Lately I've met with a few local gals that want to start blogs, and they asked me to share some insight on everything I've learned, so far. It's been fun getting to share some knowledge with them (especially the things I wish someone had told me when I started!), and I love seeing their excitement in developing this passion.
It's hard to believe, but I've been blogging for almost 4 years now, so it's safe to say I've learned some things along the way. The direction of EPWL took a sharp turn from the hodge-podge that it used to be, and it's pretty much all fashion, all the time now. (In addition to beauty, travel guides and occasional recipe.) If you're curious about the way things used to go down over here, these are my first few posts. It's funny, because I used to post mostly recipes and, as you can see, my most recent recipe post was 8 months ago, so...OMG, how things have changed! (Something that has stayed on my site from the beginning though, is this prayer request tab. For some reason, I don't get the requests that I used to, but it's important to me to keep it a part of this page.)
I think for the first two years of blogging, it's safe to say I had no idea what I was doing, or really even WHY I was doing it. Sometimes I still question the "why" because it's easy to feel like I'm burning the candle at both ends, but as Brandon often reminds me, this is my passion. The whole reason I started this blog was to have a creative outlet. And, although its course has changed, and with it, the demands, what keeps me rooted and committed to continue, is that I truly LOVE this space. I love the community I have developed with all of you, I deeply appreciate your support, and at the end of the day, I love this blog. It's easy to get caught up in the numbers game and comparing yourself to other (more successful) bloggers, but at the end of the day, if that's what you're in it for, you are in it for the wrong reasons.
That brings me to my first piece of blog advice...
1. Passion - It is the sole reason you should be blogging. I don't care if you are writing about food, fashion, or about all the cute faces your cat makes. If you feel passionate about your work, the rest will fall into place. And when the going gets tough, it will be the only thing that keeps you going.
2. Networking - It's my second piece of advice for a reason. The number one way to grow your blog is to visit other blogs and engage (aka GENUINELY comment) with other bloggers. The same applies for Instagram, by the way. If you like, comment, and follow fellow bloggers, chances are they will like, comment and follow you back.
3. Design - Your blog is a digital representation of you. It's essentially your first impression, so take some time to make sure that your blog design (and Instagram feed) represents your personality, and is visually putting your best foot forward.
4. Ask - If you want to work with brands, just ask them. I recommend starting with smaller boutiques if you are just starting out, and contacting them to feature product. As soon as you have a portfolio of work, start charging for your posts. Your time should be worth it to you, and your influence is worth a lot to brands. (Insider tip: if you aren't sure where to get PR contact info, places like Fohr Card are great for connecting you with brands. Otherwise, you can search their website for their PR contact info, or head to google to find it.)
I'm curious to hear your thoughts on blogging and any advice you have/tips you have learned along the way.
By the way, I've had this cami for a while, and it continues to be one of my smartest purchases. It's good quality, goes with everything, and best of all...it's only $30. It's everything I can do not to spend all my money snatching it up in all 11 colors.
Cami (comes in 11 colors!) / Skirt, c/o Chicwish (similar below) / Flats (old) / Bag / Bracelet - similar