In 2011 there were 173 million blogs on the internet, now there are over 500 million and the number is continuing to rise. The advancement of the internet has made it easier than ever for people to build their own online space and fill it with their unique thoughts and content. Blogging is now a commonly sited hobby amongst people of all ages and from all backgrounds, however, for some people, it is much more than just a hobby and is also a source of income or even their solo career. But those top 1% of bloggers who make the most money aren’t just limiting themselves to their blog content, they branch out into other areas of the internet to widen their reach and increase their appeal to brands and advertisers. So if you’re ready to take a step out of the blogging space and take your little piece of the internet to the next level, here are 5 things you could consider.
Increase your presence on social media
Social media and blogging often come hand in hand, but some people still choose to keep their blog and social media presence entirely separate, however, this isn’t the best strategy if turning your blog into a business is your end goal. Many bloggers, who have loyal followings, turn to social media to expand their audience and build them a profile as a social media influencer. Social media, when combined with a blogging platform, can be a very profitable combination and provides bloggers with another way to share their content and promote their recommendations with people who prefer a different kind of media. Whether it be short snappy comments on Twitter or visual content through Instagram, branching out into social media opens up a lot of doors.
Create an App
Successful bloggers with a loyal following are very well placed to profit from the creation of their own App. Deliciously Ella and Emily Skye are just two examples of bloggers who have turned their niche into an App to earn themselves some residual income. The creation of their Apps has enabled these bloggers to provide their readers with a way to digest more of their content and access paid-for features such as workout plans and recipes. To build and create a top-quality App that your readers will use and come back to, you will want to consult with a professional in enterprise application development. The App building process can be a costly and time-consuming process but when done correctly it can reap big rewards.
Write an e-book
Most bloggers are keen writers and so what better way for them to branch out than by writing their own e-book? An e-book is short for “electronic book,” and they work in much the same way as a regular book except for the fact that they have digital pages and exist entirely online. E-books are the perfect way for bloggers to expand on their usual content and make a profit at the same time. Bloggers can create e-books about anything and everything, from blogging tips to exclusive recipes, fashion advice through to baby tips. Whatever your niche you could probably write an e-book about it, so long as you are providing your readers with valuable content that they will be willing to shell out their hard-earned cash for. Another reason why e-books are so popular with bloggers is that they are often easier to create and distribute than a printed book and have a much lower startup cost, making them accessible to more people and not limited to bloggers with a huge following and income.
Create your own merchandise
Merchandise is another popular area that bloggers tend to branch out into. This could be selling branded items of clothing, items associated with their content like makeup bags, or something altogether more unique. Whatever it is, merchandise is a great way to turn a quick profit as it is often relatively cheap to produce. Just be aware that if you choose to sell merchandise then you may need to handle the packaging and shipping associated with it, and this can require a lot of space and be time-consuming depending on how many orders you need to process.
Start a YouTube channel
People like to consume content in a number of different ways and visual media is one of the most popular, this makes starting a YouTube channel a very profitable opportunity. A YouTube channel will help your audience get to know the face behind the blog and is a chance for more of your personality to shine through. YouTube videos can earn their creator’s money in a number of different ways including through their content, i.e if it’s a sponsored video and also through their advertising.
Launch a podcast
The number of people wanting more audio content is on the rise and podcasts are a great way for people to consume it enabling them to have access to it on the go while driving, or simply if they prefer to listen rather than to read. A podcast format is particularly great for bloggers who have educational advice to give or who make money from their opinions but virtually anyone can start a podcast. Unlike YouTube, podcasts offer the recorder a little more anonymity and so they’re a great option for the camera-shy. Podcasts are also relatively simple to set up and you can start recording with very rudimentary equipment, though you will want to invest in a good quality microphone at some stage or another. Once you’ve recorded your episode, submit it to iTunes and share across your social media and see how people like it.
The key to generating money through podcasting is by building an audience within a target demographic, what that means is that if your podcasting audience is too broad then it may not be attractive to advertisers who are looking to promote their product or service to a specific group of people. Try to refine your target audience, and if you tend to blog about multiple things, then maybe stick to just one for your podcast.