I have a guest post for you today from Rebecca at Self Development Secrets that’s full of great advice…
If you ever use social media, you’ve likely come across a lot of bloggers who seem to be living their dream lives while getting to share their experiences online. You may wonder how on Earth someone can manage to travel the world year-round or wear fun outfits for a living. Oftentimes, the answer is that they earn their entire income from blogging.
Believe it or not, it’s possible for blogging to be your main career. The best part about this job is that it’s customizable to any personality or hobby. Blogs can be about any topic, so whatever your passion is, there’s a good chance you can spin it into a profitable blog. Check this post out about living your dreams: 13 Steps to Pursuing your Dreams [Quitting Your Day Job]
Here are a few tips to get started as a blogger.
Pick Your Niche
Being a successful blogger is all about finding the right target for your content. Before you can do that, though, you need to decide what the purpose of your content is. If your blog is too general or has too wide of a scope, readers won’t develop a strong knowledge of who you are and what you’re passionate about.
Blogs are successful when they stand out as the main source of information or content on one specific topic. Now that blogs are so common, it’s especially important to choose a narrow focus: something that hasn’t already been covered.
So for example, if you’re planning on being a makeup blogger, try to figure out how your makeup blog will be different than the rest. Will you cover natural-looking makeup? Makeup for people of color? Costume makeup? If you run a travel blog, will you focus on how to travel cheaply? How to work while traveling? The narrower your focus, the more likely that readers will find you memorable and will return to you for information on that topic in the future.
One growing market is local blogging. Blogging about your own specific city or town automatically narrows down your audience, which it actually a good thing — it means that your audience is far more likely to be invested in your content and will want to return to your blog again and again.
Build Your Audience
Once you’ve found your niche, you need to focus on building an audience. After all, as a blogger, your audience is your bread and butter. The more readers you have, the more products or services you can sell to them, and the more likely that you will eventually get lucrative advertising offers.
Start by making connections to other bloggers and the communities they’ve already built. Leave comments on other blogs, and become a well-known presence in your particular niche or field. This increases the likelihood that other bloggers will link to your content and bring readers your way.
Use social media to your advantage. If you can build a following on social media, your brand and blog will become familiar to a wider base of people, and people will always be aware when you post new content.
Once you have readers going to your page, you need to make them want to stay there — and come back again. That means you should spend plenty of time making your blog’s design attractive and professional-looking. Post new content consistently and often. Lastly, make sure to engage with your readers. Ask them to leave comments, and respond to them when they do.
Pay attention to your audience, and ask them what they’d like to see more of on your blog. Your readers are the closest thing you’ll have to a boss from now on, so make sure you’re taking their wants and needs into account.
Offers Related Services/Products
As audience members, we might assume that most of bloggers’ money comes from advertisers. This used to be the case, but it isn’t anymore. The money that you could get from ads usually isn’t enough to make a living from, and having too many ads on one page will clog up your website and brand.
A much more efficient way to earn money as a blogger is to sell related products or services through your blog. Once you gain even a small audience, you can start monetizing your blog by selling fun merchandise. It could be something simple like a branded mug or tote bag, or it could be something more unique to your brand.
For example, if your blog is about lifestyle and self-improvement, you could offer paid content such as podcasts or advice guides on how to achieve certain life goals. If you run a travel blog, you could offer consultations on how to book a dream vacation. The sky is the limit.
As successful blogger Nomadic Matt writes, you’ll make much more money by selling your own products than by relying on advertisers’ income, especially as a new blogger. Once you become more well-known in your field, you’ll likely be offered lucrative advertising opportunities that are worth your time.
Blogging for a living can be lucrative enough to be your main job. Being able to work your own hours, be your own boss, and work in the field you’re most passionate about is within reach, but it’s not an easy or fast journey. Some may say that blogging is an oversaturated market, and the main thing that sets successful bloggers apart from the pack is dedication.
Don’t expect your blog to be an instant success. It may take many months for your blog to start to pick up momentum, and for you to start seeing numbers that feel legitimate. It’s important that you take your blog seriously even when you only get a few page views a day, because others will only take you as seriously as you take yourself.
This means that you may find yourself working two jobs for a period of time — the job that pays the bills, and blogging on the side. Eventually, though, this will all pay off.
If you follow all the tips above, blogging can absolutely be your main source of income. Narrow down your passions into a relatable niche, get to know your audience, and start building sources of revenue. It may take time and a lot of hard work, but blogging is the type of dream job that will give as much back to you as you put into it. Check out some cool blogging tips here.