Blog Tips: How to Get Started
I wrote a blogpost on how I started my blog and included a few blog tips back in February. Since I’m constantly receiving questions and advice on how to start a blog, I decided to blog about it and share some more helpful tips. I’m always learning something new about blogging everyday – even after having 7 blogging years under my belt. And because I never had someone to give me advice when I first started, I want to help those who are just starting out.
Here are a few helpful tips and advice for anyone wanting to start a blog:
- START. You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row and have a direct plan on how you would like to execute your blog. The best thing to do is just to start. Have a presence online, and begin creating content. The rest will fall into place accordingly. My blog is far from perfect, but that doesn’t stop me from creating content and publishing posts. If you don’t have a professional camera, that’s ok. Reach out to photographers on Instagram and see if they are willing to work for trade. There’s a lot of photographers out there who are trying to build their portfolio. Message them. It’s all about how you edit your photos. Use photoshop or light room. Most of my Instagram photos are taken with my iPhone 7 if I’m not shooting with my photographer or George. I wrote a blogpost on how I edit my Instagram photos and the apps I use. Most likely if you’re just starting out, chances are you’re not receiving gifted product, and again that’s ok. Do what I did when I first started my blog, go to Forever 21 or Nordstrom, and buy a few items and start taking photos. It’s all about building content. What a lot of influencers do or have done that no one really talks about is purchase product, shoot it for the blog with the tags still on, and then return or exchange. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. WHAT ABOUT BEAUTY BRANDS? Sign up on https://www.octoly.com. Obviously you cannot return used makeup and skin care products, so sign up to Octoly to receive free product to feature. This is a great way to begin, especially if you cannot afford to purchase beauty products on a regular like me. https://www.ipsy.com is another great way to receive product. It’s $10 a month. And once you have a decent amount of blogposts on your blog, then make sure to look into SEO (search engine optimization). Very important. This helps drive traffic to your blog.
- CONSISTENCY IS KEY. Blog regularly. Stay active. You have to have enough content on your blog if you want to work with brands. You need to have something to show these brands before pitching them. Make sure you link back to the brands you are featuring on your blog and social media, then shoot them an email or DM letting them know so that they can go check it out. Tagging brands on your Instagram posts helps tremendously. See what fashion accounts other bloggers are tagging in their posts, such as @world.fashion.bloggers and @streetstyleluxe, and start tagging them. The same goes with hashtags.
- GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. Honestly, I wish I had someone who could guide me in the right direction when I first started my blog. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I had to learn and find everything on my own for myself. I googled everything and anything, even if it didn’t make sense when I googled it. And guess what? I figured it out. My motto in life has always been MAKE IT HAPPEN. that phrase has stuck with me since my early years of working in the fashion industry. It just speaks to me in so many different ways on so many levels. Make It Happen. However I had to, or whatever I needed to do, I had to figure it out and make it happen. And I did.
- COLLABORATE INSTEAD OF COMPETING. There is room for everyone. You just need to figure out your niche – what you are good at and what you can bring that makes you stand out. Support one another. Reach out to other bloggers and plan brunch dates. This is one of the easiest and best ways to network. If you don’t have a photographer – that’s ok. Reach out to other bloggers and meet up to take each other’s photos. I do it all the time. Have a friend, your mom, boyfriend, girlfriend, niece (I sometimes have my god-daughter take my photos, and she’s 9). Give them direction on how you want your photos taken. Show them inspiration photos.
- SELF PROMOTION. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You are your own brand, and if you don’t have an agent or manager, you need to represent yourself. Reach out to brands you want to work with or other influencers you want to collaborate with. DM them. Email them. Text your friends, family, baby momma, cousin when you publish a new blog post. I’m not kidding either! Spread the word. It’s free. Take advantage. Some people don’t understand the value of self promotion, and how beneficial self promoting truly is. When I first started my blog, my mom was and still is my biggest cheerleader. She always shares my blogposts and social media with her coworkers (bless her heart) and amongst her friends. I ain’t made about it. So what if people think you’re being “thirsty”. You have to go full force in promoting yourself before anyone starts promoting your work. You have to believe you are who you are before anyone else does. SOCIAL MEDIA IS EVERYTHING. It really is. Especially Instagram. Use this platform to cross-promote your content on your blog or any other channel.
- KEEP GOING. Even when the going gets tough (sounds like a quote from Pinterest, but it’s so true). Don’t feel discourage. I know it’s easier said than done. We’re only humans. We feel what we feel when we’re feeling it. LIFE. It happens to all of us. You’re going to get a lot of no’s before you get any yes’s. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to throw in the towel and say f*** it, I’m just going to go back to school. To be honest, what keeps me going is the fact that I never want to sit behind a desk all day. I’m not saying 9-5 jobs are bad. It’s just not for me. To each their own. If i’m going to be working a 9-5, then it’s going to be for myself or what I am hard-core passionate about. I just knew I was missing something in my career life, and a 9-5 corporate job was not one of them. Something that is very important, and should keep in mind is that many people do not realize that blogging is a lot of work. It’s not as easy as it looks, but if you’re passionate and it’s what you want to do as a full-time career, then you can do it. Leaving my 9-5 corporate job wasn’t easy, and being a full-time blogger is twice as hard because you are now your own boss, but I absolutely LOVE IT.
- PAY ATTENTION. Be very observant. If there’s a brand working with another influencer that you have been wanting to work with, DM that brand. If an influencer doesn’t share within the caption the outfit details or product they’re sharing, tap the photo and see if the brands were tagged, or message them – leave a comment and ask. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed. At the end of the day, this is business and you have to be in a business state of mind.
- NETWORK in real life and online. Attend events, pass out your business cards, and ask for theirs. After the event, send them a thank you email. Stay on their radar. Support other bloggers by commenting on their blogs and/or social media. Most likely the people who follow that blogger will notice you and chances are they might start following you, too. Reach out to https://www.thecollectiveaffair.com and https://www.gpsradar.com, and stay updated on upcoming events and collaboration opportunities.
- PITCH BRANDS. It’s important to let them know the following: who you are, what you do, what you can offer them, and how they would benefit from this. Again, you may or may not get a respond, and you’re going to get a lot of no’s before you get a lot of yes’s. Trust me. I still get no’s, but the same brands who said no to me once upon a time, have reached out to me later to collaborate. And just because they don’t respond doesn’t mean they don’t want to work with you. Make sure to follow up. Even if it’s more than once. If you’re trying to pitch PR companies, but don’t know where to even begin, google or research on Instagram and find out who is representing these brands. This is exactly what I would do. Check what accounts these brands are following or see who is tagging them. Once you find them, shoot them an email introducing yourself and request to be on their influencer contact list for future events and collaboration opportunities.
- BE A NICE HUMAN. BE HUMBLE. BE YOU. No matter what, be nice to others. This industry is smaller than you think. Stay authentic and be real. My personality has remained the same since day 1. I’ve grown so much as a person and as an influencer because you never stop learning. I’m always learning something new about this whole blogging world we live in today. It’s crazy, good – and fun. Don’t try to change yourself because you think that you don’t “fit” the brand’s desire or requirements. If they don’t want to work with you, don’t take it personally. Maybe THEY weren’t a right fit for YOUR aesthetic and brand. Accept it and move on and keep doing you, boo. There are many brands out there who will love you and your work. Authenticity definitely shows, and brands appreciate it more than you think. I’m 100% grateful for every opportunity that has come my way, and have remain true to myself. I think this shows… or at least I hope so. 😉
I hope these tips and my advice are helpful for anyone reading. If I missed any questions you may have or want to find out more information about blogging, please feel free to comment below or send me a message on Instagram. I am more than happy to help out anyone. I love hearing from you guys. 🙂
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