For whatever reason, you started a blog, whether that be as a place to write and be creative, or a place to share your passions, there can come a time where you want to make more of your blog and start turning it into a business. While there are many avenues to go down, you need to think about the route that will be best for you and for your audience. You still want to keep some authenticity, right? If you blog about cars, it might be hard to try selling t-shirts unless you were a fashion blog, for example. So to start with, you need to look at what your niche is and what you can do with it. From there, it is quite endless. You can do as much and as little, depending on what you want to do and how hard that you want to work. So here are some ways to upgrade your blog to a business. Which one will work best for you?
If you are looking to do something relatively small but simple to do, then signing up to affiliate programs can be a good way to go. If you’ve got a good-sized following, then sharing products that you like, or that you know your audience will like, alongside an affiliate link, can mean you get a portion of the money sent to you when you followers make a purchase. Adding links is quick and easy, so it can be a good place to start. The only thing is that you will need to add plenty of links in blog posts, as well as on social media, to generate a healthy amount. So this isn’t going to be a big money make necessarily, unless you have thousands and thousands of followers. But it certainly is a good place to start.
Create a Product Range
More and more bloggers are creating product ranges off the back of their blogs. Take Deliciously Ella, for example. Her health food blog has taken her to an app, as well as two delis in London, and now a health food product range. From your blog, you can use your following and name to get products out to market. It was food in this example, but it could be anything from an invention of your own, to homewares, baking accessories, scented candles, or clothing. It can be whatever is relevant to your blog and to your readers.
Once you know what you want to make, it can be a long slog to get a product to market. But this could be the thing that makes your blog properly into a business, so you want to make sure that it is done right. From product testing to production, marketing, and launch, you want to be doing it all well, using some of the most cost-effective methods. Take https://www.goughecon.com/product-details/storage-conveyors/ as an example. Their storage conveyors ensure safe and reliable handling of materials, right from the initial product introduction up to the finished product packaging. So something like that might be considered as part of the production process. Just don’t rush it all; take your time and do it well.
Books and eBooks
More and more bloggers and turning their writing into a book. Sometimes it will be self-published and something that they have wanted to be doing. Other times, it can be a book publisher coming to them to hear about the book. Either way, a book can be another good way to get your brand and name out there, as well as launching you into the serious blogging territory. Your blog might have even started out as a book, if you took a leaf out of Andy Weir’s book. His book, The Martian, started as a blog, launched a new chapter each week. From there it was printed into a novel, and as we know, the film rights were bought, and it was made into a movie with Matt Damon as the lead character. So you never know where writing a book could lead you. And it certainly could end up being pretty lucrative for you. So another avenue to think about.
If you have a loyal following, and there are some things that you always say or that your followers know you for, then a range of merchandise could be a good way to generate an income and make some money from your blog. Unlike a product range, it could be printing a saying or your logo onto t-shirts, children’s clothing, canvas bags, and hats, for example. It would just be specific to your readership. Australian Blogger Constance Hall calls all of her following (mainly mothers) Queens or ‘my queens.’ So a natural merchandise idea for her would be shirts with Queen and her logo printed on, for example. Australian comedian Celeste Barber uses micro-blogging site http://www.instagram.com for her posts, mimicking celebrities in humorous ways. She has launched a merchandise range with #challengeaccepted on, as that is her catchphrase. From hoodies to phone covers, they all have the slogan. The options are quite endless with this, and it might be a simpler way to get into a product range. Once merchandise is established, it could be easier to launch a product range.
Working with brands is a great way to launch your blog into a business. When you’re making money from your blog, it can become the sole way that you earn your money. So for starters, unless you have a product launch in mind, then it can be a good way to increase your brand work, your following, and your credibility. There are blog networks out there that you can join where you sign up for work, as well as pitching directly to brands. Let them know what you are after and what you can offer them in return. Blogger and influencer outreach is big among brands, so when you go directly to them, it does save them some time.
Have you got any other hints or tips that you would add to help?