A lot of people start a wordpress hobby blog to write about their personal journey. Whether it’s a new event in their life, the latest product they’re loving at the moment or talk about current events. And there’s been plenty of stuff going on in this world to talk about lately, hasn’t there?
What these bloggers may not realize is that they are sitting on a great opportunity to make a living as a blogger simply by turning their hobby blog into a business.
I’m not saying the money will start to pour in as soon as you’re open for business so to speak. Like any business, it will take time.
But if you have a passion for what you’re blogging about and it can be helpful to others, why not making it a legit biz and make some money?
Turning a WordPress hobby blog into a full-fledged business is not hard to do.
If you have a blog set up, you’re more than half way there. All it takes are minor tweaks like the ones I’m about to go over with you and you’ll be set to monetize your blog!
How to Turn Your WordPress Hobby Blog Into a Full-Fledged Business
The first thing you want to do is move from a free WordPress.com platform to wordpress.org.
You will need to register with a hosting company. A popular one is Bluehost* and right now their web hosting packages start as low as $3.95 a month.
The next thing you’ll need to do a migration. That’s just a fancy word from exporting and importing your content and images from wordpress.com to your new self-hosted site.
If you want to do it yourself, there’s a great step-by-step guide on elegantthemes.com for migrating from wordpress.com to worpress.org.
Or if you would rather have someone do this for you, check out Virtual Bren for affordable migration services.
Once you’ve got your hosting company and your migration is complete you can upload your theme and configure WordPress settings.
If you were using a free theme on your wordpress.com site, check out Elegant Themes*. They currently have a great promo going – WordPress themes starting a $1!
Recommended Reading: Here’s An Exclusive How-To Checklist For New WordPress Bloggers
Now that you’ve got your self-hosted WordPress blog set up, now it’s time to take a look at your content.
You might have just written down what your thoughts were as a hobby blogger but now it’s time to take your content to the next level.
You still want to keep the same tone you were using as before. And you still want to be the awesome storyteller you are.
The only thing that’s going to change is now your content will help your visitors in some way or offer a solution to a problem they might have.
Let me give you an example. Before you may have blogged about how your mornings are now smoother and you’re as happy as can be.
Now you’re going to take it further. By explaining how you did it, what products used and how it can help your visitors, too.
Recommended Reading: 4 Tips To Become an Enthralling Story Teller
And speaking of content…
Put Some SEO In Your Content
You may have just been writing down your thoughts onto a blog post but since your blog is now your business, you have to be strategic when writing your content.
That means making sure your content is formatted for SEO (search engine optimization). And the reason why you want to do that is so that your blog is on the first page of search engine results. Not just the first page but at the very top of the list!
So if you want your posts to be found, you’ve got to put some SEO in your content.
It might sound hard but it isn’t.
This plugin makes sure you have all the right elements in place so the search engines can recognize your blog posts.
This plugin tells you if you have the right amount of content, whether you’re you’ve got the right keywords and if your post is readable. And what I love about it is that it pinpoints exactly where in the content you need to edit.
Now let’s go over how you can create the ultimate blog post.
If your current format is plain paragraphs, it’s time to step it up. Be sure to use H1 and H2 subheadlines. A sub-headline introduces a new section to your blog post and what it’s going to be about.
You also want to use attention-grabbing titles and images.
And finally, include a call to action statement at the end of your post. It could be to opt-in to your mailing list, asking for visitors to share your blog post or starting conversations by encouraging visitors to leave a comment.
Recommended Reading: 4 Ways To Give Your Content Some Oomph
You blog is also going to need some pages to attract clients and showcase your work.
You probably have one already but in case you don’t, you should have a Contact Me page. It would also be a good idea to have a contact form on a blog post (if it calls for one) or advertising page.
The goal is to make it easy for visitors and potential marketers or advertisers to easily contact you.
If you plan on accepting sponsored/guest post or if you want to sell ad space, you’ll want to set up an Advertisement page on your blog.
Be sure to list the advertisement possibilities you offer along with guidelines, rates as well as your blog and social media stats.
If you’re blog includes or will include offering services or selling a product, you should include a testimonial page to show potential clients what other clients have said about working with you.
I would also recommend creating a page for a media kit.
A media kit is a great way to showcase your blog’s best like social media stats, popular posts and brands you’ve worked with.
You don’t have to make one from scratch either. Hip Media Kits* offers affordable templates so all you have to do is plug in your data, save it and post it on your blog.
If you’re going to sell a product you should have a squeeze page to promote it. A squeeze page is a page on your website that specifically prompts visitors to take a certain action. Whether is to purchase your product or to sign up to download a free gift in exchange for their email address.
When you create a squeeze page, make sure it’s free of banner ads and other distracting images and content. The headline, content and image should focus only on what you want your squeeze page to accomplish.
If you do a search for squeeze page templates you’ll find there are plenty of options to choose from. I did a quick search and found Template Monster. They have affordable, nicely designed squeeze page templates for less than $20.
Another important disclosure are the terms and condition of use. This document will let visitors know what they can and cannot do on your blog or website like copy your content, images, etc.
Finally, you should have a disclosure to explain how you are compensated on your blog or website. For example, whether you accept paid content, post sponsored content, etc.
When I was looking for help to put these documents together it was wayyy out of my budget. So I took the time to make a template for my blog.
I have noticed there are some sites that still don’t have these legal disclosures posted so I’m adding these templates to my list of products and it’s not going to cost you hundreds of dollars!
All you have to do is make some minor tweaks to tailor it to your blog and you’re ready to go!
Click here to get to the products page of my other site corinaramos.net.
What Comes Next
That’s right, dear reader, you’ve only just begun.
After you’ve got your blog set up and ready to make money now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
There are different ways to monetize your blog but they all require but in order to be approved for things like sponsored campaigns, there are things you have to do.
First, you have to promote your content to drive traffic to your blog to get your pageviews and total sessions up.
Then have to start building a community. That means engaging with your fans and followers on your blog and on social media. It also means connecting with other bloggers to network with and learn from.
Another thing you have to do is increase your reach, meaning increase your followers on social media.
There’s one more thing you have to do and that’s create a blogging plan. This will help you put goals and action plans together to visualize what you’re going for and how you’re going to get there.
Recommended Reading: How to Make Money On the Side (While You Wait On Your Blog to Monetize)
Over to You
Those are the tweaks you need to make to go from hobby blogger to professional blogger. I know it sounds like a lot so if you need help, I’d be more than happy to assist!
How did your blogging journey begin? Tell us in the comments below!
If you know anyone who could use these suggestions, please share this post with them.
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