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How I Turned My Blogging Hobby into a Business

career & money7 months ago

t

this post is sponsored by Regions Bank, Member FDIC.
all thoughts are my own.

Growing up, having a “passion for fashion” was the go-to phrase for just about every girl I knew who loved America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, The Hills… and every other vaguely fashion-related TV entertainment there was to offer.

Now that most things fashion have moved from print and televised stations to the digital world, the internet has opened up so many doors for people all over the world to explore their passion — and make a living off of it! That said, there are still so many questions about how to get started, so today, in this post sponsored by Regions Bank, member FDIC, I’m sharing some of the tips I used to transform my blog from just a casual hobby into a fully-functioning business.

working from home

Most bloggers I know work from home most of the time — at least until they have the need to scale up their operations for whatever reason. Working from home isn’t easy! You have to learn to set hours (so you’re not still on your phone at the dinner table) and avoid falling for the comfort of being at home for so long, that you forget to actually take care of yourself. I used to do a lot of my work from my laptop in bed… but recently I started using my desktop and getting “dressed” for the day even though I was at home, so that it feels more professional. Learn more here about getting started working remotely.

managing a budget

It might be super exciting the first time you get a paid campaign… and even more exciting when they start rolling in on a regular basis! While I’m all for the occasional treat, it’s super important to make sure that you’re not getting too careless with how you’re spending! For every campaign I get paid for, I always make sure to keep a percentage of my income stashed away for bills, taxes and any other expenses. It’s also super important to stow some of that money away in a savings account, to start planning for the future. Some other blogging expenses that you should think about when you’re building your budget? Photography fees and camera equipment, prop and set styling, website hosting, social media marketing and more. Check out more here on how to budget with a variable income.

getting paid sponsorships

Now for the most frequently-asked question people DM me about — how to get brand sponsors! The first thing to think about is this: your website and Instagram are basically your resume/portfolio. If the kind of content your dream brand is looking for does not already exist on your platforms, they’re not going to hire you for work! This is one of the reasons why I take my content creation process very seriously — it’s important for me to put out work that my readers AND clients will love! Most brands are super active on Instagram, so using their hashtags are a great way to be discovered. There are tons of influencer campaign platforms that are great for applying to campaigns too, like Fohr, Collectively and Tapinfluence.

transitioning from part-time to full-time

Leaving your full-time corporate job to pursue blogging sounds like the most glamorous thing ever… until reality hits. Being your own boss means that you’re doing so much more than traveling and shooting photos in gorgeous clothes. Behind all of that, you’re invoicing, budgeting, and doing all of the mundane administrative tasks that keep any business running. Those 5-figure brand deals that you’re securing can’t go towards your dream designer bag, because you still have monthly bills to pay for your business as well as yourself! I’ve seen a lot of girls who have left their full-time jobs to start blogging super early in their journey — but that never really made sense to me… possibly because I don’t have a spouse to lean on financially for major expenses like rent and health insurance. The advantage of having a dual income is that I’ve been able to invest a lot into my blog, making sure that everything looked super professional from day one. The disadvantage is that sometimes my job is my entire life, and any moment I’m not at work…I’m working on my blog. So how do you know when you’re ready to make the jump from your day job to full-time blogging? My personal rule is that you shouldn’t quit your day job until you’re making at least 80% of your salary from your hobby — that way, when you go full-time, you have even more time to invest in making your hobby even more profitable!

Still unsure if self-employment is for you? Check out these tips for doing it right and how to build a smart strategy. Don’t forget to visit Regions Next Step for more financial tools and educational resources to help you achieve your financial goals!

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