Hey guys! Earlier this week I asked on stories what questions you had about blogging and influencing! So I thought I would do a little Q&A style blog. Some of these I’ve answered in depth in other blog posts so I’ll link out to those if that’s the case 🙂
-At what point can you make money? How many followers do you need? I personally didn’t start monetizing until I had about 70k BUT I also was just posting as a hobby–I wasn’t intentionally trying to make this my business and monetize. That was also several years ago and the landscape has changed a lot since then. Meaning, influencing was much newer back then and there wasn’t as much “information” out there about how to make it your career and how to monetize. Now though, I would say that you can start monetizing with 5K followers. You don’t need a lot, but you do need a strong brand, and connection with your audience! This post covers some ways that bloggers and influencers can make money. Also, Johanna and I cover all this in our Monetize Your Influence course–which is going on major sale June 1st, FYI! Details will be going out in my newsletter so make sure you’re subscribed if you want the heads up!
-Budgeting and tips for living off one income. This one can definitely be an adjustment but my biggest piece of advice would be to not quit your other job until you have some sort of revenue (read: profit) coming in from your blog and/or IG. This way you’re not necessarily living off just one income. But if this isn’t the case, I would recommend using Mint for all your finances. You can create budgets for each category based off your adjusted income and that can be a great way to budget and see where you spend.
In general though, I would recommend not quitting your job (and living off just one person’s salary) until you know that you have some sort of viable business with your IG and/or blog and are bringing some sort of income. Yes, it may not be what you made before because that will take time, but you need to know that your blog and IG has potential to make money. Some guidelines that can be helpful to know when it’s financially wise to step away from your job is if you have 6 months worth of expenses saved and if you’ve been making what you make at your current job for at least 3 months in a row (or an amount that you feel comfortable with). So if you’re making 100K a year, maybe you’re fine with making 40K a year with blogging, but you should be making that adjusted income for at least several months before stepping away. Hope this helps! I have a full blog on how to turn your side-hustle into your full time job if you want to read all those tips and I have transitioned out of working as a RN.
-Working from home in general vs working from home during quarantine? So working from home in quarantine hasn’t been too big of an adjustment. My day to day is still pretty similar. Quarantine or not, I’m usually sitting in front of my computer or phone for the majority of the day lol. The one thing that has been tough though is getting creative with content. After being in the same space day after day it can be hard to create content that feels “fresh” and interesting. It can be hard to feel like a “lifestyle” blogger when life is just in your house for days on end!
-What to expect as a salary? The first thing to know is that blogging is a variable income business. You’re self-employed and there is no guarantee how much you will make. Sometimes this is a blessing because you have the potential to make a lot (there is no cap on your income like if you’re working a salary job), however that is a double-edged sword because you are not guaranteed anything. That being said, my income has varied each year since I started doing this as more of a job vs. just a hobby. Also, I’ve found that it can really depend on what your niche is. For example, it can be really difficult to get paid to travel because if all your travel costs are covered 1. that’s an expensive cost to cover, it’s not like they are sending you free product that is worth $50 and 2. hotels usually don’t have a huge marketing budget. So it can also vary across the industries. I know some bloggers who make around 30K a year and others who are making well into the 6-figures. I know this is vague but so many factors go into it depending on your brand, following, engagement, audience demographic, blog views, etc.
Once you start making an income, I recommend meeting with a business accountant so 1. they can do your taxes since it can be a little more complicated than filing if you’re in a salaried position, but 2. once you are making a certain amount they will want to put you on a salary and pay yourself every month. That’s a little later down the line but just things to keep in mind!
-How do you get benefits, and how do you save for retirement? For benefits, we use the Affordable Care Act. It’s definitely not ideal compared to the benefits I had for us when I was a RN, but I wasn’t going let that deter me from doing something I loved every day! However, I knew that if I was going to make the transition into being self-employed that we needed healthcare–that is one thing I will not gamble with not having–you never know if something could happen sadly. So with that being said, I had to make sure before I left nursing that I was making enough to cover that additional expense. There are also other networks to get insurance if you’re self-employed so it doesn’t hurt to do some research!
As far as retirement goes, I would recommend meeting with a financial planner. Sadly you don’t have a 401k but since you are self-employed you can put a lot more money away than a 401k would let you. Also, any money that you put away for retirement you can take off your taxes as well.
-How to start, where to begin, and how often to post? My first piece of advice is to just start! I know it can feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be perfect. When I first started my blog and IG, they looked nothing compared to what they do now–and that’s okay! You don’t want to be so focused on things being perfect that you get analysis paralysis. You will learn as you go!
As far as where to begin, I have a blog post on how to know what topics & themes to share on your IG & blog. Basically it comes down to this–what are you good at? What do you have the most interest in sharing? What do people come to you for? You want to try and niche down on one topic (especially when you’re first getting started) as it will be easier to grow and people will know exactly what to come to you for. You also want to be consistent. Ideally you’re posting 5-7x a week on IG and I would say at least 1-2x a week on your blog. You don’t want to put too much on your plate and get overwhelmed but you do need to be consistent. Also, better to post every other day than to post 3 days in a row and then go silent for 5 days.
For blog platforms (if you also want to blog), I would recommend WordPress, Squarespace or Wix. All of them are free platforms that you can download (free) templates to get started. I wouldn’t recommend investing money into a website until you know you enjoy doing it, are posting consistently, and have some money that you’re able to invest back into your brand!
Another blog that may be helpful on this topic is What to Consider When Building Your Brand and another blog you may want to check out in general is Pros & Cons of Working as a Blogger and Influencer.
Alright guys, that wraps up part I of this blog! Part II coming this week. Also, I’m going to re-link Johanna and my course called Monetize Your Influence that really teaches you how to get started, and then how to work with brands and get paid. It’s going on MAJOR sale starting June 1st so be sure you’re subscribed to my blog and you’ll receive an email with all the updates when the sale goes live! xx C