Even just ten years ago, most people thought of blogs as a way to vent their feelings or share updates with family and friends. They didn’t think of them as the business tools that they’ve evolved into today. Some people have turned their blog into their sole source of income—a full-blown business—and readers can’t seem to get enough. As more and more people have successfully quit their day job and become full-time bloggers, more and more people are longing and trying to do the same.
Whether you already have a blog up and running or are planning to start one and hoping to turn it into a source of income, there’s a lot you can do to make that happen. Wedding blogs are one of the most popular types of blogs out there, so if you’ve already got one started or are planning on getting one going, there’s a lot you can do to take it from a hobby to a full-blown business. Here’s how you can get started, attract attention to your blog, and turn it into your full-time gig.
Pick a niche – You’ve already chosen your topic—wedding—but your blog will do better if you choose a niche too. Your niche could be DIY wedding planning or weddings in a specific location. Whatever it is, by appealing to a specific, condensed audience, you’ll be able to better draw their attention and pick up followers.
Grow your audience – You have to have followers to make money with a blog. While you can earn some money with just a few, the more you have, the better. There are a few different ways you can grow your audience. One of the best is to market and advertise—get the word out about your blog. Another great way is to go to where your future readers are and interact with them.
For example, visiting forums and chat boards, then responding to questions from brides-to-be about the type of music they should play at their reception or where they should buy their wedding dress is a great way to create awareness and build your audience. You could share blog posts you’ve written about the best wedding songs or the top five wedding dress retailers in answer to their questions which will also help create authority.
Publish regular content – Another key aspect of growing your audience is publishing regular content. It’s important to have fresh, relevant, up-to-date content for readers and brides who are interested now and for those who will be interested later. By keeping your blog stocked with relevant content, you’ll be able to draw in more readers and grow your audience base which grows your potential to make money.
Incorporate your personality – Adding your personal touch to your blog posts is another way that you can attract readers and grow your audience. By making it uniquely you, you can build up a relationship with your readers who will become loyal followers, sometimes even after their wedding has passed. Offbeat Bride is a great example of a blog with a unique personality—rather than featuring traditional ideas, it offers real-life examples as well as ideas for unique weddings, from ceremonies with a Halloween theme to eloping.
Set up ads – After you’ve grown your following and built up trust with your audience, you can start to introduce ads on your site. You don’t want to spam your readers and lose the trust you’ve built up, but setting up Google AdSense or another ad service is a great way to start earning revenue from your blog.
Join affiliate programs – Another way to start monetizing your blog is to join affiliate programs. Programs like Amazon Associates are free to join and easy to use. You can add links in your posts to products listed on Amazon; if a reader clicks the link and makes a purchase, you earn a referral fee of up to 10 percent.
Find sponsors – Sponsored posts are another great way to monetize your blog and make money. After you’ve built up a decent number of followers, you can approach companies (or they may approach you) to mention their products in your posts in exchange for a certain amount of money. When doing sponsored posts, keep in mind that it’s best to only post about products or services you know and believe in—this will help you continue to build trust with readers.
Write an eBook or offer a course – In addition to ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate links, you can create digital products to offer and sell through your blog. You can offer a DIY wedding planning course or an eBook on how to survive the big day. The options are limitless.
Bring on an attorney – When launching a business of any kind, it’s important to be aware of and follow all laws, rules, and regulations. Having an online business, it’s even more important. The Internet can be tricky to navigate, so hiring a lawyer like Aaron Kelly who specializes in Internet and business law could save you time and money down the road whether with contracts or a legal issue.
Although monetizing a wedding blog may take some work, with effort and dedication, you could grow your hobby blog into a full-blown business and enjoy the be-your-own-boss life. Little things like ads, affiliate links, and sponsored posts add up fast, and you may find that you can quit your day job sooner than expected. What has been keeping you from monetizing your wedding blog?