I’m asked how to start a blog. I’m asked how to grow a blog. I’m asked how to make money from a blog.
(Just in case you’re curious, the number one question is about how to become a flight attendant.)
Blogging for money is a business and should be approached the same way you would start any other business. It feels different because your product is mostly digital, but good business practices are the only way you are going to be successful.
I have been blogging for three years and I have been running my small business, Flight Attendant Career Connection, for the last 2 years. These last couple of years in business have taught me a lot. Here are my top three tips for starting a successful blogging business.
1) Pick a road and start moving.
Having a basic framework or idea for the direction of your blog is a must, but don’t let the fact that you can’t see the entire journey stop you from starting. Blogging is an art and you, as the artist, will be struck with different inspiration from different places and different times, and that’s ok. It’s more than ok, it’s great! I started blogging right after Ty was born and I thought I would have a traditional “mommy blog.” I did blog about motherhood a good bit at the beginning, but here I sit now, writing about dreams, and small business, and travel. My blog has naturally evolved until it settled into my sweet spot. But I’m not going to be surprised if my blog looks different in ten years. Also, don’t stress too much about where you start your blog. I started on Blogger because it was free and easy and moved to WordPress at the advice of my business coach. I don’t see much difference. My husband Jason just started blogging and he used WIX.com to set up his site. I love how it looks and it was really easy to design.
Bottom line: Just start!
2) Create a product worth investing in.
If you were going to start knitting scarves and selling them, you would master the skill of knitting by knitting a lot. Then you would think about what your customer would like and you would knit a couple different scarves in different colors and different styles. Then, to really make any money from your scarf business, you would need to have plenty of scarves to sell. The more scarves your knit, the more scarves you can sell and the more money you’ll make. Treat your customers well and provide them with a scarf they love and your customers will continue to buy scarves from you and the will tell their friends to buy scarves from you. Before you know it, you are the most famous scarf seller around. Blogging is the same way. Stat writing. The more you write, the better you’ll get. Think about what your readers would like to read. Pay attention to the posts that get the most shares, comments and likes and give your readers more of what they like. Third, treat your customers well. Engage with your readers in the comments. Answer their questions. Thank them for sharing your posts. Be real and available and before you know it, your readers will not only be life time readers, but they will be telling their friends about you.
3) Invest in your business.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “It takes money to make money.” I believe this is true, but you need to know where to invest your money to really make it work for you. At the beginning, you probably don’t need to pay someone to build your website, or create a logo. You don’t need to pay for advertising or for social media shout outs. So where should you invest? The first investment should be in purchasing your domain or your web address. Owning your domain will allow you to eliminate the branding from your free blog hosting site. For example you can go from www.abbieunger.blogspot.com to www.abbieunger.org. removing the .wordpress or .blogspot looks more professional. You can usually purchase your domain name for about $10 and I recommend you buy your name first, then your blog’s name if you would like. Using your name (like I do) allows you change your blog name and branding without changing your web address. If your name is taken, try a variation or .org or .me. A .com is not necessary. Another place to invest some money is in education. No, I don’t mean go back to college, I mean get some schooling from other successful bloggers and business owners. With the internet, education is literally at your fingers tips. I love to sign up for free webinars. Webinars usually offer information on a basic beginner level which is great when you are just starting out. Most free webinars also offer the opportunity to continue your education and purchase more advanced training.
Online training is great and I have learned so much from so many different teachers, but my absolute favorite way to learn and grow in my business is by attending conferences. I love meeting new people and talking shop with like minded entrepreneurs and bloggers. I think my love for the conference energy is why I became a speaker. I encourage you attend at least one conference a year. Taking some time to get away and focus on your dreams and business is so valuable.
I am so excited to be speaking at the Blog Elevated conference this year in Dallas, TX. The conference is Sept. 18-20, 2015 and I would love to have you join me. I even have a discount code for y’all so you can save 10%. Just click here to purchase your ticket and get the discount: or learn a little more.
See you in Dallas!