Winifred Ben uses her blog and Instagram to express her passion for faith and love for fashion and beauty. She creates content related to the Christian lifestyle and personal development.
1. When did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2013. I just stumbled into it. I didn’t really know much about it, so I made a lot of mistakes and went through several trial and error sessions. But I launched my website in 2015.
2. Why did you start your blog?
I wanted a platform where I could express myself. When acting and music didn’t progress as I dreamed, blogging brought new meaning to my life by becoming an outlet for my creative drives.
3. What topics do you blog about?
I blog about faith (the Christian lifestyle, struggles, tips, and misconceptions), fashion, beauty, and personal development.
4. How did you decide to blog about those topics?
Like I said, I made a lot of mistakes when I started. I didn’t even know anything about niches. However, when I eventually did, I discovered I was interested in several niches.
I’m one of those content creators who believes that niches bottle us up. For instance, it’s hard to find a fashion blogger who doesn’t post about their skincare or beauty routine and product reviews. So, why make it seem like a crime if someone is not sticking to one niche?
Anyway, I believe it boils down to going back to your WHY, and mine is: I needed an outlet to express myself. I needed somewhere to share my life with others, and that’s why I started blogging. So, if I love to talk about God and my love for Him and the church, as well as my interests in fashion and beauty, why do I have to run three to four separate blogs for it?
In this millennial age, it actually costs a LOT to run one blog talk let alone more than three or four. So, I decided to put all my passion and interest in one place. As a result, my target audience would be people who want to learn more about God but are also fashion and beauty enthusiasts like me. And I know a lot of people like that.
For personal development, I mostly talk about relationships and give few tips on how to make your life better, so it just makes up what the Winifred Ben blog is all about.
5. How do you combine your faith with your blog?
Hmmm (deep breath)… Honestly, I’m still figuring it out.
Nevertheless, so far, I look at the things I’ve struggled with as a believer, the things I’ve heard other believers complain about, and even the misconceptions unbelievers have about Christianity and try to shape my content around such topics.
As a faith and lifestyle creator, too, I’m very conscious of what I put out on my blog and social media platforms, because now, my brand is not just about me. I have brought God into it, so a lot of things have to be in sync with this persona I’m bringing out to the public.
Combining my faith with my blog affects my dressing, my content style, the music I use, what IG challenges I take part in, etc. In summary, if it doesn’t bring glory to God, I’m not taking part in it.
It also affects the brands I work with. For instance, since I rebranded as a faith blogger last year, I have gotten a few brand deals that involve wearing bodysuits (bikinis) or lingerie… I just don’t see how that goes well with my brand, so I’ll pass.
6. How do you get traffic to your blog?
I use Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I also inform my followers on Instagram, but most of my traffic comes from Pinterest and Google searches.
7. What has been challenging about blogging?
Whew! For me, blogging has been quite tough.
I know that most people feel the same way when they are starting something new, but, for others, it’s tougher – and I’m one of those people. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. In fact. It has really been a major source of inspiration for a book I’m working on about blogging and content creation. So, for me, funding is my biggest challenge.
There was a time when it was knowledge, but, by the time I got the hang of it, I went to a devastating experience that made me hit rock bottom… Yes, because that experience affected my finances. And, as I said, it costs a lot to run a blog.
Running a blog when you’re broke usually makes it look like you’re a joke or you don’t know what you’re doing. However, passion has kept me going, and I find new ways to navigate the things that lack of funds limits me from.
Then aside from funding, making friends in the industry has been hard too. Most times, fellow bloggers won’t work with you, except if you have more influence than they do or you’re at the same level of growth. It’s been hard, but that’s changing gradually for me as I’ve recently been meeting new people.
Thirdly, time. I don’t have enough time to be as consistent as I’d like to be because of my 9-5, which happens to be my major source of income. It’s really slowed things down, and, at the same time, it’s the reason why I can still pay for some of my blogging costs. I can’t complain.
8. What specific steps did you take to overcome those challenges?
There are some things you can’t avoid when it comes to blogging – you just have to spend. However, there are other things that you can look for a free or less expensive version for. That’s what I do!
I do a lot of things myself, then I try to reduce the cost of other things I can’t DIY to the bare minimum.
As for making new friends, I slowed down on reaching out for a while, then I looked out for people I perceived as being interested in my content or just me as a person. I’m actually working on a few collaborations with fellow creators presently.
As for time, I barely have free periods. Sometimes, I feel guilty if I’m not working on my blog because I only have time for it when I’m at home (when I should be dedicating time to family and friends), and every free time at work is dedicated to my blog.
Let’s just say, I try to maximize my time.
9. How has faith played a part in your growth?
As a believer in Christ, faith is my lifestyle. I just know that everything is working out for my good and that I’m going through a process. In due time, God will reward the works of my hand.
Of course, I pray for it too, because I see content creation as a business; it’s beyond a calling or a hobby.
10. How have you monetized your blog?
I’ve explored different options, but the least productive has been affiliate marketing. But, I’ve monetized through banner ad placements and sponsored posts.
I also recently launched two services: “I Can Build Your Blog” and “Revamp my Blog.” I’m yet to monetize them; I’m hopeful to start working with some clients through these services inspired by the experience I’ve gained over the years in blog design and revamping.
11. What is your best monetization advice to bloggers?
If you want to make money blogging, get ready to spend money. That’s the honest truth.
Spend on the right things though. The start-with-what-you-have advice is overrated. It may have been great 15 years ago, but not now. The stakes are high, the competition is huge, don’t start without a financial plan. Except you’re not planning to monetize ASAP.
12. What is the best advice you have personally received as a blogger?
Create content in batches. It saves a lot of time and money too.
13. What are some daily things you do that attribute to your blog’s success?
I always check my mails, post and engage on social media, and check my analytics to see what’s driving people to my blog.
I also read other blogs to see what’s new in the industry to make some upgrades that I can afford.
14. What blogging tool do you recommend and why?
Whew! There are lots of blogging tools – I don’t even know where to start.
To cut it short, I’ll say basic tools that makes content creation easier:
- Canva for graphics
- iStock subscription or Unsplash for free stock photos
- Lightroom, VSCO, Snapseed, FaceTune for photo editing
- Hootsuite or Planoly for scheduling social media content
- Social media apps for sharing content related to your brand
- Social media apps for other formal and informal purposes
15. What other resources do you recommend?
Subscribe to newsletters and read the blogs of bloggers who do what you want to do or who teach you how to do what you want to do.
Just do a lot of research and follow blogs that talk about digital marketing. They help you stay in touch with trends in the digital world.
16. What is your favorite scripture?
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” – Deautronomy 31:6
17. List your blog and social media links.
- YouTube: @DaluChukwudalunw
- Instagram: @winifredben_
- Twitter: @itswinifredben
- Pinterest: @winifredben
- Facebook: @winnyfredben
- Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/@winifredben
- LinkedIn: Chidalu Winifred Ben
- Blog: winifredben.com
18. When did you get on Instagram?
I launched my Instagram in 2015.
19. What topics do you post about?
Faith, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Just like the blog.
20. What steps did you take to make your Instagram account more appealing?
Try to build a cohesive theme and also throw in some beauty/lifestyle videos to ease the seriousness that comes with my faith posts.
21. How do you combine your faith with your Instagram account?
I ensure my content is centered on faith, be it serious or funny, or be it a beauty post or fashion post. There’s always a way to bring God into it.
To me, it’s my way of showing Christians and others who may be afraid of giving their lives to Christ that it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your passions. So long as you are living within the confines of the word of God, you’re good.
22. How have you monetized your Instagram?
I am yet to monetize since I transitioned to faith and lifestyle. But, before now, brands would just reach out to me. I also had a large following then.
However, due to rebranding, I’m re-growing my audience, so as much as I want sponsored content, my focus now is to grow my audience first.
23. What is your best monetization advice to Instagram influencers?
Reach out to brands, don’t just wait for them to come to you.
Then, also find a way to turn your audience into customers by selling something. However, you’ll have better results if you grow your audience first.
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