When I first started All In My Head, I had no idea I would end up wanting to turn it into a business. It started off as a free site on Blogger that very quickly stole my heart. I love writing, and sharing my knowledge with people. I get a huge buzz from helping people and knowing that my posts are giving people information they didn’t have before. So, as I gained momentum, I decided that I finally knew what I wanted to spend my life doing! I want to work for myself – running my own business online. Knowing that I want to provide support to people who want to be an entrepreneur themselves is an amazing thing! I want to pass on my knowledge to help you go from blog to business.
If you want to start a blog, then it’s a good idea not to go into it blind like I did – ahem. It’s a great hobby and can bring you so many amazing experiences, and so if that’s all you’re looking for then that’s fine! But if you want to start a business, then it’s a good idea to go into it knowing that.
If you already have a blog up and running, but it was just a hobby to begin with, then that’s fine too! Whilst I would obviously advise to do the below things first, I didn’t! So there’s no reason you can’t get round to doing them now.
I created a really handy post that is already helping fellow bloggers plan and organise their business. You need to have a plan, and you need to have a direction that you want to take your blog in. If you are serious about it becoming your business, then you need to treat it as if it was a business! It makes sense really, but I see people going into it thinking that they’ll just write a few posts, sell loads of products through affiliate marketing and take off. It sure as hell isn’t going to be that easy!
Blogging is a hard slog, and anyone who tells you otherwise is most likely underestimating the work that goes into it. It’s not as simple as just writing a few posts and becoming an overnight sensation. EVEN if your content is amazing. It’s no good having the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality. You’ve gotta work for it girl!
Having a solid plan and a schedule literally takes off so much pressure. It gives you a structure to your days, and can help you go from panicking and being overwhelmed, to handling your sh*t and getting things done when they need to be done! I use this beautiful notebook to organise my blog and I love it!
There are so many things that I wish I’d done before I published my site! Looking back at it all, it’s easy to see what I should have been doing, but of course, things are always different in retrospect. I was learning. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing, and I sure as hell didn’t have a plan!
I want to let you in on the things I wish I had got sorted BEFORE I published AIMH on WordPress, to help reduce the face-palming you would be letting yourself in for in the future…
Like I mentioned previously, don’t worry if your site is already live and you haven’t done the things below. You can get to work on them now. That’s the beauty of blogging – you can do what you want, when you want, with your own website and it’s entirely up to you!
I cannot tell you how much of a difference it will make if you get this down before your site goes live. Spend some time thinking about what you want to create and what you want to be known for. Write down the things that interest you, and the things you can see yourself writing about in a years time, in five years time. How do they all tie together? Can you narrow it down to no more than 5 topics that you can focus on?
I’m not talking about narrowing yourself down so that you don’t have any freedom. There’s a lot of different posts where people will either swear blind that you NEED a solid niche, or shout profusely that you don’t need one at all. Personally, I started off without much of a direction, and I wish I had sorted this out before I started! Be an expert on a small amount of things, not someone who writes about everything and anything.
It can be annoying once you’ve got all sorts of posts going on, and as time goes by, you realise exactly what it is you want to write about, and what you excel at writing about. You might have to go through all your posts and delete a load of them, change your menus, and maybe even re-brand your site. Whilst it’s not the end of the world if that has to happen, it would certainly be easier to start with everything already planned out to certain degree.
Inside the AIMH Blogging Resource Library, I’ve got a lovely how-to guide for creating your own brand, but we’ll touch on what it means here.
Your brand is your font set, your colour theme, your logo, and your theme. These are the things that your brand becomes recognised for, and people will know who they are looking at when you pop up on social media or in search engines.
Take the time to plan out what you want to have. I highly recommend Canva for Work when it comes to your graphics. You can set up your brand via your profile, which includes the colours you choose, your fonts, and your logo. You can even use Canva to create your logo! All of the graphics you see on AIMH will have been created using Canva, and I wouldn’t use anything else now.
With colours, it’s recommended to use 3-4 colours across your site. For example, with AIMH, my colours are black, white, and pale pink. For your fonts, I wouldn’t use anymore than 2 different fonts. Again, you can set these up in Canva so that they’re always there when you’re creating documents, and you won’t forget what they are!
Whilst this is part of your branding, it’s also massively important on a different level. I would always advise purchasing a premium theme that will last you forever, rather than relying on the free ones WordPress offers. Whilst some of them are okay, in general you can kinda tell they were free. And that’s NOT what you want if you are aiming to turn your blog into a business!
Have a look across the internet and find the perfect theme for you. I spent around £50 on mine, and I wouldn’t change it now. Sometimes I have a little customise and update things and I’ll have ideas on how I want it to look. But your theme is like the barebones of your site and it’ll make things so much easier if you choose one your certain of to begin with!
If you want to blog for business, then you’re going to need to pay to go self-hosted. It’s the way of the world I’m afraid! Whilst you can still make a beautiful site if you’re using wordpress.com, Blogger or Wix, you won’t have the control and the ownership that comes with purchasing a domain and self-hosting.
It’s a necessary step if you want to earn an income from your blog, and it’s not as scary as it sounds! I started with a Blogger site, and within about a month, I knew I wanted to take it all the way. I looked around and knew that WordPress was the way to go. It was everywhere I looked!
So, I purchased laurajacquesaimh.com and I got set up with Bluehost. They are amazing, and have provided me with so much support and useful information since I got signed up with them.
I paid around £170 for 3 years of hosting. 3 years! I haven’t got to pay to renew my service until 2020, and who knows where AIMH will be by then. I’m hoping it will be an established business and paying for the next 3 years will be a complete breeze!
I have a full post on starting a blog and getting set up with Bluehost, but I will briefly say that Bluehost has 24/7 live chat support, amazing page speed and servers, and the most helpful staff. If you want to go self-hosted, Bluehost are the way to go!
This is the part of the post where everyone’s ears prick up, I know it is! And I don’t want to make you any of these false promises of do this one thing and earn thousands with your new blog! Whilst some extremely lucky people may be able to start a blog and get tens of thousands of views a month, sponsored post offers left, right and centre, and money rolling in straight away, for most of us it’s just not that simple.
If you ask me, I don’t think it should be that simple. To be the best and to stand out from the crowd takes a long time, lots of hard work, and extensive research. It also takes money! No matter what anyone says, you really have to spend money to make money. Paying for hosting, themes, premium plugins, and more is all part and parcel of getting your blog off the ground, if you really are serious about it becoming your business.
There are so many ways that you can make money from blogging, and again this comes down to personal preference and what will work best for you and your site.
These are just some of the ways that you can earn money from blogging, and each of these takes time and research before you earn serious money. If you want to make money from your site, I would advise you to pick one of the ways listed above, and find out EVERYTHING you possibly can about that method.
Take your time, research it in detail, and take lots and lots of notes. Look at what other people are doing and what works for them. Find out how you can implement it into your own site, and how you can do it better than other people!
I offer Blogging Consultancy Services, which helps me make money from AIMH. There are things that I know about that I can teach to other people, and can offer them support on. These are things that they not everyone can do, and so it’s worth something to people. You can read more about my services as a Blogging Consultant if you need in-depth help with your site. I focus on WordPress as that’s what I know, and can help with traffic building, email lists, social media management, graphics, and more!
I also have other elements to the AIMH business, and have my own e-commerce shop where I sell digital wall prints, planners and calendars. An amazing plugin to use for creating an e-commerce shop is WooCommerce. If you are wanting to sell your own products, I would definitely advise having a look at WooCommerce. The plugin creates all the pages for you – the Shop, Basket, Account, and Checkout page, and all you need to do is tweak them so they sit in line with your brand. Adding products is ridiculously easy, and the layout looks beautiful, especially on desktop.
Take some time and think about the kinds of things that you want to be doing, and what you can offer people. You might be amazing at making headers for people’s blogs – is that something you can sell? You might be able to code, and want to offer your services to people in need of a web developer. There are so many options these days, and you have only got to get started for it happen!
The last thing I want to talk about is the pressure, and especially the pressure that you’re going to put on to yourself. It’s literally unavoidable, and I know it can end up driving you a little crazy! We all want to make the most out of our blogs, and if you are wanting to turn it into a full-time business then it’s going to take some hardcore determination and hard work on your part to make it work.
But I want to stress to you how important it is to take breaks, remove yourself from the blogosphere and spend some time in the real world. Don’t be the boss that you would hate. You are going to be your own boss now, and you need to be one that you would like to have IRL. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of your time working on your blog, and you don’t want it to feel like a chore.
I love working on AIMH and I literally spend every single day doing something in relation to it. I’m constantly on all forms of social media, reading people’s posts and checking out other people’s blogs. I take photos all the time and have a camera roll full of shots for the future! In my bag, I carry my notebook around with me because I am constantly thinking of new ideas and things I want to implement. To be honest, I get so excited by it all, and it’s amazing to finally find the thing I am passionate about! But at the same time, I know I have to be careful, and you do too.
Don’t burn your candle at both ends! Take some time to relax and pamper yourself. Have that bath you’ve been meaning to have. Go out for a walk in the lovely crisp autumn air! And don’t compare, stress and work yourself up. You’re doing just fine and there’s nothing to worry about.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! If there’s anything you want help with, please feel free to get in touch – either in the comments below, or via social media! My links are right at the top of the page, and I love talking to my readers 🙂
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