When I started out blogging nearly ten years ago, it was just as a hobby really. I was on maternity leave with my first baby and was looking for something to do in the downtime. I didn’t have masses of ‘mum’ friends, so it was something to do to document the journey. In fact, it was this way for a number of years. I had no idea about making money blogging, but when I got my first email for paid work, and got more involved in the blogging community on social media, things have grown and grown.
There are many bloggers that I see that have then ventured into other things. They have been able to take their digital space and make it into something bigger. One classic example is Deliciously Ella. She started a food blog ten years ago and is now a best selling cook book author, owns a deli in London, and has a range of plant-based foods and snacks on the market to buy. It is pretty incredible what you can do with a blog, once you’ve got a following and there is demand for what you do.
Another example I can think of is the author of ‘The Martian.’ It started out as a blog, releasing a new chapter each week. It got turned into a novel and then made into a movie with Matt Damon in the leading role.
Now, I’m not going to say that this is something that every blog will be capable of, because it isn’t. But there are a number of things that you can do with a blog once you have one, to turn it into a business and bring your following along with you.
Blog to Business Ideas
Write a book
One of the most common business ideas you will see from bloggers is that they get a book deal. I have seen this on differing scales from UK bloggers that I follow, from a cook book to a poem book, to memoirs and funny books about parenting. If you have a certain following and are represented by a talent agent, then you’re likely to have someone approach you to see if you would be interested in making a book. But if you’re a blogger with a book idea, then there would be no harm in approaching a publisher yourself.
One other thing that you could do along these lines, is to make an eBook that can be sold via your own blog. With many eReading devices, this can work quite well. It will just depend on your following, and marketing efforts, as to how much you would actually be able to make from it.
Create a product
When you have a loyal following that are interested in what you do, creating a product that would work for them can be ideal. This could be something that is sold through your blog, or perhaps something that you want to market separately. Going to trade shows and getting your own portable exhibition stands could be important for new products to display and attract attention. If you’re able to pitch it and get it into a retailer, then even better! I think starting online can be a good idea if you’ve been a blogger, and then go from there.
Create Online Courses
If you are somewhat of an expert on your industry, whether that is from your cake making and decorating blog or perhaps something else, then you could look to make a course that you can sell online or run online with classes. This could be something like cake decorating as mentioned, and I know of two bloggers that I follow online that have created colour classes for fashion and dressing, where your ‘colour’ is assigned, depending on your skin tone etc (so whether you’re an autumn, winter, spring, or summer). When you have some online clout, this can be a good idea and add another aspect to your blog.
There are a number of bloggers that start out with just a blog, but then move into freelance copywriting, working as a social media manager for brands, and doing things like blogger outreach part-time for brands and PRs. This is something that can add another string to your bow, and make a big difference to your employability, as well as mean that you can expand your own freelance business.