What Is Your Blog About?
Since you are reading about how to start a business blog, the answer to the above question is probably obvious. But just because you know you want to blog about business does not mean you have all of the details figured out. It is necessary to think a little more deeply about your blog – such as determining exactly what you want to accomplish through your hard work and how you are going to achieve your goals.
Do you want a blog about how to start a business? How to avoid business mistakes? Stories of successful businesses?
The clearer you are right now about what you want to focus on, the better you will be able to hone in and reach an audience passionate about your topic.
There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:
"If you try to be everything for everybody, you will be nothing to no one."
Establish Your Niche
When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on Forbes or Inc., you are going to struggle to stand out and will be unlikely to get far.
The key is to find a narrower subject than, “business”, but wider than “top locations for brick and mortar businesses”. If your topic is too wide, you won’t stand out. If it’s too narrow you’ll quickly run out of things to say or never establish a large enough audience to sustain your blog.
Some examples of niche business blogs are:
Name Your Blog
Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a web domain name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.
Find a Domain Now
Brand Your Blog
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool will help you brand your business with a unique logo to make your business stand out.
Finding Your Audience
Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.
Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience are the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.
Are you writing to would-be entrepreneurs about how to start a business, or are you writing to established small business owners? No matter what the core focus of your blog is, considering the people you want to read it will have a significant effect on your blog’s tone and content. You have to know your audience to make a real impact.
Create a Persona
One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.
Here is an example of a target audience persona:
Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.
Be Your Own Persona
Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect business blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.
This can be a great strategy for creative highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.
Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?
No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.
Some examples for your business blog may include:
Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.
How Will You Present Your Work?
Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.
There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your business blog. They include:
As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.
Covering business essentials and foundational ideas is a great way to create evergreen content. Many of the basics of business have remained the same throughout the decades, which means you can delve deep into the fundamentals. What you write about will depend on your niche, but it should not be difficult to come up with a number of different basic business topics that you know are unlikely to change much in the coming years.
While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.
Informative how-to videos are an excellent focus for your video-based content. The popularity of instructional videos on YouTube is a testament to the demand for educational and instructive content in video format. Your business blog can offer a variety of instructional videos based on your niche that shows your audience how to do the things they want to do. You can teach them how to navigate business taxes, marketing tech, accounting software – whatever areas you choose to specialize in.
News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.
Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.
The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.
Business blogging gives you a lot of opportunities to create news-type articles because things are always happening – businesses rise up, businesses fall, and new developments are always arriving. Your niche will determine what your news articles focus on, but it should not be too difficult to come up with topics – especially because you are likely keeping current on your niche as a standard part of generating ideas for your blog. Your ongoing research can help you come up with both evergreen and news-type articles at the same time.
While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.
While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.
The image-heavy content you create for your business blog will revolve around your chosen niche. For example, if you are covering marketing topics, you can explore branding, trademarks and other areas where images are a core part of the content you create. If you are writing how-to blogs, you can include images that guide the reader step-by-step through the process. And if you are making a how-to video, you can pull still images from the video after you produce it.
You will get better at finding and including images in your content as you become a more experienced blogger. Over time, you can collect a repository of images that you can pull from to make your content more visually interesting.
Mix and Match
Every blogger develops preferences and skill sets as they gain experience, and you are going to discover that you do the same. It is important to branch out and explore all the various content delivery styles bloggers use to keep yourself engaged and to discover your talents. You may start out writing 500-word news-type posts, then discover you have a knack for writing in-depth 3,000-word instructional articles. Just keep pushing yourself to mix and match your content to ensure that you realize your full blogging potential!
How To Make Money From A Business Blog
One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.
There are a few great ways to make money from a business blog:
Display Ad Networks
Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.
There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.
The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.
While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.
Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.
Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.
The Amazon Affiliate program is a great fit for a business blog. The platform is extremely easy to use and is made so that anyone can add it to their site. Once you have it up and running, you will get commissions for sales that you help facilitate on products from Amazon.
Probably the most obvious way to draw commissions on the Amazon Affiliate program is to write reviews about business books and authors. You can write a review, give a recommendation or discuss a certain author and include a link to Amazon where readers can purchase books. Every time a reader clicks the link and purchases something on Amazon, you get a small commission.
Many business blogs start with Amazon Affiliates as their first source of income because it is so easy to incorporate into a blog. While your blog is small, you may only start by making a few dollars per month – but if your blog grows into something big, you can bring in thousands a month.
Sell Digital Products
Digital products are the online entrepreneurs’ dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.
Examples of digital products are:
- Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.
- Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.
- Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.
One of the best digital products business bloggers can produce is an online course on how to start a business or how to grow a business. If you have established yourself as an authority in the business blogging space – one that readers come to for quality advice and guidance – it won’t take much to encourage those readers to enroll in a course you produce. Your readers will gladly engage in an online course to learn new skills or bolster the existing skills and knowledge they have. A professional-quality course in the business niche could easily sell for $1,000 or more per course.
Sell Physical Products
Selling physical products is the original money making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.
The two main methods for distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.
Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.
Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.
Selling products through a business blog just takes a little creativity to get right. You can start by looking at your niche and build your product ideas out from there. For instance, if you have a business blog focused on marketing, you could create a paper journal with marketing idea prompts for brainstorming. If you cover business finance, you could create a book of worksheets to teach readers how to better manage their business finances. These products can be produced for a few dollars per copy, then sold for a significant markup.
While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.
Create A Service
Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.
Whether this service is delivered through a one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.
The readers of your business blog are going to come to trust your knowledge and experience – which means you can offer services that they will be eager to purchase. You could offer one-on-one business coaching based on your niche and charge a premium for your time. You could also offer to review businesses that your readers are thinking about starting or have already started to provide targeted feedback and guidance.
As always, your niche determines your money-making ideas. Just remember, by creating a high-quality business blog that attracts a big audience, you have already done much of the heavy lifting that goes into offering a successful service. Your readers are already primed to trust you to deliver the best. You simply have to continue providing high-quality information to get the most out of your business.
Next Steps To Get Your Business Blog Started
Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.
This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!
Free Course: How To Start A Blog
Get your blog up and running today with our step-by-step course.