If you have or are thinking about starting a blog with the goal to make some money, you’ve probably heard that you need to “treat your blog like a business”. If you hadn’t yet, now you have. It’s all good advice, but how do you do that?
What it means to treat your blog like a business
Treating your blog like a business simply means that you don’t view it as a hobby, but more like a real job. It’s more a question of mindset than anything else because we know we don’t have the same commitments to our hobbies as we do our jobs.
Treating your blog as a business is when you are as serious with it as you are with your real job. You have a set time when you do and do not work, and you have deadlines to follow no matter what.
Just like with projects at work, you set deadlines for when your posts are to be published on your blog. You can’t only work “when you feel like it” on a regular job, and it’s blogging is no different. Since consistency is key for successful blogging, you need to set those deadlines and make sure you follow them.
Another important aspect is that no matter how unmotivated you are you still have to get up and go to work. You may HATE the idea of working some days, but you still need to do it, and blogging is just the same. I’d argue even more so in some cases because being sick is less of an excuse when you can work from home.
It also means that before you go on vacation you need to prepare accordingly. Just like how you can’t drop everything and leave for a 6-week holiday on a normal job, you can’t leave your blog like that either.
For example, this post goes live 11 AM local time Midsummer Eve, and I’m in the middle of a +3-hour car ride, unable to work. I had to prepare this in advance to make sure I could take this day off.
Ways to treat your blog like a business
So how do you treat your blog like a business then? As I said, although the way of thinking is the same as for a normal job, the way of working is different.
If you already are self-employed, you probably already know what I’m talking about, but feel free to read this as a reminder.
1. The right mindset
First and most important, you need the right mindset. Like I explained before, treating your blog like a business is like treating it like any other job.
You stay consistent, you do what needs to be done and you keep going even though you don’t want to at the moment. Even those days you want to stay in bed and watch Netflix you get up and get that post going.
You also keep going when things aren’t moving as fast as you’d like, and you see little to no payback. The reality is that blogging is a long-term game and you will have to work very hard for a long time before you see any results.
2. Plan and organize
You need to be as organized as you would a regular job, and maybe even more so. When blogging you need to be your own boss, which means that all the responsibility previously held by your boss is now yours.
So, you need to set your own schedule and hold yourself accountable to it. Create a work schedule, post schedule and decide when, down to the time of day, you will post. Then, make sure you stay consistent. It’s nothing worse for a reader to find valuable content from a blog but then not know when more is coming out.
I schedule everything in Trello which is a free online scheduling tool and you can sync your schedules between all your devices. I’ve also opened up my post schedule for you to take a look and check out what’s coming up next.
3. Have a professional site
This tip comes from Rachel at Define your hustle. She argues that if your site isn’t professional looking people won’t take you seriously either.
Think about it, if you were to go into a store or company building, you choose by how the exterior look, right? Unless you know the people working there and that they’re trustworthy, you would avoid sketchy and weird-looking places.
The internet is the same. We judge sites by how they look and if the design fits the type of brand we’re looking for. I mean would you trust a site that looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2002? Either invest in a premium theme or template or hire someone to design it for you.
Rachel also suggests making sure your photos are of high quality and to invest in a custom domain. Having the .wordpress, .wix, etc. at the end makes you look unprofessional and less serious.
Another advice from Rachel and also Cathrin from TheContentBug is to invest money into and back into your blog.
If you look at any legitimate business, they had to make an initial investment when starting and are continuing to invest their profit back into the business. Why? Because a business costs money to run and in order to grow more money you need that starting fund.
Cathrin wrote that in only two years of blogging she had invested around $1000 (about €900) into her blog, which included services like Tailwind and ConvertKit as well as a new computer.
Rachel advises making sure to use all the resources available, including paid ones. This can be e-books, courses or new equipment. Her suggestion to get a custom domain is another example. As she says:
“Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.”
5. Create an actual business
Business as in company.
In a post about the subject, ProBlogger suggests planning for making your blog into an actual business.
I said that you didn’t have to do this, and it’s still true, but as we’ve covered before, there are some legal benefits for doing so. Like how you and your business are two separate entities with your own laws and regulations. But as written in the post there is a security and integrity benefit as well.
Moving money and closing deals are now done in the name of the company, which means that you and your personal information like address and tax-ID are protected. All that goes through the company now.
And of course, we can’t forget about the tax benefits. As a company, you’re no longer abiding by individual tax regulations but are instead taxing as a company. This affects how your tax and how much you tax.
For example, in Sweden companies don’t have to pay VAT, which is 25%. As a company, I would also be allowed to deduct purchases made for my company from my taxes, like a new work computer or important software.
Treating your blog like a business can be one of the hardest parts of blogging, as it at times become more of a chore than the fun and easy side-hustle you initially thought it would be. But just like any other job, you need to pull yourself together and push through it because at the other end wait a reward greater than any paycheck could ever be.
Now I’d like to hear from you! Did you find this helpful and what do you think is the hardest part about blogging? Do you blog for fun or is it a full-on business? Share your thoughts and stories below!
From a post originally published June 21 on naemiansovald.com.