When someone finds out I work from home as a blogger, they are usually very intrigued. Their curiosity leads them to ask me several questions. After answering the same kind of questions, literally, hundreds of times, and my good friends and colleagues constantly telling me to make a post about it, I am finally doing it!
This post will cover many of the questions I have been asked over the nearly ten years I have been blogging. If you are looking to start a blog or just want to learn more, you are in the right place. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and get cozy while I give you answers to my most frequently asked blogger questions. If you still have questions after reading this, leave them in the comments and I will answer them for you.
Why Did I Start My Blog?
Believe it or not, earning income from my blog was the furthest thing from my mind when I started it almost 10 years ago. At that time, I did not even believe people could make money from blogging. I started my blog to share my photos (I am a hobby photographer) and tales of our family (I am a wife and mother of 5) with others. I also wanted to create a sort of online scrapbook/journal of our lives for us all to be able to look back on.
How Did I Start Working With Companies?
A little less than a year into blogging, I started connecting with companies and doing product reviews. I was bitten pretty bad by that bug, and it became a conquest for me to see what kind of products I could get to review. Adding giveaways really brought me traffic. I have to laugh, in the beginning I was so lost. I had some amazing giveaways too and because I was so new, the entries were low, so I started to get some loyal fans who loved the high chances of winning.
Shortly after I started with reviews and giveaways, things started to take off. My pageviews shot through the roof over the course of a few weeks. I was getting many high-end products that more established bloggers were not getting, and the reason was, because I used my advertising and marketing background to my advantage. I have many years of experience dealing with companies and so I knew how to approach them. I did not follow any of the other bloggers, I decided to use what I learned in the corporate world and approach things as a confident, professional entrepreneur. My confidence and digital marketing experience helped me to connect with companies and led to great partnerships.
What Sets My Blog Apart From Others?
I have always loved writing, and that along with my insatiable love of photography was another thing that set my blog apart. I saw so many bloggers putting up generic posts with stock photographs. It turned me off, and it turned companies off. When a company wants a top promote a product through a blog review, they want to see authenticity.
Other bloggers were so obsessed with numbers they were churning out content at record speed and their blogs lacked any personal flair. From their posts it was evident, they did not even open the box or try the products. They copied and pasted most of the content in their post right from the company website. Around this time, media contacts and PR agencies were getting wise, and knew that engagement was more important than exaggerated stats.
Does A Large Number of Followers Guarantee Your Success?
Many bloggers felt blogging was a numbers game and the blogger with the most followers on social media wins. They took it so far as to use services like Fiverr to buy tens of thousands of bogus followers for their social media accounts. The problem was, since they were fake followers, they did not engage with the content. What good is that to a company? PR agencies and media contacts are wise to that now and care more about engagement. Smaller bloggers with good engagement are a better choice than a blog with inflated numbers of fake fans.
What Kind of Feedback Did Companies Give You?
Companies told me they appreciated the authenticity of my blog content. There was no doubt we were using the products, because my detailed photographs and original content clearly showed that.
I had converted part of my third floor to a photo studio shortly after my fifth child was born. I upgraded cameras, bought some Alien Bees lights, got a ton of props and backdrops and was in my glory. When I started blogging my studio came in very handy. Companies loved my photos, and I know it led to me landing products that some would have said, were out of a new bloggers league.
I was getting Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs 2 at a time plus holding giveaways for the same products. I received all kinds of designer clothing, jewelry, lighting fixtures for my house that cost thousands of dollars, area rugs, appliances large and small, furniture and so much more.
How Did You Start Working With Blogger Networks?
From that point, I began to really get noticed and companies started coming to me. I joined a few blog networks, became an Amazon affiliate and was having a great time.
I started receiving emails from a major blogger network that I signed up with. They had different campaigns you could apply for. Up to that point, I had been dealing direct with companies. I was also a staff writer for a children’s trade publication that introduced me to many established and up and coming companies. This blog network kept asking me to go to a brief online meeting so they could show me how their site worked. I literally dragged my heels on attending for about six months. I finally went, and literally a week later they asked me to write a post for a major television network.
I remember seeing the price they were going to pay me to string together some words and was floored. That was the first time I was paid for creating content on my own blog without reviewing anything or holding giveaways. They just wanted me to write about the channel.
After that post, I was getting picked frequently by that network, and I had joined others. I started working with several blogger networks and was being chosen for all types of campaigns. Some were more creative like creating recipes, throwing parties or coming up with crafts and tutorials using the products they were promoting.
Did That Lead To Other Opportunities for You?
I was asked by that first blogger network to teach a time management course for bloggers. I was paid very well to create my curriculum and produce a video course.
After my course was published to their blogger university, they selected me to be on their creative council. I was one of four bloggers paid to brainstorm and come up with marketing campaigns for companies like Nabisco, Pepperidge Farms, Coca-Cola, Hershey’s and more. It was fast paced, with a quick turnaround time and I thrived because, I work best under pressure. I was a natural because my marketing and advertising background gave me the insight needed to outline the best ways to meet the company’s goals.
Along the way, I was asked to write as a staff writer for other sites and it provided a significant stream of income. I believe in multiple streams of income, and it helped to get my name out there, and looked good on my resume.
What Kind of Advantage Did Your Experience Give You?
My years in social media marketing and advertising helped me to be hired as a consultant for a very large company where I work to evaluate the effectiveness of social media advertising. I do that a few hours a day and I am a staff writer for a major retail coupon site. I not only write three blog posts a week for them, I write website copy for them and post about great deals. I like the variety, and I have a great deal of freedom with my writing on their site, allowing met to put my creative spin on things.
What Do I Have Planned For Mommy Ramblings?
I am currently working on some huge projects for my blog which I will be revealing very soon. They are things that have not been done before, and I am majorly excited to be working on them with some amazing companies. I consider myself very blessed by the opportunities I have been given. I do work very hard, and if you are looking to become a blogger, you will need to work hard.
Is Blogging an Easy Way To Make Money?
If the only reason you want to start a blog, is to make money, it will probably be a drudgery for you. I would even go so far, as to advise you to look into something else. I feel that way because I have seen countless others start a blog because they think it is an easy way to make money. Many of them do not even like to write. When they find out the amount of work and time they need to put in, they soon become frustrated. It is not long after, they throw in the towel.
It is easy to see the ones who are not in it for the long haul. Go to any blogging group of new bloggers, and you will see post after post of whining want-to-be bloggers complaining that they have been blogging a whole month and are not making any money. I have to laugh, when I read posts like that. The next thing they say is that they are giving it 3 more months before they give up. I want to tell them to just save themselves the headache, and give up now.
How Do People Set Themselves Up To Fail?
Once you say you are going to try anything for a set period of time, you already have one foot out the door. You have to have, a failure is not an option attitude if you want to succeed at anything.
Are There Other Ways To Work From Home Other Than Blogging?
It is said, that making a living doing something you love is priceless. I totally believe that, there are many ways to make money with your passion beyond blogging. The internet has opened a lot of doors that we never would have dreamed of , and blogging is not the only way to work from home.
Many people are doing well on YouTube creating video content about everything you can imagine. You will find videos showing people how to organize their homes, sharing what they bought at the store in a shopping haul, demonstrating home repairs or craft projects and so much more. If you have a a passion for something, you can bet others do to and that is how you find your audience.
I Still Want To Start A Blog. How Do I Get Started?
If you still want to start a blog, the next step is to read my post-How To Start A Blog In Fifteen Minutes.