I know that not everyone wants to turn their blog into a business. Like myself, I really want to share experiences and learn from others. This blog and some of my others aren’t about the money, it’s about the experience. However, I do know some people want to get information and knowledge about turning your blog into a business.
You may ask why wouldn’t someone want to turn their blog into a business? Well, I can’t speak for others, but for me, as I said, it’s about the experience and learning from others. The biggest reason is stress and an outlet.
For me, this blog is fun. I can use this as a stress release, learn from others and have fun. If I tried to make this a business and needed to generate income, I think it would be too stressful and take away the fun. For me, I have to have this in my life.
Even if you aren’t concerned about turning your blog into a business, it’s always fun to make a couple of bucks so at least your hosting and other fees are paid for.
So what do you need to turn your blog into a business? There are plenty of things you can do to turn your blog into a business such as be a photo blog, a traveler’s blog, give speeches and the list goes on. This article is not about that because I don’t believe you should start a blog with money as your driving force to what type of blog you want to start.
I believe you should find what you love and then turn that into a business blog. Only you know what will make you happy, no one else.
So for this, I just want to hit on some key points for turning your blog into a business that everyone should keep in mind when they are taking their blog to the next level.
While I am going to cover the items that you need to turn your blog into a business, I want to quickly recap a couple quick ideas that you need to do and have in the forefront of your business.
- Be Yourself – Very important. There is only one of you and that is what makes your blog unique. Don’t forget it
- Readers Come First – Be loyal to your readers and they will be loyal to you
- Be Persistent – Keep working hard. You will have ups and downs, it is the way you handle the downs is what’s really important.
- It Takes Time – Rome wasn’t built in a day, either is your business blog.
- Network – Reach out to other people and other bloggers. Utilize their knowledge.
- Use Social Media – Spread the word and create buzz.
- Reach out to Companies – Let companies know what you are doing. Show them some articles that they may want to repost and use as information for their customers.
- Don’t be Afraid – We have one life, have fun. What if you had to do this on a daily basis for your job? Climbing TV Antenna.
So let’s talk about some of the key things you will need to turn your blog into a business.
So what do you need to turn your blog into a business?
- Define Your Brand
- Attorney – Know the Rules and Laws
- Create a Business Entity
- Media Kit
- Get Accounts
Define Your Brand
Who are you and what is your blog about? These are questions you want to know before you start. Are you going to be a serious person, a goofy person or what persona do you want to portray?
This is all part of your brand. Between yourself and your website, you need to have a brand identity. Something people can relate with and recognize you and your site.
As an extension of your brand, you need graphics. First, you will need a logo. Take your time and get something you like. What colors, shapes or design do you like. These are very important because it represents you.
Besides a logo, you need other graphics. You will need banners for your social media accounts. You will need headers for your media kits. Now, most of this is going to be the same as it comes back to branding, you will just need different sizes.
Business cards. Even though you are online, get some business cards. When you are at tradeshows or meet someone, you have a card you can pass out. I know people like to electronically exchange information, but a card is important.
Know the Rules and Laws
You should do plenty of research and even talk with a lawyer. Before you start, you need to know all the laws in your town, state, and country. You need to know if you have to disclose anything on your site. Sometimes you are required to make certain disclosures on your site.
You will also have to find out if you need any type of licenses for your blog. chances are you will not, but it depends upon the industry. I help market for a financial blog and it’s amazing all the hoops we have to jump through to even cut up a social post. There are sperate licenses I had to get just to help out with the blog.
Not only do you want to consult with a lawyer, but you also want to consult with an accountant. Now that you own your won business, how are your taxes and finances impacted?
You need to find out what record should you keep. Do you have to start paying quarterly taxes? The tax code is so complicated, you want to make sure you plan out and understand what you should be doing. Do you know how much money you should be taking out? There is so much to taxes and it’s better to know before you start then after you start and find out you did something wrong.
There are a lot of free places you can visit to get advice. You can perform a local search and make some calls to find someone who is reputable and can help out.
Create a Business Entity
After talking with your lawyer and accountant, you should have a better understand what type of business you need. Maybe you can have a sole proprietor. Maybe you need an S-Cord or LLC.
There is more than just starting a blog and saying it’s a business. You want to make sure you are protected and you are doing everything within the laws. You will work hard setting up your blog, make sure you, your blog and your family are protected.
If you are new to blogging, this isn’t something yo need right away. As time goes on you can add this to your list of things to do.
At some point, you will need a media kit. When people come to your or you see out advertisers, you have to quickly let them know who you are. You have to some them your audience and demographics, plus some other helpful things. Never, ever give out your audience names or emails. For our media kit, we just show ages and where our visitors are coming from.
If you search online for Blogging Media Kit Samples, you can find some nice websites with great examples. The idea behind a media kit is to tell your story fast and on one page, an overview.
You don’t have to have accounts, but for me, I find it much easier. I have a simple credit card and savings account. This way at the end of the year, it’s very easy for me to perform my taxes.
I can quickly look everything up and know what my expenses were for the year. If you are going to do this, just make sure you are disciplined and only put business expenses on the card. Also if you get a credit card, make sure you pay it off every month. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.
Wait until you have the money before you buy something such as a theme, plugin or something else for the business.
While it’s fun to make money with your blog, be smart about it. You need to have a plan and what you will be doing with your money. How will you spend it?
One suggestion is to invest back into your blog. Yes, it’s fun to take money out and buy yourself something, but you also have to invest some back into the business. The choice is up to you.
For me, I split up the money this way. Every month I am pretty much putting everything back into the business. I have higher than normal expenses with this blog because this blog is about fun for me. I don’t push a lot of affiliates on here. GT Today has a ton of information and not many affiliate links. So the first thing I pretty much do is pay for the server and other fees associated with the business. If I do have money left over, which is about once a year, I put it back into the business with either a giveaway or something I have been wanting added to the site.
If you are serious about turning your blog into a business, it can be done. While it does take a lot of hard work and dedication, it can be a fun and exciting road to travel. If you have questions or need help, please feel free to reach out and let me know.