Do your blogging goals involve making a little extra side income or maybe replacing your current pay check?
Most bloggers quickly find out that making money from their blogs actually gets more confusing the longer they research it. (I imagine astrophysics to be a lot like that too.)
Throw in an urgent spouse or parent who wants to know why you’re spending so much time and money on something that isn’t “profitable” and you’ve got a perfect storm of frustration, self-doubt and isolation.
To start, the dream of supporting yourself with money you earn online, isn’t a pipe dream, it’s actually something everyone is familiar with, it’s called entrepreneurship and people do it all the time.
Why is the Blog to Business Shift so Critical?
Most bloggers don’t think of themselves as business owners and quite frankly that’s a huge piece of what stalls them out. The really successful bloggers I know take their business very seriously and treat it just like you would treat a job – because it is.
There’s 3 critical reasons this massive mental shift makes all the difference:
1. It helps you bring your A game. Consistency is one of the main virtues of a successful blogger. You may have noticed that the bloggers that have the ambassadorships and freelance with paying gigs have been around awhile. Just check a blog’s sidebar archive to see when the blog started and you’ll get an idea of how hard and long this blogger has worked at their particular thing.
When you have “just a blog” and it’s Sunday night, you’re relaxing, catching up on your shows and you didn’t write a blog post tomorrow despite the fact that you post every Monday (and your readers expect it) you would continue to hang out and blow off the obligation. Because it’s just a blog – a hobby. And you know what? That’s OK. It doesn’t need to be more than that unless you’re interested in something bigger down the road.
What’s the same blogger do who thinks of her blog like a business? You can likely guess, but it does involve less ass on couch and grabbing the laptop and getting that stuff done. Not posting when you say you’re gonna post is kinda like not showing up to work. Not cool.
2. Businesses sell things. Sounds pretty obvious, right? But as a blogger who wants to be making money, what do you offer people that they can exchange for cash? Not so obvious, right? That missing piece is where so many blogger’s trip up. Making money means you actually have to sell something. That something entirely depends on your skills, experience and the size of your platform but it’s got to be something.
Ads and affiliate promotions do count as selling something but most of blogger’s I know and have worked with make almost nothing off of ads or affiliates. One of those people making nothing has almost 20,000 pageviews a day so traffic doesn’t necessarily equal income!
If you’re spending hours trying to figure out where to place an ad or which affiliate product is going to be your windfall, you’re concentrating on the wrong things.
Can you do freelance writing, manage social media, coach, make meal plans, sell a book? The list is almost endless as to what you can actually sell but the important thing is to create something that’s yours. It’s where the biggest income gains will come from.
3. It gives you a way to talk about what you do (and gain support.) When you make the mental shift from blogger to business owner (who happens to blogs) can change everything. The term “blogger” means different things to different people and sometimes, it has quite the negative connotation. Battling other people’s pre-conceived notions of a word is really not where you want to start if you’re looking for support from a parent, spouse or friend.
If you’re interested in starting a blog or building a current one into something that pays the bills, it’s easier to start those tough conversations with “I’d like to start a business” rather than “I think I’m going to blog.” Those two phrases sound very different to non-internet savvy folks.
And lastly, don’t underestimate the confidence you’ll get from thinking of yourself as a business owner. You are creating something of value everyday on your blog and it has the ability to profoundly impact other people. That has immense value and sometimes, we’re the last people to acknowledge our own amazing accomplishments!
Do you view yourself as a business owner? Or do you approach your blog like a hobby?
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