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5 Tips For Turning A...

5 Tips For Turning A Blog Into A Business

Digital designer Melissa Alam runs her very own creative marketing agency and is also the brains behind Femme & Fortune. Her work focuses on empowering women through branding, web design, and online strategy, and she's proof that digital dreams can come true!

So you have the baddest blog with the biggest ideas, and you want to make your brand the best it can be. The idea of putting a site together can be daunting, but there are plenty of talented ladies out there that can help guide you along the way.

One such talent is Melissa Alam, the brains behind Femme & Fortune, a digital platform focused on female empowerment and entrepreneurship. Between Femme & Fortune and her newly launched creative marketing agency, a guide for female-owned or female-focused businesses with branding, web design, and social media strategy, Alam is spearheading some rad projects for women in the digital world. Lucky for us, she's shared her tips for joining the digital design game.

Alam told MORE.com that her tech dreams blossomed while she was growing up, and with a basic background in design, some help from Google, and "lots of caffeine and all nighters," she was able to create a business and a brand. Cool, right?

Below are her five tips for creating a blog that's both beautiful and beneficial for your content to make all your digital dreams come true. It's time to geek out in the coolest way possible.

1. Curate your design eye by finding out what you love—and figure out how to make it a reality.

Sparking your design curiosity is the first step. Whether your blog is already built and you're hoping to clean it up, or whether it's a dream you're just hoping to turn into a reality, Alam says to get a clear idea of exactly what you want your brand to be.

"Start curating an eye for design by studying other websites: How do they organize their content, what's the flow of their website, what stands out on their site and what doesn't?" Alam says. "Pinterest is such an amazing resource to learn all about web design."

"From there, purchase a domain and hosting (SiteGround is a great option), and starting building your own website. I made my own sites as test subjects and it's helped me gain multiple clients throughout the years."

Once you have an idea and you're ready to take things to the next level, Alam recommends looking into online learning resources like Skillshare, Codeacademy, Skillcrush or Lynda.com.

2. Web design and brand development takes practice—and more practice!

Starting off can be overwhelming. With a blog and a bunch of ideas, it is totally possible to turn your own brand into something that is both visually appealing and on-brand for yourself or your future clients. Alam says that you should challenge yourself to learn more complex skills—and then practice those skills!—as the next best step toward becoming a brand pro.

"Having an organized process is very important, [as well as] knowing basic HTML and CSS for tweaking designs or changing features and being up-to-date with current web and design trends," Alam says. Having the ability to curate visuals for a website can help make a strong impact for any brand. All of these factors are crucial to create a cohesive and memorable experience for the end user visiting your website."

3. Web-based fields are always changing—so you're always learning.

Once you have the basics down, you'll find out something you've originally learned has changed. Whether you're wanting to build your own brand, or hope to use your skills to help other people design theirs, you should always be open to the changes that you're bound to encounter in the digital world that's always evolving.

"With the launch of Femme & Fortune's Agency, I've definitely had to take my skills to the next level so that I can provide quality work and results for clients," Alam says. "'Never stop learning' is a phrase I truly believe in, especially when there's so much knowledge waiting to be consumed."

4. You're going to make mistakes when you're coding (and that's totally okay).

As with any field, you're going to make mistakes when you're starting out—especially when it's something as particular as coding. But don't let that stop you from chasing your dreams.

"It's okay to make mistakes when you're starting out in a field like web design or coding," Alam says. "I made a bunch when I first started, but I wasn't afraid to ask for help or learn how to do things myself, even if it took hours at end to complete. It makes us better business women to be able to see a problem, find a solution and execute it."

Look at that, girl boss. Problem solving is the cool thing to do.

5. Digital design can build your business—and make you a real-life girl boss.

Taking on digital design and strategy skills is a challenge. But if you want to make all your tech dreams a reality, it'll not only make you a leader in the game—but it'll make your audience love you, too.

"Having a visually appealing and updated brand allows your target demographic and audience to connect with you from the moment they land on your website," Alam explains.

And when you have your audience's attention, you'll have a business in no time.

"In terms of the most rewarding part, hands down it's being able to see our creative visions and ideas come alive," Alam says. "It's really a great feeling to live a life where you make your own schedule, are your own boss and get paid for your expertise and ideas."

Now go make your blog and digital strategy dreams come true! Which tips helped you most?

Maggie Dickman

Maggie is a digital apprentice at Meredith Corporation. When she's not writing trending stories, you'll find her full on blasting One Direction, scanning through her favorite fashion blogs or hitting up any and every concert that passes through her home base of Des Moines.

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