Today marks one year since we launched the Business of Blogging course! It has been such a joy teaching in the class monthly – I just love helping people turn their passion into a business. To celebrate today, I’ve compiled a list of what I think are the 18 most important tips to building a blog that is profitable and sustainable. What do you think is the most important one?
1. Do awesome work. In the business of blogging class we talk about how important creating awesome work is for any blog. Whatever your niche, whatever your passion – be awesome!
2. Create unique content. Reinvent the wheel and think outside the everyday things your readers already know. Finding unique ideas and never before seen concepts will really propel your blog forward.
3. Develop blogging mantras so you will know quickly if new opportunities or ideas line up with what you want your blog to be.
4. Be nice to everyone you meet. Speak kind, encouraging words often and make as many friends as you can. The more connected you are to the blogging world, the more good the world will be to you – I promise.
5. Abide by the “unspoken rules.” Get to know how bloggers generally handle linking, comments, re-pinning and quoting – work within these bounds. No one wants to work with a content thief – so no matter the platform, be above board and always credit your blog photos correctly!
6. Post consistently but not predictably. This is a wobbly line I know, readers want to know what to expect from you – but they also like to be surprised.
7. Keep an editorial calendar. Planning out posts is one of the most important parts of blogging for me, it keeps me on track with my vision, goals and ideas and helps me from not being too overwhelmed by the daily commitment that blogging has become.
8. Help others out. Host a resource party, or email friends you’ve made and figure out ways you can help each other to achieve your goals.
9. Act like a business. Once your personal hobby moves into stat counting, cpm’s and other tech terms, realize you’ve actually started a business. Begin early to establish it well, the IRS will thank you later.
10. Freelance. I wrote an entire post on this before. Freelancing in your niche can allow you the experience and monetary gain to really build a successful blog. If you want to be big, start by working for others.
11. Make a brand statement. Different than a mission statement, a brand statement will guide your blog to the creative place you want it to be. Start by pulling out a piece of poster board and add in colors, textures, themes and ideals that you want your site to maintain. Use this to discern post topics, series and goals for your site.
12. Build a pretty site. Use some of my 5 favorite plugins, or find a creative theme to make your site a pretty (and functional) one to visit.
13. Be active on Pinterest. If you want to build a blog you should be actively and on brand pinning every single day.
14. Hire the right help! When your blog gets too big, or your jobs to much to handle alone don’t be afraid to hire on help, but make sure it is the right fit for your site and brand. Here is my word of caution for working with your spouse.
15. Become a professional photographer. To be successful in todays visually overexposed world, your photography needs to be professional. If you are not an amazing photographer, hire or trade work with someone who is.
16. Go outside your comfort zone. Be willing to try out new ideas – some will fail for sure and a few might take off for you, but you’ll never know if you don’t jump off a few cliffs along the way.
17. Don’t burn out. Take screen breaks (like a whole day of the week – yes, I’m serious), walk away for a day and gain inspiration outside of the blogging world, here are 8 offline places to find creative inspiration.
18. Persevere. Blogging is hard (blogging is a lot like dieting!), and in the end, the sites that will be successful are the ones who persevere and do the hard work over time.