Blogging can be a fun way to dedicate your free time to writing about something you love. Maybe it’s your passion for food, yoga, your career or being a mom — whatever it is, blogging allows you to explore your topic and share your knowledge with the world.
But what if you could take this a step further and start earning money doing something you love?
You’ve probably heard of bloggers that have made their millions through their efforts — well, this could be you! Okay, maybe not millions, but it is definitely possible to supplement your income through blogging. And after time (and depending on the route you want to go down), you may find that your blogging income soon surpasses that of your day job.
Want to learn how to grow your blog into a business? Read on to find out how to make money doing something you love.
Invest time in developing your blog and brand
First things first (before we get down to any money-making) you’re going to have to spend a bit of time and money on your blog. This is essentially getting your blog ready to monetize. People won’t want to read your posts or buy your products if your blog looks badly made or messy — even if your content is amazing.
There are a few things you need to develop and maintain if you want your blog to be taken seriously as a business.
One of the key features you’re going to hone in on is your branding. Your blog’s branding needs to be consistent, and this means maintaining the same tone of voice and style across your whole blog, blog posts and any promotional work you do (such as social media and email marketing).
Maintaining a consistent tone of voice shouldn’t be too difficult; you’re probably naturally writing in your own tone of voice anyway. That’s what makes writing a blog so fun — you get to be as informal or enthusiastic or dry as you like because it’s yours. Editor tools like Grammarly can also help you out with spelling and grammar so that you can streamline your style even more.
The challenge will probably be with the design aspects of your brand: such as color schemes, fonts, imagery, or logo placement. It might be fun to experiment, but don’t get carried away in trying lots of new fonts and styles across your website, and definitely stay away from garish clashing colors.
Create some branding guidelines for yourself: stick to a color theme made up of around three core colors. Pick the fonts (again, no more than three) that you’re going to use across your blog. Nail down your logo — you’re going to be using it a lot, so make sure it’s memorable and unique.
Top tip:Canva is an awesome online graphic design tool that can help you to do all of this and more — for free!
Promote your blog through social media marketing
Now that your blog is prepped and ready for action, it’s time to get your blog out there.
Social media is a great opportunity to promote your blog and bring in new readers. Post regularly to gather followers and engage with them in an informal and entertaining way. If you’re worried about finding the time to post regularly, you can use a social media scheduling tool like Buffer to write and queue your posts in advance.
Pick your preferred social media platforms depending on your subject matter and target audience. For example, if you’re writing a business or career-focused blog aimed at professionals, then LinkedIn and Twitter are strong channels to promote on. If your blog is very visual — for example, you write about food and love taking photos of your creations — then platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are perfect for showcasing your blog.
Basically, you need to play to your strengths, as well as take into account the interests and habits of your audience. This infographic is awesome — it helps to understand the audience characteristics of each social network so that you can tailor your marketing.
Forge connections through email marketing
Once you’ve generated some interest in your blog through your social marketing, you should be aiming to solidify your connections and build meaningful relationships. You don’t want one-time blog visitors — you want (and need) repeat visits and engaged readers, especially if you’re planning on making money through your blog!
Email marketing is an excellent method of connecting with your readership and leading them back to your blog. It’s a way of speaking directly to your readers, and showing them that they mean something to you — that you value their interest and loyalty.
It’s easy enough to integrate a pop-up to your blog to allow visitors to easily subscribe for regular updates. You can entice them in offers of insider gossip, rousing CTAs and exclusive offers (if you end up selling products or working with other e-commerce brands).
There are plenty of eye-catching, effective pop-ups available that can help you generate conversions and build that all-important email list. Just make sure you don’t overuse pop-ups, as this can negatively impact user experience.
When you’ve gathered a list of subscribers, you can begin your email marketing strategy. Using an email automation tool can help you to easily design attractive email templates which will capture your customer’s attention and draw them to your site. You can appeal to your readers with a number of different email types: informative newsletters, seasonal content, mini updates and exciting promotions.
By sharing part of your blog’s story through email, you are establishing trust, nurturing an emotional connection with your readers, and creating a loyal community around your blog.
Passive income: monetizing your blog the easy way
There are many different ways that you can make money on your blog once you’ve developed your brand and gathered an engaged audience.
Affiliate marketing is an obvious place to start if you want to start monetizing your blog without necessarily having to open up an online store.
By enrolling in an affiliate marketing scheme you can earn passive income, by sharing links on your site to another business’s products. If your readers are interested in the product and click on the link you’ve posted to buy it, you will earn a small percentage of the profits.
Avoid being too spammy with affiliate links — you don’t want to scare readers away. Be as authentic as possible: try to keep to products and sites that you really like and use yourself. If you’ve built up a loyal following who will take your recommendations, this can be a really profitable passive income.
There are various other options for monetizing your blog:
Banner advertising & cost per click ads (an embedded ad on your blog linking to a retailer’s website)
Sponsored posts (blog posts in which you are paid to mention a brand or product)
Blog sponsorship (a big brand will sponsor your blog — normally reserved for high-traffic influencer blogs)
If you choose to take part in any of these forms of passive income, make sure you read up on FTC rules and regulations — you don’t want to get penalised because you didn’t disclose that a link was affiliated.
Active income: leveraging your own talent
If you want to go one further than passive income and dedicate more time to your blog, why not think about active income?
if you’ve got a talent or topic that your blog is centered around (perhaps your love of making jewellery or baby clothes), you could start selling products from your blog. Ecommerce platforms have now made it super easy to add ecommerce functionality to your blog so you can set up shop and start selling whenever you like!
If the idea of making and selling your own products is making you panic already (where are you going to find the time?!), then have a think about dropshipping and print on demand. Instead of making and keeping product in stock, you can partner with a third-party supplier who does all the heavy lifting.
Your products don’t have to be physical either — you could offer digital products on your blog such as recipes or ebooks.
Making money from your blog doesn’t have to be difficult. If it’s something you really love doing, then investing a bit of time developing your blog won’t seem like a hardship — and it will pay off in the long run.