12 Ways to Get Serious About Blogging So You Can Turn Your Blog Into a Full-Time Job
Six months ago, the idea of blogging for a living was nothing but a distant dream for me. And let's be honest: Isn't that every blogger's dream? To work from home, be your own boss, and do something you love for a living?
If you're new to Blog Beautifully, you might not know that I managed to achieve this dream (wahoo!) and start earning a full-time income through my blog. I'm living my dream life, I'm my own boss, and I finally have the freedom I've wanted for years (you can read my full "story" here, if you like!).
When I think back on all the roadblocks, bumps, and hurdles I've overcome, it actually makes perfect sense. Because the thing is, I didn't just sit around waiting for my blog and business to become successful. I worked. Hard. I jumped over every obstacle in my way. I didn't give up when things got tough. And you know what else? You can do the exact same thing! You can do the work to turn your blog into a profitable business, just like I have.
The secret? You need to get serious about blogging. You need to go into it with a strategy. Success doesn't come without hard work. You have to be willing to put in the hours to make things happen. That's what I did, and that's what I urge you to do as well: Dream big, and keep working hard!
If you're ready to get serious about blogging so you can go full-time, I've compiled a list of 12 things you should incorporate into your blogging and business routine a.s.a.p.
Let’s dive in!
12 ways to get serious about blogging
1. Have a consistent posting schedule.
When your readers know they can expect a new post from you on Mondays at 8 AM, they'll start anticipating and looking forward to that days and your post. Having a consistent posting schedule also helps you hold yourself accountable. You know you need to get your posts ready to go live on that day, or you risk disappointing your readers.
Speaking of consistency, you should also be posting on your blog at least once a week when you’re relatively new - and that's at the very minimum! Once or twice a month isn't enough. You need to be posting new, original content on your blog at least once a week until you’ve built up an archive of relevant, valuable, core content that your readers can explore and refer back to.
2. Invest in social media scheduling tools.
There are a lot of amazing free tools I've used to grow my blog. However, when it comes to Pinterest (my main source of social media traffic by far), I'm not afraid to splash out a bit of cash. My current scheduling tool for Pinterest is Tailwind (*affiliate link). It’s affordable, easy to use, and has been a huge help in growing my account, expanding my reach, and making more sales. The last thing you want to be doing is sitting around every day waiting to share your content on Pinterest. That’s where a scheduler comes in handy!
3. Hire a coach or find a mentor.
A good coach will do so many amazing things for you, including:
Sharing tips, advice, and wisdom to help you grow
Keeping you motivated and on track
Helping you speed up your blog and business processes
Creating a step-by-step game plan for success
This is hands-down one of the best investments you can make in yourself, your business, and your growth. Find a coach you really connect with and look up to, and reach out to them about working together 1:1.
4. Cut out time-zapping activities.
When you're blogging while working a full-time job, you don't have a lot of time to waste. With that being said, I'd be willing to bet there are a few (unnecessary) blogging-related activities eating up a ton of your time without you even realizing it. For example...
Scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed
Reading blog posts on Bloglovin'
Commenting on other people's blogs
These activities might be fun, but if you're ready to get serious about blogging, you need to cut back on them to make room for more important activities. Try tracking the time you spend on each task for the next week or so using a tool like Toggl. Next, figure out which activities are eating up the majority of your time without creating results in your business, and make a game plan to reduce or eliminate them.
5. Automate what you can't eliminate.
If there's a task that's eating up a lot of your time but it's a task that's directly related to your blog's success, look into automating it. I'm a huge fan of automation. Anything I can automate, I will. Here are a few things you can automate:
Using If This, Then That to share the same post across multiple platforms
Setting up an email autoresponder to let people know when you're out of the office
You could also look into hiring a Virtual Assistant to help you with the blog-related tasks that don't necessarily require your personal touch. For example:
Formatting your blog posts
Filling up your Twitter scheduler
Answering emails with standard, stock responses
Outsourcing these tasks allows you to focus on the things that are most essential for your growth, success, and income.
6. Invest in your blog's design.
The design of your website is the first impression people have of you and your business, and it forms from the minute they land on your homepage. Don't skimp on your design! Whether it's time or money you'll be investing for this step, I promise it’ll be worth it.
There are thousands of free tutorials you can check out if you want to DIY your design. However, if you're really struggling, I suggest working with a professional designer. A designer will put your website light years ahead of where it is now, which will only benefit you in the long run.
7. have consistent visual branding.
Consistency is what makes you memorable and recognizable online. Notice how you see the same colors and fonts repeated over and over again on my website? That's not by accident! Those fonts and colors are part of my style guide, and they're the only fonts and colors I use. My readers recognize me by these fonts and colors.
If you want to create your own style guide, check out this awesome tutorial from Miranda Nahmias!
8. Join or create a Mastermind group.
When you want to turn your blog into a full-time business, you need to surround yourself with people who will fuel, motivate, and inspire you. Joining a Mastermind group is an amazing way to connect with like-minded bloggers who’ll help you grow.
The perfect Mastermind will have somewhere between 3-8 members, and generally you'll want everyone in the group to be at a similar-ish stage with their blog/business. From there, what you do inside your Mastermind is completely up to you! You might meet up once a week on Zoom, create a Facebook group to chat with each other daily, or even meet up in person.
Use your time together to ask questions and get feedback, bounce ideas off each other, and see what you can do to support your fellow masterminders. In return, they'll do the same for you!
9. Create and grow an email list.
I've talked about the importance of email lists many times before, but it's so important that I'm going to mention it again. If you want to turn your blog into a sustainable source of income, you need to have an email list and you need to use it effectively. I could talk about email lists for days, so instead I'll leave with you some of my best resources on the topic. Read through and explore these posts over the next few days.
10. create a Business Plan for your blog.
Business Plans were a foreign concept to me until I was getting ready to launch Blog Beautifully in the spring of 2016. Now that I understand their purpose and have seen their magic, I'm a big fan!
Why do Business Plans work so well for bloggers? Because having a game plan for how you'll grow and make money from your blog will be a huge factor in your success (or lack of success). Not only does a good Business Plan outline a step-by-step plan for your blog's growth, it’ll also help you decide on the things you won't be spending your time on, which is just as important.
As busy ladies, we have limited time to work on our blogs, so we need to make sure every single minute is well-spent. For the most epic guide to creating a blog business plan that I’ve ever seen, check out this post from Regina of By Regina (this is the exact guide I followed when creating my Business Plan for Blog Beautifully!).
11. Invest in online courses.
For such a long time, I steered clear of blogging courses and ebooks. I was convinced that I could learn absolutely everything on my own. But you know what? I was dead wrong.
It wasn't until I started investing in my learning that things really took off. I’ve taken dozens of blogging-related courses to date, and I've learned a ton from each and every one of them. Online courses will save you months of trying to “figure it all out” on your own and getting nowhere.
Plus, when you invest in a course you have more skin in the game. When you invest money in yourself, your training, and your business, you're more willing to put in the extra work to make it successful.
12. Use the Pomodoro Technique to maximize your productivity.
Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique before? Maybe you've heard that all the serious bloggers use it to manage their time. Or maybe you're sitting there thinking, "Wait, the Poma-what-now?" Don't worry, it's actually really simple.
The Pomodoro Technique is a way of managing your time that involves 25 minutes of high-intensity work followed by a 5-minute break, which you repeat over and over again. Think of the Pomodoro Technique as like the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) you do at the gym: bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by brief breaks where you catch your breath. And we all know that HIIT workouts are amazing for our fitness, right? The Pomodoro Technique is amazing for productivity.
This technique forces you to work quickly as you "race against the clock", and then gives you a few minutes to relax and recharge before moving on to your next burst of activity. Want to try out the Pomodoro Technique? Here's my favorite Pomodoro timer. Warning: it beeps obnoxiously when your time is up.
→ So there you have it! 12 ways to get serious about blogging so you can turn your blog into a business. You don't have to jump on every single one of these 12 items right away; instead, choose a few to focus on this week, and then a few more to work on the following week, and so on until you've crossed everything off the list.
Which of these 12 items are you most excited to incorporate into your routine? Do you already do some of these things for your blog? Let me know!