Ever since I began blogging full-time I’ve received (and continue to receive) a lot of questions regarding my schedule, my income, my long-term goals and my decision to take my blog full-time. Today I’m sharing the most frequently asked questions, incase any of you are on the fence of whether to take up blogging as a part time or full time career.
How Did You Get Started With Blogging?
My cousin Ashley Brooke had been blogging for a year or so before I started. We have always been super close (best friend status) and she knew I would love it as well. After nagging me to start my own blog for like, a year (to be #bblogger buds, obviously) I finally caved. After a few blog entries – I was hooked!
What is the Hardest Part About Getting Started?
Funny enough, the hardest part for me was finding a suitable name for my blog. For months I would jot down word combinations, research synonyms for every word I liked and then check out the finished products online and 95% of the time the name was already taken. It drove me crazy! I finally decided to use my Facebook alias name “Mash Elle” as I figured no one else would use it!
What Camera Equipment/ Lighting Equipment/ Editing Programs Do You Use?
Even before blogging photography was a treasured hobby of mine. Friends and I would constantly take photoshoots of each other in fields, in front of walls of graffiti downtown, in cafes – people probably thought we were nuts. Luckily in the blogging world this is all highly acceptable. With that being said, I already had a Canon Rebel t3i and have since upgraded my lens collection. Currently I have the standard lens that comes with the Rebel t3i, a 50mm 1:1.8, and was absolutely spoiled this Christmas with an ultra wide zoom lens 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6! For editing, I primarily use Adobe Photoshop CS6 with a touch of iPhoto every once in a blue moon. As for lighting this Christmas I received a Ring Light and stand I have been wanting for a while! I am in love with them! I also use my reflectors when styling product photos.
Blogger or WordPress?
WordPress. Period. For the first 1.5 years I used Blogger. I had used the platform for a blogging project in undergrad (let’s hope there is no evidence of this blog #embarassing) so I knew the basics. Plus, Blogger is free – so I figured why not. Turns out I was missing the fun all along. WordPress is a perfectionist’s dream. You can customize basically EVERYTHING on your blog. If you’re a total nerd like me (I went to Barnes and Noble and bought “WordPress For Dummies”) you’ll want to know the ins and outs of WordPress. I am still learning new customization tricks every day! Yes, there is a monthly fee to host your own website on WordPress – however in my opinion WordPress appears more professional and organized, which sponsors tend to gravitate to.
Wait, You Actually Get Paid To Blog?
Yes! Although a lot of bloggers prefer to blog as their hobby, you can (and should!) monetize your blog. A lot of people are shocked when they find out I am paid to blog. Just like any other job, blogging takes an enormous amount of time, creativity, and effort. To create quality content, you will most likely be spending hours on each blog post when adding up all the time it takes to photograph the product(s), editing the photos, writing up a post and editing the post. But the payoff is work it – you can make a pretty penny blogging!
Can I Monetize My Blog? Where Do I Start?
Absolutely, every blog has the potential to make income. To start, it is important to first build your reader audience through organic, genuine content. Introduce yourself to your readers – let them know your quirks and what makes you YOU. Create a presence on ALL social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google +). Companies want to work with bloggers who have a wide range of influence through a number of platforms. In all honestly, it takes a good 6-8 months to build up an audience PR companies are willing to work with. Once you reach a good following start applying to every single influencer program/ affiliate program/ PR company can you find. You can access a list of companies through good ol’ Google – or write an email to one of your favorite bloggers asking for direction. Be confident – if you’re not than fake it until you believe it yourself. You can do this! You can make money through a wide selection of routes including advertisement placements, sponsored posts, affiliate programs etc. I suggest to dip your feet into all three! Enjoy yourself and remember: never work for free!
How Many Hours Do You Blog A Week?
Every week varies, however I would say around 25-30 hours. This 25-30 hours isn’t purely writing blog entries – of course! This includes emailing sponsors back and fourth, hiring a photographer (in some instances), photoshoots, editing the photos (I edit all my photos), writing up blog entires, editing these entries, organizing giveaways and managing all my social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest etc.). Keeping up with each social media account alone is half of my job! Let’s just say I am on my iPhone more than I’d like to admit – working that is!
Do You Ever Get Writers Block?
I haven’t yet! I have an ongoing list of topics for discussion, collaborations ideas and product reviews. There is so much more I want to write about – if only I had the time!
Do You Ever Get Nasty Comments From Readers?
Luckily, I have yet to come across anything nasty. I started blogging knowing I would need to have thick skin and not care what other people have to say about me. Plus, if I even get that famous that people start spamming me with hate — that means I’ve truly made it — right?! Trolls gonna hate, I’m just gonna shake shake shake shake shake!
What Do You Hope To Accomplish In Years To Come With Your Blog?
My ultimate goal would to be a full-time blogger and build my empire. It sounds drastic, but I want to get there… bad. I want to expand my writing skills, collaborate with a ton of brands and work with some of my favourite bloggers! One day I would also love to open an Etsy shop and sell a bunch of cute sparkly things. Sparkles. Everything. Covered in sparkled. Sparkly bows, sparkly keychains, sparkly mugs, sparkly coat hangers – you name it! I reach total bliss when getting lost in Etsy shops… so much creativity! I love it!
I hope y’all enjoyed this Q+A – if you have any additional questions please leave them in the comments below or email me at email@example.com!