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The Value of Micro and Nano Influencers + Advice from 12 Influencers In The Space

Wondering if it's possible to make it as a blogger or influencer in such a saturated market? Finding success in the blogging industry these days is possible, here is the best advice from 12 successful nano and micro influencers and bloggers from every niche!

 

“With the influencer marketing industry set to reach $10 billion by 2020, we are beginning to see how powerful social media influencers are. Influencer marketing is one of the most successful ways for brands to reach a relevant audience and increase sales and engagement.”- Medium Marketing

First things first. What are micro and nano influencers? Different sites assign different values but you’ll get the idea. Social media influencers are split up into 4 different tiers by size: mega, macro, micro, and nano. The graph below shows an alternative adding a 5th tier.

Tiers of Influencers (According to Medium Advertising):

Mega: 1M+

Macro: 100,000 – 1M

Micro: 10,000 – 100,000

Nano: (everyday consumers) less than 10,000

via Bridgestellar Media

 

Everyone always wants to know “how many followers do I have to have to xyz”. It’s a tired question that in a way is irrelevant. Let me tell you why…

I came from corporate advertising world so I always relate all advertising questions back to that. Let me break it down for you in an advertising example that might make more sense. For the sake of this example pretend that the super bowl commercials are Mega Influencers, HGTV and MTV are Macro Influencers, and your local channel is Micro and Nano Influencers.

As a brand, there is a benefit to reaching each size audience and gaining brand awareness at each level. Also, not all brands can even afford to advertise at the Super Bowl. Those commercials cost an arm and a leg and are super short. So they don’t even get across their entire brand message. Brands can say a lot more and potentially make a larger impact on a smaller local channel. You can also take into account the conversion rate. You might reach more people advertising at the Super Bowl vs a local channel but you might convert more people and have a higher ROI (return on investment) on a local channel.

For example, let’s say Ford advertises at the Super Bowl. More than likely, they also have ads on HGTV, your local channel, the radio, the internet, banners at your son’s baseball game etc. They don’t just use one approach. They don’t just advertise with Mega Influencers. Going back to my point that you don’t have to be a certain size to work with big brands or any brands at all. You bring value to the table whether you know it or not.

Does that make sense?




So when you start to get down on yourself for your likes, your reach, your size, please remember these things and try to relate yourself to mainstream media and advertising. I did this to show y’all that you don’t have to be the biggest or the best to make income, make a difference, find your niche, or start a blog.

Need more proof? Check out the Influencer Marketing Hub and do their Micro-Influencers vs Celebrities test! @skhammer is my girl. I love her Instagram. Plus, her engagement is amazing as well. To give y’all an idea about why you’re so valuable….

This is one of my favorite tests because they stack you up against Kim Kardashian who doesn’t have the best engagement in my opinion. No judgement, she’s just a celebrity and the bigger you get the lower your engagement rate gets. Ignore the rate because they’re way off, but take note of the media value! That means brands get more bang for their buck advertising with @skhammer than Kim Kardashian according to Influencer Marketing Hub test. Once you build your confidence and are able to speak about media value confidently with understanding you’ll be able to pitch yourself better to brands. 

via Influencer Marketing Hub

 

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I put a call out in my favorite blogging Facebook group for nano and micro bloggers and influencers so I could interview them to gather insight and advice into the space. We’ve categorized them below into Parenting, Travel, Lifestyle, and Food. I asked the tough questions like: Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month? Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

And here is what they said. Check them out below!





Parenting

Bethany Rose from Waves and Lilacs

When did you start blogging?

I have blogged for as long as I can remember, but didn’t take it seriously till 2017.

 

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.

It focuses on motherhood but share quite a bit of travel and marriage, too! I love to write and share what has worked for me as well as the thoughts inside my head. Blogging just came naturally!

 

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

I have tried to niche down but realized I am a mom and a mom encompasses a lot: marriage, cooking, traveling, etc!

 

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular?

My Instagram is currently experiencing heavy growth like I have never seen before! My daughter was born and all of a sudden my photos keep landing on the explore page! Right now I am at 11,000!

 

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

One of my posts from March got picked up by several accounts and then the Daily News! I am most proud of several local events I have been asked to attend and cover.

 

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

Blogging is my personal full time job, but I am also a full-time SAHM and so as a mother FT looks different for me and is what most would consider a part time job.

 

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month?

My blog is an extension of my Instagram currently. Other than a small Amazon affiliate payout each month, money there is very sporadic and has ranged from $50-$400 per gig in the last 2 years.

 

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

I don’t. I think they are pretty different but each can help the other (I just haven’t seen them have significant impacts on the other)

 

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

I don’t have fears or doubts about it. I just have “If’s” “If I had more time…” “If I can just do this then I can do this…” and so on. I have so much to learn.

 

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

My main traffic source is Pinterest. Outside of social media, it is word of mouth…mainly by my mom and husband!

 

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers?

Get a Pinterest course! I wish I had started with this sooner. Also, learn SEO….which I still have to.

 

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

I really see blogging as endless possibilities. I am always watching other people who are doing well to see WHAT they are doing and then see how I can do it in my OWN WAY.

 

Where can we find you?

www.instagram/com/wavesandlilacs www.wavesandlilacs.com

 


Aryn Hinton from Musings on Motherhood

 When did you start blogging?

 I have been blogging since 2014, began monetizing in 2016

 

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.

My blog is “Musings on Motherhood”. I am a beauty junkie, PPD/PPA warrior,breastfeeding, baby wearing, sometimes crunchy, plus size mom on a journey to self love. Here you’ll find my musings on motherhood, favorite things, and tips and tricks to make motherhood just a little bit easier. Oh, and hopefully a little solidarity too. I started because I needed an outlet as a new mom. Writing is therapy for me, and I began sharing with the hope of normalizing all the parts of being a mom.

 

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

Plus Size Motherhood, Beauty and Body Acceptance.

 

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular?

10k Total Reach, 4.2k on Instagram

 

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

The community I have grown is by far my biggest achievement. This year I have been featured in some syndicated publications which has been a huge win. In a year I want to still be writing and connecting. I would love to be reaching even more Moms, have at least 1 long term brand contract, and have a successful “live” show each week on my platforms.

 

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

Part-Time

 

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month?

Yes, I do make a part time income. I’m on track to make 5 figures this year. 

 

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

I used to, but I am learning that it is not as important as it seems.

 

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

I had no clue about anything, other than knowing I wanted to write. My biggest fear was that no one would click/read or relate to my content.

 

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

Social Media and Word of Mouth. Facebook is my main traffic source right now.

 

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers?

That consistent, quality content is more important than anything. Keep writing and sharing, even if you think no one sees it.

 

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

Reassess your motivation. If numbers alone are motivating your work, there’s a good chance you won’t be successful. Cultivate an engaged community of like minded people, write for them, give them value and the rest will come.

 

Where can we find you? 

Instagram: @arynhinton, Facebook: @musingsonmotherhood, Blog: www.motherhoodmusing.com)





Stephanie & Eliza from Momstrosity

When did you start blogging?

We started our blog a little over a year ago. We are best friends and next door neighbors who “do life together.”  We always say that we are sisterwives, wihout the sex stuff.  Our blog is meant to share our stories about the importance of community and leaning into each other because life is hard. We write a lot about foster care and adoption, as well as general parenting, friendship, marriage and life issues.

 

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular? 

We have 23k followers on Facebook, but have had a slower start on instagram, where we have 5,700 followers. 

 

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

We had a lot of media attention from the beginning. We had several stories and posts go viral, and we have been shared on Today, Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, and People Magazine. BUT, the thing that we are most proud of is the messages we receive from families who are opening their home to foster care or are starting the adoption process after being inspired from our blog. 

 

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time? 

We are both full-time bloggers. Our blog is profitable, but our deals and sponsorships are sporadic. We have put most of the money we have made back into the business.

 

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

I don’t think so, but I think it is another avenue to drive blog traffic. We have heard that you want to hang out on the social media platform your audience is on. For us, that has always been Facebook, but the more time we spend on instagram the more we find our people over there too. 

 

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

We were careful to set boundaries and guidelines for how the blog would run. Our number one concern was protecting our relationships- with each other, our children, and our families. 

 

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

Tailwind, Pinterest, Facebook, and our email list

 

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers? 

Just start!  We both dreamed and planned for years before we finally just hit publish, It will never be perfect, or less scary- so just get started! Lean in to what makes you different. Find your niche and build your community from there. 

 

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

It is so easy to compare numbers, but there is so much more value in what you can’t see. Email lists come to mind as a solid way to guarantee your content will reach your audience, but it isn’t fun or flashy. Work hard, and remember “likes” and “followers” don’t pay the bills.

 

Where can we find you? 

www.momstrosity.co

www.instagram.com/momstrosityco

www.facebook.com/momstrosityco 





Codi Lynn from Creative Wife and Joyful Worker

When did you start blogging?

It’s been five and a half years now since I first started.

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.

I started blogging when my daughter was six months old and I was looking for a creative outlet and something for me to focus on. It’s been so great for me to connect with other like minded mothers and creatives, build friendships for myself and our kids. I wanted space on the internet where I could share family photos and trips and make sure that I would still own the content after (something more than social media).

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

Motherhood Lifestyle. I do a lot of family travel and style but everything always relates back to motherhood and life as a mom.

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular? 

Currently have 25.7 K followers on Instagram.

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

I can’t even believe some of the opportunities that I have come since starting to blog, this year in particular has checked off some major goals off my list. I started it as a hobby (and as said above, somewhere to share and own my images), never did I think that it would turn into a job. I’m most proud that I continued to work at it, that when I saw an opportunity to grow as a business I took it and that I am now earning a full time income for blogging and Instagram. The friendships that I have made since starting have been easily the most valuable to me, daily encouraging and walking alongside motherhood with like minded individuals is truly amazing. This year we went on a family trip to Mexico, all expenses paid, which was my very top goal when it comes to blog partnerships. Time to set some new goals.

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

Full time, however, I also do some photographer, content creation (run 2 other business IG feeds) and contributor at a local style magazine.

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month? 

Over the past three years is when I first starting making money. Each year the amount has grown so much more than the year before. Last year I hired a bookkeeper and worked with a photographer off and on. This year I still have my bookkeeper, work with a photographer more regularly and have an assistant. I make a full time income from blogging and accept about 2-3 new partnerships a month. I mainly make money through brand partnerships, I have goals to grow my blogs monthly views and apply to some ad networks and dive into affiliate marketing more.

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

I think that it is a great way to showcase yourself and give a great overview of who you are and what you can offer to brands. Most brand partnerships are started with them complementing my Instagram aesthetic and feel that it aligns with their brand. I know a number of people that just solely use Instagram for their business, though I think that Instagram is great, and yes you can grow and earn money but you do not own the platform. A blog is essential to you brand and is truly where the worth lies.

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

I knew nothing about starting a blog and hardly followed any other bloggers on social media. I knew that I could do it as I have always loved social media and really anything computer related so I decided to dive into google late and night and taught myself everything I needed to know to get started.

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

My blogs top two referrals come from Google Search and Pinterest. Both essential for getting those blog views up, while social media is great to drive traffic, Google and Pinterest will always send exponentially more traffic with little to no work involved after the first initial post going live and shared.

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers? 

Just get started, it’s never going to be perfect. Learn as you go and give yourself grace. There is room for everyone in the blogging world. There really, really is.

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

Honestly, I go back and forth if I even want to grow any bigger. I am so comfortable where I am and with the amount of money that I am making. It really isn’t about the following size at the end of the day. Create good content, connect and engage with your followers and build a connect. That is the most valuable thing overall. When you are loving it, others notice and that is what they are attracted to, not the numbers.

Where can we find you?

Instagram @creativewifeandjoyfulworker Blog creativewifeandjoyfulworker.com


Chelsae Lund from a Lunderful Life

When did you start blogging?

November of 2017

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.

I started my blog for fun. It was right after my daughter was born and I wanted a fun way to share her growth and our adventures with family that didn’t live near by.

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

Motherhood – I focus a lot on family travel

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular? 

9,100

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of?

Where do you aim to be in one year? I have recently got my first few major collabs. For the first time I feel like I could make my blog profitable, which is my long term goal. Another goal I have is to get more travel collabs.

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time? 

Full time

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month? 

September was my first month making money from my blog. Prior to that I was only doing trade collaborations. In September I made $1,250. I would love to keep with this growth. My average deal is around $300 dollars.

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

Not essential, but a big part of success. Many companies want Instagram posts over blogs (that I have come across).

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

Since I started for fun and not to monetize I didn’t know anything about the business and I didn’t have any fears. I didn’t even know you were supposed to edit your photos. I have learned a lot in the two years since I have started and I am continually learning.

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers? 

Research, research, research. Find the best hosting site. Determine what makes your Instagram post stick out compared to others, what is your why? Be true to yourself. I took a lot of “trades” at the beginning to start my collaborations and I wish I wouldn’t have done many of those.

Where can we find you?
A Lunderful Life
Instagram @ A Lunderful Life





Ellen from Young Love Mommy

When did you start blogging?

March 2014

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.

I was a new mom stuck at home with a new baby asking google an insane amount of questions and thought maybe other moms would like a more raw answer to becoming a mom, so I decided to write about my daily nuisances and escapades in motherhood.

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

At first it was strictly related to the day to day of motherhood, now it encompasses much broader spectrum such as affordable fashion, family travel (especially Disney), recipes/restaurants and even local events for the whole family or moms only.

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular?

Currently at 35.6K

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

I didn’t know how BIG this world would turn out to be, I have several things I’m proud of but most importantly is running my own business and ignoring anyone who looked down on my newest endeavor. Now people are impressed.

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

Full-time but I also have a brick and mortar family business that I help out with.

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month?

Yes, the figures are relative since it depends a lot on what I’m willing to do. Blogging is a lot of behind the scenes work and sometimes I’ll step back for a little breather. But generally I try to work with 4-6 brands a month, with rates ranging as low as $500 to $5000. Depends a lot on what kind of work the brand is looking for.

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

For now yes, it’s proven profitable but it is my most stressful social media channel.

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

I didn’t have any, it was a super spur of the moment thing. I knew very little about it and now I wish I could go back and had studied it a bit more and started with a plan in mind.

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

My main traffic source is Pinterest, 2nd is organic traffic.

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers?

I wish I had known how much work it takes to grow a blog – It’s still a struggle everyday. First tip as I mentioned above is study the business first and make a plan, meaning own your blog right off the bat. Purchase your domain, a good host and a blog theme you can stick with for a while. Secondly, don’t over complicate your blog name. Re-branding in the future is a pain in the butt, which is something I’ll be doing in the near future.

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

I wouldn’t know, this is something a lot of us struggle with. There’s always a number we want to strive for and once we reach that, we want more. Work with what you have.

Where can we find you?

 Instagram @Younglovemommy // Young Love Mommy Blog


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Travel

Lena Drevermann from Salut From Paris

When did you start blogging?

I started blogging about 4 years ago.
 

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.

My family planned a sabbatical year to travel the world and the blog aimed to document this trip. I started to write about our plans, how we were financing our trip, what items we plan to pack.. a classical family travel blog. I also wrote about trips we took in the past in order to generate content.
 
However, as there was quite some time before actually leaving on our round the world trip, I run eventually out of topics to write about. That’s when I started to write content about Paris, the city where I live since 14 years.
 

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

Today I am solely writing about Paris. 1.5 years ago I transferred all my Paris content to a new blog www.salutfromparis.com, created a separate Facebook and Instagram page, and started to pin only Paris content.
The aim of Salut from Paris is to help visitors plan their vacation in Paris. I want to share ideas on what they can do in Paris that is not the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, but I am not excluding those main sights neither. I believe it’s important to visit the highlights of Paris , to be a tourist, but also to save some time to look behind the scene and discover the real Parisian life.
 

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular?

Honestly, I am not very strong on Social Media. I have around 300 followers on Facebook and 200 on Instagram. From my experience, location-specific accounts are not necessary traffic and conversion generating. At least not for me. It’s nice to watch pretty pictures and to get an impression of a destination, but that’s about it. I think Instagram and Facebook are great for a community-based niche where brand loyalty plays a role, but I am a destination travel guide. The click-through from the image on Instagram to my affiliate link is just too far as that it matters in terms of traffic or income generation.
 

What have been your major achievements so far? 

I reached 25k page views just this months and have many keywords that are in the top 3 places on google.
 

What are you most proud of? 

I am proud of the positive feedback I am receiving and to know that my content really helps people to spend a great time in Paris. I especially love that I am getting this feedback not only from tourists, but also from locals that are discovering new places thanks to my blog.
 

Where do you aim to be in one year?

I aim to double my income in order to get closer to my goal of making Salut from Paris my main income source.
 

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

I am blogging part-time. I am having a corporate 9 to 5 job.
 

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month?

I make money from my blog through affiliation with tours, hotels, and ads. However, for now, it is just a part-time income, that does help to support my family but it’s not enough as a stand-alone income source.
 

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

No, rather the opposite, at least for new travel bloggers. Many are spending too much time creating Instagram content for an already saturated market instead of focusing on SEO and Pinterest. If the Instagram account has not already a following of more than 10k, it’s very difficult to generate conversion, as there is no way to link to your affiliation other than in the profile section. As a travel blogger, the chances are low that your audience needs exactly what you provide at this exact moment. That’s the strong point of SEO and Pinterest – people are searching for your content and if your content is good, it’s all they need.
 

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

As my blog Salut from Paris was my second blog, I already knew a lot about SEO and Pinterest and it was the chance to set up everything correctly right from the beginning. But of course I was scared – and still, am – that I won’t stick out enough. Paris is a very competitive niche.
 
 

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

My main traffic source is Pinterest and organic traffic through SEO. I am also active on Reddit to promote my content and answer question about Paris. Reddit is as well a good source to get blog ideas as many questions are coming up again and again and that proofs that there is maybe a good blog post missing 🙂
 
 

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers?

When starting my first blog, I wish I’d known about affiliate marketing and SEO. It would have saved me so much time. My advice to new bloggers is though, not to create your blog in a rush. I knew nothing about blogging and just created a blog with the first URL that came to my mind and started writing up things. However, if you want to get serious with blogging, google it first. Start with SEO optimized articles right away, pick your URL according to your niche and know about affiliate marketing.
 

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

Focus on what works. Maybe you don’t have many Instagram followers, but a good Facebook audience? Focus on that. Is your blog getting organic traffic from google? Focus on that! Don’t chase numbers that might lead to nothing but put your efforts on things that already are going good. At the end of the day, it matters what converts and makes you earn money not how many followers you have on Instagram.
 

Where can we find you? Link your blog and social channels below using a hyperlink. (example: Instagram @Verbalgoldblog // Verbal Gold Blog)

Instagram @salut_from_paris

Blog: www.salutfromparis.com


Kyle from Via Travelers

When did you start blogging?

I only started blogging two years ago. I always thought it was a just a thing people did as a hobby. I finally gave it a shot because I wanted to open a near door to potential passive income. I also wanted to learn and meet new people in completely different world from my day job.

 

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

I actually have multiple blogs now. The blog that I love the most right now is my travel blog. Blogging is a great way to learn, make money and create relationships on your own terms. You can blog from anywhere at any time. There are plenty of pros and cons of blogging. The most important thing for me was that there are definitely more pros than cons.

 

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

My biggest achievement was selling my first site for multiple six-figures after only working on the site for a year and a half. Now, I have several new projects that are in new niches and I’m having a lot of fun figuring out the best path forward for all these sites.

 

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

I only blog part-time.

 

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

Not at all. In fact, I’m a huge Instagram hater. Especially if you are just starting out. Their algorithm is horrible for people with no engagement or just starting out. If you are just starting a blog, you should think about where you can get the highest return on your time. Instagram simply isn’t it. For every hour I can spend building my blog, I prefer to focus on things that will give me maximum output and growth.

For me, I’ve seen great results with SEO and email list building. Once you build traffic and an email list, you can steer your audience in a lot of directions, which might mean promoting your Instagram page within your list. Conversely, if you get to the stage of constant profitability, you can outsource someone to manage your social media accounts like Instagram.

 

Where can we find you?

You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Visit my blog ViaTravelers.com to follow our journeys.





Geoff Matthews from Green Active Family

When did you start blogging?
We started blogging in 2012 before we embarked on a South American backpacking trip. It was more or less a way to keep family and friends updated from the road.

 

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.
Again, it was a nice and cool way to share thoughts and nice photos from the places we visited, much better than email and easily shareable. But it was mostly for friends and family at that time.

 

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?
General travel. No real specific niche, especially at the start. As we spent more and more time in Europe, it started to take a natural turn to be more Europe centric. And because we like cities, it was more urban focussed. When our daughter was born, we decided to sell our travel blog, because it had grown a bit out of our control. We love new shiny objects, and maintaining and reoptimizing old content just isn’t our bag anymore. Now we’ve started a new site called greenactivefamily.com where we focus on organic nursery products, and green living.

 

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular?

When we sold our travel blog in June/July 2019 we had ~8000 instagram followers.

 

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

I think firstly, in general, just growing a hobby blog into a real business that we’re proud of would be it. We achieved a real living, where we could fund our own travels, and buy things, hire writers and other freelancers, and enjoy it without having to scramble to find clients to pay for it. There were a few times my wife and I looked at each other and said, “wow..we’re a real business!”

We have more of a two year plan rather than one. With the money we got from selling, we are going to fund our new site, and also buy an investment property back home in Canada. The plan will be to sell this current site in that time, and purchase another investment property, rinse and repeat. The goal is to build up a ‘net worth’ by trading digital real estate for physical real estate.

 

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

We are full time.

 

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month?

Our business model is slightly different from many in the travel space. We recognized through data collection and research that our audience was finding our content at the end of the cycle. Meaning they’ve already chosen their destination, so we were not in the influencer game. With this, we turned to affiliate marketing and earned a comfortable six figure income from our travel blog. We focussed on neighborhood guides, with multiple hotel suggestions for each neighborhood. We supported those with relevant hyperfocused supporting content – in depth neighborhood overviews, recommended tours, etc. So it was an affiliate site.

Knowledge of our audience behavior completely changed our focus. We worried less about Instagram, and put our efforts into content/SEO. This way, we funded our own travel so we spent zero time pitching destinations, and had zero deliverables (well, only to our own editorial calendar).

We had to go ‘all in’ on it though, and write only for the business, as we became much less a personal blog and more a resource. It does kind of take the fun out of it, and it’s hard at first to get used to earning an income from multiple streams. No one hotel stay, or tour, by itself earns much, so it became very much a ‘numbers game.’ More of everything.

 

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

Nope. Not at all. It just takes an internal look at what business model will work best for you. If Instagram isn’t your thing, don’t force it. Look at where your traffic does come from and look at the kinds of posts they are reading. Spend your time and energy there.

 

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

There were many fears…still are. They just change over time. It always starts with “is this all wasted time?” and “why would anyone read what I write?” and morphs into “will I get caught in the next Google algo update?” Neither of us knew anything about blogging or where money would come from when we started.

 

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

There are a few great ways. Being a guest on podcasts are great. Or, I know some colleagues who would ask destinations (if they were on a press trip) to get in front of local media (breakfast show/radio/newspaper, etc) to promote their brand. Mailing lists are another great way to promote your blog. If you stop thinking in terms of ‘how many’ and think more about the ‘who’ when it comes to mailing lists, there is a good chance of success. Take the time to create (or better yet…outsource) a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletter and you might just be surprised.

Our main traffic source has always been organic search traffic. We tried everything to grow our socials but it just wasn’t for us. We only have so many hours to work, so we dedicate those hours to the things that yield the best results for us. Of course, there are times when we needed to make a change, or try something with the intention of leveling up the business, but for the most part, we doubled down on what worked.

 

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers?

Many things, but if I had to pick two they’d be…outsource early and embrace your management role,
and follow the research.

To expand a bit on both those points, we waited way too long to start outsourcing. We tried to do everything ourselves. We were watching the money in our bank account and not considering the return. But there’s more to it than that! Standard operating procedures need to be written every time you do something, so when you outsource, you can hand over a google doc to the VA with…how you edit your videos, or templates for writing posts, etc. Someone once told me that every working day you should either be building, adding to, or editing an SOP, or you’ll pay for it later. And we have paid dearly until we received this advice. Time is valuable, and like money, you have to spend your time where it makes you more time. Outsourcing is the way to do it, but make sure you have a clear
job description for whoever you hire, and give them test jobs, etc. Take the time to make the right
hire, it will be worth the effort.

And to the second point, follow the research to make sure you are writing about what people are actually searching for. Furthermore, posts that use ‘buying’ keywords like best, review, or tour, or where to stay in x, are things that will drive traffic that has a high probability of converting, Many of our first posts were just about things we did, or things we thought people would read about, without doing any research. Again, with limited time, if there is no search volume, and the post doesn’t answer a question, is it worth writing?

 

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

Do you want a following, or do you want to make a living? You are an entrepreneur…a business person. Consider a business model that works for you, and commit to it. Do you want to be an influencer? Affiliate marketer? Sell digital products like courses or books? Be a resource site with ad revenue?

Many bloggers, especially new ones, put too much stock into what other bloggers think, and start producing content with other bloggers in mind. But, other bloggers are not your audience. Choose an avatar of what your ideal reader looks like, and write to them every time you tap the keys. Do your keyword research, get familiar with white hat link building, and traffic will follow! What you do with that traffic is up to you!

 

Where can we find you?

www.greenactivefamily.com





Food

Jenna Urben from The Urben Life

When did you start blogging?

I started The Urben Life in June 2016!

 

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.

I have several food allergies and intolerances. I decided to start blogging after being asked repeatedly what I eat in a day. I started by sharing daily recipes and tips for traveling with food allergies.

 

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

Over the years, I’ve focused on sharing allergy-friendly recipes that are quick, easy, and will please the entire family! In addition to food, I share travel guides.

 

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular?

This past month, my blog had 12K+ pageviews and my current Instagram following is just under 4K!

 

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

I love watching our community grow! Each month, my page views increase, my social count rises, and my private Facebook group gains new members. I am very proud of the community I’ve cultivated and feel a great sense of pride when I receive feedback from my audience or even better, photos of my recipes. I hope to continue growing each year and serve as a trusted resource among the allergy-friendly community.

 

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

My background is in marketing! In addition to blogging, I enjoy working with small businesses to help grow their online presence.

 

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month?

I started earning money during year two of blogging. I thought it was very important to gain the trust of my audience and get on a steady posting schedule before monetizing. I try to space out partnerships as much as possible. I aim not to post more than 2-3 per month.

 

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

Absolutely not! Instagram is great for finding inspiration and connecting with others, but I believe that owning your own blog is essential to finding success in blogging.

 

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

When I first started blogging, I was afraid of what my friends and family would think. In the beginning, I approached my blog as more as a hobby rather than a business. Once I had the mindset switch, I was proud to share about what I was posting and working on!

 

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

My main traffic sources are social and organic search. For my blog, sharing on Pinterest and Facebook are incredibly helpful. However, it all starts with creating relevant and helpful content! Focusing on sharing useful content and incorporating strong keywords is key. Sending out a weekly newsletter is also a great way to build a community and share new and forgotten blog posts.

 

Is there anything you wish you know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers?

My two major tips for new bloggers is to first, just start! If you want to start a blog, create a blog and start posting. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you can always go back and edit. Just remember, we all started somewhere. Which leads me to my second tip, don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Keep at it, create content consistently, and connect with your audience.

 

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

I would honestly encourage them to try not to think about their following size. If you’re really set on numbers, figure out your engagement rate and focus on making that the best it can be. When I’m feeling a little discouraged, I think back on past partnerships I’ve been part of. My very first brand collaboration was for 2 blog posts with social shares for $300 each. At that time, I had under 5K monthly blog pageviews and under 2K Instagram followers. Find your niche, figure out what they need help with, and provide helpful resources! You don’t need 10K, 100K, or 1M to be “a real blogger” or to work with brands.

 

Where can we find you? 

The Urben Life Blog // Instagram @theurbenlife // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Dairy-Free & Egg-Free Recipes Group





Lifestyle

Hannah from Honey & Betts

When did you start blogging?

5 years ago.

 

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.

I started Honey & Betts with my younger sister, who was interested in modelling. I love photography and computers so I was able to exercise my creativity with creating photoshoots with her to get her more experience in front of the camera. After a couple months she found keeping up a blog was too much work, and I decided to keep pursuing it. I was a new mom and morphed our blog into a lifestyle blog versus the original fashion blog it started as.

 

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

I am a Canadian lifestyle blogger that specializes in motherhood. I cover style, beauty products, parenting hacks, family travel, and local businesses.

 

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular?

12 000+ on Instagram

 

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

I am most proud of partnering with a national brand that flew me to Toronto to meet their team. Or being in a Pull-Ups video shoot with my toddler, it was a fun experience.

 

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

I am part-time

 

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size? Average number of deals a month?

I do make money from my blog. Majority from sponsored content, and a small sliver from affiliate links. On average I make $1000 a month, and then much more in Q4. I do 1-2 deals a month, I also have a few year long contracts.

 

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

It depends. I think Instagram is it’s own type of blogging. I recently did a poll with my Instagram followers and a staggering majority do not read my blog. While most of my referrals for my blog come from organic searches or Pinterest. 

 

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

My biggest fear was that someone would actually read my blog! I did not know much about the business, it took me 4 years to educate myself on how to make my blog posts the best they can be. 

 

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

Pinterest.

 

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers?

I highly recommend looking at your blog as an investment in the beginning, and keep learning about how to make your blog better. My first tip is to take a SEO workshop. And my second tip is to always shoot your photos in RAW.

 

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

Unfortunately, it’s a different game now on Instagram. I haven’t grown at all over the past year, I know bloggers with 25 000+ followers who also have not grown in the past year either. But with this chaos of no chronological feeds it has forced me to invest time into my other social media channels. Like I said, Pinterest is my #1 referral for my blog but I would not have achieved that if I didn’t change my focus. 

 

Where can we find you?

Instagram @HoneyAndBetts,  Blog – Honey & Betts





Justine from It’s Always Sunny in June

When did you start blogging?

I started blogging July 2016.

 

Tell us a little bit about your blog and the reason you started it.

It’s Always Sunny in June is a lifestyle blog – we’re a military family so we’re traveling and moving often. Right now we’re temporarily in South East Asia and will be moving back to The States sometime next year. It started because I was one of the first people in my friend group to have kids. A lot of my friends had kids after we moved away. They would ask me for advice but because of time zones, I was asleep and couldn’t answer right away. So I started blogging to give tips to my friends and to keep them updated with our life and how the kids are doing.

 

What do you blog about? Do you have a specific niche?

I write about traveling with young kids, motherhood, sustainable fashion/living, military life, I share solo parenting hacks, solo traveling hacks, and stuff about parenting. I really don’t have a specific niche because it’s a healthy mix of parents and non-parents. Maybe, I would say I fit the Millennial Niche?

 

What is your current following? On Instagram in particular?

On Instagram I have about 3,960 followers but I literally grow and shrink every hour.

 

What have been your major achievements so far? What are you most proud of? Where do you aim to be in one year?

I started working with some sustainable companies that I’ve been a fan of for a while. I’m most proud of making changes to my brand to really highlight more sustainable living. In one year I hope to help change the narrative for my followers to only buy what they need, reuse and repair as much as possible, to give life to their old clothes, and to opt for eco-friendly purchases rather than fast fashion.

 

Are you a full-time blogger or part-time?

I’m blogging part time right now but plan on making it a full time commitment again when I move back to the states.

 

Are you currently making money from your blog? How? If so, do you mind sharing how much on average? If not, is it full-time income or part-time income? or list the figures (five figures, six figures etc.) Average deal size, average number of deals a month?

Moving overseas was great for the family but terrible for business! A lot of the companies I worked with are US based. I land about two to three deals a month, which is not *terrible* but a lot less than what I’m used to.

 

Do you think Instagram is essential to find success in blogging?

I think so because a lot of brands want direct engagement with people and using Instagram as a platform is one of the easiest ways to get that kind of engagement! Not everyone wants to comment on your blog post. I like using Instagram kind of like a snapshot to my actual blog. Some people don’t have the time to go to my site and read an entire blog post, but they can quickly go to my Instagram and get the gist of my message. They can screenshot and save. Instagram complements blogging and makes it a little bit more convenient.

 

What were your fears/doubts when starting a blog? Did you know anything about the business?

My initial (and current!) fear is that no one is reading anything I write. That I am creating things that don’t resonate with people. Moreover, I am creating things that I’m proud of but other people think is totally ugly. I had no clue about the business what so ever.

 

What are other ways to promote your blog aside from social media? What is your main traffic source?

My main traffic source is Instagram/Facebook and my email list. It is possible to promote your blog WITHOUT social media with an excellent email list, good content that people want to come back and read, amazing SEO, linking up with other bloggers by collaborating and sharing each other on your website.

 

Is there anything you wish you’d know when you first started blogging? What are your two major tips for new bloggers?

I wish I invested in myself more, by researching and/or signing up for e-courses for blogging or social media marketing. I would’ve saved a lot of time and frustration!

Two major tips are:

1. Get office hours. If you work from home, set specific hours for yourself to “go to work”. You are much more productive in that hour and a half you set aside for yourself rather than writing when you can fit it in (i.e. when the kids sleep).

2. Turn off notifications on your phone for your email/social media. This job can easily consume you. Make sure to make time for your real life family and friends!

 

How would you motivate other bloggers that are upset about their following size?

Your following size does not define your quality of work. A person can have 500k on IG and produce terrible content. While I am nano with a finicky relationship with static Instagram posts, my Instagram stories are highly engaged with about 10% of my followers watching, replying, reacting, and participating! I have gotten paid for having a highly engaged audience via stories. Brands are looking at numbers, yes. But they are also looking at you to see if you’re a good fit for them and the kind of content you produce and THAT’S what you need to focus on! Not following size.

Where can we find you?

Instagram @_sunnyinjune // Website: It’s Always Sunny in June


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