One of the most common questions I get regarding my blog is 'hey Steph, how the hell did you turn your silly little blog into your full-time job?!' (or words to that effect) and whilst I do often shrug it all off as a bit of good luck and good timing, a lot of it does come down to what is - quite simply - a crap ton of hard work. Just like any job - no matter how wonderful it is - there are always going to be down days, and there are always going to be days (especially at the beginning) where you just want to give up and cry into a large Dominos pizza..with extra cheese..and hot dog stuffed crust..wait what was I talking about? Oh yeah, blawgz. I won't lie and tell you it's going to be the easiest thing you'll ever do with your life - despite how things might look from the outside - but trust me, once you get there (and I know you can!) it'll be one of the best things you've ever done. Just be sure to have Dominos pizza on speed dial for those tricky times.
Know your blog inside out
How many readers do you get each month? How old is your average reader? What's the best time to publish your blog posts? These are all (granted, very boring) things you need to know about your site. Imagine sitting at a job interview with someone and not even knowing what the job you've applied for entailed. The employer would take one look at you and think hell to the no. If someone asks you about your bounce rate you want to be able to throw those percentages right back at them in 0.2 seconds flat. It's your business, both in a figurative and literal sense of the word, so make sure you know the ins and outs of it like the back of your hand. In fact, make sure you know it better than that because - let's face it - who actually knows what the inside of their hand looks like?! G-ross.
Become a jack of all trades
Sure, blogging might seem like a very simple, straight forward thing to do, but - as we all know - it's not just about posting a few words and pictures on the internet and suddenly becoming the next Zoella. If you want your blog to succeed (which I gather you do, if you're reading this post) you're going to need to excel in just about every aspect of online creativity that you can. The world is saturated with bloggers - and good ones at that. To go up against the rest you're going to need to be the best you can be at just about everything. Take the time to read up on the basics of photography, dabble in a bit of SEO when you can. If you can master every single blogger skill out there, then you're ready to take on just about job that gets thrown your way.
Think of it as a business
It's all well and good wanting your blog to become your career, but if you're really set out to turn your blog into a business you're going to need to think of it that way. Okay, so you might not be earning any money from it right now, but that's besides the point. Every time you post you should be doing it as if your next meal depended on it. If you keep doing that, you'll continuously churn out quality content that brands will actually want to pay you for. Don't be afraid to promote yourself, and don't shy away from talking to others about your blog. If it's what you want to do, take pride in it. You wouldn't expect a new clothing company to gain traction by keeping everything they do a secret, so why do the same for your blog? Set yourself up for success, and it'll soon follow.
Be prepared to hustle
Starting up a new business is never an easy thing to do. In fact, that's a lie. Sometimes, there will be a bunch of really easy things to do when it comes to building an online brand, but that doesn't mean you'll have the time to do it. If you're sat there thinking you'll be able to bring in the money just by hopping on your laptp for an hour or so a day, think again. If you have any other commitments in life, you're going to want to put them on the back burner when it comes to making your blog work. You'll stay up late (like, really late), your fingers will ache (from typing, that is) and sometimes the last thing you'll want to do is sit in front of a blaring computer screen for hours on end. But you know what? If that's what you've gotta do to get the work done, then that's what you've gotta do. Being a full-time blogger (or any kind of self-employed human for that matter) isn't just about working 9-5, it's about working until the jobs done. And the fun part about all of this? The work is never, ever done. Say hello to triple shot lattes - they're about to become your best friend.
Invest everything you have
Just like any other start up business, you're going to need to invest your heart, soul, time, money, dog (okay maybe not dog) and - let's face it - life into every single aspect of turning your blog into a business. Think of it as a new born child - you're going to want to give it everything it needs in order to set it up for success. It's not about doing the bare minimum just to get by - being a full-time blogger is all-encompassing. Writing posts will eat up all of your time, you'll spend any time off you have chasing day light in order to snap the perfect blog photo, your friends will complain at how busy you always are, you'll spend hours editing and organising photos on your computer and - if you're expecting to make a ton of money right off the bat, forget about it - you'll be investing every penny you make right back into your blog.
Want to know more about how to turn blogging into a career? Well then, head on over to Twitter right now (yes, right now) and join me for the #FBLChat from 8pm - 9pm GMT. Spoiler alert: I'll be giving away one of The Blogger Journals to one lucky Twitter follower! Seriously, go there right now. Why are you even still reading this? @Cocochicblog