Tips for building a profitable blog: lessons I learned from over 6 years of blogging


The other day I realized that I have been blogging for over 6 years – which is longer than I’ve done most things in my adult life! I could share mushy details on what I’ve learned about myself from blogging but 1) I’m not really that kind of person and 2) who cares really cares?? I will, however, share a few things that I’ve learned along the way that are actually useful if you are trying to build a profitable blog or business online.

If you don’t put yourself out there, no one will care

That idea that “if you build it, they will come” – yeah, that’s not a thing anymore (if it ever was). The internet is saturated with millions of people blogging / creating / selling the same things so if you are not investing time in marketing strategies to get people to come to you, they won’t. That’s the truth. But not to worry, there are dozens of ways to do this which we can totally chat about, or you can hire me :)

Community building is a thing, and its awesome

Speaking of marketing strategies, building a community is one of them. And by community I mean a a tribe of “internet friends” who know, like, and trust you – and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend your blog / products / services to other people they know. Like 30 of my instagram followers are people I’m friends with from “real life” and the rest of the 3.3k+ are people who I’ve never met. Yet dozens of them trust me enough to splurge on a $80 highlighting powder that they saw ONE photo of – because we have enough of a relationship that they know when I rave about something, it’s worth buying. BTW – that highlighter is REALLY worth buying.

Curating is fine, but creating is more fulfilling (and more profitable)

I would venture to say that most blog share things like what you wore / did / ate today. Totally cool. But if you are running a blog as a business, creating SOMETHING is key. Yes, you can earn money using affiliate links or sidebar ads. But if all you are doing is curating other people’s work, then all you are doing is driving revenue for other people. Think about that.

Figure out how to make your site look good

Hire a designer. Learn to code. Hire a photographer. Learn how to use a DSLR. Learn how to edit your photos. Invest in high quality stock photos. Or all of the above. There are infinite resources for making your blog look good, no matter what your budget is. There is no reason your blog should be ugly. I’m going to repeat that, there is no reason your blog should be ugly. 

Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t

I am a data / analytics nerd. At any given time I have 3 tabs open in chrome tracking anything from traffic stats to social engagement to eCommerce conversions. If you are trying to build a profitable blog or business online, you need to be paying attention. What posts are getting the most traffic? What topics have the most interaction from your audience? What incentives drive the most email subscribers? Spend your time doing more of the things that work.

I could get REAL deep on any of these lessons, but for now I want to hear from you. If you’re a blogger, what do you wish you had known before you started? And if you’re still figuring things out, what’s the one thing you want to know more about?