How to Become a Full-Time Blogger

thesundaychapter.com

It’s a bit crazy to think 10 years ago blogging as a career didn’t even exist and now it feels as though it’s one of the most desired jobs. When I first started blogging I had a lot of negative feedback, not particularly nasty comments (that came later) but people that I knew were very condescending towards me.

There’s always been a stigma around bloggers that all we do is take photos and write some words but it is so much more than that. The workload is overwhelming and you’re not automatically guaranteed praise for something you pour your blood, sweat & tears into.

That being said, blogging is also one of the most REWARDING jobs and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. At times it doesn’t even feel like a job and the opportunities are limitless.

Since I get asked quite often for full time blogging tips, I’m here to share some of the best tips to up your blogging game.

And before getting into it, I just want to note this post is aimed at bloggers who are trying to turn their blog into a brand and/or business. If you enjoy blogging as a hobby, then these tips are absolutely not necessary.

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1. The right equipment

Gone are the days where makeup photos were taken on phones & outfits simply against a wall in your room. The first stepping stone in taking your blog to the next level is, of course, improving the quality of your photos. This will not only help you be taken more seriously for opportunities by PRs and brands, but it can build your exposure on social media.

I use a Canon 70D for my photos with a few different lenses, depending on what I’m shooting. Although if travel blogging is more your thing, you might want to invest in a more travel friendly camera, as an SLR is a real pain to carry around. I really love the Olympus PEN E-PL7 with the 42mm 1.8 lens.

If you don’t have a friend who knows their way around a camera or a suffering instagram boyfriend (HA – you guys know it’s true though), why not hire a photographer? If you’re having trouble finding one, search for bloggers around your area on instagram and see who their photo is being taken by. If that doesn’t work, email around – you’re bound to find one eventually.

Another option is reaching out to students studying photography. It’s sort of a win-win because they’re usually trying to build their portfolio and gain experience so they could offer you free or much more affordable photography sessions.

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2. Buy your own domain

Although blogger is a great platform to begin with, most bloggers end up moving over to self-hosted WordPress. It’s not as user-friendly as blogger but it is a much more professional platform and all the content is your own, rather than being owned by Blogspot.

I can’t stress how important it is to at least have your own domain name when you’re turning your blog into more than just a hobby!

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3. Identify your brand

I feel as though so many bloggers overlook one of the most important aspects of building a blog, and that is, branding. I personally love branding. I probably love it just as much as I love blogging. By having a clear brand, readers will know what to expect from you in the future. If they like that then they will come back for more.

Don’t forget your brand must be fluid throughout all your social media channels. If your blog is light & feminine, then don’t make your twitter feed black & dark.

Simply put, branding is all about how you want people to perceive your blog, and how you want them to feel when they log onto your website.

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4. Invest in your blog

I think it’s pretty unrealistic to create a business without spending a cent. Of course you’ll notice bloggers these days being sent around the world and the latest chloe bag (Yes, REALLY) but that definitely didn’t happen overnight. They’ve poured thousands of dollars and years into their blog. Remember, gradually chip away at your goal every single day.

If you’re a fashion blogger, put your money towards clothes. If you’re a travel blogger, invest in plane tickets. You get the drift.

You only get out what you put in. Don’t expect more until you do more!

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5. Schedule & Organise

When you start to get serious about something, you should become more organised about it too. I’m a planner so I like to schedule content, as well as all my days, in advance. Usually I plan out a month in advance but leave time for new product trends, outfits, etc that might happen. It also helps ensure you don’t run out of ideas or have content scheduled, even though you might have fallen ill or need time away.

Your content should be regular and consistent. Brands want to know they can rely on you.

thesundaychapter.com

6. Monetize

A little bit of a touchy subject for some but a question I still get asked quite often is “how do you make money from your blog?”

This question has been answered numerous times across many blogs, and it is going to be an inevitable factor you have to consider when turning your blog into a business.

Here’s a few ways popular to monetize your blog.

Advertising: Signing up to an ad network such as Google Adsense will put ads throughout your blog in areas that you choose, and work on a PPC (pay per click) program. Although this is becoming less popular as it can sometimes ruin the aesthetic of a blog.

Affiliate links: Signing up or being invited to an affiliate platform will help you monetize your links. There are many platforms out there now that usually work on a pay-per-click or pay-per-sale program. The most popular include ShopStyle and Reward Style (invite only).

Sponsorships: Sponsorships seem to be the most popular way for bloggers to earn a living. Usually a brand will reach out and pay you a certain amount of money to publish a post and share it across social media. There are also times when they will only want you to post something on social media – sort of like an Instagram ad.

Product: When you have a substantial following, many bloggers turn to selling their own product – whether it be makeup, cosmetics, clothing, travel guides, cookbooks, etc. Again, this usually only works when you have a loyal following and are in it for the long run.

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7. Build your social media presence

It is imperative that you grow your influence and brand through social media as it’s a primary source of traffic for most blogs. It is a reflection of your blog and brand. It’s how you can connect with readers, brands and PRs. Some brands look at an Instagram following over blog traffic nowadays, and in my opinion, instagram should be one of the tools to utilize to grow your overall brand. It’s also important for getting feedback from readers and engaging (eg reading, sharing, commenting) them on your social media posts.

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thesundaychapter.com

8. Own your niche

A great blogger is when readers rely on you to be the expert in your particular field. For example, if you’re a beauty blogger, never stop learning AS MUCH as you can about beauty products, releases, trends, etc. Always be ahead of the crowd. The more you understand what you’re talking about, the more readers will trust and rely on you as a valuable source of beauty tips and information.

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9. Assess your analytics

First step, make sure you’re signed up with Google Analytics as it’s the most trusted and valued source of analytics. Now, I totally understand that numbers ARE important. Obviously brands only want to work with bloggers who have over a certain reach. That being said, I don’t think you should get too caught up with numbers because it can really do more bad than good.

Instead, use your analytics to learn about your audience. It’s one of the keys to increasing your traffic. I look at if there’s specific topics people are coming for, the traffic sources I should develop, what people are searching on my blog, etc. In doing so, I can learn about what my readers are interested in and create more of it.

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10. Look at your blog like a business

From day one, I knew that blogging is what I wanted to do. Sure, at the time, it was just a hobby BUT with a 5-year plan. I knew that I wanted it to turn into my job so I treated it like a business.

In a business, it’s important to spend time on it’s different departments, not just creating posts. There’s sales, marketing, social media, deisgn, tech, taxes, rates, business development, etc.

You have to put effort into all these areas and if there’s something you’re not particularly knowledgeable at, then delegate. If it’s tech, hire a tech designer. It’s more efficient to delegate the work to someone who is an expert in the field, rather than waste hours trying to figure it out yourself.

Focus on your strengths, delegate your weaknesses.

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I hope this helped answer some of your questions! What are your thoughts on full time blogging? Is it something you’d like to do? Do you already do it? Any tips? Love to hear your thoughts!

Seriously though, your comments make my day.

  • This was such a great post to read, so helpful and with tonnes of useful information. I love blogging and I want it to remain a hobby for me and not my primary source of living but I also want it to be successful and a place that people trust. So thank you so much for this post, saved!

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

    • Thank you so much, I’m SO glad you found it helpful Kiran! :) x

  • This was such a helpful post, with so many great tops. I like the idea of chipping away at goals every day a little bit x

    Laurzrah

    • It’s my favourite way to do things! Thanks so much for reading Laura x

  • Really great tips. I’m not sure I could ever do it full-time but it seems like a lot of fun! x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

    • Thank you! It is certainly, but it does come with a lot of pressure! x

  • This is such a helpful blog post! My blog is only a hobby but this is such a good post for if it ever became more than that, don’t think I have seen such a helpful and clearly laid post about this subject until now!!

    elwillmer.blogspot.co.uk
    xx

    • Thank you SO much! I’m just happy you found it somewhat helpful :) x

  • I think these tips are really helpful, loved reading them! Blogging is definitely the best and the most rewarding job in the world but there’s a looot of work, sweat and tears involved into turning it from a hobby to an actual job :) Have a great day!

    xx
    Matea
    http://www.smilesnapsparkle.com

    • Thank you Matea! Haha could not agree more. Have a lovely day also! x

  • Thanks so much for the tips! Trying to brand has been one of the hardest things for me to do but hopefully I’m getting closer to where I want to be. Hopefully I can turn my blog into my job one day! You’re blog is seriously inspiring :D
    The Fernweh Wolf / Travel & Lifestyle Blog

    • It can be difficult in the beginning but as you grow with your blog, you’ll know what you want :) Hopefully one day! Thank you SO much Shelby!! x

  • Very useful tips! Sometimes I don’t know how to grow my blog further. I use social media, have my own domain and use SEO. Maybe I must be more patient…:)

    • Thank you Darina! It definitely takes a lot of patience. Focus on providing lots of content every single day (through your blog + social medias), invest time, money & I promise you’ll get there :) x

  • All of these are such great tips! Turning anything from a hobby to a business is always going to be hard, but when you break it down into actionable steps, it always feels so much more achievable :)

    • Thank you Olivia! Totally agree! It’s A LOT of hard work, but I always live by taking small steps. :)

  • leah rachel

    This is such an amazing post, I love the blogging tips because they’re different from the usual tips I see around. I’d love to do blogging as a job! it seems very rewarding :)

    http://www.leahrachelgoth.blogspot.com

    • Thank you so much! That’s exactly what I was aiming for :) Maybe one day! It certainly does have its rewards x

  • Jen

    Helpful pointers! For now, blogging is my hobby, but I love engaging and connecting with readers, so this post is still relevant.

    Jen | affecionada

    • Thank you Jen! I’m still so happy it could be of some use :) x

  • Most helpful and thorough post I’ve read on this topic in quite some time. Great work and awesome post! I’m officially inspired :)

    Lisa
    http://www.theeverydayelevated.com

    • Thank you SO much. Seriously though, that means a lot! Have a lovely day Lisa x

  • Love this, inspiring and really helpful tips! xx

    AGNESE from http://www.theblogness.com

    • Thank you so much Agnese!! x

  • This post is incredibly helpful – thank you! :)

    — LisaLDN.com

    • Yay! So glad you found it useful. Thanks for reading Lisa! x

  • missgetaway

    Absolutely loved this post! I think being a full-time blogger sounds like the dream for many people (including me *haha* but I’m only at the very beginning sadly).

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

    • Aw thanks Kerstin! Everyone starts out somewhere :) If you want & work for anything hard enough, you’ll get there! x

  • LOVED this, such a useful post and the pictures are so pretty :)

    Rachel | Beauty and the Bird

    • Thank you so much! So glad you liked them Rachel :) x

  • Such a fab inspiring post!! Thank you for all the amazing tips :) At the moment blogging is my hobby but I am so inspired by fellow bloggers to constantly improve the content in my blog! Beautiful pictures too xxx

    • Ahh thank you!! I’m SO happy you were inspired by it :) x

  • peonies passionfruit

    Thank you for this well written and informative post, I’ll definitely be taking away and using a lot of the points you posted. x
    Eme | http://www.peoniesandpassionfruit.com

    • Thank you so much Eme, so happy you found it helpful :) x

  • Great tips! TFS!!
    Amy @ http://www.healthandbeautygirl.com

  • Great tips! I agree that you have to take your blog seriously if you are planning on going full-time!

    http://stylesprinter.com/10-podcasts-for-fashion-and-beauty-bloggers/

    • Thank you Katya! Such an important point!! :) x

  • I loved this post! I’d love to one day become a full-time blogger (or even just make a little money from the blog as a little extra income to start off with) and there are so many helpful tips here! Thanks for sharing!
    xo April | April Everyday

  • This post is so helpful, thank you so much, It’s so interesting to read how it all comes together so you can make a career! xox

    withlovefromamber.blogspot.co.uk

  • All you say is true true true. Some of the things on the list are easier to do than others. I find mastering Google Analytics my biggest challenge. But no doubt it’s worth it! https://blogjob.com/cmoneyspinner/

  • Jessica Lokker

    Great tips! I think a lot of bloggers start a blog just as a hobby. But it’s better to take your blog serious from the first minute it’s online, even if it’s just a hobby. And within a year you’ll know what you want with your blog.

  • Rhiannon Johnson

    Great tips but I agree with the delegating the most! I always want to do everything myself and think I can do it best, but I need to focus on my strengths and delegate my weaknesses! That might be my new motto.

  • Tony.

    I loved reading what you had to say, most informative and interesting, by the way love the boots.

  • This was such an informative post, thanks for sharing your tips!

    Diana | http://thechicdiary.com/blog/5/19/2016-grecian-vibes-rose-pleated-maxi-skirt-and-gold-accents

  • dementi e portenti

    Thank you so much for sharing!! We just started recently to blog. Very precious tips!

  • yvonne

    I like blogging but I’m not sure it’s more than a hobby. From time to time, other posts influence the idea of making it into a business. It would be nice to monetize on it but the original idea is to share knowledge and when it feels like a job, the appeal of a hobby is lost dues to deadlines, concerns of #s, etc. I’m in a confused stage as a blogger. I do see myself doing it for a long time.

  • BoxLifestyleNYC

    Hi Angela, did you ever feel torn between your personal accounts and your accounts under Sunday Chapter. Did you feel at one point you should invest time and money as branding under your name vs the Sunday Chapter? Sometimes I feel like I should switch gears and just be Lindsay as opposed to my sites name BoxlifestyleNYC. I almost want to give up my personal social media accts entirely so I can just focus on one or the other.

    • Yes! All the time. I struggled between defining personal and business accounts/brands. It came to the point where I needed to make a decision, and I chose to invest all my time in Sunday Chapter and delete my personal instagram etc… and I feel SO much more free & happy! I was hardly posting on my personal anyway & felt it was much more important to grow Sunday Chapter since it is a long term thing for me. I have a personal FB to connect with friends and every other social network is for my brand.

      Everyone is different though, it’s whatever works best for you. It took me a long time (literally like a year) to figure it out, so don’t stress about it too much! You’ll know when the time is right. :)

  • This is a great post. Thanks for sharing. One of the main things that I struggle with constantly is how to separate myself from all of the zillion blogs out there in the world now. What makes me so much better than another blogger? Of course it’s all about the content and your brand, but any tips on how to make yourself stand out from everyone else? Much appreciated and thanks for the post!

    • You just have to focus on you and don’t look at too many other blogs. The only way to be different and stand out is to be yourself because you’re bringing something new to the game. Let your personality shine through your brand and engage everyday on all social platforms to stay relevant!

      It takes investment and consistency. It also depends on what niche you’re trying to build!

      I will try doing a post on this soon! :)

  • Love this post! I’ve been in a blogging slump lately, and you’ve inspired me to take another look at the direction I’m moving in and see what I’d rather be doing instead. Looking forward to reading more from you!

    Sarah // safariwithsarah.com

  • I’ve just started blogging and it’s a really fulfilling thing to do, to fuel my creativity and spontaneity in life. I wish I could achieve your status someday! :) You are an inspiration!

    Jil,
    http://www.jildiamante.com
    http://goo.gl/LfTL3n

  • Be sure to check out Shopping Links [www.shoppinglinks.com] for your sponsorship opportunities. We love supporting emerging bloggers and helping them to find the right brands to work with. Great post! Thanks for sharing x

  • I started blogging as a hobby, the content I share is real and applicable, and I wanted to give back to the community I had been learning so much from. However, I also knew when I started that it was an investment, one in which I do want to see a return on.
    The 10 areas you’ve addressed are definitely key in making that happen.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • I have very recently decided I want to give this blogging thing a proper good go! I know I want to include, fashion, travel and lifestyle in my blog but I struggle with what to post and things, I know like you said sometimes you have to put the money in but I can’t afford to all the time so that I struggle with and I really need to learn how to become more present in social media as I don’t always have things to post on instagram and things! But I will definitely keep referring to this post to help me!
    http://www.pagefromsbeth.blogspot.co.uk

  • Zera

    These tips are great! Investing in a camera is not really on budget for me right now but it’s definitely on the list! I’d like to be a full-time content writer, but I really learned valuable tips from this post as I’ve just started blogging.

    You mentioned Google Analytics, how do you deal with referrer spam? Do you have to deal with it often?

  • indecisivelystylish

    Thank you sooo much for all the advice about blogging.. I only just got started and have been looking for some guidelines and these really help a lot!! Love your style!