If you’re into blogging, you may have your favourite bloggers. I do! Entrepreneur Richard Branson is one of them. In one of his interviews he is asked to give us advice on how to make the most of an online audience and turn your blog into a business. I would like to go through his advices with you. Hang on with me.
Find the fit
“Drawing a loyal group of followers is not easy, and requires a lot of time, effort and commitment,” the Virgin Founder said in an interview from 2016 in TheStar.com.
The most important step when building a business around your blog, Richard says, “[…] is to look at whether the products and services you’re considering fit with the brand that you have built up. For example, if the image that you’re conveying through your site is one of sophistication and luxury, the items you sell should reflect that as well.”
In this way you create the consistency that the brand needs to become successful.
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The advantages of a blogger
Richard acknowledges that bloggers have a unique advantage over others trying to launch a business: “You know who your customers are, and your customers already know and trust you.”
Richard adds: “Often people are drawn to blogs because of a feeling of intimacy or community; it may be that they’d be interested in purchasing items that you find interesting, as a way of further taking part in that experience.” “As a blogger, you have a direct line to your customers, and you should use this connection to help make the best decisions for the community you have created.”
Another advantage that Richard identifies bloggers have over other entrepreneurs is that they can communicate with customers in ways that “normal businesses” don’t. They are able to adapt to a dialogue with their readers to figure out what’s really in their minds. He recommends to just ask readers whether they’d be interest in buying some of the products or services that you’re thinking about.
But, Richard also warns for the dark side of blogging. He says: “The relationship between a successful blogger and her readers tends to be a two-way street, and you need to avoid alienating them when you monetise your blog.”
Never loose the dialogue, intimacy or a sense of community
“Take a careful look at what differentiates you from your competition. Often people are drawn to blogs because of a feeling of intimacy or community; it may be that they’d be interested in purchasing items that you find interesting, as a way of further taking part in that experience.”
He adds: “Think about why your readers come to you, and not another blogger. “[…] you need to make sure that what you’re offering is truly unique. Your readers and followers should see those goods or services as different from everyone else’s.”
Make your readers your first priority as you pursue this idea, and you’ll turn your brand into a business.”
I hope Richard Branson’s advices help you along your own (blog) journey. Reach out for me if you want to share your ideas. That’s something I enjoy.