It’s official, my blog is no longer a baby and I can no longer hide behind the newbie title. If you recently followed my blog, then you are seeing the best of GWS. However, those who have been here since the beginning know that it has been quite the transition from a DIY look to something more professional. I may not be at maxi influencer status just yet, heck I might never get there. But this little community we have built has been such a wonderful support structure and school. Of course, learning never stops, and if it does, you’re doing something wrong. So with that spirit, I thought I’d share a few more lessons I’ve learnt in my blogging journey. What’s different about this post is that it’s… well, inspired by you!
You don’t need a huge following to be an influencer
When I started my blog, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The daring side of me expected to get over 100k views in my first year and hit a large follower count fairly quickly. If you’ve read my other blogging experience posts, you know that was simply a dream. Ironically, the logical side of me knew this was not going to happen. Instead, I was excited with every new like, comment and unique view that came along.
Looking back, there are a few things I have definitely taken for granted on this journey. One is the ability to use this platform to reach an audience. So one year in, and about a 1k reach, I consider this little writer behind the screen to be a micro-influencer.
Before you roll your eyes, hear me out.
Being an influencer doesn’t mean you have millions of people who worship the ground you work on. It simply means that you have a voice or platform that can influence a target audience. In my little space, I am proud to say that I have encouraged a few newbie bloggers to try something new. I have shared personal stories to help others deal with mental health issues. Not tooting my own horn or anything, but it’s a small win I want to share because YOU can influence people too. In fact, you have influenced me already!
You shouldn’t feel ashamed for wanting to monetise your blog
“Money, money, money!”
Abba sang it before we were born (well, most of us) and it stuck. Everyone wants money these days! Haven’t we become such a greedy bunch? How horrible of a blogger to want money for creating artwork that is free for all to see. God forbid you need to pay the bills, put food on the table or compensate the hours you lost at a real job by spending time creating content for people to read, enjoy and be inspired.
See where I’m going with this?
I have a full-time job that pays me very well, and yet I want to make money off my blog too. And my reasoning is not that crazy. As an ambitious individual, I allocate value to everything I do or buy. That manicure I spent $80 on, brought in more value to my wedding pictures. That solo trip I took to Brazil in 2014 that cost all of my savings was the price tag of my mental health. And the money my husband and I spend on tasting menus is the price of bonding away from the stress of daily lives.
So by the same token, this blog in itself should bring in more value than the amount I spend on subscription fees right? Well, yes… But while I don’t have a specific target in mind, I am very happy to receive more than just an intangible reward for things I love. Monetising your blog should not be something you feel embarrassed about, but something that is seen as a reward for the hard work you put in.
You will grow as much as you allow yourself to
During my blogging journey, I have learnt to say no to people and opportunities that don’t reflect who I am as a person. While many people would jump at the opportunity to increase their reach and work with many brands, the maturity comes in saying no. Initially, I was a yes girl. But as time went on, I learnt to focus on the brand I was trying to create. That brand being the safe, adulting, atmosphere that GWS has to offer.
One thing I learnt on this journey is that you can get hundreds of thousands of views each month using Facebook or Tailwind groups. You can even get several thousand followers by joining follow trains and keeping your name in the loop. But what you really want is an audience that actually cares about what you have to say. Well, at least that’s what I want.
I had to make the hard choice between incredibly high stats vs lower stats with a genuinely engaged audience. As you can tell, I picked the latter. And in doing this, true growth comes along. Learning how to keep people gripped, figuring out how to pitch myself to companies while learning from the rejection. Understanding the search engine algorithms and learning how to organically rank higher…
That is the growth I am proud of.
So what does this all mean?
I may seem to be speakig in parables, but if you know me, then you know that my blog posts are a reflection of what is running through my mind. If you take anything away from this, let it be this;
It all takes more than a follow loop and some tit-for-tat views to grow as a blogger. It takes more than just instant gratification to get what you desire. And when decide to work with companies, only choose the ones that will uplift you and won’t make you sell your soul. The rest is fun and networking!