When I first decided to start my blogging career, I originally did not now what I was getting myself into or exactly what I wanted to do. I was a dreamer wondering around blind trying to establish myself in this very competitive field. Originally, I created my blog to just write about my experiences while I was in college and my day to day life. But then I soon learned that I wanted more, and I could do more based off of my interests and my drive. I have been blogging in my niche with my brand for quite some time, and honestly, I am still learning different aspects of this business because there is so much that can change in literally a day – especially when it comes to social media.
There is so much to learn in the blogging business, and it changes constantly. Even if you don’t have a blog and you are solely based on a a social media platform, there are things about being an influencer and/or creator that are essential to know to maintain a career.
I stumbled and struggled for quite some time as I navigated this space, and after finding some great blogging resources and methods, I was able to establish a business that I am proud of. Along the way, I have learned a ton of things that I wish I had known when I originally started my blogging career. And today, I want too share them with you.
The Things I Wish I Knew WHEN I STARTED MY BLOGGING CAREER
Don’t follow others on social media that will make you feel like you need to change who you are.One of the biggest mistakes that I made when I first started blogging is that I began following bloggers in order to mimic what they are doing based off of the success they had. What I realized is that I was not fitting into my niche and actually losing followers based off the fact that they had began following me based off of who I am as a person, but at that point, I wasn’t being myself. So, what I began doing was unfollowing those people who weren’t inspiring me, but causing me to be envious and change who I was. I didn’t want to fall into the trap of going outside my niche. The people who follow you and the brands who want to work with you are connecting with you because they are attracted to your personal authenticity. They are not looking for a mimic. Each blogger has a different tribe because of who we are as individuals. There are so many brands that I have received notes from that have recognized my individual story, my writing style, and how I connect with my followers. Brands will reach out to you based on the fact that you align with their brand. If you’re niche is not luxury fashion, don’t get discouraged when luxury fashion brands aren’t reaching out to you. It’s not that you’re not successful, they just feel that you niche doesn’t fit with the brand. And then you have to realize that your readers won’t even connect with it anyway. It took me some time to distance myself from the replica that I had became and establish myself as the authentic me. I had fallen so deep into being someone else and I wish someone had told me earlier that you will grow and establish your brand by just being you.
Connect with your community.When I first started on social media, the one thing that I failed to do was connect with my tribe. I was constantly posting on social media and receiving comments on my posts. I was excited to see all of them, but what I failed to do was not only comment back, but reach out further to my tribe and comment on their own posts. I will admit that I still slack on reaching out and commenting on other posts, but I make a solid effort everyday to comment on at least 25 posts a day. The purpose of social media is to be social. And by reaching out makes your community feel like you are an open person willing to learn, grow, share and connect.
Be original with your brand pitches.It’s very easy to fall into the trap of the copy and pasting of a generic email when you are sending pitches. But what I have learned is that not only do brands feel like you aren’t passionate about their specific brand, but the email system will start seeing the repetitiveness of the emails that you are sending and start marking them as spam. Consider the fact that when you receive those generic emails that aren’t personal when a brand/business reaches out to. You end up not wanting to read it and feel as if it won’t be an enjoyable collaboration. Brands look at those emails the same way. It’s okay to use the same phrasing when introducing who you are and what your outlet is. For example, I usually start off my pitch emails with – “My name is Iesha aka Lesh of the fashion and lifestyle blog LivingLesh.com”. That’s okay to use that, but after that, when you are providing what you are going to offer and what this possible collaboration could look like. Make sure to make it specific to that brand and talk about why you are so passionate about that brand and how it will truly relate to your readers. They are looking for your personality. So let it shine in that pitch and in the text of your media kit.
It’s okay to say no.Throughout these past couple of years of blogging, I thought that when a brand emailed me that it was the biggest thing in the world. The fact of being recognized made me feel like I had accomplished something and that I should accept every offer that I receive no matter the compensation because I probably won’t get any offers better than that one. But that was far from the truth. It’s okay to say no to offers. Actually, you probably should say no to some. If the brand or product is not one that you’re connected to, or if it not one that your readers will be connected to, it’s okay to respectfully turn down the collaboration. You’re actually helping out the brand and yourself by saying no. If you accept a collaboration that you are not passionate about, it will be noticed through your post. You’ll be doing the brand a true disservice because you won’t put your personality into the collaboration. If you aren’t actually committed to the product, why should your readers be? To me, by working on a campaign with a product or service that you aren’t passionate about is like lying to your readers. And why should they keep connecting with you if you are lying to them? Just know that it is okay to say no. There will be other opportunities that will be a better fit for you. Additionally, you want to make sure that you’re managing the amount of collaborations that you’re doing at one time. There have been frequent occasions when I have accepted way to many collaborations at once and my whole editorial calendar became only marketed content. My blog began to look staged and my authenticity went right out the window. Make sure you’re creating a balance and remember the reason why you started blogging.