Alright, so this might be a lot to take in --- BUT, I wanted to share the following with you guys as this is a major topic I get asked about. Also I am in no way an expert or necessarily a "successful" blogger but after having my blog for the past few months I know I have some advice that I can share with those looking to create a blog! Let's get to it.
What I'll Be Discussing:
• How I started my blog + what website I use
• How I started collaborating with companies + brands
• Pictures: taking them, editing them, what apps I use + how to make a cohesive IG feed
HOW I STARTED MY BLOG
I Googled what kind of websites to use for making a blog and I decided to use the website Wix.com. It's pretty easy to navigate but it definitely took a lot of time to figure out how to get the hang of it. However, any site you use is going to take some trial and error when setting up! On Wix I purchased their Combo Plan & paid $130 for the year. I personally think this was the easiest way to set up my blog because I could get my domain name (the name of your website) straight from Wix and it removed all Wix brand ads from my website. Blogger.com, Squarespace.com & Wordpress.com are some other platforms to set up a blog/website!
From there I picked a theme I liked (Wix has pre-made themes on their website) and then I styled it to how I wanted my blog to look. I just recently redid my website and love how it turned out!
When you create your blog I think it's important to have the following:
• "Welcome/Home", "About", and a "Blog" tab. I especially think it's important to have an "About Me" on your blog. Share who you are and why you started your blog. What are your goals in blogging? What do you want to focus on? What makes your stand out?
• Contact box: This allows for your viewers to connect with you as well as a spot for brands and companies to contact you from your blog.
RewardStyle: What is it/ How does it work?
If you're interested in sharing styles with your viewers/followers you can also add a "Shop" tab. This is where you can link clothes + accesories + beauty products + home goods for your readers to shop. I use RewardStyle which is an affiliate networking website that allows me to find and link products I want to share with my viewers. I also use these shopable links in my stories on Instagram along with clothes on my blog. With RewardStyle bloggers make a small commission when someone makes purchases through their links! It's important to know that this doesn't increase the cost of the item. Pretty cool right? This is a major way some bloggers make a living blogging and a great way to support the bloggers you follow (by shopping from their links)!
• Do your research, find what website works best for you. Find the best pricing!
• Be patient & don't rush publishing your blog. I definitely rushed when it came to publishing my blog and sharing it on my Instagram. I was so excited about it haha! But I wished I waited until I fully loved my website and had everything perfected. Also know that becoming a successful blogger doesn't happen over night! Try not to compare yourself negatively to others.
• Have at least two blog posts ready to publish that way when you do go live your readers have content to read!
• This industry is always changing and evolving but remember to be yourself! Sounds cheesy but be real with your followers. Show them who you are. This will make it easier for them to connect with you.
• Support your fellow Blogger Babes! These are other bloggers that inspire you, who kill the game and are successful at what they do. They worked hard to be where they are! I think it's great giving love to those who blog full-time! Some of my all-time favorite bloggers are: @bresheppard, @nicolecarlsonxo, @karlierae + @nataliekennedyblog, @kennedyfrazer, @_mackenziebay_ + @hannahdtrick!
COLLABORATING WITH BRANDS + COMPANIES
A big part of being a fashion blogger/influencer is working with brands and promoting their products. Majority of the collaborations I do are from me reaching out to companies. 17,000 followers may seem like a lot but from what I have read most brands won't work with accounts that have don't have 10,000 followers. That isn't necessarily a set number though, I know a lot of girls who have done collaborations with brands that have only a few thousand followers. You can always reach out to companies that are new and starting out. These are brands that will most likely work with you if you don't have a large following! You can contact brands by either direct messaging their Instagram or reaching out via email. Introduce yourself, your audience, and lay out what your plans are for collaborating with them. It's all about what you bring to the table and how you present yourself. What does the brand have to gain in collaborating with you?
Free product is where to start. Ask to collaborate on a trade basis, as in, the company would send you a product and in return you would review it and share it with your followers! As you gain more experience + followers you can begin to talk to brands with higher followers + a larger consumer base. As you become more established as a blogger/influencer you can begin negotiate a price for posts and exposure on your blog and Instagram!
• Always be polite and kind when asking to partner with a brand!
• Don't promote a product you wouldn't use/buy/recommmend. In other words, don't promote something that you don't think is worth the money. Be authentic with your followers!
• Reach out to companies you stand behind and already use! For example, I had already used a product from Kopari Beauty and loved it. I later worked with them on promoting their products.
• Don't be discouraged if companies/brands turn your down. Not all brands have a budget for social media promotions.
• Post about the product in a timely fashion, make the post relatable and eye-catching!
ALL THINGS PHOTOS
I've always loved editing photos and playing around with filters. Posting pictures on Instagram has been something I've loved doing for years! How I edit my pictures is a question I get asked a lot! After starting my blog I wanted to create a cohesive feed. I wanted the photos on my IG feed to have the same edit and style. I currently use the Aspyn Ovard Mobile Presets with the Mobile Lightroom App. If you don't know what a preset is, it's basically just a filter you add to your photos. I think applying the same filter to all of your photos is the best way to create a cohesive feed. Presets typically can cost anywhere from $30-$150 and work with Lightroom! If you have never used Lightroom before there are tutorials on Youtube on how to use it. Also most preset packs will show you how to use the preset in Lightroom! If you don't want to pay for presets no worries. There are tons of editing apps out there with free filters. VSCO is one of my favorites!
Tips for taking pictures:
• Shoot in natural light. Try not to take pictures in direct/harsh sunlight if possible. The best time to take pictures if a couple hours before sunset!
• Be aware of the space behind you (aka the background of the picture) Is it photogenic, clean and attractive to the eye? Keep it neat but also include fun details!
• Increase whites, decrease shadows to make the photo brighter. Try editing your photo in the iPhone camera app! I used the editing app on the camera app a lot to increase the light.
Apps I love for photo & video editing:
Afterlight & Afterlight 2
That's it! I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. If you have any question feel free to message me either through my blog or on IG! Thanks for reading ♡