Sometime ago I wrote a post titled: Are You a Blogger or an Entrepreneur Who Blogs? In that post I did gave reasons why you should not consider yourself simply as a blogger but an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, it does appear that not many people are really listening to these things.
Since writing that post I have seen a whole lot of new bloggers join the blogging bandwagon while many others have abandoned ship! I still believe that many who have shipwrecked their blogging dreams did so not because they do not have the passion for blogging but because they have approached their blogging career from a wrong angle.
Don’t Just Build A Blog; Build A Business!
I have mentioned this severally but I will never stop talking about it until I see more bloggers put it into use. Truth is, when you ask the average blogger if they are really building a business the ready answer is yes!
But think about this:
- Can you really say you are in business when you don't have a product?
- Are you in business when you don't have a target market?
Indeed, these are just the basics of building a business. But how many bloggers can readily point to their blogs and say, this is my product or target audience? Now, if you cannot do that how can you really say you are in business?
Recommended: Hey Blogger, What Really Is Your Product?
You must understand that blogs, as we know them today were initially setup by internet marketers as traffic generating tools for their online business sites. Blogs were not set up initially to make money by themselves but as marketing tools. So, looking at your blog as your business today is really a wrong approach to blogging because a business without a valuable product, a target audience who wants that product and a platform to present that product to the target audience is not really a business.
So, How Do You Really Build A Business And Not Just A Blog?
I love using the analogy of building a house whenever I talk about building a business. This is because building a business is similar in many ways to building a house.
There are different steps involved. From the foundation stage to the roofing stage, a lot of planning and effort is required. Besides, the type and size of the house will determine the depth of the foundation. The higher the structure you desire the deeper the foundation you will need to prepare.
The following are a few tips on how to build a business using your blog.
1. Decide From the On-Set What Direction to Take
It's unfortunate that there are many people online who want to jump into the blogging bandwagon without any preparation. To this people the wise saying, “look before you leap” has no meaning. If your blog is going to be your online business then it is important that you get a clear idea what direction you want to go. Set your goal from the beginning and then run with it!
2. Be Creative But Don’t Seek To Re-Invent the Wheel!
Every one of us has a creative flare in him/her and your blog is definitely a place you will want to show your creativity. It is your platform and you're free to run it any way you want. You've the freedom to post whatever you want. Indeed, this is good. However, instead of being too concerned with your creativity, it will be of great help to you if you’ll rather seek out what is already working and then building on it. Study what successful business strategies the experts are using and never hesitate to be a copycat if need be. Your focus should be on taking what you have learned and modifying it to suit the needs of your business.
3. Get Help through Mentor(s)
Do you really need a mentor to build and run a blog? The answer to that question might be a “yes” or a “no” depending on what you really want. Is your blog going to be a platform for your every day ramblings or you really want to build something worthwhile? What experience do you have about running a business? Do you have any formal training and skills on business management? Your answer to any of these questions will determine if you will want to go for a mentor or not. But the wise route is to seek for help when you deem it necessary.
4. Be Financially Committed
Setting up a WordPress blog could be done without any real financial commitment. But the fact is, if you desire to really build a business with your blog, committing some financial investments into the business is a must. Never be contented with just running your business on freebies. Invest in the right tools. Pay for the knowledge when necessary. One thing you must know is that when you are financially committed your motivation for success will go up and this will help you to put in more effort into building the business of your dream.
5. Remember To Stay Green
The internet business world is an ever changing one. It is a dynamic market. To keep abreast with the latest ideas and trends you need to invest in yourself through trainings. Whenever possible, attend seminars. A single new idea picked up from such trainings could transform your business. Of course, simply acquiring new information and learning new ideas is not enough. To really see these ideas and knowledge come to fruition you will need to put them into action and by taking action you will always be open to more new ideas thereby keeping yourself on the green lane!
So, are you building a business or you are simply building a blog? Share your thoughts on this subject with us in your comments below.