Lorna Weightman of Styleisle.ie: The Business of Blogging
I started my blog, Styleisle.ie back in 2009 when blogging was an unfamiliar form of media. I began, like most, with a laptop at the kitchen table and a weak internet connection, trying to figure out the maze that is Wordpress and educate myself with one of those “Yellow Books for Dummies”, hoping to emerge a coding pariah no more.
I could see the potential of blogging early on; it could offer me a way out of a job I disliked. I just had to unearth my inner writer and web developing skills, to begin what would eventually become a life-changing platform for me.
My reason for becoming a blogger was initially escapism. I looked forward to those few hours in the evening when I dove into my own creative world. In there I was my own boss and I called the shots. My reasoning changed over time when I saw that it could be a profession, but not without careful consideration, especially when it came to finance.
In the early days, social media was at its inception, and Instagram didn’t even exist. So I had one platform to get right, and not a choice of several.
The idea of a sponsored post was so far fetched. But now, it’s a reality and an essential part of making blogging a workable business. And making it a business requires relationship building with brands I want on my client list. I used to sit at home in the evenings after work, building my own contact list to write to, introducing myself and showcasing what I could do.
I still do that, and probably more now than ever since the industry has become more competitive. It’s an integral part of my growth, and redefined what I do. I’ve evolved from Blogger, to Creator and Stylist.
But aside from how bloggers and social media personalities make their money, how content is made has been the topic of much debate. There is no prescribed method to making an image or writing a blog post; every Creative has their own way. Perhaps this is the side that needs demystifying more than others.
I believe that content needs to be informative, engaging and representative, values that are the backbone of any business and not just blogging. The learning I’ve taken from being a Creator for nearly a decade is that transparency is of paramount importance.
My work has become a way for brands to advertise, and I must create content that represents both of us.