Thinking Of Starting A Blog? Read This First…

I have been blogging for about 2 years now and it has been an amazing journey. I have had my ups and downs, I have re-designed my website several times, I have been part exciting campaigns and most importantly I have learned a lot about myself.

Blogging can be very rewarding and profitable if done right. But it requires a lot of effort on your part, so I have listed my top reasons for blogging below, have a look and see if blogging is for you:

  1. If you are one of those people who love many different things and don’t want to limit yourself to just one, then blogging might be right for you! For me it combines so many different passions. There’s Styling if you’re interested in fashion. The joy of putting together interesting outfits that best represent who you are. There’s Photography involved, because whether you have a personal photographer or not you always end up adding your own content featuring your everyday life, travels and interests. There’s also Writing . The main focus of your blogging and the voice that will attract certain groups of people to your site. Your blog content will be a great tool to share your expertise on different topics and be of help to others! Editing is a big part of it too, your blog content, enhancing your photos to grab your reader’s attention and of course to keep your overall look consistent to your “brand”. Jump from industry to industry. Meaning, if your blog is Lifestyle based then you can add Interior Decor, Travel, Food, Beauty, even add a DIY section. Create a new category even! Why not right? It’s your own creative space. The possibilities are endless…

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2. It also gives you the Freedom to run your business. As you begin to grow you will be able to choose the brands you work with on you own terms and free to create content in the way that best describes YOU. It is such a thrill to be in charge of every step that goes into every post. It’s a lot of work don’t get me wrong! But it also feels ten times better to do something you are really passionate about and take it as far as you wish to go.

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3. Which leads me to my next point. Being able to work in your own schedule and from anywhere in the world. Blogging can allow you to write down your own calendar, make your own creative decisions and turn this into a business while still following your unique vision for it.

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4. That said, there’s also a lot you are committing to. If you are serious about it, then you must  be consistent, be able to follow through on contracts and posting schedules. And while it might not be a typical “desk job” it certainly has its longer hours. Why? Because there’s endless emails coming in everyday, social media updates on every sigle platform, events and social gatherings you are expected to join, content creating to post at least once a day seven days a week. That’s right, we don’t get a rest day, there’s no such thing as a weekend off. You must be ahead of it 100% of the time and having an understanding family/friends is absolute key. Also consider all negociations, planning, executing and promoting falls on you. So you have be able to handle the extra work load.

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Photos by Ryan Chua.

5. And final and most important point of all… It will make your days happier and more creative than you could have imagined! It will keep you motivated to do your best each and everyday to keep growing. It’s a job you will love doing and you will get to do things you never imagined you could.

If this is something that feels right for you then go for it! I have loved every minute and I’m here to share my experience with you. I have posted other Blogging Tips here , here and here so keep reading if this something you are interested in! If anyone has any questions or want me to share on a specific topic comment below!

Thank you for reading,

xo Erika

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

This past month I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how I started blogging. Old friends and some readers who are thinking about starting a blog have been asking for my advice. Back in January I wrote Fashion Blogging: Tips, Tricks and The Truth Behind It  to share a little of what I’ve learned this past year and a few tricks on how I edit my photos on IG. But this time I want to focus more on the main 5 things I’ve learned that I wish I had known back then. It’s a little long but I wanted to be thorough so bear it with me…

  1. Collaborating with Brands: In the beginning I was so excited when brands contacted me for a collab that I wouldn’t really ask any questions or define how many photos I should post, on how many social media platforms or the time frame to post them. BIG MISTAKE. It’s okay to get excited, people are starting to take you seriously so good for you! Now, lets talk business. Blogging is actual work, it takes time to plan a shoot, get someone to take the photos for you, edit, write the post, promote etc. So you need to remind the brand of this and talk about it in detail. In the beginning you are still figuring things out, you are creating a name for yourself and growing your following, so it’s completely normal to collab (accepting product for free in exchange for an IG post). But I’ve had so many brands trying to add extra work for me after they’ve delivered and who’s fault is that? Mine for not asking questions first. So look out. Make sure that you address these things in the first or second email to make sure the compensation is worth it for you. In my case, when I first started my blog, I was happy with collaborating because I needed the content and when the brand reposted me its exposure for my blog! As I started growing as a blogger though my terms started to change, for example: if they asked to be featured in other platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and/or website, that I charged for. You are taking the time to promote and deliver high quality content so you deserve compensation. It’s important to be clear about these terms so you won’t get taken advantage of.
  2. Collaborating with Photographers: When doing collabs it’s really important to define the exact terms you both want to work in. You need to define how many photos you will get per look, that way you make sure you have enough content. The max time it should take to get back the photos from him/her so its fair for both parties. Also discuss editing; some photographers won’t allow you to edit/crop any of their photos and this is something I’ve had issues with because as a blogger I need to make sure my feed on Instagram looks consistent so I need to fix light accordingly. Then again some photographers won’t mind, but its best to talk about it prior to the shoot. And the last thing is talking about photo rights. Sometimes you might sign a contract with the photographer to make sure what use both parties can have on the photos and that both are credited for their work. I’ve learned that its really important to discuss these things in-depth before agreeing to work together so there’s no surprises in the end.
  3. Collaborating with Hair/Makeup Artists: Sort of the same goes for HMUA. Discuss the look you are going for in-depth. Sometimes people don’t take into account the look you carry on your photos and try to do their own style when its you thats going to be on the photo.. it needs to look like you right?? Well discuss that. Wether you wear heavy makeup or like a more natural look, fake eye lashes.. yes or no, wear your hair up, down, wavy, straight.. You get the point. Make sure you are both on the same page. I once did a shoot where we were behind on schedule so the HMUA did it really fast and I wasn’t happy with it, but we were running out of day light so I went for it. And of course I ended up not liking and using the photos, I regretted not discussing these things before. The HMUA was very talented, the fault was mine for speaking up before. So never assume that people will pay attention to your style,  you need to tell them so you’re happy with the result.
  4. Don’t post just to post: I used to put all my attention on the photoshoots and then I would type something really fast the morning I was posting and not get any feedback. Why? Because it all matters. High quality photos are just as important as editing and both are equally important to the writing process. What is the point of taking beautiful photos if you have nothing interesting to say? No one will see them and your work will have been for nothing. I now plan ahead the topics of my posts so I have quality content and not post just to post. Same goes with photos though. If you are consistent with your posts (which you should be) and something came up so you couldn’t get a photo for that day don’t just post a bad quality photo or some filler one that doesn’t go with your niche just to post. It will only hurt you in the long run. You need to sit down and write a schedule for your blog: When are you shooting, what you have to say about it, what makes you blog interesting, how many times a week are going to post and how many hours is this all going to take. Staying organised is the only real way to grow.
  5. Link Link Link. Now that you have landed your dream collaboration, you have worked out the details and gotten the beautiful photos, as you sit writing your post remember to link your look!! If people follow you it’s because they like your style so make it easy for them and add the links of what you are wearing. If you can’t find it,  give them the option of a similar look in case they wish to buy it. The whole reason you blog is to inspire people right? So help them get the look! Same for your social media platforms, tag the brands, use their hashtags, get it out there!! It’s also good for you because you will get more exposure therefore you will gain more traffic to your blog so it’s a win-win situation.

Most of all don’t get discouraged. Blogging takes time so be patient, put in the work and I’m sure things will happen for you! And of course remember to have fun with it <3

5 Things I wish I knew when I started blogging

Blogging Tips

Fashion Blogging Tips

5 things I wish I knew about blogging

Wander With Love

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How to start a blog

 

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5 Things I wish I knew when I started blogging

What I wore:

Maxi Dress from Love Stitch | Braided Faux Leather Sandals from Forever21 | Tassel Faux Leather Crossbody Bag from Forever21 | Bird And Filigree Ring Set from Forever 21

Shop looks here:

                                 Demi Halter Dress $62.00        //        Braided Sandals $ 8.90

 Ring Set $6.90       //       Tassel Crossbody Bag $17.90

I hope you found this post helpful! I will be posting more on my experience as a blogger and a few other things I’ve learned along the way so stay tuned! Also feel free to leave a comment below on any questions you may have, I’ll be more than happy to help.

As always thanks so much for reading,

Love Erika

 

Photos taken by Vincent from Myself Vincent