How to Earn Over $2,000 Each Month from Blogging
I'll admit that blogging isn't an easy industry to get into because it's so saturated, but the good news is that it's not impossible to crack the code. There is a formula to blogging, just like there is for most other jobs and hobbies in the world. I chose to start Girl & The Word in 2014 because I wanted a creative platform to share my thoughts, but I quickly realized how difficult it was to even get my blog off the ground. I had no design help, no beautiful templates I could turn to, and no clue as to how I could even get people to read my stuff because I wasn't an expert in anything I was writing about— I was simply writing out of passion and interest. Monetizing my blog hadn't even crossed my mind until much later.
Skip to four years later, I've been making a consistent income of over $2,000 per month with my humble little blog. This isn't much compared to more "established" bloggers, but it's quite an impressive feat considering how many people with more influence than me don't have the business expertise to generate a steady income with their online presence.
I have big dreams for this blogging journey and I know you must feel the same way. I understand the urge to create and to share work that you're proud of. All of this takes time, effort, and consistency, but it will pay off if you have the right help. I'm here to help you!
In this article, I'm going to share exactly what it takes to create your own beautiful website, establish a cohesive system of marketing content that you're proud of, and conduct incentivized campaigns to gain more subscribers. All three steps were crucial to the development of my blog income, so I'm sure it'll be helpful for you as well. Let's dive into it!
I actually just made a new website for my puppy, Ollie, using one of Weebly's awesome templates. It took me about 10 minutes from the moment I registered the domain to the time to finished editing the website, so you can only imagine how easy the process was! Here's a screenshot of how it turned out:
Pretty clean and professional, if I do have to say so myself! In case you're interested in viewing the full website, you can click here: www.olliethecorgo.com
Signing up and registering for a domain with Weebly was incredibly easy. If you already have a domain but would like to use one of Weebly's templates, you can easily transfer your domain to their site as well. That's actually what I'm planning to do when my Squarespace service ends. Here's how easy it is to build a website from scratch with Weebly (I'm borderline salty that I didn't know about this site when I first started GTW hahaha >_<):
Step 1. Select Your Service Plan
Go to www.weebly.com and select "Pricing." Then, determine your service plan. I chose the Pro plan, which is similar to what I have now with Squarespace. You can choose the Basic Use plan and upgrade later :)!
Step 2. Register Your Domain
Pick a domain name that expresses your brand accurately, is easy to remember, and difficult to get wrong. Needless to say, many of my followers ended up searching "Girl and the World" rather than Girl and the Word because they're both so close together. If I could go back, I would do something about my domain/brand name... but oh well :). Learn from my mistake!
Step 3. Click Edit Site
Step 4. Connect Your Domain Name
This part has two layers and can seem a little tricky, but it's actually really easy. First, connect your domain by clicking "connect or transfer it now" at the bottom of the pop-up.
Then, select "Make the DNS changes yourself."
You should see this screen after:
Finally, open a separate tab and go to www.weebly.com/home/domains, go to your settings, and click "Edit DNS Records." There, you should see some IP addresses. Go back to your previous tab, copy their IP address, and drop it into the appropriate boxes below.
Step 5. Select Your Theme!
This is the fun part! There are tons of clean, professional templates for you to choose from. Weebly has optimized templates for shops, blogs, personal, business, and more.
I chose the one on the left corner for Ollie's website :)! It's called Cento, I believe.
Step 6. Edit Your Template!
Again, I created Ollie's website in about 10 minutes total, and it turned out pretty bad ass. Imagine what your site can look like after just playing around with the template for a few hours! Once your Weebly website has been optimized, you're pretty much done and ready to move on to the next step! :)
2. Determine Your Voice and Style
Since there is a limited amount of popular niches to choose from, your voice and style are what's going to distinguish you from the rest of the market. Be true to yourself and recognize what inspires you most. Voice and style can be honed, meaning you don't have to get it right from the very beginning. You just have to make sure that whatever you choose, do it consistently.
I don't know how much more I can emphasize on that point. Consistency is key to flourishing in any industry. Consistency demonstrates passion and commitment, which are all things that we rarely see in creators. No matter how many ideas you have at once, discipline yourself to focus on creating a cohesive story with your design, filters, written content, and overall voice. Everything has to fit together if you want to build a recognizable brand.
For example, I always go the extra mile to make sure that my blog photos and Instagram photos have the same filter and look like they were captured by the same person (because they are). My readers and followers are able to recognize my photos immediately because of the distinct filters that I use and decor style that I feature.
If you aren't sure what style you want to go with at the moment, don't worry. There's always time to change and rebrand later. You just have to start practicing implementing this brand consistency first.
3. Create Several Different Pitches
Analyze how other creators sell themselves on their contact pages and create your own enticing collaboration page. Then, draft several different types of pitches. I have a total of around six or seven templates that I customize for every situation, including the following:
- A pitch for when I reach out to companies
- When I reach out to other creators
- When companies reach out to me
- When other creators reach out to me (yes, it's a different price point and tone than when companies reach out!)
- When I want to negotiate for a higher price
- When I want to negotiate for better products
I used to send out my media kit to brands, but I stopped doing that since the numbers keep changing. I think a short, straightforward and professional pitch email should be enough to convince the other party. It has definitely worked for me! No need for fancy media kits.
Most of my collaboration inquiries actually come from brands reaching out to me. However, I also reach out to brands through different influencer agencies, which I'll share with you in a different post. Here's the gist on how to create effective pitch emails:
- Always Be Respectful - Don't think of collaborations and partnerships as one-time deals, even if it seems like it in the moment. Every brand that you work with becomes a potential repeat customer of your marketing services, so always conduct yourself respectfully and communicate your intentions every step of the way. Let them know once you've received the package, how the collaboration is faring out, and send them a thank you letter once it's completed. Quite a few brands have worked with me multiple times largely because I try to be as communicative as possible.
- Only Share Relevant Details - Your email doesn't have to include any details of your life that's not relevant to the overall goal of the pitch. Write about what you specialize in, how many followers/subscribers you have, who you've partnered with in the past, and how happy they were about your marketing service.
- Expect Delay - Everyone is busy, including you, so expect delays in your replies. Most times, the collaborations that actually go through are from messages that have gone weeks without a reply. Of course, do your due diligence in following up with brands 5-7 days after the initial pitch (whether you reached out to them or vise versa).
- Be Cool About Rejections - Rejections will come in all forms: the easy let-down, the rude "sorry, you don't have enough followers to charge that much," and the occasional ghosting. Don't worry, brush it off your shoulders and move on. You want to work with brands that truly fit with your platform, anyway.
That's all for now! I hope this article gave you some valuable insight into the world of blogging. Once again, if you're looking for a user-friendly web hosting service, I highly recommend Weebly. It's easy to navigate and SO fun to edit! I can't wait to start fleshing out Ollie's website! ^_^ Leave a comment below to show me the websites you've built with Weebly!