Hello friends! If you've been around my website much lately, you'll see that I've made some major changes. I've done a complete rebranding (it seemed silly to be branding myself as a writer when that's not really what I am anymore), which includes a brand new website domain and layout, and of course I designed all new branding!
You may have noticed that in the past, my website update were sporadic, and I didn't update or blog consistently. I'm aiming to improve on that this year, and make my website more of a hub for my work. I'm so spread out across social media (and update them at such different paces) that if you only follow me on one or two, you might be missing out on stuff! Now, my website can be your go-to spot for all my biggest and latest content.
Also, it's probably clear to most people by now, but I don't know if I've ever said it: I want this to be my "real job." It is my goal (and has been for about a year now) to become a professional cosplayer/internet personality/YouTube producer & performer. I'm not shy about this, and since I know there are a lot of people pursuing this and there's very little information on it, I want to chronicle my journey in case it's helpful to others.
So, I'm going to do monthly updates! These updates will have a bit of casual chat about what's going on in my cosplay life, and I'll also walk you guys through what I achieved in the previous life, what kind of things I'll be trying in the next month, and what goals I'm aiming for.
what happened in 2015?
...a lot of stuff!
But the short version is: I gained over 3,600 Facebook likes, effectively doubling my Facebook fan page's size; I started selling prints; I started attending conventions as a featured cosplay guest (giving panels, hosting/judging contests, etc.); I created 17 new cosplays — in general, I just started taking cosplay a lot more seriously, and dedicating a lot more of my time to it!
Going into 2015, I was making the decision to try to cosplay professionally, which was a scary goal, and one that I wasn't sure I could achieve. Coming out of 2015, I'm definitely feeling like it's achievable (though still a long way off!)
what happened in January?
Patreon, for those who don't know, is a platform that allows fans to support a creator by pledging a certain amount of money per project (or per month, depending on how the creator sets it up), and in return they get exclusive content.
My Patreon came out of the gate strong, thanks to my wonderful, passionate fanbase! I'm sure I'll work out the kinks of the platform over time, but so far so good!
what am I going to try in February?
February's already a quarter gone, but I'm still going to try some new things!
I've joined Amazon Affiliates, which basically means that if my readers buy products I recommend, Amazon gives me a little money (my readers pay the same as they'd pay if they found the product on their own). I think this is a great opportunity to monetize my blogs without negatively impacting my readers (I hate ads, and I'm sure you do, too). My plan for Amazon Affiliates is basically just to never recommend a product that I wouldn't have recommended anyway. I'll link to items I use in my own cosplay, and if it's helpful to you, good! If not, no big deal!
I'm going to blog regularly — ideally once a week! Things like updates, opinion blogs, and tutorials. I'm also aiming to do at least one YouTube video per month, something that's traditionally been hard for me to keep up with (for two reasons: One, I have to put on makeup. And two, I don't have good lighting, so I pretty much need to shoot in natural light — which is when I'm at work most days!)
Also, slightly related, I've started bullet journaling. This is mostly just to organize and have more control over my day-to-day life, but it's helping me better manage my time, and sort of forcing me to realize how much time I waste that I could be spending working on cosplay! So I'm trying to implement what I've learned about my own time management to speed up my process and produce more cosplay, more quickly!
what are my goals?
Aside from my consistency goals with blogging and YouTube, I've also set some social media goals. This is where it's gonna get really specific and boring for most of you, but if anyone is working on building a social media following, you might find this interesting:
- Facebook: 7,675
- Instagram: 1,800
- Twitter: 1,650
- Patreon: $200/project
- Pinterest: 550
- YouTube: 5,800
You can see there are some pretty wild differences in my audience on different websites — I've never really tried to use Pinterest as a marketing platform, but since it's image-based, it seems like kind of a no-brainer that it should be part of my strategy — especially when it comes to tutorials and walkthroughs.
If there's interest, I can detail some of my strategies for building audience on specific platforms! Please let me know in the comments if you'd like me to go into that.