Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Best Tips for Blogging! All of Your Blogging Questions Answered!

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A couple weeks ago, I asked you guys on Instagram what you want to know about blogging or what questions I can answer in order to help you in case you are pursuing a blog as well! These tips and questions are for beginners as well as for those who may have been blogging as long as me (six years!!) I really wanted to make a post to share what I have found works for me. I've tried so many different things when it comes to editing photos, organization, working with brands, getting exposure...and there are methods that I feel work better than others and that I was able to find success in.  So I am going to go over 5 different categories: Inspiration, Scheduling, Photography, Collaborations, and Exposure!

Alright, let's do this.
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INSPIRATION:

1. How do you stay inspired?
Gosh, this one is a tough one off the bat. I have days where I am super motivated, full of ideas, and ready to take on the (blogging) world! I credit this to all of the coffee I drink, but when I do feel really inspired, I make sure to write my ideas down. Whether it's an idea for a blog post, or an outfit or photoshoot location...I put it on paper so I remember it. Pinterest can often be another place where I get inspiration, along with fellow bloggers. I never want to copy or mimic someone exactly, so I will always do it my own way that feels authentic to me.

2. How do you come up with a theme and stay consistent?
Being true to yourself and only posting things that feel genuine makes this easy. Of course I have to make a living, but I try not to stray too far away from my usual theme/aesthetic. I also won't post about things I would never actually use or try in real life.
To stay consistent with a "theme" or "style", try using one filter or post similar styles of photos. This will help things on your feed and blog look more cohesive.

3. Where do you generate ideas for posts?
Sometimes, I will try to think what I would want to read about or what other's might be interested in. An example of this could be "my favorite place to buy graphic tees" or "how to style a shoe five different ways". Pinterest can be another great place to get inspiration for blog ideas or even just an outfit that you really like can give you some good possibilities and ideas!

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SCHEDULING

1. How do you plan out your posts?
It all depends on the week and/or month. Some weeks are busier than others and some shoots just happen spur of the moment. I use an app called UNUM to plan out my instagram posts so that I know ahead of time what to post and also to see how my feed will look ahead of time. This has honestly been a big life saver for me because it helps me stay organized and on a bit of a schedule rather han frantically always trying to decide what to post for the day or week.
For blog posts, after I get photos back from a photographer or if I'm done with photos I've shot, I will draft them into a blog post so that they're ready to go!

2. When is the best time to post on your blog or instagram?
I feel like before the whole instagram algorithm happened, timing was more important. Now I usually just try to post in the morning so I can go about my day without having to worry about posting later. I also noticed that posting only once or twice a day on instagram actually helped my engagement rate out more.
For blogging, I just post whenever I feel like it! ;)

3. What do you do to stay on top of your posting schedule?
Similar to the first question, the UNUM app has helped out a lot as well as just drafting blog posts. I also will write down posts in my planner as a little reminder and to see what my week is going to look like for posts as well. This can really be up to you and what works best for your schedule and overall workflow!


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PHOTOGRAPHY

1. How do you edit your photos?
The million dollar question that I have been asked so much lately!
So first off, I do work with other photographers and if they're credited in the photo then they are the ones that edited that particular photo. Unfortunately I have no idea what they use to edit but I imagine some of them use lightroom and buy editing packs for those! For my blog photos, if I take them, I use lightroom with editing packs as well. There are so many out there to buy and I think they're worth it!
For my own instagram photos, I love to use Afterlight to make small tweaks with light, contrast, etc. And then I will edit in VSCO. MY FAVORITE FILTERS ARE....A6, A4 and M5. I rarely use anything other than these ones. Occasionally, I will also use Snapseed to edit weird things I don't want in a photo or to make other lighting corrections.

2. What camera do you use for your photos? Do you use a tripod?
I currently use a Canon EOS 7D and a 35mm and 50mm lens. Recently, I got the 35mm lens and it is the best thing ever. I don't use a tripod much anymore (my boyfriend has been nice enough to help me a lot!) but I think I might start using it again along with a remote!

3. Is working with photographers worth it?
YES.
After I started shooting with local photographers that fit my style and aesthetic, I noticed my photos starting to do better and my readers/followers increase. It's a great way to connect with other creatives and to make friends too! Plus, they really know what they're doing and unless you're a professional photographer too than the photos will be so worth it! As much as I like to try and take my own photos, there's just nothing like having someone who knows what they're doing to take the photos themselves. And if you can...pay them! They're trying to make a living too and I promise it will be worth it overall.

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COLLABORATIONS

1. When did you start working with brands and companies?
It took a long time before I was regularly working with brands. I think they want to see that you're serious about blogging and that it's not just a once a month thing.
If there is a brand you want to work with, I would suggest buying some of their pieces, take photos, post about them and then contact them! Show them what you've created and tell them why you love their brand. You never know...you might be surprised what they say back!

2. How do you contact them?
Usually, they will have a contact email on their website! Make sure you tell them who you are, what you do, along with links to your blog/social media sites.

3. Are all of your posts sponsored?
Nope! I gotta make money too but not all of my posts are sponsored, if they are then I will write "sponsored" "ad" "promotion" etc. I will sometimes get gifted items, but I only accept pieces that I like and that I actually wear in real life...I want to keep it real with you guys! Plus, it's no fun to take photos and post about an outfit you don't like...

4. How do you make money?
Sponsored posts and collaborations are the main way to make money from blogging. Other sites such as Shopstyle and Rewardstyle are great too!

5. What do you decide what to post from what you actually want to post vs. what people "want to see".
I kind of touched on this before, but I try to keep my blog as authentic to me as I can while still being able to put food on the table. I always decide what I want to post but I also know that some posts seem to do better than others such as photos in cute places. When I see something get a positive reaction from you guys, I try to work and build off of that! I hope that makes sense...


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EXPOSURE

1. How did you grow your following?
It all takes TIME. Growing readers doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, consistency, patience, and dedication. It's not worth it to take the easy way out and buy followers because then there really isn't too much to be proud of. Just post what you love and be yourself and with time the followers will come!

2. What are ways that I can gain more exposure and traffic to my blog and instagram?
Brand reposts and feature account reposts have been the biggest source of traffic and growth for me. Tag accounts that have a similar aesthetic to your blog and photos and they might end up reposting you! Also check for their hashtags as well.
Using hashtags for instagram posts is another great way to increase activity to your instagram page or photos. Do some research and see what hashtags other bloggers or accounts are using. Make sure it fits your style though!
POST EVERYWHERE! Instagram of course gets the all of the attention but I think it's important to be posting regularly to all social media outlets. This includes: Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Loobook, etc. These are other potential outlets to gain exposure and build your brand!


Thank you guys so much for reading this and for all of your support! I couldn't do this without you guys...so seriously THANK YOU! I hope this post was beneficial and helpful for you. Please comment below with some feedback or anything at all!
<3

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Photos by Dawn Photo 
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10 comments

  1. loved reading this post Tonya! As a newcomer to the blogging world, I'd say that it was hard for me to realise how much effort maintaining a blog really is. It is totally worthy if you are passionate about it and, as you mention, keep it true to you but it surely involves a lot of dedication and a bit of luck ;) I have loved your style ever since I discovered you and I really appreciate you taking the time to post these tips for your followers ♥

    Hope you are having a great week so far!

    Saida | She talks Glam

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a helpful post! Answered pretty much all my questions. :) Thanks, Tonya! Keep up the great work! I love reading your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been blogging using different titles and different sites for almost 5 years and I still get no traffic! I don't want to make money and I just do it for myself but any tips for this kind of lengthy hiatus?

    Jordan
    http://www.brownvelvetdoll.com

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  4. enjoy reading ur post..

    Regards,
    Mrs. Aa
    www.bymrsaa.com

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