Note from Kevin: Today’s guest post is from Wichly Cazeau. Want to resurrect your blog so you can turn it into a business? Wichly is here to help…
It seems that everyone and their neighbor has a blog, but – sadly – very few people know how?to turn it into a business.
Not all blogs are created equally and there are a variety of?things and practices you can put into place that will thoroughly resurrect your?blog and turn it into a moneymaking masterpiece.
So whether you blog as a hobby,?to strengthen your SEO standing with Google, or as a voice for your company, it?s?time to start analyzing your website, layout and content and rejuvenate them with?these fresh changes so you can start tearing the industry up with a storm.
Let’s dive in…
Recognizing Your Mistakes
One of the very first things you need to do in order to turn your blog into a business?is to recognize your mistakes; recognize why your blog hasn?t become a business?already and recognize what hasn?t worked for you previously.
The blogging industry?is incredibly fast, and you may quickly notice that one of your biggest mistakes may?have been that you didn?t keep up with the rapid pace or, more importantly, you dismissed the constant changes that are required for your success.
Maybe you didn?t?stick to a consistent publishing schedule, missed deadlines or overlooked important?emails and opportunities? Recognizing what you should, could or would have done?differently provides you?with the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
As soon as you are able to?recognize the business and blogging mistakes and make appropriate changes, the?rest will typically follow suite. Even if you think your blogging strategy has been?foolproof, you?ll find something.
Just take a look.
Design For Success
Providing fresh, creative and entertaining content is certainly key to resurrecting?your blog and turning it into a business, but the importance of design and layout?should never be overlooked either.?Your blog has to be user friendly with precise?navigation, accurate links, and a layout that isn?t overwhelming.
Many blog owners?often think that plastering their content with ads will turn it into a business, but it?often does the absolute opposite as your layout will no longer appeal to your?audience and will encourage them to abandon the site.
Fortunately, you can reverse?the negative effects your current blog theme may have taken on your analytics?by spending a couple of dollars for a unique blog theme that promotes a crisp and?clean layout.
Additionally, Internet usage?via mobile devices has significantly increased over the years and is continuing to do?so,?so?your blog design must be responsive. This means your design will?automatically adjust to whatever device that it is being viewed on, whether it?s a?desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet.
By ignoring mobile users, you are limiting the people?that can view your website; you?re limiting your success.
Build a Team
Building a team doesn?t necessarily mean that you have to hire some employees, nor?does it mean that you have to break the bank to pursue this business endeavor.
With so many incredible freelance websites out there, you can hire professionals for?every need, as you need it. Work-for-hire contractors can be used for everything from?your web design, to content, marketing, search engine optimization and so much?more.
It is important to recognize that you are never going to be able to thoroughly?handle all aspects of your business on your own. You are also probably better at?some things than others and, for the components of your blog in which you?aren?t?an expert, hiring freelancers so you can reap the benefits of their expertise often pays off in the long run.
Your team may consist of one or two work-for-hire freelancers or 50 full-time employees, but everyone needs help eventually.
Listen To Your Audience
Your blog should have some sort of analytics provided, and if not, it is certainly time?to set?them up. Your analytics are the only proof you have that is going to tell you?exactly what is working for you, what isn?t, and who your audience is.
Many people?overlook their blog?s statistics, and this is one of the biggest mistakes bloggers?can?make. Learn how to read?your analytics and make necessary changes to provide your audience with what?they want.
For example, if you have been providing content specifically for women?aged 35-40 but find that your audience equally consists of both sexes, you may want?to adjust your tone to cater to all.
Age, location, topics, pages and time of peak traffic?are a few of the statistics you should be consistently following.
So, ?give the people?what they want?.
Ads and Affiliates
Generating revenue is likely your main goal when turning your blog into a business, but in order to do so you need to have reliable traffic and content that is?relevant to your niche or an advertiser?s product/service.
You can easily add many?text-ads onto your website with a simple widget such as Google’s AdSense, and they?will automatically scan your website for keywords and display relevant ads.
However, these methods often don?t generate a large amount of income and you?need to be careful with how you place them on your website, since web design is so?important (as mentioned previously). There are also many other blog advertising?options that can have a better payout. Affiliate programs are one that gives you?commission anytime a click-through from the ad placed on your site results in a sale.
While there is thousands of affiliate programs, be sure to only choose those that are?suitable for your content and that offer a higher percentage of sales.
You can also?sell ad space to other companies; many of which will pay good money in comparison?to the other two options mentioned. However, for all options, you do need a high?amount of traffic to see any significant amount of money coming in.
Furthering Your Profit
Income can certainly be generated outside of ads and affiliate programs as well,?depending on the niche of your business.
You can start by offering premium content?for audience members that pay for an upgraded membership, or even sell?merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, and notebooks with your blog?s logo on it.
Merchandising your brand will also help with creating brand recognition and?promotions. You may also want to start using your blog as a platform to sell your?expertise.
Coaching is one of the largest growing industries in the world, and?depending on the niche of your blog you can get a coaching certificate and start?helping others improve the areas of their life that you have expertise. Alternatively,?you can?start providing coaching on a creative skill you possess. Not only is this a monetary?opportunity, but it is an incredibly rewarding job that can quickly provide many?additional opportunities such as webinars, online courses, workshops etc.
Get your?certificate, create a sales page on your website, and you can be booking your very?first clients in minutes.
You may also want to consider adding an eCommerce store?to your blog that sells items that you frequently discuss. Instead of advertising the?products of someone else?s online store on your blog, you could direct your?audience right to yours.
You can also generate income with sponsorships since?advertising on blogs is often a more affordable option for many companies;?as?such, they are looking for businesses just like yours to pay and provide product to.
You will need a decent amount of traffic, but with excellent content and the previous?tips taken into consideration, you are well on your way. All you have to do is create a?media kit (or hire a freelancer to) and start distributing it to PR agencies and brands?that will want to have access to your audience.
With any one of these options or a?combination of some, you can certainly be furthering your revenue with your blog.
Be Genuine with your Approach
One of the biggest mistakes many blog owners make is that they are blogging for all?the wrong reasons, and when you aren?t genuine within your approach it shows?within your content.?More importantly, it will reflect in the lack of loyal viewers that?come to read your blog.
While everyone wants to generate some revenue from their?blog and efforts, doing it solely for the money aspect isn?t going to bring you the?success you?re looking for. So, forget about what other people are thinking and truly?invest your heart and soul into your blog and the rest will follow.
Be genuine,?authentic and different.
If the writing isn?t your strong point, resort back to the?previously mentioned tip and hire some freelance writers to handle the content for?you so you can focus your expertise on other elements.
As you can see, your blog can easily be turned into a profitable business with some?simple adjustments, fresh content and marketing tactics.
Toss some ideas around?and see what works for your new business endeavor, and just because something?may not be working right now doesn?t mean that it is a write off.
Sometimes, you?just need to sit back and analyze your blog, content and analytics to see how you can?implement new ideas and opportunity into your business.
Creative Commons Image via azadam.