According to research compiled by Social Media Today, 14% of bloggers earn a salary through blogging. Although that may not seem like a lot, since the same research found that there are over 12 million active bloggers, that means there over a million people around the world who are able to make a living from blogging.
If you currently view your blog as a hobby, you’re far from being alone. A significant number of bloggers enjoy spending just a couple of hours a week on this activity. The same is true if you consider yourself a part-time professional. Many people who start out as hobbyists realize that blogging is a great way to supplement their full-time job.
While it’s generally not a good idea to simply quit your day job and throw yourself into blogging with the hopes that you’ll make a living, if your blog is gaining momentum and starting to make some real money, you may be thinking about going from a hobby to part-time professional, or even part-time to full-time professional.
Although the final decision is ultimately up to you, because plenty of other bloggers have made those leaps, you can learn from their experiences. So if you’re ready to turn your blog into something that you can call a real business, here’s exactly what you need to do:
One of the ways to really make your blog stand out is to establish yourself as an authority and trusted source among your blogging peers. The good news is there are lots of ways to go about connecting with blogging colleagues. Using Twitter and LinkedIn can work very well. Another possibility is to subscribe to people’s blogs and leave genuinely interesting or useful comments on posts where you feel you can add value. And if you prefer to handle your correspondence by email, this post explains exactly how to use a free tool called Rapportive to find the email address of virtually anyone who’s even a little active online.
Get Serious About Promotion
Another reason it’s crucial to make networking within your section of the blogosphere a priority is because it will greatly help in terms of promoting your blog. Since one of the absolute best ways to expose your blog to new audiences is through guest blogging, you’ll find that securing guest blog spots is much easier when you have an existing relationship with another blogger prior to pitching them.
Increase Audience Loyalty
Boosting traffic is great. However, a common mistake bloggers across all niches make is getting stuck in the cycle of chasing new visitors. While hitting the main page of a site like Reddit can bring thousands of visitors in a short period of time, unless your blog is optimized to convert those visitors into readers, the majority will never return.
So, how exactly do you increase the size of your loyal audience? The best way to accomplish that goal is by using email. This can be as simple as adding a signup box to your sidebar and sending updates whenever you publish a new post. But an even better approach is to offer some type of free guide or other download in exchange for visitors submitting their email address. And instead of just sending post updates, doing something like a weekly newsletter will make your audience feel like you’re providing even more value to them.
Monetize to the Fullest
AdSense is a great way to get a taste for making money from your blog. But once you start building up more traffic, you should increase the value of the advertising clicks your blog generates. One of the best ways to do that is through affiliate marketing. By signing up for a relevant affiliate program and using Build Your Widget, you can showcase products that visitors to your blog will be very interested in. As your blog grows even more, you can take things one step further and create your own books or products to sell directly through your blog. Other options to eventually consider include launching a relevant service or hosting a conference.
Officially deciding to take your blog to the next level is a big milestone. And even though it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed about this decision, as long as you’ve laid a solid foundation for your blog and are willing to work as hard as you need to in order to implement the steps we covered, you will be on the right path towards earning a real income from your blog!
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- How to Transform Your Blog from a Hobby Into a Business - October 22, 2013