Style Collective’s very own Annie Spano recently hosted a virtual mentorship panel featuring four fabulous boss babes: Ashley of Two Peas in a Prada, Lizzie of Lizzie in Lace, Dede of Dress Up Buttercup, and Maria of Savvynista. These amazing women have been living the influencer life for years, and they’ve picked up some helpful industry knowledge along the way. Read on to learn what these #SCsisters had to say about monetizing your blog and hustling your way to the top.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Yet)
It took two to three years for most of these fabulous women to start blogging full-time. Treat your blog as a business from the start – but remember, it’s just going to be a side hustle, for a little while. Patience, persistence, and hard work are all key to building and maintaining a livable income as a full-time blogger. And don’t think of your nine-to-five grind as a barrier; think of it as a tool! Building a profitable blog takes a bit of capital. Use that day job to your advantage until you’re financially ready to cut loose and start blogging full-time.
How do you know when you’re ready to take that leap? Check out our post about Monthly Income Goals, including a worksheet to help you track your blogging income.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket (Or So They Say)
Our panel spent a lot of time discussing the best ways to monetize, and while most seemed to agree that brand partnerships are the bulk of their income, they all had the same piece of advice to give: have multiple streams of revenue! Don’t limit yourself to just brand partnerships, or just affiliate links, or just selling your own products and services. Markets shift and vary – and several of our girls told us they make more money from brand partnerships at certain times of year, and have more success with affiliate links at others. If brand partnerships are your sole revenue stream, and suddenly, there are no brands to work with – you’re stuck!
Our panel is big on the benefits of multiple revenue streams. Maria even has a spreadsheet she uses to manage her blogging revenue. (Do you love worksheets as much as Maria? Our e-course upgrade has not one, not two, but 24 bonus worksheets to help you monetize your blog and manage your finances!)
If You Want to Be Loud, Be Proud
What’s the best way to stand out from the influencer crowd? Be authentic! Be unapologetically you! Brands don’t want to work with a cookie-cutter blogger, churning out copy-paste content. Be selective about the brands you approach. Work with brands you support, brands you love, brands that share your values as a blogger. Be a person, not an ad. And most importantly, be PROUD of every piece of content you put out into the world. We’ve talked about staying true to yourself many, many times before – because, yes, it’s that important!
Make the First Move
Our experts agree: don’t wait for brands to find you. Find them! Show a little bit of hustle and reach out to the brands you want to work with. Send out emails; tell brands how you can help them. Boss babe Lizzie is all about persistence. She keeps a list of brands she wants to work with, contacts them, and follows up with each brand half a dozen times. And even then, she doesn’t take no for an answer! She waits six months, then tries again.
So, don’t start your blog and expect the brands to flock to you. Put in the hours sending out emails and Instagram DMs, making phone calls, going to events, and more, to track down the brands you want to work with and prove you mean business! (And when you do land the brand partnerships you’ve been dreaming of, we’ve got plenty of resources to help you manage those projects.)
Consistency is Key
So, you’re a new blogger, or a veteran blogger who’s finally ready to start hustling full-time. How do you grow your following? A few of our girls said upgrading their cameras was a big step forward. And all of them agreed you should know your audience. But the most important message was loud and clear – be consistent! Even if you’re shooting all your photos with an iPhone camera (Thanks, IG filters!) keep your photos authentic and on-brand. And don’t abandon your followers! A consistent posting schedule will keep your community engaged. Be ready to treat your blog like a business and give it the consistent time and attention it deserves.
We hope you learned something new from our fabulous boss babe panel. If we’ve inspired you to put some of this advice into action and start transforming your side hustle into the full-time business of your dreams, check out our post on Setting Goals as a Newbie Blogger (with a worksheet, because we really, really love worksheets!).
And remember – we’re all still learning, every single day, how to navigate and succeed in this exciting new influencer world! That’s why mentorship is important. Here at Style Collective, we’re all about supporting our sisters. No one knows everything. Sharing knowledge is the key to success!