How to Treat Your Blog Like a Business Not a Hobby

Business or Hobby

How do you clearly send a message to the world, short of printing it on your forehead, that you are running a business as a blogger and that, as fun as it may be, you are not just in it for the fun, (unless you are of course, in which case this blog post might be handy a few months or years down the road when the idea of turning all your hard labor into a thriving business makes more sense then but no rush!)

Anyway, we all need incentives to be moved to action. Right? You do. I do. We all do.

The incentive does not necessarily have to be monetary, as in financial, money-like, exchange of currency.

Let me repeat that one, in case it gets scanned over or something: The incentive does not have to be monetary.

Examples of Great Incentives to Move You to Action

Here are my practical tips on how you can treat your blog like a business and not a hobby starting today:

A budding relationship that will later lead to mutual benefit between you and this other person and entity.

A cause in which you believe and want to support.

A favor in return for a favor, or as favor in return for nothing as Seth Godin talks about in his book Linchpin. See the next one for more on this.

A good feeling inside that tells you that you just want to do this period, and you are the boss of you so you decide.

A product or service exchange, sometimes referred to as bartering.

A learning opportunity for you in return for your service or product.

A pay-it-forward for something that comes later, and in which you fiercely believe.

A partnership that will benefit both parties in ways that they deem valuable.

bluehost_250As a business owner, you make all these decisions and their variations every day: When to give something away for free, when to charge for it, when to discount it, when to build a partnership, when to charge more for a service, etc, why would you not apply the same rules to a blogger?

A business does not stay in business by giving away every resource and product for free. Even a charity runs as a business; it has funding and operates on a budget and has limits and boundaries to what it can and cannot do, even if it does not turn a profit. Both a charity and a business always have an incentive for every action and so should you.

Get clear on your incentive and don’t let others tell you what incentives you should have to take certain actions. And remember to constantly educate yourself.

Practical Tips on How to Treat Your Blog Like a Business

1- Awareness that you are in business, and that it depends solely on you, not outside factors, but all resources and power and energy that you posses on the inside, to make things happen. I love Christine Kane’s Laws of Awareness if you need a healthy nudge.

2- Believe in the goodness of business. Corporate America may have some stupid, crazy, dumb ways of doing things, yes, I am happy to admit it, and corporations may treat their employees badly, happens every day but that should never kill the spirit of business.

Businesses advance our culture and our civilization and are the foundation for a lot of good in society. And if you disagree, I ask you to do without all the things you buy from a business – think your car, your groceries, your Mac, your clothes, what have you … – for just a day and then re-think your position.

3- Stop doing things for free and out of the kindness of your heart, because your business will be bleeding and lacking love as a result. Instead, learn to build partnerships and lasting relationships, with mutual benefit, with a win-win situation, whatever the definition may be.

4- Get clarity on what your expertise, your unique offering and your creative genius is – yes YOURs. Ask yourself why it rocks – because it has to rock and only rock – and then proudly put a price tag on it, a process around it, and a way to collect payment. If you have any kind of inner conflict with this, you are not yet ready to take this step.

Aweber5- Exude professionalism by setting the standards very high for how you run your blog and your website, how you communicate and act – in fact, check out my email etiquette rules while at it – and how you leave an imprint of impression everywhere.

Be professional and expect to be treated as such, and the right people will be attracted to you.

Oh and don’t wait another minute to start your email marketing. This one is crucial for a business.

6- Describe your blog as a business to others: Use your clear words on your About page to inform people the purpose of your blog and on your Contact page, describe the kind of associations you wish to make, then make templates for various professional queries so you are consistent and stay true to your standards as opportunities come knocking.

Benefits of Treating Your Blog Like A Business

I can tell you that when I started applying these rules, the fabulous five happened to me:

1- I finally got taken seriously by others because I was taking myself seriously and until you start taking yourself seriously, no one will. This one is worth repeating over and over.

2- I actually started building a company – yes, Prolific Living is an itty bitty company but nonetheless a company – but also a strong brand and a respectable online presence.

3- I found true happiness to be operating from a place of strength and alignment to my core values, which are owning my own company, doing negotiations, building killer relationships, and creating a community of like-minded fabulous peeps.

4- I became even more motivated than before, if that was possible, to keep blogging and building out my website because it is a business and not just a hobby anymore.

5- I felt heaps more compassion, love, and a sense of service for my peeps, my supporters, and my partners and my blog readers, now that I value myself and my in-depth knowledge first and foremost.

Of course, none of this matters if you do not believe, with every ounce of your being, and every cell in your body, that you are running a business and it is going to succeed. If you do not believe that, I cannot help you on this blog post but I bet I can change your mind in a power coaching session.

And if you do believe that, it is enough, you have the biggie down, and because you cannot change what others believe, your job is to then act the part of a business owner, and continuously inform and educate your position with poise and grace.

Even if your blog is not generating income, and even if it is losing money and costing you every month, it is still a business, it is just a business in trouble. I mean, how many formal companies out there declare bankruptcy every day, without an ounce of shame and go on calling their entity a company or an organization long after entering a pathetic financial state of just sucking money in and never repaying it?

If they can call their failed thing a “business”, you, my dear, have no reason not to call your blog a killer business in the making. So take heart, because the fact that you are in the red does not take away the concept that you are in business, and that you are planning to stay in it.

Unless again, you wish to do this just as a hobby, and I know several perfectly fine bloggers who have either an inner conflict with making money from their blog or no desire to do so. If you are one of them, then just respect that choice and obviously don’t call it a business.

If you are like me and planning to build an enterprise that will reach masses one day and share a message that you passionately believe in, then tell yourself everyday that you are building a business, you are creating a company, and you are changing the shape of your own future. Stop the destructive mental self-sabotage process and instead believe that your message will help and empower others and your efforts are worthwhile.

Now over to you. What kind of blog – or rather, business – are you building these days and what lessons can you share in terms of positioning?


Disclaimer: I have affiliate links in this post to products and programs I full and proudly endorse.

  • http://www.makethemgreat.com Jason Scott

    Hi Farnoosh,

    I think I needed this post as much as a healthy diet, regular exercise and prolonged affection! I feel as if you were speaking directly to me, because everything you said about taking my blog seriously was spot on.

    I am a giving guy by nature, and just like to help others. But why shouldn’t I get something out of my hard work? Okay, all of those ideas that I’ve pushed aside in the name of generosity need another look. Thanks for the elbow!

    Jason

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Jason, I am SO glad to hear it. If you needed it that badly, then I am delighted I wrote it. The kind side of you is getting in the way of the wrong thing, my dear. It is FINE to be kind, compassionate, giving, loving and all for humanity, but don’t do it at the expense of building a smart business underneath. It is going to let you do all of that A LOT MORE. Let me know what else I can do to support you …. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://alwayswell.wordpress.com Sandra / Always Well Within

    Good food for thought! There is a certain clarity but also softness in the way you presented this that appealed to me in particular.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Sandra, I am so so happy to see you here. You have no idea how much this means to me, and I know – I just know – that in your own special way, you will find a way to reach many with your beautiful gifts. Thank you for stopping by and making my entire week. Big love to you!

  • http://www.byjanet.net/purple Janet

    I would love to build Purple Panda into a business someday but I don’t think I have the audience yet. I guess I should work on that… Though I know I should think of my blog as a business from the start, instead of “waiting” for it to happen. Create schedules, etc. I am brainstorming on my first paid offering!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Janet, how nice to see you. Build that baby like a business, and don’t wait for someday – start right now. If you have ideas, flush them out, put them to use, and just run with one idea. If you want help, I am happy to give you more of a push but I know you can do it! And with a name like Purple Panda, you can’t possibly go wrong, dear!

  • http://onlinetaxprofessionals.blogspot.com Greg Holbert

    The mindset of treating your blog as a business is a great way to improve not only your work ethic, but really makes you put more devotion into creating the best posts possible to further said “business”. Great article and definitely great words to digest on for a relatively slow Tuesday!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Greg, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am glad to put a little jump in your Tuesday, and I wish you the very best. Devotion is a great word. Go with that!

  • http://www.mazzastick.com Justin Mazza

    Hi Farnoosh,
    I started my blog as business back in April 2011 forming an LLC. This made me switch my thinking from a hobby blogger to a legit business.

    Occasionally I get contacted from websites asking me to do a product review on my blog for their product or service. I always respond to them by sending them a link to my product review service page which costs money to have done.

    They never reply back to me. Unfortunately many are so used to the web being full of free resources for all that they are not open to paying for things.

    I treat my blog as a business and I expect others too as well.

    Great topic for discussion! :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Justin, wow April 2011: When I quit my corporate job. A great month I tell you! Yes, doing that definitely is a great first step to taking yourself seriously.
      Let those people come and go. Just send them your template, set your standards high and know that they are not your customer. You need to find your customers. And if you need more ideas, I’ve got plenty! So keep at it and do not give up.

  • http://bloggingfearlessly.com Jen

    I think you hit the nail on the head.

    I have a blog (MsMorphosis.com) which was a hobby for a long time before I decided to take my love of blogging and turn it into a business with BloggingFearlessly.com. There’s something inherently uncomfortable about making money from something that you love and WANT to do for free, but the truth is that by charging you are able to turn it into a business, which means that you can spend all day doing it – NOT treating it as a hobby.

    It’s a strange transition but an exciting one. Thank you for being a pioneer in speaking so honestly and openly about it :)

    Lots of love,
    Jen

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Jen, how nice to see a new face here.
      Well, if you feel that “inherently uncomfortable” then you have to work through that inner conflict, don’t let me or anyone else “talk you” into a business – that’s the worst thing to do. If you don’t WANT or yearn to make money from doing something you love, then that’s fine. But be very clear on how you feel and what you want out of it and then expect others to treat it as such. You are most welcome and here if you need more of my thoughts…. Good luck! And listen to that inner voice, it knows best. :)

  • http://360degreeself.com Tim

    Farnoosh:

    What can I say, Farnoosh, I like your thinking and what you shared in this post. I can tell, since discovering your blog, that you put a lot of hard work into it and that you’ve been running it like a business since before you left the corporate world.

    I talk to a lot of hobby bloggers who sometimes mention adding ads to monetize their blogs. I think they’re living in a dream world if they think they can make money this way without really focusing on great content. I think the better way to think of making money through their blog is indirectly. For example, John Doe decides to start a blog and, somewhere along the way an ad agency creative director is blown away by his writing. Mr. Doe is eventually hired as a copywriter at that agency and goes on to have a very successful career.

    Personally, I’ve lost a bit of blogging mojo and I’m doing a little self-reflection on its direction moving forward. That being said, I think your post rubbed off on me in a good way. Who knows, I may need to hire you sometime ;)

    In any case, keep up the great work here!!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Thank you Tim and so nice of you to say such kind words. Yes, I’ve been serious ever since the beginning, but recently, it’s on a whole new order.

      As for hobby bloggers who wish to monetize, you know, there are SO many many ways to make money from a blog but without great content and originality and passionate writing and some unique aspect to it, it won’t happen.

      As for being discovered, not sure that matters so much as building your own brand and business and then being self-sufficient, but of course there are a million ways to define success.

      And if you want to work with me, just let me know. I’ll get that blog off the ground in no time, but you gotta commit. You know where to find me.

      Thank you again and I’ll be here for a while and hope you will stay a long while too, Tim. :)!

  • http://www.ruthzivecopywriting.com/posts Ruth Zive

    This is very interesting Farnoosh because in my business, I certainly appreciate this point of view, but I also encounter the flip side of the same argument on a regular basis.

    How do companies leverage blogging as a way drive business? So many companies are CLUELESS! And it’s really much of the same – they simply don’t see blogging as a driver of revenue or business or enhanced brand or traction in general.

    They know they should be doing it. They often have a ‘corporate blog’ tab on their website. But it’s an afterthought. A marginal consideration. Not a serious part of their business model.

    So I realize it’s a different spin on the same topic, but interesting for me since I approach blogging from both perspectives.

    Hope all is well!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Ruth, I can imagine your interesting perspective. Oh Corporate Blogs mostly seem to boring, so lucky for them to have you infuse some personality and spice and direction and strategy to it. I can imagine how hard it is for corporations to really relate to the value of blogging. You have your hands full! Thank you for stopping by, and let’s continue to be role models in the blogging world.

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  • http://nochnoch.com Noch Noch | be me. be natural.

    funny, i’ve just been thinking about this. but i don’t want my blog to become a business just yet because I’m not ready. but perhaps one day. when i get there. i know i will feel the nudge when i’m ready, and i’ll come back to this page :)
    Noch Noch

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      And that’s fine, Noch-Noch, maybe the blog never becomes a business, and certainly not a day sooner than you are ready. Maybe you have a business and then a personal blog on the side, I mean any arrangement that feels right to you should work fine and no one should tell you what to do except your own heart. And I’m here if you need any help, of course.

  • Ayie

    Hi Farnoosh..I have learned a lot from this post and I hope most people can benefit from this too…Thanks for making us aware with this…

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      I am so glad, be sure to share it with others that might find it as useful too, Ayie. Thanks!

  • http://wasimismail.com Wasim Ismail

    Point no3 “Stop doing things for free” is something a business/blog owner fall into, especially in the early days, while you trying to build you business, and also at times you can find your self doing stuff for free for your friends and family, but once in a while is okay, but constantly, its going to effect your business.
    When it comes to friends and family, it can be extremely sticky situation, sometimes I refuse to take work on, as down the line, you end up spending most of the time doing stuff for free, which overall impacts the bottom line.
    Thanks for the article Farnoosh :)
    BTW, I love the pictures you use in your posts, are they all taken by yourself?

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Wasim, my dear friends, doing stuff for friends and family for free is not good. It gets us in all kinds of “trouble”! I remember a friend who would never even offer me a discount with her yoga privates – not that I expected but anyway- then when I started into photography and blogging, she was always asking for tips an advice and what have you and that double standard drives me insane so I refuse to do things like that and I don’t recommend it. Helping a friend is one thing but committing to coaching them or consulting for them is another and in the end, you’ll beat yourself up because your TIME is your most valuable asset.
      All photography is mine here, unless otherwise stated and that’s only the occasional few taken by my photographer, Pascal Monmoine. ie) check out the new About page photo! He took that for sure as I couldn’t since I was posing ;))! (But no seriously, all are mine and if they are of me, my hubby takes them. Glad you like them and if you are looking for stock photos, come talk to me, I’ll give you a good deal. :))

  • http://www.whalefacts.org/ Patricia

    Hi Farnoosh, I really like this post. Especially the parts about not giving everything away for free and taking yourself seriously.

    Like most bloggers I love to share with the world on my discoveries and knowledge, but there comes a point when every blogger needs to eat and needs to be motivated.

    Having a few products that you charge in my opinion offers the best world to both you and your audience because it gives them something well worth the value of the cost and it allows you to spend more time doing what you love.

    Taking yourself seriously is also very important because as you said if you don’t take yourself seriously no one will and that is such a true statement when it comes to doing anything great in life.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Patricia, so glad you liked it. And I am so happy to see that you are writing about whales – one of my favorite animals on earth, especially the humpback whales.
      Yes, you can do as little as just a few products or you can build an entire catalogue of products and services and other income streams. I believe you can do extremely well if you treat the blog as a business and that’s beyond just a few products, it’s really believing that it can grow and sustain you well, WELL, beyond food and shelter, and that is ONLY if something like that is interesting to you.
      And yes, taking oneself seriously begins a great cycle all over the place. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Patricia.

  • http://jaredakers.com jared

    Great article and reminder. Favorites, benefit #1 & #3.

    Funny how I used to have… what one therapists described as “conflict avoidance.” Which still rares it’s head some times, like not requesting they give me the burger I ordered. (although maybe since I worked in the restaurant biz for years I know people often “think” they ordered one thing when they actually ordered another), but I digress.

    Point is, when it comes to what I’m writing about, and living through my blog, I’m confident in what I’m talking about. I AM the expert in the areas of my life, and what have to offer the world, and do treat it as a business. It’s actually quite exciting as I’m close to launching my first product (book) and going through that process of pricing.

    Thanks for a great post at a great time.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Jared, thank you for stopping by and I am glad you are on the right path. Good luck with the product launch and here’s hoping that your blog/business grows as does your offering to this world.

  • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com Jane

    Hey Farnoosh wonderful post! Especially I like the point about stop doing things for free. Although “free” usually helps to build initial relationships, it can make our business bleed (just as you say). I’ve personally experienced this and have learned my lesson :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Jane, thank you SO much for your lovely comments and what can I say? We learn best from direct experience, so I know you will be turning things around now that you have gone astray once. Here’s to grand success to you!

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  • http://josepharchibald.com Joseph Archibald

    Hi Farnoosh, so often when I am reading internet marketing blogs I get the impression that the blogger is apologizing for what they are doing.

    They are trying to treat their blog as a business, but at the same time, they are afraid of doing so. Take this for example –

    Whenever they have an affiliate link within their blog post, they put in brackets beside the link that it is indeed an affiliate link, and then they put underneath a non-affiliate link to the product or service they are discussing.

    Now, okay, each to their own. But in my mind this is not necessary.

    Why not just link to the product you are discussing with an affiliate link, and feel good about it. After all, the blogger has spent time and perhaps money too in offering other people advice about a particular product or service.

    Thus surely they deserve an income from that time (and money) spent.

    Why apologize for trying to make a living?

    Why feel guilty about your profession?

    If you are doing a 9 to 5, you get paid for it. Why treat a blog any differently than this, even if its not your full time occupation?

    Thanks for outlining many key points as to why you should see your blog as a business and not merely treat it as a fun-time hobby!

    Joseph

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Just left you a comment and tweeted the blog post that was inspired from this one, Joseph. How nice of you to stop by and share your thoughts and thank you so much for outlining what I was feeling so clearly. The guilt is prevalent, it’s crazy, I don’t get it. I was not interested in making money from my blog at the beginning simply because I had no idea what I wanted to do first, so grabbing on to pennies here and there was not interesting but now I have a business and a strategy and it is crucial to make this work, and I really believe it would make for a better blog when I feel that way about it. You know? Thanks again for stopping by and come back anytime!

      • http://josepharchibald.com Joseph Archibald

        Thank you kindly for stopping by my blog and tweeting the post Farnoosh!

        Yes, I fully understand that you never thought about making money from your blog when you first started. I guess perhaps you were simply experimenting with some ideas at the start, but slowly and surely, as you invest more time in your blogging activities, you really ought to be seeing it as more of a business.

        Was the same for me, at least until some folks started to urge me to discuss various tools of my trade and to add affiliate links so they could then in fact buy via my links as a way of thanking me for sharing what I had to say.

        That was a couple of years ago now, and I’m happy to say my blog has moved up a few notches since the early days (or so I hope). I always maintained that blogging was hard work and not at all a way to make a fairly passive income. I got that wrong. I do fairly well with my somewhat limited blogging activities, and I really enjoy what I do, more so now that I am actually making an effort to do some promotion.

        I’ll catch up with you again soon Farnoosh!

        Take care and best wishes!

        Joseph

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Dear Joseph, did I ever thank you for the reply and this whole conversation? It’s wonderful to get to know my new readers, and GOOD FOR YOU in that you are making your blogging work for you. It IS hard work, oh my goodness, I’ve put SO much into the blog but it does start to pay off, and that is exciting. Come back anytime, and I’d welcome you with open arms!

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  • http://www.blog.damognigeria.com Kemi Bababusuyi

    I run a blog as a marketing platform for my business – a security firm. I appreciate the advice you gave here and it is good to see how this applies to selling ones professional expertise. Unlike my case where I sell professional service which is a bit more tangible since I have to deploy security guards.

    Giving our free security tips helps to drive home the need for my security services and that’s how I make use of my blog for business. What I have learnt from this post is the need to be very professional about this. If you run a blog and get overly informal forgetting that you have a business image to protect, it can harm than do your business good. While it is ok to get personal, since people connect with people and not just companies. It is also important to maintain a healthy balance between being personal and being professional.

    Thanks for sharing. First time here!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Kemi, welcome here. thanks so much for sharing your story. Service or products, I see them both as business and there should be no shame in selling it. Professionalism IS key in everything we do, it demands respect and offers it at the same time. Good point about the balance on personal. Thank you for bringing that up, Kemi, and thank you for your thoughts.

  • http://www.alidavies.com Ali Davies

    Farnoosh,
    This is such an important point for all Self Employed Folk to get. Many people set up in business doing something they love and feel passionate about when they finally escape the corporate rat race. And that is wonderful. It is so fulfilling to do work that you love. However, it is then easy to forget that we also have to wear a business owners hat too. Your post highlights the fact that we need to keep this awareness in the front of our minds if we wish to achieve our business goals.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Ali, thank you thank you SO MUCH! Please feel free to share it with others if they will get value from it. It’s not easy to step out of our comfort zone – as you well know, you Corporate Escapee ;)! – and still stand up for our business and I have struggled with it but I have pushed through it and I am proud to be running a business, as I am sure, so are you :))! Lovely seeing you here.

  • http://betweenthetemples.com Chris Harris | Between the Temples

    Hi Farnoosh,

    You are spot on. If more people treated their blog or any other endeavor as a business- I think we would have more people overall that would respect the value that any business brings to the table.

    As it is, I don’t think the average person realizes how much work goes into the researching, planning, developing, and delivering of services and products. Nor do they have any concept of all the back office work that goes on before and after the sell to keep a business legal, compliant and solvent/profitable.

    Its too bad our education system is geared towards creating sheeple to work their 40 and collect a paycheck. My education about business didn’t come till I started working part time as an independent IT consultant.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      And my education didn’t come until I went solo but I did always work very very – probably TOO – hard. Just never really understood the concept of business. It’s just not a topic they teach or talk about at schools. And what can really replace direct first-hand experience? I think how we treat our own stuff – be it a business or a relationship or even our own self- sets the bar on how others should treat that very same thing. So we have got to respect ourselves first and foremost before demanding it. Here’s to seeing that blog of yours turn into a thriving business someday, Chris. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://www.midwaymarketplace.com/blog7 Maxwell Ivey

    Hello; To your main question ye I know I am running a business and most days I believe with every fiber of my being it will be a success. I do have some days when i wonder how successful, but i still get up the next morning and work hard at building my blog, website, and business. I sell new and used amusement, concessions, and confections equipment; and right now I’m riding high because I just closed the biggest sale I’ve ever had. Thanks for helping to clarify things in my mind, max

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Maxwell, welcome here. GOOD FOR YOU on your sale, congratulations, and trust me, the MOST successful people out there have those days that you do and I most certainly do – push through them and don’t get discouraged and don’t stop building that business :)!

      • http://www.midwaymarketplace.com/blog7 Maxwell Ivey

        Hello; I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one. I think this is where it is important to have good friends. I have three or four really good ones who are always there to advise, encourage, and cheer me on. I think building this network is almost as important as building your business because honestly most people who blog for a living aren’t going to be understood by their family. And if their family does understand it, there are going to be those times when they just don’t want to hear more about page rank, blog commenting, guest blogging, social media, and the like. keep up your great work, max

  • http://www.vidyasury.com Vidya Sury

    :-) Hmm. I used to feel that I should not monetize my blog, but I stopped feeling that way a couple of years ago. I loved that line about even charities treating their operations as businesses. Doing anything requires discipline and commitment. While I am not (yet) a millionaire, :-) and do not earn much from my blog, I nevertheless see my blog as a valuable resource, a showcase for my writing (which is what i do as “work”) and a great platform to express my as well as others’ views. After all, it is the gateway I’ll use to reach the world.

    I am bookmarking this post to read again. :D Thank you, Farnoosh.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Vidya, how lovely to see you. Your blog IS a valuable resource, and that’s whether or not it makes money. I think creating wealth just enables us to reach the world with our message and to reach MORE people. It is a brilliant tool that can be purely positive if we use it as such. I am glad the ideas here appealed to you and I can’t wait to see you on the millionaire track someday :)!

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  • http://citygalonthego.com KLC

    Hi,
    Your post had a lot of useful information, and I am trying to treat my blog (www.citygalonthego.com) as a business from the start. I just launched the site a little over two months ago, so obviously focusing on content, traffic, etc. The question I keep asking myself is whether I want to/should register myself as a DBA or LLC by end of year for tax purposes. I will be a business in trouble, as you mentioned, but I would at least be able to write off my web hosting, new DSLR and other expenses for tax purposes despite generating no income yet. I have read so many posts about blogging as a business, ways to monetize, etc, and none of them seem to address this issue. I am an attorney and I understand the benefit of forming an actual company for tax purposes, but I am curious as to what most other bloggers who monetize their blogs and treat them as a business handle this. Any idea?

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi there, I am so very glad you found the blog post useful. I have JUST the right article for you on this – my brilliant friend (and ex-attorney), Marlee Ward talks about it in detail in this article on Online business administration. I went with S-Corp because I have big aspirations for my blog and it’s beyond just a blog, I have an entire company laid out behind it with services, products, programs and systems. Most bloggers do DBA but it all depends on your future intentions with your blog. I’d say take a look at the post I shared and feel free to come back to me or to Marlee for more questions. Hope this helps.

  • http://www.hspalladino.com H.S. Palladino

    Dear Farnoosh,

    I’m starting out as an author, currently working both on a picture /personal history about Sulawesi, Indonesia but also woking on a fiction novel in the mystery genre. I love writing and have no problems creating blogpostings, my problem is just what to blog about at all. Everyone keeps telling me to just blog about what ever I feel but I’m sure not everyone is interested in my random thoughts. Your advise would be highly appreciated.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi H.S. (is that what I should call you? Hope so….),
      I would say that random thoughts interest few people, I agree. And that’s not what you want to write about anyway…. but choosing what you want to write about is a very personal and intimate process and only YOU know the answer. I like Stephen King’s quote, you can write about ANYTHING you damn well please AS LONG AS …. (and this is my favorite part): you tell the truth. :) Your truth. Even in fiction. Your Truth, and that’s the rule. And that’s what makes your writing fascinating and brings the reader to you. I hope this helps.

      • http://www.hspalladino.com H.S Palladino

        Thanks for your answer (H.S. is fine :) ) and I do understand this.
        But if you are to treat your blog as a business, shouldn’t the content be somewhat consistent? Shouldn’t you chose an overall ‘subject’ for your writing? After all Stephen King is mostly known for horror, and we know what we get. I keep thinking that to attract certain readers to my blog (that will later be interested in my books) they must also ‘know what they get’ or am I just complicating it further? :)

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          H.S., I see – for some reason, I was answering your question in regards to writing books. Of course, it does apply to your blog too but if you want to turn the blog into a business, there is so much else to consider and so many other questions to ask yourself. For instance, what is the purpose of the blog – to make money on its own or to be a marketing tool for your future books and build your brand as an author or to be a part of even a bigger business? You absolutely want to be very clear for your readers, and also write to a specific reader. Not everyone will love you or resonate with you but those who do will strongly connect.
          So it depends on your purpose for starting a blog… I hope this helps.

          • http://www.hspalladino.com H.S Palladino

            Thanks a lot for your answer, this is very much what I thought also. And thanks for your blog, the information is very helpful!

  • http://www.redgramliving.com Kay Fudala

    Dear Farnoosh,

    This post rushed past my screen when I was on LinkedIn yesterday and I had to come back read it, and post a comment.
    It is true that blogging appears to be fun rather than work to many people. But you and I know the hours of reading, learning and practicing that have gone into each and every post or product.
    As I am getting ready to finish up my first product next month and start the launching process, I take all of your advice to heart. You are absolutely right, treating it like a job, having regular “office hours”, establishing the right tone in all communications is so crucial and goes a long way towards how you perceive your own blog.

    Thanks for the lovely post that I will continue to return to time again. Do you have any new insights you could share in a follow up post?

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