Making money online looks very easy when you aren’t making money online. We’ve all seen and heard those complaints from people who feel as though blogging is an easy career or who feel like making YouTube videos require little effort for huge pay off. Sadly, that isn’t true. Otherwise literally everyone would be doing it and making their rent from it. But they aren’t.
Creating a small business that runs alongside your website or maybe even complimenting your website is a great idea to boost earnings if` you don’t get much in terms of sponsored content or Google AdSense revenue. I’ve tried and failed at creating several businesses online. I remember trying to re-create NastyGal through selling my clothes on Ebay, then I realised how crappy Ebay is to its sellers. My Etsy store, is another venture that does dismally but I still love making things for it regardless. I also work as a freelancer managing social media and doing content creation for brands which has proved successful.
Through my successes and my failures I’ve learned a lot about how to make money through your blog and through a small business. Here are my top tips.
Don’t Do Anything You’re Good at For Free
I realised during my year abroad at UCLA that I’m great at content creation and managing social media for brands. Although I am terrible at managing my own! When I get asked to promote something or create a post for a brand for free I negotiate. If they refuse to pay, I don’t do it.
I used to say ‘yes’ to creating free content for brands a couple of years ago. They promised my social media coverage but some of them (surprise, surprise) never gave me that coverage *ahem* Dollar Shave Club *ahem* despite the fact that they had huge advertorial campaigns on TV. But then I realised I wasn’t really posting about them because I wanted to, I was posting about them because I was flattered to have been asked.
If I’m asked to create a sponsored post now it’s very rarely that I’m given the budget up front in the first email. Because PR’s obviously want to save as much as they can on their budget. So if the offer sounds interesting, I’ll respond with my media pack and ask. Then I’ll negotiate a price we’re both happy with and I can start working. If it turns out there is no budget, don’t feel bad for politely declining. You should ask to be kept on file with regards to future paid promotions too. After all, we all have rent, bills and general life expenses we need paying. The time that we invest into content creation is time that could be spent working a shift, you are worth a budget. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.
I realised I wasn’t really posting about them because I wanted to, I posted about them because I was flattered to have been asked
Self Hosting Your Blog
When I started my blog I was super happy with Blogger. It was very easy to work, did everything for me and was a great introduction to the world of blogging. But Blogger doesn’t make great money, at least in my opinion. When I switched to WordPress and self-hosted my blog did a lot better in terms of SEO, ranking and domain authority. If you’re serious about making your small business word then I’d highly recommend website hosting with brands like Silky Ocean Studios, HostGator or a site like GoDaddy.
Self Hosting takes a bit of an initial investment but there are a lot of companies that can offer you a variety of different services at different price points to help you start.
Get on Etsy
You don’t have to be ‘Arts and Craft-y’ to be on Etsy. There are a lot of listings that are electronical, such as blog layouts, social media help, widgets etc. Etsy is a great place to make your hobby into something profitable. It’s where I list my crafts and it occasionally does make me money (although not nearly enough as I had once optimistically hoped).
If you’re into graphic design, making blog layouts, coding etc. then Etsy is a great place for you to sell your work. Plus if it’s an electronic download, your customer will receive the product straight away therefore there’s no need to package and ship anything!
I’ve always known that branding was important. Even before I knew what branding was. For example, when I was younger I ran a Tumblr account called ‘Potterr’. It experienced some mild success at a few ten thousand followers. I had a Twitter account and whatever other social media accounts that I was using at age 14/15 with the same username. Everything was ‘Potterr’. Likewise, everything I have now is ‘@abigailalicex’ because that’s my brand. Even if it isn’t a recognisable one like Chanel or the more realistic, Primark.
To make money from your website or small business it’s important that it’s recognisable. One of the things that makes that easy is branding. I’d recommend sticking to one name and having all your outlets be the same one. It makes it easier for repeat readers or customers to find you. Moreover, I’d also recommend having the same or similar images as your profile images across social media. For exactly the same reason, the more your readers or clients see an image or name, the more it sticks.
I hope these tips were helpful if you’re looking to make money from a small business or from your blog! Please leave your small business or blog links down below so I (and other users) can check them out!
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