So, you are thinking about getting into photography, but you aren’t sure where to start. There is so much dang information on the internet, how do you even know where to begin? Dude, you came to the right place and I am so freaking happy that you are here!Read More
Blogging…. oh how awesome it can be. Do you feel stuck, caged, shackled down? Do you feel like you just want more out of life? Do you feel like your freedom is gone except for on the weekends?
Don’t worry man, I am with ya. I did the things that I was supposed to do… you know, went to school, got my B.S. degree, got a career. Then I landed in a cubical. Yep, a grey cubical sitting behind a desk ALL DAY LONG.Read More
So, I just recently did a blog post on 7 Ways to Make Money with Photography, but I really wanted to break that down a little bit with different types of photography and ways to make money.
When people think about becoming a photographer they think of only a few things: portraits, weddings, and babies. Yep, that is pretty much it, but there is so much more out there! There are so many different ways to make money with photography though the different types of photography.Read More
Man, blogging can be super time consuming, but let me tell you, it really doesn’t have to! You just need a method to your madness ;) Yep you read that right!
When I first started blogging, man it seemed to take me hoRead More
Alright, so you are contemplating starting a blog. You aren’t quite sure that you should, and you think it is probably too good to be true. Right? You might also be thinking that it takes too much effort, that blogging might be dead, that you are just going to waste your time, blah blah blah blah insert whatever other excus you want.Read More
Today I want to show you how to start a blog and make money online. This is going to be a guide to start your own blogging journey.
If you haven’t already, make sure you check out this blog first:
As a creative and entrepreneur, a blog is essential to our work, it is easy to create, will not cost you hardly anything to start up, and it can make you money! How cool is that?!
So what is a blog anyways?
The best way to describe it is it is like a digital journal. A place where you can talk about your passions, your interests, your life, and so much more. It is a place where you can share ideas, and help others with your expertise.
For your blog you are going to need to choose your niche or your area of interest (what you are actually going to blog about). My blog “Bessie Young Photography” is all about helping others along their creative entrepreneur journey with a emphasis on photography.
Can anyone blog?
Heck yes! Anyone can blog! Blogging is a side hustle where you really don’t need any expertise. You just need to get started! How cool is that?
Blogging doesn’t require any special skills, but it does really require alot of hard work, passion, dedication, and determination.
What Can You Write About in a Blog?
Seriously, that is the beauty of blogging! You can write about anything you want, but you have to decide what that is going to be. Like I said above, you really gotta pick your niche first.
Think about what you love, and what you are truly passionate about. Brainstorm what you are good at.
Are you good at cooking?
Are you a stay at home mom?
Do you love fashion?
Do you love to craft and show other people how?
How about a fashionista?
There are millions of blogs out there on every topic imaginable. Here is an awesome website with 50 successful blogs in each topic.
Is it expensive?
Not at all! Hosting your blog is going to be the most expensive thing that you do, unless you start advertising. Now a Squarespace blog (which is what I use) costs only $12 a month. That is about .40 cents a day. I am going to say that is pretty dang affordable :)
How to Start a Blog and Make Money:
Brainstorm a good domain name:
So this is pretty huge right? What are you going to actually call your blog?! This is your website domain. For example, mine is bessieyoungphotography.com
You need to think about this long and hard. The domain name should relate to your niche. This also might take quite a bit of time as not all domain names are available. As you know, the internet is endless so…. with that being the case alot of domains are taken.
You can register your domain name with any registrar. If you are using wordpress you will want to find a host, or you can register your domain name directly with squarespace. The domain name will come with the squarespace yearly subscription for the first year. It is then $20 after that.
After you choose where you want your blog hosted you will need to go over that way and set up a plan. Let’s take Squarespace for example (and no squarespace is not sponsoring this blog)
You will head over to their page home page and click get started. It will look something like:
Now you need to pick a plan that is best for you. I would recommend going with the 12 month plan so you save money. You can also find a bunch of Youtubers that Sponsor squarespace and you can then get an additional 10% off. If you want a code I can recommend a few people, just leave a comment below.
Connect your Domain name:
You will need to register a domain name. If the one you want is not available it will let you know. It will also give you related suggestions which can be helpful.
Pick your template
Now comes the fun part. You get to pick your template!!! How cool is that? Squarespace makes it super easy to adjust the design with beautiful templates already installed for you, you just have to pick one.
Start Writing, it’s GO TIME!
One thing that I have found to be important is to have a list of posts drafted before you launch your website. You do not want to launch your website with no information on it. Squarespace will mark your website as private until you decide it is the right time to share your goodness with the world!
So what do I mean? You need to have content ready. Content that you can work on and promote when the launch actually happens. This is where word of mouth really comes into play. Start talking about your blog! Tell everyone, all the people. This way when it launches there is excitement to it. Also, this way when it launches people will have things to read, to look at, and to promote themselves via sharing on social media.
Writing is easy, but getting people interested is hard. You should definitely try to solve peoples problems. Help people. Serve people. Give them value. That is what a blog is really all about!
Getting Traffic - Tips:
Word of mouth! Tell everyone! Let friends and family know. This way from day 1 you can have some good traffic.
Set up your social media first! Think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Once you blog, you will share the news on all your channels. Don’t try to be on every social media site. Pick a few and focus your efforts on that.
You can join relevant Facebook groups or instagram pods.
Use Pinterest ALOT. You need Pinterest in your life! For realz though. It is crazy helpful and brings alot of traffic. Right now I get 156K+ monthly views over on Pinterest.
Now Pinning all day every day sucks. I’m not going to lie. I have found that Tailwind has been a game changer for me. Tailwind will help you automate your Pinterest rather than doing everything manual.
Work on your SEO and get it on point! This is going to be huge for you. Google traffic is free.
Ways to make money with your blog:
There are so many ways to monetize your blog. Ideas:
affiliate marketing, etc.
How much you make from these sources will 100% depend on your blogs traffic. This is where all your hard work, and all the foot work comes into play. Make sure to check out my post on 5 Easy Ways to Make Money Blogging
I personally love affiliate marketing and most of my blog income either comes from it or my own product sales. With all affiliate marketing you are going to have to apply to be an affiliate. Just keep that in mind as it does take time for approvals.
Blogging is pretty darn awesome. It gives you huge flexibility with your lifestyle. It can be a full time job, a side hustle, and really whatever you want to make it!
I hope you all enjoyed this blog! If you did, leave me a comment below, or even better, share it with your friends!
Wishing you the absolute best!
Ok, so blogging is awesome. It is even more awesome if you can make money from it! I mean talk about living the dream. You can work wherever you want, whenever you want, and talk about what you love! Umm…. all I have to say is WINNING!
Are you thinking about starting a blog? HaveRead More
t seriously is so important to read. When I was little I would ready like a book a week. Now it is hard to read a book a year. I honestly have a really hard time finding the time in a day to read. For some reason life just gets way too busy, but this year, I have decided that I am going to make it happen. With a little help from Audio books I have been accomplishing this goal. Yay!
So, today I wanted to share with you some of my recent faves.
Must Read Girl Boss Books For This Spring
Ok, lets just get right into it:
I have struggled with said ‘mean girl’ ever since I can remember. This book hit home so hard it wasn’t even funny. Melissa talks about how to master your inner mean girl and it is so dang helpful! If you struggle with that nasty mean little voice inside your head, you need to read this book like now.
So I just started this one. It was actually recommended to me by a friend in my workout group!! Yep, isn’t that just awesome :) So the verdict is still out, but I am loving it. It also has super high recommendations from everyone around me so I know it wont disappoint :)
Ok this one is #1 of pretty much all books, so I think enough said there…
Now you also first have to read:
Now this one is on the top 10 charts of all books, so I think enough said there…
Gosh I love this lady. I can’t express enough how much I love this lady. Her book is awesome! I seriously love her honesty in everything that she writes. Now, if you aren’t a fan of cursing, then this book is not for you.
I was hesitant with this book. I have my reasons, but I will just leave it at that. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not. It turns out I liked it. I probably would choose this one last out of all the books on this list, but it is a definite must read.
I just love the story behind this book. It really does show the struggle of a creative entrepreneur. I love that I can relate so much to it.
I may have saved the best for last. This book spoke to me so much I even wrote a letter to the author. Umm… Ya, I never ever ever ever in my wildest dreams thought I would do something like that. Also, I ended up buying it for my mom. Seriously, you have to read this like right freaking now.
Have you had a chance to read any of these? If so, leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Which ones were your faves? What did you like, or didn’t you like about them?
Also, do you have any suggestions on awesome girl boss books? Please leave your recommendation below. I would love to have a list going so I can read more awesome books!
Happy Reading Friends!
Ok, so you are ready to start a blog! How awesome is that! I am so dang happy for you, but I do want to give you a few things that you need to know before actually starting the blog. Things that I wish I knew before I started mine :)
There are many things that absolutely no one talks about. Everyone likes to keep things all peachy and like ‘oh its a dream’, ‘i make all this money’, ‘im living my best life’ , ‘its so easy’, ‘i only work when i want to’…. blah blah blah
I am just going to say all those are true to an extent. People like to take things to an extreme. They want everything to look so good. You know, the grass is always greener on the other side, but sometimes things can suck. Sometimes as a Creative or as an Entrepreneur you can get frustrated, you can be jealous , you can be discouraged, you can get let down, but don’t worry. That happens to EVERYONE! Even the ones that want to claim overnight success….
Don’t get me wrong, running your own business is freaking awesome. Having a blog and helping others is awesome too! There are a ton of awesome things as a blogger, I just wish people would be more upfront about the bad things. You see, I am a bad things kinda girl. I want to know all the negatives to something. This way, I can decide if I want to attempt it or not :) I can make an informed decision rather than get let down because my expectations were so dang high.
So with all that said, everyone can start a blog. Everyone has the potential to make it an amazing business. Everyone has the potential to make money, but here is what people do not warn you about:
Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Blog
1.You are not going to get rich quick:
I have subscribed to alot of newsletters about being a photographer, a creative, and entrepreneur. I get so many emails saying things like ‘I made $200k in one month off of one blog’
Ugh! Those emails frustrate me. I am not going to lie. There is a message behind those emails saying that you can get rich quick. That you should be able to create 1 blog post and BOOM success.
Well, my friend, that is just not the case. I am sorry. I wish it was, but honestly, if it was, I would probably have a big house and not be sitting in a crap apartment.
You are not going to earn $10k your first month of blogging. Hell, you probably won’t even earn that in your first year of blogging.
2. The learning struggle is REAL!
There is a huge freaking learning curve when it comes to being a small business. There is that same learning curve with just blogging. You cannot accomplish anything if you are not willing to learn. You need to dig dig dig and learn all you can. As soon as you feel like you know it, you probably need to learn more.
It will be overwhelming and you will want to quit. You won’t see any success and it is incredibly discouraging, but do not give up.
Explore and try new things. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and your business.
3. Nothing Ever Happens Overnight
This relates to my get rich quick scheme.
You most likely won’t get 100,000 subscribers by offering a cheat sheet. You probably won’t get 100,000 subscribers in your first year. Building a brand, building a business, and building a blog is going to take alot of your time.
4. It takes alot of your time and effort:
I have heard many people say that they schedule their blogs out for the entire year in 1 or 2 weeks. This makes it sound like they only work 2 weeks out of the year… hmm…. wouldn’t that be sweet? Well, I am just going to say that this entire process is going to take alot of work. Most of my blogs take me hours to create. I’m serious. They take me hours. This blog in itself has taken me 2 hours already and I'm not even finished! CARAZY.
Now some people can write quicker that others. I am not the fastest writer there ever was, but I am not slow either. I like to create good content. Plus adding images to your blog takes quite a bit of time as well.
Bonus Tip! You will need to know how to use Photoshop Elements, or some sort of tool to add words to your images.
5. There are a lot of ups and downs…. a lot of downs…
Once you start making money your income is going to fluctuate. You are going to make money one month and none the next. You need to prepare for that. It is ok. Don’t worry, but just know that it will happen.
6. You will compare yourself to other people and you will feel really bad about where you are in your journey
We are the worst when it comes to comparing ourselves to others. Especially now with social media. We are constantly scrolling looking at everyone else’s awesomeness, everyone else’s success… guess what…
What you see are peoples highlight reels. You never see their behind the scenes. You never see them on the floor crying, you never see them with their mascara smeared and them sitting with a big ole tub of ice cream on the couch, you never see them getting ready to throw in the towel. You only see their highlights, their successes, and what they are proud of.
This is going to be hard and this is probably one of the hardest things, but try your damdest to put your blinders on and focus on where you are going. Try to not compare yourselves to others because it will just make you feel bad and it will make you want to quit.
Now with all that being said, blogging is pretty darn awesome. It gives you huge flexibility with your lifestyle. It can be a full time job, a side hustle, and really whatever you want to make it!
I just wanted to give you some truth so you know what you are getting yourself into.
If you are interested in blogging make sure to check out my ‘ How to Start a Blog and Make Money ‘ post. It will help you get everything in line to make sure you are successful.
I hope you all enjoyed this blog! If you did, leave me a comment below, or even better, share it with your friends!
Wishing you the absolute best!
Alright fellow photographers, creatives, and entrepreneurs… there is one thing that you are going to have to accept…. Entrepreneurship is seasonal. Once you accept that the better you will be. Business will get slow, and then it will speed up. It will really really speed up to where you feel like you are spinning, and then it will slow down to a snails pace leaving you questioning if everything is ok.
Everything is ok. This business of ours is just seasonal. Try to be ok with that and you will feel a lot better. Plus, once you are ok with that you will be able to really take advantage of your down time.
Let me give you a little story of where I am coming from. At the beginning of last year, I was so slow that I began to worry. Ok, worry is an understatement but you get where I am going. I sat there sad, kinda depressed, and ultimately worthless. During the summer, especially the late summer, things got crazy. I was staying up late, getting up early, and I even started to drink an energy drink here and there which I don’t ever do.
I honestly wondered if I could keep up with it. I was also super worried because I didn’t have the time to blog. My blog fell completely off the radar. I mean it was so far gone it wasn’t even funny. Months went by without me blogging and that little voice inside my head wouldn’t leave me alone. It was telling me I wasn’t good enough, I needed to do more, blah blah blah.
If I would have just been ok with the idea that this business is seasonal then I could have accomplished sooooo much during my off season to where I felt amazing during my busy season. So here are some things that you just need to do during your down times in order to not get overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed, and just plain overworked during your busy times:
Things You Need to Do During Your Off Season
Update your portfolio
I mean this one in 2 different ways. The first way being, now is the perfect time to schedule some styled shoots! You have a bunch of free time so why not make the most of it. Do something for you. Create a shoot that you have been dreaming of. Let your creativity flow. This isn’t only good for your mind, and your soul, it is good for your portfolio. Show people what you are capable of.
Secondly, update your portfolio on your website. Show your favorite images. Your best images. Not all the images. You want to attract your people, your tribe. Update your portfolio to resemble who you want to attract.
There really is no better time to get together with other creatives, other entrepreneurs, and other like minded people. I don’t mean this to mean reach out to people to make money. I mean actually network with people. I mean talk to them. Be friends with them. Help them. Give them your gifts. This is huuugggeee in growing your business in the long run.
As small businesses we tend to not invest in ourselves. This is terrible because honestly that is really the best place to put your money. I think learning from others is such an important thing. This is how we grow as individuals. You have to spend money to make money friends. This is the perfect time to sign up for a workshop, schedule a mentorship,
Start a personal project and learn by being creative and playing.
It takes a lot of effort to get your business moving forward and to keep it moving forward. We have to stay current, up to date on all the things, and just “in the know” (no I’m not cool enough to say that, but I said it anyways).
Devise a Plan and Schedule
This is where I went wrong last year during my down time. I freaked out and just didn’t do anything, but I could have been planning all the things. So my thoughts here are start planning your posts. I mean all the posts… Pinterest, social media, blog posts.
This is really where you are going to help yourself during your busy season. You can schedule posts. This way when you are busy, you don’t have to worry about blogging, or pinning, because guess what? It is already completed for you. You did it during your down time! How awesome is that really though?
So, devise a plan for your blogs. Create the blogs, and then schedule them out throughout the year. Now you have content for half the year, or maybe even the entire year, or at least until your next down time.
Enhance Your Brand
During the slow season you can really take a fine look at your business. You can see it from every perspective.
Have a real honest conversation with yourself and how your brand looks. Is it cohesive throughout all the things ie social media, websites, emails, newsletters, etc?
Can you simplify anything for your customers to make things smoother?
Does your brand attract your tribe? Does it attract your target market?
Work on your website
This goes along with the above ‘enhance your brand’.
We always put off working on our website. It is one of the last things we creatives want to even think about, but it is freaking important friends! Does your website resemble your brand? Does it attract your target market? Is it easy to navigate? And be honest, how old are the photos on your website?
I hope this blog was helpful and just got you thinking about how you can really take advantage of the down time. Also, hopefully it will help you not fret when those slow times do come around, because believe me they will come whether you try to avoid them or not.
Honestly though, the slow times are one of the best times for your business. They are the times where you can really nurture your business back to health. These are the times that you can make everything shiney again. Embrace the slow times, appreciate them, love them, and be ok with working on all the other things that we didn’t realize came with running a business J
Wishing you the very best!