How to turn a beautiful blog into a profitable business – part two
Ever wonder how people start blogs and make money from them? Each week for three weeks, we’re sharing the secrets to launching a blog you love, and turning it into a profitable business.
Last week, in part one, business and creativity coach Clare Greig showed you how to dig deep, unleash your creativity and come up with an idea for a brilliant blog.
Now it’s time to start publishing your blog. This part of the process takes you into a second phase – your blog will be out in the open air, ready to inspire others. The exciting part of this process is the feedback you receive from your readers.
Unleashing your uniqueness
Firstly I want you to understand that you are as unique as a snowflake. There is no-one else who has your experience, unique skills, talents and perspectives. So without even trying – being honest and authentic as yourself will naturally mean your blog will be unique. Trust me.
The other interesting thing is – most of the time we are unaware of our uniqueness. So when you publish a blog your readers will start to tell you how your blog has opened their eyes to see things in a unique way.
Whoever you are, you have a story and you have something to teach us all. That’s the beautiful thing about the technology that we have today. Anyone can publish a blog and start to grow an audience. We can interact with our audience and get feedback, which eventually is an amazing tool when we turn our blog into a business.
The practical steps
There are few different ways to publish your blog, with two key differences:
- You can set up a free blog on platforms such as Tumblr, Blogspot, wordpress.com etc.
- However if you are serious about turning your blog into a profitable business then I would advise creating a website buying a domain name, hosting and downloading wordpress.org – this way the blog is yours.
Think of it this way. If you use one of the free blog platforms, it is a bit like renting a house (you are restricted in ways to truly make it yours). But if you buy a domain, hosting and use WordPress then it’s like buying a house – you can customise it with your choice of menus, opt ins to your newsletter, shops and sales pages etc.
I don’t want to get too technical on you here, so if you need specifics on setting up a WordPress website then look on Google. You’ll find plenty of helpful blogs, easy-to-follow online training programs and YouTube videos to help you with the technical steps.
Personally I recommend wordpress.org as it is an incredibly user-friendly platform, designed for non techies like me.
Tools and platforms you need to start publishing your blog
In order to publish and attract readers (and attention) for your blog, you’ll need a number of tools and platforms.
I recommend setting up a wordpress.org website with the following pages:
- Homepage with some lovely pics that really demonstrate who you are and what you are passionate about.
- About me page explaining your journey.
- Email sign up form on every page so people can opt in to your newsletter.
To help share your blog, create social media pages such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and GooglePlus. It’s usually best to pick a maximum of two social media sites and do them really well, rather than spread yourself too thinly trying to do all of them. So think carefully about where your potential readers are, and use those sites.
How to share your blog with the world
When you are all set up it’s time to start publishing your blogs and sharing them with your networks.
In the beginning this can be as simple as sharing on your personal Facebook page and asking people to share your posts and sign up to your newsletter.
As you build your social media networks it always has to start with people you know. So get in touch with everyone you have ever worked with on LinkedIn, anyone you share visual love with on Pinterest, and even tweet your blog links to big celebs on Twitter who may be interested in what you have to say.
Why an email list is important
Aside from social media, your biggest focus should be building an email list. Social media sharing is fabulous, but the core of everything you do should be to grow an email subscriber list. Why? Because again, like using your own domain name, YOU own it.
Social media rules change all the time in terms of how you reach your audience, and you have no control over them. If social media sites wanted, they could close your account down tomorrow, without reason, and you would lose all the contacts you had worked so hard to build up.
But an email database is yours, and it will become a highly valuable asset when your blog becomes a business.
Take the next exciting step in turning your blog into a business
The publishing and sharing part of the process is incredibly exciting and also quite scary. It’s a step outside your comfort zone. However the sooner you do it the sooner your blog will reach others, you will get feedback and you can start to grow as a blogger.
It’s such an exciting and beautiful process. Many love it so much they are happy to keep it as a hobby. However if you are genuinely passionate about your topic, you are well versed and educated (or prepared to train and become educated) then there is absolutely no reason why you can’t turn your blog into a business. And that’s just what I will cover next week, so stay tuned!
Next learn how to make money from your blog in part three.
Business and creativity coach Clare Greig believes we can all be devoted mums AND smart, creative business women. Sign up here for tips, tricks and resources, and get your free copy of Big Ideas on Tap Guide.