There are few forces that have been quite as revolutionary as the internet when it comes to opening more career paths. One career that might have been nigh unimaginable twenty years ago was that of the “blogger”. Yet, more and more people are leaving the world of traditional work behind to make money talking about the things they love. Is it really that easy to quit your job and become a blogger and how, exactly, do you do it?
Find your niche
The blogosphere is pretty large and well-established at this point. But there’s still room for a new voice that has the one thing that many bloggers lack: a niche. Your niche can be almost anything you like. Do you have a history in an industry that people could learn from? An interest in a hobby with a big fandom? Even certain lifestyles, whether you’re a traveller, a foodie, a stay-at-home mum, have followings. Find what connects you to like-minded audiences. The more of an online presence that audience has, the better your niche.
Build your blog
So, you know the kind of blog you want to build, now is the time to actually lay down the foundations of your career. If you’re hoping to really stand out and make enough money to quit your job, it’s worth considering making some investment. However, you can build blogs for free with tools like WordPress, with tons of online resources to help you learn how to use the blog-building tool, how to use different modules to make yours more unique, and more. There are other premium blog building tools that are worth considering, but WordPress keeps your costs low while having a sterling reputation for quality and security.
Polish your brand
Your blog needs its own look and its own voice. You can go the more social route and be warm, welcoming, and informal with your audience. If you’re looking to provide content that informs and educates, writing with more authority and a more serious tone might be the most effective route, however. The look of the blog matters as much as how you write, too. There are a lot of both free and paid templates out there that help you customise your look. Try to find something more unique, but make sure that it’s legible above all else. Plenty of blogs use fonts that require a little too much effort for the reader to engage with. Using fully cursive fonts for all your content is a no-no, for instance.
Craft quality content
Writing about something that you’re interested in is just a start. You want to make sure that what you write has some value to the audience, as well. Value can be defined in a few different ways. It can be newsworthy, meaning that you’re sharing the latest trends and data from whatever it is your blog covers. It can be informative or educational, giving a closer look and more insight into certain particular aspects of the topic. Links to other resources and videos that help you better communicate a point can be helpful, too. Even a good entertaining story has value.
When writing content, always think of the reason that your reader has to click on it first and foremost. Strategies to monetise aren’t going to work if you can’t get people to read your content. Visuals can be another good hook for content, too. There’s plenty of royalty-free images to use out there, but as your blog starts making more money, consider investing in unique stock photos and images that keep as relevant to the topic you’re discussing as possible. Turning content creation into a habit is important if you want to consistently deliver, too. Keep a notepad on you for brainstorming ideas for new posts. While you’re writing one piece, have others ready in the pipeline, waiting for you to do the research they need.
You’re not going to quit your job solely by writing a blog that people like to read. You have to think of monetisation strategies for your blog, too. One of the most effective strategies by far is affiliate marketing. There are a few different ways to do it. Through teams like WOW TRK, your blog gets partnered with businesses. These businesses can then place affiliate ads on the blog, or you can write content such as reviews or new on their products and services. To make affiliate marketing really work, you have to ensure you’re pairing up with the businesses most relevant to your audience’s interest. In time, you may grow large enough and successful enough to monetise off your own brand by creating eBooks, running online courses from your blog, or even talking at webinars and events. But affiliate marketing is the best way to quickly start monetising your blog so that you can actually afford to quit your job.
Keep building your community
Your readers are your number one resource, not your content. While your content is what builds your blog, it’s the readers that help you monetise it. So, you have to work to keep them not only through quality content but through building a community out of them. Share links to their own content or content that’s relevant to their interests, ingraining yourself in the community. Respond to their comments and take the conversation to social media to give you another channel to discuss and link back to your own blog. Have them drive content creation, by opening up the blog to questions, asking if they have any topics they would like covered, or even by using their stories (with permission). To many bloggers, the content creation is the easy part, it’s the community building that takes most of their time and energy.
To say that becoming a successful blogger is easy would be untrue. It takes a passion for the subject you’re writing on, the insight to write high-quality content, the effort of building and maintaining an online community, and the savvy to find the right partners to monetise it. This post shows you the right path to start heading down, as well as a few shortcuts to make it easier, but you have to put in the work if you want success.