Tips for the Beginner Blogger
Next to questions about Motherhood, tips for a beginner Blogger is probably one of the most commonly asked questions I receive. Truthfully, it’s not the easiest answer to give, as I believe what makes bloggers unique are their own abilities to stand out. Especially in this oversaturated social media world of blogging and “influencers.” If you haven’t already caught on to this… anyone can be an influencer. Which is kind of the cool part about it too. Anyone can post a photo in a cute outfit, anyone can cook what appears to be a delicious meal, anyone can give their 5 tips on how to be a hands on working mother… you see where I am going with this? Anyone can create a platform to share the details of their life, yet it doesn’t necessarily mean theres an abundance of dollar signs or free trips in your future. It doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically quit your day job when you decide you want to have a social media presence. It takes time, commitment, and a true love for what you do.
If you are interested in blogging, ask yourself a couple of questions.
Why do you want to blog?
Do you have time in your life to do it?
What do you want to blog about?
What makes you different from the rest?
Are you comfortable with sharing details of you and maybe your families lives?
If its not about sharing your particular lifestyle, is there something you know and can write about that isn’t already on the internet?
If any of the answers are, “It looks glamorous”, “I want free clothes”, “I want free trips”, “I want to quit the job I hate”, then you are probably doing it for the wrong reasons. Sure, it can appear glamorous…. although please keep in mind it may have taken that influencer 100 photographs just to get that one “goals” photo. Free trips are amazing. The perks can be great. Yet, never doubt the work involved. The internet makes it appear all too easy, and to some it def is easier than others, but it is a job, like any other job. It is always creating content, getting up early or going to bed late because you have a blog post deadline, going to meetings, working long hours, attending events, sending 100 emails, making sure all parties are happy, responding to DMs, re-shooting if need be, and etc.
You have to really LOVE sharing your thoughts, feelings, and having a purpose for why you do it.
So… for those of you still with me that have interest in blogging. Here are some tips I have for you.
1. Focus on you and only you.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in what is trending on social media or how a successful blogger is doing it, but remember… your brand is you and that’s what companies want to see at the end of the day. Write what you know, not what other people are doing.
Blog often, be present, and commit to your craft. Your following won’t get to know you or have interest if you are available “once in a while” on social media.
3. Stand out
It’s easy to be a stereotypical “blogger,” which means so many different things. Find a niche in the business and stand out from the rest. The best way to do this? Be YOU!
4. Have patience
It took me years to get freebies from brands, build a following, let alone get sponsorship opportunities… if it is coming too easy for you, then you may have to sit back and wonder why that is? Like any other job, have patience and be OK with starting at the bottom. (See below for: don’t buy a following).
5. Hashtags, Tagging Brands, Build Relationships, Affiliate Links
The best way to start is tagging all the brands you wear to get brands aware of who you are, hashtag appropriately based on the topic of conversation, reaching out and building relationships with the brands you love, and (for some) using affiliate links. I was never really one to use affiliate links, but I know a lot of beginner bloggers do.
6. Don’t buy followers.
Unfortunately, its become incredibly easy to become a “successful” blogger when you can easily purchase likes, comments, and even a following to your social media feed. But do you actually want robots liking your content or REAL people that you can engage with? My favorite thing about social media is the connection I have with all of you, even if its just about liking the same restaurants or both talking about our children starting baby led weaning. In the end, you want followers and brands to trust you. Brands want to see a success rate of interest, purchases, and real traffic to their sites and followers want to trust that these products are actually legit/what you love. Unless something major is going on in my life (the show, brand repost, popular topic discussion, etc.) you will always see my following slowly grow… and I’m ok with that. It’s authentic. Also: not all, but most PR agencies have a platform that can see if you buy. Socialblade.com showcases gains and losses… so its pretty easy to tell whats going on.
7. You’re not for everyone.
You need thick skin for this industry. It doesn’t come easy, but it started for me at the beginning when I got a lot of backlash and no support from certain family and friends. It’s always the biggest shock when it comes from the people you thought would be the most supportive. It’s hard and it hurts, but it made me more independent, confident, and I truthfully have learned to care less about what others think. I am so proud of the brand I created, especially now as I feel I can be my most unfiltered, authentic self on the internet. Just remember: your followers may not always agree with you, or like what you have to say… you can’t please everyone. Brands will say no, and that’s ok… maybe they will come around when you continue to grow, and maybe they won’t. You’re not for everyone.
8. Attend events
Attend local events, social outings, and any press is great for exposure (if its in a positive light of course). I first started incorporating fashion in my blog and started to attend events… alone. Yup, alone. I would go to Phoenix Fashion Week by myself as everyone had their groups of friends. Awkward, but then the following year was asked to be a judge and sit front row. Amazing what opportunities will bring when you just put yourself out there.
OK, I hope you enjoyed my candid response to, “What are your tips for the beginner blogger?”
Was it what you thought?
Photography by Jennie Maes of @Amaes_photography
Makeup by Dalen Rocha