Hello all! Today I am publishing a really special (albeit slightly different) post about blogging. The last post I ever did geared towards bloggers was 5 Important Photography Tips For Style Bloggers, and that did really well. Since a lot of my readers send me emails with questions about blogging, I thought I would write this post as another resource!
My blog is always brought up in conversation with people that know me.
And the two questions I always get asked are:
1) How do I start a blog like you?
2) How do you become a full time blogger?
It’s always lovely educating others on how to start a blog and what bloggers do to become successful. But my own experience and education comes from years of learning and trial and error. In fact, I’ve been asked these two questions so many times, I want to share with you (for free) the best resources I have tried. I also want to answer some of the most popular questions I get that are about becoming a full time blogger!
Since starting a blog, my life has drastically changed for the better.
I can work from home, set my own schedule, go to my graduate program full time – all while trying to live the best life I can with my chronic illness.
Below is my ultimate guide on how to become a full time blogger . I have answered the most common questions that I am asked about starting a blog, social media, making money blogging, and much more. Hopefully you can start a blog too and follow your dreams!
What do I need to set up a blog?
The first thing I would suggest is picking a blog name that can be your domain name. I came up with The Petite Bijou in just 3 days after brainstorming and immediately purchased the domain.
The next thing you absolutely need to do is get a self hosted WordPress site.
If you want to make money blogging, the first thing you will need to do is make sure you have a self-hosted blog, such as through SiteGround. I use SiteGround for my blog because other hosting providers like BlueHost FAIL – miserably.
Why Self Hosted?
Being self hosted allows you complete control over your website. It won’t get randomly deleted and it’s more professional. If you are considering starting a blog to make an income, a self hosted site is the way to go.
Where can I find a nice theme like yours?
Etsy is my favorite budget destination for a nice WordPress theme. I paid a little over $75 for mine and plan on commissioning a custom design very soon. But as you can see here, Etsy has some really cheap themes that look just as nice.
What should I blog about?
Your blog should be more than just a source of income, it should be a passion. You can blog about ANYTHING you want to blog about.
I blog about so many things- lifestyle, beauty, fashion, travel, culture, and even blogging! There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of passions and as long as you create content people love, you shouldn’t have a problem monetizing.
How do I get more blog readers?
Page views are important because click through rates are usually low. The higher the page views, the more converted readers you get. The more converted readers you have, the more likely your blogging income will rise. There are many different ways to increase the number of pageviews so you can make money from your blog.
Here are my tips:
Publish good blog posts – You should aim to publish on your blog at least every week. Blog posts should be high quality – that means less blog posts featuring only pictures of your outfits and more time spend explaining WHY or HOW your outfit is important to your readers. Aim to publish blog posts that are between 300-500 words, if not more.
Be on Pinterest – Pinterest is one of my top traffic sources and a lovely place to find inspiration. After taking Melyssa Griffins Pinfinite Growth course, my page views have double in under 6 months. I recommend creating great images, writing captivation descriptions, optimizing your profile, and pinning regularly. I use programs like BoardBooster to automate everything and get more eyes on my account. BoardBooster has worked wonders for me and I really love it!
Know your audience – Knowing what they want and need right here right now is the best way to create content they will love. If you want to monetize your blog, your site is not for you, it’s for others – so make sure your content is created with your audience in mind.
Network with bloggers – Too many bloggers see each other as competition. This is such a waste of your time. Instead, you should focus on forming relationships with like minded people so you can collaborate and help each other out.
Share your content – Sharing your blog posts on social media is a must if you want to attract more readers and become a full time blogger. As a social media manager, I recommend posting to each platform at least once per day.
How can I make money from blogging?
Every blog is different, but once you understand what your readers want and need, you can monetize your blog in different ways including:
- Working with brands
- Affiliate marketing
- Creating your own products
- Press placements
- Blogger networks
Not every strategy is a one size fits all. And without going into a spiraling rabbit hole of monetization strategies, here’s one tip to implement: do what feels right.
For The Petite Bijou, I focus solely on providing editorial content for my readers with no plans (as of yet) to create my own products to sell. Most of my income from this blog is rooted in affiliate income and brand sponsorships.
What is affiliate marketing?
ffiliate income is a great way of making money from your blog. Affiliate income is when you place an affiliate link in a blog post and try to earn money from people buying the product through your link. This is perfect for bloggers who do a lot of reviews or have a product they really love that they know others will love too.
I recommend checking this online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Michelle earned over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and shares her exact strategy and tips in this online course.
When you use the code: 28APRIL from now until Sunday, you get $28 off the course! Sign up here
If you’re a blogger, then you NEED this course. I took it and my affiliate income increased by $50 in one day!
What affiliate programs are you in?
There are many different affiliate programs out there you can join. I use RewardStyle for most of my fashion, beauty, and lifestyle posts. I’ll be writing a operate post on how I got accepted into RewardStyle even though I am not a full on fashion blogger. It’s a great network and I am really happy that I’ve met so many wonderful people through it.
You can also join ShopStyle Collective, which you can get accepted to automatically and start making a few cents per clicks from your site.
Which brands do you work with?
I am highly selective of the brands I work with because I want to make sure that my readers come first. There is absolutely no way I am working with brands that do not fit my aesthetic or match my content. So far, I’ve worked with a lot of apparel, beauty, and decor brands
How can I start working with brands?
Before you start working with brands, you’ll want to have at least a few months worth of content on your blog. I didn’t start working with brands until I had at least 10 blog posts and until I had at least 1,000 IG followers. A lot of brands will pitch you once they notice you on social media and see your blog content, but most of the time, you have to pitch yourself.
How do I pitch to brands?
I go into more details on how to pitch brands and land your first collaboration in my course, Pitch In A Pinch. But three important tips about pitching I can give you today are:
- Keep it simple – lengthier pitch emails are a big no no because it takes to much time for a PR or brand rep to go through and read it. They’re busy people. Keep your emails short and to the point.
- Don’t send a media kit or rates right away – this is a general guideline I’ve found to be what most brands give feedback on. A pitch is not a sales pitch, it’s an introduction. Rates and stats come much later in the pitch.
- Build your portfolio – you can’t except to land a $10,000 collaboration when you’ve just started working with brands. Just like any other job, you’ve got to prove you’re worth it with experience.
Want more pitching tips? Sign up to be on the VIP waitlist for Pitch In A Pinch Course.
How do I grow my Instagram like yours?
Growing an Instagram account takes lots of patience and effort. The most important thing is being authentic and creating content for your audience. Another important aspect is having a cohesive theme. I personally love a vintage aesthetic to my themes with airy but slightly moody photographs. Practice taking and editing photos that match your blog content.
Increasing your follower and likes is part of this strategy – but requires special attention. I grew my Instagram to 16k in under a year with special engagement tactics and monitoring my audience to see what they liked best. Using the right hashtags is also important. Make sure they are relevant to your niche and not too overused.
Tip: do not use bots. You will fail, miserably.
Is your blog really full time? How much time do you spend on it each day?
Yes, it is! It takes up about 5-7 hours of my day – including set up, A LOT of writing (3 articles a day), photography, collaborations, event planning, social media consultations, etc. Keep in mind, I am doing a lot of side projects that are not exactly directly related to my blog, but very close to it. For example, I am working on a pitching course, running a social media and blogger education business, and also providing local business with influencer marketing help.
As you can tell, it’s not 100% directly linked to The Petite Bijou, but it’s all because of the strategies and things I’ve learned growing this blog and being an influencer.
What is your #1 blogging tip?
Don’t be ordinary – have interests, hobbies, views, opinions, and be more than just an “influencer”. Don’t be just like every other blogger. Have a unique view point and be proud to share it. If I’m really passionate about something you’re sure going to know about it.
If I think I need to talk about a current event or something really important to us all, I will. If I believe my readers would benefit from a post about a historical site, I’m going to write it.
The point is – be you, be unique, and most of all, DARE to be different.
Too many bloggers wear and talk about the same thing over and over again. It’s a breath of fresh air to see intelligent and intellectual content. Be that fresh of breath air for your audience.
If you want to become a full time blogger, I’ve created a 5 step checklist below. Download it and get ready to create the blog and life of your dreams!
Want more blogging related tips and tricks? Check out these posts
- How to find and make blogger friends
- 5 photography tups and tricks for style bloggers
- What I learned after my first year of blogging
- 5 misconceptions about style bloggers
Are you a blogger that wants to blog full time? Leave a comment below and let’s connect and chat!