Welcome to my first post about blogging! I like to start with a basic but important question all bloggers need to ask themselves…and that is, why do you want to blog? Having observed hundreds of blogs and browsing through their “About” pages, I’ve discovered that the reasons for blogging generally fall under two categories – personal and business.
Source: @jianjunnnn_, via #AppleAndCoffee
I believe this is how many of us have begun, including myself in 2008. Here are some common reasons for hobby blogging:
• For Inspiration : A lot of the blogs I’m attracted to belong to creative people looking for an easy outlet to share inspiration. These could be sharing anything the blogger finds interesting and cool from clothes to design to cafes to music – the sky is the limit.
• For Portfolio : A blog is a great way to display your creative work and the behind-the-scene processes. It makes it easy for clients and friends to keep track of your creative journey and it’s not uncommon for bloggers to get approached by other brands or companies this way as well.
• For Fun : A blog is a creative playground that allows self-expression which can be fun and even necessary when you are stuck in a boring job routine.
• For Finding Yourself : A blog can feel therapeutic as it offers you a safe space to pen down thoughts and ideas which can lead to more clarity about your life and who you are.
• For Journaling : This is how I’ve personally started, treating my blog as a cyber-diary where I would post random personal thoughts and inspirational quotes. It’s as if your blog is a good friend whom you can confide all your secrets to and is definitely cheaper than a therapist!
• For Documenting a New Chapter : Sometimes people blog to document a major transition or event in their lives such as moving to a new city or house, or to remember a round-the-world adventure trip.
• For Forming a Community or Finding your Tribe : With time, a blog would naturally attract like-minded people like bees to honey. These people may reach out by posting comments on your blog and this opens up opportunities for conversations and relationship-building.
There are professional bloggers who blog to make money be it directly or indirectly. I shall briefly cover some ways of monetization below.
• Affiliate Marketing : This is a type of performance-based marketing where you help to sell a 3rd-party’s products or services either directly or indirectly and earn commissions for every sale made.
An example can be seen here on The Blog Spa’s website where I earn commission each time a blogger buys a Siteground web hosting plan through any of the links on this website.
• Sponsored Content : Once frowned upon, this is increasingly becoming a popular way to monetize your blog. A blogger gets paid for writing product reviews or tutorials. Other than blog posts, this can also include a pre-agreed set of social media mentions. As authenticity is highly valued among blog readers, it’s important that bloggers only choose to work with brands that they personally endorse and not do it just for monetary reasons to avoid being seen as “selling out”.
• Advertising : This is where banner advertisements come in, located at prominent areas of the blog such as the top of the website or sidebar. Bloggers get paid upon clicks or impressions. The amount you can charge depends on factors such as the size and location of the ad, who your readers are and most importantly, the popularity of your blog. So first and foremost, make sure your website is able to attract an exceptionally high number of daily visitors.
• Working with Brands : Brands often seek top influencers in their niche to collaborate on short-term projects such as campaigns or events.
• Selling Products or Services : Blogs act as a promotion platform for the product seller or service provider to demonstrate their authority and expertise by providing information and other original content. By doing so, they can win the trust of prospect customers which eventually helps to improve sales.
Reasons for blogging in the blogosphere can span widely from personal to business, and sometimes can even be a mixture of both. Do know that your reasons for blogging will ultimately affect the mindset and strategy that you take. If a blog is purely for personal reasons, you basically have total freedom to write whatever and whenever you want. On the other hand, if you intend to monetize your blog, it’s really about first understanding who your customers are, what kind of content they would want to read, and how to give them what they want. To be successful, always seek to educate, inspire and engage your readers as best as you can.