Know your Worth
So you have your blog, with a nice camera and you start to slowly see people start following you on social channels. You may even have a company reach out to you, and offer you a free shirt or a free headband for your child in exchange for a photo. Your going to hate me for this......DONT TAKE EVERYTHING FOR FREE........
Are you still with me? Let me explain why. Nothing in life is free, we all know that. As a blogger you are starting to establish your name and your brand and you want that to have value. By taking something for free, you are removing the value that you have to offer. I recently read an article from a company owner stating that companies are now catching on to bloggers and realizing they can forfeit paying for advertisement because bloggers will do it free of charge. Yes, you read that right companies that normally would pay to have that dress advertised is giving it to you and still pocketing money. So now you go out and take a picture in it, edit those photos, create a blog post, and then post on your social channels. So what collectively took about 2-3 hours you just did for the cost of the dress, maybe $40? Is your 3 hour’s worth $40? As a mom and wife every time I am working I am taking time away from my family, and If I can't be with my most loved ones I better be content with what I am being paid. To be paid $40 (in clothes) and be away from my family that long is not worth it for me.
Now I understand not everyone will agree with that concept and that is fine. When I first started blogging I took everything for free, and I loved it. However looking back now I see ALL the time I spent writing and taking pictures and spent so many hours just for a free shirt here and there. Time is valuable, don't let the idea of something free cloud your judgment. Especially if a company knows they can use a new blogger and get away with not paying the marketing cost. If you are serious about being in the blogger world, you need to treat it just like a regular job. If you work, you get paid. You would never tell your boss they don't have to pay you today but you will still put in a full work day.
So how does one with a small following make any money? Surprisingly companies love working with new bloggers. New bloggers are like fresh babes, untainted by the world. Their excitement and passion is evident and your blog is not filled with all kind of advertisements from other companies. If a company contacts you, DO NOT be afraid to ask to be compensated. Even if it is for $20. Time is money, always remember that! Also ask yourself does this fit me? Does it match the aesthetic of my blog? Does it truly represent me as a person? The moment you put your name out there, you are establishing your own brand. Saying no to a few companies in the beginning may be hard, but will be worth it once your followers realize what your specific brand is.
Also do not hesitate to reach out to companies. Remember when I talked about marketing yourself? Let the business world know you exist. Email companies and tell them what you have to offer. Even if you have 500 followers, that’s 500 new potential clients that company could obtain. Be confident in who you are! So how DO YOU make money blogging? This is something you will need to research deeper for yourself however Rewards Style and different Influencer Apps are a great starting point.
That Pesky Algorithm
Right when you feel like you succeeded in mastering the algorithm it changes on you. I know, we all want it to go back to the way it was. Isn’t that life, going back to the good ole days? Well since that doesn’t seem like it will happen lets focus on what we can do. Instagram no longer shows posts when people send them. Now it goes in order of your interest or posts that have higher amount of likes. So when you post, many times your followers may not see what you put up, that’s why posting several times a day is a great way to bring traffic to your feed and blog.
Going back to part one of “blogging 101”, Content is going to be your key component. You need to give your followers something to make them want to come back to your site. I for one will admit I am working and will probably always be working on creating better content for my blog, Think about the first time you go to a new restaurant or store. Why do you go back? A few reasons…
1,) visually appealing
2.) Your preferred taste/style
3.) Price is right
4.) Something you can share/talk about with friends
When creating content, focus on what your audience would want to see. Get their feedback, ask questions. Find your blog posts or Facebook posts that generated the most likes and comments and consider what people were so interested or curious in. Continue to push yourself.
Oh my friends, this is the good stuff. Hashtags are a make or break situation. The second month I started blogging; TJ Maxx messaged me and asked if they could share my content. I was over the moon! TJ Maxx is one of my favorite stores and the fact they asked a small blogger with about 1000 followers was so encouraging at the time. I remember logging into my Instagram account one day and seeing hundreds of new followers because of that specific repost. How did I manage to score something so amazing? Hashtags.
Each picture is allotted 30 hashtags. When I see people only using 10 or 20, it makes me go a little crazy because they do not realize the potential they are missing out on. Remember when I discussed marketing yourself? This is a great way and may be the only way for others to find you.
Which hashtags should you choose? There are so many out there but don’t get caught up reading 15 different google searches on what to use. Can I give you a secret? Find a blogger that you have noticed growing quickly and see what hashtags they are using. Try using some of those for a few days then switch yours up a bit. I don’t like to keep mine the same for more than a few posts. When you do go to post, if a major event is happening or show is being aired try using that as a hashtag. Anything that is currently trending is a great starting point.
I hope this inormation was helpful! If you have any questions or would like more advice please feel free to reach out. Have a great weekend!