When you finally mustered up the courage to create your own blogging business, you’ll soon realize that it can get overwhelming especially if you’re new to the industry. There are too many things to learn, tools to use, and techniques to master. And to get started, it is important to develop your business plan.
Business plans are essential for any new ventures. A business plan will help you in many ways such as keeping and setting your goals right, avoiding possible obstacles for your business and helping with the business’ endeavors by clearing the path for you in the future. With this said, plans could benefit your blogging business in these specific ways:
1. Helps You to Plan Your Budget Carefully
Creating your blog requires for you to spend money. Overspending is one of the biggest problems in starting a business and is also a reason why some businesses fail. It’s easier to stick to the budget when it’s been carefully considered and added to the plan.
2. Makes You Take Your Blogging Business Seriously
There’s a sea of content that is available online, and if you don’t plan for it, you’ll be wasting a lot of energy that could’ve been saved if you take your blogging business seriously. This business is like a survival mode, and you need all the efforts you can give for you to be successful.
3. Guide You in the Future
Business plans’ main purpose is to guide and help you in the future. Planning could help you achieve your goals by following through your lists of short or long-term goal for your blogging business. Also, coming up with a plan helps you to avoid impossible problems you might encounter in the future.
How Do You Develop a Sustainable Blogging
Do Your Research
Often, your business idea has already existed for years, but this should not stop you from doing your thing. Through an intensive research, you’ll be able to get insights on what worked and what didn’t for some businesses.
Intuition can hardly ever be trusted especially when there’s much to risk. If possible, find people who can give you honest feedback even as harsh as they can. This is how you get your business idea to evolve and be able to figure out if it’s worth pursuing.
Having competitors is not always a bad thing. They are where you’ll mostly get ideas which you can use to leverage your way up against them. Don’t think that looking at your competitors makes you a copycat. Hence, you are only looking with eyes that are carefully analyzing their online efforts.
Know Your Audience
Before launching your blog remember to take note who your audiences are and what your audiences would like to see in your blog. According to the voice of Bailey Boat Cat, Louise Amy Kennedy, setting the tone for your blog is essential because this is what your loyal readers would come back for. What are their behaviors online? Where do they live? Your contents should be well thought of and planned to cater the kind of demographics of your targeted audience.
For your plan and business to succeed, you have to distinguish yourself in the marketplace. Mainstream ideas and contents are all over the net, and when you first build your blog, you are no different from them.
One of the first things to keep in mind when creating your blogging business is not to be categorized as “mainstream,” therefore, your plans should be thoroughly examined. Creating content that is unique and distinct should be your top priority.
Building a business is a risk, but with proper planning and execution, all will be well. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed at first but just remember to take a small step at a time when developing your blogging business plan. Start from square one until you reach that long awaited final step.
Be Specific in All Details
Bear in mind to always be specific in creating your plan. This is your guide and roadmap throughout your journey so in order not to get lost, include every bit of details you think is going to matter in the long run.
Include a Marketing Plan
Outline what’s happening in the industry and form a marketing plan according to your research.
Will you be using social media or are you going to rely on guest posting? Look for low-cost marketing tactics and plan your marketing strategies and create a budget that fits your needs.
Set a Realistic Timeline
Give things time to work. As much as it’s fun and exciting to set your business goals, don’t also forget to consider the time you would need for your business to achieve its aims. Being idealistic in developing your plans is not a problem as long as you keep in mind that your goals should also be achievable within the timeline you will set.
Developing a business plan may be a very challenging work, but don’t forget to relax and take it lightly. To fuel your motivation, always remember to have fun and take some time off. This will be your reward for all the hard work you put into your business plan.
For someone to be successful in this new venture, a robust and strategic plan should go along with the determination to create this new business. Now, a business plan is not something that you create along the way but is a must-do before jumping and risking your time for unclear results.
Building a blogging business is not just a destination you yearn for, it is a journey that requires thinking something through carefully. Sure, you are feeling motivated and feel that nothing can stop you, but without proper planning, your efforts won’t have a clear path on where to go.
A Blogger’s Guide to Selling on eBay
Blogging is fun, from starting one and driving lots of traffic to it before enjoying the results. However, you’ve probably outgrown being a blogger throughout all those years.
If you’re looking to doing more than just write posts on your blog, then this post is perfect for you.
Offering products and services is nothing new to some popular bloggers. Sometimes, it makes sense to sell products based on what your niche is about. Problem is, most bloggers aren’t sure where to host their new ecommerce business.
It is not advisable to open a store section on their website. This is because your readers are usually on your blog to read and gain information, not buy.
Here’s where looking at a dedicated marketplace comes in.
You can just add a store section on your website and redirect or provide a link to a selling page like eBay.
Benefits of selling on eBay as a blogger
Selling on eBay is a good starting point for a blogger-turned-ecommerce owner. Here are the reasons why:
- eBay is a high traffic channel
- People go to eBay with the main purpose of buying
- Their website is secure, responsive, and reliable
- There are various payment options available
- You can build your blog’s audience through their market
Of course, what you sell should be highly relevant to your blog if you want to maintain your brand. For instance, if you blog about mountain climbing then selling mountain climbing gears makes sense.
How to start your eBay store
Here’s a checklist for you to tick before you launch your new venture:
Create your store name and URL
Shoppers remember your store name. Mirror what your blog name is to what your eBay store’s name and URL. Your store name also becomes your URL which matters for Google.
Optimize your product description
Product descriptions matter for Google, too.
You will about what the product’s attributes are like size, color, and weight, but you can also attach some keywords to it.
Since you’re a blogger, you probably know the importance of using keywords in all of your posts.
Identify delivery method
If you sell physical products, do not forget to add a shipping method to all your product listings. Not all of your items’ size and weight are the same, therefore, the costs for shipping them may vary.
Good thing in selling on eBay is you can ship your products from the comfort of your home. But you can always look for third-party fulfillment service partner that can do the work for you.
You can offer free postage as well which does attract more eyes to your listing.
Know the potential costs
eBay offers up to 50 free listings per month but if you’ve used up all of those listings, you’ll have to pay for the extra. If you only have a few products to sell then this choosing this option is your best bet.
Here are the four main fees that eBay has for their sellers:
- Insertion fees
- Final value fees
- Listing upgrades
- Fees in select categories
Be wary of scammers
eBay seems to be the playground of a lot of online scammers. Sometimes, buyers claim to overpay for their products accidentally and ask for it back. And when you wire the money back, you’ll find that the transfer was a fake and the scammer ran away with your money.
Learn how to spot scammers and remember these things at all times:
- When you are selling to someone you don’t know, it is better and safer to accept cash or credit card payments. Don’t just accept checks or money orders immediately.
- Never accept overpayments and people claiming to send what seems to be an invisible transfer to your account
- When meeting with a buyer through a local pick up, choose a place that is safe and accessible to the public. Never ever invite them to your home.
Focus on customer satisfaction
Your customers are the people you want to build trust and rapport with. Always keep your focus on satisfying your customers. For example, you can include handwritten messages or a small token on your product boxes.
There is one business called HEX that could build their customers’ loyalty through personalized thank you notes.
Respond to all feedbacks
How do you know if you have happy customers?
It usually shows in their comments and feedbacks.
You must address all feedbacks, good and bad, at all times. When people make the effort of leaving a review on your eBay store, never leave them hanging.
You should always thank people who gave you good reviews and recommended your products.
Reviews that criticizes your products can give you an insight on where to improve.
Mention your store on your blog posts
Even though you plan to sell on eBay, your blog’s audience is definitely your target buyers too. Don’t miss out on mentioning on some of your blogs you sell products they may be interested in.
Don’t go overboard and keep your sales talk on the side and not your main goal.
For example, you can have a few lines on your posts that talks about a specific gear you sell, you can just hyperlink your product’s URL and mention some of its features.
Remember that your readers are still on your blog to be informed and not to be sold to.
Selling on eBay as a blogger is tough but rewarding
Jason Acidre, owner of Avaris.io once said, “With eBay’s free listing option, it never hurts to open up a store even when you’re committed to a full-time blog.” For more information about selling on eBay here’s a guide for you to sell with confidence.
Just know and understand that the market is different and how you market your product is going to be different from how you market your blog.
Simple Link Building Ideas that All Bloggers Should Do
Ah, link building. It’s a real pain in the ass.
I won’t lie – link building is a tedious and time-consuming process of acquiring backlinks from authoritative websites so you can increase your organic search ranking for your target keyword.
This reason, unfortunately, is also what makes link building a vital part of your marketing strategy. You need to actively find websites where you can leave a link to your blog so you can drive more referral traffic from organic search.
“It is necessary for enhancing the SEO of any website because Google’s algorithms consider backlinks to be important ranking factors for rankings,” says SEO Resellers Canada. “It is a difficult and time-consuming process, which is why it is recommended to get it done by SEO experts.”
As a blogger, you probably don’t have any clue where to begin. After all, you’re all about writing content alone!
However, there are simple link building ideas that you can implement on your blog even if you have zero SEO experience.
In this post, I will detail the different link building ideas that you should start doing for your blog.
Optimize your content for target keyword
As a content creator, you need to make your posts the best they can possibly be. That includes optimizing their on-page factors to make your content found much easier on search engines.
To do this, you need to find the most appropriate target keyword for each post.
Assuming that you haven’t optimized your blog content yet with the right keyword, you need to find the search phrase that encapsulates what you have written about the topic. At the same time, you need to find a target keyword that people search on Google the most.
Striking the balance between both factors will help increase the chances of your blog post to rank for its keyword and attract more organic traffic.
Not to mention, you wouldn’t know which anchor text you’ll use to link out to your posts. Doing so allows you to further optimize your site and makes it easier for people to find on search engines!
To help you identify what keywords to target, Ubersuggest will not only help you find keyword ideas from your initial search, but it will also show the approximate search volume of each. It’s the first free SEO tool that reveals search volume outside of Google Keyword Planner, which only shows the range of volume search a keyword gets every month.
The information provided by Ubersuggest will help you find specific keyword phrases for your content with the most search volume. As a result, you not only increase your organic search traffic but also set the foundation of your link building strategy.
Part of being a blogger is forming relationships with other bloggers.
Doing so opens up your blog to more opportunities for your blog. You can collaborate with other bloggers on a blog post, join roundup posts where bloggers feature your answer to a particular question related to your expertise and many others that will help elevate your brand and drive more traffic to your site.
To get to this stage in your blogging career, you need to comment on the posts of bloggers.
And I don’t mean, “Thanks for this post!” kind of comments. You need to actually share insights that help move the discussion.
The best blog posts help engage with their respective audiences and encourage them to comment on what they think about the post. Some comments can even go as long as a blog post due to the sheer value and information that the user shared in his/her comment.
So where link building fit into commenting on blogs?
When commenting, you can include a link to your blog when filling out information about yourself before typing out your comments. The anchor text will be the name that you entered in the form, so when people click on your name, they will be led straight to your blog. This form of link building is a great way to increase awareness about your blog by association with your name.
If you want to link to your blog posts, you can include a link to it in the comment body. Normally, you paste the URL of your blog post after introducing to readers about your post that helps you explain the talking points in your comment.
That said, you can’t just link out to any random post on your blog. The page you plan on linking to in your comment must be relevant to readers so the blog owner will approve your comment and not flag it as spam.
For maximum effect, you need to comment on at least five blogs a day. It will help you become more visible in the blogging community especially if you’re sharing super actionable ideas and insights. At the same time, you can build links to your blog and posts if done correctly!
Related: 5 Tips for Better Blog Commenting
Use Drop my Link
As mentioned, link building is a thorn in my side as a blogger. I hate it. And yet I’m compelled to do it because it’s a crucial piece of the puzzle in my blog marketing strategy.
What grinds my gears about link building is the thought process that goes into coming up with a sustainable link building campaign.
To maximize the effect of your link building efforts, you need to organize the different tactics that you will use on top of the research that you will have to conduct to find opportunities that you can capitalize based on your competition.
Just typing out how to come up with a link building strategy is already tiring me out!
HOWEVER, there’s a way around all this process:
While there’s no doubt that developing a campaign using different and effective link building tactics is the best way to go, some bloggers don’t need a sophisticated plan to be easily found on Google.
All they need is Drop My Link.
Upon signing up for a free account, all you need to do is type your keyword and choose the category and footprint to reveal hundreds of link building opportunities for your blog from Google Search.
Whether it’s writing guest posts, commenting on blogs, acquiring links on resource pages, and more, Drop My Link takes away the guesswork from your link building. You can get straight to the meat by identifying sites where you can, as the name of the site says, drop your link!
Wrapping it up
It’s okay if you hate link building. However, you can’t hate it because it’s difficult to do. After all, if link building is easy, then everybody would be doing it!
The tips above should help get your feet wet on how to build links to your blog. Whether you’re a newbie blogger or just really lazy when it comes to building links (such as myself), then follow the ideas above and make the most out of your blogging.
How to Make Blogs from Boring Niches Interesting
Boring niches are a big pain-in-the-neck for writers. Not only are they tiring to write about, but they also lead to lower traffic.
Imagine writing a blog about metal work and flooring. Sure, there are things to write about, but it would mostly be technical stuff.
HOWEVER, it doesn’t have to be the case!
There’s a way around that, and it’s all about finding a way to make your content interesting for your target readers. When you do, you’ll be surprised that the niche you’re writing for isn’t that boring!
Read on to know how to make your “boring” niche blog appealing!
Creating content is all about understanding your target audience’s wants regardless of your niche. Here are the best ways to spruce up your content and make a niche interesting:
1. Write in First Person
Individuals do the writing, not the company. This is where most blogs got it wrong. Write in the first-person to connect efficiently with the customers. It isn’t natural to say “we” when you’re the only one writing. Say “I” instead — common sense, I should say!
An excellent example of this is Fiskarettes, a company that makes scissors, paper cutting tools, and gardening equipment. They didn’t settle for just that as they mingled with their community of customers.
This enabled them to have taglines that commonly use the word “you” to have a more personalized connection with their customers. Though this sounds simple, using the right choice of words, in this case, pronouns, has a significant effect on your business’ salability.
Give a personalized approach to your clients or readers to improve your connection with them. Also, encourage your customers to be active in the community just like what Fiskarettes did. It’s all about socializing with them, and that’s what makes their boring niche interesting.
2. Tell a story
Storytelling is a powerful tool that can make your boring niche interesting. Think of it as a dynamic strategy that motivates the reader to finish the entire article. Stories like a failed launch, a five-year-slump, or a rags-to-riches story are fascinating to read. Sprinkle these stories on your blog, and you’ll surely get more traffic.
Salesforce is a good example of a business that uses the power of storytelling to capture people’s attention. It’s a blog that gives social media tutorials. However, it does more than that as it does it by diversifying their content.
They create how-to guides, do expert interviews, and come up with case studies which create “fluidity” in their content. Readers are then curious and motivated enough to continue reading up to their heart’s content.
Telling a story makes your content easy-to-read. Be straightforward and describe a product or issue in the simplest way possible. Strip away all the technicalities and explain it as it is. What it is, how it works, and the benefits you can get are the essential parts of an article. Also, inject a bit of fun to lighten up the mood.
3. Provide statistics
Providing statistics makes something look big. Describing how a hydroelectric power plant works won’t get you lots of readers. But if you said that this hydroelectric power plant could power 5 million homes, then that would surely capture people’s attention. Look for huge points and make a big deal out of it.
Kogan, an online electronics store draws inspiration from this strategy. They have a gimmick where they tax a client if it’s found out that they’re using Internet Explorer.
Though they don’t use numbers, it’s evident that many people can attest to the “inefficiency” of the browser.
Technical blogs are full of “unrelatable” information for common people. You can solve this problem by using stats. Find a statistic of a certain issue and use it as a title. “How One Article Got Viewed 1M Times Through Facebook” will capture everyone’s attention even if the content features a lot of technical information. Graphs, inside information, and tables are also sure-fire ways to make your readers interested.
4. Get a personality
Blogs that talk about tech, finance, and B2Bs are the less attractive of niches. The reason is that bloggers think that these areas are exclusively for their readers — tech enthusiasts, analysts, and entrepreneurs. It then becomes an “undecipherable” article that only a few people can understand. Little do they know that there are also other people who want to learn from it!
Ukelele Hunt is a site that’s all about ukeleles. And we all know that not everyone is into ukes! So what they did was that they developed their personality.
They have their distinct theme and vibe that you’ll only find in them. They also have their blog, tutorials, chord guides, reviews, and even eBooks — all with the Ukelele Hunt brand.
Talk in a personal voice, but don’t sacrifice professionalism. You can be professional, but don’t be too formal, rigid, or stiff. Talk like how a person talks to another person. Share real-life examples if needed, and always write with attitude and emotions. This gives your blog post a more personal touch to it.
Also, make your blog interactive. It makes your blog appealing. Engage with your readers and make them participate in your blog. You can do this by having viewing options where your readers can change how they want to read your article. It could be a slider, read more button, or call-to-action popups.
Content is the lifeblood of blogs, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the only important thing. Web design also plays a huge role in a blog’s attractiveness. Make sure that your blog isn’t overly stuffed with unnecessary buttons and features. Keep it simple but sleek, compact but jam-packed with useful features. The header, content area, footer, and sidebar are all you need. Also be up-to-date with the latest web design trends.
Take for example Elite Legal Marketing, a digital marketing firm that specializes in web design, SEO, and content production. Their site features all these characteristics.
This makes the blog user-friendly, attractive, and more likely to get more leads. Their site entices people to avail their services even if the niche they’re specializing in isn’t that popular. It’s not about the niche; it’s about how you use that niche to your advantage!
Leave a mark on social media
You’d be missing out a huge market if you won’t use social media. There are 2.5 billion active social media users, and each of them can be your follower. Using social media makes your blog reachable, knowing that almost everyone is into it. Promote your content on targeted channels where your audience is found. Doing so makes follower interaction and acquisition easier.
Take for example Fractl, a content marketing agency that uses social media to rake in higher traffic. They have this strategy called “tangential” marketing where they write about things that aren’t offered by the business. Surprisingly, they get lots of social shares, proving that the content is interesting. This enables them to expand and make their niche more attractive.
Your niche might not be that popular, but you can use that to your advantage with the help of social media. You have fewer competitors when promoting a blog who’s niche isn’t that entertaining. Let’s say you have a blog that sells different kinds of cactus. You then create social media accounts on different networks. Getting followers and clients is a piece-of-cake. It’s easier for you to penetrate the market because there are not many cactus businesses online.
Everything is possible if you know how. Boring niches might be “irredeemable,” but with the help of this article, you can turn it into something more interesting. Just remember to write with attitude, be professional, and be creative as possible. A good example would be to adapt to the niche market and audience. Know what they like and give it to them. When you do, then your blog will surely gain traffic (lots of it).
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