Let me start by saying this: Yes, you can make money from blogging but today I’ll share with you about the opposite side. When you start a blog, you don’t always have everything figured out so you assume the way things work. That way for me was paying for new clothes and hiring a professional photographer every month. I was putting myself into debt instead of making money from the blog. Here are the dos and don‘ts if you’re thinking about entering the blogging world or want to do it without sacrificing your credit card:
Don’t buy new clothes every week/month
Oh, boy! That’s a tough one to resist. If you’re like me, a compulsive buyer, you know the struggle. I think we need new clothes every season or every month or so but as a blogger, it’s a different story. We post outfits post on Instagram or on our blog almost every day. That’s a lot of clothes, people! Every month, I went shopping and bought clothes specifically for my next blog photo shoot. So, every month, I was putting a huge amount of money on clothes, shoes, accessories just for the sake of taking pictures and posting them on Instagram and my blog. And that’s not the way you save for a house!
Tips: Since the damage I caused on my credit card, I try to reuse clothes and shoes in my looks. I buy a couple of pieces here and there but I don’t go on a huge shopping spree every month like I used to do. I tell myself that a majority of my audience are not buying clothes on the reg like a blogger and it’s more relatable to see some clothes more than a few times in my posts. One, it’s realistic and two, It’s better for the credit card!
The buy and return method
That’s something I’m not comfortable with but I know a lot of bloggers do. They order a bunch of clothes online and they don’t remove the tags, they simply hide them and return them all after they took pictures. It’s smart, but I never got myself to do it. I feel like it’s not genuine. When I post a picture of my looks on Instagram, it’s always clothes I own unless it’s a collaboration like an exchange of service (promoting a small boutique for example, you borrow the clothes for the day). But I understand why some bloggers do it cause otherwise they would be the ones writing this post!
Sell your clothes
With a walk in full of clothes and no more places to fit my new clothes from all the shopping I did, came the realization I should sell my clothes. Especially the ones I only wore once or twice. It’s a waste of money (and space!)and someone else could wear them instead of being on a hanger in my closet.
Tips: Use letgo, Depop or Poshmark to sell your clothes.
Ask for collaborations
If you’re a fan of a brand and always buy from that brand, why not asking them to collaborate? It’s a win-win situation. You get to promote the brand you love while you get the clothes for free. That way you’re not spending too much to get your business going.
You don’t need to hire professionnals to get good quality content
We all want good quality pictures for Instagram and using a professional camera for me is a must! Some uses only their iPhone, and it costs nothing. I use my camera but I was also hiring a professional photographer. It went from every couple of months to almost every month when I became single. It helps to have a friend or boyfriend to take pictures of you for free. So, last spring, I stopped spending money on a professional photographer and took photos with my sister, my friend and blogger friends and recently, my boyfriend is helping me out with the photos. It cuts down so much on the expenses.
Respect your budget
You can hire a professional photographer or videographer and buy a shit load of clothes. You need to allow a budget for those expenses and respect it. If you don’t, well… you know the consequences. I’d allow myself a certain amount per month for new clothes and another amount for a photographer. If I had too many expenses during the month (like traveling, events,..) I’d try to shoot with my friends instead of my photographer and spend less on clothes the next month.
Recognize your worth
Most of the time, brands can approach you for a collaboration and some can be demanding. At first, it’s fine since you’re gaining experience and an exchange of products is perfect but after a couple of years, it’s not that amazing anymore. I remember once; they gave me beauty products in exchange of a post and I had to submit my photos for approval and I didn’t have a lot of time. I wanted to create good content, so I hired my photographer. It was silly of me to spend money on a collaboration instead of earning money from it. I only did it once but never again! Last year, I recognized my worth and asked money as a compensation. Time is money and creating content takes time and resources so an exchange of products is often not enough to keep the business going. You want to gain profit and not be in deficit to deliver content for a brand. During your blogging journey, you realize your work is worth more than an exchange of products. Never heard of someone paying their rent with mascara!
Let’s finish this post on a positive note! I’m happy to announce that I cleared my blogging debts. I had a 9-5 job and could get my head out of the water. I’m happy to move on from this experience and I won’t repeat those same mistakes twice!
*Photos from a collaboration with Alltrueist (sustainable fashion)