I had attempted (and failed) putting together a "Get Ready With Me" video while answering questions about blogging, how I started, and other questions regarding that topic that people sent in. Now that I know I shouldn't bite of more than I can chew, let's reset and just simplify what I was trying to do. I decided the best way to answer the questions would be through a blog post, and my make-up routine will have it's own moment with a video.
As someone who has been blogging for almost 4 years, clearly, it's a never-ending learning process. I continue to learn new things every day and that's always a good sign to me. I've definitely come a long way since my first few posts, finding my voice, my style, etc. Thank you so much for all your love and support as I continue to grow and for all your questions. Let's begin.
How did you start?
Unintentionally. When Marco and I first started dating in 2011, Tumblr was pretty popular. I gained a following through our couple photos and when Instagram started to gain traction, my followers migrated to that platform as well. After being together for a while, my posts were less about us and more about just me in general. I began to post about my outfits, hanging out in the city, etc. From there, people suggested I start a blog, and so I did.
I definitely think that this natural way of doing it is the best way to see results from developing your brand. It needs to happen organically otherwise if you force something, you'll notice it's a little bit more difficult.
How do you manage blogging when you're attending college at the same time?
Attending school full-time while maintaining my relationship, blog, and part-time job was definitely tricky. Luckily, I've always been a pretty organized person since I was younger. Time management has never been an issue for me so to be able to break up my week and dedicate time to each aspect of my life really helped me stay on top of things. I like to use my Calendar on my MacBook + iPhone to keep track of what I need to do and when I need to do it.
What was your major in college and was it helpful for blogging?
I studied Business Marketing and Advertising for two years at Pace University before transferring to the Fashion Institute of Technology for Interior Design. I definitely had no intentions of blogging to become my career after graduation, but I have definitely benefitted from taking the courses that I did. I believe it's always good to have a business background and it has helped with the business aspect of my brand. Interior Design helped shape and refine my style, visual eye, and creativity. I definitely believe that success in a creative field is more based on what you can do naturally, and not something that can be learned from scratch.
How did you learn to take good photos?
I've always had a thing for photography ever since I was a kid. Over the years, because it's always been a hobby of mine, I've just been able to hone this craft which definitely helps with blogging and the creative direction that I choose to take my projects. When you do it everyday for so long, you really do notice the difference over time. Just take a look at what my Instagram looked like when I first started compared to how it looks now.
What camera do you use and who takes your photos?
Most of the images on my Instagram are taken with my iPhone but I also shoot with a Canon 6D with a Sigma 50mm f/1.4. Investing in a quality camera definitely helps.
What apps do you use to edit your photos?
VSCO + Snapseed
Does having designer things make a difference in blogging?
I don't invest in designer pieces for the sake of followers or likes. I don't believe it does/should make a difference because if it's your personal style, that is what people follow you for. It's also important not to get caught up with an image for the sake of numbers. Wear what you want to wear, buy what you want to buy. The content you produce should always just come naturally for you. Don't overthink it and struggle to buy something just for Instagram.
How do you get more followers?
Patience. Be consistent with your content. Be yourself. I'm against buying followers, buying likes, loop giveaways, or other unnatural means of growing numbers. I understand the temptation but in all honesty, I try not to focus on numbers. I'd rather put my focus on posting quality content.
Do you plan and schedule your blog posts?
If I have a free day, I'll draft some images for a blog post. The only posts that get scheduled for the most part are projects with brands. Other than that, I pretty much wing it.
How did you first start earning through your blog?
I think the first time I started earning through my blog was from ShopStyle then I got accepted into RewardStyle. As my following grew, I was able to participate in projects with bigger brands and turn this into something that I did full-time.
What should those who are just starting out blogging do to get ourselves out there?
You can't be shy. E-mail brands, mingle, and network with people at events. Be consistent with your content but still remain true to your personal style and be sure to show off your personality to others. Don't forget to bring your business cards and have a good handshake. You'd be surprised by how much people appreciate that.
Do you reach out to brands or do they reach out to you?
Most of the time it's brands reaching out to me but I've definitely sent out my fair share of e-mails to brands that I really wanted to work with.
What inspired you/how did you know you wanted to blog full-time?
My plan after graduation was the take the summer off after being in college for 6 years due to switching majors. I had planned on looking for an interior design position in September of 2016 but saw a huge growth for my brand over the summer because it was my main focus. Right around the time I was about to start submitting job applications to design firms, I got an offer to fly out to Milan, Italy with Marco thanks to Martini & Rossi.
This is going to be super corny but being given the opportunity to go to Italy because of my blog/Instagram, standing on top of the Duomo, I will forever remember that as being the moment I decided to put off looking for a career in Interior Design and take on blogging full-time. To know that what you've created can literally take you to new places and new heights was so surreal to me. It's a trip that changed my life.
Aritzia Jacket | Chanel Bag | Citizens of Humanity Jeans | Gucci Belt | Ahlem Sunglasses | Kenneth Cole Sneakers
Captured by: Marco P.