I about died when I heard one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Jenna Kutcher talk about Why You Need a Blog on her podcast. Why was it so surprising? Because I have been thinking about this a lot lately. When people ask me how I make money blogging or I talk to people who are side hustling so hard, I can’t help but think how everyone could benefit from a blog. Like, everyone. I’m being totally serious. Whether you have a small business already, are side hustling with MLMs, you want to start a business or write a book having a blog can help! I broke it down today into 10 steps that can help turn your blog into a business.
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Choose a niche
When it comes to running a blog, my general opinion (as well the opinion of tons of other successful bloggers) is that you need a niche when you start your blog.
What is a niche?
A niche basically means that you are committing to focusing your blog on one topic. Maybe that means gardening, cars, photography, food etc.
Sub-niches can be even more beneficial to growing your business but can be a lot tougher to come up with material to write about. Getting really specific about your topic can be extremely helpful to both you and your readers.
- Gardening –> Gardening for strawberries
- Cars–> Caring for your Mustang
- Photography –> Newborn photography shooting
- Food –> Vegan food recipes
How to blog if you already have a business
If you already have a small business, then, congratulations, you have your niche! Some small business blog ideas might look like this:
- Wedding photographer –> Share beautiful photos and tips for brides (because they will be your ideal client).
- MLM Skincare –> Give tips on best skincare practices and link to your products right from the blog.
- Boutique –> Trendy outfit ideas for certain occasions and throughout the year. Link directly to your products.
- Aspiring writer –> Share stories and snips from your work. Link to your work in all of your posts.
- Personal trainer –> Create at-home-workout ideas. Share ideas on proper form. Stress the importance of proper training. Link to your services.
The importance of a niche
At the end of the day having a niche, all boils down to the benefits you get from Google and other search engine platforms.
When you consistently blog about one thing on your website then Google starts to see you as an expert in that area. You are more likely to get more views and be boosted to the top of the search results.
Having a niche also helps you target a specific customer. If you are hoping to grow a business, there is probably a limited variety of what you sell or what your services are and having a niche will help you narrow down your potential clients.
Create a blog that can grow
If you want to turn your blog into a business, then you should start your blog in the right way. That often means paying a little more to get better quality and scalability.
Yes, it might be stressful paying to start a website in the beginning but think about how much more affordable it is than if you were to open an actual storefront!
Starting a blog can easily set you back less than $200 and chances are, you already know most of what you’re doing! Join my free training to make your first $1,000 blogging.
Free blogging platforms.
Some free blogging platforms while easy to use, don’t offer the same bandwidth or design capabilities as that of a paid-for hosting site.
Paid for platforms
Like I said, starting a blog doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank. Here are two highly recommended blogging platforms to get you started:
BlueHost: one of the most affordable hosting sites, starting at only $3.95 per month. Get a step by step guide on getting BlueHost.
- SiteGround: offer a variety of website options and have amazing customer service to help make your transition smooth and easy. Learn more about SiteGround.
They have a variety of gorgeous, FREE themes that you can use or you can download additional themes if you want a layout that stands out from the crowd.
Write content consistently
In order to get yourself and your blog out there, it’s important that you start out by consistently writing blog posts. This can mean up to every day when you’re first starting! I recommend aiming for 3 times per week.
Getting content out there allows more opportunities for people to see your posts, find your business, and amplifies your reach.
It might take a while and feel a little overwhelming at first, but I promise if you can stay consistent with your blog posting it will help your blog grow much faster.
What should your content look like?
There are some basic guidelines to remember when you are writing your blog posts:
- Use titles that are clear and descriptive
- Write posts with 1,000 words or more
- Avoid long sentences and big paragraphs
- Make sure you are writing content for the reader
Check your spelling and grammar!
One of the biggest turn-offs for potential customers will definitely be poor grammar. You can avoid this by downloading the Grammarly app to have on your desktop. It keeps an eye out for both spelling and grammar errors.
Quality graphics and images
Quality graphics and images now only allow for more chances of being found on Google but create a better experience for the user as well.
The types of images you use will definitely depend on the type of business that you have. For example, if you run a photography business, it’s kind of a no-brainer that you should have beautifully stunning photos in your posts.
If you run a blog more like this one, photos are a little less important, but infographics can go a long way.
Create quality graphics
The best online source for creating gorgeous, clean graphics is Canva. They have a wide variety of sizes and make creating graphics extremely easy.
SEO for images and graphics
Another important thing you need to do when you add graphics or images to your blog posts is to create good SEO for them. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It means using smart keywords and phrases that allow your images to also be found in search engines.
Finding free images online
There are a ton of free sources for stock images online on places like Pixabay.com You can download these images and use them in your posts that way you don’t have to be a professional photographer to still have compelling photos.
Start an email list
The one thing most bloggers regret not doing sooner is creating an email list. All businesses can benefit from building a solid email list and running a blog is just one way to help you add more people to that list.
If you want to get a more in-depth look at how to create a solid email structure for your blog, don’t miss my $1K Blogger free training.
Getting emails from your blog
The best way to get people to sign up for your emails from you is to create options for people to opt-in for your email list. I do this through ConvertKit.
One of the most effective ways to get people to sign up for your email list is to offer a freebie or discount of some sort. Maybe that’s 10% off your photography services or a free eBook on how to start a garden in less than an hour.
You want to make sure you have something to offer people to giving you their email.
Having a solid email list can be a massive lifeline for business owners. A great offer for people who sign up is a sure way to get more people on your list and to benefit them right off the bat.
What should your emails say?
What you write in your emails is, of course, going to be different based on the type of business that you are running. But no matter what type of business or blog you run, there are 3 important things to remember:
- Always be serving – Write your emails to offer value to your reader’s lives
- Stay consistent – Pick a day of the week and a time and stick to it. You can easily write emails ahead of time and schedule them with ConvertKit.
- Serve, serve, serve, sell – If you are always writing emails that come in the form of cheesy sales text, your readers will eventually stop opening them and even unsubscribe. Always add a ton of value to their lives before you get into selling.
Market to your target audience
Having a niche is your first start toward marketing toward your target audience. Another great way is setting up a Pinterest page that is laid out to bring in all of your potential clients.
What do they want to hear more from you?
Having a blog and writing multiple posts is a great way to easily learn what your audience wants from you. For example, if you write a post all about how to garden in the winter and it gets hundreds of views each day, maybe that’s a topic you will have to talk more about!
Other ways to find your audience
- Set up Google Analytics to get a detailed description of the age, sex, location, and interests of your readers.
- Research what social media platforms your readers are on and try to be more present on those platforms.
Use strategic SEO
Just like we talked about SEO for your images, SEO in your posts is crucial to helping your blog get in front of the right eyes. Read the beginner’s guide to SEO
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s how you can increase the chances of your blog being found in search engines like Google or Yahoo!
The great thing about SEO is that you can use it to specifically target the type of people you want to come to your business. It’s the best way to a blog into a business if you are able to start pulling huge amounts of traffic from major search engines.
Decide how you want to grow
Once you have established your blog and gotten the hang of how it all works, you can start to collect ideas on how you want to grow.
- Grow as a blogger – One way to grow your blog into a business is just to keep your blog as your business. There are tons of bloggers out there who are pulling in high 6 and even 7 figure incomes! Blogging in itself offers a variety of ways to make money like affiliate marketing, ads, and sponsored content.
- Write a book – If you have that passion for blogging, you just might have a passion for writing in general. Writing, publishing, and selling a book is a lot easier if you already have a great blog following. In fact, instead of going through the entire process of publishing a book, you could write and sell ebooks on your blog!
- Make and sell digital products – Aside from just ebooks, there are a huge variety of digital products you can sell from your blog on platforms like Teachable and Kajabi.
- Online coaching – Another popular profession that is on the rise is online coaching. People will create online coaching courses or teach clients one on one using their blogs as a way of finding and locating their ideal clients.
- E-commerce business – If you have actual products to sell like boutique items, Etsy products or things of that nature, you can easily sync your E-commerce site to your blog.
Get your blog set up on autopilot
If you want to turn your blog into a business, you’ll definitely end up with a lot of work on your hands. That’s why the best thing to do is get your blog and promoting set up on autopilot.
There are great tools that are designed for just that. Tools like Tailwind for Pinterest allow you to schedule all of your pins in advance so you aren’t spending every day trying to get your pins seen in order to get more viewers to your blog.
You can also pre-write and schedule things like blog posts and emails.
The most important thing to do is never underestimate the power of your blog. Even after your business has taken off and is doing well, keep up with your blog.
The more consistent you are with your blog, the more it will get out there, the better your chances are of your business continuing on.