365 days since launch. Phew.
I cannot tell you how exhiliarting blogging has been. It has created enormous growth opportunities for my brand. I wish I had done it sooner. I always wanted to, but was afraid of the time commitment. I mean, my own platform to not only share more detail about recipes, but also expand my niche to include travel and wellness? It’s incredible. I love sharing different aspects of my life with you here!
The time commitment is real, but 100% worth it. We’ll get into that though.
Every road has bumps, doesn’t it? I’ve learned many lessons since launch and they’ve made me a better blogger. So, if you’re looking to launch a blog yourself or if you’re just dying to learn the details out of pure curiosity, I’ve compiled a list of tips for you!
The business side of blogging is something I am SUPER passionate about in-person, but don’t speak to a ton on the interweb. So here’s a little crash course on what I know and what I think about banking as a blogger.
Things I wish I’d known:
- Launch day. This will be your busiest traffic for awhile. Make sure you are PREPARED. I know you’re excited. I know you’ve already loaded tons of great content onto your blog so that when you announce it, all your supporters can come peruse; stay for awhile. The one thing I want to emphasize to you is your E-MAIL LIST. I overlooked this opportunity to capture my audience. It’s great that everyone came to check it out- now make sure they come back for more! Create a highly visible subscribe button (like a pop-up!) and if you can, even incentivize the sign up. Offer a free recipe to their inbox or exclusive discounts to your favorite products. RETENTION is important.
- Consistency. On that note, consistency is key. This is something I know is important. I always knew it would be. I’m still working on prioritizing it though. Dedicate yourself to a blogging schedule. You don’t need to post new content every day for the rest of your life- but let your audience find a rhythm. Maybe it’s a new recipe every Tuesday- even just that- once a week. Keep them coming back for more!
- Use your weaknesses as strengths. This is a general branding tip really. For a long time I was intimidated by all the other content creators who spent all day attending cool events and recipe testing, while sharing it all on their Instagram stories. I thought I was a lesser content creator because I didn’t share 24/7. After all, I do have a desk job from 9a-5p. After beating myself up a bit, I recognized that I needed a change in perspective. I started to embrace my ‘busy bee’ lifestyle between content creation and working in the corporate world. In fact, I now find it a strength. I can relate to those in my community- people who balance A LOT. They are focused on their corporate career and a buzzing social life, maybe a love for fitness or travel, but also an interest in health and wellness. So I know what it’s like to come home from a long day of office politics and excel formulas and feel completely exhausted, but still want to make time for a quick and simple healthy meal. Bingo!
- Contracts! Read your contracts thoroughly. If you don’t understand something, ask questions! Don’t be afraid to ask for clarity or for something to be put in ‘layman’s terms’. Your client should want you to understand what you’re signing so that you can provide the deliverables they are expecting. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If someone asks for exclusivity- have them list their competitors. If you don’t like giving printable rights to your work- ask them to remove it or negotiate a limited allowable time period. It’s all negotiable and you never know until you ask. If a client is providing you a contract, they wrote it so that they receive the most value as possible, they are writing it for themselves, not for you. Be your own advocate.
- Cash money. Okay, I’ve never received cash per se, but let’s talk money. Checks, PayPal, whatever it is. When I first started making money for content creation I found a nifty formula online. It told me that for every 1000 followers I had, I could charge $10. My first paid Instagram post went live in April 2016 for a whopping $24. This was a monumental moment for sure, but boy have I learned a TON about money since. If I could sum it all up in one measly paragraph, it would be this: Your time is valuable. Your skills are valuable. Brands know this, they recognize you and they reach out to you to work together. You are providing them content that they otherwise would create in-house. The person reaching out to you is being paid to reach out to you. You deserve to be paid for your time and skills. Furthermore, how do you know how much you should be paid? I have since created a new formula that is much more successful. If brands always say ‘yes’ to your pricing and/or you are overloaded with projects and commitments, then you should increase your pricing. Keep increasing. Yep, keep going. Okay, stop. Once you start receiving ‘no’s’, you’re at the right spot. Now you’re at a spot where you can make more money with less commitments. This means more creative freedom for you AND you can prioritize giving the clients you do have 100% of you, rather than your 30% stressed out, stretched way too thin self.
- Community. I’m talking blogger community. Share your resources. Share your experiences. Share your ideas. Connecting with others builds your knowledge base. We all have different readers and different niches- community over competition! Beyond this, blogging can be lonely. Does it sound glamorous to spend all Saturday testing recipes and taking pictures of them? How about a Friday night editing blog posts? It’s not a very social sport. Build a community to lean on when you’re feeling uninspired or just need to vent! It’s important to have people around who can relate to your struggles and cheer on your successes.
Cheers to my first year of blogging! Thank you for your endless love and support. Blogging fills my cup and I hope that you always feel it is continuing to overflow into yours.