Treat your blog like a business, because it is
One of the big mistakes I see new bloggers making is they fail to treat their blog like a business. If you’ve started a money making blog, than you should be running your blog as if it were an online business. Why? Because it is. Many new bloggers start a blog on the promise of earning money. They make the mistake of thinking they can start a blog, publish a few articles and suddently begin earning hundreds of dollars a month. Unfortunately, this mindset is far from the truth. Growing a blog to the point where you can earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month takes a tremendous amount of hard work and, as I’ll discuss in detail, a business focused mindset. To be successful, you must treat your blog like a business.
Treating your blog as a business
Treating your blog as a business involves:
- Providing high quality and varied content
- Having a vision and plan
- Tracking your income and expenses
- Doing marketing and promotion
- Hiring and managing staff
- Making constant day to day adjustments
Remember, you are the owner and CEO of your blog and in order to make it successful you must do all of these things and do them well. How often and how well you do each of these is directly proportional to how quickly your blog will grow.
I put “providing high quality and varied content” first for a reason:
You can do everything else perfectly, but without high quality and varied content, your blog won’t grow. http://bit.ly/XO548K – @larryecm – Click to Tweet
Just like any normal business, if you don’t provide a service or product that your customers will consume, nobody will visit your business. On the other hand, and also just like a real business, you can have the best content on the web for your niche but if you fail to do the other items above nobody will know about your content or if they do, their experience when they arrive at your site may not be good. Doing all of the above, with a primary focus on providing great content is the optimal combination.
A few examples
Here are just a few examples of some common mistakes I see new bloggers that fail to think of their blog as a business seem to make:
- Posting great on-topic content for the first week or two, then sharing a story about their visit to the park with their kids that has nothing to do with their blog. Don’t get me wrong, sharing a personal story on your blog can be great, BUT only if it’s tied into the topic of your blog. Even worse? I’ve seen a few bloggers post these huge rants about their friends or neighbors that was completely off-topic. Doing this a few times won’t kill you, but do it too much and you’ll lose readers, quickly.
- Failing to realize that all of that income you’re getting is taxable. Embarrassingly, this particular example was me. The first year my blog earned income, I was so excited. The more I earned, the more I optimized my income and added additional income streams. I literally made close to $3000.00 my first year. What I failed to consider was that the income was taxable and I would have to report it on my taxes. Reporting income was no problem, I had W-2s, but I wanted to reduce that taxable income, so I spent almost a week pulling together numbers for all of my expenses for deductions. The next year, I tracked it to the utmost detail to make it much easier.
- Over the past 5 years, I’ve seen many blogs come and go. I’m not sure exactly why, but if I were to guess it’s one of two things: Lack of vision and planning, and misunderstanding how much work blogging really entails. The internet is a constantly moving and changing place, and those that lack vision and planning for their blogs will be caught off guard and ultimately fail. This has been particularly evident with the recent Google Panda search engine changes. Many of us saw significant decreases in search engine traffic For those of use that had a plan, and multiple streams of income, we fussed, fumed, complained and moved on. Those that didn’t have a plan, quit.
Of course these are just a few small examples of the many I’ve seen and unfortunately personally experienced. Regardless of how much you plan, and how much experience you have, you’ll develop your own list over time as you blog and strive to earn an income.
I’ll be publishing more detailed articles on each of the items related to treating your blog as a business over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out.
Photo by: tinou bao