How to Turn Your Hobby into a Business – Blogging Done Right

How long has your blog been your favorite pastime?

Why is your hobby not making you money yet? You live in a profitable time. Yes, I said profit. Don’t let others say you’re wasting time in front of the screen. Show them your revenue.

Some of the most lucrative blogs on the internet started out as people simply sharing their thoughts. And then they started making money from it.

Does this seem like a good reason to keep on posting? Here’s how you can improve your online impact—and bank balance.

Business blogging

The Right Design

Aesthetics are vital on any online portal. People respond to:

  • Colors
  • Design
  • Themes
  • Images
  • Videos

You must learn what your audience members prefer. Make them want to stay on your blog once they discover it. This requires some market research.

Remember, people are spoilt for choice online. They get high quality ads, websites and posts thrown at them. Yours have to contend—and win—with all of this.

Templates are handy to use when setting up a blog. But visuals get processed faster than text. Don’t let yours resemble someone else’s too much. You don’t want your fans mistaking your competition for you.

Use Social Media

And how do you get your online traffic to increase? I bet you’re not high on Google’s ranking yet, right?

Luckily you have the power of social media. You know how people stare at their smartphones all day. They’re constantly looking for new content to enjoy. And it could be yours. So, how to get people to visit your blog and read your posts?

  • Create Facebook posts with links to your blog. Use images and videos to attract more attention. Text is no longer enough.
  • Use popular hashtags in posts to show your content is current and relevant to a modern audience.
  • Place ads using Facebook tools. You can focus on a certain group based on gender, location, and interests

When I first discovered this I realized it’s easier than I thought.

Spot-on keyword targetting
photo credit: Emilio Kuffer / Flickr

Learn About Keywords

You need to impress Google’s algorithms. It’s the only way you’ll eventually improve your rating.

Once again it’s not as difficult as it seems:

  • Go online and find an LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) tool.
  • Type in what your blog is about.
  • Read through the list of keywords relevant to your blog.
  • Use them in content and headings. But don’t overdo it! Google’s algorithms are smart enough to pick up on fake content or when words are over optimized. This doesn’t impress them.

And here’s why words are important.

People search for blogs and websites via keywords. Make sure you use the ones people are using currently so you get picked up in Google searches.

This will also broaden your audience. People who are looking for one specific topic may find interesting information on your blog, simply because you’re using words relevant to people’s searches. This means even a niche blog can draw the general public’s interest.

This also sets you up for relevance for future advertisers that we discuss below.

Use Calls to Action

Here’s another thing Google looks for: Clicks.

If your blog generates activity it looks like a website people enjoy being on. Make sure there’s lots for them to do, often measured in clicks.

So, how to get more clicks? One of the ways is by creating calls to action, such as:

  • Purchase options
  • Joining a newsletter
  • Taking part in a competition
  • Finding out more about a certain subject
  • Providing contact information
  • Links to your other pages

It’s ideal to place a call to action on every page you have. Don’t expect your visitors will click on every button on your menu. Guide them through a process of discovering your blog’s pages by asking questions and challenging them to take action.

Make money online

Generate Income

But you want to get to the money part, right?

Here’s how you’ll make your fortune.

1. Advertising

You first have to get the above items in place. If your blog looks great and has some traffic you can start selling space. Yes. Think of your blog as prime real estate.

Now you can get Google AdSense to place advertisements on your page. You get paid for each time someone clicks on the ad. Ads will be allocated in line with keywords on your site. Do you see how important it is to have a quality page people want to visit and will stay on long enough to notice the ads?

2. Guest Blogging

When you generate enough traffic other bloggers will pay to post on your site. Charge them for these placements as sponsored posts, just be sure to disclose the relationship to avoid FCC violations. Before you start getting offers for sponsored posts on your site, you will likely need to do some link building of your own to build the credibility of your site.

3. Merchandise

Any blog can generate an income. Don’t think your niche subject limits you. If you love a topic, there are others who will do so as well.

eCommerce websites sell a company’s stock. Why can’t your blog have merchandise too?

  • eBooks regarding the topic you love posting about
  • Clothing items your supporters will love to wear
  • Sell access to a webinar where you can discuss a topic
  • Offer coaching services if you know you’re an expert in a certain area. If you have a blog it means you’re already a few steps ahead of others who also love what you love. Use their enthusiasm for getting more informed. You can be a mentor.
  • Training videos. Online users are gravitating more and more towards videos. They don’t want to read anymore. Give them your information in the medium they want.

Wouldn’t you have loved it if there was a website that offered you these options? You had to discover your passion on your own. Make it easy for like minded people.

What is your blog about? Can you imagine people wearing shirts with your name or logo on? I’m not saying it’s easy. You’ll need some hard work to get it started. But you can be famous. It’s happened to other bloggers. Why not to you?