So you want to be a blogger? but you don’t know where to start.
Maybe you are a blogger and you have many unanswered questions. GIRL, I feel you. I’m still unsure how in five months I’ve even managed to do what I’m doing. I was going to wait til I hit 10,000 followers, but I only have about 880 left to go, so that’s close enough for me. Let’s get some background knowledge for you before I get to the goods.
I launched walkoflaur.com on June 11th, 2018.
For some reason, this blows peoples minds. Yes, I am late to the game and yes I do think that even though the market is “supersaturated” that I can be very successful with what I do. I genuinely LIKE what I do on the internet, and I suggest you like what you do too.
I was accepted into RewardStyle on June 27, 2018.
For those of you who are like.. RewardStyle??? It’s an affiliate marketing company. It’s the LIKEtoKNOW.it app that I am constantly posting about. It’s where you can find all of my outfits and all of my details to my outfits and be able to shop them directly. Shameless, I would download it, it’s FREE.
- How did you get accepted into RewardStyle? Honestly, LUCK. I didn’t think I was going to get accepted, but I told myself if I didn’t get accepted, then that was my sign that I didn’t need to pursue this. Less than 24 hours later, I got my acceptance email. I only had a blog for a few weeks and I only had been posting about clothes for a little under two months. I had a good engagement for my follower count and I posted “clear” photos of my clothes. That’s what they want to see. They want to know that you are going to make them sales.
I received my first collaboration offer on July 8th, 2018.
When I got the email from LivLuvShop, I jumped on it. I didn’t even think twice about it. I do not regret it because I do love their company and I wish I can personally thank them every single day for believing in me, because that’s when I really started to “think” about taking this serious.
I received my first paid collaboration offer on August 26th, 2018.
Y’all, that was 76 days from the launch of my website. That is when I was like…wait, this is something serious. This is something I can really get into.
Why am I telling y’all these dates? Because if I can randomly start a blog out of the blue and make something out of it, you can too. It may take you longer, you may blow up in month one. BUT IF MY LITTLE SOUTHERN WEIRD SELF CAN MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR WHAT I HAVE TO SAY, ANYONE CAN.
- Do you make good money posting your outfits and did you have to spend a lot to start? I do make a commission off of my links, but by no means is it a full time livable income. You have got to spend money to make money and I am going to be completely honest, I spent four figures to invest in what I am doing over the course of my start to now and I have NOT made four figures in return. NOW, I also didn’t expect to make my return in five months, and I am very happy with how everything is turning out.
- What’s your favorite topic to blog about? If you have followed me since I’ve started or if you just started following me today, FASHION is where my heart is. I honestly wouldn’t even call it fashion, because you probably won’t see me wearing all the stuff you see famous people wear, but I do like to dress cute.
- How did you get started working with brands? Of all the brands that I have worked with or that have emailed me, I have only reached out to two of them. I have a FOHR account which connects influencers to companies that way they can search for the kind they want to reach and I believe that is how they find me.
- Do you have any collaboration pitch tips? I am the most unprofessional human being ever. Of the two brands that I’ve reached out to, this is literally the email I sent:
- I heard that if you have the money to invest, Julie Solomon’s Pitch it Perfect program is insanely good and useful. Unfortunately, I do NOT excel in this area of business 😉 I am not confident enough to be able to successfully pitch to different brands. I’m working on it!
- What camera do you use for your pictures? I legit use my Iphone XS max camera 100% of the time, I haven’t broke out my fancy camera in MONTHS.
- Do you take pictures of more than one outfit in one day? Every now and again, I am prepared with content. More often then not, I am running around trying to capture a picture to post. I am trying to be more organized and take multiple pictures in a day because it is WAY easier than running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND GETTING A WEEK OF CONTENT IN ONE SESSION.
Let’s talk first steps.
Well, you want to be a blogger, first things first is a niche. What do you want to blog about? Y’all don’t understand the amount of time it takes to run this successfully, so just make sure it’s something you are 50000% interested in. This is SO IMPORTANT. You’re literally doing it almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Pick one thing to start with and then begin to branch out.
Now, you need a name. THANKFULLY, I just googled “sayings” until I found something I could replace my name with. I stumbled across “walk of life” five minutes after searching and I just went with it. You may want to take more time into a name, because this is YOUR BRAND. This is what people will begin to remember and recognize you from.
You’re going to need a website. I use wordpress. I think I pay $300 a year to be able to have my own domain with all of the business sides of it. I’ve been using a free wordpress account since I was a freshman in highschool, so it’s basically all I knew, so I just went with it. I would take some time into looking into host though if you have no idea, just because it’s kind of important.
Let’s talk pictures.
It is important to take QUALITY pictures. You know what you like to see, who you like to follow, so replicate it. Obviously, be yourself, but you know what I mean. If you don’t have the lightroom app, get it and if you don’t have a preset, get one. This is the preset that I use on my pictures, it’s $12 on Etsy. I already stated that I use my iPhone most of the time. You don’t necessarily need a professional camera to make people drawn to your photos. It’s all about the creativity people. I’m going to use @tannermmann and @champagneandchanel as examples of feeds that I’m personally drawn to so you can get an idea.
90% of my instagram pictures are taken with my tripod. If someone is around me, obviously I’ll ask them to take my picture, but I know longer go through hoops to make sure someone can take my picture, i legit just pop out my tripod and use the bluetooth clicker that came with it, and I roll about my day.
Below is links to my preset, tripod, and ring light:
Let’s talk engagement.
Hands down 300000% the most asked question. I wish I had all of the answers so we could all be badasses over night. I could probably do an entire blog post on this, because it’s such a learning game and it’s constantly changing. My number one advice is engage with people. Spend the time on instagram to reach out to new people. Let them see your face, whether this be liking or commenting on their pictures. Go through the hashtags to find people in your niche. SPEND HOURS FINDING YOUR TRIBE. Instagram is a job. It takes work to get results. If you want engagement, you gotta give engagement. (but hey, let’s not get too crazy because instagram WILL temporarily block your actions). When I say that I spent HOURS A DAY when I first started, I am not exaggerating. There was a point when I was going through fashion bloggers followers, we’ve all been there. Engagement groups do help, unfortunately, they are SO hard to keep up with and you’re only reaching the same people. It is important to target different people, because if you’re always reaching the same people, you can’t grow. BUT DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY. They are the reason why you get to do what you do. I spend time commenting back to just about everyone that comments on my photos, It’s important to me and it’s important to them. Now, I am not saying that I can exactly do this all of the time, but I really do try my best. For heaven’s sake, y’all. ANSWER YOUR DM’S. I mean, seriously. Laura Beverlin has 386,000 followers and any time I send her a message, she responds. So unless you have 500,000 followers, answer your MESSAGES PEOPLE. Anyone figured out what my biggest pet peeve with bloggers is? It’s those that don’t take the time to help and engage with their community. They are the reason you get to do with you do, don’t forget that.
Avoid buying your followers, you are wasting your money. Brands don’t reach out to you because you have 10,000 followers. They’re reaching out to you because they see that people are interested in your stuff. You’re influencing people to try their products. You can have 10,000 followers, but if you’re only reaching 100 people who aren’t even interested in what you’re talking about, you can count the brand out immediately. And stop following people to unfollow them just to get your follower count up, that’s also only hurting your chance with brands because you’re building a community on a number not true interest on what you’re doing. Don’t get obsessed with growing on a platform that you don’t own either. Learn to convert your following to your website.
Brands will reach out to someone with 5,000 followers or less that’s bringing in 500 likes and 100 comments versus someone with 10,000 followers and 100 likes and 10 comments. Be smart people. BE SMART. There is no quick way to get anywhere in life, you gotta put in the work.
I totally support genuine giveaways to build your following. I’ve participated in a few that were within my niche, with girls similar to me. That being said, I would avoid those big international giveaways because they’re not bringing in authentic engagement to you. Most people will even unfollow you after the giveaway because they never cared about you were posting in the first place.
Hashtags. These don’t work like they used to, but they still work. Find your niche. Find your hashtags. Be creative with the hashtags, find the ones that don’t have 34958347534534 post under them. I kind of suck at this part, so I just go look at the ones that the other bloggers use. I also heard that changing up your hashtags will HELP you. So, save a few different one’s in your notes and switch it up every now and again.
I find that my personal community that I built on my instagram enjoys that I keep things realistic. I am GOOFY, I usually don’t take many things serious, and I can be funny more than miserable. What I’m trying to get at is be relatable to your audience, they will appreciate you more than you can even imagine. BE YOU, BE REAL. SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY. I incorporate this into my instagram stories and my captions and I find that it’s easier for people to relate to me, which makes them want to engage with me more.
To rant a little more about that, if you have a caption that pulls in someone, you are 59324875% going to have more engagement on that post. Tell a story. Ask a question. Give advice. Be funny. Write a pun. Give a suggestion. Oh, and don’t forget to tag your location!!!!
Lately, I have turned on my post notifications for the bigger bloggers and I comment immediately when they post. I don’t know what the heck this does, but it does help me grow, so I suggest it.
You WILL get discouraged, but you have to have the discipline that you are going to keep on no matter what.
Let’s talk posting (and people).
If you do not post consistent, people will not follow along. At first, when I was posting every day, people were like why do you post SO MUCH and now when I miss a day, they’re like WhErEs ToDaYs PoSt. If you are like me and people locally know about your little side hobby, you will probably receive dumb unfortunate comments from your lesser. Some of my favorites are the mocking of my pictures, the sarcastic comments, the UNTAGGED low blow tweets (hunny, just tag me). Those people don’t matter, and you’re going to have to learn that THOSE PEOPLE DON’T MATTER. I’ve had people who actually unfollowed me when I started and are now following me again. People who have made comments who are now in my DM’s asking me questions. Guess I’m a little more than your local instagram wannabe model now, huh?
Anywho, I use the preview app from the app store and my planner to keep my posting kind of organized. That still doesn’t keep me from running around like a chicken to get my post for the day. I’m telling you, BE ORGANIZED, you will save yourself from an unwanted headache, and let’s be real, Tylenol is expensive if you keep eating them like candy.
I would advise you once you master your instagram, branch out to different media outlets. I do have a pinterest, facebook, and youtube. It’s a safe haven if instagram ever goes down. BUT OF EVERTHING, I WILL SAY IT AGAIN. Learn to direct your community to your WEBSITE. Having so many outlets will give you a higher chance with brands as well. I have been in contracts with brands that want a facebook, pinterest, and blog post. They no longer want just instagram post. Keep that in mind.
What I really hope you come away with from this OVERLOAD of information is that this takes A LOT of work. There is so much more to it than a posting a pretty instagram picture. This becomes a business and it takes T I M E. You will not start out making money. You will not start out with a community. You will not start out knowing all the answers. I do not want you to be discouraged, but I do want you to be educated as much as possible because when I jumped into this, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS GETTING INTO. I am not an expert, I am still learning every single day. This is just what I know from experience and what I do. If you have anymore questions about anything I missed, please do leave a comment below!
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L O V E,