Tag Archives: Web Creators

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.

AS.com takes readers to the game with Web Stories

As digital partner to the daily sports newspaper Diario AS, AS.com is a popular destination for sports fans looking for the latest news, statistics and commentary. Based in Madrid, AS.com publishes local editions in Spanish and English for readers around the world.

The AS.com homepage with a carousel of Web Story preview images at the top, featuring faces of athletes.

The AS.com homepage during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics featured a Web Stories carousel, articles and videos of sporting events and star athletes.

AS.com has always set its sights on new and innovative content formats. “Our main goal is to make an impact with the reader. Our journalists at AS are experts at finding the right format for each piece of content to maximize the impact on our audience,” says Diario AS Deputy Editor Tomás de Cos. But with so many online destinations for sports fans, the pressure was on for the team to not only retain but grow their audience. They found their solution with Web Stories

Introducing Web Stories to the mix

The AS.com team first learned about Web Stories at the AMP Conference 2018 in Amsterdam. Later that year, they published their first Web Story, “Las Claves del Clásico contadas por AS” (“The Keys to the Clásico, explained by AS”), for the Barcelona vs. Real Madrid match — a face-off between the two biggest rivals in Spanish football. “It was a super fun and enriching experiment,” says Manuel Barrios, Deputy Director of Strategy, Digital Distribution and International Expansion at Diario AS. The team spent the next year researching how other media sites use Web Stories, while testing out different publishing tools for their own website. 

“Next, we went for a much more ambitious project — a guide to the NBA, launched at the start of the 2020 playoffs,” Manuel shares. The guide included a series of Web Stories about each of the league’s 30 teams, which were featured in a carousel on the homepage. 

A web page on AS.com with square tiles displaying various NBA logos.

During the 2020 playoffs, AS.com featured Web Stories profiling all NBA teams in a carousel format on its homepage.

Spotlighting major sporting events

Since its success with the NBA series, AS.com has used Web Stories to spotlight other major sporting events, including the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2020). AS.com placed the Euro 2020 Web Stories carousel at the top of the AS.com homepage to make sure visitors would see it.

“We are all too aware that the percentage of users who scroll down on news sites is very low, so our Web Stories had to be seen as soon as our homepage loaded,” Manuel explains. “The coverage from Euro 2020 was crying out for the Web Stories format, because we knew our journalists would be able to make the most of the format and create unique content.” For example, one Web Story shares a behind-the-scenes look at an AS.com journalist’s experience inside the EuroCup stadium

Title card from a Web Story that shows a large soccer stadium with red seats and an empty green field.

A Web Story from a journalist’s perspective as they enter the EuroCup stadium.

Engaging sports fans with Web Stories

With the help of their partner StatMuse, a Web Stories editor from BeSocy, and the Google Web Creators YouTube channel, AS.com editors have continued incorporating Web Stories into their special news features and events coverage. 

“The global audience of our Stories hit 4.4 million pageviews for the European Championships, 3.4 million for the Tokyo Olympic Games, and more than one million for our LaLiga Guide (men’s pro soccer league),” Manuel notes. “Since we launched Web Stories for the European Championships, we’ve had a marked increase in our audience consumption — with the carousel published in a number of international editions of AS.com, such as AS México and AS USA,” Manuel shares. “On average, 15 pages per story were reached, indicating significant reading depth.”

The site hopes to use Web Stories to further boost their daily sports content. “One of our ‘obsessions’ is to have Web Stories integrated organically as a standard format on our site,” Manuel says.

A page from a Web Story shows football players in red and white jerseys huddling together with arms around each other in celebration.

Spanish football sensation #14 Marcos Llorente featured in an AS.com Euro 2020 Web Story.

They’re also using Web Stories for more long-form features, like the 2021 Formula 1 racing competition kickoff. This particular feature has a separate Web Story for each team, including snippets of video interviews in the pages of the story.

A web page with a background of a Formula 1 race car and smaller square preview tiles with Formula 1 cars and team logos.

AS.com used Web Stories to cover the teams and race cars in the 2021 Formula 1 competition.

The team now hopes to take their success with Web Stories to the AS mobile app. “We loved Web Stories from the very first moment for their editorial potential, and their capacity for storytelling,” Deputy Editor Tomás says. “Web Stories let us create the dynamic content our audience is hungry for.”

How a top Brazilian media portal uses Web Stories

Launched in 1996, Universo Online (UOL) became Brazil’s first major news website, featuring content from the daily edition of Folha de S.Paulo and other popular newspapers and magazines. Since then, parent company Grupo UOL has grown the publication into a leading media destination for Brazilians, expanding its audience reach to more than 109 million unique users. With a focus on news, health, lifestyle, gaming, sports, automotive and technology, UOL is now among the country’s top content producers — nine out of 10 Brazilian internet users visit the site. 

In 2018, with the goal of expanding and creating more mobile-friendly content, UOL became the first media company in Brazil to launch Web Stories. This fast-loading, visual and tappable content format was also helpful for competing with social media sites. To attract attention, UOL needed more than great text and reliable information. Text, photos and video needed to be  intuitive and engaging, so they decided to give Web Stories a try.

“In 2018, we encouraged our team to produce great Web Stories,” UOL Content Director Murilo Garavello says. “And starting in 2020, we started using tools to jump to a higher level of quality. In turn, we got a great response from our audience.” 

During this time, the team also ramped up production, going from about 85 Web Stories per month in 2018 to between 125 and 175 per month in 2021. This was key to expanding UOL’s reach and boosting user engagement. 

UOL experimented with Web Stories across its content areas, and the publisher’s developers incorporated these Stories into their own content management system (CMS). In July 2020, UOL adopted MakeStories, a drag-and-drop, no-code Web Stories builder, to make it even easier for busy journalists to produce Stories. 

For the summer 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, Nossa, UOL's lifestyle channel, featured immersive Web Stories about Japan, inviting readers to learn about Japanese culture, food and nature.

And UOL’s Sports section produced a series in a comic book format looking at the fascinating Olympic history, including the story of the 1992 U.S. Basketball Dream Team and Brazil's historic Olympic medals at the 2000 and 2008 Games.

UOL’s constructive journalism section, Ecoa (“For a Better World”), also adopted Web Stories. “Learn how to make a lip scrub in less than 5 minutes” offers a step-by-step guide to making natural cosmetics with a mix of explanatory videos, animated GIFs and photos. Ecoa  also used Web Stories to create book-style content, like their Story on “The Day of Black Consciousness.”

UOL has recently started to promote the format directly on their website, such as in the entertainment section Splash, where they highlight their Stories on the homepage. Our recent post highlights how creators and publishers can raise the visibility of their Web Stories on their own site with a similar approach to that of UOL’s Splash section.  

In October 2020, Web Stories also started showing up on Google Discover. In that one month, engagement results increased over 250 percent. And performance continued on an upward trajectory: In February 2021, Web Stories traffic was six times higher than in July 2020, when UOL started tracking  monthly Web Stories performance.

UOL found that Stories about soccer, reality TV and health and lifestyle all had high levels of engagement. One reality show’s engagement was 1,137 percent higher as a Web Story than as a scrolling article, with 993 percent more readers. In total, all Stories about this reality show reached more than 10 million pageviews. The best results came from Web Stories with immersive, mobile-friendly and dynamic content.

UOL’s Web Stories also had high navigation rates —  50 percent of the platform’s special articles section, TAB, saw users scroll through all the way to the end of a story. 

“It was crucial that we publish more immersive content to attract more people who not only open a link, but actually read the story,” says Lilian Ferreira, UOL Strategic General Manager. “Web Stories bring us a more qualified audience.” 

4 tips to grow your blog’s audience

Christina Galbato may have started as a travel blogger, but her career as a content creator has taken her on a different journey – helping other creators achieve their goals. “I started to notice a lot of the questions I was getting were less about ‘What are your travel tips for this?’ and more ‘How can I do what you do?” she shares. Galbato has made it her mission to help other bloggers and influencers earn success while remaining authentic and relatable. She sat down with us recently to share her top tips for attracting readers to a new blog. 

Raunak Mahesh and Christina Galbato are pictured side by side, smiling.

Christina Galbato shares her top tips for bloggers hoping to grow their online followings.

1. Listen to your audience

Listening to your readers can help you create engaging content. When Christina realized her audience was interested in learning more about her business, she shifted gears and started creating content and classes that answered their questions. “I think the biggest thing has been constantly having conversations with my audience and understanding where they're at – remaining connected to what my audience wants to see is really important,” she explains. 

2. Focus on branding 

From your color scheme and imagery to the title of your blog, your site should let readers know at a glance exactly what to expect from your posts. “You always want to make sure the content you're creating is in line with your brand,” Christina says. Your site’s branding should always reflect the kind of content you’re promoting. For example, if you’re hoping to attract a high-end audience, she suggests going with “a more refined theme, maybe even adding some serif fonts as they tend to be more luxurious.”

3. Keep new readers coming back

Once someone has discovered your blog, it’s important to stay connected so they’ll know about your future posts. One of the best ways to do this is by offering bonus content in exchange for joining your mailing list. “You have to give people some sort of incentive to get on your list,” Christina says. “People only take action when there's something in it for them, so I would recommend creating some sort of freebie opt-in that your audience would be interested in.” Expert recommendations and educational content are great ideas for bonus posts. 

4. Promote your blog online 

So, how can you attract readers to your blog? Digital marketing can seem overwhelming at first, but Christina has a few suggestions to help you get started:

  • Learn SEO: “Before you even start writing blog posts,” Christina says, “I would get educated on SEO (search engine optimization) because that will really inform how you're writing your posts.” She recommends using KeySearchto find popular topics and keywords to help your blog rank in search results for your niche. 

  • Get on Pinterest: “One of my favorite things about Pinterest is that you don't necessarily need to have a following for a pin of yours to really pick up,” Christina shares. It’s okay to start small – three or four well-designed pins that tie in to your niche are enough to bring new readers to your blog. 

  • Give sneak peeks on social media:Blog posts are what Christina calls “macro content” – larger pieces that can be broken down into smaller pieces for use on social media or Web Stories. Social media is a great way to tease parts of your blog posts and entice your followers to click through to your blog. In her social posts, Christina shares, “I offer a tiny little snippet of what's in the blog post, and then tell people, ‘For more, for the juiciest stuff, you're going to have to go to the blog post.’" 

For more tips from Christina – including how to build brand partnerships after you establish your blog – check out our full video interview. And don’t forget to visit Christina’s site to learn more.

She left law to be a full-time vegan recipe blogger

“My blog is my soul,” says Jessica Hylton-Leckie, founder of Jessica in the Kitchen, a blog featuring hundreds of her easy, vegan comfort food recipes. Jessica puts her heart into every recipe she creates, sometimes taking months to get them just right before sharing them with the world. Along with easy-to-follow instructions, she shares snippets of her life and helpful cooking tips, and elevates every recipe with gorgeous, magazine-worthy photos. 

Jessica has always been an entrepreneur. In 2010, while an undergraduate law student, she started a baking business and blog called Jessiker Bakes. At the time, the food blogging world wasn’t the crowded market it is now, but a smaller, tighter-knit community, especially in Jamaica, where Jessica was born and continues to call home today. 

As times changed, Jessica changed with them. She stopped her baking business to concentrate on law school, but she kept her blog. When she transitioned to a plant-based diet in 2014, she evolved her site to share more savory, veg-friendly recipes, and renamed it Jessica in the Kitchen to better reflect its new focus. After getting her degree and becoming a practicing lawyer, she had a bout of debilitating, stress-induced health issues that forced her to face that blogging, not law, was her true calling.  

“It was months of stress. Really bad, bed-ridden stress,” Jessica says. “It was my dad who was like, hey, I’ve seen that you love [blogging], I think you should try to give it a shot.” And so she quit her corporate law career in 2016 and took up Jessica in the Kitchen full-time.

A screenshot of a recipe for Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Wings from Jessica in the Kitchen.

After becoming vegetarian, Jessica rebranded her baking blog into a vegan recipe blog called Jessica in the Kitchen.

While her parent’s blessing was a supportive push to transition careers, Jessica credits her experience in studying law — specifically staying organized and focused — that helped her to make the daunting leap to become a full-time creator. “I still use law everyday. In contracts, talking, negotiation, how I approach organization even to this day,” she says. “Law school is why I’m here; it’s given me that self-confidence to know ‘you can do this.’” 

Jessica explains she’s found success as a food blogger through thorough planning, finding a great support network, putting in the research and work, and being her biggest advocate. (And for another inspiring example of someone who made the corporate jump, don’t miss blogger Andi Eaton’s Creator Insight video on the Google Web Creators YouTube channel.)

First things first: Make a plan

One of the first things Jessica did when she was still deciding whether she could actually make a living as a blogger was to make a business plan. “I literally just typed in ‘creative business plan’ in Google and used what was the first one,” Jessica admits. That plan pushed her to get serious and map out concrete steps. “I had to answer questions I never thought about,” she said. With the plan, she created a mission statement, identified her target audience and came up with ideas to reach them, and drew up a budget, among other first steps. 

A hand dips a piece of bread into a pot of lentil soup.

Jessica in the Kitchen offers simple, plant-based comfort food recipes, like this lentil soup.

It takes a village, so ask for help

Almost everyone in Jessica’s family is a lawyer, so she had plenty of trusted and knowledgeable people to test the mettle of her plan. But she recommends creators tap into the brain power of just about anyone with experience running a business. “If you know someone who owns a business that is successful, they usually want to help,” she says. When you do reach out, be sure to recognize and appreciate your mentor’s time and expertise. Offer to take them to lunch in exchange for answering your questions, and make sure to come prepared with what you want to discuss before the meeting.  

In addition to business-minded folks, Jessica recommends turning to people who “want the best for you, that show you positivity, love and support” in everything you do. Even when it’s just friends and family members who leave comments on your blog or share what you’re doing on social media, it has an impact. “That makes such a big difference, that the people in your life love and support you.” 

Do the research, and brush up on your skills

You wouldn’t know it by looking at her blog now, but Jessica says when she first started blogging, her photos looked terrible. So Jessica put in the work to improve her skills by reading guides made by fellow bloggers, including RecipeTin Eats, and subscribing to several YouTube channels focused on food photography, such as The Bite Shot.  

Aside from upping her photography game, Jessica also took the time to hone her journaling, recipe formatting and SEO writing. She found a lot of this information online, but she also took courses through online services like Skillshare and Fizzle. And because she knew she wanted to offer an e-book on her site, she bought a bunch of e-books from other recipe bloggers to learn the format and figure out how to put her own stamp on hers. Jessica’s e-book, “It’s That Easy,” features more than 70 recipes, as well as several guides to teach people how to transition to a plant-based lifestyle. 

The cover of Jessica Hylton-Leckie’s Ebook, “It’s That Easy.”

Jessica sells copies of her Ebook on her blog.

Be your biggest advocate

Traffic to Jessica in the Kitchen spiked last year, partly because more people were searching for simple recipes to make at home during the pandemic, but also thanks to a growing interest in Black creators sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement. Jessica says the growth has been overwhelming at times, but she’s continuing to maintain the upward momentum. 

Keeping engaged with her work and community takes a lot of time and energy, and it can be tempting to just keep hustling, but Jessica has found that building in moments to rest and rejuvenate are key to the creative process. “I’ve had to force myself not to work on the weekend and take time off,” she explains. “I realize that I always want to do more, but it’s never going to all be done.” Jessica recognizes when she needs to take an evening off from working on her blog, or even a few days off social media, “to balance out and burn out less.” 

It’s not always easy to take time off, especially when you’re working for yourself, which is why Jessica recommends that creators who go full-time have at least six months of savings set aside. Having that extra money banked will allow you to take a break when you need it, but also make it so you “don’t feel pressure to do desperate work” (a.k.a., stuff that doesn’t align with your goals or your ethos). 

Jessica explains, “If you want to do something creative especially, it’s important to be able to put your whole heart into it, not to feel limited or scared,” and having that financial buffer could be a great relief while you’re just getting started.

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 keikolynn.com 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.

How to keep content coming

As writers, photographers, and artists, we have so much to do, but limited time to get it all done. With people online around the world and around the clock, there is pressure to turn out content frequently and across a growing number of platforms. So how can you keep up? Four creators we spoke to share their tips for optimizing the time you spend creating content so you can keep it coming — and keep it fun — while staying efficient and organized.

Block time on your calendar

It can be difficult to find the time every day to write a posts and promote them across channels. One strategy is to pick a routine time to create content and stick with it. Musician, entertainer, and lifestyle blogger Rigel Gemini recommends producing content on a weekly basis for at least one channel and keeping it fun. “If content becomes a chore or becomes too much work, you will start to dread it. So just figure out something that you can write about or photograph or talk about every week and dive in,” Rigel says.

photo of Rigel Gemini

Rigel Gemini is a musician and fashion fanatic who writes about art and culture for his blog.

Play to your strengths

Mata Leiataua writes about faith, fashion and decoration on The Mata Mix. “The truth is,” she says, “despite how it may look scrolling through your feed, no one feels inspired to create content 24/7.” Her advice is identifying your strengths and the “pillars you want to uphold fundamentally throughout your content.” She recommends asking yourself, “is your content in the moment or stylized? Do you prioritize your aesthetic or copywriting?” Once you understand your style, it becomes easier to know where to allot your time.

photo of Mata Leiataua

Mata Leiataua is a fashion expert who shares her favorite luxury, budget and thrifted finds.

Create in batches

You don’t bake one cookie at a time. Why would you take only one photo? Tiffany Williams writes about glitz and glam, beauty and wellness, and life off the runway and behind the scenes. “Batch create if you can,” she says. “Creating in real time can be a lot, so creating a ton of content ahead of time helps. That way you always have something new to post,” even when you don’t have the time. 

Tiffany Williams in a black and white dress

Tiffany Williams is the San Diego-based model behind the fashion and lifestyle blog, Glitz and Glam by Tiff.

Reduce, Rework and Repurpose your content

It’s important to “respect the attention span of your audience on all platforms,” says professional gardener, blogger, YouTuber and podcaster Kevin Espiritu. “The same person, on different platforms, is in a different state of mind and requires different presentation of the same content.” So make the most of your content by adapting it for different forms. A blog post can become a video,a video can become a Web Story and images can be reused on your blog.   

photo of Kevin Espiritu

Former professional poker player, Kevin Espiritu, now spends his time online sharing gardening tips and tools.

Prioritize value over quality

According to Rigel, one of the tallest hurdles before beginning is the fear of failure. “Don't make it hard on yourself by overthinking it or setting such a high standard that you don't get started. Your content will get better over time,” he says, “That’s the only way.” Kevin Espiritu adds, “Focus on the value you offer your readers. People will read a post that has an eye-catching image, but more importantly, people will return to your knowledge and expertise.

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 launchednakishawynn.com, 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.