Blogging is a fantastic hobby. Your very own corner of the internet to speak about your likes and dislikes, pass on knowledge, connect with like-minded people and really use your brain. Along with writing blog posts, you’ll more than likely learn about photography where you will take images for your content, coding and HTML, and how to promote on social media. While it can be slow to take off (meaning if you’re setting up a blog just for the purpose of earning money you might be disappointed) however as it grows over time, there are many ways you can make money from your site. Blogging can be very lucrative, and more people than ever are able to turn their hobby into a well paid job. If you currently blog for fun but are wondering if you could transform this into a career, here are a few things to bear in mind.
Monetize Your Blog
First things first, you need to implement ways of earning money from your blog. Programs like Google Adsense give you a little bit of money each time impressions or clicks are made on your blog. While you will need to have a lot of regular traffic to make a full wage with this, it’s still something worth doing. It’s free to set up, and once it’s done there’s no hassle to you. Once you’ve earned a certain amount, payment is made directly to your bank. It’s a nice bonus each time it comes in, and as your website grows in popularity, you’ll earn more and more. Other ways to monetize are using affiliate links, with sites like Skimlinks you can install a piece of code onto your site which turns some of your text into relevant links. Each time someone clicks or buys through the link, you earn some cash. There’s no manually putting in links making it a quick and easy option. Research other affiliate programs too, and work out which suit you best. Again you probably won’t make a fortune from these (at least right away) but since there’s no extra work you need to do it’s worth having them on there. By far the majority of the money you’re likely to earn on your blog is from advertising and sponsorships. Companies will contact you and propose various collaborations. Often this will be writing a blog post and including a link to their site, or publishing a guest post that’s already been written. Alternatively they might ask for a banner ad to be placed in the sidebar of your site for a number of months. Many of them pay well, and others offer regular work so that you have a good amount of income coming in. While you do have to wait to be contacted for these opportunities, there are a number of ways (listed below) that you can make your blog more attractive and likely to be spotted by sponsors.
Improve Your Blog
In order for companies to want to work with you, there are a few things they will be looking out for. The first is an aesthetically pleasing blog design. It can be worth paying a blog designer or purchasing a template from somewhere like Etsy to ensure your site looks professional- it should have personality but without being too busy, nice images and easy to read text. Secondly, an ‘about me’ page shows that your blog is legitimate, and not just a spam site. Companies like to work with real people (since it’s real people that influence others to buy products) so including a little bit of information about yourself is worthwhile. Make sure you have easy to find contact information, so you’re not missing out on opportunities due to this. Very importantly, sponsors will also want to work with bloggers with a good domain authority score. This is a score which calculates how well a website will rank on search engine pages. While it’s not possible to influence this directly, when you are producing good quality content that is being shared and linked to by others your score will go up over time. You can also make sure your site doesn’t have too many errors/ broken links too, search for a broken link checking tool online to show you pages that no longer work on your site. Keep an eye on your score to make sure you’re heading in the right direction, it can take time to build and may fluctuate now and again. Many sponsors like to work with bloggers with a domain authority score over 20, although this can vary.
Register as Self Employed
Even if your blog is only earning a small amount in the beginning, the tax man is going to want to know about it. You should register your blog for tax purposes as soon as possible to avoid any penalties, and make sure you’re doing everything by the book. The actual process and authorities you will need to go through will depend on the country where you live. Paying taxes can be quite a complicated and time consuming task, for this reason hiring a small business accountant could be worthwhile. That way you can be sure that everything is done correctly and save yourself the headache of going through it all each year.
Have a Work Area
While blogging as a hobby can be very casual and relaxed, if you want to turn it into your full-time job think about having a work area set aside. This allows you to maintain a proper work/ life balance- once you enter your working space you know, it’s time to get down to business. Once you’re finished for the day you know, it’s your free time rather than everything merging together as one. Having a work area set up also means you’re sitting properly- when you’re going to be at the computer for many hours a day this is important. A desk, a supportive chair, a fast computer and good storage will allow you to keep organized and get the job done. Ideally, you’ll have a space room that you can transform into an office, that allows you to close the door at the end of each day and know that’s your working hours over. Decorate the room in a light, neutral shade to make the most of the space and allow for a calm and relaxing environment. Ensure your window treatments allow you to adjust the natural light; daylight is a mood booster and so making sure your office isn’t dark or dingy will make it a far nicer place to work from. While you don’t want to be surrounded by clutter, mess or two many personal trinkets since they could be distracting, living plants are a good option for decor. They have been shown to boost productivity in working environments by psychologists, so this is something you could include in your work area.