After mentoring several women at the Dallas conference last month, I knew that I wanted to recap my most asked questions here on the blog. So here it goes!
I hope you enjoy my tips and please leave any questions, comments, etc!
How did you get started?
I started my blog 5 years ago after discovering blogs like Atlantic Pacific and B Jones Style while working (oops) at a boutique in my college town of Lubbock, Texas (Wreck em!). This was a completely different time as there were not many bloggers in general. I started posting what I wore with a small blurb about my day and outfit details and consistently created new content for my readers.
What do you credit one of your success goals met?
I would say a series of press/promotional opportunities on other websites lead helped build the brand along with creating consistent curated content.
While there are so many routes to success, I believe blogger community involvement only helps as we are all learning from each other, asking questions and paving the way for this amazing career from scratch. No need to be competitive!
How do I stand out amongst a sea of bloggers?
This is a hard question that could be answered so many ways. And I don't have the golden answer. I will say that I encourage you to spend time thinking about what you want your 'thing' to be. What is the trait of your personality, talents, outlook, etc. that makes you unique? This isn't something easily answered for most of us. It takes time trying new things and adjusting as you go. Once you find your 'thing' or 'niche', whether it be throwing awesome dinner parties or styling 405 outfits with 10 pieces, awesome Youtube videos --whatever -- you will see good things happen.
What are your favorite photo editing apps for iphone?
My favorite editing apps change all the time. But I love VSCO (I've bought nearly every filter set) & Faded is great too!
How do I make the transition from 'gifting' to 'sponsoring' with brands aka monetization?
I think your content speaks for itself. Create amazing content wearing brands you love and always, always tag. Heck, search out their email address and forward a link to your post wearing the specific item (even send to a general email if you have to). Keep the brand updated, interact with them and they will most likely interact with you. I would advise to keep one thing in mind: stick with brands you would naturally wear/use. Once you post a few times linking to their product, reach out to them with a media kit (with rates) and pitch your best ideas.
It's so easy to become discouraged in this new career of blogging/building your own brand. How do you stay motivated and positive in times of creative frustration?
Just do you. Try not to compare yourself to anyone because no one is like you. You are unique! And one quote I live by is "Celebrate success, even if it's not your own".
Tips for beginners?
Don't get discouraged! Research and ask questions. If you have tech questions, a friend once told me she used the Task Rabbit app to hire tech help for an hour with a meeting at starbucks. There are also great books on blogging like Blog Inc. and many more. I swore by iheartifb.com and the Rewardstyle community is great, too!
Find a mentor. Narrow down 3-5 local bloggers you admire and reach out to each- maybe meet for coffee! We can all learn from each other.
Did you move to LA to pursue your blog?
A common misconception! No. I originally moved to LA to work for celebrity stylist Taylor Jacobson. I thought I wanted to strictly be a stylist and decided it wasn't for me. Been here blogging and being a weirdo ever since!
How do you keep up with your ideas/inspiration/etc.?
My ideas are CONSTANTLY flowing. It would be absolutely impossible for me to keep up with them if it weren't for my small, ugly, notebook I carry around and special 'Ideas' tab of the notes section in my phone (I'm half cool with digital + half stuck in the stone age and have to write everything down). I also have secret Pinterest boards ;)
Just Remember this:
My favorite part about blogging is the direct correlation between the work you put into it and what you get out if it. In my experience (and nearly all my blogger friends agree), I've found if you give it 100% and are fully engaged with your audience, most likely you will see great results. Even if it takes a while. Keep on keeping on.