How to Transform Your Passion Project Into Your Business
Monetizing your blog is a big step, and it may seem like you need to rely on others to spark the cash flow process, but this is not necessarily true! If you are weary of partnering with brands to run advertisements or affiliate links, you can turn your attention inward and focus on ways in which you can generate a profit using your own skills and expertise. Most likely, you have built up a blog following based on a niche interest or subject matter. Your followers turn to your blog for advice, inspiration and entertainment and you have built a loyal army of followers because you reliably share your knowledge and craft without charge. While you would never charge readers to visit your blog, there is a way to harness their consistent interest and reliance on your expertise to generate a profit.
As a blogger with an established following, you have built up your credibility around certain subject matters.
Making the leap from content to commerce is a natural progression. As a blogger you likely already share your unique ways of approaching life problems or the designs you’ve created for yourself to fulfill a personal want or need. Why not take it a step further and package those ideas and designs for sale?
There is (likely) already a natural way in which you can make the leap from content to commerce and begin to sell products or services. Perhaps you’re a wellness blogger who is passionate about cleanses and healthy meal plans – why not create your own distinct guides and cleanse plans to sell on your blog? Or, you might be a travel blogger who regularly visits and writes about exotic locales – you have the opportunity to create your own unique city guides that can be purchased and downloaded directly from your blog. While you can’t put a paywall in front of every piece of content you produce, there are strategic ways to create special resources and products to incite interest among your followers without repelling them from your blog.
You may be wondering if you can really convince your readers to start paying for certain pieces of content after they have become so accustomed to accessing your creations for free. The answer is yes – your readers will be open to commerce on your site if you execute it appropriately.
Build Credibility – As a blogger, you cannot expect to sell your ideas or services out of the gate. It takes time to build up an audience’s trust in your experience and expertise. Furthermore, if you immediately come off overtly sales-y after launching your blog, you will likely turn away readers who may view your blog as more of a value-add for you than for them.
Content first, Commerce Second – Once you turn your first profit from a design or a guide, you may feel emboldened to focus solely on profit-generating products. But transforming your site from content-focused to commerce-focused could be the beginning of the end for you as a successful blogger. The key to incorporating commerce on to your blog is balance. You cannot solely publish content with a price tag and expect to maintain your traffic and engagement rates; commercial products should be in the minority of your blog content, not the majority.
Ask For Feedback – Once you begin incorporating paid products onto your site, your loyal follower may have a lot of questions and opinions to share. Rather than turning on your blinders, listen to your community feedback and ask them questions. More than likely, your readers will provide invaluable insights that will help you make your next guide or piece of shoppable content easy to sell.
Don’t forget to check out our Business of Blogging – Advertisements post and stay tuned for Sponsored Content and Affiliate Links!