August 12, 2009

Turn Your Blog into a Business


Hostway Team

By Hostway

There are many reasons to write a blog: to share your experiences, offer support to others facing the challenges you face, drive traffic to your business or to build a personal brand. But what about turning your blog into your business?

So called "mommy bloggers" have gotten a lot of attention from the media. They're mothers who make a living (or some extra cash) writing about motherhood, careers and other interests. They've generated a large enough audience to attract advertisers and turn their hobby into income. If you're already a blogger with a decent audience, you could make that model work for you.

Build an Audience

This is really the most difficult part of blogging, especially when it's for profit. Before you reap the monetary rewards, you have to come up with something interesting to say and get people hooked. When they're starting out, many bloggers assume that all they have to do is set up a blog and start writing. Most quit blogging when the readers fail to show up.

Interesting content is half the equation of building an audience. The other half is frequent postings. People will visit often for regularly updated content, but if they return a few times to the same old post, they're likely to stop coming back. So if you're serious about making money from a blog, plan to commit a good deal of time to it.

Get Advertisers

Once you have a sizable audience, you can approach advertisers with placement opportunities. Look for advertisers that fit well with the subject matter you write about. You also can use Google AdWords, or a conversational media company such as Federated Media to manage your ads.

When you decide to monetize your blog, make sure the quality of your content doesn't suffer. For example, some bloggers get free samples from companies hoping to get a favorable review from the writer. This type of plug is a conflict of interest, and can be misleading to readers.

The key to becoming one of the top earning bloggers is not only to be well known, but to earn the trust of an influential community before you try selling them products. If you're only in it for the money, it will be difficult to write with passion and integrity. So choose a topic you care about and have fun writing. The money will follow.

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