Plenty of bloggers have built successful careers for themselves, and it all started with a hobby. However, you shouldn’t get into the world of blogging if you’re just looking to make money, of course; it has to be something you love as a hobby as well.
That being said, if you are keen to start blogging or you’ve already been doing so for a while, you might as well try to earn some money from it. Whether it’s a side-project or a full-time venture, the following pieces of advice should help you to start make some money from your blog.
A word of advice though. We have been blogging on Pikalily for almost 6 years now and for us it is still very much a hobby. If you think that you’ll be able to setup a blog and boom, you can quit the day job and go full-time, you could be in for a quick reality check. While it is possible, it takes time and a lot of effort to be in a position where you can be a full-time blogger. These five tips can be a good starting point though.
1. Create Great Content
In today’s business climate, online content is vital to success. When you’re running a blog, this is more important than ever. Your entire business model relies on your content, so this needs to be the first thing that you get right.
Again, you need to make sure you get into blogging for the right reasons. Don’t write about a certain topic that doesn’t interest you just because it’s popular. Choose something that fascinates you. Beyond that, you just need to make sure your content is relevant and engaging.
Pikalily has evolved as our own interests have evolved. It started out mainly as a food blog but we’ve started to incorporate travel and interior design content into it as the years have gone by. This has been due to increased travels and being involved in our own self-build project in 2018.
As a good starting point, you need to make sure that your website design grabs the attention of visitors to your blog. While the content is vital, it’s also important to ensure it’s easy for people to view and enjoy the experience. We have updated our blog on several occasions to try and make it look much more appealing, while still focusing on delivering great content for our visitors.
2. Get Your Name Out There
There are so many keen writers in every imaginable corner of the blogging world, so there’s plenty of competition for you. It isn’t enough to simply write fantastic things and hope people will magically find your blog. You need to be proactive and get your name out there.
That’s crucial to running your blog like a successful business empire, but it’s also worthwhile in the sense that every blogger wants a following of some kind. You want people to read your musings. The thing to remember is that followers are akin to clients; they’re the key to monetising your blog, even if you’re not charging them any money, but we’ll talk about that later.
When it comes to advertising yourself well, you need to find ways to engage people online. Post relevant things on social media so as to entice people to check out your blog. If you’re a travel blogger then you should post fantastic travel pictures on Instagram, for instance. Check out accounts such as “earthpix” because plenty of accounts will accept picture submissions.
In the early days of Pikalily, social media channels played a big part in our growth. We got involved in several Twitter chats and even hosted a few of our own, so keep an eye out to see if there are regular Twitter chats on your blog topic.
You need to be adept with regards to all social networks if you really want to advertise your blog like a successful business empire. You should also take any and all opportunities to get publicity for your blog and brand. Attend local blogging events and meetups to help get your name out there.
3. Find Your Niche
We talked about the importance of creating great content in a previous point, but it’s important to make sure that your blog isn’t too generalised. You need to find your niche. Again, you need to write on a topic that interests you, but you wouldn’t be the first car, travel, fashion, or food blogger out there.
How are you going to stand out? Maybe you could write about very specific supercars from a certain era, or maybe you could talk about travel in a very specific region. Maybe you could start a vegan food blog for millennials.
You need to set yourself apart from the competition in the same way that businesses do. Our focus is very much about our own experiences so Pikalily is very personal, with stories about our food, travel and interior design / home journeys.
4. View Yourself as a Boss
If you really want to start running your blog like a successful business empire then you need to view yourself as a boss. That doesn’t mean you have to suck all the joy out of your hobby; it just means you need to approach the operations of your blog from an entrepreneurial standpoint.
We’ve already given some helpful advice in this regard, but it requires more than advertising your blog well online. It’s about having the right mindset. You need to be thinking about how to expand your following. You might even want to expand your operations to getting guest bloggers involved.
Make sure you keep researching the market so as to better yourself as the boss of your operations. You might even want to study for a distance MBA here. This would give you the skills necessary to start thinking like a leader and make smart decisions that help your blog to succeed in a competitive landscape.
5. Monetise Your Blog
Obviously, a huge part of running your blog like a successful business is monetising it. We mentioned this briefly earlier, but you might still be wondering how to actually make money from your blog. There are plenty of different routes to take.
The first thing we would recommend is to setup an account with Google Adsense and get ads running on your website. While you need to have huge volumes of traffic to make any significant money via Google Adsense, if it covers your website hosting for the year or the renewal of your domain, then you’re doing well.
If you do start to build up a following across your social channels you could look to monitise this avenue as well through paid partnerships and collaborations, although it’s always important to disclose this.
And one final way to monitise your blog is to provide sponsorship opportunities for content on your blog, video collaborations or even newsletter content. It is this ability to monitise your blog that can begin to put you in a position to become a full-time blogger.
This is however something we have made a conscious decision not to focus on 🙂
Got Something to Add?
Are you a blogger? Have you any additional tips to monitising your blog or making money online? Share them with us below (if you’re happy to give away some secrets that is 🙂 ).
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial and Lewis.