Becoming a blogger isn’t just something to do on the weekend anymore. It’s a lifestyle, and more and more bloggers are becoming blogpreneurs by leveraging their popular posts to build online businesses. So what is a blogpreneur? This could vary depending on who you ask, but this is unofficially our official WPExplorer Dictionary definition:
noun; a person who operates a blog as a business, turning their interests and passion into a full time career, often times taking a financial risk to do so
Blogpreneurs are all over the web, and it’s very likely you visit a number of their websites each day either when researching business tips, or during leisurely web browsing. And all of them have found a way to make money with WordPress.
Examples of Blogpreneurs
If you’re still a bit fuzzy on what a blogpreneur is, here are a couple examples to help illustrate. First is WPExplorer – that’s right. We started as a simple blog sharing WordPress tips and news. Since then we’ve grown to into a full blown brand with WordPress products of our own.
Another great example (that we can only aspire to) is Entrepreneur On Fire. At first a passion project of John Lee Dumas, EOF has gone from a small daily podcast to a humongous network of top rated podcasts, webinars, workshops and more. It’s amazing what you can do with a blog and a bit of focus!
How You Can Become A Blogpreneur
While I can’t guarantee success, I can give you the basic steps to get started. There are three main steps which include getting your own blog off the ground, cultivating traffic and of course finding ways to generate a cashflow from your blog. Let’s dig in!
Step 1: Create Your Blog
We’ve talked many times about building a blog, but here is the condensed version. First, get yourself some great WordPress hosting. We use and highly recommend WPEngine, since they provide managed hosting they deal with your server for you so you never have to worry about it. Plus they offer great extras like website backups, staging sites and really awesome support all for $29 per month. If you’re on a budget, Flywheel is another great managed WordPress host that offer similar perks for $15 a month. And if you’re really on a shoestring, Bluehost has a great promo for the first year at just $3.49 per month.
Hosting aside, you need a great blogging theme with great features. We recommend the Noir Responsive WordPress Blog & Shop Theme. Noir comes packed with features like page layout options, custom widgets (about, social, Instagram, Facebook page, newsletter, etc.), styled video & audio blog post formats, 700+ custom Google font options, custom color pickers for tons of theme elements to create a custom color scheme, WooCommerce compatibility, support for RTL languages, custom author boxes with social links and tons more. It has everything an aspiring blogpreneur needs.
Once you have your theme, start blogging. Create tons of unique, quality content. Write reviews. Create how to guides. Share beauty tips. Comment on the news. But please, what ever you do, write about what you know and what interests you. If you try starting a blog about something you’re not passionate about you’re probably going to lose momentum fairly quickly.
Step 2: Build A Following
This is perhaps the hardest part of becoming a blogpreneur. You need traffic, and you’re going to need to put in time and effort to get it (unless your BFF is Kim Kardashian, in which case just have her tweet a link to your blog… and one to ours too okay?). Assuming you’re not networking with A-listers on the weekends, there are a few things you can do to help build your following.
You need to get your content on social media sites, through your own accounts and by having organic visitors to your website sharing your content. Noir has built-in social sharing on posts, so all you have to do is make sure that you’ve created catchy post titles that will interest other people on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.
Start A Newsletter
The sooner you setup your newsletter the better. People will subscribe, and most users never unsubscribe (just take a look at your own inbox, am I right?). We recommend MailChimp since its what we use and love, plus we have an awesome beginner’s guide for MailChimp to get you started. Getting started is free, which is great for a new blogger with a low budget, and if you’re using the Noir theme there is a built-in newsletter widget for MailChimp. Just paste in your newsletter API and readers can start subscribing!
Step 3: Sell Something
With the “blog” part covered in step one, now you need to tackle the “preneur.” To be a business you need to create a cashflow from your blog. There are two ways to approach this last bit.
If you’re using a theme like Noir you can sell and then add advertisements to your website using the built-in homepage, blog posts and widget areas. Just go to the theme customizer (from the WordPress dashboard click on Appearance > Customize > General Theme Settings > Advertisements) and paste your banner code from your affiliate, Adsense or create your own image with a link.
You can also promote other products and services on the web to generate an income. This is how the majority of YouTubers, beauty bloggers and even WordPress gurus make a living. Join an affiliate program, then add you unique affiliate links when making recommendations. You could also use the free plugin Pretty Link to create custom links with your own url.
Product & Service Sales
The only thing better than promoting other peoples’ products is to promote your own by creating an online store. Create your own ebook, digital goods, t-shirts, webinar packages, or anything else. Create something that you know you readers will want. If you’re a lifestyle blogger create a workout plan or a recipe book to sell. If you write about the stock market, put together a premium collection of your best investing tips. Whatever you want to sell, the Noir WordPress theme comes with full support and custom styling for WooCommerce so you can get our there and sell, sell, sell!
Those are our recommendations for getting started! Choose your WordPress hosting plan, get an awesome theme like the Noir WordPress Theme, promote your website and create or share products with others. Of course, there are ongoing efforts involved with becoming a blogpreneur. You’ll need to regularly create fresh content, change up your product offerings, create seasonal promotions, networks with other blogpreneurs in your market, etc. But if you start with these three steps you’ll be laying a solid foundation and heading in the right direction of success!
Are you a blogpreneur too? Do you have any helpful tips for our other readers? We’d love to hear your tips or experiences in the comments section below!