Happy Monday! Hope everyone’s week is off to a productive start. It was a long weekend here to celebrate Australia Day and really what I needed. I decided to limit my time on social and not even touch my laptop for one. entire. day. (this is HUGE for me) and I’m feeling very refreshed.
Todays post has been a long time coming. I get a lot of questions regarding blogging nearly daily now, so I asked you guys on Instagram to send me through all your blogging questions so I could compile them into a blog post. I don’t consider myself a full expert on everything blogging, but I have been in the industry for nearly 4 years now so I’ve managed to pick up a thing or two.
STARTING A BLOG
What platform do you use for your blog?
I use self-hosted wordpress and would never go back to anything else!
Whats the best way to start a blog and how much do you pay for a domain name?
Like I mentioned previously, my blog is self-hosted wordpress but I bought my domain through go daddy. Prices tend to vary depending on the name of your blog, what kind of privacy/security settings you’re after, etc. It’s best to check on their website!
How long did it take you to start earning money from blogging?
Honestly I don’t think I made a cent for the first year or so, and even when I did it wasn’t much. But my journey is different from yours, and yours is different from everyone else. Some people make money straight away and some people don’t at all. I will say in all the years I’ve been blogging, those who get in it for the money end up losing.
How do you pick a niche and do you think it’s important?
I do think it’s important to hone in on one niche when you’re starting to blog, rather than covering every topic under the sun. For example, I started with beauty. I chose it because it’s what I was obsessed with talking about at the time and felt the most expert in that niche. After time, I eventually expanded to cover fashion, travel and wellness. Now I’d say my main niche is fashion and travel, as they’re what I’m most passionate about. I branched out very slowly and let my audience grow with me.
GROWING A BLOG
Do you approach brands or do they approach you?
I’d say 90% of the time or more, they approach me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reaching out to them though! If you think you are a perfect fit for the brand and have something to offer them, then absolutely contact them! Even if they say no, at least you’re putting yourself on their radar. Do not go emailing a brand just to score free stuff. Nothing is technically “free” when blogging. You need to put in the work and prove it’s going to be a mutually beneficial collaboration.
How do you start a blog with no money?
I was pretty broke when I started my blog. I couldn’t afford to go out & blog about new clothes every week so instead I made old clothes work, shared my lifestyle advice, beauty / makeup tips and tutorials without spending a cent. I mean my heart leaps over a luxury purchase, but it’s not the most inspiring thing in the world. Get creative and create content that adds value to your readers lives! You don’t need to spend money to add value.
When do you find time to blog with a full time job?
Honestly, it’s hard. When I was working full-time I had to plan all my content way in advance. I would set out everything using Google Calendar and do a whole lot of scheduling. I used to get home at 6pm, exhausted, and still work on the blog nearly everyday until midnight and use my weekends to shoot. I sacrificed some things for a while (like a functioning social life) to help my blog grow. It’s difficult, but not impossible.
How do you always have content to post on Instagram?
Even doing it full-time, I always plan my content 4-5 days in advance (and some posts even more). I post 2-3 times a day and I always know what I’m going to post and when. I’m not one of those people who can create & post as they go because I’m a massive perfectionist and that is way too much pressure – LOL.
How do you stop comparing yourself to other bloggers?
I wrote a whole post on that here! Comparison is the end of everything: your growth, creativity & happiness. I still struggle with it sometimes but can more quickly snap myself out of it. It’s good to be different. Different is refreshing. The blogging industry is bigger than ever – there are 1.2 million bloggers in London alone. Don’t try to be like everyone else.
How do you make money blogging?
A mix of content creation for brands, affiliate links, sponsored posts on my blog and social, brand collaborations & ambassadorships. Some bloggers also have their now product lines which is very cool. The sky’s the limit when you work for yourself.
How do you turn blogging into your full time job?
I feel this question almost deserves its own post as the answer is lengthy. If you’re getting into blogging for the money: don’t. A lot of people end up dropping everything once they find out how much work is truly in it. There are so many ways to monetise as I mentioned in the previous question. If you’ve been posting consistently for a long time, and have an engaged audience who trust your opinion, then I would write down brands you hope to work with and reach out to their marketing/PR contacts with proposals. You can’t just sit there, post an Instagram photo & wonder why brands aren’t flocking to work with you. You need to put in the work and get yourself out there. And like any business, you need to put in money to make money.
I think the biggest mistake here is people believe blogging is kind of an easy way out from a full-time job. Truth is, blogging is a 24/7 job. Bloggers are some of the hardest working people I know. My days can often be 16 hours long and there’s a lot of sacrifice to make.
I will also add one more thing: location does have a big impact on whether you can turn this into a career. For example, it’s much easier to become a blogger in London than it is in Melbourne (not saying you can’t, I’m just saying it’s harder) because it’s not as well acknowledged or recognised as a proper job.
How do I get blog traffic? How many page views do you have a month?
Promotion! It’s time to share your content as much as possible. I think promotion seems to be a step a lot of bloggers overlook. Once you publish a blog post, that’s not just the end of it. You have to share your post to every social media: Instagram, Instagram stories, Pinterest (sometimes I make seperate Pinterest graphics), Twitter, Snapchat & Facebook. I get around 150,000 page views per month or sometimes more depending how often I post.
Do you think it’s important to have a blog with an Instagram account?
Instagram should not be your blog. Instagram is just a tool, like any other social media. You don’t own any of your content on Instagram therefore it’s really risky to be relying on it. If it’s a self-hosted blog, it means you own that space on the internet and it gives yourself a lot more credibility to brands. Who knows where Instagram will be in a few years time?! All I know is it’s not going to be the leading social media forever, so don’t be putting all your eggs in one basket, you know?
How do you stay motivated to blog when you’re not growing?
You need to have a real passion for blogging. Even if I wasn’t making a cent or getting any recognition, I would still be doing it because I love to share content. It’s harder than ever to grow as a blogger due to the saturation of the industry so you really need to love what you do.
PHOTOGRAPHY & EDITING
What camera do you use?
How do you edit your photos?
I use Lightroom on my MacBook where I created my own presets. Sure, it does take a bit of extra time importing photos to my MacBook but I would honestly spend even longer trying to decide on a filter as none really do it for me. I need more control over tweaking colours in a photo (that’s the perfectionist in me talking though) rather than applying a filter.
What are your best iPhone editing apps?
If I ever edit on my iPhone, it’s a mix of Lightroom, Snapseed & VSCO.
That’s it from me! I hope I answered the majority of your questions and I you all learned something from this post! Please do let me know if you’d love to see more posts on blogging?!