Blogging Q&A

February 5, 2018

Quick confession: It was SO cold this day so I wore Spanx leggings under this jumpsuit thinking you wouldn’t see them, but you kinda can. Whoops!

This may be the longest post I’ll ever write because there is SO much to talk about! My #1 most FAQ is definitely about blogging. I get a lot of questions about how to start a blog, how to grow your Instagram account, etc. Blogging takes a LOT of work. When I first started, I honestly did not realize just how much work goes into it. I have SO much respect for all the bloggers out there!!

Before I jump in to answering blogging questions, I wanted to address a hot topic around blogging… and that is the comparison game. Previously when I would scroll through Instagram, I would fantasize about others lifestyles and all the “stuff” they had. However, I now realize, we are all just putting our BEST “highlights” on our feeds. It is a way to inspire NOT to make others feel less than. As a fashion blogger, I post a lot of clothes… I have been asked how I can afford so many clothes. Well… I stopped getting my hair done as often and starting going to Great Clips for trims (seriously), stopped getting my nails done, stopped buying casual work clothes so I could spend my money on clothes that I could feature on my feed. All that to say that you have to take what is on Instagram with a grain of salt. The pictures on your feed more than likely weren’t taken the same day they are posted. The reality is that every blogger probably spends WAY more time staring at a screen than out doing all the “fun stuff” you see online.

Okay.. let’s get started!

Q: Favorite part about blogging?ย 

A: New friends without a doubt! I seriously love the girls I have met through blogging. So many strong, talented, driven women that I probably would not have met otherwise! They inspire me every day to work harder.

Q: How do you stay organized?

A: I would not say this is necessarily a strong suit of mine. I work full time and blog as my “side hustle”. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I keep a daily “to do” list in my phone for top priority tasks for both jobs. Other than that, my calendar stays full with different meetings, to dos, etc. throughout the day. I try to tackle them one at a time and check them off the list.

I shoot all my pictures on the weekends then post them throughout the week . This spring/summer, I will probably start shooting after work whenever possible. Shooting on the weekends is difficult with so much to squeeze in. As far as planning out my Instagram posts, I use the Preview app to arrange my pictures so I can see how my feed will look once everything is posted.

Q: What is your top blogging tip?

A: BE YOU! You are unique and no one else can be you. A lot of people say the blogging world is saturated. Well… maybe that is true if you are trying to fit in and be like another blogger out there. Be original and true to yourself. There is always room for original. ๐Ÿ™‚

Q: Other than being yourself, whats your #1 tip for blogging?

A: LOL! Love that some one said other than being yourself!

Learn!!! There is so much information out there about blogging. Read articles, listen to podcasts, reach out to other bloggers! My favorite podcast is the Influencer Podcast by Julie Solomon. Listen to it when you’re working out or driving.

Q: Any advice on how to start a blog? (Those thinking about it but still working up the nerve.)

A: Do it!!! I talked about starting a blog with my friends for YEARS. Imagine where my blog could be now if I had taken the plunge and started back then? Same goes for you! Get started! Take the leap. What’s the worst that could happen? Maybe it doesn’t end up being God’s plan for you right now. That is okay. At least you tried!

Q: Do you shoot with a photographer for your blog?ย 

A: Not typically. I have shot with photographers a few times after they’ve reached out to me. Majority of the pictures on my feed are taken by either my husband, my blogger friends Casey (@casey_lorraine) or Bethann (@powerxfinessee) or my mom. My husband bought me a Canon T3i for Christmas to shoot with. He is a REALLY good photographer so I see no need in hiring someone for every shoot hehe! Sorry PK!

Q: How do you show your followers your life without feeling boastful?ย 

A: This is a hard one to explain. When I was in my Senior year Public Relations class, my teacher taught me one of the most important lessons that I use every day. It’s called the “YOU attitude”. Your readers/followers need to get some kind of benefit from reading your blog or talking with you. But seriously… people want to hear what you are up to, your thoughts and opinions… but in a way that benefits them. This is actually pretty difficult to do. I don’t always successfully do this, but I do think people need to walk away from reading your content with inspiration, knowledge, entertainment, etc.

Q: What have you found is the most successful strategy for working with brands?ย 

A: Quite honestly I haven’t taken many brand partnerships. Stay true to YOUR brand and make sure they are products you love first. You want to build trust with your audience that you will only share brands you love. If its a product, ask them if you can try it out for a few weeks before you post about it. Brands should be fine with this because when you finally do post about it, it will be because you love the product. Also, make sureย you know your worth and don’t be afraid to ask for it! Sign up for social blue book and they will help you calculate your rates if you need guidance.

Q: How do you choose/create content?ย 

A:ย Typically the content I create comes organically just from talking with friends and figuring out hot topics among everyone. Also, questions that I get through DMs usually help spark ideas.

Think about what areas you are an expert in and talk about those! What subjects are your friends texting you about asking for advice?

Q: How do you plan content and how far out?ย 

A: One of my goals is to plan content out further. Therefore, bringing more outfits to shoot so I don’t have to shoot every weekend. Currently, if I shoot on the weekend, that can usually last me a couple weeks.

Q: What is your motivation to keep going when you’re starting out? (When you feel like your little space is going completely unnoticed)

A: Focus on you and your goals! Make sure you aren’t spending too much time comparing yourself to other bloggers and their success. Everyone has their own path. Instead, spend your time creating great content that you know your followers will enjoy!

Q: Probably my #1 most requested question: How can I grow my Instagram?ย 

A:ย Instagram is about relationships and connecting with people. How do you grow? You need to connect with people and try to build new relationships.

I will list my main tactics below. However, I gained most of my followers when Instagram decided to make my picture go “viral” aka it was on the explore tab and showed up in my followers’ feeds. I have NO clue how they pick pictures for this. If I did, I would try to recreate it for every picture. ๐Ÿ˜‰ For example, one of my pictures got almost 3,000 likes and I gained 1,000 followers in a day from that picture alone. That is not the norm though.

Here are my tactics:

  1. Use hashtags that have less than 500,000 posts.
  2. Post every day. This is hard to do because it means you need a lot of content. If you are able to, try your best to post every day.
  3. Follow new people and engage in their content.
  4. Follow/unfollow method is very popular. For me, I do follow people, but I don’t unfollow them unless they don’t follow me back within a week. I am not in the game of trickery!
  5. Comment back to people that take the time to comment on your picture! You can even take it a step further and go comment on their pictures.
  6. Interact with your followers.
  7. Post quality content. Would you follow yourself? LOL okay funny question, but seriously.. If you didn’t know yourself and stumbled across your account.. would you be interested in it?
  8. Follow @julssoloman on Instagram for great tips!

Sadly, no one has the golden ticket for growing Instagram with the algorithm constantly changing. Every bloggers biggest frustration. Can I get an amen?!?!

Hope you all find this helpful!

Love, Natalie

 

By Natalie

5 Comments

  1. Reply

    Jillian

    Love this and appreciate you for writing this post!

  2. Reply

    Bhawna

    This is such a wonderful blog post !

  3. Reply

    Lindsay

    Aww this was really sweet to read. Itโ€™s always nice to hear peopleโ€™s backstories. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š You keep it real! Thanks!

  4. Reply

    Olivia

    Loved this post! Especially the part about how it’s important to talk about yourself, but in a way that benefits your readers! Its so hard to do, but you’re right, that’s one of the main things I love about a lot of the bloggers I follow!

  5. Reply

    Kayla

    Thank you so much for writing this Natalie! There are some great tips in here!

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