Turn Your Passion into a Profit in 5 Steps
Your knowledge and passion are the best place to start a business, and the Internet makes it easier than ever. Traditionally, a new business required a large investment of time and capital. Many new business owners quit their day jobs and went without a salary for months.
Today, you can start an online business without a lot of time or money. While you won't make a huge profit right away, starting a business will give you three benefits: a small income, a better understanding of the business aspects of your field and a jump start into a full-time business. According to "Investopedia," it all begins with a blog.
1. Start Your Own Blog
Starting your own blog does not mean you must become a full-time blogger. Your blog, short for "web log," can be a part-time endeavor, and it can be about anything. You can treat it like a public diary where you tell your own story, much like writers keep a journal or kids tell their stories through fashion.
Unfortunately, personal blogs rarely make a profit. It's better to think of your blog as an online magazine centered on your passion. Choose a narrow topic and a target audience, and be specific about who you want to reach. Essentially, this is your business plan.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
After you choose your topic and write a business plan, conduct some keyword research. Not everyone looks for information in the same way. Find out how people are searching the Internet for your particular topic.
Look for popular words and phrases. This will help understand your audience better. It will also help you craft your blog posts for search engine traffic. Enter "keyword research" into your web browser for tools to help you get started.
3. Define Your Audience
Who do you want to read your blog? Are you writing for general readers or for a certain segment or community? Your keyword research can help you gauge the level of blog traffic for specific groups of readers. Use this information to define – and refine – your target audience.
4. Analyze Your Competition
Do other blogs and web publications cover your chosen topic? If so, evaluate their content and their audience. Use this information to create better articles, videos, information graphics and other content. "Investopedia" suggests that you request your competitors' media kits – the information packets they provide their advertisers. This will help you analyze and evaluate your competition.
5. Monetize Your Blog
If you have a quality blog that is successful with your audience, will it really make money? Most businesses don’t make huge profits right away. However, your blog can be a side business that pays a small income.
Advertising networks like Google AdSense are one way to monetize your blog. You can also earn commissions through affiliate sales. E-books and product sales are also money-makers. The top-earning bloggers get creative, and they also have multiple income streams.
A Few Final Thoughts
Starting a blog on a topic that you're passionate about, and building it over time, can turn into a nice side business. However, it takes more than writing blog posts to make a profit. The Internet is a treasure house of information about business, finance and anything else you can think of. Use it to learn about blogging and turn your passion into a profit.
About Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.