If you’re ready to take your travel influence from a side hustlin’ hobby to a money making empire it’s time to step up your game on the business side of things. Successful businesses seem like they got there overnight but the secret is earning enough money to sustain a business takes time, patience and a few tricks of the trade don’t hurt.
If you’ve already started blogging for money or are looking to transform your influence then it’s important have it together not only publicly but behind the scenes as well. Sending untimely thank you cards to brand partners and not keeping your financial records up to date can get you into trouble with clients and even Uncle Sam. Blogging for money is the ultimate dream so let’s go over what you can do to help make your dream a reality.
The first step in blogging for money is knowing your worth!
Tip 1: Don’t throw darts at the wall – know your hourly rate (even if it’s just internally).
Influencer marketing is serious business and unless you’re doing favors for friends, accepting a brand partnership means you’re taking on a new client. When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to undervalue yourself (it happens to the best of us). If you don’t know what your time is worth then you risk accepting a brand partnership that you may actually LOSE money on.
When negotiating deals or sending out a rate sheet, consider what the brand is requesting from you and how many hours it will take you to deliver on each request.
While there’s no magic number, there should be a method to your madness aka you should be able to back up every price you quote. Of course, you don’t have to tell the brand partner how you came up with that number, you can just quote them a flat fee or “project quote.” The great thing is you’ll be able to confidently stand behind your price quote because you know it’s what you deserve.
One thing to keep in mind when you’re blogging for money is you may have expenses that you’ll have to incur to complete the project. For example, if you have to hire a photographer, you’ll have to factor in that cost too. Also, you will have to pay taxes on the money you earn so be prepared to say ciao ciao to a chunk of whatever amount you charge the brand.
Basically, the rate you quote isn’t actually what you’re collecting out the door because it costs money to run a business.
Let’s go over a real life example to put things in perspective. If you’re approached by a luggage company to promote their new carryon product and they request:
- 1 blog article
- 1 Instagram post
- 2 Instagram Stories
First, you will need to figure out how long it would take you to do the entire project from start to finish. Creating a list of deliverables really helps.
For example, this brand partnership may entail organizing all of the clothes and props for the shoot, figuring out locations, shooting the photos for the posts, editing images, writing the blog post, coming up with a caption for the Instagram post, uploading the blog article onto your website, posting on Instagram and Insta Stories and then finally, doing a brand recap.
Let’s just say that would take you 8 hours total from start to finish. If you’re hourly rate is $100 then you would quote the brand partners $800 for the project. How did we get that?
Here’s the calculation:
8 hours of work X $100 per hour = $800 project fee
Tip 2: Keep track of the hours you spend on every deliverable.
Even if you charge a brand a flat fee for your work, it’s important to keep track of the time you spend on each project for your internal records. If you estimated that a brand collaboration would take you in total around 8 hours and it ended up taking you 15 hours (and you didn’t dilly dally) then you know you severely undercharged for your work. It’s easy to get lost in the moment so a simple spreadsheet to track your time works great.
Tracking your time isn’t for the brand but really to keep you in check and see how you are spending your time. Since you’re blogging for money, this will help you more accurately quote brand partners in the future. Remember blogging for money is a business – you need to get compensated for your work.
Here’s a real life example to show you what we mean:
You were hired to write a blog article about a new restaurant in Italy and tracked all your time on your partnership and collaboration spreadsheet. You quoted the brand a price for 8 hours of your time but it ended up taking you 10 hours in total. Not a big deal but by tracking your time, you can figure out ways to manage your time better during your next brand partnership or even increase your rate.