Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
You might not think of running a blog as a small business of its own though in many ways it very much is a business. The blogging landscape is much different than it was five or 10 years ago but there is still room for new voices. If done correctly, a blog can be profitable on its own or help you launch the next phase of your business. There are a number of things to keep in mind if you choose to pursue a blog as a side business.
Choose that perfect niche
Your blog’s niche is, by far, one of the most important aspects of it. You want to pick a niche that is unique but also that interests many different groups of people. For instance, blogs aimed at businesses are always popular, especially if the content offers useful information and advice about running a prosperous business. Of course, to launch a business blog, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of the business industry. The key to success in blogging is picking a niche that interests you, is interesting for other people and is something that you have a good knowledge of. Don’t try to just copy what’s out there. Be sure to add your unique perspective.
Get the design just right
If you want your blog to stand out for all the right reasons, it’s crucial that you get your site design just right. There are various options for website/blog design, from building the site yourself using a website builder that offers hosting to hiring a website designer to create a customized site for you. What you need to consider is your skills and knowledge of design, as well as your budget. If you’re on a budget, it could be best to use a website builder and then if in the future you want to redo your site and can afford a web designer, then you can have a custom made site created.
Treat it like a business
The truth is that blogs can offer income potential, be a hobby or be the first step to launching your business. If you want your blog to be your main income stream, then treat it like a business from the start. This means putting in dedicated hours each day, working in a professional manner and keeping yourself motivated no matter what, just like you would need to running any business.
Offer more than just content
Many successful bloggers offer more than just content on their sites. Many offer services, ebooks and courses. Regarding ebooks, if you’ve got a topic that you’re highly skilled and knowledgeable in and links to your blog in some way, creating an ebook could significantly increase the traffic that your site gets. The same can be said for courses, both paid and free.