|With thanks to Jamie Emerson for photographing me|
I've been blogging for over 10 years and have shared a large proportion of my life with thousands of readers, I'm pretty much an open book and over the years it's served as therapy, a place to inspire, somewhere to give back by helping others, somewhere to share photos of my life, my family, Holly Bobbins, holidays and away days. Sometimes it's just a place to vent that I can call my own.
I've just been nominated in the mums and working awards, the award I'm thrilled to be nominated for is "Most Inspirational Business Mum of the Year 2016" I found out last week and nearly fell off my chair when I found out. I'm up against 5 other completely inspirational business women so I won't mind too much if I don't win.
In my time I've gone from the agoraphobic who wouldn't go out on her own to the solo traveller who visited 5 countries in a week and wrote about it for Cruise International magazine, a gig I wouldn't have even got if it wasn't for this place, my home, my blog.
Over the last couple of years my blog has been becoming the very centre of my business, I've moved from being Mandy, the photographer to being Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger, it's a title I'm proud of, something I put massive efforts into and now I want to bring you along on my journey to become a digital nomad and hopefully I can help a few others at the same time.
In many groups and in real life I get asked the question "Can you really make money from blogging?" Well the answer is yes, you can, there are so many ways and it's all part of digital content marketing, you see, the blog is my centre point, my online business home and from there you'll find many branches which feed into it, social media, websites all go together to make your multiple income streams and I've spoken about this before, if you want to survive in business today as one person you need to come up with multiple income streams, some which will hopefully prove to be residual, i.e. they're making money for you all the time, not just when you're active, another name for this is passive income.
Here's a few ideas of things I'm currently doing to try and facilitate the feeding of my children and the constant growing of my business, oh and anyone who says that blogging isn't a real business, shove them in the face with a cake, actually maybe just say something cutting and then eat the cake yourself!
1. Social Photography, my main business of course, since the 22nd June 2007, I've photographed the kids and families of the north east of England and in the last few years I've started to travel, photographing families throughout the UK. Mandy Charlton Photography continues to go from strength to strength
2. Stock photography, I work through the Imagebrief agency in New York, I've been one of their premium members for around a year and I've made more money than I've paid out, it's not for everyone but for me as a professional photographer with high quality imagery it's proven to be amazing, the minimum 1 image of mine would ever be sold for is $250.
3. Sponsored Content, I get paid to write content by companies either for my blog or in some cases they'll ask me to write content for their websites, blogs and social media.
4. Brand Collaborations, so in some cases I don't get paid for content but I'll get things in exchange such as products, meals or nights out and breaks away and whilst these don't pay my bills they can often help me live a better nicer life. In other cases I might get paid to write about an experience and I'll also be gifted that experience.
5. Affiliate Marketing, this is something I should have started doing 10 years ago, thanks to sites like Affiliate Window and Skim Links it's such an easy process to set up and it's definitely a way to make a passive income, I'm hoping this is a path I can grow over the next 10 years because I can't really be a true digital nomad until my kids leave home anyway.
6. Travel Writing, this is the one I work on a lot, just creating great content for myself and for others, I get paid to travel or I get paid to write an article about my travel or sometimes I'm gifted the travel and I write about it in exchange, Holly Bobbins and I of course also write about dog friendly travel, I do however also write "Travels with my Beagle" for the beagle welfare and that's just a way of giving back to say thank you to them for letting me adopt my four pawed best friend.
7. Social Media Management, something digital nomads do quite often, they're after all very good at social media so why not let them handle your social media, at present I just manage my own social media but it's definitely something I would think about doing in the future for others, after all I've spent 10 years growing a social media following which has grown to tens of thousands and I don't plan to stop any time soon.
8. Teaching at and running working shops, this year I'll be teaching a workshop at School of Tech in September and I have another project which is just about to launch in association with another wonderful inspirational business woman, whilst I can't say anything just yet, look out for news of that on Thursday.
Obviously the great thing when I write for myself or others is that I do have that 10 year experience as a photographer and as a writer, I've been carefully crafting words and pictures for a quarter of my life and my main passion is to write constantly engaging content which I don't mind reading back and which I know my readers will gain something from and that's what it's all about, you can't successfully market with bad content after all.
So there you go, that's my where I am now post and I also know where I want to be and I'm very lucky in that I've drilled down exactly how I plan to get there even if it doesn't turn out to go quite as planned I'm sure it's going to be an exciting journey and I hope we can travel the road together, get in touch if you have a similar life goal.