I have been blogging for five years, and about two years ago I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about blogging, so I made a decision to learn everything I could. One thing that I’ve learned is that I have no interest in blogging on other people’s terms unless it is aligned with my brand, will help my audience, or provides an outlet for me to explore my creativity. When I first started blogging I loved it, but as time went on my love for blogging seemed to diminish and it became more of a burden.
It is not an easy thing to grow an audience and there is a lot of work involved, but when I stopped boxing myself I begin to see the light again. It is important to create a business plan for your blog that will allow you to profit without solely relying on partnerships and collaborations. My goal is to make sure that most of my blog’s income is from my own business endeavors. That is really important to me as a blogger.
Now that I actively blog on my own terms it is not easy, but I have a few tips to share that you may want to think about if you plan to blog on your own terms and not someone else’s.
1) A Sponsored Post is not blogging on your own terms…lol!
Every time a company reaches out to you for a collaboration be ready for a very detailed rundown on what you have to do on your social media and blog to meet the contractual requirements. This is why I am very selective about the sponsored posts that I do on my blog. I prefer to use affiliate programs that allow me to purchase the clothing that I love and share it with my audience. This can be a great way to profit from your blog if you are able to convert your readers into buyers. I have to really love a product to do a sponsored review or the opportunity has to be so great that I cannot turn it down.
2) Blogging trends only matter if they actually work to get the desired result from your audience. There are always new trends in every blogging niche, but I have learned to embrace the trends that I love and to march to the beat of my own drum. It is not easy because every day you are consumed with ideas, images, and thoughts from other people. The lines can get very blurred, but I actively take the time to assess what content I think my audience will enjoy the most.
3) Trying to be popular is the gateway to failure. Many bloggers associate success with popularity, but when you focus on attaining popularity or trying to get close to popular people, all of you authenticity walks right out of the door. I try my best to stay true to my core values and I don’t allow fear to stop me from having a true “voice” on my blog and all of my social media platforms. If my audience expresses something that they would like to see me do, I always consider it (but I refuse to work on any content that I do not love). That is true blogging freedom!
4) Create Your Own Opportunities.
I had a deep desire to create an event that would empower women to have high self-esteem, develop personal style, and give tips on how to develop a blog or social media presence. This is why I created my “Own It” event! It is a way for me to connect with women and build relationships. It is my greatest blogging accomplishment to date, and the one that I take the most pride in.
A lot of blogging experts heavily focus on how to build blog partnerships with major brands as a way to earn or supplement your income. I enjoy working with brands that I love, but the Internet is a fickle place. You never know what may happen with this whole “blogging space” in the future, so I think it is essential to view your blog as a gateway to entrepreneurship. There is only a handful of bloggers that are actually making 6-figures from their blog, so it is essential to identify a service or product that you can offer via your blog.
I hope this post gives you a few things to ponder over if “blogging on your own terms” is as important to you as it is to me. Please feel free to continue this discussion over on twitter by tweeting me:-)