This post is designed specifically for Bloggers who want, and need, to think outside the box. This is not intended for Hobby Bloggers, largely because the approach is completely different.
Okay before we get into branding your blog, let’s talk about the difference between a Hobby Blogger, and a Full time Content Producer/Creator.
Hobby blogging is just that. It’s a thing you do on occasion, when you just want to create a place to store your thoughts, and share your experiences with the world. It’s a great habit to get into for those who are isolated, or who are creative spirits who need an outlet, without putting themselves on camera once a week or more.
Hobby blogging allows you to connect to others, share your passion of writing and creating, without having to focus on the “job” part of the blogging. It’s a great tool, and I highly recommend that everyone take up hobby blogging at the very least, to get their own stories on the record.
Full time Content Producer/Creator
A full time Content Producer spends at least thirty hours a week working on their blog, this time can and often is spent doing things like:
- Researching topics to write about
- researching how to refine their blog platforms
- Promoting their stuff through various social media apps
- Trying or finding ways to raise funds so they can turn their hobby into their full time job
- Connecting with other bloggers or writers to create a network of support from around the world.
If you’re doing this full time, it is and I cannot stress this enough W.O.R.K. It’s a job, but here’s the rub, just because YOU treat it as a job, doesn’t mean there is a single person in the world other than you, who is going to look at the work you create, and think that it holds value.
There are a lot of issues that come into play when you are trying to turn your blog into a career:
- What color is your skin? Don’t believe me? Women of color who blog are five times LESS likely to get local press to pay attention to their work than white women. That’s just a fact. Watch your local news for six months and count the number of women of color – specifically – who are writers, artists, and creators, in comparison to their white counterparts. The numbers are definitely depressing.
- How many hours a week can you devote to your blogging career realistically? I’m lucky that I can spend as much time as I want on this website and my upcoming one, but that’s only because a) I’m on disability due to severe mental health issues and b) I am still learning how to make my time on this blog matter.
- What topics are you writing about? Is your focus on really reaching your audience, or is it on making money? While you can absolutely do both, and I know this because it’s been done, you’re really going to have to think about how much money you can put into marketing your blog, as well as where and how you can replace those funds.
You also need to seriously think about Affiliate marketing. These days companies and brands are not out there just putting ads on a website, they’re asking you to hand over your entire platform, and if you don’t have:
And huge numbers of followers on all those accounts, the likelihood of you being overly successful is going to be difficult. I’ve been working on this website for four years, coming on five, and every penny I’ve earned so far has gone to charity. Not to mention that one joke taken the wrong way on Twitter took my 2k+ follower count went to less than 300 people really quick, which cut me off from a medium size audience that it could take me years to rebuild.
When starting a blog the first question you absolutely need to ask yourself, the only question you need to ask yourself is “how much time do I want to devote to creating this space?” The second question has to be “what am I going to write about?”
There are a variety of topics that I cover on this site:
- Mental health
- Life after trauma
- Past, Present, and Future, of LMBG
And I am now finally starting to learn how to refine this blog. It’s never going to be about just one topic, because I am not a one dimensional person, and all of the topics included on this site, are topics that matter to me a lot, however as it grows and evolves, it’s definitely going to need to have a more business minded focus, that allows me to earn a living wage, while still producing great content.
Yes, you could hire a marketing firm and have an award winning blog in months, or even a couple of years. However, do you want a brand, or do you want a blog, or do you want both?
Loud Mouth Brown Girl is a Blogging Brand. Which means that eventually the umbrella that is Loud Mouth Brown Girl is going to evolve into a company that provides goods and services for actual clients. Until then it is the foundation for my future dreams coming true.
If you want to market your brand you can focus on becoming internet famous, or you can reach out to your community and participate in events that allow you to promote your blog website, in a way that let’s people here at home know where you are.
I’ve been asked if I’d consider moving to Vancouver, and yes I would, in five to ten years. I need, very much, to make sure that LMBG is known first here in Surrey, because I am the -only- person talking about life in Surrey, and the issues that come with being a woman of color in Surrey, the way that I do.
Yes there is Miss Six Oh Four, and Gangsters Out, but neither of them are talking about life as a woman of color. THAT is what makes me different, and that’s why women of color give me a nod when they see me as I walk down the street. Not because I speak for others, but because I feel safe and confident enough to speak for myself.
Too many women, specifically Brown women (read Indian and Black) do NOT speak out about life in Surrey, or anywhere for that matter, because cultural tradition tells them that they will not be safe if they speak out. Too often women of color who speak out are ostracized by family, friends, and community for speaking out, I am no different.
I continue to speak out using this brand, because I desperately want to know and to feel that I am not alone. If you don’t know your purpose behind your message, why are you doing it?
Happy Blogging Sisters,
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall