So, you’ve built your online platform and you’re ready to take it to the next level. Let’s talk about how you can go from a blog to business, and the steps to make that happen.
Honestly, I feel like turning your online platform into a business is a logical progression, but it doesn’t have to happen.Go from Blog to Business: How to Take Your Online Platform from Presence to Powerhouse Click To Tweet
If you’re cool with putting in all the work of maintaining an online platform for free, go right on ahead.
But if you’re passionate about what you do and would like to be compensated for your work, here are the steps you need to take in order to make that happen.
From Blog to Business
001: Create a uniform online presence.
If you plan to be online in a meaningful way for a long time, you really need to make a uniform online presence. But what does that look like?
First and foremost — use the same picture across all your social media platforms. I use the same picture on this blog that I do for Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.
Doing this helps your audience associate your image with all your stuff. Plus, it just makes it easier for them to find you.
And on that note, you should really try to get the same social media handles on all platforms. I know it can be hard to do, but it’s worth trying. And if you can’t find exactly what you want, try some variation. I use “the” in front of my name on Twitter and Instagram because my name was already taken.
And I recommend not adding a ton of random numbers (even if they don’t seem random to you) at the end of your name. It can make you look like a fake account.
This step can also include choosing brand colors that you’ll stick with when it comes to creating graphics, as well as picking emojis that you want people to associate with your content.
I’m talking more about using social media as a business in this video.
002: Make an editorial calendar and stick to it.
I have harped on the importance of an editorial calendar for so, so long. Don’t believe me? Check out this post on how to create an editorial calendar, and this post on the best editorial calendar for you.
Here’s the thing: You can’t have a consistent and professional online presence if you don’t have some kind of plan for what you’ll post and when.Here's the thing: You can't have a consistent and professional online presence if you don't have some kind of plan for what you'll post and when. Click To Tweet
So it’s definitely worth it to take some time to figure out your content categories and how often you’ll post. I do this for my blog and YouTube channel, and my Instagram as well.
I know it sounds like a lot, and it is work. But it makes it so much easier for me to show up in all the places that I need to be for my business.
And at the end of the day, it shows respect to your audience.
Think of it this way — pretty much anyone can create a social media account or a blog or podcast or whatever. And many people do. But if you want to show your audience that you’re worthy of their time, you need to show up consistently and share the sort of content that they signed up for.
Granted, they aren’t really signing up for anything by following you online. But they are hitting like or subscribe because they are interested in a particular topic.
So when you show up at a random time with content that doesn’t match what they expressed interest in, you’re basically throwing the finger at your followers.
But creating that editorial calendar and using it to guide what you post and when will not only show your audience that you’re serious about your platform, it will also show them you can be trusted to show up with what they were promised.
003: Monetize the platform you’ve built.
There are a lot of ways to monetize your platform.
You can use ads and affiliate links and you can make sponsored content. This can be a good way to start earning income on the work you’re already doing.
But it’s important to note that these methods rely on you working with another company to make them happen. And in most cases, you won’t be making much from those sources. Most ad networks pay pennies per click, and depending on the affiliate network, you may only make a very small percentage.
And when it comes to sponsored posts, it can be tough to get one when you’re competing with people who have thousands of followers on social media.
This is why I recommend creating passive income products. There are tons of options for what you can create, and if something is digital, you can sell it in multiple low-cost ways.
But just like with the editorial calendar, it’s important to make products that make sense for the platform you’ve created. So, if you’ve created an online platform that’s all about making healthy recipes, a PDF cookbook totally makes sense.
But if you’ve created an online platform all about making healthy recipes and suddenly you want to create a product all about how to market yourself online, your audience is going to be confused.
So be very intentional about what it is you create to sell. And if you need some tips, check out this free workshop I hosted all about making passive income products.
004: Keep learning.
I’m going to share a number that will stress some of you out.
Every year, I set aside $3,000 in my budget for eCourses.
I do this because I know as an online business owner that I have to keep learning to stay relevant. I need to learn new skills to create new products, and I need to learn new skills to show up on social media.Every year, I set aside $3,000 in my budget for eCourses. I do this because I know as an online business owner that I have to keep learning to stay relevant. Click To Tweet
All the products I’ve created to earn money? I learned how to make them with eCourses.
All the skills I need to use the technology necessary to make stuff for the internet? I learned them with eCourses and in-person classes at the local votech.
I’m not saying you have to pay as much as I do for classes. But I am saying you should create some room in your budget for education.
And I know so many people who think that downloading all the free lead magnets created by online entrepreneurs will be enough for you to learn what you need.
Anyone who has built up some hard-won skills isn’t giving away their knowledge for free. So you’re welcome to download all the PDFs and attend all the free webinars. But you’re not getting the good stuff out of those things.
And even if you don’t have a ton of money in your budget for courses or classes, you can still teach yourself a lot. So just be ready to set aside time to watch tutorials on how to do things, and piece together the information you need.
005: Keep adapting.
If you would’ve told me in 2013 that in 2021 I’d have a YouTube channel, I would’ve called you a liar. I knew back then that I wanted to create an online platform and work for myself, but I didn’t know what it would look like.
And as time went by, I learned that I probably needed to do a lot more to show up to my audience — and I’m so glad I did.
YouTube has opened me up to a whole new audience, and even though it’s not a huge source of income for me, it’s helped me realize that I can functionally do whatever I need to do in order to make stuff happen.
(About 87% of creative entrepreneurship is exposure therapy of some kind or another.)
But it’s important to keep expanding and showing up in new ways. It’s important to learn new skills. It’s important to make sure you aren’t married to one social media platform.
Remember Vine? That fun 6-second video social media site? Remember when they shut it down? What if you created your whole online business around your presence on Vine?
You probably would’ve been scrambling when they shut it down.
Social media is important, but remember that you don’t own your followers on those platforms. So, if there’s a social platform that is the only way you have to communicate with your audience, you need to do some adapting.
Own a domain. Have an email list. Be on at least two social media platforms.
It can sound like a lot, but you don’t have to do it all at once.
And when the algorithms on those social platforms change, or when your email open rate drops, or when you aren’t getting any traffic to your site — adapt.Do you want to turn your blog into a business? Check out these tips! Click To Tweet
Do you want to turn your blog into a business?
Have you thought about monetizing your blog? Do you want to make money from your online platform? Do you use an editorial calendar? Let me know in the comments!
I really enjoyed your video about passive income. I’m a USA Today Bestselling Author who knows all too well the ups and downs of algorithms and the wild ride indie publishing can be. I’m thinking about trying a workbook format but still in the stage of refining my content. I put out a self-help book a few years ago “Being your own cheerleader: Self-help for writers”, a humorous look at staying sane while being a writer. My workbook will be related to that book. Just wanted to let you know I’m following you on YouTube (after WorldWideWriting weekend). Love your content. Thanks for all the great information.
Thanks so much, Regina! And that workbook idea sounds great. I know a lot of writers could probably use that.
I really enjoyed your post about writing and the information that you shared was really helpful but I would like to know more about monetizing your blog and what I can do so if you can share any information. I would really appreciate it.
Hey Randy! The first step I recommend is signing up for an affiliate program. That way, you can earn a commission when someone clicks links in your blog. Amazon has one that’s pretty easy to sign up for, but there are a ton of programs out there, so definitely pick one that makes sense for the content on your blog. I also have this post, if it helps: https://marisamohi.com/how-to-make-money-as-a-creative-writer/