Last month we chatted about the importance of deciding if your blog is a hobby or if you want it to generate income. It’s 100% up to you, but if you’ve decided that you want your blog to make you money, then you are now a businesswoman and an entrepreneur. So now we’re going to talk about what comes next on this adventure and journey!
To start, you need to create a plan for your business. If you read last month’s post, you already know that:
- Your blog content sells products or services and
- Your readers are your customers.
Here are the 3 basic ways a blogger can make money:
- Affiliate links.
- Brand partnerships.
These are great, but in all honesty, there are more interesting and fun ways to make a living off of your blog sooner rather than later. It’s time for influencers to realize their potential and start selling products and services that are wildly profitable instead of creating endless content for minimal return. Consulting, a monthly membership club, personal styling, licensing your name or using a drop shipper to reduce physical inventory risk, writing a column for a local publication, hosting a segment for a local news station. The possibilities are endless with a little creativity.
As a fashion blogger, you should use your blog as a platform to build a brand and offer products and services to your readers.
Do a bit of homework and decide what you want to do. You can even survey your readers to find out what they need the most help with to help your narrow your focus. Make a list of what interests you – and what interests your readers – and keep that list front and center every day as you work on your blog.
Next, you’ll want to think about how to market yourself and your business.
- Sell yourself just as much as you sell your content.
- Understand your reader’s needs.
- Focus on why and how you can help your readers.
- Make an emotional connection.
- Tell a good story or share some testimonials.
- Build a unique brand that starts with WHY.
Your goal is also to grow your readership – what means are available for you to do so?
You can utilize social media marketing, search engines, email marketing, or publicity/PR. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can read the articles posted to the Style Collective blog or browse the forums/ask your own questions. That’s what we are all here for! You can also network at fashion and style events, or create some of your own. What if you contacted your local mall or worked with a local store to do a fashion event? You may not make a fortune, but you can charge the store a small fee or take a percentage of store sales.
But don’t do it, or anything else, for free – you’re a business owner and your business needs to generate money.
Be realistic about what you can charge or gain financially, and be open to opportunities, options, and formats. Plenty of fashion bloggers create content on their blogs in exchange for freebies or being promoted on the brand’s accounts – don’t forget that payment can come in the form of visibility just as much as money.
Most of all, understand that businesses and customers are built step by step.
Even the biggest, most popular fashion bloggers started out just like you did, right where you are now. They just did what they loved, sharing pictures of their outfits and talking about what they’re wearing or doing.
Not a single one was successful overnight or without plenty of time, commitment, and effort. There are no shortcuts.
Create a solid plan for how you can make money and then think about how you can market your business and product (your blog and your content). All it takes from there is to constantly, consistently, and relentlessly work at it again and again and again. Day in and day out, just chip away at your goals and you will get to where you want to be. Every small effort adds up, I promise. Whether it’s a blog or a coffee shop or a beauty product, that’s what businesses do, and that’s what starting and growing a business is all about.
For me personally, I want to continue to use my blog as a medium for communicating my message of female empowerment. I want to grow my personal brand and speak at conferences, be published on websites like Forbes and Entrepreneur, and be respected as a businesswoman in the fashion and influencer marketing industries. Building my credibility helps me build Style Collective’s credibility and create bigger and better opportunities for all of you, but it takes time. Just like you, I have to chip away day after day and do the best that I can. I am most interested in using my influence to help others achieve success, and it fulfills me SO much when I see you ladies doing what you love: booking style segments, writing e-books, pitching partnerships, and doing what you’re passionate about.
So, what questions do you have? What thoughts are running through your mind about things you want to do with your blog? I would love to chat in comments! xo Annie