Sooo this is a followup post to my Top 5 Ways to Monetize Your Blog post, because while monetizing your blog is great and all, there is a VERYYYY key factor that has to happen before/during/after you start blogging as a biz. It’s innate, and it’s either there or it’s not.
A blog, like anything, has to start somewhere… And that’s with passion. Without passion, you’ve got nothin’. Who wants to read a blog that lacks passion and screams “I don’t even know why I’m doing this in the first place!” ??
No one. That’s the right answer. Zero humans. Nada. Ding ding ding.
I didn’t start my blog with the intentions of turning it into a full-fledged business — heck, I didn’t even start with the intentions of making money! If I had, I probably would have gotten frustrated and walked away, because I wouldn’t have been in it for the right reasons.
Wanna know why I really started my blog?
Because I absolutely love to write, I have a crazy huge passion for photographing my food/lifestyle/trips/workouts/friends/family (I literally have been doing it since the Myspace and Buddy Profile days — I was that girl who changed her Myspace profile picture every single day and wrote a “bulletin” about why each new pic was important to me),
I am obsessed with health and wellness and I have a strong need (not desire; need) to share that with others, connecting on social media is something I understand well and thoroughly enjoy, I am “highly sensitive” & express myself best through writing, and because I have something I like to call “creativity ADHD,” and the blogging space seemed like the perfect place to dump it all out… For lack of a better term. 😉
That’s why my most loyal and longterm readers tell me that they love my “brain dump” posts the most — because I come to this blog, and dump the inner workings of my brain. Luckily that often consists of health and wellness related stuff (gotta have a niche, ya know), but it also consists of a lot of other things… From celebrating my best friends’ birthdays to breaking down why I will never have a 9-5 job, I write ALL different types of posts on this blog.
Sometimes I feel like writing lists upon lists, and other times my blog writing journeys with me through marathon trainings, apartment makeovers, my book launch, and whatever I’m currently up to / obsessing over.
That’s why I’d probably go as far to say that what makes a great influencer is someone who lets you into their life, and allows their blog to ebb and flow with their life.
Of course there are different types of bloggers & influencers, and I’m not going to sit here and say that a fashion blogger or a home decor blogger’s job is to tell you about her/his deepest thoughts and musings.
But those of us who fall into the lifestyle category, I believe we have a duty. And that duty is to share our lives authentically, vulnerably, and openly with all of our readers.
If I were just halfway-authentic and held back when life got rough, or if I were ALL about the sponsored posts and making money, would you read my blog?
I mean, if you would, then you rock because you would be dedicated AF and I can appreciate that. But I certainly wouldn’t read someone’s blog who wasn’t letting their authenticity and passion shine through.
That’s why it *kills* me inside when I get an email or a message from a reader telling me that they think I’m doing too many sponsored posts, or that a specific ad didn’t resonate with them.
It kills me because each and every time it happens, I feel misunderstood. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I would never invalidate someone else’s viewpoint — but each time I hear “You’re doing too many ads,” or “You’ve lost the core of what you’re doing,” I want to say back, “…You’re wrong,” or “I don’t think you fully understand this industry.”
Because I know that my passion is alive and thriving. It’s not going to resonate with every single human out there, and that’s okay. But I wake up every morning with an excitement to work, to create and to share. I have to actively try not to post 29839283 photos a day, because ALL I want to do is share and connect.
I don’t want to focus on the negativity too much because I think most of the criticism comes from people who aren’t following me as a whole… Or else they’d see through my Instagram, Snapchat, and this blog that all I do is share, share, share my life!
I feel that I passionately choose each & every partnership that I do for very specific reasons — so that’s that. And a lot of what I do is not partnership-based; it’s SUUUPER in the moment spontaneity.
I post a sh*t ton of spontaneous stuff, to the point where I often feel like my management team and agent think, “Oh god, she’s doing it again… She’s being candid as f, and totally spilling her guts out on the Internet…”
But that’s what you get with me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It might not be the “give them less, and they’ll want more” or “just act cool & let the photos speak for themselves,” mentality I feel like a lot of bloggers & Instagrammers apply, but that’s not who I am. You probably know that by now. 😉
When you follow a blog, you have to understand what’s going on behind the screen: we create content, we attend events to share with our readers, we sometimes stay up at all hours of the night to bring big projects to life, we drop bank on certain areas of our business to make sure it’s all as up to date and user-friendly as possible; and we do it because we want to share with YOU!
So yeah, we do some sponsored posts once in a while. We choose them mindfully, and we curate them so that they fit right in with WHY we started our blogs in the first place… To share our lives, and to share what we authentically love, do, make, eat, and breathe.
My blog evolves with me every day, month and year. I started as a VEGAN FOOD BLOGGER, which I obviously am not anymore, and now I feel a serious pull to share yoga videos + photos, my beachy lifestyle, and long captions + posts that “dump my brain.”
Can you roll with it?
I just had to say it, and I had to follow up because even though I want to help you guys create blogs (if you want to), and make thriving businesses out of them, blogging is SO MUCH MORE THAN sponsored posts, hosting events, and paid advertisements.
Blogging is about sharing your soul. It’s about igniting a spark and a connection with your readers, about putting stuff you care about into the universe, expressing yourself to live life to the fullest and heal past wounds through self-expression & connection, and about spreading good vibes to make the WORLD a better place.
That. Is. What. It’s. About.
Not about making money.
Money is an added bonus, because then you can actually live and sustain your life WHILE doing what you love. But there’s nothing wrong with in-between jobs or blogging on the side — nothing at all. Because if monetizing your blog is going to mess with your passion & reasons for starting it, then you don’t want to do it in the first place.
Blog because it makes you happy. Because you love it. Because your readers are into it. And if they’re not, hook them back in by actually being yourself.