Is blogging a business?
It’s a good question and one I wish everybody asked before starting a blog.
And the answer is it depends on what type of blog you’re starting.
In essence, there are two types of blogs:
- Hobby blogs
- Businesses that happen to have a blog
Now before you think that you don’t fall under either category give me a second to explain each as we figure out this blogging as a business thing.
Hobby blogs are started by people that just want a platform to share their thoughts. They don’t care about what they write as long as they get to write.
There is no strategy behind what they do because there doesn’t need to be.
If they want to talk about cats today then they will talk about cats today.
When the general public thinks about a blog, this is what they are thinking about.
Which is also why so many people have trouble being taken seriously when they call themselves a blogger.
Hint: Don’t call yourself a blogger. You’ll see what to do instead shortly.
There is nothing wrong with starting a hobby blog as long as you understand that is what you’re creating.
The worst thing that you can do is start a hobby blog and then realize months or years later that you would like to make money from it. At that point, it’s basically like starting from scratch.
If you want to make money with a blog then you’re going to start a business that just happens to have a blog.
Blogging as a Business: a Business With a Blog
Every successful business understands the value of marketing.
Without marketing of some sort you can’t build an audience.
Without an audience you can’t gain customers.
Marketing is essential.
What does this have to do with blogging?
Well, the reality is that blogging within a business isn’t really blogging.
It’s content marketing.
You’re specifically writing content to attract an audience. This audience is meant to make you money through ads, affiliate marketing, services, or your own products.
The content is what brings the people in.
This means that you need a strategy and that is the difference between a hobby blog and a business that just happens to have a blog.
When you’re blogging to make money you’re doing so with purpose. You have a clear strategy mapped out that will help you achieve your goals.
When you don’t have a plan then you just have a hobby blog even if you want to make money with it.
So if you don’t want a hobby blog and you want your blog to be a business what do you do?
Setting Your Blog Up as a Business
Now, I must tell you that I’m not going to get into the legal stuff like if you should not worry about setting up a sole proprietorship or LLC or whatever.
If you’re worried about that stuff then go speak to an accountant.
What I want to talk about is what things you need to consider if you really wish to ensure that your blog is a business.
First, we should start with the obvious.
How Are You Going to Make Money With Your Blog?
Seems silly to have to ask this question, right?
If you’re going to blog as a business then you need to make money or else you don’t really have a business.
So how are you going to make money with your blog?
Well, you need to understand the different ways that you can make money with a blog and there are quite a few.
The main ones are:
- Affiliate Marketing
Now, it’s important that you have some kind of blog business plan so you understand what route(s) you think you will take.
You don’t have to come up with a specific gameplan, but if you know you want to make money with ads then that will dictate what niche your blog is in and what type of content you should create.
You don’t need to decide this right away. You might want to know who your audience is first before taking that step which means the next step should be…
Choosing Your Audience
Some people will see this as picking a niche or topic. I see it as choosing an audience.
Who are you going to create content for?
Who are you going to help?
If it’s a group that is willing to spend money on a problem then maybe one of your revenue streams can be products or services.
If your audience is just going to be people that look at pictures then you might be forced to just stick with ads.
Who do you think you can help in the long term?
This doesn’t mean you need to be an expert. That’s a common mistake people make and why many people don’t start a blog at all.
You just have to know one thing more than your readers.
When it comes to blogging what if the only thing I knew was how to choose a good title?
Well, then I would write content around that and continue to learn so that I could provide more value as I go along.
With that out of the way you need to move on to…
Gathering Your Audience
This actually involves two things:
- Creating content
- Promoting content
Remember, you can’t have a business without an audience and you can’t have an audience without marketing.
Marketing doesn’t mean you need to buy ads. It means you find where your audience is and you let them know that you’ve created value for them to check out.
That’s what blogging is all about.
You create value (content), you attract an audience, and that audience makes you money in some way (ads, affiliate marketing, services, and/or products).
It’s what every business in the world does.
Offer value -> get paid for that value.
Sometimes the audience is you and sometimes the audience is other companies (ads).
Blogging IS a Business
So instead of wondering how do you blog as a business it’s important that you understand blogging is a business.
Blogging is the marketing part of your business whatever that may be.
When you understand that it becomes easier to wrap your head around the idea of starting a blog.
This also means that you’re not just a blogger.
You’re an entrepreneur.
Yeah, that might seem like a weird label to give yourself but check this out.
Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small business. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs.Wikipedia
That’s exactly what we just talked about!
So are you a blogger or are you an entrepreneur?
That’s something you should always ask yourself so that you don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that you’re anything less than you are.