How to Become a Full Time Blogger
How do you become a full time blogger? What does it take to turn your blog into a career? How can you work from home blogging? What REALLY matters when trying to make it “big” as a blogger? These are all popular questions that my readers want to know! Guess what…I don’t blame them!
If you are reading this, your dream is to probably work from home as a full time blogger! I mean…doesn’t that sound like the “dream life”? OF COURSE! You don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself, you can create your own schedule, and most importantly you can work from ANYWHERE in the world, EVEN YOUR BED! Sounds like the dream right? Just like any job though, blogging does have it’s down sides and I actually share the struggles bloggers face. You can give that a read here. BUT that’s not what today’s post is about!
Today I am sharing how I became a full time blogger and I am not leaving ANYTHING out! I hope you are ready for a long one! Grab a glass of wine or cup of coffee and a notebook!
Maybe you are thinking, It’s not possible to turn my blog into a career … I can’t become a full time blogger…
Well guess what, I am here to tell you IT CAN HAPPEN!!! I was once in your shoes wondering, how the heck can I turn my blog into a full time job? How can I become a full time blogger too? I was working full time as a server back in April 2017 and I’m not going to lie, I HATED my life.
I was at a dead end job and financial stability wasn’t something I was at all familiar with. Most nights were spent crying in bed wondering when life would feel just a little more safe, a little more secure. I wondered when I would find my smile again because it was most definitely lost. Needless to say, I was miserable to be around.
That’s when I created my blog & community, BossGirlBloggers. I was just a server who had a dream… a college drop out who wanted to prove not only to herself, but to the world that she was worthy of a life that made her completely and undeniably happy. I know it all seems so crazy and too good to be true… But let me tell you, I worked my a** off to make this happen! & it did!!!
About 6 months after I started my blog I started to make consistent income! About $1,500 a month. Doesn’t seem like much but it was a start AND it was all from working at home, online, for myself! I took my passion for blogging & creating and continued to pursue my dream!
About 9 months after I started my blog I was making more from my blog than I did as a full time server! I was able to cut back my serving hours (thank God because serving is mentally and physically draining) and I was able to pursue my blog full time!!! I finally felt a sense of security and financial stability. It almost didn’t feel real..But I did it, I became a full time blogger…
But here’s the thing… I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my incredible audience. They mean the world to me and their constant support is what keeps me going! Which is why I put together this post to share as many tips as I can with you, so YOU can do the same thing I did!!! … find your happiness and freedom through your passion and learn how to turn your blog into a full time job!
Disclaimer: These are tips that have worked for me, it’s important to note that everyone’s journey is different and what works for one person might not always work for the next! Everyone’s journey also happens at different paces so be patient with yourself.
I also use affiliate links in this post and you can read more here.
11 Tips To Turn Your Blog Into A Career
1. Believe in yourself
Before you start trying to pursue your blog as a full time job, you need to believe in yourself! I can’t stress this enough. I am a huge believer in the law of attraction. You attract the energy that you put out, and you can think anything into existence!
Of course I had plenty of times when I would think to myself “maybe I can’t turn my blog into a full time job…” As soon as I thought that, I started to see my success slip through my fingertips. If you believe you aren’t worthy, chances are YOU WON’T BE. You have to believe that YOU ARE capable of turning your blog into a full time job and continue to believe in your abilities until it becomes your reality.
It might even help to act as if you already made your dreams come true. Instead of telling yourself “I want to become a full time blogger.”, tell yourself “I AM a full time blogger.” That will flip a switch in your brain and make you feel motivated and unstoppable!
Remember, if you don’t believe in yourself, chances are others won’t believe in you either.
2. Dedication & Consistency
I know there are bloggers out there who might come after me for this one BUT I am telling you right now, this is a HUGE factor when it comes to turning your blog into a full time job. When I first started my blog I was obsessed with working on it. Probably to the point where it was unhealthy… (actually definitely an unhealthy obsession)
For me it was so easy to work on my blog whenever I could because it’s my passion and I LOVE creating and sharing. I am not saying you need to work on your blog as much as I did because like I said, it was unhealthy. BUT I am saying that the more CONSISTENT you are, the better your results will be.
If you put in consistent work, you will get consistent results. You may also get results quicker too! I know there are many bloggers out there who say “screw consistency” or “Take breaks from your blog, don’t feel like you need to be at it all the time.” Which I totally understand and get! If you start to feel burnt out you definitely want to take a step back and breathe, BUT if you want to turn your blog into a full time job, you need to treat it like it’s your job!!
Would you take a month off from your job? Probably not.
Therefore, taking a month off from your blog might affect it in a negative way. I can’t say it DEFINITELY will, but I will tell you this: I wouldn’t have been able to turn my blog into a full time job if I wasn’t dedicated or consistent with it. That’s a FACT.
If you are someone who struggles with consistency, I get it! It’s tough!
Here are some tips:
- Create a monthly vision. I wrote about how I do this here. I use my favorite vision planner and I plan out my blog posts a month in advance. (I don’t always stick to it, BUT it does help me create a somewhat consistent schedule.)
- Time block. Set aside time each day where you dedicate it to your blog. Eliminate all other distractions and really focus on creating content. Set timers if you have to!
- When it comes to coming up with content, whenever a blog post idea pops into your head, write it down in your notes!
If you are trying to make money blogging you need an audience who trusts you! One way to build trust with your audience is by providing quality content CONSISTENTLY.
Related: How to Become a Consistent Blogger
3. Engage with your audience
If you want your audience to trust you and eventually purchase through you, YOU NEED TO BUILD PERSONAL CONNECTIONS. I promise, if your audience feels connected to you, they will go to you FIRST before anyone else! They will value your opinion and respect what you have to say.
It really bothers me when I see bloggers ignoring their audience. It’s kind of like a slap in the face. I don’t know about you but I think of my audience as my best friends! Because let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for them, then us bloggers wouldn’t be able to do what we do full time! (RIGHT!?) Make sure you are letting your audience know how much you appreciate them! & go out of your way to spread the love.
Maybe you are wondering, how can I get my audience to engage with me in the first place? Well you are in luck because I give you some tips here!
4. Give off a “I know what I am doing” vibe
I know this might sound weird BUT, your audience will trust you if you know what you are actually doing…I am not saying “fake it”, but definitely have confidence in yourself! AND on top of that, you should have a site that looks like you know what you are doing!!! Having a professional looking site makes a heck of a difference!
So what are some key components of a “professional looking site” ?
- Have your own domain name! This is huge! If your website is www.yoursite.blogger.com (sorry but that’s not as professional as www.yoursite.com) I also want to note that being self hosted can make a HUGE difference when it comes to blogging full time. I started off on free wordpress .com and it was SO limited, I would have never been able to turn my blog into a full time job on wordpress .com That’s when I decided to self host with Siteground and get my own domain through them! Best decision I have ever made. Now I have access to plugins and can customize my site however I want! NO REGRETS. Their grow big plan allows you to have free site transfers as well so if you need to transfer it will make it a lot less painful! They start at $3.95 a month via my link but I always recommend a year or more of hosting up front to get the best discount! If you want to purchase your own domain for cheap I recommend NAMECHEAP.
- Have a clean and organized theme! If someone clicks onto your website and your theme is messy, hard to navigate, and not appealing to the eyes, the viewer might click out right away without reading any of your content. You are more likely to be taken seriously if you have a clean and professional website! You can find super affordable professional themes at creative market! I love creative market because they have so many goodies for bloggers to purchase!
- Brand your website. I am not going to say that I have a perfect brand, because I definitely don’t! BUT, I do try to keep my theme consistent throughout all of my posts! If you look through them you can see I have the same “branded graphics” on each blog post with similar styled font and colors. Having a consistent brand and style is key!
- Have all of your privacy and disclosure privacies! This is so important if you are wanting to make money from your blog. You NEED to have proper privacy and disclosure policies. I got my privacy and disclosure policy templates from a lawyer whom I love! She drafted them and sells them to make sure that your blog is protected legally! You can purchase the same ones I use here. She has an awesome legal bundle for a great price!
- Have an about page that has your e-mail! When people come to your blog they want to know about you! Who are you? What is your blog about? And how can they reach you if they have any questions or want to work with you? Don’t make it hard to find a way to contact you!
Related: 3 Legal mistakes most bloggers make
5. The best way to find your ideal audience is through Pinterest
I will be 100% honest with you, I probably wouldn’t be blogging full time if it wasn’t for Pinterest! But here’s another secret…Blog traffic won’t make or break your income! Yes, if you have a lot of blog traffic you will be able to make more money from ads and you might score sponsorships a little bit easier BUT those aren’t the only ways to make money! Plus it’s not about how much traffic you have, it’s about WHAT YOU DO WITH THAT TRAFFIC.
This year blogging I received over 200,000 blog views and I am a full time blogger. There are bloggers out there who get 200,000 blog views a month and swear that you need crazy blog traffic to work full time as a blogger. NOPE!!! WRONG!
As long as you have an audience that trusts you and values your opinion, you can become a full time blogger!
Here’s a secret: Other than SEO, Pinterest is the BEST way to bring consistent blog traffic to your website. Pinterest is a visual search engine. Almost every pin you see on Pinterest is connected to a blog post… SHOCKING RIGHT?! So if you aren’t using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic to reach your ideal audience, then you are missing out!!!
A Pinterest user is using Pinterest to search for specific answers! “The best holiday recipes”, “How to decorate a bedroom”, “How to DIY an old kitchen table” If you are using Pinterest properly to get your blog seen, then your ideal audience will FLOCK to your website!
Maybe you are thinking, how do I use Pinterest to benefit my blog? Don’t worry! I got you!!!
I put together an affordable e-course that shares EVERYTHING you need to know about bringing consistent traffic to your blog from Pinterest and how you can make sales on Pinterest.
You can read more about my course here OR you can go ahead and enroll for just $32. AND if you are reading this before 12/25/18 then you can use code “TisTheSeason” at check out to get the course for just $10!!!!
If you aren’t wanting to invest in my course, do yourself a favor and at least invest in Tailwind. It will make your life so much easier! It’s a pinning tool which allows you to schedule pins & consistently pin on Pinterest. After using Tailwind my Pinterest sky rocketed! I get 2million monthly Pinterest views and thousands of blog views a day from Pinterest now!
Related: 10 Pinterest Tips
6. Be real & be honest
The best thing you can do for your blog is to be freakin’ REAL! Of course you may want to come off as “perfect” but I realized that not many can relate to “perfect” … why? Because perfect doesn’t exist!
Stop trying to be perfect. Stop trying to “impress”, don’t lie to paint a pretty picture! BE REAL, RAW, and HONEST. I know it’s hard and you don’t want to feel judged. I get that. But people relate a lot more to the messy and raw sides of life than they do to the “perfect, pretty, fake” sides. Don’t be afraid to share the messy details, don’t be afraid to get personal. And for goodness sake TELL THE TRUTH!
7. Create your own voice & stop trying to be like everyone else
Let me just say this, there is enough room in this blogging community for us all! You don’t need to copy someone to make it big. IN FACT, if you copy someone you are setting yourself up for failure. There has been many times I have been notified by bloggers letting me know other bloggers have copied and pasted my content onto their own sites. IT HURTS. As bloggers we spend hours and days creating our own content. When you see all that hard work being copied and plagiarized, it definitely gets the blood boiling.
Stop trying to be like everyone else! You need to create your own voice and pave your own path if you want to stand out and become a full time blogger! Put your own personality into your content! Of course many will come up with the same “ideas” but it takes a special person to make that idea their own or even come up with their own ideas!!
Trust me, it’s easy to tell when content is original or when content is straight up COPIED.
I also find that I enjoy reading content that has a personality and voice behind it! You will also quickly realize that I suck at grammar… Where does one put a comma? Here, maybe there, I don’t know?! But that’s just me! I don’t strive to be a perfect writer. I strive to be a REAL writer who isn’t afraid to have flaws. Perfectly imperfect!
8. Network & Community
If you are trying to make it as a full time blogger I can promise you that you don’t want to do it alone! You want to have a tribe by your side and on top of that, you want to make friends with other bloggers if you can! If you have been following me for a while then you know I am all about COMMUNITY OVER COMPETITION.
The best thing I could have ever done for my blog is create a community for my audience! When I first started blogging I created BossGirlBloggers which is a free community where like minded women come together and share their blogging and entrepreneur journeys! This community exploded into over 31,000 members in just a year!
I like to think of it as a “safe place” for those who are wanting to turn their passion into a full time job! I have daily share threads, collab threads and more! I also allow my members to ask questions if they are feeling lost in their blogging journey!
I know many hate on me for it being for women only BUT, I don’t mean it in a discriminating way. I used to be a part of other blogging communities and the guys would always COME AT ME and attack my opinion and blog posts and to be honest I didn’t like feeling judged. Don’t get me wrong I have talked to plenty of kind guys who blog! Nothing against them! I am just all for a safe place for us like-minded women to engage and interact!
NOW… what does this mean for you?
Well… I am telling you, CREATE A COMMUNITY FOR YOUR AUDIENCE! It’s time for you to create a space where your audience can interact and engage with you on a more personal level! It makes such a difference, I promise!
My community helps me to build trust with my audience and I get most of my clients thanks to my BossGirlBloggers community.
Maybe you are wondering how to start your own and grow it? I share all my tips here!
Besides having your own community, try to find other bloggers to network with! Participating in collabs with other bloggers is HUGE!
You should also try to guest post on websites of bloggers who have a similar niche as you! This will help not only create connections with other bloggers, but also get back links to your website which helps grow your DA (domain authority) and SEO so you can rank higher on searches! PLUS it gets your website in front of more eyes!
You should also look for local blogging events and attend them when you can! Blogging full time can be extremely lonely if you don’t have any blogging friends! I know networking can seem scary but it’s KEY!
9. Expand your blog to social media platforms
Maybe you have a love hate relationship with social media like I do? BUT, making full use of social media can be extremely beneficial for your blog and can help get more eyes on your content!
I know social media can seem daunting and it is a lot of work, ESPECIALLY with social media algorithm changes! It’s so easy to get discouraged. But here is an example of how getting involved on social media recently helped me!
Real life example of mine: I didn’t really focus much attention on Twitter at all in the beginning of the year. Why? Because I felt like I couldn’t make it work… I didn’t know how to grow on twitter at all so I left it on the back burner. One day I decided that it was time to really try and grow it. Because if I am being honest, I had the mindset that “if it’s not working, why keep trying?” I quickly shook that mindset because I know that in order to SUCCEED in anything you KEEP TRYING until it happens.
About 6 months later I was able to grow my twitter to over 5,000 followers who are engaged with my content! I found a new love for twitter! In fact, it might be my favorite social media now!!! I used to get NO blog traffic from twitter and now it’s my 3rd most engaged platform beating Instagram! I have made MANY course sales on twitter and even made a bunch of really awesome blogging friends!!
Moral of the story, if you think the platform isn’t working for you, DON’T GIVE UP! Instead, switch up your strategy!
I am going to share some tips for each social media platform to help you UP your game!
Facebook Business Page:
I will admit, I don’t give as much attention to my business page as I could and that’s mostly because on Facebook I get more engagement in my FB group! BUT here are some tips for creating an engaging audience on Facebook.
- Ask questions and have a Call-to-Action. When you post, ask your audience to share and comment below! Ask them a question that will spark their interest to answer!
- Go live on FB! I know it seems scary but people respond better to video on FB than they do to text posts.
- Anytime someone comments on your post, respond back to keep the engagement alive!
- Post once a day or at least every other day! The more consistent the better!
It’s no secret that this is the platform that makes people the most frustrated! The follow/unfollow game is NO JOKE. You can have 5,000 followers and wake up the next day to a notification that you gained 10 followers but for some reason your follow count will STILL go down. It’s frustrating for sure! But rather than getting frustrated, try these tips!
- Always return your comments! If someone comments on your photo, return the favor!
- Don’t ignore your audience! Always answer them back.
- Spend 30 mins engaging before and after you upload a new post
- Try to upload a new post each day!
- Make use of your Instagram stories! People LOVE video. Here are 10 Instagram story ideas.
- Use hashtags in your captions! You are allowed to use 30. I tend to use 15-20. Make sure the hashtags you choose aren’t overused! This means choose only hashtags that have less than i’d say 600,000 uses. This will increase your chances of appearing under “TOP”
- Participate in giveaways! I am not a fan of loop giveaways BUT I do love smaller giveaway collabs with other bloggers in my niche! Usually the cost is about $25- $40 and can gain about 300-500 followers who are genuinely interested in my content. I will not participate in secret giveaways or other shady giveaways that are over hundreds of dollars.
- Don’t use bots! They are tacky and can get your account deleted.
- When you are commenting on photos make your comment genuine and related to the post!
- Go through your followers list and engage with those who follow you daily.
- Utilize your geo tags to target an audience in your area.
- Tag brands and feature accounts! BossGirlBloggers is a feature account and if you tag and use #bossgirlbloggers I go through and feature someone new every other post!
- Create your own hashtag for your audience to engage and communicate with one another under. Like how I created #bossgirlbloggers, when I first used the hashtag it had NO uses, now it’s been used over 60,000 times and has helped the Instagram account grow to over 13,000 in less than a year!
My new love Twitter! I can’t believe how supportive the blogging community is on Twitter! You can find a new sense of community on Twitter if you really try! Here’s my twitter if you want to check it out!
- Tweet daily! I am a very active tweeter and I usually tweet once or twice every 2 hours or so! Depending on the day.
- Be relatable! People love those who are relatable. Think about what you tweet and if people can relate to it. That’s what causes the “like” and “retweets”
- Engage with others on your timeline! Reply to tweets and like other tweets! & retweet of course!
- Make use of Retweet accounts! (I won’t lie, I don’t tag that many retweet accounts and I do just fine but many SWEAR by Retweet accounts)
- Be positive! Keep your timeline positive! Tweet positive things! No one enjoys a negative nellie! Being positive really can spark interest. I try my best to stay clear of twitter drama too because apparently that crap is real.
- Be supportive! Support other fellow bloggers and share the love!
- You can also do twitter giveaways! I have done a giveaway for my Pinterest e-course on twitter and it tends to go over pretty well!
- Don’t just tweet your blog posts only. Maybe it’s just me but I find that to be very blah and boring! You need to add your personality to twitter and if you are just tweeting your blog post links only, your engagement will probably go down.
10. Keep pushing through when you want to give up the most
You will want to give up, probably more often than not! There will be times where you might think to yourself, will this be worth it? Am I wasting my time? Will I ever become a full time blogger? The answer is YES, if you KEEP GOING! You can’t become a full time blogger if you give up…
Think about all the work you have put in so far. It’s so easy to play the comparison game and start to feel defeated because you aren’t where you want to be just yet. EVERYTHING HAPPENS WHEN IT’S SUPPOSED TO.
Just because one person became a full time blogger in 6 months doesn’t necessarily mean you will too and that’s okay! It’s okay if your journey takes longer, and who knows maybe it’ll happen quicker! But I do know that you can only make it happen if you KEEP going and NEVER give up!
11. Lastly, How can you can you make money blogging as a full time blogger?
There are SO many ways to make money as a full time blogger. In fact, most bloggers income is made up of MULTIPLE sources! Here are some of my favorite ways!
This is one of the most popular ways that bloggers make an income! ALTHOUGH it can be difficult to achieve if you have an audience that doesn’t trust you or isn’t a buying audience.
How it works is, you can apply to affiliate marketing programs and they will give you affiliate links to use for their products. If someone purchases through your affiliate link you will receive a small commission! PRETTY COOL RIGHT?! & you are in luck because I am sharing my ultimate affiliate marketing guide with you here!
This is when brands pay you to talk about their products on your blog and Instagram! I know many have asked before for tips on how to score sponsored posts and brand collabs!
Here are some tips:
Does it matter how many followers you have?
Yes & no. It all depends on the company and brand! A lot of brands will unfortunately want you to have a high amount of followers before you start getting $$$ for the post. However, MANY brands will send out free product in exchange for a blog post if you have a smaller following.
Example: When I first started out blogging I had about 3,000 monthly blog views at the time and about 2,000 Instagram followers. I reached out to a mattress company called Tuft&Needle. I ended up getting a brand new queen mattress in exchange for an Instagram and blog post! It was the coolest thing, and I was in need of a new mattress!
What matters most when trying to score brand collabs and sponsorships?
Of course followers matter, BUT what matters just as much, if not more is the QUALITY of your content. Are your images clear and bright or are they grainy and hard to see? Do you put effort into your Instagram posts? If your Instagram feed is made up of mostly stock images, brands will see right through that!
You need to come up with your own clear, high quality content! Do you put effort into your Instagram captions and blog posts? Giving a solid review is so important! Don’t beat around the bush, you need more than fluff. You also want to make your image come to life. Flat lays are great and all but do you want to know what impresses even more? Showing you USING the product, making the product come to life! Even a video!
Other than the quality of your content, ENGAGEMENT matters! If you have over 10,000 followers and only 50 -100 of them interact with your content, that’s not the BEST engagement rate. It’s okay don’t get me wrong because I know how hard it is to get engagement on Instagram these days. BUT, you’ll have to do the effort to grow your engagement rate by utilizing the tips I mentioned above! Brands love seeing engagement on your content!
How can you get brands to notice you?
Before I started working with brands I would talk about my favorite products anyway and tag brands in my content! I recently had BUXOM Cosmetics reach out to me to collab and join their PR list because I was constantly tagging them in my content on Instagram. Don’t be afraid to tag brands that are featured in your images and use their hashtags too!
You can also join influencer marketing platforms! These platforms are specifically made to help brands and bloggers connect! Here are some you can check out:
- Aspire IQ
- Social Native
- Social Fabric
You can also PITCH to brands! This has been the MOST effective way for me, especially if you want to get onto PR lists! It takes some confidence and it might seem scary at first but a lot of the time brands will get back to you! I do notice bigger brands don’t respond as often BUT I have reached out to Urban Decay before and about a month later started receiving PR packages from them. It was pretty cool!
How can I pitch to brands?
I usually will search on their website for their PR email or you can simply google the brand’s PR email as that is the BEST email to reach out to.
What should my pitch include?
- Try to make it personal, address by name if you can
- State who you are and your blog url
- Why you love the brand and what you love most about them (personal is better)
- Let them know why your audience would be a good fit and how you think your audience would benefit them! Is there a reason why you think your audience would be interested in their products?
- Include a run down of your stats. I try not to attach my media kit file to the initial email because it could end up in spam!
- State what you wish to do for them, a blog post? social media post? in exchange for what?
- I usually won’t add rates or anything until I hear a response back
- After you close out your email add your mailing address under your signature! Just incase they do add you to their PR list!
What is a media kit?
A media kit is a formal representation of your stats etc. You can see an example here.
Create Products & Offer Services
The next best way to make money blogging and become a full time blogger is to create your own products and/or offer services!!
The key to offering a product and service that SELLS is figuring out what it is your audience NEEDS. What do they struggle with?
For me I offer Pinterest managing services which is a huge part of my monthly blogging income! I also have my Pinterest e-course which sells like wild fire!
BUT – you don’t need to be a blogger who blogs about blogging in order to sell a product or offer a service!
- a planner
- stock images
- graphic designs
Services to offer:
- Social media managing
- Pinterest managing (you can take my e-course and learn Pinterest and then become a Pinterest manager)
- Facebook advertising specialist
- Graphic design services
- Coding/ Website developer
- Coaching (healthy, life, blog etc)
These are just some of the main ways that I make money from my blog!
I hope you found this post to be helpful and hopefully you are feeling more motivated than ever before to tackle your blog and turn it into a full time job! I would love to hear from you in the comments!!!!