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From Blog to Profitable Business in Four Steps

This guest post is by Michael Chibuzor of Content Marketing Up.

Let’s face it: updating your blog on a daily basis doesn’t necessarily make you smart. It might be helpful, but there is more to blogging than writing.

How about doing this online “thing” as if it’s a real business? A brick and mortar business?

I strongly believe you could turn a profit easily if you change your mindset and style.

Of course, you’ll continuously write quality content—after all, that’s what your readers need. But turning your blog into a real-life business would help you connect, share, and breathe life into your blog.

It’s about productivity that leads to profit.

You need confidence to win

There are good reasons why you need confidence in your business. Confidence electrifies you and your readers, and prompts action. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, yet many bloggers may decide to hang on to outdated principles instead of challenging the status quo.

But we can change that.

With all the noise in the blogosphere, it takes extra wit to attract targeted readers and build a tribe. Without confidence, you won’t be able to organize and manage your business.

You need to challenge yourself to take responsibility.

If you want to build a profitable blog, you must run it like an offline business. You need to master:

  • organization and management
  • customer service
  • social etiquette
  • profit

Those are the four essential factors in building a successful offline business—but they’re extremely beneficial to blogging, too. Are you ready to explore?

1. Organization and management

Jesus picked up twelve men from the bottom ranks of business and forged them into an organization that conquered the world.—Bruce Barton

“How do I get more people to trust me?” many bloggers ask.

Trust isn’t a one-off decision. You need to be consistent and build trust over time. As you interact with the target audience and provide valuable information, your readers will start to take your words to heart.

That is why you need to organize and manage your blog. A well organized and managed blog will soon become the go-to resource for your target prospects and readers.

First, you need to organize and manage your time. Use your time wisely. Your blog attracts people who have needs. They want answers. Use the limited time at your disposal to focus on answering your readers’ questions, and outsource the other tasks to professionals.

The easiest and most lucrative way to stay organized is to outsource. Before I launched my first ebook, I didn’t understand outsourcing one bit. I had to do the entire task myself—market research, keyword research, cover design, writing, and marketing. As a result, my blog suffered, and my engagement with my audience was broken. I also observed a drop in daily traffic and comments.

Like offline businesses, on your blog, the management (that’s you) is responsible for delegation. Use outsourcing as a corporation uses its departments, and your blog will grow and produce better results. Identify your greatest strengths. Outsource the other tasks (find freelancers at Odesk and Elance).

You don’t have to be a jack-of-all-trades to succeed online.

2. Customer service

We’re so used to customers in the offline business, but bloggers often don’t recognize who our customers are online.

Your readers are your customers, and how you treat them is important to your success.

It’s your responsibility to respect your readers and visitors. Address them by name and reply to their comments with the proper salutation. When someone comes to your site, they should feel that you care. They don’t have to be strangers—at least, not any more.

Create an environment of warmth with prospects and readers. When you give away valuable ebooks or software, or something that will make readers remember you, you’re building a solid relationship.When you send a quote to a prospect, send a gift, too. No matter how small it looks, it’ll create a bond between you and your target audience.

Also, your readers need to know what’s happening at your blog. If you’ll be making changes, you should notify them beforehand. Surprises are good, but not at the detriment of your business. And when there’s a complaint, accept it peacefully and with good humor. See your readers as your friends.

Good customer service can boost your online business and expose you to a world of opportunities.

3. Social etiquette

You can’t help it—you’ve achieved so much in life, and feel a bit fulfilled. Perhaps you have a slight tendency to brag when you blog. But is this healthy for your audience? I don’t think so.

Social etiquette is an attitude. It requires you to look at your personal life, and consider how you bring it to the table as a blogger. Those who don’t share, communicate, and help others have problems with their lives. The problem isn’t the blog or the business—it’s their personal life.

If you focus on helping people, there won’t be a room for bragging. Your level of blogging success today is directly proportional to the value you create. So change your approach and focus on readers, their problems, and how you can help.

That’s how you can use etiquette to make your blog a profitable business.

4. Profit from your blog

As your blog grows into a business and you build its uniqueness, you’ll begin to attract high-paying prospects and outstanding offers. Are you prepared for the opportunities your blogging business could create?

Blogging offers different opportunities to profit. When you visit my content marketing blog, you won’t find an affiliate banner or link. I sell my writing services and generate enough income to pay my bills. And guess what? I didn’t apply for any writing job; I was contacted directly by entrepreneurs because they discovered I was business-minded.

Land a job

Perhaps you’d like a secure, and well-paid job. If that’s the case, running your blog like a real business can be of help. I’ve worked with a human resource firm prior to running my online business. Employers were looking for hard working, passionate, confident go-getters who could help reach the organization’s goals.

Most bloggers don’t have these qualities. They see a blog as a tool, rather than the true business that it is. Are you confident to put your blog’s URL on your resume? If not, consider running it more like a business that you can be proud of.

You’ve seen blogs featured at CNN, Fox News, and so forth. Those are no half-baked blogs—they’re manned by savvy entrepreneurs. If they can do it, why shouldn’t you?

Monetize your blog

Most blogs have no product to sell, but they’re updated regularly. I once asked a blogger friend of mine, “Why don’t you monetize your blog?”

“I don’t want to chase my readers away,” he replied.

Who says selling chases readers away? Monetizing a blog is as important as setting up and updating the blog. Without this, people won’t take you seriously. You’ll be regarded as a newbie at worst, and an amateur at best.

Sell a product

Selling a product or offering a service via your blog won’t annoy readers, provided it’s valuable and offers practical solutions to their problems.

If you decide to monetize with affiliate offers, be honest in your reviews. Let readers know you’ll earn commissions when they buy via your affiliate link. This helps to build credibility and shows that you genuinely want to help them.

If you decide to create your own product, spend time with your audience so that you can understand what they need, and build a product that truly delivers.

Do you see your blog as a real business … or “just a blog”?  Is it time you changed your philosophy? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Michael Chibuzor is an entrepreneur, a freelance writer and the founder of Make Money Hi. Are you looking for a creative writer to help grow your site/blog’s traffic and increase sales? Hire Michael to write for you. He loves the color Red. He’s 23 years old and likes to meet new people.

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Comments

  1. Terry Kyle says:

    Good points Michael.

    The most effective type of content that I have found for blogs?

    Case Studies.

    Case studies can apply to almost any niche and when supported by video and image explanation/documentation, attract a lot of (positive) attention.

    The next best type of content?

    Live experiments (SEO in my case), though these can be difficult in certain niches.

  2. Thanks for these great advice Michael. I start to manage my blog the pro way. And I also find that think like an entepreneur before start my blog is what every others must do.
    My question is how we can outsource some of our duty, while you know, most new business not yet driving income.

    Regard, Tiyo ;-)

    • You’ve got to take outsourcing one step at a time. If your blog isn’t driving income yet, start by accepting guest post from bloggers. This way, you can have 10s of quality contents on your blog monthly. Then as you begin to make money, reinvest a portion of it into your business. I hope this helps?

      • Tiyo Kamtiyono says:

        This is challenging, why? Because I invited to become a guest poster ONCE, and find that my post is not that good, so I never try to ask the blog owner about any other guest posting opportunity. Not also to any other blog :(

        I know that may be bad for myself, I just think I haven’t qualified to make a guest post yet. I still find some blocks. So it is a big deal to get someone guest post to my own blog :D

        Anyway, big thanks Michael :)

  3. Wade says:

    Giving away something from your site is probably the best idea that you give here. This is what I have had the most success at!

  4. Karan Lugani says:

    Customer Service is the main thing that limits a blog into turning to a profitable business. I totally agree with your point. A blog can be turned into a money machine with few simple tweaks.

  5. Hi Michael, great post and lots of useful advice. It is hard in to get started sometimes, but it is never too late to act on this and make a blog into a business.

  6. J. Delancy says:

    Great post. Darren Rowse did a webinar on monetizing a blog. It was scary to find out how few people ever make a dollar from their blog.

    Keep up the good work.

    • I like that, “a way for readers to pay you.” That’s so powerful and I’m going to write a post on that. Thanks for the tip.

  7. Greg says:

    Out of all the steps you’ve outlined, I like monetizing your blog the best. A lot of blogs get everything right but are afraid to put a good amount of advertising on it.

    It’s a way for your reader to find more information and get you paid at the same time.

  8. Dion Lynk says:

    I believe in customer service wholeheartedly! People will purchase confidence in you as an individual even if they don’t really need or want the product. Customer service is the central focus for my business and should be one of the elements you should focus on more and more and even more.

  9. Surminga says:

    Nice post, It’s hard to get started but once you get into a rhythm and feel your first beneficial income or feedback it is easy to build upon it and strive to active more.

  10. Hi,
    we have setup our website http://www.KeepaSecret.net months ago, we have created a facebook page, twitter account, a tumblr account and a pintrest account.
    The website is called “keep a secret” and it shows in the first page on Google.
    So far we are unable to get traffic to our site, what are we doing wrong?

    Please help

    Thanks

  11. Ayaz says:

    Hi Micheal!

    I agree with you on the point of confidence can win everything and its been very crucial to understand that if you are not clear with what you are going to achieve or to do you can do anything and thus for me confidence and clarity of you aims are so important to achieve your goals.

    Thanks for providing great tips:-)

  12. David Sneen says:

    A well set up blog brands you as an expert. A blog that is a box of rocks….nothing.

    So, it makes sense to do the right thing; work to make your blog into the best blog it can be. The work, when done right, will pay you many times over.

    Many people don’t realize that a profitable blog can be a springboard to offline wealth, as you pointed out. Once you have successfully branded yourself as an expert, you are sought after both on and offline. Speaking engagement, book deals, and high level jobs are waiting for those who can put together a great blog.

    • You’ve done justice to this line,

      “Many people don’t realize that a profitable blog can be a springboard to offline wealth, as you pointed out. Once you have successfully branded yourself as an expert, you are sought after both on and offline. Speaking engagement, book deals, and high level jobs are waiting for those who can put together a great blog.”

      Thank you for letting us know.

  13. Nicely laid out tips. I completely agree with the confidence part.

    Whenever I wanted to blog about something that interests me, I couldn’t shake up the idea “ah..there are like ten blog posts written on this subject, if you write one more post, who is gonna come and read it”

    It took a while for me to get rid of it and move forward.

    I guess now it is time for me to take blogging to the next level. Make it a business. I am confident your tips will help me to reach there.

    • Very well said, Krishna.

      Confidence truly helps and I advice you to step out and make your blog into a business. Don’t forget to share your experiences with us. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  14. As someone just getting their business off the ground, I found the article very informative and it helped me to change the way I thought about certain aspects of my blog. The paragraph about putting it on a resume really hit home.

    Matthew Hampton
    PhysiqueRescue.com

  15. Chadrack says:

    Hi Michael,

    Really good points here. Right from the on-set I’ve always considered my blogging activities as a business and have run it that way. I like the way you equate the blog readers as the customers. This is why I’ve always taken care to appreciate my blog readers not only with dofollow links but also with mentions where necessary.

    Thanks for the post.

  16. Yeremi Akpan says:

    Great to see you here, Michael!

    Great tips. I especially love your thought about selling a product via blogs. Over time I have noticed a school of bloggers who feel embarrassed to be caught trying to make money on their blog.

    They’d rather die than ask for your credit card. Would they be that way with their brick and mortar business? Surely their landlord would kick them out for late rent!

    Hosting is getting cheaper and cheaper so some bloggers can afford to stay ‘elitist’ at the expense of their pockets :)