How to Start a Dance Blog and Make Money Online
Even though blogs aren't the new kids on the block anymore, they're still incredibly popular. As of 2013, there were over 150 million blogs on the internet.
And I completely understand their appeal. Blogs allow you to share your thoughts with people all over the world. What's even cooler is that you can create and curate content on a particular topic and generate income while helping others at the same time.
In fact, blogs have become businesses themselves, propelling their creators into entrepreneur status.
But how do you make that happen? How do you go from creating a few posts to cashing a few checks?
Well, before I share a few key steps you can take to start your own blog today, let me first tell you that it takes time and consistent effort to start a blog and turn it into a business.
The Working Dancer is actually my second blog. I started my first blog, Arts Life Entertainment, in 2009 to support the arts showcases and master classes I was producing.
Being the rookie that I was, I made ALL the rookie mistakes with that blog and business. I only wrote when I felt like it, which caused me to quickly lose momentum. I didn't understand that I needed to promote and build my audience, which caused my blog and business to go unnoticed, and my blog also wasn't specific enough, which caused it to not resonate with many people.
But this time around, I know exactly how the process works. The Working Dancer has been up and running for well over a year, and I've transformed my dance blog into a business that allows me to make money online doing what I love.
Here are a few steps to help you start your dance blog and make money online.
1. Narrow down your blog topic.
Many people make the mistake of choosing a broad blog category, but the problem with this approach is that you position yourself as a jack of all trades, and a master of none. When you talk a little about a lot of different things, it's more difficult to find a target audience.
Deciding to write about dance is even too broad, not to mention, there are already plenty of general dance blogs out there. The smarter thing to do is to narrow down your topic even further. So instead of writing about dance in general, maybe write about auditioning, or taking class, or body image, or health. The key is to be a specific as possible so that you can position yourself as the expert on your topic. When you consistently put out helpful information related to your topic, your audience will begin to see you as the "go-to" person on that subject, and that's how you're able to make the big bucks.
Take The Working Dancer, for example. It's a dance blog that focuses on creating sustainable dance careers. Everything I write about touches on success mindset, making money, and business/professional skills.
So narrow down your topic by choosing one specific area of dance, and then create content on issues related to that specific area.
2. Create great content.
The foundation of a great blog is great content. Great blogs have substance. They solve problems and help their readers, and they are reliable sources of consistent information.
So when it comes to creating great content, quality and consistency matter.
Let's talk quality first. A great blogger is also a great teacher. They teach people how to accomplish things and better their lives. With that, keep your audience in mind, and consider the types of problems they're facing. Then write posts that help them solve those problems. It's a simple as that.
Also, give yourself permission to think outside the box. Your blog doesn't need to fit some special 'blog mold.' Give yourself the freedom to publish content that you actually enjoy creating. If you enjoy writing, then write your posts. If you enjoy making videos, then create weekly videos instead. If you have a knack for photography, you can use that angle for your blog as well. If you actually enjoy the blogging process, you'll keep the momentum in your blog going, and your audience will pick up on that energy as well.
Now on to consistency. Writing blog posts every now and again or whenever you feel like it, does not make you a blogger. It just means you have an online journal hobby.
If you want to build something substantial and set yourself up to generate consistent income, then you'll have to put in consistent effort. Whether you post 1 - 2 times per week or 1 - 2 times per month, make a commitment to publish content consistently.
When you create quality content on a consistent basis, you establish a solid foundation for your blog and enhance the process of growing your audience.
3. Grow Your Audience
A mistake that many business owners make is thinking that the creation process is enough to get the ball rolling. Ever heard the saying, "build it, and they will come." Well...not so with blogging and business.
In fact, creating your blog is only part of the equation. Once you've created your killer content, you've also got to let your audience know that it's available. You have to take on the responsibility of getting your blog in front of the folks you want to reach.
Which brings me to my first point on growing your audience...
To grow your audience, the first thing you need to do is identify who you'd like to target. Just like in narrowing down your topic from step 1, you also need to narrow down who you want to help with your content.
If you chose to start a blog about auditioning, narrow that down further by specifying what types of auditions, and even specific opportunities. For example, you could start a blog about auditioning for modern dance companies on the east coast, or auditioning for a specific company like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Get clear on who your target audience is so that you can cater your blog posts directly to them.
After you've gotten clear on who your target audience is, the next thing you need to do is meet them where they are. You need to promote your blog in the places where your audience gathers. Is that in specific Facebook groups? Pinterest boards? School or studio groups? Forums? Networking events? Get clear on where they are, then make sure you're there too.
Please know that growing your audience is an extremely important component of building a blog and making money online. The larger your audience, the more money you're able to make.
4. Make Money
Here are the million dollar questions: How do bloggers make money? - and - How do I make money online? The good news is that those questions have the same answer. The better news is that if you've done steps 1 - 3, you're in a great position to start bringing in the dough.
There are several ways to generate income online using the content and audience you've created with your blog. Here are few:
- You can get sponsors for certain posts.
- You can sell ad space on your blog.
- You can turn a few blog posts into an ebook and sell it.
- You can sell online courses.
- You can offer freelance services (photography, graphic design, etc.)
- You can sell physical products.
- You can become a coach or consultant on your blog topic.
- You can become a speaker on your blog topic.
There are many ways to monetize a blog, and all roads point to sales. However, one of the things I love most about blogging is that building a blog calls for you to teach your audience, and when you teach them, you're also building trust and relationships in the process. And that's all that sales is anyways, right? Building relationships and giving people what they need. So, focus on that - building relationships and giving people what they need - and the services or products you offer will sell themselves.
These four steps will get you on the road to blogging and making money online in no time.
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