Blogging as a Profession is a Long-Term Path

Oana Filip
interview

I lit­er­al­ly came across Ana by chance. I was doing my research for our affil­i­ate pro­gram and I was very picky about the peo­ple I want­ed to bring on board. I am grate­ful that Ana is one of them because she has sim­i­lar val­ues and she’s also mak­ing mon­ey by express­ing her ideas and help­ing oth­ers do the same.


Only after a ping-pong of sev­er­al e-mails, I found out that Ana’s a Roman­ian, fact which made me feel both proud and a bit anx­ious. We all know that co-nation­als are not afraid to point flaws and be direct about what’s wrong and maybe even let every­one know about their strong opin­ions. At least this is writ­ten in every Romanian’s DNA.

I’ve been learn­ing a lot from Ana’s expe­ri­ence as a blog­ger who treats her activ­i­ty seri­ous­ly, so there’s no won­der why I reached her again to chat about blog­ging as a pro­fes­sion, a con­cept which I found intrigu­ing. Let’s dive in!


I start­ed my first blog in Eng­lish because I want­ed to improve my writ­ing & knowl­edge of the lan­guage and that even­tu­al­ly led me to research what blog­ging is real­ly all about and how peo­ple end up blog­ging full-time.

Q: Who’s Ana when she’s not in the digital spotlight?

Ana: I always found it hard to sum­ma­rize myself, but to keep it short, I’m a 22-year-old Roman­ian cur­rent­ly resid­ing in the UK. When I’m not blog­ging, I can be found devour­ing a good book, cud­dling my dog (or request­ing per­mis­sion to pet stranger’s dogs), attempt­ing to repli­cate my mom’s recipes or win­ning at Catan on fam­i­ly game night. (What can I say, strat­e­gy is in my blood — dig­i­tal or not.)

Ana’s a dog lover (as we are) 🐶

Q: Where does this intense blogging passion come from?

Ana: My blog­ging pas­sion steams from two oth­er life­long hob­bies: writ­ing and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. Grow­ing up, I had this secret dream to become a writer but had no clue what­so­ev­er what I was going to write about. When I moved to the UK, I start­ed my first blog in Eng­lish because I want­ed to improve my writ­ing & knowl­edge of the lan­guage and that even­tu­al­ly led me to research what blog­ging is real­ly all about and how peo­ple end up blog­ging full-time.

I knew that dig­i­tal prod­ucts were a great way to mon­e­tize a blog, and I actu­al­ly had some­thing that I thought was real­ly valu­able to share.

My oth­er “hob­by”, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, result­ed from grow­ing up in a fam­i­ly with the entre­pre­neur­ial spir­it. As my old­er sib­lings start­ed and grew their online busi­ness­es, I became an unof­fi­cial vir­tu­al assis­tant, help­ing out with dif­fer­ent tasks dur­ing sum­mers or school hol­i­days. I got intro­duced to the world of e-com­merce and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing ear­ly on, and dis­cov­ered the world of social media by myself, as a bored teenag­er.

And so, years lat­er, The She Approach was born, as a com­bi­na­tion of my love of writ­ing, my knowl­edge of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and my curi­ous nature that pushed me to fig­ure out how I can use all of that to con­quer blog­ging and share how I did it with oth­ers.

Q: Where do you invest energy besides blogging?

Ana: Besides run­ning my blog­ging busi­ness, I am cur­rent­ly in the midst of launch­ing an online gift shop where I hope to apply my e-com­merce expe­ri­ence. This is a pas­sion project of mine that has been in the works for a cou­ple of months now and that comes with its own chal­lenges and lessons that I hope to only add to my knowl­edge of the dig­i­tal world.

While the com­pe­ti­tion is big­ger than ever (and new blogs are start­ed every day), the blog­ging com­mu­ni­ty seems to be clos­er than ever.

Q: How did all the expansion kicked-off?

Ana: To be hon­est, my blog wasn’t that big when I launched my first ebook. But I knew that dig­i­tal prod­ucts were a great way to mon­e­tize a blog, and I actu­al­ly had some­thing that I thought was real­ly valu­able to share. I final­ly cracked the code of increas­ing blog traf­fic, and I knew that what I want­ed to share was way too vast for a blog post. So I wrote an ebook.

To answer your ques­tion, I guess I start­ed putting a price on my strate­gies (while still deliv­er­ing free con­tent in the same time) when I real­ized that what I’ve learned and expe­ri­enced with grow­ing my own blog was not com­mon knowl­edge, but valu­able infor­ma­tion that was (and is) worth pay­ing for.

Q: What’s your two cents on the blogging landscape?

Ana: I feel like blog­ging is now more dynam­ic than ever. You’d have to look real­ly close­ly at what type of blog­gers are out there. Some still do it as hob­bies, oth­ers treat it as a busi­ness and a lot just use it as a tool to add val­ue to their exist­ing busi­ness­es. There are also more oppor­tu­ni­ties than ever to work with brands, mon­e­tize your blog, be rec­og­nized as an expert or sim­ply build a fol­low­ing online.

I spend a lot of time deliv­er­ing val­ue via a week­ly newslet­ter and I make it a pri­or­i­ty to per­son­al­ly respond to every email and mes­sage that gets sent my way.

While the com­pe­ti­tion is big­ger than ever (and new blogs are start­ed every day), the blog­ging com­mu­ni­ty seems to be clos­er than ever. From peo­ple open­ly shar­ing their strate­gies to col­lab­o­ra­tions between blog­gers and elite com­mu­ni­ties you could join, the blog­ging land­scape seems to be thriv­ing and valu­ing com­mu­ni­ty over com­pe­ti­tion. And I feel the same. There is enough suc­cess out there for every­one. 

Q: How much does design and personal branding matter in such a game?

Ana: While we don’t feel or want to com­pete with each oth­er, the fact of the mat­ter is that we are. We are com­pet­ing for our read­ers to turn to us above any­one else in our field or above any oth­er infor­ma­tion sources out there. We want peo­ple to choose us, remem­ber us, come back to us (and to our blogs).

And that’s where per­son­al brand­ing and web design play a huge role. That’s how we make a good first impres­sion, stand out and get peo­ple to remem­ber us, trust us, rec­om­mend us. That’s how we dif­fer­en­ti­ate our­selves from the mil­lions of oth­er blogs out there.

Once you fos­ter an engaged audi­ence, you can eas­i­ly take on blog­ging as a pro­fes­sion.

Because at the end of the day, there’s only one you. And every­one has some­thing so unique to bring to the table. And let­ting your per­son­al­i­ty shine through the work you do online has every­thing to do with how you brand your­self. And your website’s design is how you show up online. So it mat­ters.

Q: How much do you invest in nurturing a loyal community?

Ana: I learned the impor­tance of this quite ear­ly on, so I try to make it a main focus to engage with my audi­ence. One of the best ways that I am able to do that, is by grow­ing and nur­tur­ing my email list. (Don’t even get me start­ed on why I think every blog­ger out there should start an email list!)

I spend a lot of time deliv­er­ing val­ue via a week­ly newslet­ter and I make it a pri­or­i­ty to per­son­al­ly respond to every email and mes­sage that gets sent my way. 

The home page of Ana’s blog

Q: What are your two cents on the blogging as a profession concept?

Ana: Because there are so many facets to blog­ging, I think that if your dream is to blog full time, you need a plan to make that hap­pen. I know blog­gers that are able to do this as a pro­fes­sion because they have a set amount of brand part­ner­ships each month. Oth­ers mon­e­tize their blogs through affil­i­ate mar­ket­ing or cre­ate cours­es. If you look at suc­cess­ful blog­gers out there that have income reports, you’ll see how dif­fer­ent their approach­es are.

There is one sim­ple solu­tion to this: exper­i­ment! Take every­thing oth­er peo­ple teach with a grain of salt and approach it with a lot of curios­i­ty.

But I tru­ly believe that once you have a plan (for exam­ple, to make enough mon­ey to live on + run your blog, you might only need to sell three cours­es per month and do two spon­sored posts) and once you fos­ter an engaged audi­ence, you can eas­i­ly take on blog­ging as a pro­fes­sion.   

Q: Which are your best practices into monetizing your blog?

Ana: As men­tioned above, there are a few dif­fer­ent ways to do it. I think one of the most lucra­tive ways to do it (because it can turn pas­sive — which means you’ll still get paid even if you can’t put as much time into it) is affil­i­ate mar­ket­ing. If you are in a niche that thrives on brand part­ner­ships, spon­sored con­tent is also a good idea. 

Cre­at­ing and sell­ing your own dig­i­tal prod­ucts can real­ly work for you, but you need an engaged audi­ence that will buy from you. You could also sell ser­vices, such as coach­ing or VA work. Ads are anoth­er pop­u­lar rev­enue stream, but they are rarely the main way blog­gers make their mon­ey.

Diver­si­fy­ing your income is impor­tant in this case because it can real­ly help you reach your mon­e­tary goals faster.

Q: There are a bunch of growth hacks — do you believe in them?

Ana: Depends where they come from. There are a lot of blog­gers or experts that share what worked for them, and that’s how I learned so much about blog­ging. But a big part of grow­ing your own blog is that you have to do it your own way! 

The only regret that I have with my blog is that I didn’t start soon­er. There are now more resources out there then ever to help you suc­ceed

That means that not all the strate­gies and tips and tricks that oth­er peo­ple share (includ­ing the ones that I teach) will work for you. And that doesn’t mean they are not valid or good. It sim­ply means that they are not appro­pri­ate for your con­tent or your audi­ence.

There is one sim­ple solu­tion to this: exper­i­ment! Take every­thing oth­er peo­ple teach with a grain of salt and approach it with a lot of curios­i­ty. If some­thing doesn’t work right away, start ask­ing ques­tions, make some changes, tweak your approach. And try again. (But also don’t be afraid to stop doing what’s not work­ing.)

Blog­ging is not an exact sci­ence. There are peo­ple out there that know what they are doing or teach­ing (and there are some growth hacks that will work uni­ver­sal­ly), but that doesn’t mean they can guar­an­tee your suc­cess. 

Q: Do you have any role models in this challenging field?

Ana: I have a lot of peo­ple that I real­ly look up to that are either suc­cess­ful blog­gers or online entre­pre­neurs. Pat Fly­nn, Melyssa Grif­fin, John Lee Dumas, Zoe Lin­da, Car­ly from Mom­my On Pur­pose and much more!  I think that con­stant­ly learn­ing is super impor­tant in this indus­try, so I always keep an eye out on what they teach or share online. 

Q: What would be your advice for the wannabe bloggers? Send them a message.

Ana: I’ll leave you with one of my newest favorite quotes: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The sec­ond best time is now.”

Eager to achieve the same level of success as Ana did?

We can help you make it hap­pen.

Start a blog

I tru­ly believe right it’s the best time to start a blog. If this idea crossed your mind, if you’re pas­sion­ate about some­thing and you want to help oth­er peo­ple, if you want to make mon­ey in a fun, chal­leng­ing and cre­ative way, then don’t wait anoth­er sec­ond.

The only regret that I have with my blog is that I didn’t start soon­er. There are now more resources out there then ever to help you suc­ceed, and even if you’re not plan­ning to blog full time, I tru­ly believe that blog­ging can open up so many new oppor­tu­ni­ties for you!


If you made it until here maybe it means that you are tru­ly inter­est­ed in blog­ging, so don’t let the what-ifs dic­tate your choic­es. Be a play­er, not a bystander and kick-off your jour­ney. We’re here to help you make it.

Oana Filip
Oana Filip

Digital storyteller @Pixelgrade and community builder for creative industries. A true believer in the power of making the world a better place.