So, You Want To Be A Blogger?
I receive messages on Instagram every single day from girls asking how to become a blogger overnight- and though I believe many are called to this life, some people think that blogging is the "easy route" to take and that they can make money in the first week. Although this would be an absolute dream, it is not the reality of blogging. This particular blog is meant to encourage you with truth, because let’s be honest, if I wasn’t being truthful with you all and simply telling you all that blogging was a breeze and that you make a substantial income very quickly, I wouldn’t be equipping you with the tools you need to succeed. So even when things may sound harsh in this blog, know that it is because I truly want to help you succeed at what God has called YOU to do.
Check Your Heart First
I have learned that sometimes people simply want to do something just because someone else is doing it and it looks cool on Instagram. I am the first to admit that the second someone posts a new skin care or makeup product, I am messaging that person to get me some samples. If it works so well for them it will do wonders for me too, right? Although this example has nothing to do with a career, I feel as though many girls look at bloggers on Instagram and automatically think, “Oh yeah, that looks great. I'll do that too." But before you choose to be a blogger because of the lifestyle you see on Instagram... I want you to pause. Take a moment to think about your gifts and passions. God equips every single one of us with special skills to carry out His plan and purpose for us.
My gifts might be different than your gifts. And guess what? That is OKAY.
It is actually a good thing. Imagine how weird and stagnant life would be if we were all gifted in the same exact area. If everyone was meant to blog, we wouldn’t have doctors, teachers, CEO’s and many other jobs that are so critical in our culture.
All this to say, what are your gifts? What has God equipped you with to make an impact on this Earth?
It might be blogging, and that is amazing. And honestly, if it is, keep reading because I'm going to tell you how to do this thing the RIGHT way- However, it might not be blogging and that is just as amazing. I would much rather be doing what the Lord has gifted me to do and enjoy it rather than doing something because I feel like I should and then later learning that I have no business in this area. Once you have determined your gifts, explore your options for what they really are.
I encourage you to look beyond the surface of what you see on social media before deciding that this is your goal. Get an accurate depiction of what the job looks like on a day to day basis. I can assure you social media has the ability to make any job look like sunflowers and rainbows, but when you get a glimpse of what the job actually entails behind the scenes, this is when you can truly decide if it is right for you.
When I was in the process of deciding what career I wanted to pursue my mentor encouraged me to go apply for as many internships as possible. So I did. I fell in love with my marketing internships because I could be creative as I wanted to be and there was such a strong writing component to all of it and I was a journalism major. I began making a pros and cons list of starting my own marketing company and my own blog together, and also bringing those desires before the Lord and praying about them for a few weeks. Although that took quite some time, it helped me find the path that was perfect for me.
I also reached out to people I found online that was pursuing that very career and I got so much advise on it all. Not only did it help me find the job that I was created for, but it prepared me for the actuality of each job. What better way to get information than going straight to the people who live through it every single day? They told me the truth about the behind the scenes of blogging and were completely honest with me, just like I hope to be with you guys. This way I was less surprised when I was faced with the aspects of the job that don’t quite make the cut for the highlight reel.
Before jumping into this lifestyle though, I researched everything from education required, prices for that education, and also came up with my five year plan with actual obtainable goals. This was my favorite part, and no matter what job you are choosing, I highly recommend doing this.
Blogging is hard. It is overwhelming. It takes TIME. Many people are led to this career because of their misconception of it being the easy route. Seriously- I had someone reach out to me the other day because they are pregnant and they want an easy career to make money with while they pursue motherhood. Though I know their heart was in the right place, I had to tell them that you don't take this on as a career because it's easy. You take this on as a career because you can't see yourself doing anything else, and because it's worth all of the sleepless nights that you're going to have.
I am not sure why people believe that this route will give them flexibility, time, and freedom. All you have to do is post every few days, right? False. You just have to have cute outfits and take cute photos, right? False. You just have to ask companies for free stuff, right? False.
There are many times where I am up all night stuck in a rut with no ideas of what to write next. There are times where I simply cannot keep up with all of the followers and making them feel loved and appreciated. There are times when I need more content but simply don’t have the time to create it. There may be people that don’t love the content you are creating. It may not be your average 9-5 job, but by no means is it a walk in the park. If these challenges excite you, then you have found your niche. But if you hear this and are already overwhelmed, do yourself the favor of finding something that excites YOU and chase it! After deciding what the Lord had gifted me with and doing all my research on every ounce of what the job entails, I decided it was what was right for me. It may not be right for you though.
Don't Be Discouraged
If you are casually thinking about launching your own blog, you need to know that this means that you will have your own brand that you need to market. That means you need to know the ins and outs of the digital algorithm, PPC ads, SEO, Alt Tags, Keywords, Facebook Ads, Inbound Marketing, Lead Generation, etc. In other words, you can't start this blindly. You need an education that can take months and months to get under your belt. It's not impossible- but it's something you have to be prepared for.
If blogging is the career for you, don’t get discouraged. I would love to take your hand and walk through it all with you. I want you to succeed if this is your calling.
If your following hasn’t flourished overnight, relax. Take advantage of your small beginning. This is where you have the opportunity and time to learn and grow without the dangerous risk of doing something wrong for all to see.
There is no way that after a few weeks or even months, that we are doing it all correctly. I have been growing my platform for two years and there are still times when I don’t feel equipped. It takes a crazy amount of patience. Don’t give up after a few months because you haven’t seen any progress. Everything in life is a process and all good things take time. A beautiful tree does not just appear one day out of the blue. It takes years of watering and growth. Think of your small beginning as the beginning of a tree. The healthiest roots grow underground in the dark. You may feel like you are underground in the dark when you first start but be faithful to nourishing your roots in the dark so that your branches can grow big in the light.
I recently watched a sermon by Mike Todd with Transformation church about the opportunity in obscurity. I looked up the definition of obscurity and found the definition to be, “the state of being unknown, inconspicuous, or unimportant.” Man. When I saw that, it stung a little bit. Let’s face it, no one wants to be unknown or unimportant. We all have a burning desire to feel known, love, and accepted. But after hearing this message I realized how important our small beginnings are. During my first couple of months blogging, my skills were not polished enough to be on such a big platform. Not that I didn’t have what it took, I just needed to practice these skills on a smaller platform before they were ready to explode. Your moment will come. We serve a God that works all things for good. He will bless your faithfulness in the little things and give you abundance in return in HIS time.
I pray that this does not scare you off, but in fact helps prepare you for your future that God has ordained for you.
Every job has its ups and downs. Every job has parts that you aren’t exposed to from the outside. If you got anything from this part of the blog today, I hope that it is God has given each of us a gift that we use to bring people to Him. Whether it is through a blog, a clothing company, counseling, sales, etc., your work matters. You have purpose. Don’t rush into something because it looks cool from the outside but take that time in prayer and preparation to discern what your calling is.
I love blogging. I love my own marketing company. And I love when girls find a passion in blogging. But do you know what I love even more than that? When people thrive in what they were created to do whether that is blogging or not blogging. That is what is important. That is what makes my heart flutter more than anything. Find your gift, research your path, and chase your dreams, friend! If it is indeed the blogging journey, then I am your biggest cheerleader.
If You Believe Blogging Is 100% For You... Keep Reading!
You can't do this half heartily. You have to do all of your homework for a few weeks and make sure this is the right fit for you. It's going to drain you in the beginning, but if you do it all the right way, it will pay off. It's more stressful than a regular job. If this is your passion though, you won't mind. I'm going to give you some insights on what you'll need to begin. I just need you to be willing to hear me out and follow what I say.
Do You Have A Topic That You Are Obsessed With? This is the only way this is going to work. You need to be obsessed with something and have an absolute fire for it in your bones. You need to be able to teach people things. For example, my absolute passion is Jesus. My target audience is young girls. I really want to share my own personal story with them and encourage them to the heart of God. I want them to know that they are not alone in their heartbreak, that they are not crazy for craving love, and that they aren't weird for the struggles they are facing. So what is it for you? Cooking? Fashion? Fitness?
Are You Ready To Be Transparent? This is what has made me gain a crazy amount of followers. I am so unashamed of being real and I lay all of my faults on the line. The reason why people follow my journey is because I talk about things that other people are usually nervous to put out there. Even if you have a fashion or cooking blog, there is room to be vulnerable in your blog. Trust me- this is where people connect with you. This is what people want. There are enough fake girls out there. Be raw. It does take a lot of guts to do this though.
Do You Have Enough Creativity To Make Your Own Content? In order to win in blogging, content is king. You've probably read this before if you've been researching on how to blog. You need to release one or two blog posts each week, you need to post at least 20 original pins on Pinterest, you need to post three times on week on your IG feed and around 4 times a day on your IG story, you need to post at least 3 times a week on Facebook, and you need to release an email 3 times a month. Those may not be the platforms of your choice- but you should understand what I'm trying to say. If you want to grow and you want to grow fast- then this is what you have to do. You need to get your name out there and keep your followers engaged.
You need to be motivated like your life depended on it. You need to have so much drive.
But it's not a far fetched career. It can absolutely be yours. Every single blogger started out this way, and so did I. You got this. Onward...
Starting A Blog
You can't launch without a website, so assuming that you have one already (if you don't, I highly recommend using an easy website builder and not Wordpress, if you're just beginning) then let's go through some of the most common questions that people ask me. Some questions in here I actually DON'T answer. Yes, I am absolutely an open book but some tips/tricks have taken me years to get and I'd love to share them with you over my coaching services.
Any questions that I can't answer here, I'll put on the bottom of the page with another link to my coaching services. I offer the cheapest coaching services to help you with your digital endeavors, and we will tackle all of the those problems together. I also promote you all over my own social channels when you sign up with me- which is a pretty sweet bonus! I'll be your accountability partner and biggest supporter through this complicated journey.
Here are some common Q's...
What is your day to day schedule like?
I own my own marketing company and I treat my own blog like one of my own clients. I get to show up every day (on my couch- ha!) and do what is needed. I need to stick to a schedule and have daily, weekly, and monthly goals. In the morning, I usually respond to all of my messages and emails, then I bang out a blog post, manage my interns, release a social media advertisement, and always monitor my PPC ads. One of the main parts of my day is cultivating relationships with others as well. Whether that's partnerships with other companies or simply just my followers.
Who takes your photos?
I pay a photographer now, but at first I didn't. I bought my own camera and ring light and had my husband take every single photo- and he actually was GOOD. We spent all day on Saturday doing really awesome photos together and it made for an awesome date. Grab your mom or boyfriend and make them take photos of you. Bring 10-20 outfits with you, go to different locations, and get as many photos as possible. It's totally going to be awkward at first- but fight through it. Then edit them on LightRoom for Mobile- and BOOM!
How do you get sponsored by brands?
I started small! Anybody and everybody that reached out (as long as they weren't totally weird companies), I worked with for free. I needed to get my list of sponsorships built so when I eventually reached out to larger brands, they would see that I had done partnerships before. If nobody has reached out to you yet, begin reaching out to really small brands and asking for a free product in exchange for some posts. For every 25 requests you send out, you will get around 5 responses.
How do I make time to write all of my captions?
Pick ONE day out of the month, and write all of your posts down on your Google drive. If you are wanting to post three times a week, prepare captions for all of those times you're wanting to post. Yes, I'm being extremely serious. That's what I do. I take a full day on Friday and I write my posts from the beginning of the morning, to the middle of the afternoon. I also keep an ongoing notepad on my phone whenever something cool or inspirational happens so I can remember that moment when I go to write.
Will I make money with my blog?
Here’s the hard truth. If you want to create a successful blog that generates a profit, your chances are less than 10%. It’s similar to the economy. It’s the 1% that makes 99% of the profit. The 99% make little to nothing. If your goal is to make money, you’d better know what you’re up against from the start.
I do make money with my blog, and many others do too- But you have to know what you're doing, and dedicate all that you have to it. It's not simple. You don't just post and make money- There are many other factors that go into it. It's rare that one knows how to make a quick profit with a blog- but because I've been at this for so long... I can help you if you sign up for my coaching services. I will make a customizable plan for you to make money and reach the masses.
What is the best social media platform to use for your blog?
PINTEREST. If you want to generate traffic to your website, then I absolutely recommend using this platform first. I have over 1 million monthly viewers on that platform, and it has increased my website traffic from 5,000 a month to 18,000 a month. It also only took me 2 full months to get to those numbers- It is extremely possible and easy. You just need to have a strategic plan in place.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER QUESTIONS I GET ASKED OFTEN...
What is the best time to post?
How can Pinterest help my blog?
How can I best monetize my blog?
How did you get so many likes on FB?
How did you get so many followers on IG?
How much money should I invest in ads?
What is the best way to do email marketing?
How do I build my email list fast?
How do I move up to the first page of Google?
I can absolutely answer all of those questions. I know all of those answers! Though each niche is different, I've worked with over 12 industries with my company Sunday Morning Marketing and know many diverse markets. I know what your audience wants from you, and how you can succeed. Sign up with my CHEAP coaching services and let's get the ball rolling for you!
I Believe In You
If after this entire blog post, you are sure that this is absolutely for you, then I got your back. Blogging sure isn't the easy route, but it is a great route. Starting a blog from the comfort of your own home is very rewarding and when you know how to blog, and blog the right way, then it is the best business in the world. I can't wait to watch your journey unfold!