So you are thinking about entering the blogging world. There might be many questions keeping you from dipping your toes into this industry so I am here to answer a few of them for you.
I get asked pretty often how did I grow my following? How does one start in this business? And, are there any tools available to be successful? That got me thinking, I should share a quick reference guide for all of these answers!
Though I would like to add that these are my own opinions to success in blogging, I know there are many other ways, I just wanted to share a few quick tips and tools that I wish knew from the get-go to help anyone just starting out. So let’s get started!
Focus on your brand, and who you want to be.
This is something I don’t feel I paid enough attention to when I started. Branding is really important and something you don’t want to exactly rush yourself into. Now I’m not saying you can’t change your mind, but it’s best to start with a name you love, is unique, you can identify with, and that you will keep. This helps you when it comes to SEO and where you will populate through google searches. Also you want it be catchy and easy to spell so people will remember you, and you will be easily searchable through Instagram.
Photo Time! Find your angle, literally!
When taking pictures I started off by looking at bloggers photos that I admired. I would screenshot photos I really liked based on pose and background for reference, and then reference them when prepping for a photoshoot. This is not an exact science as everyone has different flattering angles and it takes practice to find yours, but it’s a good start!
Before shooting examine yourself in the mirror and pretend it’s a camera. Watch your hands, feet and slowly change your positioning. As you do this, take note of expressions and angles you like and try to memorize that position. From there, you will start to find what feels most comfortable at your shoots and also the more experience you have, and the more photos you take, it will come more naturally, and you will grow from your own critiques. I am sharing some comparison shots of myself from when I first started next to a more recent image. Slight changes in posture, foot positioning and face angle can make such an improvement!
I am still constantly learning and evolving which is one of the great things about this industry, there is always ways to improve and grow! This is just a quick glimpse at how much improvement can happen over a short period of time.
Once you start blogging and posting to Instagram, get it the routine of posting at the same time and same days. For example; once you determine what time of day you receive the most traffic, continue posting at that time like clock work. Your followers want consistency and will look for your post, let’s not disappoint them!
Planoly – This is a monthly service I use to help me determine what I want to post and when. This is important because the way your feed looks is extremely vital to grow your following. You want your feed to look clean and even. It should tell a story through color and consistency. Using services like Planoly you can move around your images to plan out the perfect layout before you post your images.
Now this is something to check up on pretty often. Keep up with the most commonly used hashtags for your genera. Do your homework to see what hashtags local bloggers are using, and which “big” bloggers are using. You will notice a traffic spike once you find the best hashtags to use for your posts. Stick with those, but always keep an eye on new trending hashtags.
Affiliates, Education, and Community
If you are a style, fashion, beauty or lifestyle blogger Style Collective is a MUST! This community is filled with bloggers from all over the world working together to build their businesses. One of the most exciting offerings is NYFW. They create a forum with all of the tools you need to get there and even help to set you up with hotel roomies!
SC provides you with the educational tools to build your best business and supports you along the way. From creating your media kit, to sending the perfect pitch, and your first invoice! Sign up for it HERE or from the banner on my homepage.
Next become part of the BFrow fashion community! This is an additional space to share your blog posts for additional exposure, along with having the opportunity to meet and connect with an amazing community of fashion bloggers, just like you!
Find out who is blogging near you! Meet up for brunch and share ideas! This is the most beneficial tool I have found in this industry! You will soon be attending local events on a regular basis, and will become a part of your local blogging circuit. Having friends close by provides opportunities for collaborations, photoshoot buddies, and amazing friends that do what you do! Blogging can get pretty lonely so it is nice to know there are others who understand what you are going through and get the business! You can inspire and learn from each other to be successful and grow in the industry.
Marketing Companies to check out for collaboration campaigns
Reward Style – This is an invitation only, commission based platform that gives your following the ability to shop your posts via blog and Instagram.
Shop Style – This platform is also commission based but does not link to your Instagram, only blog or insta story (via swipe up function) The added bonus to this services is you actually can make commission off of clicks, not just purchases.
Fohr Card – This company feeds straight from your social platforms are generates analytic data verifying your following and offers campaign opportunities.
Octoly – This marketplace offers you the ability to pitch to top beauty brands who can send you their products for review. *You must have 10,000 followers to apply.
TapInfluence – This marketplace is used by influencers and brands alike to collaborate together on campaigns. You simply create a profile and sync it to your social media platforms and brands will reach out to you for work based on their criteria.
Purchase your domain name. This is really important because it can be seen as an investment in your brand. Purchasing your domain gives you opportunities to make commissions from your site and looks professional when reached out to companies.
Set up a business account through Instagram – more and more companies are requesting analytic data the easiest way to fetch this for them is with Instagram analytic tools.
Purchase a DSLR, and a 50mm lens. Now I held off on this as long as possible but seriously, if you are wanting to do this…you need one. The lens is important because it is what gives you those well-lit images with the blurred backgrounds.
That’s it for now…
Okay, so I know this post was quite long, but I wanted to provide as much information as I could! I truly hope this helps to answer some of your questions and motivates even one person to turn their dream into a reality!