The first question I am always asked when I tell people I am a full time blogger, is how I make money. It actually kind of happens like word vomit seeing as the second it rolls out of someones mouth they almost immediately retract the question realizing it’s a rather taboo topic to ask about in most industries. Regardless, I think it’s important to educate people on how this all works rather than keeping it hush hush. At the end of the day, it’s the new age form of marketing in an ever evolving world and there’s nothing to hide!
There are several ways a blogger can make a living from blogging, but I’d say the most common form of this is via sponsored content. Essentially, brands have shifted from traditional marketing strategies like billboard ads, commercials on television, and magazine placement to using social media to promote their brand or product. This is a natural shift, seeing as social media is the new age way of consuming content. Think about it, do you remember the last commercial you saw on television? Or the last billboard ad you passed on the highway? Probably not. But you probably do remember that amazing product your favorite influencer or celebrity was most recently raving about right? Why? Because you spend more time on social media, consuming content you choose to follow, than you do in front of a television or on the road. If you’re not the driver in a car, you are likely looking at Instagram or Facebook on your phone rather than sight seeing. If there is a commercial break on television, you are probably opening your phone vs watching the commercials. I know I do!
For whatever reason sponsored content has a weird stigma around it on social media when people see the #ad or #sponsored tags being used. I’ve never understood the stigma around this because it’s no different than a magazine editor being paid to write about a product she tried in a national publication, or a network being paid to run a commercial during prime time television. Influencers get paid to talk about those very same things, but on their social media platforms. I think the biggest difference is that any notable influencer typically only partners with a brand they truly stand by, and often times turns down amazing opportunities if they aren’t the right fit.
The communication between brands and influencers goes both ways. Often times the brand will reach out to the influencer and suggest a partnership, and other times the influencer will reach out to the brand. If there is a brand I really want to work with, I will send a pitch email to them outlining who I am, why I want to work with them, and what value add my brand can bring to the table for them. It’s similar to anyone in a sales position who cold calls in the hopes of drumming up new business, but on a more personal level. If I am reaching out to a brand, it’s because I really like their product, use it regularly, and want to create a story around it for my readers. I only promote or talk about things on TCB that I can 100% stand behind and truly respect in my every day life – that’s also why you see me talk about the same brands and companies regularly.
Rates for posts like these range greatly depending on a number of factors. Audience size, engagement rates (what percentage of your audience is liking and commenting on your photos), quality of the content, the overall ask etc. When you are actively engaging with your favorite influencers, you are providing support to them not only from a business standpoint, but also from an emotional standpoint in letting them know you are interested in their content — I know I can speak for many when I say it is extremely motivating to continue to create when it is well respected. Nothing feels worse than spending a ton of time and effort into creating something you truly love, only for your readers to scroll right past it.
Speaking of time, posts like these can take hours to create. I personally take great pride in my content, and never want to put anything on my platform that I don’t love myself. Each post you see has had a planning session behind it which is where the creativity begins. I come up with a theme for the post, source a location to shoot it, research an outfit to go along with it, photograph it, edit it, and then put the actual post together and hit publish. Most magazines or broadcast stations have an entire team dedicated to doing this – one person does location scouting, a stylist handles the outfits for models, a photographer shoots and edits the images, an editor writes the actual post, and the publisher puts it together for publishing. Most influencers, unless you are super established or mega big, are doing all of these tasks alone – or in some cases with the help of one assistant who a lot of times, is a family member (shout out to all the Insta hubbies out there) or good friend.
At the end of the day, the goal behind this little space of mine is to empower you to look and feel your best by bringing you fresh new ideas for styling outfits, healthy recipes, different workouts, and feeding your wanderlust with travel. These are all things that inspire me, that resonate with me, and that have helped me on the journey of self love throughout my twenties. Your trust and support are my number one priority so that I can continue to grow and publish content for you to consume.