This question and this answer has agonized me for the last year of my social media experience. A year ago I started this blog in hopes I could spread the word of natural medicine and herbal remedies. Although I was very passionate about only herbal medicine at that time, my interests have grown and my experience has grown into something more. Over time I have discovered a lot about trying to work through social media accounts and developing my own business while being a stay at home mom.
It seems like a big list and big project to accomplish right? And in all reality, I would be lying if I didn’t say that it didn’t get to me sometimes. Since I started my blog a year ago it took me a lot of time to learn the in’s and out’s of not only creating a website but learning how it works; and on top of that, learning how advertisement is huge. Unfortunately, the advertising part and the “gaining an audience” part is the hardest part of this job. I enjoy it, and although I have been busting my butt writing children’s books and spending hours at the computer writing passionately about natural ways of living, I have probably over the course of a year only made about $200.00 give or take. Yes, it is exhausting to think about. Especially when someone puts so much time into writing, creating recording videos, purchasing camera gear and the whole nine yards.
I have not released my second children’s book, nor am I ready to release my recipe book online just yet because they just simply aren’t ready, but when the time comes I am going to be as patient as can be. Not having expectations for the world of social media is a great way to prevent any discouragement or disappointment that one might experience. Especially because as a mom, it is hard to find all of the literal “free” time in the world to put into something that is a year plus investment. Patience has to be key.
So why do I do it?
I do it because I love it, and because I have passion. I see this taking off and going somewhere and that doesn’t keep me from “keepin on” if you might say. I am in love with making videos, creating informational content and spreading the word of my passions and natural works to help improve others lives so they can start to feel better and make healthier choices.
Why is it so hard?
Well, in the last few years, social media work has literally blow up. Instagram accounts and flowing with sponsored content and there are thousands of vegan pages, health pages, travel pages and so on. Everyone seen how rewarding the social media industry was and wanted to jump on the bandwagon, even if they had no idea what it was they wanted to start a social media business about. Vloggers of YouTube have flooded the internet with everyone trying to be the best travel vlogger and everyone trying to have the best workout/yoga videos out there. Channels revolved around plant based eating and vegan meals are also very popular right now and it is no wonder because everyone is being so inspired that they want to do it themselves as well.
The sad part is, now you can see people fighting and itching and working for the viewers instead of focusing on their content. They may falsely interact with other instagrammers by adding them, liking their content and then unfollowing them once they have added them back just to gain a follower. It is sad really, and sounds like a dog eat dog world and sometimes, yes, it does feel like I have a very small voice in this community because I choose not to inorganically gain followers that way. And after a year of creating videos for the internet I have only reached 36 subscribers to my YouTube channel and a little over 90 followers to my wordpress account at the moment. (I am not saying it is like this for everyone, because some people can really gain a following within 6 months of time, it just depends on what they are doing and where their dedication lies. Unfortunately though, if you are like me, and shy to the business and social media world at first, it is going to take a lot longer to gain a following. ) This can get discouraging, but it was words of the wise that once said, it is not about how many subscribers you have at first, it’s about how engaged you are with the subscribers you have and in turn your views will come.
So what should someone do?
A few things I have learned over the last year:
- Stick to your initial goal and message/ At first all I wanted to do was herbal medicine, and that wasn’t enough, so I gradually opened up to other opportunities like traveling, plant based recipes and more. In that I sort of lost where my message was and why I even began blogging and vlogging in the first place and that was because I was focused on what was popular at the moment. Now, after lots of trial and error, I have jumped back to my original focus which was natural living all together. Not one focus on veganism, plant based living, traveling, etc. Everything that regards natural living and that mostly includes the herbs and remedies I include in my everyday life.
- Be your authentic self. Yes, I know this sounds obvious, but over the last year I also found myself trying to be like other bloggers and vloggers that I liked. And in a sense that can be okay if you want to learn from their videos, but it is also the wrong way to go about things. Be original. Be something different that people can watch so that their interests can broaden. You need to stick out from the other bloggers and vloggers so that you have something that the other’s do not. Be yourself and that will attract more authentic viewers.
- Be consistent. It sounds obvious but it is also one of the most important things to do when you are in the social media business. Just like sticking to your original message and being consistent you also need to put out consistent content. And I don’t mean you have to put out two and three videos a day or even a week, but it is better to put one out at least once a week or every two weeks instead of doing three one month, two another month, and then one the next. Be consistent, and give your viewers something to look at and read.
- Show them you are passionate, be real with your goals. If your vlogging about something just because it is popular to get the views, your not going to make very good content. Make content about something you have lots of knowledge about, and something that you are passionate about as well.
- In order to start making money, you can’t only sit back and make videos and blog posts. If your expecting to make a living off of blogging or vlogging (which after a year mind you still has not happened for me.) you need to get creative. What are you good at? Are you good at painting or drawing? Or maybe you are good at woodworking or even writing? Sell or create something for your viewers to buy now and then and I am not saying you have to have a whole online store and make that your focus (unless you want), but it really helps if your trying to make social media your main source of income.
- When you create content be sure that you have an outlet to advertise it. Share it on Facebook or Instagram and tell your friends to share it as well. Unfortunately it’s hard to get the word out there or the views if you don’t try to advertise or put yourself out there. Encourage others to like your videos and subscribe to your channel or content so that your chances of being exposed grow larger. The hardest part for me was not trying to sound “annoying or cliché” but it is just the way of social media and how it works. The more viewers, the more likes, the more subscribers, the more your content will be shown and advertised.
- This is the most important one. We know it is important to be consistent, but it is also important to be patient. It is hard not to get overwhelmed when looking over the internet at other bloggers and vloggers as they are literally “killin it” living out their passions. If you stick to your passion and you stay dedicated and focused, in time it will be your time to shine. Just make sure you know what it is your doing and what it is you want and you will get there! It could take 6 months, it could even take two years, but just remember to stick to your goals and stick to your topic! Were not all perfect, but I hope I can help ❤