5 Ways You Can Take Your Blog From Side Hustle To Online Empire

by Maja Tisma

Bloggers have a lot of power in the online world. When ambitious and talented bloggers learn how to hone their writing skills, gather loyal audiences and market their blog posts correctly, they may even gain enough traction to monetize their blogs and build online empires.

As you can see, the potential of a great blog is virtually limitless. This is why you should learn five skills that bloggers need to master in order to succeed. This comprehensive guide is designed to give you the inside scoop on how to blog effectively for both fun and profit. Here are five tips that will help you strengthen your connections with both new and existing readers:

1. Position yourself as an expert.

Everyone is good at something. In most cases, we're good at the things we love the most. By showcasing your passions and talents on your blog, you'll be one step closer to becoming an online expert.

Developing expert status is definitely one of the keys to making your blog successful, and it starts with choosing a niche topic. Another important aspect of building a successful blog is knowing how to brand yourself because as a blogger, if you want to become really big, it's not just enough to be an expert in your field: You have to become a brand yourself.

2. Choose a niche topic.

Your niche can be anything. For example, you may enjoy blogging about reality TV, home decorating, makeup or anything under the sun. The more knowledge you possess about your niche topic, the greater the chance that your blog post will resonate with readers.

With this in mind, I definitely encourage you to specialize. This means writing blog posts about different aspects of your niche topic. Your goal should be to entertain and inform. By creating a hub for your niche topic -- where other interested people can weigh in with comments and share your work via their social media accounts -- you'll build expert status quickly.

3. Create a monetization plan.

Some experts create information products that they sell or market via their blogs. E-books and webinars are some examples. Others monetize by adding affiliate marketing links to their blogs.

If a blog is popular enough in terms of sheer visitor numbers, money will generally follow: one way or another. So, it is possible to turn a blog into a thriving online cottage industry, or even something bigger.

However, you don't need to wait in order to monetize. Create a plan and get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

4. Create an ultra-modern blog layout.

People are looking for more from blogs these days. This means they want lots of pictures, in addition to the usual text. Image-centric content is hot these days, perhaps due to the amazing success of Instagram and Pinterest.

Adding more pictures to your posts should help you make a splash with your blog. Just be certain to add images that are relevant to your niche. Also make sure that these images are copyright-free. If you're willing to invest in images, you may also buy what you need online. Never post images that aren't yours to share.

In addition to bumping up the appeal of your blog posts with pictures, you should take care to make your blog as interactive as possible. This means adding social media sharing buttons to allow visitors to share your content across their preferred social media channels. For example, readers should be able to post their favorite blog posts to Facebook just by clicking an icon.

As a rule of thumb, blog posts should be about 500 words in length. Very long blog posts may turn off some readers. Break your blog posts into paragraphs, and use subheadings to organize them. Then, throw in a few relevant keywords.

Keywords that relate to your niche may be found via Google's Keyword Tool. Adding one of two of them to each post will help you optimize your blog for SEO (search engine optimization). Also consider adding an external and internal link to each post. An external link leads to another website (just make sure it isn't a competing blog) and internal links lead to other blog posts of yours.

5. Create an email marketing campaign.

You may add an email subscriber opt-in form to your blog if you so desire. Doing so will be a great way to collect the email addresses of fans and followers. Once you've gathered some email addresses, you'll be ready to promote your blog via an email marketing campaign. This will be the perfect complement to typical online marketing gambits, such as promoting blogs on a variety of social media platforms or paying for advertising.

I advise automation of your email campaign. You may streamline the creation and implementation of an email marketing campaign by choosing a great software package that is designed solely for this purpose. The GetResponse Autoresponder Service is one popular choice, and it's very affordable. In addition, it's quite simple to use, even if you're totally new to this type of software.

When you choose GetResponse, you'll be able to make great emails. They will look perfect on every type of hardware. You'll also be able to automate emails, so that they get sent out exactly when you want them to. Other features of this program include a landing page creator, tech support and webinar marketing solutions.

Polish your blog until it shines. A blog should be a joy and a passion.

However, in order to ensure that it has the strongest chance of success, it should also be treated like a small business. When you approach your blog efforts in a more professional manner, you build a strong foundation. This will dramatically boost the odds of widespread popularity. You'll also open up the possibility of earning lucrative income from each and every blog post you write and promote.