In my 10 years of blogging, one of the most commonly asked questions is how to be a part time blogger. Because most of us have full time or part time jobs under our belts it’s a hard decision to make when introducing blogging into your life. A lot has changed in the last 10 years. From 2012 – 2015 I ran a business that became self-sufficient, income wise, leaving me with practically full-time hours to become a blogger. The industry was different, there was not as many bloggers in Vancouver which meant most of the sponsorship opportunities were given to the same pool of bloggers. Fast forward to 2018 and you probably know a blogger who knows a blogger who’s friends with a blogger that takes photos of a blogger. EVERYONE is a blogger! As the blogging and influencer industry has grown, brands have adapted and created larger budgets for just influencer outreach and online campaigns. With that said, I think there are plenty of opportunities now for us.
Sometimes I hear people say to me “Oh, your job looks really easy, I can totally do that! I’d love to get free stuff and photograph it.” Sure, sometimes it can be as easy as receiving a product, photographing it and posting it. But for the most part, it takes more work than you think it does. Just like most jobs, there are times of ease and difficulty.
This is how a typical partnership will go:
- Brand contacts blogger or vice versa
- Pitching takes 1 -2 weeks on average
- Communication until contract is signed maybe 1 more week
- While waiting for product to arrive, source, book or locate a photographer. This can be the most difficult part of the process because you want someone who knows how to take proper photos suitable for a campaign and everyone has a busy schedule!
- Schedule in photography session
- Take time out of your day to source location to shoot, spend a minimum of 1 hour with photographer
- Either let your photographer edit the images or spend a minimum of 1 hour going through images and editing images
- Create blog posts copy – sometimes the brand needs to approve it so that can take a few days to a week to confirm
- Upload post to channels
- Communicate with readers through engagement on post
- Calculate all results from partnership into a document and send it off to brand – this can take about an hour.
Does that sound like something you’d like to take on? If yes, GREAT!! Read on! Outside of the above example, there are more steps to take to becoming a blogger. It is more than taking a photo and posting it. Here is my advice on how to be a part-time blogger.
- Create and consolidate your channels – Find the platforms that you engage with the most and provide value to your blog. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest are all very different platforms and offer different forms of visual communication. I think the most important ones to have are Facebook, Instagram and Pinterst. Facebook for it’s shariblity, Instagram for it’s user views and Pinterest for blog link clicks.
- Social vs. Blog – You may not think that you need a blog if you’re handling most of your services through Instagram but I highly encourage you to create an actual website. You can post multiple images to Instagram but the algorithm is really up to them on how they distribute your post. You’re limited to 10 images, small screen videos and your image will get lost within the week. You cannot provide links in the captions and not everyone is setup for “swipe up” in stories.Having a website can allow your post to live somewhere. You can add as many images and large screen videos as you like. You can include brand links, affilate shopping links, you can share it to as many people as you like and besides the fact that it can offer the brand more in terms of promotion, you can also charge more for your platform, since it’s a larger ask.
- Develop your story – I personally believe that the best bloggers are offering a story. They are not promoting every brand under the sun but have a curated portfolio of content they believe in.
- Photography – My best advice is to hire a principal photographer. This is not the cheapest option but it’s the most organized way of creating content, especially as a part time blogger. I’m currently not using a principal photographer anymore but when I did, we scheduled in 2 days a month, 2 hours each day and dedicated it to photographing all partnerships and regular content. I planned my month accordingly and had 2 days to get it all out of the way so it did not interfere with the rest of my schedule. This can also provide you with consistent content!This can take a lot of organization and urgency. I photographed on average 4-5 outfits an hour and changed my outfit in public bathrooms or cars.
- Content Calendar – This is my saving grace! I use Google calendar to input all of my brand partnership posting dates and any other posts I’d like to create.
- Photography Calendar – Within your Google calendar, input all of the dates that you will need to shoot your content.
- Media Kit – Create a media kit that includes your bio, content categories, social media and blog statistics and contact information. You’ll be using this for #8.
- Outreach – This is one of the most important steps to take as a part time or full time blogger. You’ll want to contact brands and agencies to introduce yourself! Your inner circle and Instagram following may know who you are but I can guarantee that even if you have 20K Instagram followers, there are important agencies that have no idea who you are and guess what? They run the campaigns. Take the time each week to email at least 5 brands or Public Relations agencies and introduce yourself. Let them know who you are, what you do, how you’d like to work with them or be on their media list, etc. be sure to include your media kit for review. This can go a long way!
- Online engagement – Your online community is just as important as your offline community. They are the ones that have the power to like and comment on your content. Take the time to engage with them through comments, likes and conversations.
- Offline engagement – Attend as many industry events as you can when you’re starting out! This is how you’ll meet other bloggers and develop relationships. When I was starting out, I didn’t know about media events. I paid $25 to go to a fashion show and while I was there I was photographed for FLARE Magazine and was smack dab center on a feature page! Before you knew it, I was being invited to quite a few events. I was worried to go to them on my own so I would bring friends that were not bloggers but one day I had the courage to go to an event on my own and I made one of my first friends in the blogging industry! Once you start going to events, you’ll want to increase the number of them that you go to when you’re starting out. I used to attend upwards of 3 a night 2 times a week and then brought that number down to 1 a night 3 times a week. After 10 years I can become more choosy with where I spend my time but I still make the effort.
Start at the top of these tips and work your way down. I know it may seem like a lot right now but becoming a blogger is a slow process that you need to put the work into. This list may seem daunting but it’s totally fun!!! If you have any questions just send me a note!