Close
Close

From Blog to Small Business: Tips for Taking Your Blog to a Whole New Level

A Guest Post By Deb Ng – Deb Ng is a freelance writer, professional blogger, social media consultant and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network of blogs.

Four and a half years ago I started a blog filled with nothing but leads to available freelance writing opportunities. As I studied blogging and the various ways to generate traffic and revenue, the blog began to grow beyond my wildest dreams. After two years I was able to hire someone to help find leads and we branched out to also offering daily tips and advice. After three years, I added two more bloggers to the roster and today, it’s a flourishing blog network for freelance writers complete with 8 blogs. It’s now the number one online community for freelance writers. At some point in the past couple of years, it occurred to me I didn’t have merely have a blog. I had a business. In addition to paying other bloggers, I can now draw my own salary and don’t even have to take on clients if I don’t want to.

Someone once suggested it was luck that brought me to this place, but I respectfully disagree. Luck had nothing to do with it. Building FWJ from a blog to a network to a business took a lot more than luck. It took hard work, dedication and a thick skin. When I stopped treating my blog like a hobby and began working at it full time, it became a place that was both profitable and popular.

How did I get here?

  • I put in more than an hour or two each day – My blog became a full time job. If I wasn’t blogging, I was planning the next day’s posts, analyzing traffic patterns, and networking with others. It’s a day job, it’s a night job, and it’s a weekend and holiday job.
  • I read everything I could about traffic, community, monetization and other strategies needed to become a successful blogger. Keeping apprised of the latest tips and techniques helped me to achieve new levels of blogginess.
  • I networked within – and outside of – the freelance writing community – Yes, I participated in discussions at other freelance writing blogs and forums, but I also visited with other communities. Freelance writers participate in various niches and genres, it only makes sense to branch out beyond the obvious.
  • I networked offline – I attended professional meetings, meetups and conferences, and met potential advertisers, potential readers, and community members and people with whom I could share ideas and learn from.
  • I attended classes – I attended sessions at conferences and at the local community college. I invested in online courses and seminars.
  • I aligned myself with some influential people – Being a part of other networks increased awareness of my own community and generated interest in my blog network.
  • I learned I have to spend money to make money – While blogging may be an inexpensive startup, the truth is, if I didn’t invest in design, bloggers for hire, technical assistance, classes and conferences, I may not have achieved this level of success.
  • Did I mention I put a lot of time and effort into my blog?
  • I didn’t wait until advertisers came to me – I sought out sponsors, played with affiliates and yes, even rocked the Adsense. Now though, I sell many private ads to businesses and individuals who approach me instead of the other way around.
  • I didn’t let negativity stand in my way – People can be mean – they still are. If I let it get to me I wouldn’t be writing this today.

That doesn’t sound like a whole lot of luck, does it?

The truth is, there were times I questioned my ability. I was also getting a little tired of moderating snarky comments by a few community members who like to bicker about wages and jobs. It was hard seeing people write out and out lies about me on their blogs or suggest I’m only here by luck and not talent . There were plenty of times I wanted to throw in the towel.

Last month when a major online brand inquired about acquiring FWJ, I realized I built something very important and I was very proud. Proud enough not to want to sell.

If I can take my little freelance writing job blog to new heights in only four and a half years, what can I do in another five? I’m looking forward to finding out.

Sure, you can have a blog. You can post once a day and have a few hundred visitors. Or you can treat your blog like you would a job. You can put your passion behind it and give it your all. You can work for someone else or you can do everything possible to grow your own business. With blogging, you get what you give.

What do you want, a blog or a business?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. Blogs need to have some substance. An appeal to the reader who is searching for specific information. Cute stuff is a turn off for educated readers who are looking for educated responses. I have been a Blogger and have had to adapt my writing styles to create that kind of appeal. It was not an easy transition. Most writers love stories…Folks who are Blog readers want facts. Bottom line facts. That has been my experience.

  2. This is very impressive post which motivates a writer to write. The only thing that is required is your maximum efforts.

  3. Now I know why so many people love this site

  4. Having to spend money to make money is a big part of growing any small business and using blogs to expand is no exception. But people forget to calculate these expansion costs in their business expenses and tend to get in trouble.

    My wife and I have our own business. And we were on the verge of expanding but we didn’t know how we were going to fund our expenses. We tried investors, but during the recession, we could not find anyone who wanted to invest in our business. So we decided to look at unsecured business loans and business cash advances.

    We were a bit leery at first, but now after going through the process, we are ready with our business finances. And just in time for the holidays for our business has increased tremendously due to the holiday rush.

    Unsecured business loans and business cash advances have turned out to be the only things that saved us from shutting down.

  5. Congratulation on your success, Deb! Thank you for your article. It is very inspirational for me and now I know that through hard work and motivation, your goals of blogging full-time can be achieved.

  6. Pendergast says:

    Commercials these days have really become creative. I like the concept of not letting the viewer know what they are trying to advertise which prompts them to go view a website about it, Google it, etc. I like incorporating these marketing strategies in my own work here in Kansas City Missouri at

  7. Blogs need to have some substance. An appeal to the reader who is searching for specific information. Cute stuff is a turn off for educated readers who are looking for educated responses. I have been a Blogger and have had to adapt my writing styles to create that kind of appeal. It was not an easy transition. Most writers love stories…Folks who are Blog readers want facts. Bottom line facts. That has been my experience.

  8. Great post, thanks. I’ve enjoyed your blog for quite awhile and I should comment more.

  9. Iddy Palmer says:

    Thanks Deb,
    for your very inspiring article…

    I write to affirm that,
    Ability is never enough
    to attain lasting success…

    Like you have proven,
    We need be passionate,
    Dedicated
    And “smart-working,”
    To eat the fruit of success…

    Over the years,
    I’ve learnt that any hobby can be financially profitable
    If we are willing to pay the price of keeping on regardless…

    I am a lover of Words
    Whether spoken or written
    Like you,
    as I gradually start to earn
    From my hobbies,
    I am all the more encouraged
    to inspire others
    To passionately and diligently WORK their hobbies
    And see it earn for them….

  10. Great post, thanks. I’ve enjoyed your blog for quite awhile and I should comment more. It’s always an interesting and great read.