Author Archives: Chanelle Garcia

From intern to million-dollar creator in four years

Christina Galbato began her career as a public relations intern in 2015. She launched a personal blog and an Instagram profile in 2016, posting about travel and life in New York City. “Back then, it was just a passion project,” recalls Christina. Soon, she started connecting with other content creators, including those earning income as bloggers and social media influencers.

That led to a life-changing, “aha” moment.

“I realized I could actually make money and have a full-time career doing this,” Christina says. She landed her first paid gig creating content for a Caribbean tourism board. One job led to another, and another. She grew her network and built herwebsite, herblog and her following, establishing herself as a dependable and engaging influencer. Other brands came calling, and Christina’s success skyrocketed.

Within a year, she’d earned enough income as a content creator to quit her job as a marketing assistant. She built her portfolio and attracted more business deals, earning six figures from brand collaborations. She traveled the world, visiting 16 countries. As her community and success grew, things began to shift. “My followers started to ask me, ‘How can I do what you do?’” Christina says. She transitioned away from travel content to become an online educator, creatingcourses and apodcast to help other creators monetize their businesses.

Screen capture of a website features images of women against a pink background, and titles of three different podcast episodes focused on content creation.

Christina’s podcast includes influencer industry news, business and blogging strategies and social media advice.

By 2020, Christina’s business brought in its first $1 million in revenue. By 2021, she more than doubled that revenue stream, with enough work to hire 20 team members — most of whom are women. With an audience of over 500,000 online, she has already helped 10,000 other women become successful influencers and is expanding her courses and coaching offerings to help even more.

Christina offers her advice in the latest Creator Insights series, launching today on the Google for Creators YouTube channel. “I'm excited to encourage other creators and show them a number of different ways that they can monetize their content,” she says. Some topics Christina covers include creating a strategic content plan, making your pitches stand out to brands and calculating rates for sponsored content.

Here, she shares three tips for content creators to get on track to achieve their own success.

Christina leans against a railing overlooking the water and the New York City skyline. She is smiling with long brown hair, wearing a flowy, long-sleeved red dress.

Christina transitioned away from travel blogging to become an online educator, sharing what she’s learned with other content creators and social media influencers.

Network with other creators and brands

Christina’s success didn’t happen by accident. She followed and connected with other content creators, inviting them into her community and tapping into theirs. At the same time, she reached out to brands and public relations companies representing brands. “Do not underestimate the power of networking,” Christina advises. “You want to run a business that serves people, that serves your audience. So if you're not talking to them, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.”

Focus on your audience, not yourself

“The biggest mistake new creators make is too much focus on ‘me me me content, and not enough on value,” Christina observes. “The online landscape and what it means to be a successful influencer has changed a lot. Five years ago, you could post about what you were doing, selfies, pictures of what you were eating. People don't care about that stuff anymore. People are always asking, ‘What is in it for me?’ Lead from a point of view of always providing value to your audience — whether that is entertainment, informational content or inspiration. That's going to set you apart from people who aren’t leading with that mindset…and bring you success a lot quicker.”

Diversify your platforms and income streams

Christina’s content strategy includes a website that serves as her brand hub, which branches out onto her social media channels. She also reaches her audience through an email list and her podcasts. “It’s not just being on Instagram, but also having an email list and growing your audience on a platform that you own, like a blog,” she advises. “Creators should also explore different ways to monetize their content. In addition to brand collaborations, there’s affiliate marketing, creating online courses and other digital products. Never put all of your eggs in one basket, whether it's a content publishing platform or an income stream.”

Holding her dog, Koa, and smiling, Christina stands on the sidewalk with a wrought-iron fence and brick building behind her. She has long brown hair down and wears an off-the-shoulder, long-sleeved peach-colored dress.

Christina is expanding her classes and coaching programs to help more aspiring entrepreneurs become successful creators and influencers.

Want to learn more about becoming a successful content creator and social influencer? Watch Christina’s first Creator Insights video on the Google for Creators YouTube channel and stay tuned for more.

A creator who started posting at age 12 now has over 700,000 fans

Google for Creators recently launched The Conversation, a new YouTube series spotlighting the experiences of women of color creators. This month, we’re featuring 21-year-old creative director, model and social media influencer Hannah Mussette, who began creating and posting content at age 12. Learn more about Hannah below and check out the full interview.

Social media influencer Hannah Mussette grew up on the internet, creating and posting content starting at age 12. Now, at 21, Hannah has a successful brand and over half a million followers. But the road to get there wasn’t easy. Like many others, she found that middle school wasn’t always a welcoming, inclusive environment. “I had very bad social anxiety,” Hannah recalls. “I was getting made fun of in school. I didn’t have any friends. My only outlet was to turn to the internet.”

Hannah began creating and sharing videos as a way to express her bubbly personality — showing what she had in her backpack or just goofing around with her sister. “I felt the internet wouldn’t judge me,” she shares. “I felt more comfortable being myself online, which I couldn’t do in [my] environment.”

Hannah began posting makeup tutorials in high school, taking note of what other women of color were doing online. At 16, she decided to go public with a deeply personal issue — her hair. “I used a relaxer, which is the devil,” she says. “My father said, ‘Do something with your hair. It looks fried.’ I said, ‘OK, I got you.’” Hannah took matters, and scissors, into her own hands. 30 minutes later, she emerged from the bathroom with her hair cut short. She documented the process in a YouTube video calledMy BIG Chop!, which quickly went viral. “I was watching the views go up,” Hannah says. “It was 20,000. Then, it was 50,000. Then, it was a million before I knew it. I was like, ‘Wow!’ And I knew that was my niche.”

Hannah’s YouTube homepage featuring her “Nighttime skincare and shower routine,” among other haircare and skincare videos.

Hannah shares haircare, skincare and modeling tips, as well as her thoughts on sexuality and self-care, in her YouTube videos.

Since it was first posted in 2016, Hannah’s haircut video has attracted more than 1.5 million views. HerYouTube channel now has 433,000 subscribers, who watch Hannah’s take on natural haircare and skincare, beauty, style, relationships and more. And herInstagram profile has 240,000 followers.

Today, Hannah is a professional model, content creator and social media influencer, with sponsorship and affiliate deals from multiple beauty brands. She is also co-founder and creative director ofJumu, a company that sells natural hair products.

Hannah shares some of what she’s learned from growing up in the social media spotlight.

Hannah smiles as she shows off her brown curly hair, which she wears in an afro. She has on a tank top, gold necklaces, hoop earrings and rings on her fingers.

Creating and sharing content helped Hannah overcome anxiety and find herself. It also jump-started her career in modeling and business.

Evolving with her content

Hannah’s content evolved as she grew into a young woman. “My content has changed dramatically,” she says. “Between the [ages] of 14 to 17, it was usually hair videos or school vlogs. I would take my camera to school and film with my friends.” Today, Hannah still shares beauty and styling tips, but she also vlogs on self-care and sexuality. She even opened up about her adoption story. “Now we're talking about grown-up stuff,” she says. “We're having girl talks.”

Taking on social issues

Hannah also promotes Black-owned businesses and posts about women’s rights and social justice issues. She doesn’t intend to stir up controversy, but she doesn’t shy away from it either. “I’m trying to educate,” she says. “People will either agree with me or they won’t. That’s the joy of social media. For every negative comment, there are 30 more from people wanting to know more, and thanking me for posting and speaking up.” Still, living in the social media spotlight can be challenging. “Social media can be a little bit scary,” Hannah admits. “I’m showing my personality, but some people will throw that back in your face. I try not to listen to [the negative] comments.”

Being a role model

Hannah wishes she could tell her 12-year-old self that everything would turn out OK. Now, she wants to inspire other girls and women of color to feel good about themselves. “My biggest inspiration is little girls, Black girls,” Hannah says. “Because when I first started [posting] the hair videos, the initial comments were, ‘Oh, I'm 10, or I’m 12, and my mom won't let me cut my hair, but I want to. I want to be like you one day.’ I want to be that person for little girls… that person that they can look up to.”

Hannah stands on a sidewalk in Manhattan, New York, with trees and a metal fence behind her. She wears a red, oversized blazer with a lacy black top, red lipstick and her hair in braids.

Hannah looks ahead to a bright future, which includes inspiring other girls and women of color.

How a creator’s natural hair journey built community

Google for Creators recently launched The Conversation, a new YouTube series spotlighting the experiences of women of color creators. This month, we’re featuring beauty and lifestyle creator Tyla-Lauren Gilmore, who shared how her natural hair journey led her to build an online community and become a full-time content creator. Learn more about Tyla-Lauren below and check out the full interview.

In 2014, Tyla-Lauren Gilmore graduated college and began to earn a living on her own. She was also trying to find herself, and started thinking about what kind of image she presented to the world. As she looked in the mirror, she wondered why, as a woman of color, she was straightening her natural curls — a process that, over many years, left her hair dry and damaged.

“A college friend told me, ‘Ty, people pay for your curly hair. You should embrace it,’” the native New Yorker says. “Not many of my friends had curly hair, so it was up to me. I was in search of community.”

Tyla-Lauren took to social media to find other women who looked like her. After following a few beauty bloggers on YouTube and Instagram, she began documenting her own natural hair journey. “I was figuring out what to do with my big afro,” she says. “I started posting my natural hair care tips and tricks onInstagram.” Almost immediately, other women took notice, and her online following grew.

Tyla-Lauren knew she’d tapped into something special when a widowed dad reached out for advice. “A father [messaged] me saying, ‘Hey, I just lost my wife, and I have no idea how to do my daughter’s hair,’” she recalls. “I gave him step-by-step processes of how to do his daughter’s hair. And he was so grateful. From then on, I knew this was something I wanted to do.”

She continued to grow her web presence over the next few years, including starting aYouTube channel. In 2018, she quit her 9-to-5 job at a beauty products company to become a full-time digital content creator.

Tyla-Lauren’s YouTube homepage features a hero video on her new curly hair routine, along with five other hairstyling videos.

Tyla-Lauren Gilmore’s YouTube channel features dozens of videos and has almost 10,000 subscribers.

Now, Tyla-Lauren has more than 150,000 followers across her social media channels, creating a supportive space for women to connect and share their experiences. She posts on beauty and fashion, lifestyle, cooking, parenting, travel and self-care. She aims to create authentic content that people can relate to. “I love helping people, especially younger girls looking for a role model,” she says. She has also developed business partnerships with major brands across different industries, with herTyLauren website serving as the home base for her growing portfolio.

Tyla-Lauren smiles as she sits at a wooden table with a hot drink and phone in front of her. She wears her hair long, in curls, with a beige coat and black shirt.

Tyla-Lauren Gilmore started posting about her natural hair journey on social media; today, she’s a full-time content creator.

For Tyla-Lauren, helping other women and girls on their own self-discovery journeys makes the hard work of being a full-time content creator well worth the effort. She offers two pieces of advice to other women considering becoming creators themselves.

Know your self-worth

Tyla-Lauren recalls the first $50 she received for creating original content. “At first, I viewed it as extra gas money for my commute into the city,” she remembers. But when she left her corporate job, Tyla-Lauren had to get savvy about how to survive and thrive as a solopreneur. She recommends researching the content creation space you’re in to learn more about what brands will pay for product reviews, content sponsorship and other types of business deals. “You may be super appreciative to [work with brands], but it’s not about working for free,” she notes. “Brands have money, and you are a contractor who is doing a job for them. I want all young creators to know this: Take pride in your work and know your self-worth. Be savage! Never sell yourself short!”

Be relatable… and vulnerable

So many social media influencers, including celebrities, curate seemingly flawless images online. Tyla-Lauren strives to create a welcoming community for all women and girls, inviting them to share their day-to-day life experiences. “I’m a creator, but I’m also a human being,” she says. “I want to erase that [ideal] that everything is perfect and all flowy dresses and vacations. That’s not what being a creator is about. I talk to people about normal stuff like laundry and grocery shopping and things that we all go through.” Her posts on mental health and self-care, including her own experiences in therapy, have been very popular with her followers. “These posts get a huge response,” she says. “People connect with you. Everyone’s story matters. We’re all human.”

Tyla-Lauren stands on a deck outside with a checkered flannel shirt. A mountain and trees with changing color leaves are in the background.

Tyla-Lauren wants her readers to be vulnerable and know their worth.

Want to hear more? Check out the full video interview with Tyla-Lauren on The Conversation.

Women of color creators share their journeys to success

Women of color are doing incredible things online. They are creating educational and inspiring content, and making their marks as influencers in fashion and beauty, health and wellness, business, and more. They’re making a living building their brands and presenting their authentic selves . And they’re creating strong communities around their shared experiences.

Today, on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we’re launching The Conversation — a new YouTube series to share and celebrate the experiences of women of color creators. Each interview will feature a new woman of color creator talking about her background and journey, including her struggles and successes. Guests will share how they’ve built brands that resonate with others, and how they’ve turned their passions into full-time careers. They’ll also discuss how gender, race and culture have influenced their paths, the ups and downs of getting to where they are today, and what they hope to share with the world. No topic is off the table, including how to handle haters and overcome creator burnout.

Our first episode features creator Tyla-Lauren Gilmore. In 2015, after many years of straightening her hair, Tyla-Lauren decided to embrace her natural curls. She began documenting her personal transformation on Instagram and YouTube, and almost immediately, other women took notice. Today, more than 150,000 subscribers follow her beauty and lifestyle posts across her social media channels. Tyla-Lauren continues to share her personal stories in the hopes of inspiring other women to embrace their natural beauty and feel comfortable in their own skin.

Tyla-Lauren poses for the camera wearing a white button-down shirt and stylish glasses frames.

Tyla-Lauren Gilmore is the first creator featured in The Conversation.

Next month, we’ll hear from beauty and style influencer, fashion model and creative director Hannah Mussette. Hannah started creating content at the age of 12. Now, at 21, she’s a popular social media personality sharing modeling, fashion, makeup and hair care tips on YouTube and Instagram, and inviting candid discussions on topics such as self-care and social justice. She also co-founded a line of hair care products for natural Black hair called JuMu. The youngest creator interviewed in our series, Hannah shares what it’s been like to grow up online in front of an audience that supports and occasionally scrutinizes her content, which has evolved over the nine years she's been posting.

Hannah Musette walks on a sidewalk in front of a grey tiled wall. She has waist-length braids and is wearing a white shirt, baggy black pants, and a purse.

Hannah Musette is a fashion model and influencer who started creating YouTube videos in high school

The goal of The Conversation is to pull back the curtain on creators like Tyla-Lauren and Hannah so you can get to know the women behind the brands. Visit the Google for Creators YouTube channel to watch the first episode of The Conversation, and share what you thought in the comments.

Building community and bridges through Black food culture

Eden Hagos grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in a family of East African food entrepreneurs. Her parents ran a restaurant, among other food businesses, and her grandmother sold injera (a sour fermented flatbread). When she moved to Toronto to attend university, Eden “wanted to fit in,” leaving her East African diet and traditions — such as using injera, instead of utensils, to scoop fragrantly spiced dishes — behind.

However, when Eden experienced racism from restaurant staff while dining out for her 26th birthday, her worldview changed forever. “Being denied respect because of my skin color made me ask myself why I had never considered celebrating special occasions at an African or Caribbean restaurant,” Eden recalls. “Why didn’t I cook my cultural foods? I knew then that I wanted to change the way I looked at food.”

Eden traveled the world, attending food festivals and interviewing chefs about Black food and culture. She discovered a gap in the food industry and set out to build a digital community around Black cuisine. In 2015, she launched theBLACK FOODIE website and social media accounts, bringing together chefs, restaurateurs, and other experts and influencers to celebrate what it means to beBlack in the kitchen.

The BLACK FOODIE community onInstagram and Facebook began to grow. As the content got cooking, Eden realized her audience was expanding as well. Two years after she started the community, the BLACK FOODIE team blossomed into a group of three with the addition of Elle Asiedu, Chief Brand Architect, and Kema Joseph, who supports the brand's PR strategy. The team developed BLACK FOODIE into a cross-channel brand with its website at the center — sharing recipes, stories, restaurant recommendations and food travel guides.

Black Foodie founder Eden Hagos smiles in a white halter top with red necklace, hoop earrings and upswept hair, as she chops green veggies at the kitchen counter.

Eden Hagos founded BLACK FOODIE to change the conversation around Black food culture.

Today, BLACK FOODIE’s web presence brings 230,000 followers to the table and the conversation. They’ve attracted business partnerships and media attention, and hosted events such as BLACK FOODIE Week in Toronto in support of Black-owned businesses.

"There are so many content opportunities for us to tell unique stories across different platforms,” says Elle. “We want to include the different voices and perspectives of the diaspora to truly help our audience and food lovers around the world understand the diversity of Black food culture."

Community is at the heart of all BLACK FOODIE is and does. Eden and Elle sat down with us to share a few tips on how they built the BLACK FOODIE digital community.

Mix up content formats

Video is a great format for recipes, Eden says, because people want to see how the dishes are made. BLACK FOODIE shares short videos on Instagram and even shorter videos on TikTok. They post longer stories and written recipes on the BLACK FOODIE website. “People can do a deeper dive on our website,” Eden says. “Our website allows us to have a broader base to include folks who aren’t on social media. If you’re going to type a search into Google, we want to have robust content on the website so you can find us. We reformat and repackage our content so nobody gets left out.”

A colorful stew of fava beans, red onions, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers, topped with yogurt, cumin and lemon.

Eden shares her recipe for Ethiopian-style ful, a popular and colorful protein-packed stew.

Stir up audience comments

It’s obvious from social media that people love to look at, post photos of, and talk about food. BLACK FOODIE has found that audiences especially engage with content related to foods from their childhood. When a Toronto-based stand-up comedian posted about craving banana bread during the pandemic, for example, BLACK FOODIE was quick to repost. Another conversation-starter was a post on the great oat milk debate, as readers chimed in on their preferences for a non-dairy alternative. “We pin fun posts where people are commenting between themselves, so it has a chat room feel,” says Eden.

Open the door to everyone

Following the global social justice protests that took place throughout summer 2020, more people are seeking out the BLACK FOODIE platform as a common meeting place. “People are more interested in finding out about the Black experience to understand what’s happening and why it’s happening,” Elle notes. “We’ve seen a spike in followers who are not part of the Black community interacting with our posts and asking and answering questions. This sense of openness underscores the opportunity for food to be a gateway for social commentary and, in a lot of ways, justice. We try to keep our content light and engaging so folks feel like they can always join in and leave having learned something new.”

A woman wearing white halter top, shorts and straw hat holds a pink fruity drink while seated on a blue-and-green striped blanket in a backyard picnic.

BLACK FOODIE blogged on how to create a beautiful backyard picnic — a simple, outdoor activity for pandemic-weary people that appealed to a wide audience.

Want more advice on how to build your web community? Watch Eden and Elle share “3 tips for building your digital community.” And check out more of their Creator Insights videos on the Google Web Creators YouTube channel.

Highlights from the Web Stories Workshop

In May, over 100 content creators, publishers, agencies, and other businesses joined the Google Web Creators team for a virtual workshop on Web Stories. The workshop was designed to teach attendees about media-rich, tappable, web-based Stories so they could create their own. And now, we want to share the information and presentations from that workshop with you!

An introduction to Web Stories

In the workshop’s intro session, Raunak Mahesh from Google’s Global Product Partnerships team covered the basics of Web Stories. He explained how they’re an effective storytelling format for all types of content creators — from large news outlets like USA Today to individual creators like The Tiny Herbivore. He also shared that more people continue to access content on their mobile phones, and that 64% of readers prefer tappable content over scrolling articles.

Raunak Mahesh is seated in front of the camera, with a green plant and white walls behind him.

Google’s Raunak Mahesh presents Web Stories basics and benefits at the Web Stories Workshop.

Raunak also shared the benefits of Web Stories. Unlike closed platforms, you own your Web Stories, control how long they’re active, and can use them to direct readers to other content on your website or blog. And you don’t need to know how to write code to create Web Stories. Tools such as MakeStories, Newsroom AI, and the WordPress Web Stories plugin put building Stories within reach of busy bloggers and journalists.

Stories allow you to reach new audiences through Google Search and Discover, and can be embedded on your blog for added visual flair. They also help you monetize your content on your own terms, using affiliate links and ads.

Web Stories best practices

Next, Google Web Ecosystem Consultant Shishir Malani discussed best practices for creating Web Stories. Here are his top tips:

  1. Include a clear title and branding elements on your cover page.
  2. Create a complete narrative and flesh out your content with interviews, research, lists of items, and destinations or steps. Stories with incomplete narratives perform poorly compared to stories with complete narrative arcs.
  3. When deciding what to put on a page, think of the media first. “We like to think of Web Stories as writing a blog, but backwards,” Shishir said. “So start with the visuals that will best and most vibrantly tell your story, and then add in text to clarify the narrative.”
  4. Ideally, a Web Story should be 10 to 15 pages long. On each page, text should be readable — ideally less than 280 characters or the length of a tweet. “Shorter is better,” Shishir shared.
  5. Accessibility should be baked in, not an afterthought. In addition to making sure all text is readable, remember to caption your videos. When designing, stay within your tools’ safe zone — where important text and graphics won’t get cut off — so that all readers can fully understand your story.
Shishir wears a blue shirt and virtually presents a slide titled “Drafting the narrative.”

Web Ecosystem Consultant Shishir Malani discusses Web Stories best practices.

You can watch both sessions in the Web Stories workshop video. You can also check out other sessions from the workshop, including a presentation from Forbes about how they use Web Stories in their content mix, and a Q&A session with Google Web Stories experts. For more tips and resources for creating compelling Web Stories, visit the Storytime section of the Google Web Creators YouTube channel.

Finding a niche in holistic living

Every morning at 7 a.m, you’ll find Andi Eaton on her meditation cushion to center herself and get the creative juices flowing. She spends her days creating content on holistic living, wellness and mystical thinking for her Oui, We girl blog and social media accounts. She also leads classes on “the art of lunar living,” writes books, and produces her podcast, where she offers “a mix of cosmic ideas and practical, actionable advice.”

Pandemic-weary people are seeking ways to de-stress and reconnect with themselves, and each other. Andi, “your woo woo best friend,” has created an online community for kindred souls to do just that. A former corporate executive, Andi discovered her niche by following her passion and trusting in herself. Now her blog attracts more than 500K readers a month, and Andi is a full-time content creator, spiritual coach, speaker, author and business consultant. 

Andi sits at her laptop in her LA home office, wearing a brown-and-white print sundress.

Andi creates the Oui, We girl blog from her home office in Los Angeles.

Taking a cosmic leap

Andi spent the first part of her career in marketing for a beauty products company, managing their spas and salons in New Orleans. In 2014, she switched gears, moving to a small village in Spain where she could walk to a Buddhist temple. “There, everything started to shift for me,” recalls Andi. She had been publishing a blog for women traveling alone and began weaving in elements of astrology. Interest in the blog soared, leading Andi to publish a Bohemian travel guide

Over the next few years, Andi developed her Oui, We blog and brand. Her brand of holistic living and wellness content — mixed with yoga, meditation, astrology, and feel-good, spiritual “woo” — took off. “We grew tenfold in 2019,” she shares. “And that’s how I went from the corporate world to doing a full-time blog.”

Andi wears a pink dress and raises her arms in a field of wildflowers overlooking the ocean, on the cover of her Bohemian travel guidebook.

Andi’s first blog on women’s solo travel led her to publish a Bohemian travel guidebook.

She founded Andi Eaton Creatives, a team of digital marketers who helps her curate blog content, develop digital programming, manage partnerships, and run other aspects of her growing business. 

Andi chatted with us from her home office in Los Angeles to share a few tips on what it takes to make your own magic and be a successful web creator — no matter woo you are. 

Learn to spot hot content 

Andi follows her heart … and her Google Analytics. She pays close attention to keyword searches and how her site ranks on Google Search. “We were ranking organically on the first page of Google for quite a few different categories,” Andi says. “We thought OK, this is what people are coming to the site for. So let’s create more content like that.” High-ranking blog posts on full moon rituals and North Node Astrology were ripe for additional content creation. “The number one way we get new people to the site is through organic search,” Andi shares. Tapping into these popular topics helps shape Andi’s content strategy. 

Create a content plan 

Andi maps her content ideas on a yearly calendar, paying attention to seasons, holidays and events. 

“We are constantly brainstorming new ways of creating moon-specific posts,” she says. Then, I create social media content on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest that aligns with that. I've also built out courses from that content.” 

People seated in a circle on a red print carpet around Tarot cards and crystals.

Andi’s blog posts on full moon rituals are among her most popular.

Get to know SEO 

“If you want to make money doing this, you need people coming to your website,” Andi notes. “So you're going to need to learn SEO [search engine optimization]. We can write really beautiful posts and with beautiful photos, but if nobody's showing up, you don't have a business. There are great SEO tools and resources out there.” Andi also encourages website visitors to sign up for her email newsletter with a free “8-Step Guide to Manifestation Magic.” “We’re getting about 1,500 new subscribers each month with that freebie alone.”
Andi wears a flowy peach top and skirt in a photo for her spirituality and empowerment podcast, “Your Woo Woo Best Friend.”

On her podcast, "Your Woo Woo Best Friend," Andi shares her approach to spirituality and tips for living a more empowered life. 

Nurture your creative self

Most importantly, Andi says to be clear about your values and what you want to do with your web presence. “Find your people and every day, do something for yourself that grows your self worth and confidence.” Beware of the inner critic that leads to “imposter syndrome” in so many creators, particularly women, Andi says. “Because that's the stuff that will take you down and off the path — if you don't stay in a place of belief that this is possible.”
Andi wears a two-piece leopard-print swimsuit as she leaps into a green pool of water

“Soul strategist” Andi Eaton took the plunge into full-time content creation (pictured here in Tulum, Mexico).

Learn more from Andi about “Finding success through authenticity as a web creator.” And check out more of her Creator Insights videos on the Google Web Creators YouTube channel.

The evolution of lifestyle and beauty blogger Keiko Lynn

When Keiko Lynn moved to New York City, she had $700, a fledgling fashion line and the LiveJournal blog she had written since she was 15. “I was working from home and sewing every day,” she says. “I only knew two people in New York and I never left home unless I was walking my dog.” Her home is where the modern incarnation of began.

“I started documenting my outfits every day to hold myself accountable and make sure that I was getting up and getting dressed,” she says. It may have started as a simple idea, but it quickly took off. In the last 20 years, her blog has transformed from an online diary to a promotional tool to a full-time business. 

Keiko wears a patterned dress with a handbag.

Keiko often curates her blog with colorful dresses, handbags fit for the season.

“I was so young when I started my blog,” Keiko shares. “It was before I had a camera of any kind, so it was all text and I treated it like a diary.” When Keiko moved away for college, the blog underwent its first major transformation. “I got a digital camera and used it to document my life and keep in touch with friends and family,” she says. In many ways, her blog has remained true to its original intent: It’s personal and conversational, and it reads like recommendations from a friend. She carefully considers product reviews she writes, keeps price in mind and has yet to recommend something you couldn’t re-wear. 

“I think my blog is much more personal than a lot of people's blogs because that's how it started out,” Keiko says. “There's a certain level of expectation where people want to know what's going on in my life that I haven't ever really fully moved away from.”

Keiko is the first person featured in the new Creator Insights series, hosted on the Google Web Creators YouTube channel. In her Creator Insights videos, Keiko weighs in on critical parts of her journey to becoming a full-time creator, discussing how to work smarter, determine your rates and generate more traffic. We recently caught up with Keiko to learn more.

On the ins and outs of being your own brand

When asked about her brand, she says, “I didn’t start with the intention of it becoming a business. I fell into it, but if I were coaching someone today, that’d be the first thing I would tell them to figure out.” She continues, “I am my own brand, which can be great, but it can also be tricky. If somebody associates your brand with a specific identity, any evolution can feel like a betrayal. Because I am the brand, I have to go with what feels right.” And what feels right, Keiko notes, often goes against typical fashion and style rules. 

Cameras sit on a shelf below a photo adorned with painted flowers

Keiko’s interest in vintage design and photography is on full display in her home office.

On staying true to yourself despite expectations

The blog “explores whatever I'm interested in at the moment,” Keiko says. “It never adheres to what people think I should be doing, wearing or what's popular. It's all about being yourself and having fun with fashion and beauty without adhering to any sort of standard rules, especially within this blogging world.”

If you’re a fashion or beauty blogger and constant consumption doesn’t fit your lifestyle, Keiko says, “disregard it. Disregard the rule that you have to be a hyper-consumer. There's such a pressure to keep up with the Joneses, always to have something new and fresh to talk about. But for me, it just doesn't make sense for me because that's not the lifestyle that I live.”

On sparking initial interest through her clothing line

Keiko began sewing and selling clothes to support herself during college. “I was making my own clothes because I couldn't afford to buy clothes,” she told me. “I would go to thrift stores, buy stuff and rework it. I was like [the girl in] ‘Pretty in Pink,’” she said. She started selling her clothes through her LiveJournal blog. Then “magazines and brands started reaching out to me,” she says, “and I realized this was a great way to market my clothing line." 

Photo of the back of a woman’s head with hair clips that read “Friday,” “Whatever,” and “Party.”

Keiko shares her favorite DIY projects, like making felt hats or custom hair clips.

After running her fashion line for many years, Keiko decided to focus entirely on the blog. It transitioned from a tool for self-promotion to “a marketing platform for whatever I was interested in at the moment and brand partnerships,” Keiko says. “It evolved as a business.” 

On making it work as an influencer

Keiko says her primary sources of income are brand partnerships and affiliate links, but getting new blog readers is still a priority. Social media, Keiko advises, “is a valuable tool to remind people that you still have those long-form posts.” Newsletters are great, too. “They’re like the RSS feeds we used to have...a little ‘new-blog-is-up!’ reminder,” she says. The people who open them are likely some of your most engaged readers. It’s helpful to give them a nudge.

It’s also essential to find the type of social media that best augments your strategy. “Pinterest is underutilized for bloggers,” she says. “Food bloggers and travel bloggers already know that Pinterest is highly valuable, but in the style and beauty space, a lot of people who still maintain blogs don't utilize it enough and are seeing the benefits of Pinterest from other people pinning their photos.”

A woman sits on a cement ledge before a red wall.

Keiko Lynn is her own brand and follows her interests wherever they take her.

While Instagram posts may disappear or peak in 24 hours, Pinterest posts have the potential to remain evergreen. “I have posts that are over a decade old that still are top traffic earners,” Keiko says. 

But the most crucial advice Keiko has for bloggers in any industry is to “carve out a space for yourself instead of trying to mirror what you view as successful,” she says. “You don’t want to be a carbon copy because you’re always competing with the already successful person. Separate and allow yourself to be as weird as you want to be.”

"It's great to poll the audience to see what they want, but you also have to tell them and show them what they want because they came to you for a reason."

Your interests and needs will change but if you invest in your own evolution and consider which platforms align with your content, your audience, too, will follow you anywhere. You can learn more about Keiko Lynn by watching Creator Insights on the Google Web Creators YouTube.

Get expert tips and strategies with Creator Insights

We know that being a creator isn’t always easy. You have a unique vision and goals but with so many platforms, revenue opportunities and traffic and content strategies, the journey can be uncertain. That’s why we launched this blog and the Google Web Creators YouTube channel — to serve as tools for content creators of all kinds to learn how to produce innovative content and earn an income from the web.

That’s why we’re excited to announce Creator Insights, a new series on our YouTube channel where expert content creators will share their top tips and tricks to help you grow your audience, content strategies that make you stand out, and more. Each featured creator will host multiple videos, so you can get to know them and their brand while you hear their insights on numerous topics relevant to creating for the web.

Keiko behind the scenes

Our first featured creator is Keiko Lynn. A fashion and lifestyle blogger, Keiko has been sharing her life online since she was 15 years old. From a public diary, to promoting her fashion line, to a full-time business, Keiko’s blog has grown and changed with her. Watch now as Keiko walks you through how to determine your rates as an influencer, how to tailor content to different platforms and how to survive as a one-woman production and advertising company.

We will be covering many different topics throughout the series. Make sure to watch all of Keiko’s videos and to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out.

Nakisha Wynn helps other moms build profitable blogs

Nakisha Wynn was working at a financial services firm when life took an unexpected turn. She thought about starting a blog aimed at other moms, particularly single mothers. “I didn’t see anybody who looked like me doing the blogging thing,” Nakisha notes. “It was either these fabulous girls showing off their fashions or huge bloggers I couldn’t relate to, so I birthed my blog from that.”

In 2016, Nakisha, where she blogs about single parenting, personal finance, working at home, family travel, frugal living and self-care.

Nakisha Wynn blogs about single parenting, personal finance, working at home, family travel, frugal living and self-care.

Today, her following extends to social media, including YouTube, Instagram andFacebook. She has developed brand partnerships, participates in affiliate programs and offers her professional services as a content creator, coach and speaker. 

Nakisha describes how “hard work, persistence and dedication” led to her entrepreneurial success as a web creator, blogger and YouTuber. 

How would you start a blog from scratch?

The very first thing I would do is connect with current bloggers that I look up to. Comment on their videos or blog posts and follow them on Instagram and put yourself into that person's community. Study them to see what they're doing and how they're doing, and then just go for it! I would do as much as I can and then I would get mentorship to take me to the next level.

photo of Nakisha Wynn

Nakisha draws on her finance background to help other moms become successful bloggers

Could you break down your website sections?

My ”Mom Life” section is where my roots are. That's what really caught the attention of everyone, because I was sharing a very unique story of being a single mom who decided to jump up and leave her corporate job and get out here and just wing it. Motherhood is the foundation of my business. I am passionate about moms pursuing their real-life dreams and going for it. 

I have “Family Finances” because my background is banking. And I have overcome some financial obstacles in my life, dealing with credit issues and learning how to budget and manage finances by myself being single. So I share things around saving money and how to budget and making money on the side, side hustles. One of the biggest things that I learned, which helped me to truly get out here and work for myself, is multiple streams of income is huge.

a photo of Nakisha's website

Mom Life is a core topic on Nakisha’s website and blog.

How do you come up with ideas for your blog? 

I'm often live on YouTube or Instagram, and I use what my audience is asking me. I think it's one of the most amazing ways to come up with content ideas. Because if you are having that ongoing conversation with your audience, they will tell you exactly what they want to see. 

screenshot of Nakisha's YouTube channel

Nakisha vlogs about blogging on her YouTube channel.

Do you keep an editorial calendar? 

For sure! There’s no way I could stay on task and create as much content as I do without one. I posted a video on How to Create a Content Calendar. It's essential — especially if you have other businesses or if you're working other jobs — to stay on task to make sure you're staying up on trends. 

Is blogging still worth it?

Absolutely! I think it's important for people to have a place to go to, to see what you're all about. People will watch you for months before they even reach out. If I only have your social media to go to, I don't really know what your story is. I want to go to your blog. I want to see your website’s “About” section. You need a home and a place to house your information, and to [show] who you are about so that when people are ready to pay you, they can have somewhere to come and knock on the door to give you the check.

You put out so much content. Are you a one-woman show?

This is a one-woman show! Listen, it can be done. It takes hard work, persistence and dedication. You got to really want this, and I really want this. For me, it is such an absolute pleasure and privilege to be able to do something I absolutely love every single day.