Thanks to resources such as Blogger, Blogspot and WordPress, anyone with a computer and an opinion can become a blogger. But not everyone has figured out how to be a blogger and get paid for it. Kimberly Gauthier, editor-in-chief of Keep the Tail Wagging, a blog dedicated to all things canine, has channeled her love and passion for dogs into a profitable blog.
Gauthier was inspired to start her blogging business after becoming the owner of two littermate puppies. She came away from the Internet empty-handed when she searched for advice on adopting more than one dog at a time.
Based on her own unmet needs, Gauthier found a niche that no blog had filled. What started as a site designed to share the experiences of being an owner of multiple dogs turned into an online magazine with more than 10,000 combined Facebook and Twitter followers; a variety of pet-related businesses also became interested in partnering with her. By working with the ASPCA, the Humane Society, and pet businesses, Gauthier was able to give her blog credibility while also bringing in advertising.
When other bloggers and small businesses noticed Gauthier's success in gaining followers and partners, they began to reach out to her for help. The savvy entrepreneur monetized her expertise by becoming a consultant to other small businesses. Gauthier created pamphlets that included tips on social media and promoting brand awareness. She also coached others and began speaking at conferences.
"Though blogging has been around for years, the idea of businesses using blogs to promote themselves is new to a lot of people," she said. "They sort of feel like they're behind and they want to catch up."
Gauthier launched her monetization strategy only eight months ago, and immediately saw profits of at least $100 per month. Currently, Gauthier focuses on the blog strategy part-time and makes $500 a month.
For business owners deciding to make the plunge into blogging, Gauthier offers this wisdom and advice: Be consistent.
"As a business owner, you don't have a lot of time," she says. "But try to [write] something once a week – it doesn't have to be long." For example, a beauty salon could write about a new shampoo or offer hairstyling tips for men and women who aren't able to get to a salon regularly.
Gauthier suggests focusing on the existing blog readers. "Don't stress about getting new readers," she said. "They will come." When Gauthier started the blog, she launched an ad campaign on Google. It cost $50 and brought her 400 new Facebook likes. However, through those 400 people, Gauthier saw her popularity grow exponentially.
Gauthier also stresses the importance of Facebook. Even if your business is a locally based service like a restaurant or a spa, someone you connect with on Facebook may have friends visiting your town or that live in your town. "There's such opportunity here," she said. "It may not turn your business into a $5 million business overnight, but it's a great affordable way to promote your brand."
Gauthier suggested the following resources for bloggers just getting started: