Blogging and Beyond – The skies the limit

By Krysta Overton

 

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In the words of Barrett Strong:

The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees.

I need money. (That’s what I want)

While blogging can be a great outlet on several levels, allowing a writer to be creative and explore/share a world of different interests, blogging can also be profitable. Several bloggers around the world have parlayed their fun-filled hobby into a full-time profession allowing them to share their knowledge and experiences while also paying their bills. Can you imagine? The opportunity to do what you love, all the time, and your JOB is to write about it to the thousands of people who also find interest in what you love.

MIND…BLOWN!

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So how does one Jedi-mind trick the world into making this leisurely activity a profit mound of happiness? ALAS my friend, there is no get rich quick scheme in life or in blogging. Like all things worth doing, work is involved. BUT FEAR NOT, yours truly has a few helpful tips to get you in the right mind-frame if you think that this may be a long-term consideration for you and your blog.

There are blogs for literally everything under the sun. If there is a topic of interest and people willing to write about it, there’s probably a blog somewhere on the InterWorld (internet…if that was too far of a stretch) that has a few viewers willing to read it, even if its good old mom and dad. As we discussed in a previous blog, a big part of being “marketable” is finding a topic that a lot of people are interested in and find a unique way to approach it. There are THOUSANDS of food blogs in the world, but if my food blog doesn’t have something that gives it an edge from the others, then I can’t expect to be profitable. This system of thinking goes hand in hand with Blog Branding, or creating a brand that sets you apart from your competition. Think of major fast food chains (i.e. McDonalds, Burger King, and Sonic). They all sell burgers, but you know the different between them, and what they have that you prefer over other chains. It’s like that.

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For the sake of simplifying the steps, and because I am IN LOVE with Travel, the examples I’m going to provide with the steps are originated from Travel blog sites that can obviously translate well into any theme of blogging. Adam Costa with The Travel Blogger Academy, Amanda Hicken and her blog Beyond Bylines and one of my favorites, Nomadic Matt all have outstanding feedback on how to make blogging profitable. As always, I ENCOURAGE YOU to do your own research– Look into different sites and find a path that works for you. But for the time being, here are 5 steps for the road.

  1. PERFECT YOUR BRAND. As I mentioned… There are THOUSANDS of blogs on an assortment of topics in the world. When designing your site, finalizing your theme, and even before typing the words to write your first blog entry, remember that your brand is “Who you are” in the Blogosphere. Make it unique and make that count.
  2. KEEP YOURSELF IN CHECK. The point of blogging should not be to make money. If you lead with that approach, you are almost certain to lose your audience. People can tell when they are being ‘sold’ on something. If you love what you do, then keep your goals and expectations in line with that. If it’s truly marketable, then put in the time and effort into make it sellable. Doing the research and building your following are ways to do that, but in all things keep yourself in check and keep your expectations in line with the amount of work you are ACTUALLY putting into it. Remember- there is no quick way to building a brand.
  3. FIND YOUR AUDIENCE. I’ve learned through several avenues: several articles, Strategic Social Media courses, personal experiences, and face-to-face convo’s with those who know better, that there is such thing as TOO MUCH SOCIAL MEDIA. Having and knowing where your audience is is SO important. Having 9 different accounts all across the social media board, with majority of your followership only populating three is a waste of time. Focus on the areas that are popular and put your time and effort into that. Research other sites and see what they are doing that works well.

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  1. BALANCE IS KEY- There are different approaches to blogging. There is a strictly personal approach, and there is a research based/informative approach that can appeal to audiences. Consider a DIY blog for instance, one element is talking about your personal experience with the project. With that, you may add step-by-step instructions, picture guides, references, etc. which appeals to other interested parties. The more practice you have in this, the better you’ll be at aiming your site to be marketable. People google things all the time, so gearing your posts into what people are looking for is the best way to increase traffic.
  2. TRY, THEN TRY AGAIN. No matter where you start, it matters how you end. Never give up on blogging if you love to do it. If you never make a penny, keep at it! At the end of day, you have a beautiful recollection of all the amazing things you did, you made, you tried, you accomplished, etc. And that is pretty amazing.

This may be my last post on blogging, and it’s been a pleasure! Continue to pursue LIFE, whatever life means to you. Thanks for listening.

Costa, A.  2012. 3 types of travel blogs (and which pays best). Travel Blogger Academy. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://travelbloggeracademy.com/3-travel-blogs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-travel-blogs

Hicken, A. 2014. How to build your travel blog’s brand: Tips from the #LakeErieLove blogger tour. Beyond Bylines. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https://mediablog.prnewswire.com/2014/07/23/how-to-build-your-travel-blog-brand/

Nomadic Matt. (nd). Start planning your adventure here. Nomadic Matt. Retrieved from http://www.nomadicmatt.com/getting-started-new/

 

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism