Blogging 101: Blogging As A Business

As I’ve mentioned I’ve been wanting to share a little more about blogging over here. I’ve just recently realized that a lot of my reader emails come from ladies who are interested in starting their own blogs or have started their own blog and have a million questions about blogging. Not to mention I feel like I answer the same questions about blogging on a daily basis so today I’m sharing a little blogging 101 for those of you who have no clue about blogging, what bloggers do and why we do it.

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Why Do I Blog?

Honestly, after graduating college I discovered blogging through a blogger campaign that Coach did. I immediately fell in love with Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere and my love for blogging and bloggers was born. I stalked her blog daily, my favorite blogger count grew daily and immediately knew I wanted to start one too. When I started in 2011 there were a lot of bloggers but it definitely wasn’t as common as it is now. Flash forward 4 years and I’ve grown my blog from a hobby into a business. A business that’s represented in the local news, a business that I make money from and a business I work to grow every single day. Not to mention a business I love and one that I’m passionate about. I’ve created a brand for Pearls & Twirls and I love it.

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What Makes A Blog A Business?

Most people just think of blogging as a hobby and for a lot of people it is. I have chosen to passionately pursue blogging and treat it just as I would a business or a job. It’s important to me and something I work hard at so why not try to make a profit from it or take it seriously? So basically here’s my breakdown of how I actually profit from this little blog. I want to be real with you guys and let you in on exactly what things mean when you see them on Pearls & Twirls.

  • Product Links: Almost daily I share lots of clothing & shopping links on Pearls & Twirls. I’ve got lots of links to lots of places. Well most of those are through an affiliate program (I use RewardStyle) which means when you click my link and purchase I make a small commission. These are links on the blog, on social media and even with LiketoKnow.It on Instagram (post coming on that soon!) If you ever see a “rstyle” in a link that’s an affiliate link! And no, you don’t have to purchase the specific item I linked to. If you clicked on a Gap dress link and make any Gap purchase I get the credit for it.
  • Gifted Products: If you read a lot of blogs I’m sure you’ve seen lots of “gifted” or “℅”s before products. I always use “gifted” because it sounds a little more clear and I like to stay consistent. But this just means a brand has gifted that item for a blogger to wear, use, promote, etc. Gifted items can be tricky because the gifted item can be in exchange for a blog post, for a social media post or just a gift in hopes you love it enough to share. There’s also no real requirement for disclosing this and it’s often totally up to the blogger do disclose however she/he wants. {I will say sometimes after a while I’ll forget to add “gifted”, just because I love it so much and it’s become a part of my wardrobe!}
  • Sponsored Posts: Sponsored blog posts are paid posts. These are cool because it’s a paid partnership between the blogger and the brand. These can come in many different shapes and sizes and are for the most part really fun to collaborate on. The brands usually just give guidelines for post requirements and you can get creative with the rest! My sponsored posts always come with a sponsored blurb at the bottom to indicate that it was a sponsored post.
  • Sponsored Social Media Posts: In addition to sponsored blog posts brands can also collaborate on a sponsored social media post. Sometimes brands want to do a big campaign push on a specific day with lots of bloggers and this is where sponsored social media posts come in. Again, brands set guidelines for these and you do the rest! These are always tagged with either #ad or #spon.

These are the top 4 ways I personally work with brands and benefit from blogging. There’s a lot of work that goes into maintaining your brand and it’s important to keep your brand in mind when collaborating with other brands in any way. It’s easy to say yes to all the free stuff and in turn feel obligated to be promoting everyone else’s stuff all the time versus your own personal brand. It can also be tempting to take on sponsored posts that aren’t quite on brand just to make an extra buck! So again, here at Pearls & Twirls I only support brands I love. I’ve learned to really do my research and take on each and every partnership with that in mind!

For the most part I think people understand that we put a lot of time and effort into our blogs and respect the ways we make money so just remember to be respectful of bloggers’ businesses and just like any business we need support too! Keep reading, keep clicking our links and if you love a post, tweet, instagram or Facebook post be sure to share the love!

If you have any additional questions please feel free to email me or leave them in the comments below!