Good blog management is the key to running a successful online business.
A career as a solopreneur is rewarding, in more ways than one. You can write from nearly anywhere in the world. A blog sets you up for a residual income, allowing you to focus on creating additional content or building more sites, while the money comes in almost on autopilot.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of wrong ways to run a blog.
Problogger ran a survey of 1,500 of their readers. They found that only 4% of their readers make more than $10,000 per month. Another 9% made between $1,000 and $9,000 per month. The majority made zero to a few hundred per month.
Rather than be discouraged that less than one-fifth of bloggers make a decent income, focus on the fact that it is possible to make five and six figures from this one task. Many of these bloggers work well under 30 hours a week. The key to doing well with your blog is exceptional management and attention to detail.
1. Create an Editorial Calendar
You can’t drive traffic to your site if you don’t have content. However, many bloggers burn out because they run out of things to say. Your first task should be to create an editorial calendar.
Fill in major holidays and consider how they impact your industry. For example, if you run a blog for e-commerce stores, you might focus on holiday promotions for your digital shop.
Once you’ve filled in the holidays, move to seasonal topics, such as taking inventory during the slow winter months. Finally, flesh out your plan with topics you’d like to cover in the new year based on your market research.
2. Know Your Reader
You can’t create and manage a top-notch blog unless you fully understand who your audience is. Dig into the demographics and psychographics of your site visitors. Which ones make a purchase? What sets them apart?
Once you have some details on your typical buyer, create a persona that represents the person. Everything you write, the schedule and the aesthetics of your design must take the customer into account.
3. Appoint and Train a Backup
As a solopreneur, you likely have more than one type of business going. There may be occasions when you have to travel or go to a meeting. Who keeps your blogs running in your absence? How do you replicate yourself so you can be in two places at once?
Create a workbook outlining the tasks you do each week. Once you list your work step-by-step, it is much easier for someone to step into your role temporarily. Train the person to respond the way you would.
4. Update Regularly
Part of managing a blog effectively involves keeping plugins, themes and the operating system updated. When you first log in to your control panel, such as WordPress, you’ll see a list of updates.
You can also set most third-party content management systems to update automatically. There are both pros and cons to automatic updates. Your site will always be current and any security patches will be installed, but some updates mess up the look or function of your site and you might not catch it right away.
5. Narrow Your Niche
The best blogs have a very narrow focus and they don’t stray outside their box. Think about some of the successful blogs you know of, such as recipe blogs. They often focus on one thing, such as baking, slow cooker meals or low-carb eating.
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Become the very best and the most knowledgeable in a single area and then keep every post on the same general topic. You can create uniqueness through the subtopics within that main niche.
6. Protect Your Data
You must protect your intellectual property and your customer data from hackers. Install firewalls and keep your passwords updated and complicated. If you collect any information from site visitors, your practices may fall under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Act.
It is your responsibility to put measures in place to prevent others from gaining access to your customers’ data.
7. Hire Help
You probably got into blogging as a way of generating income and giving yourself some freedom in life. However, if you are constantly online or worried about your site and its numbers, you don’t have much freedom.
The path to becoming an amazing solopreneur may involve hiring others. Yes, that goes against the term solopreneur, but you don’t have to hire permanent employees. You can contract out some of the work.
You can also put software to work for you. Plugins can back up your site. Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer help you schedule promotions. Look for ways to expand your own work hours without working harder.
8. Listen to Your Users
The best managers listen to what their customers want. Pay close attention to comments on blog posts as well as social media interactions. If someone asks a question, answer it and think about how you might expand on that query. Can you create an entire article on the topic?
Questions and complaints are often clues about the pain points your customers face. Take the time to figure out the best way to address any query. You might even create some videos to post on your blog.
9. Get Organized
The number one rule to running a successful blog is getting organized. You need an editorial calendar, a promotional schedule and a list of tasks you do every week. Create checklists and worksheets so you don’t miss any important points.
With a lot of focus and by working smarter, not harder, you’ll have a successful blog that brings in revenue for your business in no time.