It is official, friends! I have been approved as an influencer for rewardStyle, or LiketoKnow.it, an app that you all may be more familiar with. I have installed all the rewardStyle updates on, so stay tuned for a lot more fun, upcoming posts! While I am pumped to be part of the rewardStyle program (jumping up and down on the inside!), I wanted to use this announcement as an opportunity to share some Blogging advice to those who have been thinking about starting their own Blog, or for those just starting out in the blogging world.
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HOW I GOT STARTED IN BLOGGING
Blogging was something that I had in the back of my head as something that I wanted to do for many years. I love DIY projects, crafting, and cooking, and wanted to use blogging as a platform to share my projects with people, and to also encourage people that they can do it to! I’d always take before and after pictures of my sewing projects and furniture I repurposed, etc. because I was going to start a blog, but the pictures would just build up on my phone and basically die there. In the back of my mind, I knew I could do it, but I had a really busy day-job, I couldn’t come up with a catchy blog name, I’m not really a computer person… Excuse, after excuse. Sound familiar to anyone?
Fast forward several years, and my sister in law, Hogan, started talking about how she wanted to start a fashion and southern lifestyle blog (be sure to follow her over at Hems and Hospitality!). I still had a busy day job, and now a kid on top of that, but it was still something I wanted to do, and I thought it would be fun to work with her doing recipes and DIY, while she focused on fashion, etc. I also thought it would be easier to work with someone on a blog because I had a kid, and I thought there would be less of commitment because we’d be a little team working together. Boy was I wrong! While I am very thankful she let me tag along and start out with her, blogging is a lot of work, whether you’re working with someone, or by yourself. After several months of working together, our goals, and visions started to diverge so we mutually agreed to go our separate ways. Ultimately, we both wanted to have our own babies, and it was just easier in the long run being separate with trying to monetize, etc.
There is a lot more work to blogging than you’d think. It is not just, I’ll type up a quick post, add a few pictures and boom, there you go. If you want your website to look good (and especially if you’re not a computer person, like me and have to look up how to do almost everything), blogging is a day job on top of your day job, especially if you’re working to try to build a following and monetize to make a little money for all your efforts.
THE ROAD TO BECOMING AN INFLUENCER
Starting out initially, I wanted to just put my recipes, projects, and home decor out there, and not worry about putting my face out there along with it. I was never a “selfie” kind of person, and if you look at my earliest posts on Insta, you can see that they’re mostly pictures of landscapes, and plants from my backyard. I soon realized, however, that the best way to engage and connect with people out there is to put your face out there! After all, most people want to be able to put a face with whoever is talking to them on the internet.
After overcoming my feelings of awkwardness with putting selfies out there, and just doing it, it soon became no big deal, and also was somewhat rewarding with the positive feedback that I was receiving from friends, family, and followers. As a blogger, putting yourself out there also can give you additional opportunities to monetize because not everyone likes kitchen gadgets and chalk paint, but practically everyone loves fashion (and it is fun too!)! If people are going to ask where you got something, you might as well try to link it for them in advance…
Now there are lots of ways to monetize your blog, and I am involved with several affiliate programs, but the RewardStyle program is one of the best affiliate programs to work with because not only do you have access to tons of different retailers that you can link to, but their website makes it really easy to create shopable boards, widgets, and pictures that you can just click on to shop! Not to mention, I think adding these additional features to a blog post, spaces out your text, and just makes things look cleaner and better! Having a clean aesthetic to a blog is a must for me, whether I am just reading it, or creating it, and I am thankful I have RewardStyle to help me achieve that.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED…
I did apply to RewardStyle a couple months after going out on my own and got rejected! I knew before applying that I didn’t have enough content on my blog & Instagram to get approved, but I just wanted to try just in case. I didn’t let that rejection get me down though, because I had my other affiliate programs I was working with (including Shop Style Collective, which is similar to RewardStyle), and I knew that consistency is key, so NBD.
Fast forward a couple more months and I had a childhood friend, and fellow blogger (follow her at Lucindervention, especially if you’re tall!) refer me to RewardStyle, and I thought alright, now is my chance! Wrong again! It turns out you have to wait at least four months in between applications to the program, so I was rejected again! I didn’t let that get me discouraged, however because I was still getting positive feedback on my Blog and from my followers.
I ended up forgetting about it for a few more months, until we were on the drive back to Tennessee from our most recent beach trip to Seaside, FL (FIND THAT POST HERE). I was bored in the passenger seat of our car, and was thinking that it had been at least six months from my initial application, so why not give it another shot! I applied to the program mid way through our trip, and was approved just an hour or two later! The application says it could take up to a few weeks to get a response, so getting approved the same day was pretty exciting.
ADVICE FOR BLOGGERS STARTING OUT
JUST DO IT
Stop making excuses, and putting off your goals and dreams like I did. Yes, your name might not be perfect, and you might not exactly know what you want your niche to be, but just start something! You can always update and improve things as you go. I often wonder where I would be today if I would have started blogging back in college when the idea first popped in my head, but instead here I am just starting out over 10 years later.
Consistency is key when it comes to building a following for your blog, and social media. Consider making a blog schedule on your calendar and stick to it. It will be time consuming, but there are a lot of ways you can automate posts, etc. so you’re not on on your phone and computer 24/7. Yes, sometimes you will have to take a break because life happens, and sometimes you just need a little break to avoid burnout, but try to be as consistent as possible.
START OUT BEING SELF HOSTED
Now even though I somewhat know what I’m doing now, I still don’t consider myself a computer person, so I hope I explain this to you correctly. There are a bunch of different websites and ways to start a blog and build your own website. You can either have your host and website be all with one provider, like wordpress.com, or you can use a self hosting site, like Bluehost, where you actually own your own website and use WordPress within that to help create and manage it. I use Bluehost to host my WordPress website, and love it!
Figuring out how to be self hosted might be a little more difficult in the beginning, but in the long, run it is worth it with what you’ll be able to do with your blog as you grow and improve things with time. You will also save yourself the hassle of having to switch things over later on once you gain access to different affiliate programs. There are also better layouts and widgets available using a self hosted site, like Bluehost, that can help you build a better website as well. SIGN UP AND LEARN MORE ABOUT BLUEHOST HERE.
FASHION CAN HELP FAST TRACK YOUR SUCCESS
Now home and DIY are still my main goals to focus on with my website, but if you’re anything like me, updating and designing your whole house the way you want it to be before you present it to the world takes time! And I also still have my day job (and another kid on the way!), so sometimes my DIY projects take longer than expected, and get put on the back burner.
Sharing your personal style is something easy to do and a good way to make consistent posts for your social media and blog, not to mention, it gets a lot of engagement. It is something that everyone can do too, because most of us (I hope) get dressed every day! I believe sharing my personal style helped get me approved to programs like rewardStyle more quickly than it would have taken me otherwise if I just stuck with home decor and DIY. And there are all shapes, sizes, and styles on these platforms, so don’t think that you’re not cut out for it. If you love fashion too, why not go for it?! If you’re dedicated to what you’re doing, and remain consistent, you can do it!
SHOP THIS LOOK HERE AND ON LIKETOKNOW.IT:
I hope sharing my personal journey to blogging and becoming an influencer was helpful to you if you’re just starting out in the blogging world (and if you’re not into blogging, now you just know me a little better!). You can find out more about me HERE, and be sure to follow me on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app!
As always, leave me a comment, especially if you have any questions! And never miss a post, subscribe to my newsletter today!