In celebration of Natural Hair Rules 5th Anniversary, I’m sharing a behind the scenes information about its evolution.
Becoming a full-time blogger is something that I really didn’t think was a possibility for myself and Natural Hair Rules (NHR). I knew it [NHR] had the potential to generate revenue but I wasn’t sure about a living wage; income that would do more than buy me a cup of coffee. And for about 4 years that was all it was, some extra change to support my growing Starbuck’s habit.
It wasn’t until September 2012 where I found myself completely and utterly frustrated with myself and NHR. I was given a ticket to the Blogalicious Conference which was worth about four hundred dollars. I was so appreciative for the gift. I was humbled by the fact that someone would invest in me that way.
There was just one problem. I didn’t have the money to make the trip. I couldn’t understand how I had invested some much time to my blog, Natural Hair Rules, and really didn’t have anything tangible to show for it. I didn’t have the money to invest back into myself. How could this be? I really had to ask myself was I selling myself short?
At the time I was receiving a significant amount of pageviews and brand recognition but I wasn’t making money. Natural Hair Rules was my full-time job, I produced 3-5 pieces of content a week. I didn’t even take a maternity leave from the site once I had my son. I had dedicated countless hours writing, researching and more. But I wasn’t making a profit.
For some people money isn’t a big deal. Clearly, I’m one of those people because for years I never even expected financial compensation, not from the blog anyway. I had a marketing and public relations company that I was depending on for my bread and butter. That was my focus. I secured campaigns, contracts, and event opportunities through my communications experience. But after I had my son and I was introduced to mommy guilt this became less of an option for me.
Freelance work can be fairly variable and inconsistent. My freelance career although steady was filled with long hours of working with or for sometimes ungrateful clients looking for ways to short change or devalue my work.
In terms of freelance work or working in corporate America, I never felt truly valued nor did I sense genuine appreciation for my hard work and dedication. I experienced ageism, sexism, and in some case racism. I was promoted to positions where I managed individuals 10-20 years my senior or more but it was challenging trying to gain their respect. It was difficult explaining the significance of implementing digital strategies to people who just didn’t care. Being the youngest in the office I was called on to fix email accounts and other small tech problems instead.
I thought my experience in building a platform with millions of pageviews and impressions would create opportunities for jobs. But it didn’t. It’s the same for other top bloggers that I know. So I had to make NHR work for me. I found ways to activate and monetize the audience that I have.
God uses life to position you into your purpose. That is the best way for me to explain where I am today. I went from making maybe $100 every two months to paying all my monthly household bills as a full-time blogger.
If you don’t get anything from this
Understand that life sends you clues as to what direction you should be taking. Regardless of what anyone may tell you, you most certainly can turn your passion into profit. It will NOT happen overnight but if you keep your eyes open and ears to the ground; follow God’s leading it WILL happen.
READ PART II
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