After returning home from the Jamaica Blog Awards Saturday night I began thinking about the next move for bloggers here in Jamaica and new, upcoming bloggers around the world. One truth I have always taken the opportunity to express is that blogging does not have to be just a tool for expression but is also an engine for realizing fulfilment and in the long-term, successful and rewarding careers. Blogging is a catalyst for financial growth and has been a launching pad for many successful entrepreneurs such as Pete Cashmore of Mashable, social media news blogger and Timothy Sykes of Timothysykes.com, the stock market whiz. Both started with a simple idea of providing useful content for a global audience, and have done that so well that they have become multi-million dollar names.
The Jamaica Blog Awards rewarded some of the best bloggers in the country and this being the ceremony’s 3rd year, its time to kick things into the next gear and think, “What’s next? How can I achieve even more? How do I translate my passion for writing into actual earnings?”
Let’s explore some ideas.
Develop the Right Mindset
Everything you choose to do, whether its leisure or business, be purposeful with what you do, be decisive. I am yet to personally meet a blogger who has laid out definitively, weekly or monthly goals of what they want to achieve via their blog throughout the year. Think of it this way, If one decides to start a traditional business I’m sure most people will have a set of goals they wish to see accomplished and will take action regarding marketing their products and services, launching promotions and just rushing for gold.
This should be the same approach for blogging. Set weekly / monthly targets of what you need to accomplish, step by step to reach every milestone, whether its more traffic, more interaction or ultimately selling a product.
Plan and execute daily.
A Neat Tool for Planning
Below is a download link for a spreadsheet that will assist you in the planning process. The sheet encourages you to plan what you will write about, which days and actions are expected from you in the marketing process. Use and amend the sheet as you see fit but the whole idea is to get into the habit of planning precisely. The great thing about keeping track of your progress and actions is that it puts you in the perfect position to see what works and avoid the things that don’t as well as to share actual data to help others.
The template is designed to help you keep track as you develop your content and various goals. A common challenge for bloggers is coming up with new content but brainstorming topics and targeting specific audiences prior to time of publishing will help to make the process clearer.
What are your Business Goals?
What are your business or earning goals? How do they align with your blogging journey? More than likely your blog is an accurate reflection of who you are, what you’re trying to accomplish and what interests you. If you’re into photography, don’t just post photos, but do a “write-up”. Describe your photos uniquely with a poetic twist maybe and place your call to action in a manner that your readers and prospects cannot resist and will contact you for their next project. If you’re a story teller, invite your readers to hire you for copyrighting (A writer of copy for advertisements or press releases) or editing work, and the great thing is that these services are marketable globally. Get the idea?
Think about how you can translate your writing or publishing passion to a monetary dynamo. It is possible, all you need to do to start is begin offering the service publicly and build from there.
Publish a Book
If you have been or plan to be a dedicated blogger, you will definitely have tons of valuable content sitting on your blog. Whether its advice or stories, these can be compiled to create short stories, novels and how-to guides to be sold in hard copy or e-book formats. This works especially well if you have and advice related blog. Think about how valuable your content could be if marketed in book format.
Many bloggers have untapped writing potential and a published book may be your gold mine or a way to realize your true calling. Bookophilia has indicated specific interest in helping bloggers publish their content in these formats, so check them out and envision the possibilities.
The whole idea is to start thinking about what’s next and how to build a career out of your passion. Remove all imaginary limitations and start dreaming big and taking the small steps each day to reach for something greater. Bear in mind also that as more bloggers hit the scene, the greater the noise will be in the blogosphere. Therefore, to ensure your brand stands out you need to live by a plan and execute with success and originality in mind.
Share with us your blogging journey so far in the comments section below or feel free to ask for our help and clarification. We would be happy to assist.