I’ve been blogging now for about three years. While three years might not be as long as some of the other bloggers out there have been blogging for, I have learned quite a few things in my short time. Today it seems that there are so many more Bloggers or InstaBloggers popping up and I have always lived by the motto “the more the merrier,” but I thought I would share a little advice for any new Blogger or anyone who is thinking about becoming one.
My Instagram account has always been my number one social channel and I have worked very hard to gain my following. It has taken me three years just to gain a following of 20k. That’s about 6-7k followers per year, which seems relatively normal and I am happy with.
Since Instagram has changed its algorithm several months ago things have slowed down, A LOT. My posts are not getting into people’s feeds like they used to. I get the same amount of likes on my posts now that I used to get when I had less than 10k followers because of this. It’s discouraging on some days, especially when I see others with less followers than me getting double or triple the amount of likes on their photos. How is that possible? Do people just like their stuff THAT much more than mine? Do companies see me and wonder why I’m not growing by hundreds of followers each month or wonder why my likes are so low? Then I look at these peoples accounts and I start to see all the followers that they have purchased. With the creation of apps like Social Blade, it’s easy to see who buying and who is not.
I hate that this is the direction blogging has gone in these days. People don’t feel good enough and feel like they have to keep up with everyone else by purchasing a following and likes. I’m here to tell you that you ARE good enough and why cheating your way through the blogging world may get you ahead now, but ultimately will harm you. Anyone can set up an Instagram account, buy followers and likes and then reach out to companies for a sponsorship, but is that fair to the companies we are promoting for? I wanted to share some advice and some things that I have learned in my blogging journey in the past 3 years:
1. Do things for FREE. I see a lot of new Bloggers complaining about companies reaching out for a product trade and no compensation. Trust me when I say I know how much work it is to blog and promote a product, but sometimes you just gotta do it for free. I spent the first year or so of blogging just doing product exchange and purchasing my own clothing to build up my blog and prove to brands that I could create good content.
2. Establish a network. Find other bloggers like you. Having a support system of like-minded friends can be super helpful in your blogging journey. Not only is this helpful, but one of the best perks of blogging! I have made some amazing friends just from blogging or being on Instagram.
3. Find your Niche. Don’t copy other bloggers. Find your inner style and self and share that with the world. Not every style and trend is going to fit your personality, so don’t just post it because everyone else is. Creativity will get you far in this business, especially now because there are so many bloggers out there.
4. Work with small companies. I have worked with some amazing companies in the past 3 years and have really loved both the big and small ones. The smaller companies are great, but remember they are “small” in the sense that they might not have a huge marketing budget to work with. Work with these companies for free when you start. They will help you build up your portfolio, you will be helping to promote a small business and you will meet some amazing shop owners along the way!
5. Be Grateful. Make sure you are thanking brands for working with you. A handwritten thank you note goes so far these days. Create long lasting relationships with brands so that they will want to work with you again in the future.
6. Be Honest. Purchasing followers and likes might seem like it will get you ahead, but I promise you companies out there will know. You may end up getting a few collaborations, but think about all of the opportunities you might be missing out on!
7. Take good pictures. You don’t have to have a fancy, expensive camera to blog. The most important thing is to just start somewhere. Buying a nice camera or hiring a photographer can be expensive when you’re just starting out. Looking back at when I first started, I cringe when I see some of my photos, but we all started from somewhere. Focus on getting quality photos and you will be golden.
8. Work hard. Blogging should be about what you love and should be enjoyable. It is definitely hard work if you want to do this full-time (or even part-time for that matter!) but hard work always pays off, I am a firm believer in that.
Blogging has been amazing to me these past three years and I am so lucky and grateful for all the opportunities and friendships it has brought me. When I first started I had NO CLUE what I was doing (and I am still learning!) but I just went with it. The best piece of advice I can give to you is to stay true to yourself and BE REAL! If you are a newbie Blogger and have any questions for me, I would love to help you out. Feel free to send me an email or drop your contact info in the comment section below. Thank you for following along and for reading this post!