The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Become A Blog Success By Being Business-Minded
When it comes to running a blog, you must know that once you entered the realm of the Internet, creating a website, establishing real estate and a location, and an address or domain, you decided to officially become a business owner, and you just opened up shop. Once you have developed that mentality, you are ready to commit to ensuring the blog is your success. If you cannot commit to that mentality, than your blog is just your journal, where you write your thoughts and hope that some people come by to read it, even though it is probably just your mom, a best friend, and a cousin who you rarely ever see who likes all your posts on Facebook as well.
Time to break out of the mentality that your blog is just another blog, of the millions that exist already, and of the hundreds of thousands that come into existence nearly every minute to hour of every day, 365 days of the year. Your blog is more than just your blog, it is your website, your personal representative, your idea sharer, and your money-maker, if you choose.
You may be thinking that there are a million other blogs that already covered How to Cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or How to Change a Flat Tire in 5 minutes, and that would be your reason for not starting a blog, because all of it already exists. Why in the world would you want to start a blog when that information already exists? Perspective.
Your perspective may be different, your method may be different, and your mind is surely different than everyone else, therefore you have something unique to offer the world. Maybe it is your personality or your writing style, or that people are just fascinated by what you have to say, because you leave them with a confidence that no one else does. That is the reason you start a blog or a website. Once you start your blog, all you need is the passion to stay committed in knowing that you exist for a reason.
In both the offline world and the online world of the Internet, there are consumers and there are contributors. The world needs them both in order to function and give all human life meaning and purpose. Both a consumer and a contributor highly depend on each other for mutual support, financial support, and a symbiotic relationship where both parties greatly benefit from each other.
The consumers buy the product, uses the information, and are almost always willing to pay for it. While they do not make the product themselves, they use it and consume it, providing their time or money in order to achieve it. The consumer depends on the contributor to deliver the product and ensure complete satisfaction.
The contributor makes the product, packages the product, and sells the product or information to the consumer. The contributor uses supply and demand to determine how much a consumer wants the product and ensures the satisfaction of the consumer is guaranteed.
Most of the world is made up of consumers who enjoy the contributions of the contributor. There is no shortage of consumers in the world. There is also no shortage of contributors, but the world can always have more contributors without being disrupted or losing its balance of equality between consumer and contributor.
Starting a blog and delivering information to an audience automatically makes you a contributor of information. Reading websites only but never really contributing anything, except a possible comment here and there would make you a consumer of information. Now that you are in the business mindset of a blog, shall we begin our journey into becoming a successful blog?
Starting a blog requires that you take yourself serious as a blogger, in all aspects of your life: You are a blogger. Don’t hesitate to say it proudly to the world and let them know. Just like owning a business, your clients will only take you as seriously as you do. Get to blogging!
Establishing Your Business
Before you even attempted to buy the shop, you must have thought about what you wanted to sell, and what you were going to call yourself if you were to be successful in selling this product. You could go no further than this point if you did not plan your business name, your location, or what you wanted to sell.
Once you began to realize what your areas of passion were, that is the moment you decided you would start your blog. You knew it was in your heart to just go for it. Why not have your own domain name? Why not contribute something to the Internet?
In order to ensure the success of your blog, you must plan in advance, know the platform yo want to use, have plenty of articles ready to go, figuring out a schedule, as to when you are going to publish these articles, and understanding how the distribution of these articles was going to occur.
Almost no blogger, in the beginning, has hundreds to thousands of visitors, unless they are a brand company or severely promoted their blog everywhere. Patience in the blogging world is a virtue. Googlebot and your mother will be your biggest fans in the beginning and they probably will not have the decency to comment on your thoughts or share their own.
In addition to these two visitors, you will have plenty of spam bots who will litter your comments with useless phrases and links. Get used to them for a while, but after you have installed or added your security scripts to the code of your website, these spam bots can easily be deterred immediately before even having the chance to enter in a comment.
So now that you know what your passionate about, you will want to just keep writing and writing. Any old ideas about what you thought about in the past, any new ideas that you are thinking about, or anything that you want to write about, just write about it! Start doing something! Carry around a pen and a notepad and jot down everything down that you can think of, in the moment, as this will lead you into dozens of topics you want to talk about. You do not have to write down everything you want to say, but get your ideas out on paper before you lose them for good.
Know Your Blogging Platform
There are hundreds of blogging platforms you can choose to use. From raw HTML code to database-free FlatPress or Simple PHP Blog, to a free web-publishing platform offered for free with very little setup required such as Tumblr, Blogger, Blog.com, Google Sites, WordPress, LiveJournal, TypePad, MyPost, or Pen.io to your very own custom WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, TextPattern, Jekyll, Ghost, Frog CMS, concrete5, and ocPortal.
Every blogging platform comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. You will need to do your research and figure out which one you would be most comfortable with. There are thousands upon thousands of reviews in favor or against using certain platforms. Everyone has their own preference as to what they like or don’t like.
If you do not like the blogging platform you are on, you are less likely to continue blogging and abandon the business. There are plenty of blogging platforms that I started out with, spent months and hours learning how to use, only to abandon the project after so long because I got bored or ran out of ideas. Once I found a comfortable platform that I was able to completely and continuously customize and update, there was no other place on the Internet that I would rather be, than on my own website, constantly working to ensure quality content, as well as a lighting speed blog.
Be passionate about blogging and have a reasonable knowledge base of the material you are writing about. Many bloggers become successful everyday, but even more fail. This is often the result:
Make sure you choose a platform you enjoy using and feel comfortable working in and a topic you feel confident writing about. Consider the fact that because you started your own blog, you now own a business, and you must show up to work everyday and do your job in order to attract new and repeat customers. If you don’t show up, no one else will, either.
Back to Business
Every time you sit down to write an article, you are doing business. You are preparing a document worth reading to your visitors. This document is worth a fortune if the information is just right. Your ultimate goal is to have more than just your mom read it, but preferably, depending on your topic, lawyers, doctors, teachers, your everyday office worker, your co-workers, random people, and the entire Internet.
While blogging topics can certainly be informal, your writing style should almost always be formal. You are running a business and presenting yourself to the world. If your writing is littered with spelling errors, shorthand writing, and sentences or paragraphs that do not make sense, than your visitors will quickly look in the store, see chaos, and leave, never to return again.
If you have been to high school, as most everyone has, or college, you have probably taken several classes that required research papers or just papers in general. The teacher taught you about having:
- an introduction paragraph or thesis;
- a body containing about five paragraphs, or enough paragraphs to give the reader enough knowledge about the topic;
- and a conclusion on your thoughts
All writing usually follows this common pattern and rarely deters from it, unless the blog writes informally. For example, a cooking website may have recipes, use shorthand writing (tablespoon = tbsp), and have just a sentence or two explaining what you are cooking, and this is perfectly acceptable.
A website dedicated to understanding laws, however, would need to be formal in order to attract the right kind of audience. Legal terms or law and business jargon may be used, but the website would likely write up a guide to help the reader understand the language surrounding the understandable English. An informal law site would probably not keep the attention of professionals for too long.
Once you have established yourself as the blog that writes about a specific topic, you can decide whether to be formal or informal, though it is recommended that you choose to remain as formal as possible.
Congratulations, you are now an established business and business owner running a blog.
Monetizing Your Blog Business
Unless you are already a businessman, an entrepreneur, or a marketer who knows the tricks of the trade, you will probably not see your business making money for a long time. In fact, if the reason you started your blog was because of the money, you probably will never make any money at all. You will try every trick, every scheme, every affiliate partner possible, and find that it hardly seems worth it, and all you are doing is scaring away all the visitors you could have had, but you got too greedy thinking about the money, and not the loyal fans and visitors that you were supposed to obtain.
The thing about blogging: It is a passion, not a money-maker. Once you get good at blogging and learn how to market yourself, than you can begin to make money, but most professionals bloggers will admit: the money is always nice, but they would do it for free. They were passionate from the start and ended up just doing things right in order to make that cash flow of income work for them.
Before you even think about monetizing, you will want to have dozens of articles already written. You will want to know how your website, including the code, works from the inside out. You will want to have linked it to your social media networks, where it is being shared by fans and visitors because they actually like you and they like reading what you have to say.
Blogging is more about passion than making money. If you want to make money, you open up a real store with real products that are in demand or you offer a service that everyone wants and needs. You could certainly start a carpet cleaning service and create a website, and you could probably earn money that way, through your hard labor and services.
The services of a blogger, however, are slightly different. A blogger does not have an actual physical product to offer, except valuable information that everyone wants to know, or casually wants to read. In the eyes of another contributor, however, a blogger has plenty to offer, specifically their audience of impressions, clicks, potential leads, and potential customers or clients.
Once other contributors have recognized this significance of your blog, that is when you are ready to start monetizing your blog.
Remember: patience is a virtue. Your blog cannot make money as an infant, a child, or even a teenager. Your blog must find some maturity levels in order for both consumers and contributors to be attracted to it. If you start to try and monetize it too early, you will fail at monetization.
There will be plenty of failure, but so long as you keep going, and refuse to give up, you are on your path to a successful blog.
Show Me The Money!
Alright, alright. You can make money without feeling guilty about it. After all, your time is precious and worth something, isn’t it? You have written your articles, you have contributed and dedicated thousands of hours to writing content, optimizing content, and sharing content. Where is that money?
Unfortunately, blogs do not make money on their own by being left alone. You must add things to your blog, appeal to advertisers, and actually sell something from your blog. In the case of advertisers, you sell valuable space to advertisers. In this space, they most likely expect you to place links, for your audience and visitors to see.
The hope is that your visitors will be interested in this space, click it, and engage with where it leads. There are two types of advertising methods: Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and Cost Per Impression (CPI).
CTR can certainly yield more money, as once a visitor lands on the other page and converts into a client, the company who placed that link is willing to give you a share of profits from the purchase of the product, usually 5%, 10%, or even a set dollar amount.
CTR Advantages: you can make a lot of money if you are confident that your visitors will click on the link and buy things from the website.
CTR Disadvantages: if no visitors click on the link or if no visitors buy anything at all, than you will make no money at all.
Cost Per Impression (CPI)
CPI can yield money as well, but the pay is usually per thousand visitors, and ends up being counted in cents to usually no more than a dollar or two. After a certain amount of money is accumulated from these impressions, you will be paid. Most companies do not pay out until you have reached $50 to $100.
CPI Advantages: You do not have to rely on visitors clicking on links and buying things. Instead of trying to market the links and products on the other side, all you have to worry about is sending visitors to your own page, and to the accompanying link page.
CPI Disadvantages: Money is accumulated slowly over time and you will probably only get paid one or two months out of the year. This is not the fastest way to make any money, but worth it once you have hit the payout, or have several other forms of advertising as well.
There is also Direct Link Advertising (DLA), in which a company simply pays you a set price, determined by you or the company, to place a link in a certain area on your website for a designated amount of time. This is often the best and fastest way to make money.
DLA Advantages: This form of advertising is directly between you and the advertiser with no middle man and no wait time in between, and the whole business transaction is done within just a few minutes.
DLA Disadvantages: While this form of advertising is appealing, you are the boss of accepting the link or not, and the company may have specific demands of you. For example, they may require links be follow links, and while the money they offer is appealing, the risks of penalizing your website are great.
Remember: NoFollow links are a must for paid, sponsored, or advertisement links. By adding this to your links, all search engines, specifically Google, are less likely to penalize you.
NoFollow links protect both you and your advertiser from being penalized, and in many ways, can be more beneficial than a follow link.
The difference between a follow and nofollow link: Follow links pass PageRank and credit from the website, while NoFollow links don’t. With a nofollow link, you are just sending traffic to the website.
Many of your business partners or clients are unwilling to settle for this and may demand that you follow their links or they will refuse to do business with you.
A note to advertisers: A nofollow link is far more powerful than a link that passes PageRank.
Consider this: Would you rather receive thousands of extra visitor traffic to your website or no visitors, but the opportunity to receive PageRank (probably low) from a website?
If you chose the former, those extra visitors could lead to potential leads or customers. If you chose the latter, both your website and the website that is linking to you could penalize you, removing you from all search engines, and damaging your business.
Consider doing business with websites that have a lot of traffic rather than trying to acquire a PageRank.
A note to bloggers: Sometimes you have to refuse a good deal. Sometimes you will even get offers that seem too good to be true, and most of the time, you will come to find out they were not legit offers. Stay true to your website. Do not let advertisers influence your decisions based on a few dollars. Other deals and other advertisers will come into your sights soon enough. Be patient.
End of the Business Day
Your blog is all about you or whatever topic you dedicated it to. Your blog is your business based on the decisions you make. Your blog is part of your personality including the way it reads and the way the theme looks. Your blog is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, but you decide how often it is active, what it is about, and even what type of readers you wish to attract.
Blogging is not easy and takes time, dedication, and patience. It is a learning process every step of the way, including learning about your own self and capabilities as a thinker and a writer. Mistakes and failures are guaranteed, but your audience will almost always be willing to forgive you.
The best advice I can give you, from my own experience, and from the experience of others on writing:
Write as if you have an audience who can’t wait to read what you have to say.
Whether you have three readers or three thousand readers, you never want to disappoint that audience, so keep writing and writing. They are waiting for your next article to be published. What are you waiting for? Get started now and become a successful blog!