Since starting The Beloved Bride in 2014, I’ve gotten so many questions along the way about blogging. How do I start? How do you make money? What is blogging, anyway?
Over the past few years, one thing has become increasingly clear – there are many people out there that still don’t have an understanding of what blogging is, and how many are beginning to make a career out of it. There is a huge misconception that bloggers are just a bunch of people who consistently post photos of themselves on Instagram and share discount codes for random products on a daily basis! 😉
For me, blogging began as a hobby. I’ve always loved to write, and I have a background in marketing communications. I obtained my Masters degree in 2014, and shortly after, started my own digital marketing business! Since working from home and being self employed, my hobby of blogging on the side started to become more of an extension of my marketing business. You can read more about the beginning and meaning behind The Beloved Bride here!
How Do I Start?
One of the most commonly asked questions is, “How do I start a blog of my own?” I am a firm believer that really anyone with a passion for writing and the subject at hand can be a blogger! It helps to have a bit of knowledge on whatever platform you’ll be using to start your blog (i.e. WordPress, Blogger, Wix, etc). I started on WordPress.com and switched to WordPress (yes, there is a huge difference between the two!) to be able to have more freedom in building my site. If this intimidates you, contact me here at my business. I can help you get set up! My current site is hosted on Bluehost and I purchased a WordPress theme from a third-party company that I felt fit my brand really well.
How Do I Create a Following?
Once you get set up, you’re probably wondering how in the world to create a following. I am a firm believer that creating a following does not happen overnight. As of writing, I am sitting around 24k followers on Instagram, and over 5k followers on Pinterest. These are the two social platforms that I have chosen to invest in the most, however, you may approach your blog differently, and that’s okay! Gaining a following does not happen instantly. To put things into perspective, I’ve been blogging for over 4 years now, and have just now gotten this far because I’ve really made my blog a huge focus in the past year or so! I do believe that blogging does take some form of talent and knowledge of the subject that you’re blogging about. Some may catch on to luck and gain followers quicker than others, but I do believe that you need to be good at creating interesting, quality content, and you should have some background or passion for whatever you are putting in front of your audience. Ask yourself, “Why would someone want to follow me?” and “What am I offering that is of value?”
I make it a point to consistently engage with my audience, which I feel helps tremendously. I also participate in monthly giveaways as a way to give back to current followers, or create more awareness of my brand to potential new followers. I have found that posting consistently is key, and it is important to create quality content. There are a few other things, like utilizing popular hashtags, following other bloggers in your niche, and doing blogger shoutouts every once in awhile! Every blogger has their own approach, but these are a few things that I’ve felt have helped me tremendously in creating a genuine following. One other thing I will note, is that I have made it a huge priority to consistently direct my audience to my blog (I’m glad you’re here!!) and not just always focus on my social media channels. The truth is, you don’t own your content on Instagram or any other social media channel for that matter. Any of those platforms could easily go away tomorrow, that is why it is so important to place your content in a channel that you OWN, like your own blog site. I am also focusing on building my email list, because again, that is content that I OWN.
I also think it’s important to understand that blogging is very time consuming, and you will only get out of it what you are willing to put in! Many of the gals that I follow have left their full time jobs to pursue this as a career, and I think that’s wonderful! You can’t approach blogging as a side hustle and expect to get full time results. If you are willing to keep it on the side as a hobby, just know that it might take a little more time and patience to grow. And that is completely fine!
Lastly, be authentic! In a world of perfectly curated social media feeds, I think it’s becoming increasingly more and more important to be authentic with your audience. Provide something of value, but also be real and yourself! I have made it a HUGE point in my brand to only share and promote products that I truly believe in. I would never promote something to my followers that I wouldn’t actually use myself, or that I felt was unethical. There are many brands that I’ve said “no” to because I didn’t believe that they aligned well with my audience. Stay true to yourself AND your followers, no matter how many dollars begin to roll in! 😉 Speaking of dollars…
How Do I Make Money?
Alright, so how do I make money off of this? If you want to truly grow your online presence to a point where you’d like to begin making money, there are a few ways to do so.
Sponsored Posts: Sponsored posts are basically where you are accepting monetary payment in exchange for a post on your blog/social media channels. Typically, you are given product and expected to create content for the brand. These types of collaborations are typically only when you’ve begun to show an authentic and engaged following!
Affiliate Programs: There are several different affiliate programs out there, like RewardStyle (LIKETOKNOW.it) and Share-a-Sale. You may see several of your favorite bloggers post about LIKETOKNOW.it. Basically when you share a product on one of these affiliate networks, if someone purchases the product using your link, you will make a small commission off of that sale!
Gifted Products: Occasionally, a brand will reach out to you with gifted product. It is up to your discretion whether or not you’d like to share that without monetary compensation. When I was first starting out, I accepted plenty of gifted product as payment, because I knew I was not at a point in my following where I felt right about asking for payment!
I hope this has helped to give some insight into how to get started with your own blog. These are just some of the most common questions that I’ve gotten since starting my blog, and are solely my own opinions. There are many different ways to go about “blogging” but this is just some of my personal experience and knowledge.
I hope you’ll keep me updated along your journey if you do begin a blog, and most important, have FUN with it. That’s what it’s truly all about.
This post contains affiliate links.