BUSINESS OF BLOGGING
The blogging phenomenon has hit hard this year, giving us more opportunities to launch a career from our blogs and/or because of our blogs. Unfortunately, there is no guide, no rulebook and no order in what we should do as bloggers.
It's been almost a year since I started Profresh Style, on October 26th, and I've decided to take my blog to the next step and start affiliating. If you've been following my blog since the beginning, you know that I never took my blog seriously in the sense that I wanted to make money or have a particular focus. Yet, after meeting amazing bloggers with such drive and focus in New York, it really hit home for me that taking my blog seriously is not only a service to myself but for other bloggers. Vanessa, of The Haute Pursuit, gave a great quote on her Facebook a while back saying:
"when you allow someone to low-ball you, you are effectively getting ALL OF US low-balled. it just makes something simple an up-hill battle."
and she's right. So, I decided to take action now that I feel comfortable with my stats. I'm not only dishing out some tips but I'm giving you a look at what I'm doing to take my blog to the next level.
- Find a focus. I feel this gives you a one-up on a strong following. People will know to go to your blog for the certain things you blog about. My focus for my blog is my personal journey. I dropped out of college a long, long time ago because I never felt you can teach someone style and fashion unless you're becoming a designer. That's a whole separate ballgame. I hope people follow my blog to keep up with my journey. My style is ever-evolving and my ventures get more and more intense. My new focus is my drive to connect.
- Improve the quality of your work. My blog started out with photos from my point-and-shoot with a self-timer. When my ex and I moved in together, he became my photographer. However, I was never satisfied with the quality of the shots or the way the images were framed and shot. To blame was my camera and also, my amateur photographers (myself and my ex). Not only were my photos not to my liking, but I blabbered on with no organized text format. Now, I've been using my mom's DSLR and shooting with more of a focus and purpose-not just an assortment of shots collaborated that make a post. I'm in hopes to get my own DSLR and FlipCam soon so that my content can be consistent of high quality for you all.
- Choose a host and server that gives you the freedom to edit. I couldn't do the actions in the CSS coding that I'd of liked to on Typepad. Since the beginning of this month, I'm now being hosted by DreamHost and served by Wordpress.org. It's a dream. I have all the access and control I want to create a layout that's clean and appealing to me and hopefully, to my readers. I'll also be purchasing the Thesis theme to up the ante of the control. Thesis is one of the best themes you could invest in-giving you control without having to create custom CSS. Great blogs like Post.Fashionism and The Coveted use this theme.
- Take the time to create eye-catching business cards. I use Moo.com. I love the way the cards come out. I use the mini-moos and it's just the right size to put all my information on there. Many people do it differently. Kristina from Pretty, Shiny, Sparkly did a pretty good run-down of the Moo cards.
Unfortunately when I moved servers, Typepad owned my images so I can only show you the post, sans images. The information I find important to put on the card, as well as a clean, minimalist layout are:
- Name (to reference who you are)
- Title (I find this very important because they can understand why you worth contacting. I have Style Blogger & Consultant.)
- Web address (to know why they even have your business card in the first place)
- Your BEST contact (I originally had both phone # & email but my # changes constantly so I've edited them to just say my email to my blog.
- On a side note, I am a strong believer in having your business email as your domain name. For example, email@example.com vs firstname.lastname@example.org. I feel that it shows a more professional and business-like aspect to have your domain name as the email url. This is just one of my OCD trips. Don't mind me.
- Optional: I know some people put their twitter or their alternative email. However, I feel that too many lines on a business card can be too wordy. It reads like an excerpt of your blog, not a "to the point, straight shooter" card.
- The biggie-making money. I haven't made money from my blog but am going to start with advertising at the beginning of October. I had a great conversation with Erin of CaliVintage, as I feel she's really taken the business of blogging by the balls; paving the way for up and coming bloggers. Her tips were wise and taken well. What I'm working on is a simple breakdown of the advertising options, my stats via Google Analytics and the simple reasons as to why advertising with Profresh Style could be worth the dollar. As of October 1st, I'll be looking for advertisers that will fit the aesthetic of Profresh Style-I really want to work with independents on the up-and-coming for advertising. I don't think that it's wrong to have advertisers as I used to think before. Now, I believe there is a tasteful way to have bloggers work with companies to advertise for them, making everyone happy including the readers.
- Name (to reference who you are)
Some options for a partnership with companies include guest blog posts, creating blogs for companies, heading up their social media, the obvious ad space on your blog, etc. There are, if you are creative, so many ways to create a revenue.
- Social media is your friend. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, FriendFeed, Youtube, 4Sq-all these are your friends in networking. The bigger you make your network, the more places to share your blog. I find that Twitter, Facebook & Youtube really contribute to the success of my blog. I believe in the force of networking. I also believe that the strongest form of networking is in person. I would recommend taking advantage of any party, any event, anything where taking about your blog is appropriate, do so. Don't be shy-it could only lead to more exposure.
Here are other great posts on the business of blogging:
- Heart IFB
- Grit & Glamour
- B of F (Great blog for business in blogging in general)
- Pretty Shiny Sparkly
- Business Blogging
If you've got a great post on business of blogging, please comment so I can post your story!
I do hope these tips help in your business of blogging. I'm on my way there and am really eager to share results. Speaking of which, I've got a great post coming on sharing. Stay tuned for that.