There are 3 types of questions I get all the time on my blog – 1) What am I wearing and where can you get it, 2) What are my best travel recommendations, and 3) What things I’ve learned about blogging and what is my advice for new bloggers. Today I am sharing the four things I’ve learned about blogging in the three years since I first started and lessons I can teach those who want to start their own blog.
Madewell tee, Related dress c/o, Castaner espadrilles, Clare V bag (also available here; available in petite here), Celine sunglasses (similar here and here), Stila Stay All Day Lipstick in Perla (my FAVORITE color)
1. It Takes Time To Gather An Audience
When it comes to things I’ve learned about blogging, this one is a big one. A lot of people expect to become a top blogger overnight and that gathering an audience and followers is as easy as pie (or is it cake?). I’ll admit I even thought that at times especially since I am a former Miss USA. Turns out, while I adore my pageant fans, they are the wrong audience for my blog, so in a way I had to start from scratch like most bloggers and build my audience. That feat doesn’t happen in one day, one month, or even one year. Here I am, three years later from launching my first blog, and I am still gathering an audience. Of course, as my audience grows then so does my site and I hope to always keep growing and never peak. If you keep plugging away and develop a consistent posting schedule, that’ll help in establishing the right audience for you. My biggest piece of advice? DO NOT BUY INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS. I know that can be SO tempting, but it’ll actually do more damage in the end than good. You want to grow an authentic, organic audience because in the end, those are the people that’ll matter the most to you – not bots. Plus it’s also mega embarrassing when Instagram does its own “master cleanse” and suddenly you go from 50k followers to 20k followers.
2. It Takes A Lot Of Work (Modeling Was Easier!)
This is one of the biggest things I’ve learned about blogging. Before I was a blogger, I was a model (I started when I was age 16!). Between working in NYC and LA, I was already always on the go. And while modeling is not an easy job either, when I look back on my modeling career, I realize how much more I do now as a blogger. I used to run to castings during the day, and if I booked the job then report to photo shoots at 9 am, shoot until 4 or 5 pm, and go home. Now as a blogger, I do more than just frolic in front of the camera. As a model, every single look was styled on set by a professional stylist. As a blogger, I style every single one of my looks all by myself (I have never hired a stylist). Then, either my husband or my girl Felicia snaps my looks, which takes a few hours depending on how many looks I have (when Tor and I travel, our shoots last all day long). Then, unless Felicia snaps my pics, I spend some time selecting and editing our images (this is an hours-long process during travel due to how many pics we take). Afterwards, it’s time to write the post. This takes a lot of time, since I make sure each post has in it what it’s supposed to and feels natural, plus I need to make sure all the affiliate links link up to the correct link or item. After proofreading (and even still, I can miss a few things), I schedule my post. I then work on my newsletter to coincide with the new post. Next, it’s time to schedule the corresponding social media posts to promote the blog post. Once the post is published, I then post to Pinterest (THIS! – make sure you have a Pinterest account and post photos from your blog posts to Pinterest, as Pinterest will drive some of the most traffic to your site since it’s a search engine). By the way, this is just to do ONE blog post! And no, I do not have an assistant (yet). When I’m not writing posts, I am styling future looks, location scouting (this one is the most annoying and it actually took us an hour to find a spot for this post!) or spending a majority of my day reading and writing tons of emails in regards to negotiations, collaborations, and features. Then, with all of our travels, it may look like we are taking one big vacation but we are actually working the entire time to showcase everything for all of YOU (not that we don’t have fun while doing it!). All in all, my hours are certainly longer than 9 to 5, and the only day I take off is Saturday. So, my best advice is to appreciate how much work goes into not just your own blog, but many other blogs as well. It’s not easy to run a blog, especially full time, and I think a lot of people assume bloggers are lazy and just take pictures of themselves here and there. There’s so much more to it than that!
3. Never Compare Yourself To Other Bloggers
I made this mistake CONSTANTLY when I first started my blog. I felt everyone else had a better understanding of their style, had a better style, had a better handle on their sites, had better sites, had better followers, had better connections to brands – pretty much just thought they were all better than me and I looked like a fool. That wasn’t the case because guess what? Every single top blogger out there has been in your shoes. Everyone had to start out somewhere and everyone has had those same thoughts initially. This is why it’s dangerous to keep comparing yourself to other bloggers. Every blogger is different, and every blogger has a different story. They’ve gone down their road, and you’re going down yours. Now I have come to admire other bloggers instead of letting their successes make me second guess my own successes. I know one day I will be in their shoes, just like they were once in mine.
4. Write For You, Not Them
I used to write my blog to please everyone else because I was so desperate for approval and for readers to like me. Write what YOU want to write about. Remember, your site is a reflection of you and your life. When you look back on past posts, you want to be happy with everything you have written. Write what makes you happy, what’s relevant to you, what’s relevant to your blog, etc because at the end of the day, that’s what will keep your dedicated audience around longer. Don’t let someone else’s agenda be your agenda.
So those are the key 4 things I’ve learned about blogging, and I am sure there will be more things I’ve learned about blogging in the future. I’m no expert, but these are things that I have noticed from my experience in the last three years (I can’t believe it’s been that long already!). I hope my lessons can help you in your blogging career, too! Any lessons that YOU have learned from blogging?