I never dreamed of being a blogger. I never dreamed of filing as business or becoming a content creator. In fact, I chose to go to business school. I chose to work for fortune 50 companies. I chose a very traditional career (a project manager) and a very traditional industry (aerospace).
While I’ve enjoyed my time in aerospace (and still work in it), my love for writing, fashion, and connecting with others through digital networks has continued to grow. My hobby blog has transformed into a small business over these past four years and I’m excited to see where it will take me in the future. While I used to question choosing business and question choosing blogging, I realize now that this was meant to be my path all along.
I’m incredibly grateful for an education in business, a masters in digital media, and my corporate career. I realize now that I needed all of these things to be where I’m at today and to set me up for the future.
I can’t be only creative. And I can’t only be about business. I have to embrace both worlds to continue to inspire the modern woman with fashion, career, and life tips.
While most people just see the finish Instagram post, very few people see the contracts signed and brand emails exchanged before I hit publish. Very few people see the 2-3 hours it took me to sit down, reflect, and pull together an original blog post for a campaign. Very few people see the business side of blogging.
So today I wanted to share “What it’s like to be a blogger in 2018”. I’m sharing the behind the scenes of being a blogger today and what bloggers probably aren’t sharing on social media. If you’re interested in taking your blog to the next level or want to get into blogging in 2019, this blog post is for you.
Here’s what it’s like to be a blogger in 2018 and heading into 2019…
Being a blogger today means combining your business skills with creative passions:
Blogger in 2018: The Negotiations
What you don’t see about being a blogger in 2018 are all the negotiations that happen even before the contract is signed. If you are a blogger in 2018 and 2019, you cannot be afraid to negotiate. You have every right to negotiate almost all terms of the contract and the collaboration. Brands and companies expect you to negotiate – so don’t feel like you can’t ever ask for more.
I negotiate compensation rates, the statement of work, the timeline, and even non-compete clauses. If you didn’t know this before, most contracts do state that you are unable to work with a brand’s competitor for a period of time. I make sure to always negotiate this length of time because you could be passing up other paid opportunities to work with other brands you love.
Blogger in 2018: The Contracts
Some contracts are two pages and other contracts are 30+ pages. Some contracts even come with 5-10 additional pages of creative briefs – that explain how the product should be shot or what type of photos are accepted for the campaign (flat lays vs. selfies).
As a blogger in 2018, you must read through your contract and understand the images you release rights to brands can be repurposed for other media purposes (reposted on social media, used for email or even print marketing). Additionally, you should also be aware of the key points you need to cover campaigns – whether that’s price or a new feature or service of the brand.
Blogger in 2018: The metrics
I’ve talked about how brands look for a return on investment in campaigns before. So I wanted to stress that metrics is an important factor about being a blogger in 2018. Not only do I send screenshots of how the photos, stories, and blog post performed, but I’ll also will send total impressions, reach, and comments to show the my impact on the campaign.
Blogger in 2018: The Content Calendar/Schedule
My graduate school, full time job, and blog schedule can get pretty horrendous. So I do my best to keep my content calendar organized on excel and in my planner. I’m typically balancing sponsored brand content with original content. I’m doing my best to be selective with brand campaigns as I’m finding the scope of the campaigns are getting bigger and bigger.
In 2019, I’ll probably aim to only work with a handful of brands each month but each campaign have a longer term scope.
Blogger in 2018: Being Continuously Creative
With millions of pieces of content being shared everyday on Instagram, Facebook, and the online world, being creative is vital to standing out in the endless sea of content. When I’m not working or reading for class, I’m typically thinking about what I can write or create next for the blog. I do my best to draw inspiration from everywhere – from conversations I have with my sister and boyfriend Brandon, to the questions my audience sends me, and even the manufacturing floor at work.
My biggest piece of advice to staying creative: seek out new experiences, look at things in a different way, and ask lots of questions to those around you! You never know what’s going to spark your interest or inspire you to write your next blog post.
There you have it friends! These are the 5 things I deal with on a weekly basis as a blogger. While I do love writing, taking photos, and working with brands, it can be a lot of work being a blogger in 2018. But at the end of the day, creating content and connecting with others truly brings me so much joy that the business side of blogging doesn’t feel like a chore, it feels like part of the process!
Below is the power point presentation I shared with the University of Washington AMA Club last week! I shared my personal blogging journey as well as how I use my business skills in my creative endeavors. If you have any specific questions, please let me know!
For more blog tips and lessons learned:
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Holly Phan