Lately I’ve met with a few local gals that want to start blogs, and they asked me to share some insight on everything I’ve learned, so far. It’s been fun getting to share some knowledge with them (especially the things I wish someone had told me when I started!), and I love seeing their excitement in developing this passion.
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years now, so it’s safe to say I’ve learned some things along the way. The direction of EPWL took a sharp turn from the hodge-podge that it used to be, and it’s pretty much all fashion, all the time now. (In addition to beauty, travel guides and occasional recipe.) If you’re curious about the way things used to go down over here, these are my first few posts. It’s funny, because I used to post mostly recipes and, as you can see, my most recent recipe post was 8 months ago, so…OMG, how things have changed! (Something that has stayed on my site from the beginning though, is this prayer request tab. For some reason, I don’t get the requests that I used to, but it’s important to me to keep it a part of this page.)
I think for the first two years of blogging, it’s safe to say I had no idea what I was doing, or really even WHY I was doing it. Sometimes I still question the “why” because it’s easy to feel like I’m burning the candle at both ends, but as Brandon often reminds me, this is my passion. The whole reason I started this blog was to have a creative outlet. And, although its course has changed, and with it, the demands, what keeps me rooted and committed to continue, is that I truly LOVE this space. I love the community I have developed with all of you, I deeply appreciate your support, and at the end of the day, I love this blog. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game and comparing yourself to other (more successful) bloggers, but at the end of the day, if that’s what you’re in it for, you are in it for the wrong reasons.
That brings me to my first piece of blog advice…
1. Passion – It is the sole reason you should be blogging. I don’t care if you are writing about food, fashion, or about all the cute faces your cat makes. If you feel passionate about your work, the rest will fall into place. And when the going gets tough, it will be the only thing that keeps you going.
2. Networking – It’s my second piece of advice for a reason. The number one way to grow your blog is to visit other blogs and engage (aka GENUINELY comment) with other bloggers. The same applies for Instagram, by the way. If you like, comment, and follow fellow bloggers, chances are they will like, comment and follow you back.
3. Design – Your blog is a digital representation of you. It’s essentially your first impression, so take some time to make sure that your blog design (and Instagram feed) represents your personality, and is visually putting your best foot forward.
4. Ask – If you want to work with brands, just ask them. I recommend starting with smaller boutiques if you are just starting out, and contacting them to feature product. As soon as you have a portfolio of work, start charging for your posts. Your time should be worth it to you, and your influence is worth a lot to brands. (Insider tip: if you aren’t sure where to get PR contact info, places like Fohr Card are great for connecting you with brands. Otherwise, you can search their website for their PR contact info, or head to google to find it.)
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on blogging and any advice you have/tips you have learned along the way.
By the way, I’ve had this cami for a while, and it continues to be one of my smartest purchases. It’s good quality, goes with everything, and best of all…it’s only $30. It’s everything I can do not to spend all my money snatching it up in all 11 colors.
Cami (comes in 11 colors!) / Skirt, c/o Chicwish (similar below) / Flats (old) / Bag / Bracelet – similar
Great tips! It really boils down to the factors you mentioned and I bet you have put these advice to heart. Keep blogging! xoAFU
Great advice! My blog had such a similar start, and I don't think I really got serious about it until I found out my passion was sharing fashion only. You look great in this outfit!Amy AnnStraight A Style
Awesome advice! I too wish I had someone to show me the ropes in the beginning instead of awkwardly figuring it out (somewhat) myself. Passion and networking is huge! And can we talk about how gorgeous that skirt is on you? Such beautiful colors <3Green Fashionista
Love this post. I've been blogging for over 5 years – not sure where the time has gone! But, especially when I'm feeling down or uninspired I go back and look at old posts and realize where I've come today! http://adoredbyalex.com
Such great advice, thanks for sharing! AND I love that skirt on you!
Great advice! It's crazy to me how much blogging and social media has changed over the years!
Really good advice! I went through the same situation with a hodge podge blog and again just recently started honing in on one topic…fashion! I agree with all your points!http://www.mylittlenest.org
Totally agree with everything here! I would also say to GET OUT FROM THE COMPUTER and meet up with other bloggers in your area and attend as many events as possible! Some of the bloggers I've met are now some of my best friends! It's important to get out from behind the screen!
I totally agree with you, you have to love to Blog, otherwise you won't be able to keep going when it gets tough. My first blog post was in 2009,while still in college and then I left my blog passion on the backburner, because eything else was more important than following my passion (like graduating from college and getting good grades) but I always knew I wanted to pursue it, and just recently 2 years ago, I kicked it into gear and have been blogging full time ever since. xo, Emily http://bailylamb.com
I love that you have a prayer request tab… that's so, so cool! I've been thinking I want to find ways to incorporate my faith into my blog a lot more, but really need to brainstrom what that would mean and how I would go about it. You gave some really wonderful and valuable advice! I totally agree with all of your lessons. I always try to leave thoughtful and meaningful comments, not just GREAT TOP or GREAT POST or something generic like that. It's definitely time consuming, but so worthwhile. Plus, it makes the other person feel encouraged, which I love. You're doing great work! xo Steph
Great tips. I didnt know about the web fohrcard. I will check it out for sure. XOXO, Carolynawww.carolynabauer.com/blog
I actually just posted my one year blog anniversary post the other day about the things I learned about my first year in blogging. It's very difficult to blog and gain traction. However, I learned to network and through networking I learned to treat the blog as a job (a fun one of course). Since then I started taking the blog way more seriously and starting gaining exposure from other brands. It has been a ride but I hope to keep going for awhile! Very cute skirt and I hope to see more blog tips!Meghan | BeyondBasicBlog.com
I love your gorgeous pleated skirt! Looking really fab! =)- CieloMermaid in Heels
Such awesome advice. Thanks for the great tips. I've only been blogging for a year and I still feel like I have SO much more to learn than I actually know. XX, Donna http://www.onthedllifestyle.com
Great advice. And I love love this skirt!!!xx,Alecia – La Joie de Vivre
thank you for sharing your blogging tips-I truly appreciate it!=)-Katelynwww.theyellowspectacles.com
I ask myself the why a lot and then I realize how much fun I still have blogging!! Such great advice girl! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston
Thanks for sharing! I've only been blogging for a year, but I can totally relate with sometimes asking myself "Why am I doing this!" It can be hard and frustrating sometimes…especially when you are newbie and are kind of lost. But you are exactly right…it's all about passion! & I love this pretty outfit BTW!XX-Samantha | chicserendipityblog.com
A great post Leah — couldn't agree more with it all! Your passion shines through in your work and I look up to your blogging successes!Haileywww.themiddlecloset.com
This is really good blog advice, I agree 100 percent,I have been blogging for 8 years, its all trial and error, hard work and long hours, but if you love what you do, its not work 🙂 http://www.fashionjazz.co.za
That skirt is everything! I absolutely adore it. I love the way you styled it. And your blogging advice is awesome. I definitely wouldn't still be doing it if I weren't passionate. Definitely most important!
Thanks for the advice! I've been blogging for about 4 years too but I'm always learning new things. That's why I love it! Your outfit is super cute too. Love the skirt!~JessicaJeans and a Teacup
So many great pieces of advice- ones that I sometimes have to remind myself of, too, over five years later! P.S. GREAT skirt on you!xo,Emilywww.lifewithemilyblog.com
Passion is SO important- you have to love this little blogging game in order to make it a habit that sticks. 🙂 -AshleyLe Stylo Rouge
Love this! Thank you so much for the tips! I'm just recently starting my blog, and right now I still feel like I'm just trying to find my voice. Like you, I just really needed a creative outlet, and I've always loved writing, so I jumped into the blogosphere 🙂 I love your first post btw. You have such a sweet spirit that shines through your writing. -TheModestMillennialwww.themodestmillennial.com