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What I’ve Learned in 8 Years of Blogging

Striped Kimono Black Denim

KP Fusion turned 8 September 22nd and I STILL can’t believe I’ve been blogging for that long. What started as a creative outlet from work has evolved into something so much more than I could have ever dreamed of and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds. Thanks to my desire to want to take better pictures for the blog, having this platform helped me transition into a completely new career (photography and blog coaching) and I’ve experienced some amazing opportunities thanks to it.

Striped Kimono Black Denim

Even if you aren’t trying to make blogging a career, I encourage so many people to start one if they’re interested because having your own little space to share your thoughts and ideas on whatever you like can help you build confidence, meet new people, have new experiences and step outside of your own box. As someone that’s naturally an introvert, this platform has helped me open up in so many ways and I’m forever changed because of it. Even if it’s just for fun, it’s totally worth it.

With that being said, I do use this as a part of my “brand” so I want to share a few things I’ve learned in 8 years of blogging. Am I huge influencer? Psssh, I wish! BUT, I’ve done a LOT with this blog so I can speak with confidence that I know a thing or 2. If you got into blogging for the right reasons and want to build something in this industry, here’s what I know:

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Niceness over everything
Seriously, being nice is the way to zoom past so many hurdles in this industry. Obviously your content should be interesting as well, but NOBODY wants to work with people that act entitled or rude. You may get invited to things but if your attitude is trash, please know that people talk and you will eventually get removed from the lists. Nobody wants to deal with an energy sucker.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Very few bloggers come out the gate being great. It’s easier now because blogging has evolved over the years, but it still takes a second to find your groove, your voice, and your audience. Don’t be in a rush to grow or do all of the things-all of the fun is in the journey! Be focused but make sure you enjoy what you’re doing.

Striped Kimono Black Denim

Blog first, social media second
Everyone is on Instagram, but… remember Myspace? Also, what if IG disappears tomorrow? Accounts are being hacked left and right now and if all of your content mysteriously disappears, then what? If you have a blog that you post to regularly, you can rebuild (because trust, your audience will find you if they really loved your content), but if all of your eggs are on social media you will have a long road ahead. Use your social platforms as additional leverage with your blog stats but don’t neglect your blog. Trust, you’ll thank me later.

Consistency is your number 1 growth hack.
Not loop giveaways, not buying followers, not follow/unfollow games on Instagram. Being consistent with what you put out is the only way you’re going to grow a real, authentic audience. Sure, doing these things on Instagram may give you a big number, but it’s hollow. Once you get into that gross cycle, you have to keep doing it in order to keep up appearances of a “big following” and that’s a little sad, don’t you think? It’s not a real marketing or growth strategy, it’s fraud and I hate that so many bloggers get caught up in it. If you want to do a giveaway, partner with a brand/do it for yourself or partner with a handful (like 3-8) of bloggers who you actually know and that you have similar content with (which means people are more than likely to continue to follow you after it’s over) and do it every blue moon, NOT every week. Growth may be slower, but being consistent with quality content will always be the way to go for an authentic following.

Striped Kimono Black DenimKimono: c/o Curves with Purpose | Denim: Old Navy | Heels: Target (similar) | Necklace: Forever21

Give your audience what they want from you
There’s a reason why analytics exist. Whether you’re using Google Analytics or the analytics from IG and FB, review what your audience is responding to from time to time so that you can create more of what they want to consume from you. You have to be true to yourself, but it would be silly not to pay attention to it. If you’re a fashion and lifestyle blogger but you see people are responding to your beauty posts the most out of everything, figure out a way to create more beauty content that still maintains a fashion + lifestyle element. Don’t be afraid to switch up how you create from time to time.

Striped Kimono Black Denim

Know that blogging fatigue is real
When you’re putting your all into your blog, know that you can feel burnout sometimes and that it is totally normal. I’ve taken a few breaks here and there (sometimes for a few months at a time); I made sure to let my readers know, however looking back, I wish I would’ve prepared myself better because each time I was gaining growth and momentum with readership but I had to do a little rebuilding once I started back. To prepare yourself, try to keep a few evergreen posts drafted and ready to go so that if you do need to take a break, your blog won’t suffer for it.

Opportunity can come at any time, so be ready
I had my first interview/feature after blogging for 6 months (and you didn’t even see my face back then!). I started receiving invites to events and product from brands around that time as well. It took a few years before I started actually getting paid for blogging, but I always had my media kit ready in the event someone asked for it. The one thing I really want bloggers to know is that you don’t have to have a huge following to work with brands. Your platform just needs to have VALUE. Your value will vary because we are all different, but having a distinct and unique voice, great pictures and an audience that engages with you (on your blog and social channels) is what brands and businesses look for.

Striped Kimono Black Denim

Upleveling your photos is a game changer
I turned my hobby into a career, but that doesn’t mean every blogger wants to be a photographer, so stop making excuses for taking shitty photos-plenty of other bloggers take amazing pictures. Whether you have a budget to hire a photographer or you get a camera and learn to shoot with your friends, creating content with really great photos is one of the best ways to gain momentum in blogging. Think about the photos you repin on Pinterest or save for inspiration-there’s a reason why you do it, so put a little thought into what/how you shoot.

The art of storytelling will be your “secret” weapon
At the end of day, if you’re blogging for business, what you’re creating is a form of digital marketing and advertising. That’s all this is. You’re selling product or selling a lifestyle (a little bit of both is best), but HOW you sell (aka your storytelling), is what will set you apart from everyone else. What story do you want to tell?

I could go on forever, but over the years, I’ve found that these are the most recurring things that bloggers deal with. Know that you are not alone and that we all have similar experiences as we navigate this industry. Don’t be afraid to both invest in your blogs and make real friends in this community. It’s so worth it!

 

thank you to Curves with Purpose for gifting me this gorgeous kimono!

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6 Replies to “What I’ve Learned in 8 Years of Blogging”

  1. Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for sharing your blog tips. I have taken your intro to blogging and also your blog photography class. I’m going to start soon.

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