5 Charlotteans give up their secrets to taking blogging from a hobby into a career

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Courtesy of Melissa Chanel

There are 350 millions blogs in the world, according to Blogging.org, and trends show this number is only getting higher. If you are one of the many aspiring bloggers or have one you want to take to the next level, don’t let this number discourage you. Yes, there’s plenty of competition, but success is less about the competition and more about you.

We asked 5 Charlotteans who have turned a creative passion into a full-time (or almost full-time) blogging gig to give us all of their secrets:

[Related: The future is freelance: 4 things to know before going out on your own]

(1) Dear November Days

Courtesy of Dear November Days

Back in the summer of 2016, Kristina Williams turned her life as a mom into a blog, Dear November Days. Here she tackles all things motherhood – kids, fitness, fashion, health and home life. Prior to her blog, Williams had an Instagram presence, which helped jumpstart her blogging. Encouragement from friends and family got Williams to take the next step – creating a media kit and marketing the blog. Since taking the leap, she is making a nice supplemental income.

Best tip for a newbie blogger: “If you want to make it a full-time job, you have to act like it’s a job. Make a routine, create a schedule and invest time,” Williams said.

Best strategy to increase blog traffic: Show up and be consistent. Williams has noticed that she always gets more traffic when she’s posting something from the heart rather than a product review.

(2) Just B’n Fit

Courtesy of Just B’N Fit

Launched Just B’n Fit in 2017, Bre Leach has come far really quickly in the blogging world. During her first year, Leach researched and observed other bloggers, and then focused on getting her name out there. Leach uses her blog to guide her readers to take control of their health and show how being fit is fun. In 2018, Novant Health became her first official partnership after two years of blogging. Even though Leach has several profitable partnerships now, she is still not quite ready to claim she’s makes a full-time living from blogging.

What’s your best strategy to get more traffic to your blog?“I’m a visual person, so I love to create videos to attract viewers to my blog,” Leach said. She uses new blog alerts in her Instagram posts and sends out monthly newsletters to her subscribers.

How about a tip for a newbie blogger?“Create a blog that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a different world and you don’t want to leave,” Leach said. “Blogging should be a fun experience for you and the reader. Before you blog, ask yourself, ‘Would I read this? Would I subscribe to this blog?’”

(3) Melissa Chanel

Pictured at top. Graduating from college in 2008 and unable to find a job in her field, Melissa Cantey started her blog in 2011. Melissa Chanel is a one-stop-shop for all things beauty, travel and fashion. According to Cantey, “I have dedicated my blog to providing daily inspiration, sparking thought-provoking discussions and empowering women and girls to live their best lives while loving the skin they’re in.” After six years, Cantey was able to turn her blog into full-time income.

What’s your best strategy to get more traffic to your blog? Treat my followers like family and share my truth.

How about a tip for a newbie blogger? “Just start! Often times, newbies get in their own heads. Share, write, create content that’s true to you and always remember no one can do it like you,” Cantey said.

(4) Peppered in Style

Courtesy of Peppered in Style

After closing her stationery design business, Anna De Leon was looking for a creative outlet, so she started blogging about food. However, her love of fashion was the catalyst that boosted her blog, Peppered in Style. Once she began posting outfits she assembled, the response skyrocketed. De Leon realized she could broaden her blog into a lifestyle one. It took De Leon about three years to generate real revenue through brand sponsorships.

Best tip for a newbie blogger:Find something you’re passionate about, be consistent and be patient. “As with any career, success doesn’t happen overnight,” De Leon said.

Best strategy to increase blog traffic: Use an SEO expert to help bring more traffic, engage on Instagram and maintain a genuine relationship with your followers.

(5) The Dainty Darling

Courtesy of The Dainty Darling

Working in the retail industry, Courtney Inkpen was always around fashion and loved putting together different outfits. Consistently posting on Instagram, Inkpen needed a more tangible place for her followers to purchase her clothing ideas, so she started The Dainty Darling. After starting from scratch, Inkpen has been in the blogging game for 5 years.

Best tip for a newbie blogger: Stay consistent and stick with what your love. According to Inkpen, “It’s challenging to figure out your brand. Once you do, trust your gut and stay on brand.”

Best strategy to increase blog traffic: Post regularly on the blog and social media accounts. For special blog posts, announce to your followers and readers via social media when you’ve published something.

Among the many helpful tips, blogging about your passion and staying consistent were two common themes from many of these bloggers. To take it to the next level, you could consider  enlisting help from a professional marketer. Enter Anna van Erven, marketing strategist from Moonlight Creative Group.

“Writing good content your audience actually wants to read is a must,” van Erven said. When writing a post, ask yourself these questions:

  • What value will your readers get from your blog?
  • Will they learn something interesting?
  • Will they laugh?
  • Will they get a special offer?

According to van Erven, if you simply put real effort into your posts, test what works for your audience and get in front of new audiences, then you are doing it right.

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