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Home » Random

Turning Your Blog into a Platform for Business

I’m delighted to welcome back  Murray Lunn from Murlu.com for another of his posts on  ‘Escaping The Rat Race’, In this short post (for Murray) he explains how you can turn your blog into an income generating machine (aka a business).

Over to you Murray.

There’s much debate on the web on what defines a blog as a business. In a traditional sense, if you’re making money directly from your blog through items such as Adsense, affiliate products or advertising than you can consider your blog as a business. But! That’s child’s play.

“Murray, what the hell are you talking about? I was always told that I can make money blogging!”

Yeah, you can make money directly from your blog but it’s leaving a LOT of money on the table. A lot of missed opportunities to go beyond the scope of a one-time sale. Beyond the limitations of a one-time visitor. What I’m talking about is USING your blog as a platform; a platform for business.

The Shift in Mindset: From Blog to Business Platform

Before we can begin, we have to get into the right mindset. As I touched on in the introduction, blogging can be used to generate money which, in itself, becomes a business but when you look at the scope of what’s possible with your blog – you quickly realize you’re missing out.

Get into the mindset that your blog serves the purpose to promote your business, build brand & authority, connect with your community and give you the opportunity to continuously launch new and exciting business projects.

I know that’s a lot to take in but it’s the core difference and mental shift you must make and understand in order to continue through with the post. Ready?

Your Blog as a Platform for Business

Notice anything particularly different here on BigRedTomato? There doesn’t seem to be many ads, there are not a lot of affiliate promotions and you don’t get the onslaught of product reviews over and over again – trying to get you to buy into something.

You may not have noticed it right away but BigRedTomato is used predominantly to promote the actual BUSINESS of BigRedTomato.

You actually see it everywhere on the web (if you look closely):

  • Patricia blogs about lavender uses (which was confusing at first) but it’s because she also runs her own Etsy store and does local meetups to promote products.
  • RedLetterMedia creates hilarious reviews and online videos which bring people in so visitors can later check out their own indie films that are on sale.
  • GoMediaMagazine has a fantastic design blog that shares many great tutorials but they’ve created items such as PSD templates and design elements for sale.

There are thousands of bloggers out there that seem to ‘get it’ when it comes to actually building a blog that makes them money. The blog is less about earning money directly as it’s a platform to bring people into a sales funnel for their actual businesses. You can do this too.

The Core Parallels of Blog thought as a Business Platform

Many of the following items are right in your face; on the tip of your tongue but you’ve yet to say it (or maybe think it). In a lot of ways, it’s the exact same formula that you’d approach an actual business – not just web presence that makes money:

  • Building a community (aka: customers) – Fellow bloggers will often tell you about the importance of creating a community; this is no different than a business creating a loyal following of customers.
  • Displaying your authority (aka: market share) – Content is the quickest way to display your authority within a niche. By sharing information, you’re conveying your expertise which makes people perk up and take notice.
  • Your blog (aka: your business front-end) – Your blog is like your brick & mortar store; it gives you a presence to share your own goods – it’s a vehicle to deliver your content (products). You have to treat it with the same dedication as if you’re paying rent.
  • SEO, SEM, Etc (aka: marketing your biz) – Online lets you play a different game with marketing your business but the parallels are still the same: in one form or another, your duty as a business owner is to promote your business.
  • Subscribers (aka: networking opportunities) – Businesses which thrive are those which network with the right people. Traditional business networking would detail having friends you’ve met in college or in your local area but now it’s shifted to those you meet and connect with online.
  • Content (aka: products) – Think of your content like a new product introduced within your business; bet that makes you think prior to hitting publish. Do you really want to release a product every day before it full matures? Work on only a few projects at a time but make them BIG.

The list goes on and one but I think you’re starting to see the point. Every piece of content you create is like a product; every way you promote your post is like marketing your business; every personal element helps define your unique selling point.

When you think of blogging as a business platform, you really do begin to see the parallels between the two. It makes you wonder why you should even bother with trying to make money directly from the blog instead of using it to create an actual business.

Building your TRUE business

Now that you’ve got the mindset in place and the parallels in check; here comes the tricky part: creating the actual business that you’re going to be promoting. If you thought setting up your blog was hard – just wait til you need to work on the actual business.

I can’t decide for you but I do have a few suggestions on how you can create a business on the backend: Here’s a few examples of going beyond ‘make money blogging’:

  • Create a niche site which begins to build traffic, earn affiliate commissions and builds a list but then turn your blog into a full fledge business by contacting manufacturers for products and thus creating your own online store.
  • Create a blog which displays your authority within a niche but use it to promote your own coaching, local business or freelance work.
  • Share your expertise in a field but make it apparent that you also offer the same services for hire; this can be created by having a dedicated products/services page or directly contacting those that have an interest in your business.
  • Create an entire product which you independently promote as its own business and bridge it into your blog through great pieces of content. Share your story of how you built the side business and what benefits your readers can gain from it.

It’s all truly endless because once you have the skills to setup a blog and promote yourself; you really have all the marketing knowledge you need to bridge the gap between blogger and business owner – you have the internet marketing skills, you just need the product!

Final Thoughts

We’re in a VERY powerful position today. Business owners of the last few decades HAD to rely on other businesses to market their products; they had to rely on foot traffic for customers; they had hire employees to handle the behind-the-scenes; for us, we’re in total control.

You have EVERY skill you need to create a business at your fingertips. You have free platforms to start your business. You have an unlimited resource in front of you to learn whatever needs to be done to get started and keep business running.

It’s the end of the employee era for you. You’re a business owner in the making; you just need to make the leap and get started today.