Years ago I worked with my best friend to grow a business nationally with a lot of hard work, tears, sweat and miles of driving.
Now that I’ve got a family, mortgage, commitments and the love of my wife, the security of a career in a company would be well wanted. They’re not wrong. But some things are worth going through hardship for and I read daily about others looking to grow their blogs outside of the screen.
So if you’re looking to turn that blog into a business, treat it like one and here’s a few tips to make sure you do it right from day 1.
Setting up an office
You might imagine that one of the perks of working from home is being able to do in bed in your underwear. The allure quickly wears off when you realise both how uncomfortable and unproductive it is. You need to list your needs and create an actual office out of them. Even if it’s just a corner of the room, you need a real space where you can focus on writing. Keep yourself supplied and organised.
Building real presence
If you’re starting a business, you can’t make do with just a Facebook or LinkedIn profile. People need to be able to find you and see what you’re all about. That means setting up your own website. There are tools like Squarespace that can easily help you create a site that truly looks professional. However, you shouldn’t use a generic web address hosted on another site. WordPress is one of the most used platforms for bloggers, so if you’re on a blogger account, or wordpress.com look to go self hosted. Completing that professional look means hunting for a fitting web address through services like PAC Web Hosting. You need your own server and your own address. Make sure the address is easy to memorise, too.
Building real visibility
The site is just one arm of how you’re going to build the visibility of your business and your ‘brand’ as a businessman. One of the most effective ways of showing that you really know what you’re talking about is by writing about it. Content marketing can be a way of delivering content that informs and educates readers. You can even slip in a few offers that big up your own business while you’re at it. When you’re building your website, seriously consider blogging about blogging. Don’t just write reviews about an events or a particular product, write about what’s difficult about blogging, your story and the challenges you face. The better your content, the more people it will attract to your site.
Finding your balance
When you start a business, it can be easy to get a little overexcited. To get all gung-ho and throw all your time into it. However, you need to make sure you don’t overwork yourself and forget what’s made you make the decision. First, it’s not good for your health or your family. Secondly, it can really damage your long-term motivation with the business. Get the ball rolling, yes, but take it easy and make sure you’re setting boundaries. You need ‘in-office’ hours even when you’re at home. Similarly, you need to make sure your family respects your office space when you’re ‘in-office’. You can’t be dealing with distractions every two minutes.
These steps are only the beginning of starting to grow a home-based business around your blog. From here on out, it’s about marketing and networking, as well as delivering the best services you can. There’s nothing to stop you from starting a truly successful business from home.
Go out there, get ‘em and remember, you’re the only one that can stop you from achieving.