6 month Blogiversary: My advice for new bloggers

I can NOT believe I’ve been blogging for 6 months! I’ve been so excited about this post and literally counting down for this day. I started journey in March after seeing a Facebook ad for a book:

“A lifestyle bloggers guide to your first week of blogging” After reading this book I purchased my blog for $48 and the rest is history. I now work as the editor of a lifestyle and fashion e-magazine “The Fashion Circle”. My job as editor allows me to give fashion and Lifestyle bloggers a chance to have their work seen by a large audience.

I’ve had several paid brand campaigns with brands like Follow your heart, Icon underwear. I even had the chance to travel to Las Vegas to meet blogging ICON Perez Hilton

I wanted to take sometime to give some tips and advice to new bloggers. When you first start blogging it can be very intimidating. I want to help out new bloggers, I want to tell the truth! It’s not easy but it’s all possible! 6 months ago this site did not even exist. These job opportunities did not exist but now that my dream has come true I want to motivate others to follow their dreams and show new bloggers every goal is attainable, if you take the steps to make them happen! Let’s get started!

Blogging is journey. When you first begin your journey you’re not sure where to start my motivation behind this blog was to tell my story, and to see if I could actually make a living as a blogger. The books, ad’s and YouTube videos make it seem like as soon as you hit “publish” there’s all this income and opportunity.. that’s not completely wrong but what they don’t tell you is many of the bloggers you admire have been blogging for YEARS! Not months YEARS! They have made mistakes, they have worked jobs while they blogged, they have failed, that have had a journey to endure… JUST LIKE YOU! Enjoy the process of growing. Learn your “why”, learn your audience, take time to learn how to create content that is engaging. Envision who your talking to. I took a month in May to just visualize my ideal reader, look at and learn my insights. There’s a lot that goes into making blogging your career so really savor the journey. There’s going to be days you get 800 views.. and there will be day you get 8 views and you have understand that both are necessary for your journey. On the days you have 8 views.. look at those post that got higher views and see what your audience liked about those post. It’s not a time to beat yourself up. It’s a time to learn and repackage edit and keep it pushing!

Youtube University

Everything job, every opportunity, when I didn’t know know something about blogging.. I went to YouTube university! Once I started my blog and grew my instagram audience past 1k and my blog subscriptions to 100. I began to reach out to brands for collaboration and sponsorship. Here are the videos that helped me to land PAYING jobs, get invites to events, free meals, free clothing.. you name it I’ve had the opportunity to review it for my blog and experience it for myself !

This video by Latasha James taught me how professionally state who I am as blogger and pitch to brands. This video also gives you an amazing example how NOT to approach a brand a blogger. I refer back to Latasha’s often even still! The advice in the video beneficial and share it so often. This video is the video that gave me the courage to sent out my first pitch for blog collaboration. When I got my first yes! I was so excited! I couldn’t believe I was heading review restaurant for my blog all from what I learned in this video!

This video is amazing! So detailed and even breaks down step by step what to say in emails to play up your strength as a blogger and get brands to collaborate with you.

This is the video that taught me to “Stalk the Chief Marketing Officer” I learned to dive deeper into the brands I wanted to work with. In order for your emails to be answered they have to be sent to right individuals. This video guides through the strategy needed to get your pitch in the right hands. This will become on of your favorite videos to watch!

Podcast!

There is ALWAYS something to learn when it comes to blogging. I’m pretty much obsessed with my blog and pitching or sponsorship, if I’m not watching videos about blogging.. I’m listening to podcast and one that I’ve listened to nearly every episode of is “The Mattie James podcast”. Mattie is the queen of Pitching and even offers masterclasses and templates! This podcast is a most for any new blogger who is serious about making blogging a full time job.

I listen to Gary Vee for motivation and content strategy. When I first started blogging I used Facebook ad’s to get my blog clicks and exposure and that something I learned from watching Gary Vee on YouTube and listening to his podcast.

“The Blogged” Podcast is a podcast dedicated to helping bloggers monetize their blogs! I have learned too much! Strategy, I’ve learned about different events, all kinds of information is given on this show and the guest are amazing!

Reach out to your mentors!

The day I began my journey wrote a list of the bloggers I admired. Number one on the list was Perez Hilton. I’ve followed his career since the beginning and admired his drive and ambition. I reached out and wrote a post. Perez posted my blog on his website and it changed my life.

I will forever be grateful to Perez for giving me so many amazing opportunities. I was published on PEREZ HILTON’S site and that can’t be taken away from me and that’s something I don’t think very many bloggers can say they were on Perez’s website ..(in a positive way😅) If I could give anyone advice it would be to reach out to mentors and let them know you’re there and you support them! You never know what could happen!

CREATE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES!

Once you start a blog you need content.. get out there and create it! Go to events! Reach out to brands, network, go for walks and had out your media kit. Just get your name out there! I’ve MC’d dance competitions as a blogger, attended restaurant openings. All because I slid in DM’s and made myself available. If you want to work as a blogger CREATE THE WORK! Every week I reach out and look for something to be involved in. The more events you attend that provides more opportunities for networking and exposure.

Treat your blog like a business.

I know people say that all the time, however when I say it I mean set a schedule. This blog is your job so take the time to honor it as such. I have set times for posting, I have days for strictly networking. Plan, create, promote. I work daily on this blog if I’m not writing, I’m reading blogs, I’m sharing blogs, I learning about ways to create viral post. I treat this like a job that I’m trying to get promoted at. With blogging the more you put in the more you get out. If you only post once a month and never promote you can’t expect growth. You have to put in 100% effort into what your doing.

Invest in your blog!

I’ve spent money to get where I am… not a whole lot of money. $48 for the domain name, $5 a week in the beginning for Facebook ads. I purchased books to learn exactly how to make a living blogging. Google “blogger conventions” in your area purchase a ticket and GO! For my fashion blog I set aside a specific budget for thrifting hauls ($40 a haul) I purchased marble slabs for flatlays for product reviews and photos for the blog. You can make small investments. Buy apps to improve the photos in your post. When you are reviewing products and you don’t own a camera, purchase editing apps! Learn how to take the best photos you can! Investing in your blog doesn’t have to be money. Invest your time. I can’t tell you how many hours I spend on blogging and content creation. It’s all I think about. I spend all my time finding inspiration and planning content. The more you invest the more you’ll get out of the experience.

Get a Twitter account for your blog!

Twitter has been the most magical place! I’ve received jobs, I’ve had celebrities retweet my work!

Twitter is where the blogging community lives! There’s chats to join. There’s just so much you can do if you want more in depth guide to Twitter check out this post “4 reasons new bloggers need Twitter”. I’ve met so many wonderful bloggers and read so many amazing blogs! Twitter is the place to be for bloggers! Twitter is really where it’s at! I joined twitter in July and that’s when my engagement and blog subscribers really increased dramatically. When you join twitter.. BE ACTIVE! Do just follow and unfollow, read, engage and share! The more you involve yourself in the community the more rewarding the journey is. Blogging can seem very lonely.. the more friends you make the easier it is. You build this community of bloggers you can open up to and it decreases the need for “competition” there’s room on twitter for everyone but when we all support it other it’s truly beautiful.

Join Facebook groups!

I share a lot of my content in Facebook groups. That’s where I get the most shares. A lot of the articles I write are instagram growth strategies like “The Gary Vee $1.80 method” (this method grows my instagram about 150 followers a week with about 10 followers lost a week.. guaranteed!)

Your audience is there for you… it’s ok to take a break.

If you need a break.. take one. A lot of times as bloggers we put ourselves under so much pressure. Checking numbers, looking at stats, coming up wit topics etc we fail to realize our audience will still be there if we take a little break. Self care is important I have had some of the most overwhelming weeks of my life from looking at numbers and stressing myself out for no good reason. You will not enjoy your blogging journey if you’re overwhelmed. It’s ok to take a break.

Choose the platform that’s right for you

You don’t have to be on every single platform at on point in time I had a YouTube 👀

In running a YouTube channel and creating the content I realized running a YouTube was NOT for me! I didn’t enjoy making vlogs, it was too much work for me at the time and had no benefit at the time. I tried and failed and that’s what this is all about TRYING even if you fail.

These are my numbers as of today. To some this is nothing. To others these are dream numbers. The key is to no compare yourself! Your journey is your own! There maybe a billion bloggers doing it but none of them sound like you. I have fallen victim this many times. I get online and see bloggers have the huge numbers after only a few months and I would get the “what about me’s” and I have to snap myself out of that! Applaud your fellow bloggers on every step of THEIR journey but don’t let that distract you from your journey. SLAY IN YOUR OWN LANE! Be you and tell your story.

Six months ago I had no idea I would be living my dream of working as a blogger but here I am. I run a blog that has provided my family income and wonderful opportunities. I’ve met my idol. I’ve reached out and communicated with so many celebrities this past 6 months it’s unreal. I’m still finding my way and have so much planned. My dream is to quit my job one day and work from home creating content. However, now that I am a working blogger, I see how hard it is to land campaigns. I see how you’re paid for campaigns: the payment can come a month or two after you have produced content. You have to learn to plan your budget accordingly. I’ve learned so much in the last 6 months and I would not have done anythings if I didn’t just go on and do it! I have always wanted to do this! This blog is my lifelong dream. I lived 33 years wondering “what if?” And now these last 6 months I know that anything is possible if you push past your comfort zone.

If you read all the way to the end… Thank you. This blog mean more to me than you know and I appreciate each of you that reads, shares and comment on my work. You have all made my dreams come true. Thank you so much!

7 comments

  1. Shayla , thank you so much for sharing your journey and providing useful information for others. I always thought, if people lived the life they loved the planet would be a happier place. Congrats to you on making your day dream a reality 😊💕

    Like

  2. GREAT post! I’ve been a hobbist writer for pretty much all my life. Writing up something here, something there, something in that notebook over there that I have never shared with anyone. You name it, I’ve probably written on it, and tucked it away somewhere, or forgotten about it all together.

    I have JUST decided to stop throwing my stuff all over everything and put it all in one place, and actively show people.

    I have not purchased my own spot yet, I’m still just using a free wordpress page while I dive headfirst into the community, write about literally whatever happens to pop into my head that day, and I’m really just feeling my way around.

    I found a lot of things in this post that get my wheels turning.

    Thanks for the food for thought. I guess I never even thought about making money with this thing I’ve been doing that is taking up like… 80% of my waking hours for the last couple weeks. You now have me wondering if my blog is something that could end up going in that direction at some point.

    I like that. 🙂 You are an awesome lady, and I have had fun communicating with you and reading your work!

    Liked by 1 person

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