Last Saturday I was invited down to the Purpose Meets Class luncheon to give a speech all about moolah – making money from your blog, spending money to make money, approaching brands, bringing your blog up to a business level, investing and anything else I could muster up. A friend of mine was unable to do the speech and so recommended me as someone to take over – and I’ll be honest at first I was thinking, “what on earth am I going to say about money?!” – but I managed to come up a few useful bits here and there. Events like this I always love attending as I really prioritise pushing myself out of my comfort zone in order to develop as a person – and speaking at an event amongst a bunch of people you didn’t know prior to the event is most definitely a way to do that.
As well as welcoming a host of speakers, the event was also held to launch the new Purpose Planners. These planners are perfect for any blogger/YouTuber/creator as they get you to plan out your next steps with a number of prompts, guides and follow-ups to keep you consistent and on schedule. They also come in three different styles, such that you can pick whatever best suits you. On the other hand, if you’re not a creator and are just looking for a pretty planner, that’s also available. Head over to the website to pre-order yours, and also check out the gallery for all the photos from the event!
I’ve stated in the past that my job has actually helped me from a business/entrepreneurial stand point in that we are client focussed, so are regularly working to keep our clients as informed as possible on any matters that concern them. Typically when we go to a useful event we summarise key points for our clients – so I’m taking a leaf out of that book today and doing something similar over here on my blog! The event welcomed a host of YouTubers (Cornflakesnosugar – 19k+ YouTube followers), Instagram experts (Rlt__ – 25k+ Instagram followers), videographers (Tatenda) and also entrepreneurs (check out The Growth Box). So it’s goes without saying that there was a lot to pick up and learn with regards to expanding your blog and branding yourself from each of these different aspects. Bloggers – get your pens. These are 5 takeaways / 5 top tips that every blogger (and/or creator) should know if they’re looking to brand themselves and take their blog to the next level.
In some ways, I’m a one woman team. I write, I edit and I promote, myself. However sometimes, I pull others on board too. For one, I hired a photographer (the amazing Marianne), and we are able to work closely (in terms of choosing locations, occasionally outfits and she even throws in some pose suggestions too) in order to both walk away from a shoot happy that we’ve shot something of great quality. Secondly, I run a lot of my ideas past my boyfriend. Although I don’t get him to read all of my posts, I pick his brains when it comes to what to write, I get him to help me with taking some Instagram photos now and again (even if he moans), and I also run my Instagram photos or sometimes taglines for promotional posts past him too. More heads are better than just one – get your family and friends on board to help you with running something successful. And whilst you’re at it, repay the favour. Work together, growth together.
I know the general consensus is that numbers don’t matter, and you know what – a lot of the time they don’t. I’ve been to brand events in the past where they’ve said it’s not all about numbers, and followers, and stats -but sometimes more about whether you fit what they’re trying to represent as a brand. Also, I can testify to the fact that even if your numbers are not huge, it is still likely that if you stay consistent with good quality content, brands will start to approach you (my first approach from a PR company was only a few months in when I probably had less than 10 followers!) However, although the above is true, sometimes numbers do play a key role. The higher your numbers – the more likely it is that you’ll be approached and the more money and opportunities that will be on offer. Higher numbers means it’s more likely that your growth will continue at an exponential rate as more people start to find your blog and social media channels based on retweets, Instagram’s explore feed and so on. Whilst it’s good to seek to grow as much as you can in that aspect – it’s also important not to get too wrapped up in the numbers, as I said in this post about blogging pressures – you’ll find yourself running round and round on a wheel.
Sometimes, you’ve got to spend money to make money! Think of it this way – if you were to start up a new business tomorrow, you’d need capital. You’ll essentially see outflows, which is all good, because over the long run you’re expecting to see inflows above and beyond what you invested. Invest into your passions! I’ve spoken about this a number of times, so won’t blabber on about it too much, but it’s something I believe is almost always essential in terms of long growth in your blog/businesses etc. You’ll be so happy that you did once you start to reap the rewards!
I told a story about how I’ve recently switched up my blog specifics in terms of what types of sponsored posts I do and don’t accept. Back in uni (when money was much of a scarcity haha), I would accept a wider range of opportunities. For example, I would allow PR companies to send me fully written, generic articles, and paste them straight onto my website with all the relevant links. But now that I have a schedule, and am also more serious about the quality of my content, this is something I’ve slowly phased out. Over the long term, I feel this decision is better for my blog as it makes it more authentic. I mean – who wants to come on a blog and read a monotone post written by someone else who has nothing to do with the blogging world? And being true to yourself doesn’t always have to be to do with sponsored opportunities. You can be true to yourself in terms of the content you put out, you can be true to yourself in terms of your tone, you can be true to yourself in terms of how you portray your life on social media – the list really goes on. When you’re true to yourself you can build a more honest rapport with your readers/followers, and this to me is way more valuable going forward!
Tatenda, the tech expert, gave us a little bit of insight into what keeps him on a YouTube channel or a blog, vs. what gets him to click off of a page, and one of the key things he highlighted was quality. I’m going to use a corporate example: I work in a bank. I can assure you that we are not the only bank out there with the capabilities to do what we do – there are a number of banks that can (and do) exactly what we do. So – how do we differentiate ourselves? By building strong client relationships, and pefecting the quality of our output. Blogging is the same – I can only imagine how many bloggers there are out there at this moment, and I’m not sure if I’d be exaggerating to say tens of thousands. Really, one of the key ways to differentiate yourself is actually in the quality of the work that you put out. One thing I’ve learned this year is to never settle for less – even if you’ve taken your time to go out and shoot and you get back and find that your photos are unsavably bad quality, give that post a miss for the day and don’t compromise your quality. I know that if I go onto a blog or YouTube channel with grainy outputs, I will almost always click out. You don’t always need to have the fanciest equipment – but you need to find a way to utilise what you have to make your content look as A* as possible.
I loved your post here. Your right to it is important to brand yourself in a smart way 🙂
Thanks Heather! x
Great post! I totally agree with everything you wrote! Sometimes it requires money to get your blog exactly where you’d like it brand-wise, but if you love what you’re doing with your brand then it’s totally worth it!
Kim | Simply Lovebirds
Definitely a worthwhile investment, I agree 🙂
I sooo needed to read this! Thank you so much, you have no idea how much it helped me!!
xo | Cindy Elena
So glad it did!! xx
Loved this post girl! Branding yourself is so important if you want to be a blogger these days.
I really love how honest you were in this blog post. As a new blogger, thanks so much for your advice. Blogging has definitely been an investment, both in time and money, but in the end, I’m crossing my fingers that it all works out!
Joanne | https://fung-shui.com
These ☝️ right here the truth. Thank you for sharing. Consistency is really important it takes effort too. This blogging thing one has to be really intentional.