you don't know the steps you need to take to achieve that goal. Think of all the action steps you can take right now to get you closer to your goal. Prioritize your actions and start implementing them today! The sooner the better.
If you've had trouble figuring out just how to actually set goals you will achieve, check out this post. It'll show you the exact steps you need to take...and you get a cute printable to plan out your goals too!!
Develop a Business Strategy to Turn Your Blog Into a Business
Now that you've figured out your business goals, developing a business strategy is going to help get you there! I can't stress enough how important this is for your business.You can't get in your car and start driving to a new destination without knowing the route to take. Knowing your strategy and your plan will give you a direct way to get to your end goal. Not to mention how much time you'll save!!! Unless you'd rather spend years doing something that you could probably do in months with a simple business plan.
Regina from byRegina.com wrote an absolutely amazing post on creating a business plan and epic business strategies. I've used this blog to jumpstart my business strategies and frequently refer to it to keep me reminded of my business focus, the ultimate goal for my blog, and the business that I want to create with it. I highly recommend that you read it for yourself!
Realize There Are Investments You Have to Make
The best business owners are ones who will make any investment they need to make to build a successful and profitable business. Of course, that doesn't mean that you need to spend all of the money in your bank account! I actually suggest that you don't. There are so many different resources available on the internet for free and cheaper courses and e-books that could help you to get started and figure out exactly what you need to do to turn your blog into a business that is profitable and incredibly successful.
I've already compiled a huge list of free resources that you can use to create a thriving business. I've also written a post about some highly cheap but incredibly effective resources with tips from experts and top bloggers that have helped me to start this blog and receive such amazing success so far. You can also follow my Blogging on a Budget series to get tips on how to create and run a professional looking blog without spending all of your hard earned money to do it.
You can be a successful business person even if you've never started a business before. All you have to do is do the research and learn everything you have to learn about the focus of your business. Invest in the products and tools that could easily upgrade your website and boost your income.
Look The Part
Okay, so I can sum this up really quickly. Let me show you something.
This was my About Me picture when I started my blog...
Now compare that to my current picture.
Both pictures are of the same person (me! hehe). But when it comes to giving you advice on starting a business, you would easily trust the "me" in one of those pictures more than the other.
Because one picture is more professional looking. I look like I just might know what I'm talking about. Get the point?
1. You absolutely must have a picture of yourself on your website or blog. Even if your business is not about you or services that you personally provide, people relate more to a business if they can see the face behind it. Make your business more personable and you'll attract a bigger audience.
2. Do you have a picture of yourself on your blog or website? Take a step back and look at it through the eyes of a consumer? If you were an average consumer that came to your site, would you trust your credibility or the content on your website? If not, then you probably need a photo change.
3. Since you have an idea of what your business is going to be about, do some research and look up other top websites or blogs in a similar niche. Are there pictures of the creators on the site? What do those photos look like? Compare that to your current photo and make the appropriate changes.
4. Your photo needs to look professional. To do that, you can invest in a DSLR camera if you like. Or if you have a friend or an acquaintance with a fancy smancy camera, ask them to snap some photos for you. Do you have a cool phone with a camera? You can take some awesome photos with your phone for absolutely free! Take advantage of natural lighting and snap away!! There are quite a few websites and apps that you can download to help you edit your photos without downloading Photoshop! To make things easier, I have already compiled and include a list of those applications in the workbook below!
Time for a photo shoot! Yay!!
Professional Website Design
Picture this: you are in desperate need of some information and quickly grab your phone to do a quick Google search. You come upon an awesome preview of an article on Google. The topic seems right on point with exactly what you're looking for so you click to read more! Wow, you just might have found the perfect article to help you with your problem!
But then you get onto the website and it looks terrible and undone. Or like the author only took two minutes to create it. No personality. No color. No plugins or beautiful awesome widgets. Everything seems random and completely not cohesive.
Screw the article now! The author couldn't take the time to build a professional website. Why should you trust their content?
So you click away from your page. Next!!
I can't tell you how many times I've done that with other people's content. I'm sure their article could have helped me, but first impressions are incredibly important. If your website looks undone, unprofessional, or like it's not at all related to your niche or the topic your audience is searching for, the reader will instantly close out of your website. Nothing personal towards you by the way!
One of the best -- and honestly, easiest - things you can do to drive traffic to your website and grow your email list to invest in a beautiful killer professional theme. This doesn't have to be a huge investment either. There are some amazing websites to get some professional, highly customizable, and beautiful looking themes for absolutely cheap like Creative Market or Bella Creative Studio.
Create Money Making Strategies That Will Turn Your Blog Into a Business
If you want to start a business, especially a profitable one, you need to make money. I mean, that's just common sense, right? But how do you start? Have you started?
Monetizing your blog or making money from your business is the ultimate catalyst for starting one nowadays. Let's be honest here. We have all started our blogs for the hopes of actually making money from it. And I bet the first thing you did was put ads on your site hoping to make some money from it. Hey, no judgment! I did the same exact thing!
But, can I just give you a quick reality check?
You're not going to make much money from ads. There! I said it! Ads are an easy way to start monetizing your site, but they are definitely not going to be the main source of your business income. I mean, just check your stats. Ads are not a solid source of profit for most bloggers.
But what is? Making your own products. Affiliate marketing is also a good source as well. But why put in all of the work, take all of your time, spend money, and make sacrifices for a business just to put money in someone else's pocket?
Either way, building a solid money making strategy to create a solid base of income is not only smart and necessary but an integral part of your business' lifeline.
Find Your Audience and Build Your Email List
Starting an online business is completely useless if you don't have anyone to sell your products to. You've probably heard this before but your email list is absolutely crucial to your success as a blogger and business owner. If someone comes to your site and willingly gives you their email address, it means that they trust you and are really interested in your content. These same individuals are most likely to buy your products too!! I'm serious!!
Giving up an email address doesn't come for free or at a low cost. You absolutely have to give something valuable in return for permission to email someone.
To grow your email list, you must be smart, provide value, and constantly engage with your subscribers. There are several ways to grow your list:
- Create an opt-in or quality lead magnet. Opt-ins or lead magnets are free products or content that you offer to your readers in exchange for their email address. In order to get viewers to "opt-in", your lead magnet must be strong and directly related to your blog content and focus. But don't worry. You don't have to write a 50-page book. Lead magnets are usually the smaller of your products, but they must still pack a lot of power. Remember, someone's giving up their private email address just to get access to your opt-in.
- Have a subscriber widget on your website or promote your email list on social media. This course of action doesn't have any limits at all. You can promote your list however you like. But just keep in mind that most people would only sign up if they know they're getting strong content in return. So I do recommend promoting your opt-ins or lead magnets even on social media.
Whichever course of action you choose, you absolutely must grow your email list. And make sure that email list consists of the right audience! People that are well within your niche and would strongly be interested in your content.
Invest the Time
Last, but certainly not least, if you want to turn your blog into a business that absolutely kicks ass, you absolutely positively need to invest the time. Your business isn't going to grow itself, hon! It takes time, effort, and sacrifices. But if you're serious about wanting a profitable business, you won't mind all of the hard work. The payoff will be great!
Most of you may have a full-time job, a family, be in school, or have other time-consuming obligations. Adding a blog to that mix is probably off-putting, to say the least. But there are ways you can put in the time efficiently while still packing quite a punch. To get you started, I've already written a post detailing 17 ways to manage your time effectively!
Alrighty! So you have the basics down. Yay, you!!!! Now you can take things a step further and jumpstart your blog to biz journey with the free in-depth workbook down below!!!