Many people blog as a hobby and to have a creative outlet. I personally blog to share my story and connect with other women who can relate to how I navigate the world, whether by size or race. I also love to educate and realize that I have indeed become a Global Midwife by serving as a Midwife for anyone who comes to my platforms! The reality, though, is that blogging requires a lot of your OWN money and time. If you’re going to dedicate years to it, then it’s logical to make some of that money back or even a profit. If it's your passion, ultimately you may wish to pursue it full time, and you can only do that by making enough money to support yourself and your family.
When I first started blogging last year, I was laughed at and even asked once "why do you tag brands, are they paying you?!" No, no one was paying me at the time or even knew my name, but as my best friend came to my defense by stating "not yet!" she manifested this reality for me. My community on my blog and social media platforms is small in the grand scheme of things, but we are a close knit community. As a nano-influencer (someone with 1,000 - 10,000 followers), I’ve been able to significantly supplement my income despite previous notions that I was too small to do so.
If you have under 10K followers and want to know if it’s possible to make 5 figures from your blog, yes it is very possible. Here are some tips that have helped me!
1. Treat it like a business
Until you believe it’s a business, nobody else will and there’ll be no reason to pay you. Set up a website, get a professional email, create a media kit, and be active on multiple social media platforms. You are a brand, and a brand isn’t only active on Instagram. Most of my brand collaborations have been through Instagram, but I have also collaborated with brands for blog posts and TikTok videos. I also got paid once to simply provide photos with no requirement to post on my social media platforms.
2. Be creative
I’m not afraid to shoot in front of crazy backgrounds or play with color. I believe this is what has drawn many people to my page. There are a lot of very polished accounts, but they often end up looking the same. If you're a small account, looking like everyone else can cause you to get looked over as brands are seeking someone different. Also, a dark feed just doesn’t fit my story, as I discuss stepping more into color as my confidence grew. So make sure your brand reflects your unique story and stands out. Many brands who approach me state that they love my fun, colorful feed and positivity.
3. Push yourself
I used to be so afraid to try video, but now people come to me for tips on creating videos. I’m willing to try everything at least once. If it doesn't work out, oh well, but if it does, I may just end up being known for it. Many of my major brand partnerships this year consisted of me being recognized for my videos and asked to produce video. Video is definitely the future and with Instagram recently rolling out reels, it's difficult to be competitive if you fail to provide this new in-demand feature.
4. Admit that you have lots to learn
I learn everyday and incorporate something new into my blog. When you decide to become a blogger, the learning is nonstop because not only is there tons of new information to discover, the field also changes rapidly. You have to be able to adapt and be self-motivated to learn technical skills, such as editing. My content is completely different from how it was last year, as I've added so many different components. I also closely listen to more successful bloggers, such as Mattie, Glo, and Hayet.
5. Start asking
It doesn't matter what field you are in, no one is going to say “let me give you money” at first meeting. You have to set a rate and ask for it confidently. The truth is that I didn't start making money until I started asking for it. Then, I didn't start making more money until I believed that I deserved it and asked for it. Brands would love to work with you in exchange for product, so if you agree to that, they are not going to say "no, let me pay you $1,000." They will work with you for free, so that they have more money to pay the bloggers who are charging. However, there IS value in working with a brand you love in exchange for product and building a relationship. Make sure you create bomb content and always be appreciative! If you build a genuine relationship and truly love the brand AND are a pleasure to work with, they will seek you out when paid opportunities become available.
6. Be authentic and diversify
In the beginning, I was torn about what to focus my blog on. It seemed like everyone had a niche, which enabled them to excel in one topic. I didn't only want to write about one thing though. I have a true passion for body positivity, women's health, fashion, travel, and marriage. Some people may say that's too many topics to discuss, but by being authentically me, I have created a well rounded blog. Not only does my audience love the fact that they can get both fashion inspiration and health education from me, but many brands have said they love how I combine different areas of expertise into my blog. Diversifying also opens you up to different types of brand partnerships. If I only focused on travel, I would probably only be approached by travel brands. However, I have been approached by fashion brands, wellness brands, women's health brands, and travel.
7. Affiliate links
Don't wait on brands to notice you, you can start making money through blogging by placing affiliate links. In the beginning, I would only link fashion items, but I've found that my audience really loves the health products that I link. So make sure you are being diverse in your links as well. I use Rewardstyle, but there are many more. I have also noticed that placing links in blog posts and in the description box of YouTube videos yield the most sales.
Don't believe anyone who tells you that making money from blogging is unattainable or will take years! You can absolutely do it; you just have to believe and then do the work. It's not easy by any means. I literally work on my blog every single day, but I enjoy it, so I want to work on it every day and learn about it. You also have to realize that being a nano-influencer will come with A LOT of no's and being looked over. That's okay because the right brands will respect you and appreciate your work. Develop some thick skin and keep pushing because you never know who's watching.
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