Do you ever feel like you aren’t running your site or your business, but it’s running you? Me, too. But if you consider blogging as a business, you will often be more intentional and effective with your time and money. This mindset shift makes a huge difference as you hammer out the details of your blog.
In this episode I’m talking with Christine Pittman, a food blogger who runs Cook the Story (her personal food blog) and Cookful (a contributor food site). I was blown away by her levels of organization and how starting Cookful with intentional organization brought the site to over 200k pageviews a month after just a year. How did she do it? By starting out blogging as a business.
Listen to Episode 67 – Blogging as a Business
Highlights from the Interview
- When starting a blog, take the time to plan and map things out ahead of time. Being intentional from the start can mean faster success.
- At Cookful, there are themes, which means multiple posts on a particular topic (like Candy Apples, which are being featured right now). These posts cover different aspects of a topic, incorporate keywords and link to one another. As a result, they rank really well for SEO (search engine optimization).
- Tiny details can go a long way! For their featured topics, even the sidebars will show related post to that topic, rather than just a standard sidebar.
Tips (Especially for a Contributor Site)
- Have a consistent voice. Pull writing samples so that you (or your contributors) can get a feel for the style.
- Be specific with your audience, even to the point of having a photo of the
- Make sure everyone knows the goal and what the site is about.
- Consider making a file or document with the voice style guide as well as image standards and the details about fonts and color palette.
Christine’s Favorite Tools for Organizing Your Blog
- Coschedule – a paid plugin for wordpress that can act as an editorial calendar, allow contributors to talk, and also schedules social media
- Basecamp – this tool is where the style guides live and is also a place for the people on her team to talk
- Board Booster – a Pinterest scheduling tool (this is my affiliate link!)
How do you know when you should invest?
If you are blogging as a business, invest in it as though it’s a business. (Don’t go TOO crazy; definitely consider your current financial status. But you may take more risks.) It may sometimes be a bit of a gamble, because you don’t know the end result. Thinking of it as a business changes things. It IS often an investment to make money. (Read my post on how to know if you should use free or paid tools!)
You should also consider how things free you up or will make money BACK for your site. If you are investing in tools or people or apps, think about how the money will or can come back to you. Ask if you NEED it or what it will bring back into the blog.
How do you know that you should say yes to a paid opportunity?
You may start out taking money or jobs that are not the idea or things you really WANT to do, but the goal may be to work toward saying NO a lot more and only saying yes to the opportunities that you LOVE. Consider your dream job and then work toward that.
Final Thoughts about Blogging as a Business
Getting organized starts with having a plan, writing it down, and working step-by-step to accomplish the steps along the way. A mastermind group or small tribe of people doing similar work can really help as you try to articulate your ideas and get feedback from other people.
What are the systems and tools that help YOU accomplish your goals? Have you seen a mindset shift make a big difference in your decisions, large & small? Leave a comment. Let’s chat.