Meet Meghan Donovan, the blogger that found blogging before blogging was a thing. The Blogger is now the influencer. They are coveted by brands and are the go to for inspiration for the normal person. Meghan Donovan recently quit her corporate job, moved from San Francisco to NYC and started her own PR consulting company on top of focusing on her blogging after building wit & whimsy for 10 whole years now!
Read how she did it and how you too can take your side hustle full-time.
1. You created your blog before people had blogs (how many years ago?). What inspired you to create a blog?
Yes! wit & whimsy is celebrating 10 years in December in fact. I've had my blog for 1/3 of my life at this point and it's one of the best things I've ever done. I wish I could take credit for starting it however my brother Kevin actually was the brains behind launching it. He got me set up and I've been blogging ever since!
2. How has the blogging industry evolved? How have you leveraged a "hobby" into a business?
Back when I started blogging it wasn't even yet an industry. It's now people's full time professions and content development has taken on a real production value that wasn't always there. I think blogging started out being more about the written word and has evolved into not only having a point of view and the ability to tell stories, but also share inspiring and visually engaging imagery. The expansion of social media platforms has also changed blogging so that now instead of just writing in one place, you have to market your content in a smart way across multiple channels.
As for turning my hobby into a business, it was certainly slow and steady. I built an audience first and remained committed to consistent content development from the beginning. As I invested more into what I was producing, I began working with companies and monetizing my content by developing something that was mutually beneficial for the brand but also my audience. I analyzed what time and resources I was putting into these partnerships and began pricing out my services. It was important I did this especially because I have another full time job and so much of my blogging work happens at night and on weekends. That being said, I think when you don't blog full time it can be hard to see your blog as anything but a hobby. However changing my approach and treating my blog as a business was the best decision I made. More tips for part-time bloggers can be found here.
3. What advice would you have to people interested in starting their own blog?
Do it! I'm so glad I listened to my brother because now I can't imagine my life without wit & whimsy. That being said, like anything in life, be prepared to take on the project fully. Know that you will sacrifice social activities and evenings and weekends to do it but if you stay committed it will 100% be worth it. I still get so happy anytime anyone comments or engages with me because my readers truly mean everything to me. They've allowed me to have a voice and they've given me a community for which I'm so grateful. The late nights, tight deadlines, shoots in hot heat and freezing cold, early meetings...all of it is worth it because of the readers I have. So develop your vision, do lots of research, ask questions and then begin creating quality content with great imagery several times a week and watch your growth little by little..it will come!
4. What was one of the coolest things to come from your blog? What was one of your biggest challenges?
A highlight that sticks out was being a part of Barneys New York's private unveiling of their holiday windows last year. They invited a group of press the night before to see a sneak peek as introduced by their Creative team and they had carved our social media handles into blocks of ice and placed them into one of the Madison Avenue windows. It was such a pinch me moment to be recognized by a brand that I have so long admired and supported. The other part I love is building out my travel content and partnering with hotels + destinations to promote various places around the world. I feel incredibly lucky everyday for the opportunities that wit & whimsy has afforded me.
As for challenges I will say it remains time management. I have so many ideas for shoots and posts and collaborations that I would love to do but struggle with my bandwidth. It's hard to do all the things involved in blogging well when you also work another job. That being said I have just hired my first intern and couldn't be more excited to partner with her to really hone in on some of the areas I've been looking to improve. Stay tuned as lots is to come for wit & whimsy!
5. You recently left your corporate job to launch your own PR company, what are you most excited about?
Yes, I'm now consulting and it has been such a great experience thus far! I'm so excited to get back to working with beauty and lifestyle brands with people that are so energized and passionate about what they do. I'm loving the hustle and the drive of building my own brand - one that I am solely responsible for and accountable to - and it's been a very fun road. Every day has been different and I'm loving the challenges and excitement that unfolds with each passing week.