Blogging, as a way to make a living, has become very popular in a short amount of time. In the past, people would set something up on their own, a blog to voice their opinions, but this has been inexorably altered by the internet revolution. It did not take long for businesses to realize the massive audience that a good blog post could reach, and since social media sites have allowed people to share articles at a rapid, viral rate, the expansion of blogs has elevated the humble art of blogging itself to a potentially profitable business.
The problem is that many blog owners seem to think that they need to run their business in a unique, modern way, and they seem to lose sight of several important business guidelines that have shaped the world of business for decades. Yes, in some ways the fact that you are working in a developing field impacts the functioning of your day t day trade, but there are several key elements of traditional business thinking that can help you cement your company as a forerunner in this exciting industry.
Rule Number 1: Location is key
As any business owner will tell you, real estate is key to the success of any business. Now, in the past this would mean that your storefront location would need a certain amount of foot traffic, easy access for clients, less direct competition and so on. The landscape has changed, and nowadays, prime real estate for business involves your website, backlinks, and your position during related searches. If your blogging company has a physical premise, then obviously you need to make sure that clients can get to you easily and that it is attractive and so on. But the area that you really need to excel in is cyber real estate and space.
Firstly, you need to have a visually appealing, highly functional website. No user is going to make a return visit to your store (read site) if it shoddy and the service is poor. If you are serious about making real money out of professional blogging, then invest in quality web design. The visual structure of a site is what drags the reader in, and you cannot put a price on the initial impression that you make.
Next, you should employ an SEO specialist. Search Engine Optimization is a process whereby your content is altered so that your site will place higher on related searches. SEO teams can track the search trends of millions of people, make an analysis on what they are looking for, and adjust your website so that it reaches more people who have a higher likelihood of being interested in what you have to offer. Be warned that your writers may fight you about having their work changed, but it all comes down to keyword saturation so these alterations will be minimal. IF you sell chocolates on your blog and someone searches sweets, you want them to be pointed in your direction, and this is how SEO works – it leads prospective customers and readers to your piece of prime real estate.
Another aspect of blog location is backlinking your blog to other sites. This is a process related to SEO, except you are putting links to your blog on other sites, kind of like a road map. See more on this important concept in the section titled “No business is an island”.
Rule Number 2: Spend money to make money
This is the oldest rule of business in the book. Naturally if you own a blog you are not trading physical stock, but there are some aspects that you cannot skimp on. Firstly, you need to get a top rate web designer, as mentioned above. Next, you will have to assemble a great team of writers. It does not matter if you are using freelancers or permanent staff, you get what you pay for. Using inexperienced or untalented writers will result in poor posts and no interest, so pay your wordsmiths well!
Rule Number 3: No Business is an island
Once your blog starts doing well, it is naturally to feel that you are kind of invincible. And yes, success is definitely worth celebrating. But you need to build up your reputation, and this means that you must reach out to related businesses. The best way to do this is to contact bloggers and websites in your field, and backlink your site. This is easily done. Basically, all that happens is that they advertise your blog with a direct link, and you return the favour. This broadens your potential client base, and promotes flow back and forth between your site. In this way, all parties concerned benefit.
Rule Number 4: Networking works
The main problem with running a company online is that the social aspect of business has been removed. Brokering deals and partnerships used to take place at company functions, over drinks, and in person. You can try and reach out to fellow bloggers, but the easiest way to make it happen with big business and sponsors is to deal with companies in person. Bloggers are generally perceived by businesses as reclusive and anti-social, and the problem is that this automatically creates the idea that you lack life experience. Approaching a business directly is a great way to get your blogging business to transcend even your own expectations, and you are bound to make more connections as a result. Social networking is essential if you are starting your business up, so be sure to use all of these platforms if they are available to you.
What have you found to be helpful in your blogging efforts?