Blogging is no longer just a pastime, but a profitable business venture. While blogging is no get-rich-quick path to riches, you can make a comfortable living if you’re consistent, define your voice and brand yourself as an expert in the space. You can generate funds from sponsorship opportunities, affiliate programs and speaking engagements if you follow the blogging basics.
Here, MadameNoire highlights the dos and don’ts of blogging with tips from best-selling author, financial literacy blogger and speaker Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche.
DO: Offer to be a resource.
DON’T: Ask for a favor from someone you’ve never met.
“That’s probably everyone’s pet peeve that somebody will reach out to you and say, ‘Hey, I’d love for you to do something for me,” says Aliche. “And it’s like, of course you would. Who wouldn’t?”
Instead, The Budgetnista advises bloggers to open up the conversation with what you can do for them versus what they can do for you.
“Know that although someone is in the same realm as you, it doesn’t mean they’re competition,” reminds Aliche. She and fellow finance bloggers Marsha Horton Barnes of Financial Empowerment, Kara Stevens of The Frugal Feminista (and MN Biz columnist), and Tonya Rapley and Victoria Williams of My Fab Finance joined forces to create The Frugal Fab 5. Together the quintet has hosted panel events and Twitter chats, among other collaborative programs.
DON’T: Speak poorly about other bloggers.
Aliche urges bloggers to watch what they say when speaking of other bloggers. “Whether it’s online or face-to-face, you just don’t know who knows someone. Also, it doesn’t reflect well on you and your character.”
DO: Share other bloggers as a resource.
The Budgetnista does this regularly. “I’m always sharing other bloggers’ books and blog posts. You’re not the only resource,” says Aliche. “It makes you a stronger blogger, if you have a wider variety of resources for your reader. Know that it doesn’t take away from your readership.”
DO: Be transparent.
It’s okay to say you don’t know the answer to a question you’re posed. You can then tap an expert to come up with a helpful response. “It’s really important to be clear about what you do, and what you don’t do,” says the seasoned blogger. “I do basic personal finance, so that’s budgeting, credit, money mindset, that kind of thing. I don’t do investing, insurance and I don’t do taxes.”
Based in New York City, Janel Martinez is a multimedia journalist who covers technology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of “Ain’t I Latina?” an online destination geared toward Afro-Latinas. You can follow her up-to-the-minute musings on Twitter @janelmwrites.