Over the weekend I celebrated 9 years of blogging *throws confetti*, so I thought it would be only right to share a few truths about blogging that I’ve learned over the years. Blogging has changed so much since I first started. Most people actually got into it to use it as a diary/journal of sorts, but now it can be a full blown business. The industry’s growth doesn’t seem to be stopping, so I wanted to share some things with you guys just in case you were thinking about getting into blogging or are new to it but had questions.
Blogging is about more than taking a picture
Whether you’re blogging for fun or want to use your blog for something bigger, one of the biggest misconceptions about being a blogger is that you’re just taking a picture and saying look at my outfit. No, no, no my friend. It takes MUCH more work than that, which is why you see so many people struggling with it and/or giving up after a few posts. Being a GOOD blogger means understanding the art of storytelling, so you have to have something to say with your content. Now, you could be selling your outfit, or talking about your day, or just trying to be inspirational, but the point is, you HAVE to have some type of POV with your content. And this is just brushing the surface because you also need to have an understanding of marketing, adverting, pr, networking, photography, copyediting, styling and more. Blogging takes WORK, so be ready to do it if you really want to make an impact with your blog.
You don’t have to go broke with blogging
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get caught up in the game of doing stuff just for the Gram/your blog. Now, does having certain things (a beautiful home, nice clothes, etc) help you with creating content? Yes, because it allows you to have more variety with the type of content you create, but that does not mean you have to buy a whole new wardrobe or house! Please understand that for some bloggers (especially ones that do hauls or sell products) buying new clothes is an expense related to their job because they (should) be sharing info about fit, quality and how to style certain trends. This does not mean that they are buying or keeping all of those clothes! The truth is that a lot of the clothes are returned after they are shot; they may keep a few pieces but for the most part, bloggers are buying/renting/borrowing or being gifted clothing for content and then either returning or reselling a lot of that product. It’s not dishonest because magazines do a version of this for their editorials, but you have to have some type of discernment around what/why you’re sharing certain products. So don’t fool yourself into thinking that you have to buy all of the things (and your readers should hopefully know they don’t have to buy every. single. thing just because you posted it). You do have to invest in order to keep your content fresh, but your WHY behind your blog should guide you so that you know what areas to do this in and don’t go broke.
You need to know how to build relationships
I often get asked if there’s a list that a blogger can be added to for events and I am here to tell you-THERE IS NO LIST. If you’re a blogger that’s interested in attending blogger and media related events, you have to create content that supports that, and also build relationships with businesses and brands. Before IG became the monster it is, I was going to events, taking pictures and sharing those thing on my blog and Facebook. FOR FREE. I researched fashion/art and cultural events, got on mailing lists for my favorite businesses, and just went, not with the intention of being invited to something in the future, but because I wanted a new experience. Your best bet with getting invited to events is to live your life and cultivate relationships within your community as you grow and share these tings. If you pop into a cute store, share it with your audience (and TAG the business!). Talk to the owners and store managers. BUY SOMETHING. Leave a review. This not only puts you on their radar, but it also provides a service to your audience because you’re hopefully introducing them to something new or cool. Sometimes businesses will reach out to you and ask if you know any other bloggers that might enjoy their service or shopping with them, but for the most part, you have to put in the work to build these relationships. All relationships have to be mutually beneficial, so give them a reason to connect with you.
It isn’t all about you
Your blog is your baby, but always remember that you are not entitled to have an audience. People do not have to read or interact with your content if they don’t want to. They will do it if they find value in your content, which means that you’re not just creating it for yourself, but it should also be to inspire, teach, or share something different with your readers. Have a point of view (some blogger’s content is so generic you can just swap them out with a different blogger and no one would know the difference) and make sure that you really engage with people when they support you in order to set yourself apart from others. If you keep this at the forefront of your content creation, you won’t get so overwhelmed and you will actually enjoy blogging!
You don’t have to be huge to monetize
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have a huge following to monetize your blog. You have to have a POV (I honestly cannot stress this enough), understand visual storytelling so that you can take great photos, and engage with both your regular readers and brands to put yourself on the path to monetization. Don’t get caught up in getting into comment pods with other bloggers (they are not your target audience unless you are specifically providing them with tools to help them with blogging), or doing loop giveaways to fake engagement or grow/appear bigger than what you are. Work on creating content that real people want to see. Most people want to be told what to do, what to wear, where to go, what to eat, etc. because they have to make so many more important decisions in their day, so help them do that with your blog! I started blogging at a different time, but I’ve been working with brands (both in gifting and with monetary compensation) since I was 6-8 months in and that’s because I have a POV, have been consistent, have cool readers that like to engage either here or on social media, and I’m constantly trying to improve my photos and overall content. It takes hard work but it’s not impossible!
There are so many more truths about blogging that need to be shared but this is it for now. Thank you guys so much for staying along for the ride with me, and if you have any blogging related questions, please feel free to comment below, or send me a message!