Choosing to start a blogging career is a big commitment. Many people tend to think that bloggers and/or creators who work their business full time, aren’t really entrepreneurs. But that can’t be further from the truth. When I first decided to pursue a blogging career, I was super scared. At least as a teacher, I knew that I would be able to drive consistent income and that I would have job security for quite a long time since there is always a need for teachers. And though I was passionate about teaching, my deeper passions fell into what I could do with my career and how I could develop myself as a successful creator.
I will admit that as I started out, I wasn’t someone that was versed in all aspects of how to successfully run a blogging career and how to be a full time influencer. I knew nothing about search engine optimization (SEO), I couldn’t even create income reports to provide to my accountant, and I really was just walking around blindly trying to figure it all out. And after some time, doing some research, and a lot of trial and error, I figured it all out and now I’m at the point where I generate over 6-figures a year.
When starting a blogging career, there are many things that you need to consider. As you first start out, you’ll probably feel a little uncomfortable and it’s not going to be the easiest thing right at first. With it being a new journey that you are diving into, having feelings of uncertainty comes with the territory. But just remember that you’re not alone and there are plenty of resources out there to help you. For example, I have blogging coaching options for any type of blogger along with an influencer course that focuses on how to successfully develop and grow your business as your navigate your blogging career.
But to get you started on things that you should be really considering as you consider going full-time as a blogger, I’m sharing a little bit into some things that you should know when starting a blogging career along with a little note on my thoughts and feelings that I had when I first started out. Hopefully these tips give you a little bit of a start to what you should focus on and hopefully the anecdote gives you a little reminder that you’re not alone and that your feelings of uncertainty are not only normal but completely expected.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT STARTING A BLOGGING CAREER
YOU’RE GOING TO NEED HELP
When starting your blogging career, you’ll most likely feel that you can take on the entire business yourself. And right at the start, you probably can. Your business is just growing so you have the ability and time to take care of the majority of your tasks on your own. But even from the start, you’re going to need some help. Unless you are a lawyer or an accountant, you’ll want to make sure that you have some assistance in maintaining your contracts and your revenue, and that as you grow, you may want to start considering other individuals to hire such as a virtual assistance or content manager. Many successful bloggers have help in various ways even if it’s just having a brand manager that assists them with campaigns. By growing your team, you’re allowing your own business to grow.
FOCUS ON DIFFERENT TYPES OF REVENUE STREAMS
Having a blog is a foundation of your blogging career, and from that, you’ll want to develop multiple streams of revenue that will not only support the upkeep of your blog and other facets of your business, but will allow you to grow your business and your entire brand. There are so many ways to monetize within a blogging career including brand campaigns, affiliate marketing, and selling of products or services. As you determine what revenue streams work for you, make sure that you are making sure that it fits your brand and focus on growing one revenue stream at a time.
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOULD AMPLIFY YOUR BLOGGING
Social media takes up a lot of time, and many bloggers tend to spend the majority of their time trying to upkeep their social media instead of spending that time growing their blog. Writing takes a lot of time, and when you don’t focus on your blog, it tends to start crippling your chosen career path. When working in your blogging career, just make sure that you are using social media as a way to amplify your blog instead of focusing on social media being the main platform of your business. Though many brands will reach out with brand campaigns aiming to get reach and impressions on Instagram or TikTok, you’ll find that there are also many other big brands who are looking for quality blogs that can produce great written content with great visuals.
QUALITY IS BETTER THAN QUANTITIY
Many bloggers like to set an amount of blogs that they want to produce per month. And though that’s not a horrible way to go about it, one thing that you have to keep in mind is that quality is better than quantity. When I first started blogging, I tried to create as many blog posts on my own blog as I could. I mean, I was my own boss and I could do whatever I wanted to do with my website. But I soon realized, that many of the blogs posts that I created weren’t driving much traffic because they weren’t quality posts. Now, in order to support my different revenue streams and grow a passive income, I now focus on creating more quality posts and I don’t worry about the amount of blog posts I create per month. Sometimes I am able to generate three a week and sometimes I can’t even generate one, but each post, once indexed gains viewership from current and new readers.
MY REFLECTIONS ON MY BLOGGING CAREER WHEN I FIRST STARTED
In thinking about full-time blogging, I also began to think of the risk factor that it would take going into business for myself. For the past month or so, I have been following the blog-help posts from one of my favorite bloggers – Not Jess Fashion – to learn how she makes it as a full-time blogger, and her strategy is absolutely amazing and she is doing great things.
This blog is doing phenomenal things with me still having a full-time job, and I can only imagine what I could do if I committed to it full-time, but I also know there would be struggle. So, with this summer off, I decided to take the plunge and give full-time blogging a trial run to see if this would be something I would be interested in pursuing.
I’m currently three weeks in to full-time blogging, and so far, this is what I learned.
There is so much I can do full-time blogging that have been doing that I wasn’t
I am able to manage my blog while working my full-time teaching job. I have been successfully doing it for the past two years. Now, I will say that I wasn’t doing everything that I wanted to be doing all the time, but I was happy with where my blog was and the steady growth that I was achieving. But since I started full-time blogging, I have been creating more elements, taking on my appointments, receiving more collaboration requests, and working to network a lot better than I originally was.
As this time has gone by, I have been able to communicate with brands, PR companies, and connect with other bloggers which has been big for the organic growth of my blog.
I have also been able to reflect on what I have been doing and put a little more effort into the behind the scenes aspects of my blog such as SEO, editing, and research. There is so much that goes into maintaining a blog and creating content. And I won’t sit here and say that I thought my content was absolutely horrible, but I also won’t say that it was the best that it could be. There are just so many technical aspects behind a blog that I was aware of, but never really had the time to sit down and figure them out. Even now, as I am working more on building my SEO, I have realized that my blog is doing a lot better because I am committing more time towards it.
Originally, I thought that full-time blogging would be me waking up whenever I felt and working from time to time based on how much time I felt like putting in that day. But I was very wrong, I have been working a steady 8 hours every day and giving myself a lunch break (as crazy as that sounds).
There is just so much that needs to be done and that can be done, and it is hard to admit that I wasn’t doing as much as I could have been prior to this moment.
I’ll have to put together my own benefit plan
One thing that has to be recognized about full-time blogging is that with you being your own boss, you also have to establish benefits for yourself as well as benefits for any of the workers that you may bring on to your team. Healthcare and a retirement plan are some aspects that some younger people may take for granted, but it can backfire on your life plan as you grow older.
Now, as a married woman, I could go on my husband’s health care plan, but I can’t absorb his retirement. And God forbid that anything ever were to happen with him at his job, what would be do then?
I sat down and tried to put together a health care package for myself and even talked to my mom who works in the financial business about putting together a 401k that would be attached to my business. It was hard. There was a lot of paperwork, and a lot of questions that needed to be answered about possibilities for the future. And then at that point, there was a lot of money being taken out of the static income that I would be making at this point. I began to get more appreciative of the benefit package I have at my teaching job and though to myself how I give major props to those who full-time blog and are in business with this significant other. They are doing this on their own and also employ other people.
It was just too much for me.
Brands & PR companies love talking to you and making a connection
In the past two weeks, I have communicated with a lot more people in relation to partnerships and collaborations that I ever have, and it wasn’t just through email.
During the school year, most of the time I can only communicate through email because I have no access to my phone during the day. Brands and PR companies would have to get in contact with me through email and vice-versa. Though the email system is absolutely amazing and most of the communication is still done through email, the intimate touch of having a phone call, Skype meeting, or even better, meeting in person provides you with a lot more opportunities to make those connections and share who you are as a blogger and what you can offer.
Additionally, there have been quite a few times that I have sent an email and gotten no response. Then I follow-up with another email, and still nothing. I would think that the PR company or brand is just too busy or my pitch was not the best that it could be and I would give up. But since I have been able to follow-up with phone calls, I have realized that sometimes my email is not reaching them directly, getting stuck in spam, or they have every intention of emailing me back but have been bogged down with a variety of other projects going and it just has slipped through the cracks. By following up with that phone call, they can see that I am very interested in their brand and the partnership, and instead of having a back and forth through email, we can settle projects right there and then.
And through the in-person meetings I have been able to go to, I am not only hearing about upcoming partnerships that I could be a part of, I am learning more about what happens on the brand/PR side and can have a conversation about what influencer side can do better to make working with brands and PR companies more seamless.