There’s no denying that blogging is incredibly popular, and while many people dream of becoming a full-time blogger, working from wherever they wish, it’s not an easy career move. Whether you are currently a professional writer looking for a new challenge, or you blog on the side of your current job role, deciding to begin your own journey is scary and difficult. But, it’s not impossible. With the correct preparation and following a number of steps, you can move from blogging as a hobby to blogging as a career.
While you may be able to begin your budding blogging career from the comfort of your own home, there are a variety of things you need to get you started on the right foot, and this requires capital. For example, you may currently have a blogging platform, but does it portray the professional image you want? If not, you may need to invest in expert web design and development to create the perfect website. Start-up capital for a blogging career may not be as much as it would be for an eCommerce business, but there will be a certain amount you will need, and whether you choose to approach a family member or a bank for a loan, this is something you will need before you begin.
However, if you currently have a bad credit score, it can be difficult to secure investment, even if the investment you are seeking is small. If you are unsure of your credit score, and you are hoping to secure financial help, it’s worthwhile to use a free credit score checker, like the one available through Credit Sesame. Knowledge is power, so by being prepared and armed with the information you need, you have a better chance of receiving a loan to get you started.
Creating Your Website
As mentioned above, to become a professional, you need to look professional, and your website is the first port of call. You may currently use a blogging platform such as WordPress, but your very own website is where you can truly show off your creative skills and your writing portfolio. Whatever type of blogging professionally you aspire to be, whether it’s lifestyle, tech, or business, your website is where you can show off your expertise and create something memorable. Of course, you can use WordPress and create your custom domain name and site address, but this is for a fee of $99 per year. There is a variety of hosting websites where you can source a unique domain name and avoid generic web templates. By working with a professional website designer and developer in particular, you can ensure your website reflects the brand and persona you wish to reveal to the world.
Developing Your Brand
A brand is what will be your unique selling point when you are selling yourself as a blogger. Your brand is something you want people to remember; it needs to draw them in and keep them interested in what you have to offer. It’s your online, professional identity, and as such, it needs careful development and consideration. Your brand encompasses a range of features, which include the colors you use, your logo, your name, and essentially for the current consumer’s, your ethos. Your brand will form the basis of your blog tone of voice, it will create trust between you and your audience, and it provides a face and a personality to who you are. To create your brand identity, you need first to know your audience and who you are hoping to attract. For example, if you want young moms to visit your blog, having a black and red color scheme may be off-putting. Likewise, if you are creating a gaming blog for millennial males, pink hearts and flowers may not evoke the response you want.
Defining Your Niche
Much like your branding, your niche is where you are going to truly make your mark, so it stands to reason that this isn’t a decision to make quickly or take lightly. After all, if you begin your blogging career writing about the latest news in the tech industry, but decide you instead want to talk about interior design, you may need to overhaul your website and your branding. How to define your niche can be relatively simple. What are you truly passionate about? What gets you up in the morning, and makes you happy? If you choose a niche which doesn’t ignite a spark within, it’s all-too-easy to lose the motivation and determination to create award-winning content. While one blogging niche may appear to generate more revenue, this isn’t the best way to decide what to focus your efforts on. Just because blogs which focus analytical research on the latest stocks and trades is bringing in $1,000’s a month, doesn’t mean this is where you should place all your effort, especially if you know nothing about the industry! If you love reading and books, choose a book review blog, despite how much revenue you expect to make. After all, blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It requires dedicated time, effort, and sometimes money to get it off the ground and bringing in a healthy profit.
Growing Your Audience
How will your blog make any money if no one is visiting it? It’s a common query, and it’s one which needs addressing. By growing your audience, and continuing to expand, you can start to generate a healthy revenue, making this decision the best one you made. But first, you need to attract the audience. How you do this will depend on a number of factors, one being who your target audience is. You need to undertake specific market research to define who you want to share your content with, and who you want visiting your site. It’s similar to defining your niche, and it will stand you in good stead to do it earlier on in the development process. Where you reach your audience will also be determined by this. For example, are they young moms? If so, Facebook may be the best platform to market yourself on. Are they business professionals? LinkedIn is the way forward if yes.