This post is sponsored by Regions Bank, member FDIC. All thoughts are my own.
2019 marks my 13th year blogging. I started blogging in 2006 as a way to connect with out of state family and to share various scrapbooking projects I made. When I got pregnant in 2007, the blog took a natural turn to me writing about motherhood, baby Elias and products I loved. As I invested more time and financial resources into this space, it became apparent that I needed to begin monetizing the site so that it was a profitable.
The Mom Creative is still a passion project for me, but it is also a business. This site costs thousands to keep up and running, so monetizing it is important!
If you are looking to make money as a blogger/online influencer, here are ten tips for doing it well:
Diversify your income: Don’t put all your eggs in one monetization basket. I’ve known bloggers invest nearly exclusively in one revenue stream, only to have something change, like the Facebook algorithm, and they lost thousands of dollars. Some of the ways I monetize are through affiliate links, sponsored posts, ads, courses, and spokesperson contracts.
Stay true to your brand and passions: Never take money for something that isn’t totally aligned with you and your platform. Doing so will alienate your audience and make you feel icky! I only say yes to brands that I love and believe in because the trust I have earned with my audience is more important than a paycheck.
Treat your platform like the business it is: If you are monetizing your platform, then it is a business. Treat it as such. Be professional with your clients (if you work with agencies/brands), send invoices on time, track your expenses and income, etc.
Plan for taxes: This is definitely part of treating your platform like a business, but it is so important that I wanted to give it its own bullet point. Self-employment taxes are no joke! It is critical to plan for these taxes and pay them on time. Read this article for more about planning for self-employment taxes.
Invest in your business: From technology to continuing education, if you want to continue to grow, it is important to invest in your business. These investments can also help with self-employment tax write-offs. Some of the ways I invest in my business include web development, blogging conferences, tech tools, and social media support.
Budget for a variable income: In my 13 years as a blogger, I have learned that it is very important to budget for a variable income. Some months will be more lucrative than others. You will definitely have clients that pay late. Certain months will be more lucrative than others. Read this article for more tips on budgeting when your income is different every month.
Pay attention to metrics: For a lot of people, numbers aren’t fun, but is business, they are necessary. It is important to pay attention to things like clicks, conversions, and traffic so that you know what is resonating with your audience, what is financially lucrative, etc. Make sure to keep up with your metrics so that you can make smart decisions for where to invest your energy.
Remember, online work is not one size fits all: Just because someone monetizes one way, doesn’t mean that same tactic will work for you. Be willing to try new things, but also recognize that not all monetization strategies are a fit for everyone. For instance, I have a friend that does a lot of work consulting with other bloggers. People have asked me to do the same, but because of my day job and other priorities, consulting isn’t a fit for me.
Network with other influencers: One of the biggest benefits of working as an online influencer are the people I have met. Networking has resulted in contracts with brands, smart business advice, and dear friendships. I am involved in multiple Facebook groups that have helped me with my business, including Courage to Earn, Permission to Hustle, and That Pitch Life.
Be generous: My biggest piece of advice is to be as generous as you can. Share people’s content and good news. Introduce contacts to others that would be a good fit for a brand. Host giveaways to bless your audience. Donate goods to organizations in your community. The old saying is definitely true – what goes around, comes around.
Working online has been one of my life’s greatest privileges. I am humbled every day that people visit my website and engage with me on social media. I am also extremely proud of the work that I produce, the relationships that I have cultivated, and the way that I run my business. Thank YOU for reading this post and being a part of this community.
If you are an online influencer, what would you add to this list? Or, do you have any stories related to the tips shared above? If so, please leave a comment.
Thank you to Regions Bank, member FDIC, for sponsoring this post. Regions Next Step resources can provide you the financial know-how to clarify your goals and take positive strides toward them: because when your confident about your financial decisions, your money goes further – and so do you. Next Step insights offer advice, guidance and tools to help breakdown any financial target into manageable and achievable steps. Visit www.regions.com/nextstep to find insights, tools and other financial wellness resources.