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Once, blogs were for hobbyists and nothing more. It was unlikely that you could make a real business of your online efforts. In fact, the only chance you had of making money was through getting spotted and offered positions elsewhere. And that’s only if you were lucky.
Now, though, few people start a blog without money-making potential in mind. And that becomes ever more the case as hordes of people are making blog businesses work for them. In many ways, it’s the dream career. You get to work from home and share with the world the things which matter most. Who wouldn’t want to take that further?
In truth, though, blogging, like any business, isn’t all roses. As soon as you start making money from that thing you love, it’s sure to lose appeal in various ways. That’s not to say that it won’t still be the best job you can imagine. But, it’s crucial you also remain realistic about how life will be when you’re making money this way.
Failure to get a grip on these practicalities now will only damage your prospects in the long run. It’ll certainly mean you’re in for some unpleasant surprises along the way. But, what are these practicalities, and what will they mean for you? Read on to find out.
More demand means more uploads
Let’s start with an obvious one. More demand means more uploads. It’s a simple concept. The more content you post, the happier your audience will be. Also, uploading on a regular basis ensures that your site is deemed relevant by Google. That’s crucial if you want to branch out. The more relevant a search engine thinks you are, the higher in their ranking your site will appear.
So, uploading once a week may have sufficed in your hobby days, but that won’t be enough if things take off. In fact, at their height, the majority of blogs post at least once daily. You can skip the odd day here and there without consequence, but missing more could impact earnings. As such, it’s important not to think blogging is an ‘easy’ way out. In truth, once your reach business levels, you’ll be working full-time and more some days. As well as uploading posts, you’ll need to get on top of future ideas, branch into other platforms, and much more. When you take all that into account, it’s easy to see that your workload is sure to increase significantly.
You can’t do it all by yourself
Along the same vein, it’s crucial to accept that you may not be able to take this demand solely on your shoulders. As your upload schedule enters the fast track, trying to keep on top will become impossible. Hence why many bloggers turn to posts written by guest bloggers. As well as helping to diversify your content, these can tide you over on days where you don’t have anything lined up. The good news is, most bloggers will provide these without charge if you return the favor. So, not only do you get a blog from others you admire, but you also get your name seen on their site. It’s a win-win.
And, that’s not the only help you might need along the way. When things get going, you may also find that employment becomes a possibility. That’s not to say, of course, that you’ll need to employ teams of writers and so on. Few blogs reach that level of success. Even if you did get to that stage, it’s unlikely a lucrative step. After all, your audience loves YOU, not the people you pay to write your posts. But, employing a personal assistant might not be a bad way to go. This will be a massive help in keeping on top of your workload and also arranging meetings outside of your writing. What’s more, many personal assistants now work remotely. As such, you wouldn’t need to worry about providing a workspace. When the going gets tough, give this option some serious thought.
You have to do this by the book
As soon as you start making substantial money from your blog, the game changes a fair bit. The relevant authorities wouldn’t care about a hobby blog. But, they’ll soon spot an undeclared high earner. And, if you don’t do this by the book, you’ll quickly find yourself in big trouble. For one, you need to declare yourself as a business. Your blog may not be a traditional startup, but it’s a business all the same and must be registered.
It’s also crucial to note that increased earnings mean you’re likely liable to pay tax. This may not be the case for a while, but it’s important to keep an eye on things. As soon as you exceed the tax limit, you may have to backdate payments on what you’ve earned before now. Given that you’re new to this, you may want to turn to the tax services offered by companies like Brown Smith Wallace. This way, you’ll entrust your tax returns to professionals who will be sure to keep things official. Services like these can also help you budget your money to cover those tax payments. Admittedly, you will have to pay for the privilege. But, the cost will be a drop in the ocean compared to the fees you’d face if you got your taxes wrong.
You may still need to diversify
When money starts rolling, you may begin to think that you’re about ready to give up the day job. But, you may want to hold fire on that. In truth, the primary money-making potential of a blog is in the advertising. But, even when you start to see some success here, it can take a while to get your earnings up. On top of which, sponsorship work can be patchy and irregular. That can make this problem as a full-time undertaking.
That’s not to say, of course, that you’ll never be able to give up that job you hate, just that it may also be necessary to diversify in other areas. This could include offering outside services, such as classes or tuition. Many blog owners also opt to create ebooks and merchandise which can keep the money rolling. These provide backing when sponsorship deals are hard to come by. And that could make all the difference in months where you make a little less.
Sidelines like these may not be what you had in mind when you started, but remember that you’re a business now. As such, branding like this is essential to keep you afloat. Plus, branded merchandise is a fantastic way to get your name out there.
Not everyone will be nice
When writing for a small blog audience, it’s likely you got good comments and kind reactions. After all, your audience likely felt a personal connection to you and cared about your story. An inevitable part of growing a blog is that you’re going to get some haters. Online trolls don’t only target celebrities on Twitter. They also lash out at bloggers who have found some level of success. So, as soon as your name is out there, you’re at risk of some hatred.
The thing to do in this instance is roll with the punches. Success comes at a price, and it isn’t always pleasant. The positive comments will nearly always outweigh the bad ones anyway, so let it wash over you. One thing to keep in mind is that you should never raise to the bait. Don’t even delete these comments, just ignore them altogether. This is an instance where any move is a wrong move. Removing negative feedback could lead to a backlash. Responding in kind could tarnish your professionalism. Remember that this is an anonymous user behind a keyboard. You, however, are a recognizable brand and business. This kind of petty argument isn’t worth risking what you’ve built. And trust us; that’s precisely what you’ll do if you rise to the bait.
It may be harder to keep things fun
You started blogging because it was fun. In those first few months, it didn’t even feel like work. But, when the hours become longer and you have deadlines to meet, it’s easy to lose sight of why you wanted to do this in the first place. There will be days where you wish you could go back to the 9-5 where you didn’t need to worry. After all, owning a business is stressful, and a blog is no different.
But, on days when you feel like you want to pack it in, it’s essential to remember why you’re doing this. Yes, the hours may be long, but you’re doing something which matters. Plus, when you get into a routine with this, it’s a lifestyle which can fit around you. There’s a lot of work involved to start; there’s no getting around that. But, once you get ahead on your uploading schedule, you’ll find you have much more of the freedom you always wanted.