Many bloggers can make an income from posting recipes, fashion tips and home decor and local blogger Alycia Crowley accomplished that.
Crowley is the woman behind the blog Crowley Party. She joined the blogosphere more than six years ago as a way of keeping in touch with her family while away at college. The blog helps fill in the gaps of the important life events her family can’t attend, such as her husband’s graduation from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.
“I was so sad I couldn’t be there, but Alycia had a great blog post with pictures about the graduation,” said Lisa Leavitt, Crowley’s mother. “It made me feel like I was able to be a little part of the celebration.”
While Crowley started the blog as a way to keep her friends and family in touch while she was away, her project slowly morphed into a lifestyle blog. She still posts about trips she takes with her husband, but those posts are supplemented with make-up tutorials and outfit inspirations.
Crowley works full time in marketing but spends most evenings and weekends putting together blog posts. Time management is the key to keeping her friends and family a priority while still accomplishing her work.
“Consistency is key when it comes to blogging,” Crowley said. “I never want my blog to feel like a chore. It is a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work.”
Maintaining the balance between work, family and blogging is delicate and tough for other bloggers as well. Newlyweds may start blogging but take a break when they have children, like former blogger Elaine Hearn, whose blog was called Clothed Much. Other newlyweds take on the challenge despite knowing the difficulties.
“There are pros and cons to one day making my blog a full-time career,” said Allie Jensen, a newlywed blogger at alsaidndone.com. “The main pro is that I am passionate about blogging, and who doesn’t want to make money off of something that is fun for them?”
Jensen also recognizes the cons of full-time blogging, like criticism, lack of privacy and the constant need to regulate social media feeds. She also worries about treating herself and her family “like a brand.”
Some fashion and mommy bloggers turn their blogs into full-time jobs and make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, while others bring in a supplemental income from posting what they love in their free time.
“Fortunately I do make money from my blog, which is a really nice perk,” Crowley said. “There are so many different ways to make money through blogging; the possibilities are endless. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen.”
Crowley currently works with an affiliate company that provides flash ads for her site. She gets paid for page views, click-through ads and occasionally makes commissions on sales that originate from her blog.
Crowley has also worked on several paid campaigns with Almay and Suave. Some campaigns require her to simply tweet about them, while others have her review a product on her blog.
Opportunities to partner with businesses exist, but having enough followers to catch their attention is the most daunting task. Crowley has gained thousands of followers by actively participating in the blogging community.
“If you aren’t networking and connecting with other bloggers and readers, they won’t know you exist,” Crowley said. “The Internet is a big space, and you can easily get lost or go unnoticed,” Crowley said.
Blogs are becoming increasingly popular with Millennials looking for inspiration, whether it be meal planning, redecorating a room or just wanting to learn about others’ perspectives.
“While I can’t speak for everyone, blogs are trendy because they serve as open-access inspiration,” Jensen said. “I also think blogging is a much less intrusive form of advertising for the Millennial customer who hates feeling bombarded with annoying sales associates.”
Crowley receives mostly positive feedback, but bloggers will always face those who disagree with their fashion sense or beliefs. That’s all part of the unwritten job description. In Crowley’s experience, readers who do appreciate the blog post and leave positive comments give the blogger a great sense of accomplishment.
“One of my friends shared a blog post written by Alycia, and it was super interesting, so I went through some of her other posts,” said Maile Garrett, a 21-year-old accounting major from Dallas. “My favorite thing about Crowley Party is the variety. I like that she doesn’t just stick to one topic. It keeps me interested and keeps me coming back.”
Crowley’s ability to share her beliefs with thousands of people over a public forum is what she enjoys most about blogging. She loves using the comments section to discuss her opinions and beliefs with readers.
“I know a lot of bloggers who don’t want to be as open about their thoughts or faith affiliation on their blogs, and I totally respect that. But for me, I love showcasing it, and (I) think that type of honesty and openness is what makes me appealing to readers,” Crowley said.
Crowley Party averages more than 100,000 page views per month and is growing. Crowley’s sticking to herself and her beliefs has helped her establish a blog she can turn into a full-time career whenever she’s ready.