Blue and White Floral + My Top 16 Blogging Do's and Don'ts
Riffraff Dress**(sold out, similar here, here, and here) | Kendra Scott Earrings | Tiffany and Co. Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard Necklace and Bracelet | Banana Republic Flats | OPI Nail Polish | Tarte LipSurgence
**Get anything on ShopRiffraff.com for 15% off + Free Shipping w/code "RiffraffRepLauren" at checkout!
Can anyone else not get enough blue + white floral print this summer? I for one can't! As soon as this pretty little number hit Riffraff's site**, I knew I had to get it. Riffraff posts new arrivals everyday at 9 am. Their pieces sell pretty quickly, so I have learned to snag something if I like it. This dress in particular is sold out, so you can either sign up for the waiting list here, or shop the three similar looks I linked- this, this, and this. How do y'all feel about this trend? Seen any piece that I can't live without? I'd love to know, so I can get it for myself!
As I spoke about on Monday (plus my big announcement last Wednesday), I've made some blogging mistakes (read post here), but today is the positive spin- the knowledge I've gained, in spite of my mistakes. I started blogging almost 6 years ago, but I've only been fashion blogging since last November...it is a very different world. I'm definitely still learning, but isn't that the cool part? Anyway, here's some of my do's and don'ts, in no particular order- I hope they help you!
1) Hustle. You know, a diva is a female version of a hustla. In all reality, this is so important. You need to do everything you possibly can to get your name out there and your brand recognized. Go to that party. Meet that person. Even when you don't feel like it, just do it! Here's a perfect example that literally just happened! Last Wednesday I went to the grand opening of J. Crew's new concept store, Mercantile, and snapped this pic. Today I woke up to find USA Today wrote a piece, and used my picture and caption. View the article here. (This is also a good lesson in tagging and hash tagging-Do everything you can think of!)
2) Ignore. Don't look at your stats. Well, look at them, but don't live by them. They should only be used as a motivator. Page views do not equal self worth.
3) Cast your nets wide.You only get in life what you have the courage to ask for. I have so many blogger friends who are nervous to ask companies for a sponsorship. I have not been able to wrap my head around why, because the worst thing that can happen is them telling you no. You might as well try! I could keep giving inspirational quotes, but I guess I should just use myself as an example. As little as a couple of months into this blog, I asked companies to partner with me and they did. They may not have been paid, but everyone has to start somewhere!
4) Join groups. I can't tell you how important this is. I am in several groups and they each contribute a lot to my success. I would make sure you join one in your surrounding area for local connections, but don't forget about internet groups- these friends are some of the best supporters you can have. You'd be surprised how easy it is to become cyber buddies with people.
5) Comment well. Part of growing your following is connecting with other bloggers and their followers. Word of mouth does wonders. I am way more likely to remember a blogger and visit their site when they post a genuine and authentic comment, than someone who writes "Great post!". It may in fact be a great post, but you should never write that, unless you couple it with something else. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your time (in my opinion, of course).
6) Find your niche. What do you like writing about? Discover that and use it to your advantage. I like small businesses and feature them every Friday on my Southern Elle Style Shop Share. By doing this, I am not only promoting a business and doing something I'm passionate about, but I am also generating a crowd who will return and expect my postings. It also gives me an easy in with businesses I want to work with. So, figure out what you like and do it! You'd be amazed how you can use blogging to an advantage with tickets or reservations. I'm not saying to take advantage of the system, I'm just saying make the system work for you. Social media is worth a lot more than you might realize.
7) Make Templates. I waited way too long to do this, but I have templates I use for postings, hashtags, and so much more. I keep a word doc saved, so I can just copy and paste. I will also pre-notate my instagram posts, and text them to myself, so they, as well as my hashtags are always available. This makes time crunch postings so much easier.
8) Organically grow. Sure loop giveaways give you instant gratification, but they often throw off your followers to engagement ratio. If you have 10k followers, but struggle to get 100 likes, then it is obvious to brands that you have bought your followers and this is starting to be more important than actual number of followers. Sometimes you need a boost to get to that next level, but you shouldn't simply rely on loops. After all, they get expensive! I prefer rafflecopter giveaways. They rely more on blog traffic, which can actually be more useful than Instagram in the long run.
9) Choose Quality over quantity. I've had to delete some pictures and even posts because they didn't turn out as well as they should have. While I could have posted it just to have content, I went back and made sure that what I had to share fit my brand's identity.
10) Post regularly. I publish my posts the nights of Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and share them the following day. I started out posting every other day, but stopped after realizing that the weekend doesn't get that many hits. Listen to your followers. I am currently "listening" to mine and considering sharing Thursday instead of Friday- Friday gets more traffic than Saturday, but I'm not sure if it should be included in my best practice yet. Remember that this may not be how your blog's followers operate. For a lot of people, Mondays are the best day. For me, Wednesday is my highest traffic day.
11) Schedule. Due to my vacation in June, I got behind, but I am slowly catching back up. I try to edit and load all my pictures when I take them, so I can work on my posts anywhere and anytime, plus I am then able to have a backup post ready to roll when necessary. I also like to use the Squarespace scheduling app when I know I'm going to be away for the night.
12) :Link ups. I underestimated these when I first started, but you can get so much extra exposure from them. I have a list on my desktop that I click on every morning, to see who I need to link up with for the day.
1) Compare. Never forget that comparison is the thief of joy. Things don't realistically happen over night, so don't expect that of yourself. Blog because it makes you happy, not because you're just trying to keep up with the Jones's.
2) Take it personally. It is just business. You will hear many no's and it isn't against you. Sometimes people don't have the funds or you don't fit their brand. The quicker you can forget them, the sooner you can move on to something greater!
3) Say yes all the time. Maybe you don't have a problem with this, but most of the time I say yes to events and reviews. I have come to learn that this is great, but there is certainly a time to say no. For a while I said yes to too many events and it left me exhausted, overwhelmed, and cranky. Because I work a full time job + blog on the side, I have to make time for sleep and seeing friends, in addition to my two sets of work loads and chores,etc. I may get a good insta pic out of it, but sometimes it just isn't worth it if I am risking my well being.
4) Settle. Don't just accept the first collaboration you get. While it may be tempting, make sure that whomever you work with represents what you and your brand stand for. Contrary to popular belief, not all publicity is good publicity. If you aren't careful, it may come back to bite you later on.
5) Wait to monetize your blog. Just because you haven't been accepted to RewardStyle, doesn't mean you can't make money. You can still get paid for collaborations and services, in addition to other commission programs. Currently, I use Shop Style Collective(you shop my profile here), which is a pay-per-click commission program, created by Pop Sugar.
Do you have anything to add? I am always looking to learn more!
P.S. If you liked this post or want to remember to view it later, here's a pinnable image for you!
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