When I started this blog over 2 years ago I did not image what would happen over the next years. In 2014, I thought I’m already late to this blogging thing and that it would be a relict of 2007 like MySpace, but I was definitely wrong.
From the outside it looks like blogging is maybe something for teenagers to share their stories, or that nobody reads a blog anymore today. Both are completely wrong, and there is no sign that the popularity of blogs will end very soon.
What you can see from the outside is only the tip of the iceberg. In this article we will see what’s behind all of this and why you can actually build a blog business of your dreams even today.
Why Blogging Business is so much more than just writing
A blog itself is not yet a business nor is he making you any money in general. You have to think of a blog as the central hub of your brand.
Ok this might sound strange, especially when you compare yourself with big brands, but you or your platform is a brand as well (not so big as Apple maybe, but that doesn’t matter).
If you are a software developer, there are many good reasons to start a blog. You can get so much out and at the same time build your own platform for your services, products or whatever it is that you are going to sell.
Today almost every big brand has some sort of blog to release fancy content that drives traffic to their products. Same counts for your personal brand. You are not primarily making the big money from the blog, but from everything related to the blog like consulting services, books, online courses and more.
That’s finally the reason and the way to build your own blog business by starting from a small blog. With increasing traffic you can add more products, you get more popularity and finally you will find new ways to earn money by completely living from your blog and everything connected to it!
You can see, what might once start as a small idea or hobby can become a huge project over time. There are a few things you need to learn on your way to a successful blog business, and these are a few areas of special interest.
What you can expect to learn
It’s not that you have to learn about all of these topics below, but you actually want to learn them at some point. If you treat your blog not just like a little diary but like your own business, there are tactics and reasonable changes that you should apply to increase the chances of becoming successful.
When I started out, I never heard of anything specific about these topics but 99% of high valuable information is out there for free, you only need to find and consume it! We will see some great sources of information later.
The areas I’m talking about are things like:
- SEO (Search engine optimisation): How can you rank higher in Google for specific keywords?
- Social Media Marketing: How to connect with others, share your content regularly and increase traffic
- Building an email list: The most recommend action item of all
- Selling products: How and what to sell if you don’t want to sound too sleazy?
There are many more tiny lessons you will learn, but these are a few core competencies where you can expect personal growth.
The knowledge you gain over time is priceless!
Of course you don’t have to know everything at once. Before I actually started an email list it took me some time (and nobody was interested before). But once you see the result of your learnings, you know you are on the right path.
This blog might seem like a place of some tutorials and content, but behind the scenes all of these different parts need attention. You need to increase your traffic, visitors, keep them engaged, get them on your list and finally hopefully sell your services.
“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.” – Victoria Holt
Whether you enjoy tinkering and learning new stuff depends on you, but learning about something new has never turned out negative for me. So if you are interested in building your own little business, here are a few of the key resources that helped me to grow Devdactic over time.
How to build your own Blog Business from Scratch
If you start at zero, it’s a pretty good idea to just spin up a WordPress blog and start right away. There is no better time to start something than today, so just get out and start small.
If you are looking for a good hosting, I can highly recommend Digital Ocean (Affiliate Link) on which this blog runs. They offer very cheap VPS which you can also use for all kinds of developers activities (like to deploy a simple Node.js server!).
There are enough great sites out there that will help you to grow your blog, how to blog and everything else, but a few stand out to me. These sites and podcasts really helped me to get from “hobby blog” to a more serious lifestyle business oriented approach.
The first and best podcast I know about generating income on the side. Pat Flynn is the master of this, and the site plus the podcast are pure gold in the beginning!
Side hustle nation is all about ways to build up your own little side hustle. Whatever direction you want to take, I bet Nick Loper had someone on the podcast that could act as an archetype for your own journey.
The guys at Fizzle made many hours of my commute: Inspiring, funny and entertaining. Besides their podcast they deliver a huge amount of value through their blog and the membership site they run. If you want to seriously start you business, joining their side is a big step forward (if you actually use the material).
Those are my 3 favorite sites and podcast that helped me to grow and shape what is now Devdactic.
If you are interested in starting and building out your own blog business or “side hustle” than I recommend you start with the resources of these epic folks!
What it takes to be successful
Everyone can start a WordPress blog or write some posts, but what differentiates you from the rest is your motivation and ambitions. You can blog occasional but don’t expect to get anywhere without some clear goals.
To be consistent is one of the biggest reasons some people succeed. Show up, week after week. Stay in contact and deliver value, over and over and over again. If people like what you do and you can help them, they will more likely follow you and your business!
Your business is always about creating value for people. That’s not a secret, it’s the rule for every startup or company. So if you want to increase the chances of becoming successful, make sure you deliver value to your audience and not just pure air.
Don’t fear to step outside. The species of developers is not known for being very open or going out a lot. Sharing your voice online is something many see as a big obstacle or fear, but it will help you to grow both online and in real life. When I created my first YouTube videos I had to do the start like 5 times because I was so freaking nervous to record myself.
Finally, create stuff that you enjoy doing!
If other people can see the joy you put into the work, they will more likely also enjoy the product, post or whatever you created. Also, doing something you don’t really like will come back to you at some point because you just can’t stand it anymore and your business fails because you lose motivation.
A blog is more than just a website with some random post, it can grow way beyond into a complete lifestyle business. It’s up to you to decide what you do with your skills and how you can help others in their life.
If you always thought about starting something, why not start today?
Tomorrow you wish you had started yesterday.
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