Blogging Full-Time? Congratulations!
Here’s What You Need To Know
Nowadays it’s possible to pursue blogging full-time, as a business. And how awesome is it that?!
If you want to go full-time with your blog, it’s important to acknowledge that you are committing to starting a small business. Whether you realise it or not – you’re an entrepreneur!
As such, it’s important to equip yourself with the knowledge and resources to pursue your new business.
I’m planning more blogging-focused content for 2018, but right here, right now, here are a few fundamental tips for starting out as a full-time blogger.
I’ve rounded them up into 7 Steps To Follow If You’re Thinking About Blogging Full-Time.
These exact steps are ones which I have taken in the lead up to, and process of, blogging full-time. I hope that they’ll help you to pursue your own blogging business!
7 Steps To Follow If You’re Thinking About Blogging Full-Time
#1 Minimise Your Overheads
One of the major impetuses for me leaving London was to reduce my overheads.
My rent literally quartered upon moving to the countryside, which left me with more money to invest in my business, and more time to invest in my content creation without the pressure of pursuing sponsorships.
Reduce your fixed costs (rent, bills, monthly repayments) as much as possible in these early months and years of full-time blogging. It will grant you freedom to develop your business from a creative and authentic place.
“You cannot expect to be able to focus
on what type of content you are creating,
and how to share your story,
if you don’t know first your purpose
and who you are.”
#2 Complete A Branding Questionnaire
One of the most valuable things I have ever done for my business, is complete a branding questionnaire.
The exact one I completed is this one by Jamie Starcevich of Spruce Rd.
You cannot expect to be able to focus on what type of content you are creating, and how to share your story, if you don’t know first your purpose and who you are.
I swear this was a turning point for me.
Take the questionnaire, and really take the time to identify who you are.
This will inform everything else you do.
#3 Invest In Your Blog
What to do with that money you’re saving on your overheads?
You’re a businesswoman now – you need to invest!
Some of the best money I have ever spent on my blog has been:
- Working with a branding designer. Again – see Jamie.
- Chloé Digital, both on the tech support side and the installation of my website.
- Equipment. This includes a laptop, desktop and camera. All of which I bought over time as I saved up my money.
- Editing software including Photoshop and Lightroom, right down to editing apps like VSCO and Snapseed.
- Outsourcing tasks including photography, copy writing, branding and more.
It may feel like a sting to invest your money in your blog, but think of it exactly as it is: it’s an investment. You can expect a good return from it.
I’ve had brands say to me how impressed they’ve been with my site design, and that’s why they chose to work with me over another site.
One paying client can pay off one of the investments above.
#4 Develop An Editorial Calendar
And Maintain Posting Consistency
Whether you post once a month, daily or a handful of times a week, try to maintain consistency with when you post.
Consistency helps your readers to know when to check in with you, fosters trust and builds anticipation for your next article.
Struggle with this? Try this task:
– Write down how often you want to post. It might be Tuesday and Friday. So, that’s twice a week.
– Then times that number by the amount of weeks in a month. Say it’s four weeks.
– That’s eight blog posts you need to plan, shoot, write and publish.
-Try getting your ideas on paper ahead of time, so that you’re not stuck for what to write. This will also help you plan your photography. If you have two posts featuring outfits, you can shoot these back to back.
“Consistency helps your readers
to know when to check in with you,
and builds anticipation for your next article.”
#5 Always Remember: Education or Inspiration
Every time your readers interact with you, they want to be getting value from your article. By this they want to either learn something or feel something.
If your piece isn’t hitting the education or inspiration mark, consider reformulating it.
Instead of writing an article on: “My Lisbon Diary” you can try reframing your piece to read: “5 Hidden Gems Of Lisbon You Need To Experience”.
Immediately you’re alerting your audience to the value they can expect from interacting with your Lisbon article, rather than simply sharing your photo diary.
#6 Use Social Media As An Extension Of Your Brand
Anyone that has worked with me will know that I am a cohesiveness obsessive.
The values you identified in your branding questionnaire can be applied to every single channel you use.
This will help you to develop invested followings on various platforms, and to cross-promote across them as well.
To this effect here are a few social media stats for you about The Elgin Avenue:
Instagram and Twitter combined make up almost half of my web referrals for my site.
In the last year my breakdown of social media referrals is: Twitter has referred 30% of my social media traffic, Instagram 27%, Pinterest 16% and Facebook 14%.
As you can see, each of these channels is vital to fostering a readership for my blog. It’s worth investing in!
Be sure to share your latest content across each of your channels.
Social media takes time, so allocate it. There are no two ways around it, you get out what you put in.
If you want your Instagram to grow, you need to be on the app often, uploading and fostering a community. Just as you need to be writing newsletters/pinning/whatever it may be.
Social media is an extension of your brand, and nowadays it is also a secondary element of your brand which you can monetise.
Speaking of which . . .
#7 Know Your Worth
By this point if you’ve been following the steps above you will be well on your way to having a focused, beautifully-designed blog, which posts regular valuable content and has kick-ass social media channels to support it all!
In other words – you have a destination site! And a brand people want to work with.
And before you get tangled up in a myriad of questions about followers, numbers and metrics, let me share this with you . . .
Yes, having built up a following is important. After all, if brands are paying you to promote them, they want to know that you’re reaching a certain number of people.
More so than ever however, brands are looking to work with influencers who have an invested audience. People that have people following them who will convert into paying customers.
This means, you need an engaged community.
There is a whole other blog post to be written about how to cultivate an engaged community, but overwhelmingly if you’re sticking to the key points above, you should be well on your way to cultivating a group of awesome followers, who are sharing your journey, because you’re developing valuable content to share with them.
With this in mind, you absolutely can charge for your work!
If you’re curious about what to charge, this article is an informed one about what to charge for an Instagram post.
As for blog content, feel free to drop me an email if you have a question about fees, or reach out to an agency such as WaR Agency, Whalar or Reward Style, to get a gauge of how much to charge for your current following.
And remember to reassess your fees as your site and followings grow.
What’s Your Take?
I hope today’s post will have helped you if you are thinking about blogging for business!
If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me or pop them in the comments below.
As I said, I’m planning more blog-focused content next year, so I’d love to know the type of content you are looking for!
Love, Monica x
Photography by Frances McMahon
P.S More blogging resources I love: