Q: How long have you been blogging?
Almost six years.
I’ve been blogging for six years and it was time for a little upgrade… I did this with you in mind, though! You can read all about the name change and re-brand in this post.
It just happened organically, to be honest. I started blogging in my mid-twenties and always regarded it as a hobby. I never thought it was something that could become an actual income-generating profession.My focus has always been on community and storytelling, not making money.
Even if the latter is your objective, it should never be your focal point. You will never gain anyone’s trust — and honestly, if you’re in it for the five-minute Internet fame or for lots of money, this probably isn’t the job for you. People can sniff that shit out REAL fast. Can’t we, girls?
Yes, and congrats! Try to arrive 20 minutes before class is scheduled to start. Don’t by shy in asking a staff member (or the Instructor/me) to help you set up on your bike. (It’s really important to have the right foundation, as our bikes are very different than others you might be used to.) Once class starts, just have fun and take it at your own pace!
Well, it definitely wasn’t overnight — as detailed in this post. I’ve spent more than five years creating content, slowing growing my social media platforms and developing genuine relationships with people and brands, which has helped me find work (and work find me) consistently — whether through advertising revenue, social media sponsorships, paid partnerships, writing gigs, freelance consulting, and so on.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an overnight success type of industry. If you’re consistent and hell-bent about getting your name out there, you can make it happen. Eventually, readers, brands and people start to demand more from you… More content, more opportunities, more photos, more partnerships. And over time, you’ll get really sick of saying “sorry, I can’t — I have to work.”
For me, there wasn’t really one “A-ha!” moment — it was that this was happening repeatedly. I’d gotten to a point where my hobby was overtaking my job, so I started to be more mindful about saving up my money. I knew the best and only way to fully capitalize on all of the opportunity I was being approached with was to stand on my own and devote all of my energy into growing my blog and business. So, I jumped.
Now, before you leave your full-time job, you can probably approximate how much guaranteed income you’ll be generating on a monthly basis. You should have an idea of how much money you need each month to cover your expenses and taxes, as well as pay yourself (if you’re doing that). A lot of bloggers give themselves a “salary,” but I’m pretty lax about this — something to consider, though.
I’d suggest being well-off enough that you can cover at least three months of your cost of living (rent, expenses, food, etc) as a starting point. Trust me, when you’re a partner or contractor or consultant, no one pays you on time — and remember that most payment terms are net-30 or net-60 days, so even when you finish a post or partnership, you won’t be seeing the money for awhile (usually).
Relationships will be the key to your success. Period. At the end of the day, it’s all about who you know, how they’ll remember you and how closely you’ve taken care of that relationship. Being authentic, kind and interested in other people’s lives (in a genuine way) will get you far in not just your career, but life.
Also: You have two ears and one mouth for a reason: Listen.
More to come on this. It’s a good story, promise.
Almost six years.
A: No, not at all. Back in the day, I loved working in the agency world, and my blog was just a hobby (and fun way to meet people outside of the office). Social media didn’t exist when I first started blogging, but when Twitter, Instagram and every other platform launched, it ultimately became this crazy, every-changing industry and it ended up being a lucrative career.
A: They’re suddenly in it, but for the wrong reasons — like money, Internet fame or “free stuff.”
A: Be authentic, consistent and patient. Establish your blog’s voice and stick to it. Know what your audience wants and expects from you and deliver on that. Consistently.
A: Yes. First, share updates that are purposeful and find a way to make them relevant. For the love of all things holy don’t just post for the sake of broadcasting. Would you walk into a party of 100 people and announce, “Attention everyone! HERE IS A NEW BLOG POST! CHECK OUT THESE PHOTOS OF ME ON MY BLOG!” I really hope not. (And if so, you’re not invited to my party.)
Sure, there’s a promotional aspect. I utilize it too. But let’s remember what each platform is rooted in: Being social. Sharing. Creating conversation. Being a freakin’ human being.
A: It depends. What are your objectives? If it’s blog traffic, you probably want to invest most of your time in Twitter and Pinterest. You have to trial and error which works best for you. Instagram has become a micro-blog in-and-of itself, so you can treat it as such.
A: At least 35 hours per week. This includes weekends.
A: Girl, I’m still blogging because it’s fun! Everything else is just an added benefit… If it makes you happy, then keep it in your life. I always like to say “do what’s worth your time, not your money.”
A: This is the most frequently asked question I receive. Honestly, I’d encourage you not to focus on follower acquisition (especially since people can and do purchase all kinds of followers these days). Why not focus on getting the right type of followers instead of a certain amount?
Pour your heart (and time) into writing and creating amazing, high-quality content. If your blog posts are engaging, emotional, informative and/or pretty to look at, your readers will do the leg-work for you and share them. (Please note: This does not happen overnight! Unless you pay for followers… Which everyone can usually tell. Don’t do it.)
A: I always feel inclined to say something inspirational along the lines of: work hard, stay humble and trust that everything will fall into place. So there’s that, but also — delivery services. Seamless is really the one thing that keeps me going. And the dry cleaner and liquor store. Your time is money, honey!
A: I keep everything in one place: My Google Calendar. Everything from blog deadlines to Soul classes and personal shit. Dinners, due dates, workouts, waxing appointments — you name it. If it’s not on my calendar, I will not remember it.
A: They’re pretty much the same, yeah. While I will always have an open line of communication with my readers (and I love you to do the same), where I do draw the line is on things that are very personal or just plain heavy — until I’m ready to address them. And then I will. At the end of the day, I strive to be as positive and optimistic as possible, because I never want to impose negative energy on you. Plus, what’s the point in not being that way? You’re only as happy and fulfilled as you decide to be. Think about it.
Yeah, I hate when that happens; but don’t get discouraged. Sometimes you just have to step into the role of what it is you’re looking for. If you don’t already, take 10 minutes of our morning to read and comment on five blog posts. People will return the favor! And also, because I do this too: As humans, we’re wired to seek feedback and approval from others — but try not to do that.
A: Yes: Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a LIFE!
… But seriously, I’ve found it’s best to channel focus on one or the other. When I’m at work, I’m working. Afterward (often until 2 a.m.) and on weekends, I’ll work on my blog-related tasks. Multitasking can be distracting and ultimately, a total time-suck, so wherever you are, be all there.
A: There’s not really a black-and-white answer here, but once you can demonstrate that you’re an authority in your field, you have leverage. Do you influence people? Prove it. Screenshot tweets and comments that showcase purchasing behavior or specific feedback. Build a case to market yourself.
A: Being able to create my own schedule, come up with really awesome content ideas, and work with some of the brands I’ve dreamt about interacting with my entire life. It’s really crazy.
A: No one pays you on time. Hell, sometimes people don’t even pay you.
A: I live in Chicago, IL.
A: Ah, the great state of Ohio! (Cleveland)
A: I did, yes — for about three years. Here’s why I made the decision to move.
A: No, lol. But great question.
A: Not in their entirety, but I share and re-post a lot of the music I’m loving on Spotify, Soundcloud and Snapchat.
A: Right this way — click here!
A: Very rarely, but not never. You can always e-mail customer service with Instructor-related feedback that you might have… Including that!