Making a living from your blog is a possibility with which we’re all very familiar.
Darren told us about the time he woke his wife to show her the incredible amount of money they were making from his first ebook, Pat shares his remarkable income reports with us every month, and we watched Brian grow copyblogger from a blog into a robust company providing some of the best solutions for bloggers … ever.
These successes and more all have two things in common:
- They weren’t overnight successes.
- They built the opportunity to blog full-time for themselves.
If you want to be as awesome as them some day, you need to build the opportunity for yourself — no one’s going to hand it to you, that’s for sure.
If you’re not sure where to begin … don’t worry, you’ve probably already begun!
You’ve already started building the opportunity
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’re probably closer to that golden opportunity than you think … unless of course you still only have three readers after two years (if that’s the case, you may want to swing by the Feedback Friday series for some one-to-one feedback).
Building the opportunity isn’t about concocting some kind of secret backdoor into success … it’s about putting in the time and doing the work.
As a publisher, people look to you for your voice, information, insight, perspective, or personality. To deliver, you need to publish content regularly so people know you’re serious about publishing and that they can come back to discover more. Whether you’re publishing to explore a topic or to share what you know and help others, you need to create a consistent flow of content.
If you have an informational blog, consider researching what people are looking for so you can provide them with the content they want. If you have a different type of blog, consider paying attention to the most popular types of content you’ve published. If readers seem to be attracted to your “A day in the life” content every first Friday, publish that type of content every week. If people enjoy your interviews, do more interviews. If people share your crude comics, draw more comics!
Building Your Profile
Building your profile through interaction with your community is important, because it helps create a positive reputation. This not only helps you attract readers to your content, it also attracts other bloggers and pros in the niche.
Building Your Email list
You’ve heard it before — you gotta build your list. Not only does an email list help you build your opportunity, it also creates a direct connection between you and your readers. This means you don’t have to worry about your readers missing your latest update on twitter or overlooking your latest post in their rss reader.
Find the Business of your Blog
This is something I want to explore a lot more, because I think it’s something a lot of bloggers overlook when thinking about sustaining full-time. For most, blogging came before business, so instead of hitting you over the head with the fact that you should have thought about business before you began blogging, consider finding the business of your blog.
There are things you can do through pretty much any blog, including offering services or selling products … but I’m talking about finding what Chris Guillebeau calls “Convergence.” This is the overlap between what your audience is willing to pay for and what you offer in terms of your value. As a blogger, this might mean premium content, professional services, or products depending on your niche. Regardless of what it is, the important thing here is that you discover it.
If you’re like most bloggers and you started blogging before you became interested in business, you need to focus on this single line:
Find the convergence, and you find the business of your blog.
Take the Opportunity
Discovering convergence and building the opportunity will feel like cake when it comes time to take the opportunity, because like everything worth while, it’s difficult and scary and risky.
Knowing when to take the opportunity and run with it is up to you.
It might be best to ease into it while maintaining your primary source of income until you’re sure the opportunity is fully developed.
Image by pahudson