How I Turned My Blog Into A Business: One Month On.

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turningblogintoabsusiness

Today I am going to share how I turned my blog into a business and reflect on my journey so far; one month on. It’s a different journey than most: there are lots of blog posts out there shouting from the rooftops about going blogging full time- something we all love the sound off but can seem so far off for most of us. Plus it can be incredibly daunting at the thought of relying solely on blogging for your income because you know… mortgage and err food.

For me, I personally feel I need more stability but working full-time was not working for me at all. As some of you may know, I am a teacher. Any of you bloggers teaching full time and producing amazing content- I take my hat off to you! When I was full-time, I felt like I was constantly back-peddling and when I got home, I’d have a pile of tweets/emails to catch up on. Plus, as I also have health issues- that made things extra complicated. Just the sheer effort of trying to keep on top of juicing, exercise, healthy eating and medical appointments feels like a full-time job itself sometimes.

There are some fab ladies (e.g.the Prosecco Diaries) that have quit the teaching profession for blogging and are doing an AMAZING job at it. But I felt like I’d built up something for seven years and I didn’t feel I wanted to give it up (despite what you see on the news, teaching does have it’s great days too!) So after much umming and ahhing- I finally sat down and did the numbers and realised that as I go on and on about a ‘balanced’ life, then perhaps I should take a chance to try it. I was super lucky to find a part-time teaching job 3 days a week and decided I’d run my business the rest of the time. Today I am almost a month into this and I feel like I’m singing from the rooftops at all my friends encouraging them to do this too! It means I have a great mix of my teaching job, my writing, and downtime. We see so many people telling everyone to quit their job and work from home but it might not be for you. I feel going part-time and working from home part-time gives you the best of both worlds. A safety net and a place to do what you love without much pressure.

So if you’re thinking about making your blog a bit more of your job, here’s some of my top tips

1.Work out what you need to live off. If you cut down your hours at work (whether it’s to blog or just for a bit of self-care) things like pension, tax, student loans etc will adjust accordingly- so you might find less hours isn’t as drastic as you think. This can give you a buffer and make the unpredictableness of blogging less scary.

2.Figure out your expenses. If you are blogging part-time, the first thing I’d suggest is a chat to a good accountant. You’ll need to pay tax but there also a ton of things you can claim tax relief on, meaning a good chunk of your bill (depending on big your earnings obviously) could be written off as expenses: these include things like hosting fees, travel to events, electricity and mains gas (the goverment have a good guide to this here (I reckon most of us would come under at least 25-50 hours a month category; whether we only blog a few times a week) equipment like cameras and things you buy specifically for posts (like a Primark Haul )

3. Make lists

alexaclaireplanner

If you’re working from home, then making the most of your time is really important. I use this list planner from Alexia Claire which I love!  If you’re looking for more blog-centric planner, I recommend the Badass Blog Planner (this is more of a guided programme great when you are first transitioning from a blog to brand) or the Epic Blog (which has actual space to plan content-like an editorial planner and record stats.; especially useful if you do lots of seasonal stuff and plan ahead)

 

Image result for badass blog planner Image result for epic blog amazon

Find: Bad Ass Blog Planner and Epic Blog

Also, make sure you think of the time involved before accepting an op. Although I’m about blogging about what you love, this can sometimes not be practical if you decide to monetise your blog- if a 3 hour post is done in exchange for a small item it might no longer be feesible for you. Always be upfront with brands and PRs- you’ll be surprised how often you can come to an agreement- whether it’s adding value or scaling down what you offer; I have always found them incredibly flexible once I explain it’s a part-time job. Round-ups can be a brilliant way to build relationships and save time- just make sure you give the PR a heads up.

4.Don’t just rely on your blog. As you’ve probably realised by now, blog income fluctuates drastically. The key is to diversify your income as widely as possible. For example, since going part-time I’ve….

Finished my book which will be out in November.

Blogged about nutrition for several brands’ websites (for payment not ‘exposure’)

Taken on a regular copywriting role which I found on twitter.

Looked into other online ways of making money using things like getting cashback on all my deals, signing up for Market Research etc.  Emma Drew’s blog  is brill for this.

Started to explore Affiliate marketing- a tricky one for me as I don’t want to be shady so I’m only looking at deals that are genuinely beneficial for my readers.

For all these opportunities, I simply networked via twitter, joined facebook groups and responded to ops (let me know if you want a blog post on any of the specifics) If you have a specific skill or niche- in my case my nutrition knowledge- don’t be afraid to mention it; it can be extremely valuable to brands. If there’s a brand that’s bringing out a new product that’s perfect for your blog, don’t be afraid to drop then an email and tell them exactly what you can do together- whether it’s arranging an affiliate discount code or sponsored content; find a way to work together.  And quick tip: if you blog for yourself, that makes you a perfect asset to blog for others too. Don’t be afraid to ask brands if they’re looking for freelance bloggers.

5. Outsource. No, I don’t mean hiring an employee (I’m not at that level yet!) but thinking of things that can save time. Do you need to take every photo? The photo from this post was from a free stock image bundle I found online today. Do you have a friend who could help you out with broken link checks? Is it worth paying a small fee to sites like Tailwind to save pinning? (I’m happy to do a seperate post if that helps)

6. Create a dedicated space to help you take it seriously. Here’s my little blog office; isn’t she a beaut?

blogoffice

I’d also recommend investing in something like Chromebook in the picture if you can’t quite afford a Mac (ultimate blogger goal) mine worked out about £150 but I’ve seen them for under a £100 . They’re so much lighter than a normal laptop!

So those are my top tips on blogging part-time from home. I’m not selling an ebook with a magic formula; instead I just want to raise awareness that it’s perfectly possible to make an income from your blog without quitting your job completely. These days work arrangements are often the most flexible they’ve ever been, so why not take advantage and give it a go? You may well love it or you may well hate it, but it’s much less risky and you always have a safety net to fall back on.

*This is a collaborative post*

 

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18 Comments

  1. September 23, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    Thanks so much for including me in your post, lovely!

    Sarah Xx
    The Prosecco Diaries

  2. September 23, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    I Love your Little Daily Planner thing 🙂 Looks helpful.
    Its great that I make a small amount of money on blogging but generally its something that started off as something to do and now become something i’m proud of having 🙂
    I work from home a lot though and your tips are great for finally turning my blog into business,.

  3. September 24, 2016 / 7:51 am

    I think working part time is a great way to do it! It makes the transition easier, and allows you to still do two things you love!

  4. September 24, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Hoping I can get to that stage but for now it’s tweets at bedtime, posts on lunch and pictures at playtime :). I have found that a few selective plugins can automate some tasks on the site which helps.

  5. September 24, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    I think this is really interesting, i have to work part-time due to health issues so i’ve been looking into trying this out so this has really been helpful!

  6. September 24, 2016 / 4:52 pm

    This is such an inspiring post – I’m sure lots would love to go full time with blogging one day, so these are great tips!

  7. September 24, 2016 / 6:01 pm

    Some great tips here, very inspiring. Love your day planner. I would love to go full time with blogging/freelancing one day.

  8. September 24, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    This is a really useful & inspiring post! Thank you!
    And I love your little planner notes

  9. September 25, 2016 / 7:01 am

    This is really helpful thank you, I would really like to go part time in the next year and am hoping to build up my blog to help with that, along with various other sidelines! Your workspace looks great, inspiring me to sort mine out 🙂

  10. September 27, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    These are great tips, I graduated from University last year and I currently blog full-time. I completely agree with having your own space and creating lot’s of lists! xo

  11. October 12, 2016 / 10:18 am

    Great post. I’ve been blogging for 13 years, but have just set up a much more business oriented site, so this is a very timely read, thank you.

  12. October 12, 2016 / 10:20 am

    Brilliant post, I organise my time well but it’s monetary income I just can’t do at the moment. To be able to afford a good camera, lighting backdrops and ingredients for recipes you HAVE to have a blog income (or any income for that matter) neither of which I have at the moment.

    I have recently starting freelance writing and have booked £220 in ‘gigs’ this month which is a long way off a regular income but it’s on the right track. Thanks for sharing, waiting tentatively for your next update!

    All the best, Amy. x

  13. October 12, 2016 / 11:16 am

    Congratulations on taking your blog to the next step!

  14. October 12, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    Love your office space, would love to have something like that in the near future!

  15. October 12, 2016 / 4:28 pm

    This is a lovely piece. I took early retirement from the NHS last year and would live to make some money from my blog. I’m so far away from that at the moment, possibly because I spend too long reading others! Love your tidy office space – mine’s a nightmare!

  16. November 21, 2016 / 6:43 am

    Really good tips – I love your desk and could do with something like that myself. i’ve got a desk but not as much space as you!

  17. January 23, 2017 / 4:21 pm

    Your office space is soo pretty

  18. May 5, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    A really interesting post! Really glad you have found your balance. I’m blogging full time which works quite well but I do find it hard to switch off from it! Looking forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

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