Beautiful Solutions: 2012- Present Day: How I Turned My Blog Into My Job

blogger's desk area with a girl boss plaque and tray for organisation

I've been working on Beautiful Solutions since 2012, which seems crazy if I sit and think about it. My life couldn't be more different from when I first opened this account and started typing my thoughts- so much has changed, and yet having my blog has been the one consistent thing. I'm very lucky to now have a career in writing, and my business is partly made up of income from this blog. And while I'm far from an expert (even after all this time!) there are of course a few things I've learned along the way. If you're looking to turn your blog into a job, or just take it to the next level then here's how you can go about it. 

Buy a domain name and improve your domain authority
As a blogger, most of your income will come from bigger companies looking to collaborate with you. In most instances, they'll only work with bloggers who have their own domain, so it's worth purchasing one. Once you have your domain you can then go about building  domain authority; this is a metric that shows how much authority your site has on the web. Moz has recently changed the way domain authority is ranked, and so right now knowing what constitutes as a 'good' score is a little confusing. However there are things you can do to build it up, the first is to remove broken links which you can do using a broken link checker online. The second is to get backlinks from high quality websites. As a blogger it's not all that difficult to do this, if you're friends with other bloggers ask them you can contribute a guest post and have your link included. If you're confused about why others seem to get lots of opportunities and you don't (despite the fact your blog is good) it could well be that your score is too low. 

Purchase a nice template
The internet is saturated with blogs, and so there's a lot of competition when it comes to receiving paid work. Advertisers have their choice of who they'd like to work with, and it goes without saying that given the choice between two sites with a similar domain authority, they'll pick the one that looks the nicest. You don't need to be a html expert, and I can't even explain how long I've spent messing with my templates in the past. My advice these days is to go to a site like Etsy and purchase one, they only cost a few pounds and the quality is excellent. Blogs have come a long way in the time I've been writing mine, the standard is higher with both readers and advertisers expecting a tidy and professional looking layout. Unless you're a skilled template designer or really know your stuff, you'll probably never be able to achieve results that match up to the professional templates most people use these days.

Branch out your content
This site started as a predominantly beauty blog. This was such an interest of mine at the time, and while I still do love cosmetics and all of that girly stuff, I've of course changed as a person over the years. I've developed new interests and passions, and as you can tell from the 'topics' in my sidebar I've hugely branched out. Not only does this keep blogging interesting for you (and keeps you learning new things), but it can also increase the opportunities you get. With a broader range of topics, you have a broader range of advertisers whos products or services will be a fit on your site. Don't just talk about new topics for the sake of it, but definitely explore your interests. Branch out and create new categories. 

When you first start a blog, you're basically talking to yourself for quite some time. As connected as the internet is, in the beginning you're pretty much floating around in cyber space, wondering how to connect with others and how to get them to read your content. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use social media, use relevant hash tags to promote your posts and chat to others with similar interests. I was lucky to have started my blog at a time when lots of Twitter chats were going on, there were plenty of likeminded people out there also blogging and there was lots of support and others interested in checking out other's sites. These days, most of my promotion involves using SEO. By using the right keywords in your posts, you drive traffic to your site from those that are interested in the content you're publishing. While it's important to do your research when it comes to keywords, my advice is to always remember that you're writing for a human- not for search engines.  It's all a fine balancing act between using the right keywords and still ensuring your article provides the information the reader wants. I've recently started studying for a diploma in online marketing which has helped me to understand all of this a bit better, but there's plenty of free info online that you can utilise. It's definitely something to be aware of as a blogger, whether you write for fun or because you're working towards making it your career. Let's face it, none of us want to write content that no one reads as they can't find it.
The site does a great job at explaining what SEO is and how it's changed over the years, you can check out the hashtag #SEOYourBlog to find out more about it too.

Put in the hours
I started this blog at a time when people were blogging as a hobby and nothing more. No one was making money from their site yet, and a career in blogging was still unheard of. I spent years blogging just for the fun of it, I spent hundreds of hours of writing, editing, taking photos and networking with others. This meant that by the time sponsored opportunities started coming around, I already had an established site and a decent following. What this means is that if you start a blog purely with the intention of making money,  you're probably going to fail as the amount of work that goes into getting a site set up (to the point that sponsors want to work with you) is a whole lot more than you probably realise. You absolutely have to be in it for the love. Even now that it's part of my career, I still love blogging and think I'll always enjoy writing and creating content. If this isn't an interest of yours then choosing it as a career path probably won't be for you. Sure, you can make money eventually if you put enough work in, but the same is true with anything- so why not focus your efforts on something you do love? The wonderful thing about blogging for me, is being able to earn doing something I genuinely enjoy.

Blogging can be highly lucrative, but it's not a get rich quick scheme. It's taken hundreds of hours of hard work, writing, editing, photography, frustration, joy and more to have reached the point I'm at now. However, after all of that work I now feel I'm enjoying the fruits of my labour, having created something from scratch that's now part of my job. If you want to become a blogger, you have to be in in it for the love, the income much later on really is just a bonus. 

Have you turned your blog into a job, or is this something you'd like to do?

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