KP Fusion turns 8 this month, and while I still shy away from calling myself a blogging expert or guru, I’ve learned a thing or 2 over the years that’ll help others that are on a blogging journey as well. When I first started, the industry was just beginning to gain momentum, and blogs like Cupcakes & Cashmere, Karla’s Closet, Gabifresh and Song of Style were at the forefront of pushing fashion + lifestyle blogging beyond just being a space to share your thoughts and ideas about style. They were starting to collaborate with brands in many different ways (creating sponsored content, writing books, designing capsule collections, etc.), so being able to make a career (and money) from blogging became very real. Each has their own individual style, and while their careers and blogs have all taken wildly different trajectories, they all still share the common thread of having a unique voice.
Now that blog monetization is a very real thing, EVERYONE wants to start to one. Being able to create a career out of just sharing what you love is possible, however, its caused the industry to get a little muddled, resulting in individuality taking a backseat for many. Social Media platforms (especially Instagram) can play huge roles in growth and influence, but when everyone starts to sound the same, it can become overwhelming and a little discouraging for those who may not have the “IG/Blogger Starter Pack” essentials. Copying others may seem to be a quick fix for growth and popularity, but trust, you will burn out fast and get into a rut. Whenever you find yourself stuck on what to do with your blog, here are a few tips to help you figure out your place:
Ask yourself why
Always go back to your why. Keeping your purpose for blogging at the forefront of your mind will always help you if you ever find yourself lost. My goal from the beginning has been to share style tips and tricks and fun things to do for the everyday woman, and while how I present that content evolves (for the better, thank god!), I never stray away from that. I love to help people and this platform allows me to do it in so many different ways. If your purpose in starting blogging was to solely make money, you got into it for the wrong reasons.
Refine the type of blogger you want to be
So when it comes to the “influencer” part of blogging, you can be a blogger that helps to amplify, a blogger that helps to sell, or a blogger that finds the sweet spot in between. If you’re not sure what this means, think about how you handle your storytelling: do you push products/sales in your blog posts + social captions, do you sell a lifestyle, or do you do a little bit of both? Wanting to be a blogger that sells product may be your first choice because it’s immediately connected to making money, however, it’s not quite what it seems. The category you decide to fall in will greatly impact the type of content that you create.
Figure out your monetization angle (if that’s what you strive to do)
So when you push product, you become that blogger that usually only talks about how much they paid for an item, and/or your affiliate links and truth be told, you have to push a LOT of product in order to make a real income from those links (unless you’re getting major traffic, which is a goal all in itself). However, if you learn to sell a lifestyle (or do a little bit of both), you can in turn still use those affiliate links, but also have monetization through direct brand partnerships which is MUCH better. James with Fohr Card breaks this down really well in this video but know this: the art of storytelling is a real skill, and the bloggers that don’t get major burnout have learned how to do it well.
Utilize your individuality
Here’s the thing. No one has your voice. Sure, they can try to copy what you do, but you’re unique, and that alone gives you an edge. You just have to remember this at all times. Not everyone has the time or desire to be a content creator, but they are fascinated by what other people do, even down to the most mundane things. Most people have to make so many tough decisions throughout the day, so reading blogs and magazines is a form of escapism and helps them easily figure out what to do with their homes, their closets, even where they should go to eat. That, my dear, is where YOU come in. If you know all the cool spots, or you’ve figured out how to accessorize like a beast no matter your style, people want to know that! You can still share your links and all that jazz, but sharing why you do those things is what will cause people to engage with you beyond saying “cute shirt! where did you get it?”. Take advantage of your individuality as much as you can.
Change the conversation
Believe it or not, we teach our audiences how to interact with us. I love sharing deals, but I love sharing the why behind the purchase (where I wore it, how I”m going to style it) even more. People are craving authenticity more than ever now, so whether you have a following of 20,000 or 2, you can use it talk about real things (in a fun, stylish way). If your audience can get to know you and they share some of the same values as you, they can connect with you on a much deeper level. Work to create content that is inspirational, aspirational, or teaches something vs. just trying to sell a product and you won’t go wrong.
If you’ve found yourself a little confused on what direction to take your blog in, I’m here to tell you, you DON’T have to go down the same path as everyone else. I mention the 4 bloggers above because through all of the change and evolution in what it means to be a blogger, they’ve all still maintained their own unique voice. Every single blogger that I’ve followed from the OG days has. Their styles have changed (some for better, some for worse), but they’ve all remained true to themselves, and it’s why they’ve been able to do the things that they do for so long. Even speaking for myself, while I am no where near where they are, I have been awarded some amazing opportunities over the years because I’ve always stayed true to myself when creating content. I am able to do things and be compensated for work that bloggers 3x my size normally get because I remain authentic and real.
If all you care about is selling and pushing links then do you, but if you’re a blogger that wants real engagement and to build a community around your platform, remembering your why and working on how you approach storytelling will be the key to help you find your place in this crazy (but rewarding) world of blogging.