This is a guest post by Rick Nielsen.
Heard this oldie but goldie? “If you treat your business like a hobby, it will cost you like one. If you treat it like a business, it can pay you like one.”
I love that one. Why? Because that clever little cliché rings so true in the jolly ole world of blogging! Let’s look at the 11 sure ways to treat your blog like a business.
Before you begin, first ask: what is the purpose of my blog? If your answer is “just for fun with no intent of ever making a profit or selling for profit,” then bail on this blog post and head on over to Facebook to see what’s happening with your friends.
But if you want to make some blogging bucks and have millions of fans reading your stuff each day, these 11 tips are a must.
1. Be at The Office Every Day: Whether you are a full time or a part time blogger, you must emphatically keep to a schedule, just like a job. Bloggers often fail when they do not treat blogging as a job.
2. Create Deadlines and Stick with Them: Creating and following a content calendar builds trust with your readers. They know what to expect. They know when to return for fresh content. And they develop plenty of confidence to share your blog with their friends and fans. No one wants to refer a flaky blogger.
3. Eliminate Distraction: My distraction is another person’s motivation. You’ll have to figure what keeps you from being productive. However, some of the things that help me stay focused are turning off email, phones, Facebook, Twitter and the TV. Find what works for you, but email, phone and Facebook are definite concentration killers.
4. Do Your Research: Make sure your blog posts are filled with correct, accurate facts. Believe it or not, not EVERYTHING on the Internet is true! Use multiple sources to get your information and use your own personal experiences to make your post personal and engaging.
5. Hire an Editor: This is often overlooked, but SUPER important if you want the blogging world to take you serious as a professional blogger. Trust me, the investment is so worth it. I didn’t begin with an editor, but thank goodness I have one of the best in the business,Terri S Turner. It will pay big dividends in the near future!
6. Invest In Your Blog: Day after day I meet bloggers who are looking for the best FREE solution for their blogs. What? I just don’t get it! Why would you only look for the free solutions when we are talking about your livelihood? Whether it’s a WordPress theme, a plugin, design work or any other tool, free is not always the way to go. I’m not advocating spending like a drunken sailor, but sometimes you need to invest money in your blogging business. Here’s my best advice when making purchasing decisions, consider how the blogging tools move your business forward as well as the price of the tool.
7. Stop Overthinking: Blogging is not rocket science, which I hear is a bit tough. It’s more about helping your community. Create great, useful content the way you would like it presented and then run with it.
8. Measure Results: Use some of the most popular analytic tools to measure the progress of your blog. Start with Google Analytics. Remember, you can’t get where you are going until you know where you have been.
9. Tell the World: Believe it or not, many bloggers don’t even use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google + to share their own posts when they are published. Seems like a duh, but if you don’t tell your friends and fans about your posts, how do you expect anyone else to do it for you? Also encourage your friends to spread the word for you as well. Don’t be afraid to ask.
10. Reward System: Yes, we all like rewards! And you should set a reward system for yourself as well. Try something like this. If you complete your scheduled blog posts for the week, then treat yourself to a couple hours of golfing, shopping or whatever floats your boat. Yet, if you miss your deadline, be prepared to work Saturday morning ‘til noon. Consequences, my friend. If success is what you are looking for, implement a structure with checks and balances.
11. DO NOT QUIT: You WILL get better as a blogger the more you do and you WILL get more followers the more consistent you are. There are millions of dead blogs on the Internet because the blogger quit. Don’t go the way of the dead blog. Oh, and did I mention…DON’T QUIT!!!!!
Sure, I could offer tons more advice on what to do to run your blog more like a business, but in my two decades as a web trainer, these 11 tips have served me well. Always remember, the fundamentals of running a business have not changed over the last 200 years. A blog is no different. Enjoy blogging. It’s one of the greatest business models available to us today! Rock On!
Zuckerberg was toddling with his blankie when Rick Nielsen, TheWebTrainer, ventured into the World Wide Web. Now, nearly 20 years later, Rick’s passion to share his untold secrets for online success continues to grow. His motto: “Do it right, or go home!” Don’t know how? He’ll train you. A WordPress specialist, speaker, blogger and video expert, Rick has built more than 500 websites, trained thousands of business owners and is creator of TheWebTrainer.com, an online resource chock-full of advice to navigate the complexities of Web World (not Wally World) as easy as 1, 2, 3.