Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How I Started My Blog And Tips For Blogging

Scarf: Express (On Sale) | Jeans: Levi's | Sweater: Nordstrom (Similar) (Similar) | Boots: Belk (Similar) Bag: Barrington Gifts | Sunglasses: Diffeyewear (KENNEDY25 for 25% off) Photography: GloryRoze Photography

Hello friends! This post has been the most highly requested post of EH's career. First, I have to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. It makes my day, week, month, etc. to hear from y'all. To want my advice, is something extremely precious to me and I am so grateful for you all. I hope this post helps you in someway because I truthfully wanted to start a blog for over four years before I actually launched EH and was always discouraged from doing so. The scariest thing I have ever done was start the blog not knowing what the result would be. The best thing I have ever done was stepping way out of my comfort zone to start EH.

I have always loved to dress up and doll myself up. I originally grew up watching beauty vloggers on Youtube and would religiously check up on my favorite influencers (and still do)! I've held a lot of leadership roles in school and think always deep down I have had an entrepreneurial spirit. I used to get way too dressed up for classes in high school and owned always having on a dress or heels at school because being "extra" and a little different was just who I was. Speaking of different, I've also always felt like the "abnormal" college student. I've truthfully struggled numerous times with college life. There was a point in time that I wanted to leave NC State and move back to Charlotte, I've struggled with friendships, feeling alone, etc. I created EH to keep me busy during the times I felt like I needed to fill in the quiet space.

I've always loved to talk about clothes and beauty products and starting a blog to share these loves with friends and family felt right. I chose blogging over vlogging because I love to write and don't think I'd be interesting enough on YouTube lol! I researched websites last December and chose Blogger because it's what I'd had the most experience with. My posts started out with clothes I had purchased myself or mini collages I had created with products I loved. I posted these things for a couple of months before I had interest from a company to send me product. After two months of blogging, I was receiving gifted product in exchange for social media posts. Fast forward to six months of blogging- I had interest from a company to not only gift me product, but sponsor my posts as well. Since late spring of 2017, I have been able to monetize my blog and Instagram account.

I include this timeline of when I started receiving product and when I started to get paid for blogging for a couple of reasons. 1. I get asked a lot how you get companies to send you "free stuff". I cringe a little bit typing this, because I never ever want anyone to think that I blog for free things. I blog because I love fashion and beauty and the goodies that come along with these loves are huge perks, but not why I do it. The best way I can answer this question is to produce as much content as you can on your own and reach out to brands about collaborating. 2. Blogging does not happen overnight. I do believe I was able to quickly grow my brand because I was working until three in the morning most nights and maybe sleeping five to six hours a night trying to balance the blog and school.

Currently, I am a full-time student, blogger, and have two additional PR part-time jobs. I attempt to get two blog posts written a week, depending on my school schedule, and post as much as possible on Instagram. As a student and working woman, even with multiple occupations, maintaining a blog is very possible. I'm including some of my tips and tricks for blogging that I hope encourage you on your own path of blogging if you choose to do so!

Tips for blogging:

1. Spend the $ on a photographer- if you are blessed with a friend or relative that is naturally gifted with photography, I'm #jealous. If not, spend the time to look in to affordable photographers in your area. If you are looking for people to sponsor your blog, having professional photos is a HUGE plus. My favorite apps to add filters to my photos are Color Story, VSCO, and Facetune.

2. Post as much as possible- on your blog, on your social channels, etc. This will increase your following overtime and the more you post, the more likely you are to keep a growing audience.

3. Support other bloggers- blogging is not meant to be a competitive business. Support other bloggers by engaging with their content, following their blogs, etc. I have found that more times than not, followers and subscribers follow and subscribe to more than one blog! There is no reason that bloggers can not coexist with one another. Collaboration over competition any day.

4. Push your blog content on Instagram- Instagram I would argue is the most popular social media platform for bloggers. Utilize your Instagram to drive traffic to your blog by posting about your blog in your Instagram posts, sharing your blog link in your Instagram bio, etc.

5. Create a content calendar- this makes blogging so much easier being in school. I bought a small planner to plan out my Instagram posts/blog posts for the month. This makes blogging a lot easier as a student. All I have to do is reference my planner for what I'll be posting that day and send it on it's way to upload! I think a content calendar is also a very good motivator. If I'm ever stressed about the blogging, glancing at my calendar of already planned posts encourage me because I realize with a plan, I have nothing to stress about.  I also use the app UNUM to plan out my Instagram posts (it shows me what my feed will look like in advance). I also love UNUM because it tells me the best times to post on my account.

6. You'll have to research- whether this be trends, most popular hashtags, "how to" do something, etc. there will be work that comes with blogging that isn't super glamorous and fun. It is work though that I think is vital to blogging. The content I share with y'all, like any blogger, is very thought out. There's a reason I post at the times I do, with the products I do, with the hashtags, and filters I do, and so on and so forth.

7. Celebrate the people that support you- I am forever grateful to you all. It means the world to me that you follow along and support my content. That being said, show your thanks to the people that support you. My immediate thought is to say work with companies to collaborate on giveaways for your followers and subscribers. I've done a handful of giveaways in the past and have two planned as of right now for February, maybe three! But more so than giveaways, say thank you. If someone DM's you, emails you, etc. show your gratitude. A simple "thank you" or "I appreciate this" can go a long way. Reply to your Instagram comments when you can, engage with your followers content, etc. I love you all and I am so grateful for each and everyone of you!

If you have any additional comments or questions, please feel free to email me! I love to give any personal advice that I can. Y'all are the best!

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