In 2012, my husband and I were going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I started a fundraising blog, raised over $5,000, and summited the peak, too! But I kick myself for not continuing to blog after the climb because I missed an opportunity to turn my blog into a business.
I tried again in late 2016 to turn a blog into a business, but stepped away after months of one failure after another. Then, in April 2017, I rebooted our blog with a vengeance—and by September of 2017 had created value for others, and earned my first blog-related paycheck.
I’m not an expert at blogging and there’s always something to learn, but I’m in the phase of gaining momentum, positively impacting people, and generating income. And since I’ve come out of the ‘overwhelm and confusion phase’ of blogging, I thought it would be helpful to share what I fixed to turn my blog into a business, in the hopes that these tips help you, too.
Fix #1 – Shift Your Mindset to Making Your Blog Your Business (Not Your Hobby)
People often say this about blogging:
“I want to blog for fun and share my journey.”
“I don’t want to make money from my blog. I just want to help people.”
“Earning money from a blog is a myth.”
I get it—I used to say that one day, maybe I’d monetize my blog.
Ooof, that was hard to read, right? Blogging as a business can bring up a lot of self-doubts. For me, it brought up thoughts like:
“I’m not smart enough to be a blogger.”
“Other people earn money, but not me.”
“Blogging requires too much of me.”
“I’m not sure I can do this. Maybe I’ll try something else.”
It’s okay if you have thoughts like these—many bloggers do. It’s only after time and effort that those thoughts peel away (and not always). But for a while, you’re going to have to fight through some self-doubt if you want to turn your blog into a business. Another aspect that helps calm those thoughts is when you realize that your blog truly helps others. I’ll explain that more in the next section.
If you believe that blogging isn’t a legitimate business, that’s an easy fix—simply put, it is. In June of 2018, I and fellow affiliates generated $5,200 in sales in one week from my Remote Work 101 online course. That’s not my weekly take-home pay, but it’s real money and real potential. I’ll write about how I accomplished that in a future article. Oh, and I know bloggers who consistently make between $50,000 – $100,000 a month. Really.
Fix #2 – Create Blog Content for Others, Not Yourself
Many people start blogs to share their story. There is nothing wrong with that, if that’s what motivates you, and if people enjoy your content. But if you want to turn your blog into a business, you need to shift the story from yourself to others, eventually.
You can do this in a variety of ways.
How do you make your story, their story?
For example, I write about the “Emotional Journey” of full-time RVing. I use my experience to connect and relate to what I believe other people are experiencing, too. This creates a bond with my readers.
How can your experience help others?
By being open and sharing my story, others feel comfortable sharing their story with me, too. This builds trust and helps me further understand their needs.
What do you know, that if you shared with others, can positively impact their lives?
I have educational training in managing fear and strong emotions, and share tips with others.
Can you make people laugh, cry, or feel something?
I try to be funny in posts sometimes, but I’m no Tina Fey. If you want some serious belly laughs, check out Liz Wilcox at The Virtual Campground.
If you want to build a business, then you have to create content that adds value to people that goes beyond, “We had a great time on our vacation.” At least share where you can find the best burrito in town, or the cheapest happy hour—that’s adding value.
Lastly, helping others is one of the greatest joys of blogging and is what keeps me motivated. Of course, I enjoy earning income, too, but if it was only about money I wouldn’t do it.
If you’re unsure of how to build an audience or what to say to them, check out my free webinar Beat The Blogger’s Blues: Say Goodbye to Overwhelm and Learn How To Make Money From Your Blog in 8 Weeks or Less.
Fix #3 – Consistency is Key for Turning Your Blog into a Business
If you go to work and get a paycheck, it’s because you show up every day and do your work to a certain standard. That’s called consistency.
Blogging is similar. When your blog is your business, you may not work on it all day, but you do work on it every day. And trust me, there is NEVER not enough to do. I could easily fill my whole day with blogging activities, whether that’s writing, researching SEO (search engine optimization), creating new topics, evaluating products and services to offer my readers, responding to questions, etc.
If you’re a hobby blogger, my guess is you aren’t that consistent.
The blog publishing process for a hobby blogger might generally look like this.
The blog publishing process for a business blogger might generally look like this.
That looks easy, right? It’s not. Being consistent requires dedication. Dedication is a choice, but If you want to turn your blog into a business, at least you know it’s a choice you have.
Fix #4 – Build an Email List to Turn Your Blog Into a Business
A blogger once said to me, “I don’t understand why I should email people when I already write a post every week.” Hey, at least she gets a gold star for consistency!
An email list is the oxygen that breathes life into your business. It’s a more intimate form of communication than a blog post or social media. Your blog post speaks to anybody. Your email speaks to specific people who like your content and were compelled to give you their email address. You should reward them for that by providing special content to them only.
“Email is so 90s though.” There’s a lot of data that suggest that email is still the best channel for building a loyal audience, and has the highest sales conversion rates. In short, it’s vital for building a thriving and profitable business.
But you have to get people on an email list in the first place. And you need something more than, “Join my email list and get my newsletter.” You need a special something that provides extra value in exchange for an email address.
Speaking of which, if you want to learn more about the “special something” that helps you grow an email list, register here for our free webinar Beat The Blogger’s Blues: Say Goodbye to Overwhelm and Learn How To Make Money From Your Blog in 8 Weeks or Less. Seats are limited!
Fix #5 – Partner with Others to Turn Your Blog into a Business
It’s a natural tendency to compare yourself to others. Susie’s blog is taking off while mine is sputtering out. Joe has 1,000 email subscribers in four months and I only have 500 in one year. The experts say stop comparing yourself to others.
Seriously, is that even possible?
I have a better solution. Partner with the people you admire. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Literally, I mean join forces with other bloggers, and leverage your collective knowledge.
There is no reason to be envious or jealous of other people’s success. Their success does not mean that you will fail. Just because Joe has more subscribers than you doesn’t mean that there won’t be any subscribers left for your list.
I subscribe to several online marketers—Amy Porterfield, Marie Forleo, and Michael Hyatt—to name a few. They all work in the same field and often talk about the same things. But they all come at it differently, and I learn something from each of them.
Turn Your Blog Into a Business With Friends
A better approach than thinking that everyone is competition is to partner with them, and grow further and faster together. I did this with Liz Wilcox, Julie Chickery, and Lindsay McKenzie. We’re all RV and travel bloggers, and we all write similar content, but we all have our own voice, strengths, and desire to help each other grow.
And that’s exactly what we did to build several products and services, including Blogging Camp—an in-depth, eight-week coaching program to help people turn their blog into a business.
Are you tired of working on your blog and getting nowhere? Sign up for our free webinar Beat The Blogger’s Blues: Say Goodbye to Overwhelm and Learn How To Make Money From Your Blog in 8 Weeks or Less. Seats are limited!
Feel The Fear And Blog Anyway
Turning your blog into a business takes commitment and the right mindset. Remember, those thoughts of self-doubt are just that—thoughts. They don’t have to guide your actions. You don’t have to feel good, smart, or important before blogging. You become a blogger by blogging and that means you have to work while having feelings of self-doubt and fear, not in spite of them.
Lastly, blogging takes work, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience, especially when you help others and are financially rewarded for the value you provide.
These 5 fixes might not be easy, but they are simple in their ability to turn your blog around, help you gain traction, and turn your blog into a business.
If you’re ready to turn your blog into a business, sign-up for our free webinar Beat The Blogger’s Blues: Say Goodbye To Overwhelm and Learn How To Make Money From Your Blog in 8 Weeks Or Less.
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This is Great! I can hardly wait! [for the Webinar]
Excellent tips Camille, just what we needed to help get MoJosTravels on the right course. It’s time to get off the fence and Wheel it on down the road to remote income!
Thanks Mark! Can’t wait to see you in the workshop and what you do with MoJos Travels. Love that you want to ‘Wheel It’ down the road 😉
Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been thinking I’m not good enough to write a blog. What would I write every week anyway? I can’t wait for the webinar to learn more of what I don’t think I know. ?
Hey Theresa you are not alone. I hear this concern all the time from bloggers. You will definitely get a lot of value from the webinar. See you there!
As always, I’m learning so much from you Camille! 🙂 LOVE this!
Thanks Stacy I’m glad you enjoyed it!
I am really looking forward to the webinar! I want to take my “The Traveling Firefighter” blog to new levels.
I used to think people would not be interested in my travels until one day a “why not” moment hit me when that thought crossed my mind again just as I was reading about someone else’s travels.
So it’s time for me to soak up more of your very useful information.
Thanks again for all of your help.
Hey Joe I look forward to seeing you there and helping you navigate your blog.
How in God’s name do you make that awful music keep coming back on, even after I’ve muted and muted my volume? Are you a sorceress of code?
Ha ha Dick, yes I am a sorceress of many things blog related 😉
I am trying to register for your 8 week program but each time I hit the link it states webpage not found. Can you help?
Hi Nicole – hmm not sure why that’s happening, but here are a couple of links:
I hope to see you there!
Thanks Camille! There are all where I’m stuck right now. But we’re trudging along adding more posts each week and looking forward to the Blogging Camp on the 9th! Bert and Lupe
Hi Bert I can relate to being stuck and trudging along. I did that for about 6 months to push through. I think you’ll get a lot out of the webinar and more clarity on how best to move forward. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Hello from Canada. Looking forward to the camp but wondering if the 8 week blogging course will still be open to sign up for on the 14th (payday…lol). I’ve been really stuck for the last 2 months. It wasn’t till listening to your interview with Kelsy Henery that I realized I am in an identity crisis. Wow , so much makes sense now. Time to “Just do It”! and let it happen whatever way it does. It is inspiring to hear, I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel qualified enough yet.
Hi Carol—thanks for listening to the Podcast and reaching out! I think many people, if not most, can relate to never feeling qualified enough. It’s like we set such high and unrealistic standards for what “qualified” actually means. Yes keep moving forward and see what emerges for you. As for the BloggingCamp webinar…I say come to that and see if it’s something you want to do. After, email me and I can make a note of your payday date. See you there!