Blogging is a popular way to start a freelancing business because it’s so easy to start, but beware: its popularity does not reflect the fact that it’s actually difficult to effectively monetise a blog. You’re not going to start a blog, put up a few posts and then see money just rolling in. The biggest thing blogging requires is time; you must be dedicated and put time and effort in to eventually create a profitable blog. For this reason, it’s better to start a blog while you’re already working on another form of freelance work, so that you have something to fall back on while your blog is growing into a business.
Most blogs are just hobbies and never make any significant amount of money, so if you want to differentiate yourself from the hundreds of thousands of other blogs out there, you must pay close attention to the way you present your blog’s content – and, by extension, yourself. Readers are not stuck for choice; if your blog is not easy to navigate and understand, they’ll just leave and move onto the next blog.
Your blog’s formatting is important. Yes, it’s a background factor, but it heavily influences the subconscious reaction your readers will have to your blog. Make sure your format is easy to follow by using some conventions readers have come to expect, like reverse-chronological post ordering and tags in the right margin. Don’t gratuitously throw links around – if your posts are full of irrelevant links, readers will write them off as spam. Readers are generally smart, and selling them short won’t work for long.
Another important background factor is the colours of your blog. Blogging platforms tend to offer a bewildering array of choices, but unless you have an excellent reason not to, you should stick with dark text on a light background, which is easier to read and understand.
Always proofread posts before uploading them, as there is nothing that will turn a reader off more than a post riddled with misspellings and bad grammar. Communication online is largely text-based, so you might as well get good at it or you face losing your readers.
Posting frequently is an important part of building a loyal audience. You can have great posts, but unless readers have some idea of your posting schedule, few will stick around. If you’re low on ideas, try commentary on a news story, tips on something about which you’re knowledgeable, a poll … You could even invite someone else to write a guest blog for you.
With these tips and a dash of luck, your blog can gradually grow in profitability and popularity. Once you’ve done that, it’s up to you: you can start more blogs, just maintain this one or do something else entirely. Blogs may have a low barrier to entry, but they do require continued maintenance to flourish.