I‘m back this week with another blog tips post and covering a few important things I wish I knew before starting a blog. I don’t know about you guys but every few months, I take time to reflect. Now that we’re halfway through 2018, it’s a great time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going so you can create the right action plan to get there. Hopefully, today’s post will help you guys gain clarity in either your blogging or entrepreneurial journey.
Blogging has been one of the most challenging yet fulfilling endeavors I have ever taken on. I have had my fair share of mistakes and although every influencer’s journey will be different, here’s a piece of my story.
1 Get ready for a volatile journey
As you may experience in any journey, there are ups and downs, but I don’t think anything has brought me as many ups and downs as blogging when I first started. And I was not mentally prepared for the ride. I know now that bloggers have a way of making the process look so easy. When I first started, I knew initially that I wanted to grow as quickly as possible so that I can partner with brands, attend events, participate in fashion week, and establish relationships with PR reps. My first outreach attempt resulted in crickets…
Expect a period of zero replies, no traction, and little growth before you finally see some light. And when you finally do receive a positive response, you’ll be over the moon. Save those positive moments in your confidence bank and push forward.
2 It’s ok to say ‘No’
I don’t think of myself as someone who easily feels pressured into saying “yes”. But when you’re starting out and hungry, you’ll find that you say “yes” to just about everything. Yes, I’ll attend this event. Yes, I’ll do this campaign for less. Yes, I’ll take free product or services in exchange for content. But saying “yes” to everything is not productive and from a business standpoint, it isn’t smart either. I’ve learned that it’s ok to demand what you’re worth and what you want. If you don’t speak up, the answer is always “no”. With that said, don’t feel bad for saying “no” – opportunities will come and go and you just have to trust that they will come.
3 Spend money to make money
Most people probably think of blogging as a “bootstrapped” business. While compared to businesses with high overhead costs, like a restaurant, blogging is affordable, it’s certainly not cheap. There can be a lot that goes into the cost of producing a photoshoot – for instance, going to restaurants and buying food, shopping for clothes and props, traveling to photogenic places, camera equipment, web services (e.g. hosting services, email providers, tools and softwares), along with a team to help make it all happen. It all adds up quickly and I wasn’t prepared to spend as much as I did when I first started.
My advice is to set aside a monthly budget – something reasonable and within your means for making it all happen. Reality is, you have to spend money to make money. If you’re investing in courses, presets, or other resources, don’t feel bad about it.
4 Keeping up isn’t important
In the past, whenever I saw another major blogger doing something new, I felt compelled to do follow along. I’ve realized it’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking you’re not doing enough or that you’re missing out in the world of blogging. And really, none of it matters! It’s more important to have a strong sense of self and know your strengths and weaknesses so that you stick to what feels right. When you do things you don’t enjoy, the results won’t be extraordinary.
5 Patience is key
Patience is not my virtue but it is essential as a blogger. It’s a dream to think that as soon as you start blogging, dreamy brands will reach out to work with you, other bloggers will want to collaborate, and traffic will come pouring from nowhere. But that isn’t quite how it works. You most likely will be the one to reach out in the beginning (and expect rejections or no response). Some people figure it out within months while others can take years. This timeframe doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stay the course.
Have you guys experienced anything similar? Let me know how your journey has been – and what you’d like to see in next week’s series.