Traveling the world, enjoying unbelievable experiences, being outfitted in the latest luxury fashion – what’s not to love. It’s no wonder so many people are taking to their computers, phones and cameras in pursuit of blogging. With the increasing number of bloggers present online, it’s easy for people to think it’s easy and comes without a cost. However, the most successful fashion bloggers will tell you that this is a general misconception of the industry.
The blogging industry is growing fast with over 500 million content sites across the web. However, as brands are turning to content creation to drive traffic and increase revenue, it’s becoming more saturated. Not only that, with rising competition, attracting a significant readership has also increased the average cost of a maintaining a blog.
Blogging isn’t free. To be a successful blogger, you need to think of it as a business. And as with any business, you have to know the costs in order to turn it into a success
Starting a blog
While starting out a blog is essentially free, some people overlook the hidden costs of getting your work published. The hardware and overhead costs alone are often overlooked. Business Insider claims that blogging to turn a profit is very difficult and expensive. A travel blogger, for example, needs to pay for their own accommodation and transportation. Along with high quality cameras, lenses, and other hardware this can easily rack up to thousands of dollars. That is, until the site has a sizeable readership and social media following.
Even if most blogging platforms are free, being an influencer or content creator means a greater degree of professionalism. Buying a domain name, developing your site, and optimizing content are just some of the things you need in order to sell products or monetize your blog. To eke out a living from blogging, content creators turn to affiliate marketing and sponsored posts as income revenues. This requires better web design and custom site development, which also costs a lot more money.
Social media marketing
One huge cost involved with scaling a blog nowadays is social media marketing. As social media is the most important platform that is driving engagement to websites, creating good material for all the platforms can cost a lot of money and resources. Yet, in order to gain a large viewership and generate income from advertising it is important that social media is a blogger’s top priority. YouTube has now become the second most important search engine and Facebook is the only real competitor to Google in terms of advertising.
This also means getting shadowbanned on Instagram or having bad social media content strategies can compromise the growth of your blog. In addition, this also means allocating more funds to optimizing social media content and marketing.
Getting the funding
To fully scale a blog into a wonderful and profitable business, you’re going to need multiple revenue streams. Maybe you want to start your own brick and mortar shop or aim to build out new blogs as your brand grows. In any case, you’re going to need funding. In the heavy competition of the influencer industry, many bloggers are resorting to expanding their business launching clothing lines, offering marketing services, and launching influencer marketing agencies of their own.
If you want to launch blogging as a business and don’t have start up money, there are essentially two ways you can fund your leap towards being a successful entrepreneur or content creator:
Institutional investors and getting a loan
Venture capitalists (VC) are funding startup influencers to help them scale their businesses. Popular New York fashion blog WeWoreWhat, for example, got VC funding for their swim collection and subsequent tech startup. But if you don’t have that much traction yet, you can also opt for loans to help with your growth.
It is always best to research and find a localized loan that is best suited for growing your business. In California, for instance, there is a lot more funding available for creative projects due to the entertainment business being LA’s biggest industry. Each state will also have different repayment options that will suit every type of borrower. LoanMart notes how the state of Ohio allows local title loan borrowers to receive lower payments depending on their financial situation. As a blogger’s business grows, they will want to ensure that there is a steady cash flow and not have to worry about repaying a certain amount each month. This is especially useful for bloggers due to the freelance nature of the job.
Work to support yourself
If you aren’t ready to take out a loan to start your small business, let’s hope you’re type A with a lot of extra energy. It is possible to start a blog without a great deal of investment, but it can be challenging. If you’re doing it for fun, that’s ok! Day in my dreams is a luxury fashion blog that (while it does generate a substantial income), is not the only source of revenue.
There are many articles on this site that provide tips and tricks for managing a blogging business while balancing a full time career. It is possible. Many bloggers try to launch their channels while managing full time careers. However, you can expect late nights, working weekends, and not a lot of free time for much else.
Blogging is a business. If you want it to start generating profits that can support your lifestyle as a primary income in 6-12 months, working part time probably won’t be enough to cut it in the more aggressive, competitive market of 2020. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If blogging is a hobby you want to try out for fun, burn the candle on both ends! There’s always time to pursue passion.
Like any profession, being a successful blogger takes a lot of hard work and a sizable investment to move forward. But as this article shows there is a long way to go from posting a few articles and videos to funding a successful online business and making it profitable. Whether you decide to start slow or dive in full speed to invest in yourself as a business owner, may you succeed!