Blogging has really taken off in recent years. It's now become a legitimate career path, with people all over the world making a full-time living from their site.
While for some it's just a side income for an extra bit of pocket money, others have been able to earn more money than they ever thought possible. This can make it a tempting career path to want to go down - so, if you're considering it, here's what you need to know.
Find the right platform
First things first, you’ll need to find a platform to blog from. Two of the most popular sites are Blogger and WordPress. Each have their particular benefits- for example, Blogger is considered very user-friendly but WordPress has more options, hosting.co.uk/web-hosting/wordpress-hosting explains more. So do some research and work out which would be best for you.
Two main things you’ll need to do when you set up your site will be to buy your own domain (which you then link to your host account), and to have a site design installed. You could go with a more budget option and buy a premade template from a site like Etsy, or you could pay for someone to create something bespoke just for you.
If your site is going to be a business, it needs to look smart and professional. Unless you know what you’re doing, it's difficult to customise the design by yourself, so it’s worth spending a little money here.
Improve your skills
The next step is to create content that people want to read. Being a fluent writer as a starting point is crucial, but there’s so much more you can do. How about taking a course in viral marketing so you can understand what makes content shareable?
You could take a photography course to improve your DSLR shots for your blog post, or network with other bloggers / seek out successful blogs so you understand the tone of voice and type of content that people want to read.
In the beginning, you’ll essentially be speaking to yourself while you build up a following. But everything you put out needs to be good quality, as this will allow your content to snowball and start gaining a following. It’s this which will allow you to build domain authority by receiving backlinks and, eventually, get paid work.
Set up a working area
Anyone that works from home needs a proper working area, so if you’re serious about blogging you need a decent space to work from. Transform a spare bedroom in your home, give it a coat of paint and set up a sturdy desk.
Upgrade your computer, make sure you have storage space and the right kind of lighting. That way you can stay comfortable and productive, and you can close the door to your home office each night to separate work from home.
Appeal to sponsors
Sponsors know how influential bloggers can be, and pay well for the chance to work with good websites. But sponsored opportunities are limited, and the internet is saturated with blogs, so you need yours to stand out. Again a professional-looking design will help here - you will also need to be putting out good quality content.
One thing sponsors will be looking at is your domain authority. This is a metric that shows how influential your blog is online. You can boost this by getting your link onto other good-quality blogs.
You could ask others in your blogging network if they want to link-swap, or you could ask if people would allow you to guest post. They get good quality content, and you get a backlink to your own blog at the end.
If you want to turn your blog into a business, it means you want to earn money from it. To do that, you need to look into different ways to monetise. One of the main ways bloggers earn money is through sponsors - unfortunately, you have to wait for them to contact you, meaning that you can’t predict how much work you’re going to get.
However there are a number of sponsored post websites you can sign up to, and put your blog forward for different projects. That way you can be proactive. If the client believes your blog is a good fit, they will choose to work with you. If you keep an eye on Twitter, sometimes sponsored opportunities are posted there too.
Another way you can monetise is by signing up to Google Analytics and various affiliate programs. While these won’t earn you a whole lot of money unless you have significant traffic, it all adds up and is another way to earn cash from your site.
It can take a long time to start earning money from a blog, so the best thing to do is have another type of job in place while your blog grows and develops. If you want to work from home, take on some remote work for a company or do some freelancing. This will allow you to keep the bills paid while you wait for your blog to start gaining interest.
Pay the right taxes
Once you start getting paid money for your blog, you will of course need to make sure you’re paying the right tax. The process for this and the amount you will be able to earn before paying will depend on the country you live in - but usually you will just need to complete a form online and maybe make a couple of phone calls.
Then, each year you will submit a tax return and pay anything outstanding.
Don't expect to earn masses of money overnight - nothing worth having comes easy. It takes time and effort to become a successful blogger, so stick with it and keep learning as you go.
Copyright 2020. Article was made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler