I get a lot of questions about blogging/ having a public Instagram, so I thought I’d write about it.
A little background…I started the blog years ago when Judd and I were traveling so I’d have a place to go back and look at our pictures. I used to have maybe 3 readers, my mom, husband and a friend or two. Ha! I started my Instagram as a private account when I was going through infertility because I felt lonely and was looking to connect with others dealing with infertility. I never in a million years expected for it to grow like it has, that was never my goal. It’s been a blessing, a learning experience, and lately a lot of hard work! I decided to be very open with you all about this, I’ll be sharing the good, the bad, and answering a lot of questions I receive.
The opportunities both Instagram and my blog have provided our family have been incredible. We’ve met amazing people, some that have become my very best friends! When I say Instagram changed my life, I truly mean that! I love going through life with the people I have met on social media! We’ve gotten to go to beautiful places and it’s been an extra income that wasn’t planned.
Like I said, I am grateful for what Instagram and my blog have brought our family but that doesn’t mean it’s always been perfect. Blogging and influencing are a lot of work and it’s hard putting yourself out there.
No privacy. There are times I miss my small private “TTC Instagram” account. There have been times where I would have loved to be able to discuss something more personal but now that my account is public, I’m not always comfortable with that. Example, we had a surprise pregnancy that ended in a horrible miscarriage about a year ago that really affected me, I would’ve loved to have had more of my TTC community for support during that time.
It’s a lot of work. It’s more than just posting a picture, it’s meeting the agency or company’s guidelines on the picture(s) and on the caption. It’s a million emails and contracts. It’s trying to get your two-year-old twins to pose #nearlyimpossible Many of the collaborations I do, don’t give much room for creativity. They tell you what they want a picture of and what the wording needs to say exactly. I completely understand this because it is their product and they want it portrayed a certain way, but I do like being creative so that part is frustrating.
Something that I have had to deal with like all bloggers is negative people. I’ve thankfully not had to deal with it often but it definitely happens because you’re putting yourself out there. It’s made me grow thicker skin. Thankfully, my husband is super supportive and understands that this is just a part of having a public account.
I posted on Instagram and asked what blogger questions you have and I got many. Hopefully I answered them all above or below. Here you go…
- Do you make money? Yes, I have been for the past couple of years. I didn’t at first and I honestly didn’t even know I could make money. As my readers and Instagram followers grew, so did the amount I charge for collaborations. I have friends that do this full time and make 6 figures easily. That being said, I could do this full time but I don’t want to. I’ve always wanted to be a SAHM while my kids are young so my goal right now is just to make extra money to go into my kid’s college savings. I tend to only agree to 1-2 collaborations a week at most. I turn down multiple offers every day. If there is a week where I don’t want to work, then I don’t. I want this to be fun and I don’t want to miss out on anything with my kids because of this.
- How do you get collaborations? I remember the first company that contacted me offered me $50 for a post and I went through the house cheering because I got my first paid collaboration. My husband was cracking up at me. I’ve come a LONG way since then. I also used to reach out to companies if there was a product I wanted but now companies reach out to me. I look at the product to see if this is something my family would use, then I provide my rates and my terms, and we discuss this. If there is an expensive product that I really want or a trip that we want to take, I still will reach out to companies. My mom always taught me, “the worst someone can say is no!”
- How do I get started on a blog? I recommend finding an easy to use program (I’ll share more about what I use in a later question) and just write. Write about what makes you happy, whether that be your family or what you did that weekend, or a new recipe you tried. You will learn pretty fast if you enjoy doing it. J
- How do I grow my Instagram account? This one is a hard one for me to answer. Like I said, I just accidently fell into this. I created my Instagram account when I was trying to get pregnant and I was very open about our struggles, that’s where my account really grew. Unless you’re a celebrity, you’re not going to grow your account overnight, it takes time. I always recommend people have a niche, usually just being a mom isn’t going to cut it because there are a million mom accounts out there. I have three niches: infertility, twin mom life, and travel. I’d pick a niche or two and run with it. 🙂
- How do I build a readership and network? I don’t really have a good answer to this because I am still learning this. This is hard! As you write more, you will gain more readers and followers. I know there are blogger networking groups out there but I’m not a part of any of them. I do make sure to always engage with my readers whether that be when they comment or message me.
- What site do you use? I use WordPress and I’m pretty happy with it! I’m not very tech savvy so there could be other sites out there that are better!
- How much should I charge for collaborations? This depends on a lot- what is involved in the collaboration (1 picture on Instagram, a blog post, or a contract for a series of posts) and how many followers/readers you have. The rule of thumb I was taught for Instagram is for every 10,000 followers, you should charge an average of $150. So, if you have 30,000 followers, you should be charging around $450 for an Instagram post. That being said, you can certainly charge more or less. It all depends on how many collaborations you want to take on and your goals. A blog post is worth more because it takes a lot more effort.
- Do you ever worry about safety? Absolutely! My kid’s safety and happiness is always my first priority. I’m very careful about what I write and what I post. I don’t ever want to post anything that would embarrass my kids or jeopardize anyone’s safety. I am also super careful about who is following my account. If I get a weird comment or message; the person is immediately blocked. I also go through my followers on a regular basis to make sure there is no one with red flags. Thankfully, I haven’t had anything happen that concerned me about our kid’s safety. The worst that has happened is a few guys have sent me inappropriate messages. I just ignored them but it is annoying because I am clearly happily married with two kids.
- How does your husband handle you being a blogger? He handles it really well! Judd is very private so I am always amazed at how well he deals with all of this. I know at times he doesn’t love taking a million pictures of us with products or for a blog post but he’s become a pro at it. The other day he even said, “This would make a really good Instagram post background!” hahaha I love him! There is no doubt this “job” is sometimes inconvenient but the rewards outweigh the inconvenience by a landslide.
If you are considering becoming a blogger, give it a try! The worst that can happen is you don’t like it, so you stop! It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions! 🙂
Stay tuned for my future blog post on how some Instagram/bloggers fabricate their followers. You won’t believe what I have discovered.