HAPPY FRIDAY!! I hope everyone has fun weekend plans! I have been meaning to write about the business of blogging FOREVER but I have not had the time to sit down and do it. There is so much I have learned and want to share and it has been a daunting task that, frankly, I have been avoiding. But since it is a question I get emailed a lot I thought it was time to finally go ahead and do it. I have decided to turn this topic into a series instead of one loooong post.
Okay, so for this first installment of the Business of Blogging I am going to just share my initial thoughts and then in subsequent posts on this topic I will be sharing more specific details and actual ways to grow a blog and make money (which is what people really want to know). I am also going to give advice that I have been told, learned firsthand, and recently discovered and also share if I actually follow that advice myself or not. I am excited!
As I stated in my About Me page, I started Perfect 10 SF one night when I had some free time. I had heard about Squarespace and wanted to check it out. I had been with my sisters Colleen and Claire earlier that day shopping for shoes and the feelings of frustration in finding shoes I loved that looked good in a size 10 stuck with me and I just started writing. I stayed up until 3am that night, very unlike me and my usual bedtime of 10pm, and was really excited about what I was doing. Mind you, at this point I had NEVER read a blog before. I didn't have time for that. I actually didn't even know about blogs and couldn't even tell you a single popular blog (I did start an SHP Activities Blog in January of 2012 to highlight the fun activities I had organized for the students but the process was really time consuming and so I abandoned it after two months).
After I launched my blog I spent a few days devouring every single bit of information I could find about blogging. I read random articles, watched YouTube videos of interviews, read other blog posts about topics and panels at conferences, and started to see the "big names" in fashion, lifestyle, tech, and photography blog. I could not get over that this was a business for so many people. Once I realized that it was a business opportunity and I could make money, I went full steam ahead! I wrote more content, applied for affiliate programs, emailed other bloggers, and more. I was so excited at all of the opportunity and what I loved most of all was that i was in charge of what happened. Blogging allowed me the opportunity to have a creative outlet but it also gave me complete freedom when it came to the outreach, ideas, business development, and I answered to myself. It was amazing!
For my entire life I have been an ideas person. I love coming up with new ideas and I think I was spoiled by my mother at Convent who told all of us Convent women we could do anything, we just had to do it. So when I started my professional career I had sooooo many ideas. I would brainstorm ways to make events better, connect people, solve problems. Yet, frequently my bosses would say to me, "oh that won't work" or "that's not how we do it here" "or that's too much work". I would often get "in trouble" for doing something and was told I couldn't do what I wanted to do. Ha! That really makes me laugh here. With the launch of my blog I could do whatever I wanted!!!!! I could make my ideas happen!! And it's funny to think about all of the things I have accomplished because I didn't have a boss telling me no. I know I sound like a real typical millennial here, but the freedom and creativity we have is so powerful if it is recognized and encouraged!
Yes, you can definitely make a career out of blogging. But most of the "famous" bloggers that you see with tens and hundreds of thousand followers and even those with millions of followers did not start yesterday. Most of the bloggers with a huge following started years ago as a hobby. Compared to today's saturated blogging market, there were few "good" blogs and as a result, the good ones gained a following. They grew and grew because people like to follow what is popular.
I will be sharing more on everything I have learned about these bigger bloggers in another post. I do want to say though that sometimes bloggers hate on one another. And it is so weird to me because we don't need to be competitive. We are all trying to do the same thing here. I always like to think about it this way: people have multiple favorite musicians, artists, writers, and friends. They can follow multiple blogs! Again, more on this later!!
One of the most common things I hear from friends and family and people who email me is, "I want to start a blog." And my response is always the same thing: JUST DO IT. Yes, that is correct. Just do it. The only difference between having a blog and not having a blog is just doing it. I will do an entire post on how to start a blog and what it really takes to keep it going, which is usually the hardest part (aside from picking a name) for people.
When I launched in 2014 I NEVER could have imagined the wonderful people I would meet, the free things I would receive, the money I would make, the experiences I would have, and the incredible opportunity for growth, both personally and professionally. Perfect 10 SF has bring a spring board that enabled me to essentially switch careers from education to writing, styling, and marketing with the launch of Curran Creative. I have connected with so many wonderful readers, have had the pleasure of sharing my first pregnancy with my weekly updates, get to write funny stories about my family, learn new skills daily, have the honor of being invited to amazing events, get to share San Francisco through my eyes, and get to share about Jesse and Lillian-- I am beyond grateful!
I have loved every step of this journey and am beyond grateful when people say they read my blog or follow me on Instagram. I know there are a lot of other people you could be following or things you could be doing, and I am so appreciative. One thing that I hope is conveyed through my posts is how genuinely grateful I am.
I hope that this introductory post to the business of blogging was not too overwhelming and you will come back for the next installment.
Have an absolutely wonderful weekend!!!