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This post was orginally published on Not Now Mom’s Busy. The content has been updated.
What’s up hobby bloggers! Is this the year you are ready to monetize your blog?
Turning a WordPress hobby blog into a full-fledged business is not hard to do.
In fact, since you already have a blog set up, you’re more than half way there. All it takes are some minor tweaks like the ones I’m about to go over with you. Before you know it, your blog will be all set to make money!
How To Go From A WordPress Hobby Blog To A Business Blog
Before anything, you will need to register with a hosting company. A popular one is Hostgator* and right now their web hosting packages start as low as $3.95 a month.
The next thing is move from a free WordPress.com platform to wordpress.org. If you have another platform and are afraid to use to WordPress as your first blog, no worries, there are plenty of WordPress bloggers and websites that share tips and tricks. That’s how I learned about WordPress!
The next thing you’ll need to do is a migration. That’s just a fancy word from exporting and importing your content and images from wordpress.com to your new self-hosted site. There’s a little more to it than that, but it’s the gist of it.
Once you’ve got your hosting company and your migration is complete you can upload your theme and start configuring WordPress settings.
You were probably using a free theme on your wordpress.com site. If you want a premium check out Elegant Themes*. They have thousands of themes to choose from.
Recommended Reading: WordPress Bloggers and Websites To Follow For Tips and Tricks
Now that you’ve got your self-hosted WordPress blog set up, now it’s time to take a look at your content.
As a hobby blogger, you might have just written down random thoughts or blog about what’s going on in your life but now it’s time to take your content to the next level.
You still want to keep the same friendly, fun tone you were using as before. And you still want to be the awesome storyteller you are.
The only thing that’s going to change is now your content will help your visitors in some way or offer a solution to a problem they might have.
Let me give you an example. Before you may have blogged about your morning routine.
Now you’re going to take it further by talking about products you might have used and how it can help your morning routine and how it can help your visitors.
Recommended Reading: 4 Tips To Become an Enthralling Story Teller
Put Some SEO In Your Content
Your content now has to be optimized for search engines.
That means making sure your content is formatted with all the right ingredients Google is looking for to rank your blog posts on the first page of the search engine results page or SERPs. Not just the first page but at the very top of the list!
So if you want your posts to be found, you’ve got to put some SEO in your content.
It might sound hard but it really isn’t.
This plugin makes sure you have all the right elements in place so the search engines can recognize your blog posts.
This plugin tells you if you have the right amount of content, whether you’re you’ve got the right keywords and if your post is readable. And what I love about it is that it pinpoints exactly where in the content you need to edit.
Now let’s go over how you can create the ultimate blog post.
If your current format is plain paragraphs, it’s time to step it up. Be sure to use H1 and H2 subheadlines. A sub-headline introduces a new section to your blog post and what it’s going to be about.
You also want to use attention-grabbing titles and images.
And finally, include a call to action statement at the end of your post. A call-to-action statement is content intended to influence your visitors to perform a specific task.
It could be to opt-in to your mailing list, asking for visitors to share your blog post or starting conversations by encouraging visitors to leave a comment.
Recommended Reading: 4 Ways To Give Your Content Some Oomph
You website is also going to need essential pages to showcase your work and attract clients.
You probably have one already but in case you don’t, you should have a ‘Contact Me’ page. It would also be a good idea to have a contact form on a blog post (if it calls for one) or advertising page.
The goal is to make it easy for visitors and potential marketers or advertisers to easily contact you.
WP Ninja Forms* lets you customize your contact forms to use as many fields as you want.
If you plan on accepting sponsored/guest post or if you want to sell ad space, you’ll want to set up an Advertisement page on your blog.
Be sure to list the advertisement possibilities you offer along with guidelines, rates as well as your blog and social media stats.
If you’re blog includes or will include offering services or selling a product, you should include a testimonial page to show potential clients what other clients have said about working with you.
You can also use a plugin to display your testimonials on the homepage of your site. That way, it’s one of the first things a visitor will see.
I would also recommend creating a page for a media kit.
A media kit is a great way to showcase your blog’s best like social media stats, popular posts and brands you’ve worked with.
You don’t have to make one from scratch either. Hip Media Kits* offers affordable templates so all you have to do is plug in your data, save it and post it on your blog.
If you’re going to sell a product you should have a landing page to promote it. A landing page is a page on your website that specifically prompts visitors to take a certain action. Whether is to purchase your product or to sign up to download a free gift in exchange for their email address.
When you create a landing page, make sure it’s free of banner ads and other distracting images and content. The headline, content and image should focus only on what you want your landing page to accomplish.
If you do a search for landing page templates you’ll find there are plenty of options to choose from. But ConvertKit* also has landing page templates and you can track its performance.
Another important disclosure are the terms and condition of use. This document will let visitors know what they can and cannot do on your blog or website like copy your content, images, etc.
Finally, you should have a disclosure to explain how you are compensated on your blog or website. For example, whether you accept paid content, post sponsored content, etc.
When I was looking for help to put these documents together it was wayyy out of my budget. So I took the time to make a template for my blog.
I have these documents available on a digital library. Click here to get access.
What Comes Next
That’s right, dear reader, you’ve only just begun.
After you’ve got your blog set up and ready to make money now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
There are different ways to monetize your blog but they all require but in order to be approved for things like sponsored campaigns, there are things you have to do.
First, you have to promote your content to drive traffic to your blog. That will get your pageviews and total sessions up.
Then have to start building a community. That means engaging with your fans and followers on your blog and on social media. It also means connecting with other bloggers to network with and learn from.
Another thing you have to do is increase your reach, meaning increase your followers on social media.
There’s one more thing you have to do and that’s create a blogging plan. This will help you put goals and action plans together. And to visualize what you’re going for and how you’re going to get there.
Over to You
Those are the tweaks you need to make to go from hobby blogger to professional blogger. I know it sounds like a lot so if you need help, I’d be more than happy to assist!
How did your blogging journey begin? Tell us in the comments below!
If you know anyone who could use these suggestions, please share this post with them.