Four ways to turn your hobby blog into a business
You’ve probably read the story many times: someone starts a personal blog, it somehow becomes viral and 90 days later that person makes £5-10K a month from blogging while they sip on a Mai Tai by the beach.
Here’s the good news: if you’re passionate about writing, you can do that, too. It’s not impossible to turn a hobby blog into a profitable business.
But there’s also some challenging news: unless you get lucky, it takes lots of writing, dedication and hard work to get to that point.
So don’t quit your day job and go into blogging with the unrealistic expectation that your personal blog is bound to take off in just a few months. It might take you many more months or years until you are able to make a living long-term from your blog.
Until then, you can use blogging to help and delight readers while gradually supplementing your existing income. In this post we’ll share four effective ways to help you achieve that.
1. Think like a business owner
Before you start writing, you need to launch your blog. The first step is deciding how to name it and what type of web hosting you should use.
Don’t skip this section if you already have a blog and you’re been writing for a while. You might just find that it’s the key information you needed to take your blog to that professional next level.
So, if you’re serious about turning your blog into a business, you need to think like a business owner, not just a blogger who writes about their passions.
What does this mean? It means you shouldn’t use a free blogging platform since there are many restrictions on the ads you are permitted to run on your blog, as well as fewer opportunities to become a well-known brand and generate revenue.
So if you’ve been using a free platform like WordPresss.com and your web address looks something like www.jacktravelbugjourney.wordpress.com, you might want to change that.
How? Get yourself a professional domain name and switch from the free WordPress.com platform to your own domain and hosting.
Our recommendation? Use WordPress.org instead. Unlike the free yet restricted WordPress.com, WordPress.org lets you enjoy all the benefits of using the platform with your own domain. This means the freedom to:
- Check for the domain name you want and then use it
- Customise your blog theme as you see fit
- Use any plugins you want to enhance your blog’s look and functionality, as well as its visibility in the search engine results.
- Choose the ads you want to display on your blog or the ad service you use. Not to mention you can keep 100% of the revenue.
Find out more about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org as well as how to move your site from a free host to your own domain.
Now, if you choose WordPress hosting from 123 Reg, which also comes with a free domain name, you’ll be ready to go in a matter of minutes.
2. Choose a blogging niche you can write about (over the long haul)
Why is this important? Because a lack of passion or writing skills aren’t the main reasons why bloggers fail to succeed. It’s writing aimlessly because they haven’t picked a niche and they also don’t know who they’re writing for.
So, for your blog to succeed, you should choose a niche. Because when you choose a niche, you also define the audience you’re writing for. This allows you to understand their challenges and pain points, and then write content that resonates with them.
Think about it this way: lots of people are looking for advice and guidance online. When you write useful, relevant content that targets not everyone but a specific group of people, you are going to be building trust and authority. When you build trust and authority, that’s when you’re able to make an enterprise out of your blog.
The challenge is being consistent as it takes time and effort to build trust. It takes showing up over and over again for your readers so they know you’re “for real” and someone they can trust and always rely on for great advice and information.
If you’ve not yet started blogging, you can take this opportunity to decide which blog niche would work best for you, considering your interests, passions and expertise.
Read this post to learn what a niche is and how to find yours.
3. Focus on providing value to your readers
When someone (an individual or a business) asks you to subscribe to their email list, follow them on Instagram, or read their latest blog post, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?
“What’s in it for me?”
It’s not a selfish question, considering we’re all busy people and want to make sure our time is not wasted but spent on things that bring us joy, information and value.
So if you want to turn your hobby blog into a business, you’ll need to provide value to your audience. This means focusing less on what you’re interested in, and more on what your audience is interested in.
In other words, do your best to share useful and relevant content that helps your audience solve a problem or find a better, faster, more cost-effective way to do something rather than share your own struggles with no solution in sight.
Why is this important? Because when you solve a problem, you can associate a cost with it. After all, every product and service we buy solves a problem for us, or helps us to achieve a goal.
That’s what you’re doing too, and it’s how you can start to build your business.
4. Create something to sell to your audience
If you’re mostly interested in making money from your blog, you can go with the traditional methods like ads, affiliate marketing, product reviews and sponsored posts. This posts on the best ways to make money from a new or existing blog covers them all.
But if you want to become a small business owner, then you need to create a product or a service and sell it to your audience.
So, what is your best option?
Elearning or online learning, meaning everything from online courses and training programs to ebooks and podcasts.
Why should you consider this option? Because Research and Markets forecasts show that elearning will grow to $325 Billion by 2025.
In addition, instead of promoting and generating revenue for other businesses, you get to create and sell your own product and keep all the revenue to yourself.
Take a quick look at how these ten successful bloggers make money. What do you notice? Most have turned their blogs into profitable businesses by selling online courses.
If you decide to take this route, we’ve got you covered with a beginner’s guide that walks you through the key steps to follow to promote and sell your own online course.
If you’re passionate about writing and sharing your knowledge with the world, why not turn that passion into a business?
Sure, it might take you a while until you can make a living from your blog. But if you get your own professional domain and hosting, choose a profitable niche where you provide real value to your audience and build their trust, you’ll soon be able to sell them your own product and become a profitable business.