In 2019, blogging is a very real career choice. That being said, people like to talk a lot of shit when it comes to bloggers in general and I understand why. I see it. The industry can look extremely shallow, self-centred and materialistic. A lot of, “LOOK AT ME”. I see lots of ppl trying to make a quick buck off Instagram, hoping for instant-success, rather than sharing a little substance on their blogs and quite honestly, it’s a little cringe-worthy at times.
But, like any career, in any field there’s both good and bad and this should be no different (I guess?). While there is no shortage of “bloggers” trying to make it on Instagram, those who have naturally carved out a profitable path with a loyal backing of readers have a shot at really ‘making it’ in whatever ‘it’ suits them best. The opportunities I’ve seen become realities to other bloggers I’ve admired over the years is INSANE. To give you an example, Nordstrom alone has partnered with 3 OG bloggers from the US to co-create small collections exclusively in Nordstrom stores & Nordstrom.com. And that’s just one!
How advertising and retail is being digested and delivered is ever changing and having a front row seat watching it all go down is fascinating to say the least. Consumers now purchase more than $1 billion in fashion, beauty, home and lifestyle products through rewardStyle influencers alone (noted from this article in Forbes).
I’ve set my sights HIGH on where I am interested in taking this little blog. That being said there are lots of little things that go on that NOBODY ever talks about.
If you are thinking of starting a business or blogging for business these would have been extremely helpful to know beforehand so that I could have put systems in place earlier to avoid any delays or disruptions. There is no guidebook, instruction manual or how-to to this career choice. It’s ALL learn-as-you-go and figure it out. If you’re lucky you’ll find a group of girls who maybe do the same thing who you can connect & share info with but for the most part everybody is pretty, hush-hush.
Scroll down for 4 things I wish someone had told me about before I started blogging:
4 things you should know about blogging for business:
Be willing to dig deep: we are used to getting everything instantaneously, but no one talks about the time it can take to develop your brand and business from your blog. From the outside it can seem like success happens literally overnight, that all you need is some bold coffee, cozy pj’s and a strong wifi signal and you’re off to the races.
What no one discusses are the years that are required to figure all this shit out! THERE’S ALOT like:
– starting (setting up social, domain names, site design)
– what topics will you write about (what’s your style, voice etc).
– what is your brand asthetic? (what’s your personal style, home decor)
– how will you take your photos? (yourself? photographer? how will we pay for this? where will you shoot?)
– how to pitch yourself for jobs
– how to go about finding jobs & build relationships
– how to secure jobs (negotiate, review contracts & deliver)
– how to execute campaigns
….. could basically write a book!
It takes time to build any business, this is no different. My advice would be to take the perspective of with time come lots of lessons, figure it out and get so good they can’t ignore you.
Don’t expect to get paid on time: another sad reality is that being a contracted content creator, some companies are better than others when it comes to paying influencers [and even their respective PR teams] on time. It’s not always, but in the past I’ve dealt with situations where a contract was in place, I was expected to deliver on specific timing, DID, but was not paid until FAR after the stated payment timelines. I know I’m not the only one, countless girls I know deal with the same thing all the time.
Working for yourself is both liberating but also a little stressful because ultimately you carry all responsibility. Contracts and legal can get tricky so if blogging is something you hope to turn into a career at some point it’s not a bad idea to have a knowledgeable lawyer on hand. I now go about working with brands differently than I use to and have a system in place to protect my company and to ensure that I am being paid on time.
Plan for delays: one thing I don’t particularly love about this business is often you are having to wait on the actions of others. You’ll regularly deal with the post office, receiving packages, products and clothing to shoot. Sounds easy enough but if the products aren’t shipped on time or there’s an issue at the post office, you’re having to push out shooting dates [photographers schedule] which can means major delays. Brand partnerships typically include a live date with specific timing that you are expected (as in contract) to deliver.
As in life in general, it’s extremely helpful to be organized. To avoid potential problems, I try to allow for a few buffer days if I can just in case we run into issues.
Experience does help: it’s not imperative and if you were keen you could probably make a lot happen, but in this industry experience helps. Meaning, if you’ve gone to school or have a lot of work/business experience then you’re already ahead of the pack. Be prepared to get very comfortable connecting and communicating regularly with PR firms, brand managers, event coordinators, business owners etc. because YOU are you’re business so YOU must do the connecting.
Much of the ‘business’ side of this business no one even sees and I think there’s a real misconception about how it all works and just how much leg-work bloggers have to do in order to make any money at all. Being comfortable, confident and professional can take you far. I’ve had countless PR agents tell me how difficult it can be working with bloggers bc half of them have no idea what they’re doing or how to conduct themselves. If you’re business savvy, then consider yourself fortunate bc those are skills you can’t just watch a YouTube tutorial and have all the answers to. Use your valuable skills, work & life experience to your advantage and be open to learning & tweaking as you go.
What are some other questions you have about blogging? Let’s keep this convo going! In case you missed my first of the series (on starting a blog), you can catch up here.