I’ve written a bit before about the business side of blogging, but a question I’m often asked is how to get serious with your blog. Because I work in the industry as well as blog in it, I’ve had people come to me a few times to find out how they can start earning money and getting more serious with their blogs. Here are a few tips on getting started on being more serious and taking your blog from hobby to jobby (that didn’t work, did it?!):
Get your own domain & hosting
Number one thing I’ll recommend to any blogger – get your own domain name and hosting! It seems a little confusing and I was lucky to have people help me set it up at work, but fortunately there are super easy ways out there to get set up too like Bluehost. Having your own domain name not only looks good, but opens you up to so many more paid opportunities as it looks so much more professional. Self hosting isn’t entirely necessary but is a really good option to consider – again, it opens up new opportunities as companies often look for self-hosted, and it gives you a lot more freedom with your blogging. If you want to be serious, don’t stick with Blogspot or WordPress domain.
Get some business cards
Again, this is a move that makes you look really professional. People think it’s a hassle to get them, but you can either make and print your own (although be prepared to use up lots of paper and ink!) or you can design them and get them printed online by services like Where The Trade Buys. It’s definitely worth having them though as at the first event I went to, people were handing out business cards left, right and centre and I was there with a pen scribbling my (Blogspot!) domain on bits of paper!
Sort out your design
If you’ve moved from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress like I did, you’ll find this so much easier to do! WordPress gives you a lot more freedom in making your design look consistent, professional, unique and put together. You can buy really good value designs from places like Pipdig (that’s where mine is from) and make your own tweaks until you have something that suits you.
Get consistent across social media
Making sure your social media presents a good face for you is really important because, as I’m sure all bloggers know, that’s where a lot of our traffic comes from and where we interact most. It depends on what’s right for you, but making sure you’ve got a cohesive sense of you on your social media, maybe a theme to your imagery or the same profile picture across all accounts, is a good way to get ahead. Also make sure not to spam your own links too much!
What are your top tips for getting serious with blogging?