I have been listening to tons of bloggers talking about monetizing. This can be your friend and also your enemy. Of course we all see the bloggers with 100k followers and brand deal after brand deal, and many of us strive to get there! But, when is the right time to start working with brands? How should you do it? How do you pick and choose?
Focus of content :
This is tough one. In the beginning you should only be focusing on your content and nothing else. That is what people follow you for! They want to hear your voice and not something scripted. So make sure every single picture you post represents your brand and what you want to portray. You might want to look into buying or making your own presents to make sure your feed matches correctly and cohesively. Look into downloading an app that lets you lay out your pictures. I like Preview (cough cough) I will link it here! If you automatically think brand deal and dollars signs then you might not be in for the right reasons.
When to monetize?
Is it 1k, 10k, 20k followers before you should start working with brands? In the beginning you may get your first brand deal and jump right on top of it! Maybe hold off! Do not go for the products you do not actually use. You want to make sure that these products you are wearing, promoting, using, are actually benefiting someone! How pissed would you be if you want and got a product that a blogger suggested and it literally didn't work ? A few bloggers I know post and have a new shampoo and conditioner they are loving like everyday (BULLSHIT). You can easily tell who is in if for the long haul because they have a good community and respond to direct messages. These people take the time to tell you about things they are loving.
So I believe you monetize after you have a stable enough following and have actual people interested. That is key. You need to build up enough people and enough of a following that really cares. I do not think that at 1,000-10,000 you should be worrying about brand deals. Right then is really when you should be trying all the products!! Seeing what you like and don't like and letting people know free of charge!
Being organic :
Some brands send me scripts and I literally can't use them. It doesn't seem natural and it feels forced! So if they need me to talk about a sale or something I can do that, but in my own words! Do not copy and paste because #1 you sound like a damn robot! And how are people that follow or trust you going to feel when you have the exact same caption as the other 30 influencers that were sent the same product? It just is not a good look. I constantly say be yourself and be you. If people don't like that then screw them. It's all about talking about what you are passionate about. That might be products, food, clothing, or traveling. What is important is that it is REAL and an experience you get to share with your followers or friends. By regulations now you do have to put #ad or #sponsored and some people do require hashtags. Those are all dandy and I believe that you should have to put those. I am just talking about the cookie cutter captions.
Monetizing is a preference but I do believe it hurts your brand as a whole if you do it too early. That should just not be the focus starting out. It should be about the content and making sure that you are creating organic connections with brands that you love! That you want to grow with a create an amazing partnership with. If you want to just make a few quick dollars, then go for it! It is really all about what will have longevity for creating a killer brand you are proud of. I got so many questions about this and wanted to answer this for you guys!
I hope this helps!
Photography by: Christina Demaio