How to know when your blog becomes a business

After over five years as a blogger, I am finally starting to think like a business person instead of someone who enjoys writing for free.  I just noticed recently how my thinking has changed.

First of all, everybody and their brother thinks they have what it takes to make money on the Internet.  To that I say, NO.  After five years I can assure you that setting up a website is not your road to riches!  It takes a lot more than a creative website to create a business that actually makes enough money to live on.  I see it as rather like writing a book.  Only about one percent of all authors make any real money, while 99% work hard and receive very little for their efforts.

What it really takes is ALL OF YOUR TIME FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, and even then you probably won’t make enough to live on.  Especially if you don’t start thinking strategically.  What does that mean?  It means thinking about how the offer of links from your successful site to other sites benefits YOU.

For example, yesterday a more popular health site offered me a free post where they would link back to their site.  Think about this for a minute.  They offered me a free post, which I don’t really need, to get my readers to go check out their site.  I responded by saying that I generally charge over $100 for posts with links to commercial sites.  The only alternative I could offer was that they post one of my articles with links back to my site.  No response.

They are only a business and they get how this works.  I am now thinking strategically and see no profit in bringing them more customers, while I get nothing that I need out of this business transaction.  I can write as many articles as I need.  I don’t need them writing them for me.

This may all seem obvious to you, but I am finally clearly understanding how this works, and in that process I am making some real money on sponsored posts on my sites.

Granted, the payment I now get for sponsored posts isn’t anywhere near what I would need to pay myself for five years of writing, but it has been a great ride!


About Laura Lee Carter

Laura Lee Carter is the author of this blog and she holds copyright on all materials published.
This entry was posted in Becoming an author in midlife, Believing in yourself as a writer, Blog Coaching, Blogging, Blogs and advertising, Fort Collins author, Fort Collins writer, Learning how to become a writer, Making a living as a writer, Marketing your blog, Marketing yourself as a writer, Stresses of becoming a writer, The psychological challenges of becoming a writer, Writing and Self-worth, writing as a business and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How to know when your blog becomes a business

  1. There are business models and then there are companies who think bloggers are there to promote their products without a fee or without a back link. I have actually emailed them and asked them why would this be a good for me. Never got an answer. I am not writing a blog to get rich, but no one likes to be exploited.

  2. EXACTLY! I had a standard response to those looking for free advertising on my blog for a while which said, “Amazingly enough, I did not create this blog to sell your products!” Now I carefully choose those products I want to recommend to my readers. In other words, I treat my readers with respect…

  3. Great article and information, Laura. Thanks for sharing your experience. What I do now is figure out how much time a post (or processing a photo – I run into it with my photography as well) is going to take me and figure out how much to charge that way.

  4. Good idea Barb! I’ve been checking around for a while and I have found I can usually get somewhere between $120 and $150/post for now.

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