Today I’m heading to the annual Problogger conference.
Yes, my non-blogging friends, there is such a thing. This is the sixth conference for bloggers looking to create a business or an income around their blog.
I wasn’t at the first one in 2010 but I’ve attended ever since.
I remember following the first event roll out on Twitter and getting even more excited about this industry or profession that I’d accidentally fallen into.
Tomorrow about 700 delegates – mostly bloggers – will descend on the Gold Coast for two days of learning and networking.
Not all will have an established blog business. Many will be attending for the first time and looking for solid tips on how to build a business around their online platforms.
I often get asked if you could start a blog tomorrow and build a business from it.
I say yes you can.
It’s not necessarily going to happen overnight. In fact it probably won’t but if it is something you’re super passionate about – super obsessed about – it will happen.
5 blogging for business tips
1. Find your niche. For some, the niche might find you but if you’re intentionally setting off to start a blog then choose a niche or topic that you’re so obsessed about and connected with that you never run out of ideas. In fact, get that niche right and you’ll have more ideas that you know what to do with.
2. Find your voice. Don’t be someone else. YOU are awesome. Connect via your blog and social media the same way you would if you were meeting your reader in real life for a coffee or glass of wine. Don’t worry if your voice is a bit scratchy to start with. The more your write, podcast or video, the more you’ll give your voice the practice it needs to develop.
3. Be consistent. Create a blogging or content schedule that you can realistically keep up with. Everyone has different time pressures. Create a consistency that works for you. If you can only publish once or twice a week, decide which days you’ll publish and stick to publishing them on the same time and day each week. This creates an expectation for your readers as your blog grows and that expectation creates a reader habit.
4. Be persistent. I hate to disappoint you but building a blog business takes a lot of work – a lot of work and effort that may not eventuate for years into a profitable business model. If you’ve chosen your niche well and you LOVE what you’re doing and creating then you will find being persistent an easier thing to be.
5. Create content that adds value, makes a difference, entertains or inspires. What you put on the internet doesn’t to be all of these things at once but it should be at least one or two. There is so much information out there for people to access and tap into. Quality wins out over quantity every time for building a blogging community.
Last week I shared these blogging for business tips with journalism students at QUT – it’s a lecture I’ve given annually since 2011.
So much has happened in those four years.
Australian bloggers have created solid businesses out of their blogs. I was interviewed for this story published in The Age yesterday about that very subject.
Australian fashion bloggers have been featured on their TV show, Fashion Bloggers TV.
Many bloggers have graced the cover – and pages – of inspirational magazine, Renegade Collective.
I’m also the first blogger to win a Telstra Business Award. I head to the nationals in Sydney next week, flying the blogging industry flag (if you’d like to send a message of support, you can do so here) and I hope more bloggers do enter submissions next year.
It’s an extensive process but having your business judged by independent successful business people is worth the considerable time and effort.
If someone had told me 28 years ago when I first started out as a journalist that I’d be writing on a computer and sharing my thoughts on a thing called the internet, I would have laughed so much the hairspray in my hair would have fallen out.
And there was a lot of it. It was the ’80s after all.
Do you blog? Thought about starting a blog? What do you most like about the blogs that you currently follow?
PS. If you are attending Problogger, and would like to share your outfits with me, please add the hashtag #everydaystyle and tag me @stylingyou on Instagram … I’ll be sharing a post featuring conference style tips and want to feature as many of those attending as possible.