The first year that I started Loud Mouth Brown Girl, I wrote a few articles long lost to the internet world, for other websites for free. and I didn’t mind that because I wasn’t worried. I knew that LMBG was going to meet something one day to more people than just myself, and I was willing to do whatever I could to get my name and voice out there.
Unfortunately just because you’re a content creator, or because you decide you want to be a content creator, that doesn’t mean that an audience that trusts you is going to unfold from nowhere. You have to build up your content library and you have to focus on really devoting yourself to the craft that is creating content.
In year 1, the AVERAGE Content Creator Will Make a WHOPPING total of $0.00 And SPEND anywhere between $350-$1500 Promoting their own brand.
Unfortunately, not all of us are born famous with people building our content library for us at the beginning of our lives on this planet. It takes a lot of work to build a relationship both with your audience and with your brand. No one starts a blog – and I mean this seriously – NO ONE, starts a blog knowing precisely what they are going to talk about right from the start.
Every single one of us has at some point written the words “I don’t know what this is going to be about, but here we go,” or some variation of the aforementioned sentence.
We build our content slowly, and once we’re done building up our content we have to go out there and find our audience. Maybe if we’re lucky we’re successful from the very start and people start following us on social media and start buying our products right away. But unfortunately, that’s not how it really works.
Unfortunately, Years 2-3 Are NOT Going to be MUCH better. You’ll spend money on promotions, on software, and on programs to help you get your voice out there, but people are probably still not buying into you…YET!
I didn’t make a dime in year two of Loud Mouth Brown Girl, and I spent about $1000 making love letters and designing my LMBG Faerie costume that I delivered the letters into Pride events across the lower mainland. This cost me money in supplies, as well as time and travel, but it was one of the best years of my life because I felt like I was finally saying all the things that I’d been holding back for years.
The truth is that between years 1-3 you really shouldn’t be “expecting” to make much money unless you have a lot of money to spend in promoting yourself, and honestly, that money can be spent in a lot better ways during this time. Right now your focus should be on BUILDING the brand, not promoting it.
The truth is that to build a really trustworthy brand you need to keep saying the same thing over and over again for years to get people to buy into you, but more than that you also have to do the work to prove that what you’re saying is valid and honest.
The truth is that Content Creators are a dime a dozen, they come and they go. People spend years building up their content library, building up their blog, and then they stall or life moves on and they find that they no longer need to go further than they do, and so while their back is turned someone turns around and takes their place. This happens every hour of the day, so between year two and year three, you really have to start deciding what you want to do with your brand.
By year four you should know whether or not you’re just having fun and sharing your stories with the world, or whether you are wanting to take this seriously and be the brand version of yourself forever. I can honestly say that I want to be the Loud Mouth Brown Girl as long as I live.
That means that I had some sort of a plan for what I was going to do this year, none of those things worked out, but that doesn’t mean that the plan is useless, it just means that I have a solid foundation for where I want to take this brand and where I want to go as the LMBG.
By Year 4 You SHOULD be making PLANS to go further. What else can you do with this brand you’ve created? Create a fashion line? Start a podcast? Create a lifestyle brand? What is the next step?
On the dresser in front of me, I have a list of things that I want to do with LMBG, on that list are labels such as “present”, “future,” “focus” “goals” “intentions.” This is what it means to manifest your future, making a list helps you set in stone, so to speak, where you are headed with the brand you are creating. If you don’t have this written down somewhere you can see it every single day, have you really thought about what you’re doing with the content you’re creating? Or are you just doing this as a hobby? Either is fine, but if you’re going to take this seriously, you have to have some kind of a plan that you can go back to, so you can remember your focus.
Year 5 Is a MAJICKAL year. It’s the year that tells people you have committed YOUR time to create YOUR brand, and you are serious about the WORK you’re CURATING into the world.
It was at this stage that I started thinking about the effect of the Loud Mouth Brown Girl voice on the world. Suddenly LMBG wasn’t just about me anymore, it was also about the audience that read what it is that I have to say.
It was also about this stage that I really started thinking about the impact of this website as a brand, and the things that I wanted to say to people.
It was around this part of my journey that I realized I wanted to do more than just bitch about my mental health, and really started to dig back into my advocacy background.
Because I have 18 years’ worth of experience working at the same church, I can speak to those who have issues with mental health, poverty, and even addictions. I did my homework, and I understand the assignment. I know what my audience is looking for because my audience is made up of people who resonate with my work and I know this because they tell me so every day on social media.
Very few people who start blogs, start them with the expectation that they’ll be doing the same thing inf five years that they started doing for free, and getting paid to do it. Not every blogger starts their blog because they want to be famous, some people just want to have their voices heard, but if after five years you’re still at it, you’ve built up enough of a library that you should start thinking about looking for sponsors.
Affiliate marketing is great and everything, people make hundreds of thousands of dollars doing that, but let’s be honest, they make your site ugly. Finding sponsors is difficult, but it’s a lot more fun because they’ll pay you a lot more money than affiliate marketing will, and it allows you some semblance of power over what gets posted on your website.
For the Love of the Universe, Know Your Worth
You and you alone know how much work you’ve put into your website, blog, vlog, or other content that you are creating, and you will find people willing to pay your prices if you look hard enough. They may be few and far between to start, but the more that you keep at it, the more will show their wallets and ask you to let them pay you.
Writers and content creators who take pennies on the dollar piss me off. I know you need the money but if someone can pay you $50 dollars for what they pay me $500 to do, then I’m probably not getting paid. If we all demand the same price, for the same amount of work, we would get paid more.
In your first years accept those pennies, take them, get your name out there, share your experience, learn the ropes, but trust me when I say you could be earning more for the same amount of work.
You can be a hobby blogger, or you can be a serious Content Creator, but you can’t be both. If you’re going to do this, and push for it to be your career, you are going to have to do a lot of work to show others that you’re serious about this, and if you walk into an office or a zoom meeting with your head down being meek and mild, they are absolutely going to take advantage of that, and try to low ball you.
Why would you want to get paid less for three-six hours of work than minimum wage? I hate to tell you this, but in 2022 I earned $1200 so far, that’s barely enough to pay my rent, so you bet your ass that I am going to start demanding more from the companies and if you’re going to come at me with a low ball offer I can promise you you’re wasting my time.
That’s why I put my Services page up, it saves confusion and embarrassment from everyone. I don’t have to tell you no, and you don’t have to risk that I won’t say yes because you already know how much I charge if that’s not factored into your advertising budget, then why are you contacting me?
I hope this helps Content Creators and companies alike get a more clear idea of what we content creators are learning to do. Remember I am not just a Blogger. I am Surrey BC Canada’s First Mixed Race Creole Author, Activist, Ally, Content Creator, Student, and Certified Cannabis Healer.
I have experience, and I am willing to use that experience to massage my audience into hearing you, but you have to be willing to at least try to pay me what I am worth which may or may not be what you’re willing to spend. I have the power, but the ball is in your court.
Joseph Godwin posted an article with a bunch of pitch opportunities where you can earn up to $1000 per article or essay. You can check it out here.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall