Thinking about starting a blog this year? This post is for you!
So you want to start a blog?
Nowadays anyone can create a blog in a few simple steps. Blogging is an incredible marketing tool and can even become a great source of income.
Before starting a Blog, Remember You will be a Business.
So, I’ll thank my lucky star and soak up all that I’ve learned these last three years and give back by sharing that knowledge with you all. I’ll start off by first saying that the business of blogging is incredibly complex and difficult. So, I’ve really developed a new level of profound respect for anyone whose turned blogging into a full-time career.
It’s that behind-the-scenes work that’s most fascinating and complicated. By now, it’s common knowledge that some fashion bloggers are paid by brands and yes, we receive plenty of goodies gratis, but what about all the other things that make blogging a successful business?
And, are there any downsides?
More importantly, the industry has become NOW more saturated than it was three years ago, but there is still room for newcomers! The amount that brands are willing to pour into influencer marketing it will be huge next year because it’s proven to be an effective tool. So, if you have an unique voice and vision and you’re able to communicate that instantly, just surprise yourself!
How are you going to do that? That’s for you to figure out… I’m only here to help you with some good advices before starting a blog:
First of all A blog is essentially a storefront: a public-facing place where readers click to get recommendations and inspiration.
Behind-the-scenes, like any job, plenty of tribulations come with blogging. In addition to the pressures of getting the perfect Instagram, it involves paperwork, legal issues, and research. I know most of people don’t realize the ins and outs and all the energy that goes into a blog.
Having a blog and having a social media presence is a business, and I recognize I haven’t treated like this at the beginning. It was everything New and Fun for me. After some months, I’ve discovered I have to answer to my clients, my readers, and make sure I’m satisfying them. When your business is also your face, your photos, and your words, allowing other companies to use your imagery means plenty of paperwork. You need to be incredibly organized and careful when signing contracts, understand the meanings that goes into that, and make sure you’re putting yourself in a good position.
It’s a role that requires almost 24/7 commitment without any social media breaks. And, when it comes to being Insta-famous, making it is 90% of the battle.
Then Let’s talk Branding
Branding is very important in the blogging world lately. Why?
Branding is how you’re noticed and how you continue to be recognized in your industry. Branding starts with your logo and continue down to your fonts, colors, pictures, and voice. Yes, how you talk to your audience is part of your branding. Branding even goes as far as the companies you choose to work with. So, you have to Be very careful with who you associate your image.
Then your logo is the most important thing to brand. If you’re serious about your brand, you should seriously invest in a unique logo. Then you have to pick fonts that suit your blog and go with your logo. Remember your logo should be the main focus.
An aesthetic is the feeling your readers/followers get when they visit your blog and any social media channel connected to your blog. Some bloggers have a colorful, bright aesthetic, others are more moody with a desaturated look (lots of black, white, and grey). Regardless what aesthetic you choose, you want it to fit with your personality and be consistent with it across your social media and blog. It wouldn’t make sense for you to have a super colorful blog and then a dark and muted Instagram.
Finding your authentic voice takes time but once you have it, it’s the glue that holds your brand together.
Last but certainly not least, what ties your branding all together is your voice. This is what really seals the deal for your readers. It’s whether they stay on your blog or go somewhere else. It’s how you form that true long, lasting connection. I hope I did it.
So how do you find a “voice”? You shouldn’t have to find it at all, it should just come naturally. Depending on your brand and personality your voice could be more or less reserved. Some bloggers curse, talk about taboo subjects and go off script. Other bloggers are very private and only reveal certain aspects of their lives.
Anyway, Though bloggers may have a reputation for sharing almost every aspect of their lives — from #OOTDs to dinner pics — rarely does the world see what things are like with no filter involved.
These are things I wish I knew before going Public.
When you decide to start a blog you’re basically deciding to share your entire life to hundreds and potentially millions of strangers. You are in the public eye and that’s just how it goes. With that comes some enormous pressure. Pressure to be the best, pressure to please everyone. Pressure to say and do the “right” things. Pressure to look good all the time!
Then a blogger has to learn how to overcome shyness…
Watching someone put photos of themselves everywhere online might lead you to think these people are extremely confident and extroverted. Most bloggers are super shy in real life. I think that has been one of the most surprising things I’ve learned being a Blogger and Influencer. I really know many people who are described as arrogant but in reality they are just shy. I also happen to be one of those… Reality is, it’s much easier to put pictures in front of tons of people you’ll likely never run into.
And with all the pressure and criticism is not easy to play the Power trick and dominate the world. Sometimes I choose to shut down and analyze it from aside. #introvertproblems
Then COMES YOUR NUMBERS. Followers It’s all that matters!
It’s an unspoken truth. Let’s be HONEST! While partnerships can develop based on aesthetics, style, and photographic skills, when you’re competing against many other influencers, your followers can make a huge difference.
Social media is obviously the major component to running a blog. It’s the most common way to communicate to your audience and reach new audiences. Social media is such a general term that covers a variety of platforms that you have to master it. I do recommend making an account with every platform just so you have your username secure in case you do decide to tackle it. I assure you don’t want someone else to snag your username.
The best social media channels to get on are Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat/Facebook. Nowadays, Snapchat and Facebook are tied for 3rd place.
It’s obvious why Instagram is NUMBER 1, it’s the biggest most used platform in the world right now. More about how to become INSTAFAMOUS in another article.
Everything is based on how much social media you can do for companies. Some people will close the door instantly without giving you a chance, because it’s just based on the numbers. This can lead bloggers down, but all we need is patience because it just takes time.
For the few lucky ones, it might just take one viral YouTube video or several well-selected hashtags to get to 100,000 followers. Maybe. But most of the time, it takes years to reach these numbers. And since brands tend to appear after those BIG numbers, it can take some personal investments at the beginning.
Expecting to be the next big thing overnight is not even close to reality!!!
I will soon achieve 4 years of blogging, but for the first year or two I was barely making any money. Even if you get mentioned by the biggest brands, it takes time to grow. You need to be patient and realize it takes energy, commitment, and money. And more often than not, it’s your money.
After you become known there starts the Competition
Bloggers Can Get Competitive to each other and very mean.
In any industry, there will be people who will do anything to get ahead. Stealing contacts from one another, talking bad about other bloggers and copying others ideas are common things between bloggers. I’ve been told by people to watch out because there are no true friends. Luckily, those are only a select few.
Your Readers Are Your Fans — But They Can Also Go Too Far
First, there are the Haters. No corner of the internet is safe from them. The first time it happened to me was on a photo of me in a bikini. They said something about how Fat I am. But I don’t want to be super skinny. And I love the way I look. We’re all different sizes, we relate to different girls. I used to read comments for those reactions and think “Why is this person saying this? What have I done to them?“
But you get over it and you talk it out with your friends. I am careful to maintain privacy about some things when I can. Safety can be a concern. I’ve heard of people who have left packages at a blogger’s front door. That’s creepy. Like, how did they find your address?
I’m honestly tired just thinking about what one has to do to continue to thrive as a blogger.
Location also Matters, But It Won’t Make It Easy
It’s a cliché! I know every blogger dream about living in New York City or Paris or Milan. But I assure you it can be pretty rough to newcomers. Especially if you don’t know anyone to help you out.
And while you can be a blogger anywhere, the opportunities in any Fashion Capital are boundless. It’s pretty hard being a blogger in Romania, where people are limited and with so many prejudices.
Once You Start a Blog, You Can’t Stop
Blogging isn’t just a full-time job. For some, it can be an all-consuming lifestyle.
Sometimes it’s like, do I ever get a day off? I truly love what I do, but you should know I’m always on. When I have free time, I’m looking for new photoshoot locations and travel destinations. I’m always thinking about the next. When I started, I didn’t know what blogging is going to entail.
Now I can’t stop anymore!
Not only is the work time-consuming, your readers will also hold you accountable. They expect you to update your feed regularly, meaning there’s no such thing as vacation.
Sometimes, I do need a break from all of that, because I’m so tired. I think people don’t realize that enough. My friends think I have this easy life, but I spend nights on email and photoshop. They only see the pretty photo afterwards.
Blogging is work that NEVER ends, but sometimes, you really just have to unplug even if there are still things to be done! I think this is critical for our personal mental and emotional health. So when it’s time to just lay down and chill, do it. You don’t owe anyone answers.
SO, If you see yourself doing it, know what you’re willing to give up.
Like I said, it’s not easy but dreams don’t work unless you do.
What would you say are the best and worst parts about blogging? Tell me in the comments below!