Bloggers Inc: 3 Smart Ways to Turn Your Hobby into a Profession

Bloggers Inc: 3 Smart Ways to Turn Your Hobby into a Profession

When in Manila, there are tons of places to go, clothes to showcase and events to experience. Often, people turn to their trusty bloggers for recommendations, reviews and tips on these hot topics. A blogger’s biggest asset is his ability to influence a reader’s thinking about a certain topic / item based on his point of view. The satisfaction of helping point people towards the right decision for whatever they are looking for is a reward in of itself.

The topic of leveraging off their influence to monetize their blogs is always at the back of their minds but at the same time, they don’t want to appear to have compromised their objectivity and independence for money. So what is a hobby blogger to do?

To address that, I came up with 3 baby steps a blogger can take to slowly turn his hobby into an income generating profession (or sideline).

Bloggers Inc: 3 Smart Ways to Turn Your Hobby into a Profession

3. Guest Posting

This is one of popular traffic driving strategies of start-up blogs to reach a bigger audience. Huge blogs need contributors to constantly feed their audience with brand new content and some of them are willing to pay guest bloggers for posts. I accidentally found out about this when I wanted to guest post for a big travel site MatadorNetwork.com. While I was browsing for their contributor’s guidelines I found this:

Bloggers Inc. 3 Smart Ways to turn your Hobby into a Profession - Matador Network Contributors

 

 

Sweet, eh? $20 – $25 for a blog post and I can include being a contributor to Matador Network as part of my portfolio. Win-win.

Now you have to expect that they will strict when it comes to the articles that they approve and here are some tips that got my article approved.

* Be helpful – Always think about the blog owner’s point of view and how you can help him give valuable content to his readers. If you approach guest posting this way, it will be a lot easier to come up with an article that will get approved.

* Research popular posts in the past – I wanted to focus on language, which is a part of travel. I looked for past articles about the topic that had a lot of comments and shares.

* Find a pattern – I read those articles and charted them on a spreadsheet listing the number of comments, Facebook shares, Twitter re-tweets etc. I looked for a pattern and what I discovered was that list pots (i.e. 42 Ways to Say “Hello” in Asia) and those that are instantly applicable were the most popular.

* Have a fresh perspective – Give them a fresh angle on a topic. There were a number of posts about Mandarin Chinese (my topic). So the angle I chose was about using Chinese idioms. The title of my post was “8 Chinese Idioms to Sound Like a Native Speaker”

Bloggers Inc. 3 Smart Ways to turn your Hobby into a Profession - Matador Network

* Be prepared for additional requirements – Since my topic was about language, readers want to learn how to hear the idioms I shared, so the editor asked me for audio files, I quickly got on my computer and did a quick recording and sent it right away.

* Have Paypal account – Quite a number of transactions rely on Paypal to make payments. Better to get this before even applying to avoid doing all the hard work and being unable to get paid. 

Plus! They also give you a chance to link back to your own site via your author bio. It would be best if you can give something of value to the reader in order to give them a reason to click back to your link. Stop reading right now and scroll to the bottom to see my author bio to see how to compose one and give value to your reader.

2. Affiliate Programs

An affiliate program basically allows you to earn commissions from products that are bought based on your personal affiliate link. A popular affiliate program is Amazon.com. When you sign-up for their affiliate program, you get all sorts of links and banners to use on your website. You’ll get a commission from each sale coming from your affiliate link.

So for example you have a fashion blog, you have several books (or e-books) that you absolutely love and think your readers will love them too. You can include a widget like this on your website.
This particular widget is pretty cool because you can actually put your feedback on each book thus giving it a more personal touch.

Bloggers Inc. 3 Smart Ways to turn your Hobby into a Profession - Amazon.com Widget

 

 

Ideally, you should choose a widget that is mobile responsive, basically this means that it will appear properly when being browsed through a mobile device since a growing number of netizens browse the internet through their smartphones.

Bloggers Inc. 3 Smart Ways to turn your Hobby into a Profession - Amazon.com Widget Guidelines

Generally, Amazon pays between 4%-15% in commission rates. You might also look for affiliate programs from businesses that you use or believe in and approach them to be an affiliate or if they don’t have one, you can contact them to talk about a special arrangement. It would be best if you can meet them personally which leads us nicely to tip # 3…

1. Attend networking opportunities

The internet is swarming with millions of websites. It’s definitely hard to get people’s attention, especially big businesses. I’m sure you’ve felt the pain of sending an e-mail to a business or fellow blogger and have it fall on deaf ears. One way to stand out is to meet them IN PERSON. Attending a networking event gives you a rare chance to get noticed and create genuine connection face to face. So look out for networking opportunities and make that impression to businesses.

Bloggers Inc. 3 Smart Ways to turn your Hobby into a Profession - Blogapalooza

One such networking opportunity that has been growing yearly is our recently concluded Blogapalooza. It summarizes this topic succinctly:

Get to meet the businesses in person! Go beyond brands and get to know the people behind them. These businesses could be your potential advertisers, sponsors, partners, clients, employers etc.

Don’t overlook the value of connecting with your fellow bloggers. They could be your most valuable assets as you grow together and find areas of cooperation. It will also make doing guest posts and affiliate marketing a lot easier.

Do you have more baby steps you want to share? Share them below!

Bloggers Inc: 3 Smart Ways to Turn Your Hobby into a Profession






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