How i transitioned to full time blogging
This week I shared some exciting news with you on Instagram, but I want to share a little more detail on here and tell you guys how I got to where I am and how you can too!
I AM A FULL TIME BLOGGER/CONTENT CREATOR/ INFLUENCER now!
This is an overall exciting transition, but definitely scary because I no longer have a steady pay check coming in every two weeks. The hustle has never been more real & I am definitely excited for the challenge. Here is my story and how I am able to do this.
*Disclaimer: This is my personal journey and the steps I took . It may works for some and it might not work for others. If you take anything from this post it’s to WORK HARD and KNOW YOUR WORTH.
Let me be clear - this started as a part time side hustle while I maintained my full time “9-5” job.
I started blogging in the summer of 2018. It will be a full year in July. I cant believe how much I’ve learned since I started and how much I’ve grown. My content has improved which has led to paid brand collabs.
In July, I started with 927 followers. I was not comfortable posing in front of the camera at all. I always looked away. I pretty much did the same exact poses.
TIP #1: Practice, practice, practice - This might sound silly, but practice in front of a mirror at home. Learn your angles. I practiced my face in the mirror for months before I felt comfortable in front of the camera
Once I felt better posing, I wanted my feed to look more cohesive. I saw everyone talking about “presets” but had NO IDEA what that meant. Finally, I dm’ed a girl asking her and she was nice and explained it to me.
TIP #2 - Reach out people on Instagram if you have a question. Most of them are really nice and will message you back. If they don’t, don’t be offended, it probably landed in their message request box.
TIP #3- Choose a preset - I knew what tones I wanted and just had to find the preset to fit it. They range in price from $20-$300+. It just depends on what you want. You can also download apps that have presets already made. VSCO is great. The Tezza app is really good too. I first started with a “pink tone” because I wanted things to look rosy, but ended up switching to more neutral, brown towns to keep my feed crisp & clean. I will be selling my preset very soon!
Ok so at this point, I’ve got my posing somewhat down (still practicing), and my preset to make my feed cohesive, but now I need to grow. So I tried to engage with other accounts & from July to October I went from 927 to 2700 followers. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t the growth I wanted. I researched the internet and watched Youtube videos about how to grow on IG and they all said the same things. Use hashtags, post at a certain time of day, engage with other accounts. I DID ALL OF THAT and still nothing happened so I was frustrated.
TIP #4 - DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS. I repeat, DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS. At this point, it’s all about being authentic and transparent. People can see through anything fake these days. If you’re at 50K followers & getting 200 likes - the chances are very high that you bought your followers.
TIP #5 - IG GROWTH - Brands care, they really do. They care about how many followers you have as well as engagement / reach. A girl I had been following reached out about an IG growth course she took and said it would help me too. I was SUPER skeptical, and by super skeptical, I mean I blew her off and ignored her messages because I thought it was a scam. A week later she reached out to me again and I did my research, I asked her a ton of questions and decided that if her account at 10K was doing it, there is no way she’d promote something fake on her page. So I literally said F*** it and enrolled in the course. I took the Mastery by Mal growth course & this was 100% the best decision I made regarding my Instagram. I talk about it a lot on my stories. It taught me how to grow authentically and all of the techniques were one’s I’d never heard of. I still use it to this day. You can check it out HERE
So I went from 2700 in October to 10K in December. Granted, I grew extremely fast for this course (most people grow 1K-3k+ a month) it is beneficial for anyone. Ever since I hit 10K and got the SWIPE UP - so many more brands began to reach out. This is when it started to take off
TIP #6 KNOW YOUR WORTH - So brands started reaching out about sending free product and I took EVERYTHING. I was so excited all these brands wanted to work with me and send me free stuff! After awhile thought, it begins to get old & you don’t need product anymore. I promise. So I began to charge. I had no idea what to charge, or how to pitch or anything.
TIP #7 Get a mentor or coach - I wanted help and I wanted to do things right and I wanted to be valued for my work so I hired a coach (@thatgemruby). She helped me land my first PAID collab and I almost took the product for free - she said no they pay, pitch yourself, I did and landed an $800 brand collab because Ruby believed in me and I valued my work. That was just the start. It was so nice to have someone hold me accountable to stop taking free stuff because it only hurts our industry. I learned so much from here and I know my worth and I know how to pitch myself, negotiate with brands, and walk away if the collaboration is not a good fit. She helped me so much that I was inspired and want to help you guys too so if you are interested in coaching, click HERE
At this point, I was still employed with my “9-5” sales job and all my blogging was on the side. I was receiving a paycheck every two weeks so I really saved up all my blogging money and tried not to touch it. This played a HUGE role in being able to go full time as a blogger
TIP #8 - SAVE YOUR MONEY - I saved as much as possible (with a little shopping here and there. I am a firm believer in a “treat yourself” mentality. I have saved up enough money for 3 months. That means, if I made no money for the next 3 months, I have enough of a cushion saved to be able to pay rent, pay my bills and eat food haha…. But seriously, save your money. A lot of people will wait until they have 6 months worth of savings just to be safe, which I would have done if I had the choice…
I had 3 months worth saved up and on Friday (5/10/19), my full time job informed me that they were dissolving my territory and I was no longer needed as a rep. So instead of having to look for another “9-5” job, I have enough savings to be able to support myself.
TIP #9 - HAVE MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME - So, I have been working on so many personal projects for a while that I have generated multiple streams of income. I saw a quote on pinterest that said “The average millionaire has 7 streams of income”. So that meant I needed to hustle.
My streams of income:
Blogging / influencing / content creation
Summer Buns (online store & wholesale accounts)
Mastery by Mal (I do affiliate sales for them).
Selling my closet (yes this counts as income)
*Soon - sell my preset
So as you can see, I’ve got a lot on my plate. But like I said at the beginning, it’s all about the HARD WORK & HUSTLE. I don’t go out on the weekends. I work in my office til almost midnight every night. You have to be willing to sacrifice if you want a certain level of success. I don’t feel like I’m missing out though because it’s what I want to be doing and I enjoy every second of it and that’s how I know I’m on the right path.
This is the path that has gotten me to wear I am today! It’s possible for anyone who is willing to do the work. Plain and simple.
Practice, Practice, Practice - get comfortable in front of a camera
Reach out for advice
Find your niche, make your feed aesthetically pleasing
Don’t buy followers. Don’t be fake.
Invest in yourself - I took an IG growth course that changed my game. HERE
KNOW YOUR WORTH - Negotiate with brand and don’t do work for free. They’d pay thousands of dollars if they had to outsource to an agency. They are getting an all-in-one package with you. Charge them for it.
Get a mentor or a coach - Ruby helped me see my worth and fine tune my skills. She was so open and I could always ask her questions. See my coaching available HERE
Save your money - you should have at least 3-6months of income saved as a cushion before you take the leap (in my opinion).
Have multiple streams of income - be creative, what are you good at? How can you make money doing what you’re good at?
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. WORK HARD. HUSTLE. GRIND. SACRIFICE. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS.
After experiencing all of this, I am a proud full time blogger and I have never been so excited for this kind of opportunity. The feeling of being self employed, being your own boss, being an entrepreneur is so empowering all the ups and downs are worth it.