Should you become a creative entrepreneur?
Have you ever thought about treating your blog as a creative business?
If you’ve seen your blog only as a hobby despite your desire of becoming a full-time blogger, then that right there is one of the reasons why you are stuck and not seeing any growth.
Gone are the days where you could start a blog and post whatever you wish, and you see instant growth.
Maybe if you had started a blog back when blogging was new, then it’s possible.
But now in an age where anyone can start a blog, and there are millions of bloggers, your mindset matters and the way you position your blog to attract your ideal readers.
Do you dream of days where you get to call content creation your day job, your career?
If you want to become a full-time blogger and content creator, you should consider treating your blog as a creative business.
But first, let’s talk about what a creative business is and why it’s crucial to shift your mindset to that of a business owner.
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What is a creative business?
While there are many definitions online, my take on a creative business is one wherein you are able to earn an income from being creative and in this case, specifically being creative through a blog.
Others may say that if you are an artist and you make money from your art, then you have a creative business.
But in this case, we zoom in one particular aspect of creativity which is blogging.
This means that you earn an income from your blog, whether it’s extra income that supplements your day job or is your full-time job.
There are many different ways to earn from a creative business such as affiliate marketing or selling your own products.
So how do you know if the path of creative entrepreneurship is for you?
Here are some questions you can reflect on to help you decide if turning your blog into a creative business and becoming a creative entrepreneur is right for you.
What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
Why did you start a blog in the first place?
This drives my point back to what I said earlier: is your blog simply a hobby or something you want to build a career from?
While some people start their blogs as a creative outlet and a hobby, it is still possible to turn it into a creative biz.
It starts with a mindset shift.
If you’re still on the fence about what you want to do with your blog, answer these prompts:
Where do you see your blog a year or two from now?
Do you want to earn a sustainable income from your blog?
Why is blogging important to you?
What is your ideal day like and does blogging play a huge role in that?
Knowing what you want to achieve with your blog will set the tone and the way you approach your blogging journey.
For example, with this blog, even before launching it, I knew I wanted to be able to go full-time with it.
Mind you, it took me more than three years to get to this point and two previous blogs that didn’t take off before I was able to go full-time.
Do you know your ideal customer or ideal community member? If not, are you willing to do the research?
Now that we’ve discussed that the way you perceive your blog plays a critical role in how you show up and commit to it, it’s time to talk about whether or not you know who you want to help in your biz.
When you think of your blog as a biz, then you need to define who your ideal reader/customer/community member is.
You have to know them so well, like your best friend.
What are his/her favourite places to hang out online?
What are his/her passions, struggles, and deepest desires?
Knowing all these things will help you craft your message and put out content that will have your ideal reader say, “This post was meant for me!”
Knowing where they hang out online and what content they consume will guide you in your content strategy.
Do you focus on Facebook or YouTube?
Instagram or Twitter?
And remember, each platform has a specific format on how content is consumed and the kind of content that works.
There are different ways you can do market research which I discuss in my online course How to Start a Creative Business through Blogging.
Are you willing to put in the time and hard work?
There is no simple and cookie-cutter path in creative entrepreneurship. Though there are proven strategies and techniques that help you fast track your way to becoming a full-time blogger, you still have to commit to hours of work.
And if you have a day job, the hours to commit to working on it before or after work or maybe even on weekends.
In my first corporate job, our slogan was “Whatever it takes”, and it showed me how when you know your end goal, you have more focus and determination to see it through.
But I would like to also make a big disclaimer. When I say that you have to work hard, I don’t mean that you slave away at your blog to the point of burning out or getting sick.
Rest is an essential part of creative entrepreneurship because no one can be on hustle mode forever.
In fact, I don’t recommend you “hustle”.
Because I’ve tried that route and believe me, I’ve burnt out.
For five years, I was juggling day jobs alongside building my blog.
I’ve had jobs wherein I had to be on call to cover an event at night or on weekends, so this meant that I had less time to work on my blog. There were times I wanted to quit because I was exhausted and felt defeated.
But deep down, I knew I wanted to keep going.
Instead of quitting, I took a break.
Can you commit to doing the inner work?
Aside from committing time, you also have to commit to doing the inner work.
And when I say inner work, I mean your mindset.
It’s not enough to just shift your perspective into that of a business owner, but you must be able to face your doubts and limiting beliefs and be ready to transform them into something positive.
You have to build yourself up and build your confidence and self-love.
This creative entrepreneurship journey, whether you’re just starting out or are full-time already, will be one filled with challenges.
You will be tested.
You will doubt yourself and feel like you aren’t good enough.
You’ll compare yourself to other bloggers and biz owners.
You’ll wonder why they’ve been hitting $10,000 months consistently, and why you haven’t.
You’ll feel torn because you want to earn a full-time income from your blog, but at the same time, the thought of selling to someone is uncomfortable.
There will be times that everything feels like it’s too much, and that running a creative business is overwhelming.
These days don’t disappear, but you have to have a strong mindset in order to face those hard days.
And you’ll have to listen to your body and know when it’s time to take a break.
But mostly, you’ll have to build resilience and an unwavering belief that you know you WILL MAKE IT eventually.
Do people come to you for specific topics and do you LIGHT UP and LOVE it when you share what you know?
Have you ever noticed that there are specific topics that your friends and family come to you to seek advise?
This might be because you’ve told them you love that certain topic or you’ve established yourself as the go-to person about that topic in their eyes.
For example, ever since I was young, I told my family and friends that I love to write and that I was working on writing a novel.
And that one of my dreams was to publish a book.
So I became known as the writer.
This eventually led into paid writing opportunities from friends because they’d heard about me being a writer and I’d sent them my portfolio.
In the same way, if your family and friends go to you for fashion advice and you know that you want to be a fashion blogger and genuinely enjoy sharing what you know about the fashion industry to help others, then you know you’ve got a north star on how to find your niche within the fashion industry.
It’s then that you can dig deep to figure out exactly who you will be helping and how that you can find out what sets you apart from other fashion bloggers.
I talk about this more in detail in my online course, but to give you an example, your niche could be helping female college students with their confidence through a style that’s budget-friendly.
When you first start out, I would suggest to focus on a niche and then when you have a larger following, that’s when you can branch out and add more topics.
Do you know the importance of protecting your blog & creative biz legally?
Since the GDPR was passed, more and more bloggers are aware that they need to protect their blog legally.
When you start a blog, even if it’s just a hobby, there are certain elements that you need to make sure your blog is legal.
However, you can’t just copy-paste free legal templates and hope for the best.
Especially if you want to turn your blog into a biz, you must be willing to invest in resources to protect yourself and your biz.
If you do sponsored posts whether on your blog or your social media pages that you need to declare that it is a sponsored post and include #ad or #sponsored in the post.
And if you participate in affiliate marketing, you need to declare that you have affiliate links in your post.
Those are just some of the instances where you need to be aware of the legal side of blogging.
How do you plan to monetise your blog?
Have you ever thought about how you’re going to earn a sustainable monthly income from blogging?
I’m guessing that you’re thinking of sponsored posts, aren’t you?
That was also what I thought of when I first learned about bloggers earning money.
But that is not the only way you can make money online.
There are many ways, such as affiliate marketing selling your own products.
My main point here is that you need to decide on how you can earn money online and create a smart monetisation strategy.
Are you willing to invest in the right tools to build your business?
I’m not saying that you have to spend extravagantly to build a creative biz.
In fact, I encourage you to build your blog & biz with the least capital possible.
And only when you start making money, that’s when you upgrade.
But there are essentials when you want to take your blog to the next level or start a creative business with a blog from scratch.
These are what I would consider as essentials
- Blog host
- Paid premium theme
- Legal templates/pages
When I started this creative biz, I made sure to invest in a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Some people may say a paid premium theme is not essential, but for me, free blog themes only get you so far and investing in a premium theme that is search engine optimised helps with your site speed.
Are you ready to take action?
If you’ve had enough of overthinking and inaction, then it’s time to take action.
No more wishing that you were one of those bloggers creating content and making money from it as a living.
It’s your turn.
You know you have it in you to succeed, and you know you were made for so much more.
So my question now to you is, why not start now?
There will never be a “right moment” or the “perfect time.”
And it is never too late to start especially if you know it in your heart that you want this.
These are the questions you should ask yourself to reflect if creative entrepreneurship is for you.
- WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH YOUR BLOG?
- DO YOU KNOW YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER OR IDEAL COMMUNITY MEMBER? IF NOT, ARE YOU WILLING TO DO THE RESEARCH?
- ARE YOU WILLING TO PUT IN THE TIME AND HARD WORK?
- CAN YOU COMMIT TO DOING THE INNER WORK?
- DO PEOPLE COME TO YOU FOR SPECIFIC TOPICS AND DO YOU LIGHT UP AND LOVE IT WHEN YOU SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW?
- DO YOU KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING YOUR BLOG & CREATIVE BIZ LEGALLY?
- HOW DO YOU PLAN TO MONETISE YOUR BLOG?
- ARE YOU WILLING TO INVEST IN THE RIGHT TOOLS TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS?
- ARE YOU READY TO TAKE ACTION?
If you’re ready to start your journey, I invite you to check out my course “How to Start a Creative Business through Blogging” or check out The Blogging Business Plan Workbook which is designed to help you craft your creative business plan for your blog.