How to Transform Your Passion Project into Your Business
Developing your own blog can be an incredible outlet to explore interests, share expertise and connect with people around the world. Many bloggers will adamantly say that their blogging practice keeps them creatively fulfilled. But, in recent years, blogging has become a verifiable business practice – many full-time bloggers earn well over six figures each year. Bloggers offer their skills, expertise, time and personal earnings on a daily basis to keep their audiences informed and entertained; there’s a sizable amount of time and energy that goes into maintaining a consistently visited blog. As a result of this time and energy expenditure, many bloggers eventually explore ways to transform their side passion project into a full-time gig.
Making the transition from hobby to business ultimately comes down to mindset. To make money off of your blog, you have to demand it in different ways – which can be an uncomfortable idea to get used to if you started your blog with the singular goal of creative expression.
One of the most important mental shifts to make when you first open your blog up for business, is to understand that it’s no longer completely yours – you’re willingly relinquishing a sense of complete and total ownership. Yes, you are still the one making creative calls and developing the content, but you are no longer the only one with any stake in the blog’s success. Depending on the type of business practices you implement, you may also be beholden to external timelines and deadlines. If you are someone who approaches blogging with a laissez-faire attitude, you may have to force yourself to adjust to the rigors of certain money-generating campaigns.
Now that you’re focused on the business side of your blog, it’s time to decide how and where you will make money from your blog. There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to monetizing your content, and in this post, we’ve compiled the necessary step to taken to begin implementing advertising on your site.
Selling ad space on your blog can seem somewhat disparaging at first, because the last thing you want is to turn off your users who might have a negative view of ads. But ads are a proven and consistent means of earning money and, when implemented the right way, they will not taint your content.
1.) Be selective – if you accept advertisements from a retailer whose brand values and products do not align with your content, you will see a sharp decrease in traffic.
2.) Survey your readers – you may think you know who your readers are – their likes, dislikes and general lifestyles. But a simple survey will likely shine a light on interesting subtleties that may help you determine the best advertisers for your blog.
3.) Compile an advertising kit – You don’t want the process of working with advertisers to cut into too much time spent on developing content. To streamline the process, it’s beneficial to create a media kit up front that contains the basic information advertisers look for: monthly traffic, number of email subscribers, number of social subscribers, site rankings, audience demographics and the types of advertisements you’re interested in including on your blog. Be sure to update your media kit at least once a quarter to reflect your most recent growth rates.
4.) Pick an advertising service – There are a variety of advertising services available, so it’s important to do your research and pick the service you feel best aligns with your blog and advertising goals. Ad services will streamline every aspect of the process, from sizing to placement, so that you don’t have to worry about managing the ads. It should be noted, however, that ad services demand a fee. BuySellAds, DayBeam, BlogAds and OIOPublisher are a few of the top ad space managers for bloggers.
Stay tuned as we explore sponsored content, affiliate links and commerce.