Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions I get via email and on social media. The most common asking me about blogging, how I make money blogging and what I did to transition after getting downsized to start my business.
Blogging and Self Employment FAQ
How do you make money with your blog?
First I have to disclose that I do not rely on the blog only to make money. When I was downsized from my corporate job I decided to build a business that utilized my skill set and my love of blogging. I think it is important that when you consider self employment not to put all your eggs in one basket. So I have a graphic design business called Desktop and Design where I work on corporate marketing materials, website customization and help with social media for mid-size to corporate level companies.
So how do I make money with this blog?
1: Advertising and Affiliate income: The ads on the site and products I recommend earn a small commission which provides a monthly income. This income can change rapidly up or down depending on site traffic, affiliate program changes, or links going dead and seasonal factors.
2: Marketing Campaigns: Not everything I promote is a marketing campaign, sometimes I just love to share products that I think everyone should know about. However, my love for brands sometimes bring opportunities to participate in social media campaigns, giveaways and sponsored posts (which I always disclose with hashtags or disclosures).
3: Services: Being a graphic designer and a blogger since 2011 I have a number of skills I can provide. For the blog these services include photography, social media posts, Instagram stories, live social broadcasts, speaking engagements and twitter chats to name a few.
4: Consulting: I’m going to open up my consultation services to you all shortly. I’m currently working on the content to provide website set up tips, proper blog formatting tips and maybe a few ebooks and courses. I have done some site security and set up audits for bloggers who had wonky things with their sites they couldn’t figure out or those unsure about how they set things up.
I want to Start a Blog, where do I start?
There are so many pieces and technical things to learn when starting a blog. The most important thing is to start. There are a lot of things to consider when starting – what will you be blogging about? Your Blog Name? Then where to set up your blog, how to buy the domain address and where to host it? Don’t let the fear of even starting overwhelm you. Think of your blog as a business and like every business you need a plan.
I just started a Blog, what advice do you have for me?
This is a loaded question but if I had asked this very question in 2011 I might have saved myself a few heart pounding moments. Here is the short answer to this question:
1: Choose a hosting company with great customer service and great reviews, that offers important features included in their yearly fee like: site security, daily backups and CDN networks. I use Siteground as my hosting company.
2: Make sure your site is secure and backed up. Luckily Siteground does daily backups for me, but making sure your site is set up properly to avoid getting hacked is very important from the beginning. Change your login URL, add a login lockdown and make sure you are staying on top of all plugins, theme and WordPress updates.
3: Write consistently. This one is controversial because some might say that you need to do keyword searches and special photography and have perfect posts, however, I think had I not just started writing and putting stuff out there I never would have started. I often go back now to old posts and update them and the ones that have zero traffic I remove, but as a new blogger, you really shouldn’t worry so much about all the technical aspects of blogging. See if after two years you are still writing and committed to it, then you can start investing more into it.
4: Don’t expect it to make money overnight. Blogging like any business requires investment both monetary and time. Just having a site will cost you $200/year and as you add features to it, that cost will keep climbing. There is a huge time commitment to blogging at the start and a lot of things you will have to learn. Eventually, if you love it and are committed to it – you’ll see the reward.
You Look Like You Live a Dream Life? Can I do what you do?
The short answer is yes, the long answer is it takes time. This website was not built overnight. I started blogging back in May of 2011 and have been evolving and learning ever since.
My recommendations for you if you want to start living your dream are:
1: What’s You’re Dream?: Do some homework on you. What are your strengths, what are your passions? Do you know what you want to do and how you want to change your life? If not, are you ready to ask some questions and figure out what your passions are?
2: Set a plan in motion: Write your own action plan. Set goals and start taking steps towards that dream.
3: Pivot and Adapt: Living your dream means being able to keep changing and adapting to things. In business that may be, recessions or losing clients, for bloggers it can be Google Algorithm changes or site technical failures.
Think of your dream as a circle with no beginning or end. You are always going to be moving in that 360° motion sometimes assessing, others learning, planning and moving.
What Do You Use to Design the Graphics on Your Site?
I use the Adobe Creative Suite for all my design work from photography editing in Lightroom, logos and infographics in Illustrator and building printables and downloads with Photoshop and InDesign.
However, that said you can do all this with Free Tools like Canva, PicMonkey and buying stock art at DepositPhotos.
What Photography Equipment do You Use?
Camera: Sony Mirrorless NEX 6
I also have a tripod, selfie stick and use remote buttons and controls to take selfies when I don’t have a travel buddy to take the photos for me.