10 Best Practices To Turn Your Blogging Passion Into A Money-Making Business
Many people dream of leaving their 9-5 jobs and being their own bosses. And many others are making it happen! The rise of the solopreneur is undeniably important. With an internet connection, a laptop and a camera, today’s young entrepreneur can run an empire from their bedroom. The overhead is insignificant, but the gains can be substantial. But how do they manage to do it?
They are bloggers, Instagrammers or YouTubers. Another word often used to describe them is influencers. They are people who create online content, grow a following and monetize their work through the support of brands, sponsorships and partnerships or by selling products.
In this article, I will explain exactly what they do and how you too, can turn your blogging passion into a money-making business. After studying at least, a dozen successful bloggers in different areas of interest, I’ve found these best practices.
1. Pick an area of interest. Successful bloggers don’t talk about everything and anything. They pick an area of expertise and focus on that. Food bloggers will never create technology videos reviewing the latest iPhone. The most popular niches are: cooking, technology, DIY, crafting, and personal development. Ideally, you should pick a topic that you love and that you can talk about with drive and passion.
2. Have a message. Bloggers know the message they want to convey to the world. They also understand that the tone of the message is crucial to the success of their brand. Followers may choose to follow a certain influencer depending on what he or she stands for and the energy they put out there. Mounia Ramdi, behind the Daily Bowl of Happiness blog, chose to focus on eating healthy and cooking using animal free products. The Moroccan blogger based in Amsterdam started out as a food blogger and now creates and develops recipes using fresh and natural ingredients. Her message is that eating good and healthy food doesn't have to be boring and photos of her creations prove that.
3. Consistently create content. Posting relevant content is key, but posting regularly is critical to success. Followers are keen to know a blogger’s content publishing schedule, so they can follow and keep up with new content on a daily or weekly basis. Followers want to know what they can expect when they follow an influencer or subscribe to their email list. Posting once in a blue moon won’t get you far. One helpful thing is to create, plan and schedule your content in advance. Afaf & Marwa, two fashion bloggers sisters based in Casablanca, Morocco, say that they have been consistently creating content and posting photos over the past 7 years. They now have over 102K followers on Instagram and work with a number of brands.
4. Create visually stimulating and valuable content. Needless to say, bloggers post visually interesting content because that’s what catches the attention of their followers. Whether it be photos or videos, bloggers are always working to improve image quality because it tells so much about the brand/blog, and people are drawn to appealing content. This applies to fashion bloggers as well as any other type of content creator. Also, don’t post just for the sake of posting. When you create content, ask yourself how it will help your followers or how is it relevant to them? This will help you repurpose every post you create.
5. Listen to the community. One of the keys to succeeding as a blogger is knowing and understanding your community. Successful bloggers listen to their audience and create content around their desires and needs. It doesn’t matter how big or small your community is, do not hesitate to ask/poll the people who follow you with engaging topics and questions. The important thing is to maintain a relationship with them and create content that will help them.
6. Promote your content. To achieve success, bloggers must put themselves out there and promote their posts, photos and videos across all the different social media channels, as well as through their personal social networks. What’s the point of creating an awesome video if you don’t take it to the next level by promoting it, tagging it and sharing it with your audience or potential followers?
7. Collaborate with others. Many YouTubers and bloggers love to work with other bloggers to create and promote content to their respective communities. This cross-promotion helps them acquire new followers - in other words, potential audience and buyers. Collaborations are a great way to gain authority and gain access to other people’s networks.
8. Decide on the income streams. Not all bloggers monetize their blogs the same way. Some YouTubers, for example, choose to make money through video ads or sponsorships. Others develop online courses, products or apps and promote them through their blogs. Thami Kabbaj, a Dubai-based entrepreneur with over 50,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, built an entire online school on financial freedom. He regularly uploads videos with tips on trading, investing and financial freedom. His strategy is to promote his online courses where he teaches in-depth about these topics through social media.
9, Invest in ads. Or not. Now that you have a better understanding of how you want to monetize your blog, you need to decide how you’re going to get discovered. Are you going to create content, be patient and grow your following organically? Or are you going to invest in Facebook ads to help you get the word out more quickly? At this point, you need to decide what your marketing approach is going to be and how you want to boost sales or visibility.
10. Be patient. This is not the right path for people who want to make a quick buck. Blogging is about loving what you do and having the patience to wait for the fruits of your labor. It’s about strengthening your relationship with the community and consistently giving them what they want. Brands and partners will only approach you if they see consistency in your work. Also, if you want to sell your own products, your future clients must be convinced that your relationship is a trusted one before they decide to make their first purchase.
A good number of bloggers are currently leaving their day jobs to focus on blogging. It seems more and more are finding a niche and developing their brands, message and growing their audiences. It may take a while to reach that level but it's very much worth it.
Safaa Nhairy is an entrepreneur, blogger and speaker. She has founded Leader Media in London and iMediaRt in Casablanca. Both companies are communications agencies specializing in media relations, PR, event management and copywriting services. She has also launched and run several other ventures and is always on the lookout for the next opportunity.
Safaa also teaches and gives seminars. Passionate about helping the youth help themselves, she blogs regularly and posts videos on her YouTube channel on topics of entrepreneurship, leadership & communication. She dedicates a lot of her personal time mentoring and coaching young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Safaa contributes to Entrepreneur Middle East and writes about entrepreneurship and business-building. After Casablanca, Washington DC and London, she currently resides in Paris. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication from George Mason University in Virginia, USA as well as a Master's degree in International Commercial Law from City University in London, England.