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Saturday, July 29, 2017 Southampton, NY

Still Learning | Blogging Q+A

It's been nearly a year since I've decided to blog full time. The decision wasn't something I planned on, it was a choice I made based on timing and the fact that it simply felt right. After graduating from college, I had planned on following the path of Interior Design, what I received my degree in. While I still love interior design, I knew I would regret leaving my blog behind and not pursuing it or at least seeing it through.

I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for all of you. A lot of you have sent in questions and I'm hoping that whether it be questions about myself, or blogging in general, it'll be helpful for you. All the questions below have been submitted through direct messages and hopefully I did my best answering them.

I want to disclose that there is no one formula on how to blog or how to be successful overnight. If there was, we'd all be pretty well off. My answers are based on my own experiences, personal preferences, etc. I just want to mention this before I continue on to answer your questions. Please keep in mind that how one person does something is not the only way to do it. A big part of this field is trial and error and seeing what works for you, after all, blogging is a reflection of who you are and not based off of someone else. I hope these answers are helpful in shedding any light to those who have had questions. And thank you so much for being a part of my journey, I would not be where I am without you.

Is blogging your full time job?
It is. I officially decided to blog full time in September of 2016 after taking a full summer after graduating college to focus on my blog. It continued to do well so I decided to continue to pursue it and see where the road would lead me.

How did you make it this big in your blogging career?
To be honest, my accomplishments in blogging are due to so many different factors, I don't think I could pin it on one thing. I started out working as a sales associate at AĆ©ropostale and was brought on to their social media team where I was able to break out of my shell. Studying at a fashion school helped refine my style, developed my eye for photography, design, editing etc. Through events and networking and also staying true to my personal style, I've been able to work with so many brands that I've loved for years. It definitely takes time. I've been blogging for about 4 years and I still have so much to learn.

Were you looked at differently by your friends/family/people who knew you when you started blogging? Did you feel like you were being judged for putting your life out for the world to see? 
Probably. My circle of friends has definitely gotten smaller but I also like it that way. I've definitely heard of family judging and talking behind my back but you have to develop a thicker skin if you're going into this industry. If you're happy with where you're going, focus on that. Everything else is just noise.

How are you able to afford everything that you wear and write about on your blog, especially in NYC?
I'm able to afford what I wear and write about because I work with some amazing brands who gift clothing and accessories, I save for things that I like and know will be staples in my wardrobe, and I also know how to shop a good sale. Questions about being able to "afford" something is not just about whether someone is rich or poor. It's knowing what you want, working for it, saving for it, and just learning how to be good with your money. Living at home while I pay off student loans is also extremely helpful because NYC rent is insane.

So I'm having a tough time with engagement and likes. I think because of the algorithm. I also have never gotten to collaborate yet, or been paid at all. I want to make this my career. I think I have a good feed, I just really want to grow more and don't know how. Any suggestions?
I didn't start my blog because I wanted to make money off of it and I didn't get my first collaboration because I was looking for it. I just focused on the kind of content I wanted to create and what I liked to share and I was able to gain a following from it. I also didn't get my first paid collaboration until I had about 30K+ followers. But again, this was the case for me and everyone is different. 

Just focus on putting out quality content and your time will come. If you're too worried about numbers, in terms of followers, likes, or money, you lose focus on the content you want to create. I believe that part of "making it" as a blogger is being passionate about creating content and people being able to see it through your work.

What's your biggest tip on being an influencer/blogger? Many people suggest having a cohesive feed. Others say post on one topic. What's one thing you keep in mind or recommend to newbies?
Don't do it for the money or the lifestyle. Do it because you love it. Besides being "cohesive" or "one topic," keep in mind why you want to do it and the kind of images that you want to share. You can't expect other people to love what you put out there if you don't love it yourself. If you stress out about something not being cohesive or on topic, what's the fun in that?

How has social media changed your life in terms of business?
Social media became business. After graduating college, I took the summer to focus on my blog before planning on seeking a job in Interior Design. However, things changed and I decided to blog full-time. It's taught me how to network, how to be more organized, I've been able to learn how to handle myself as a businesswoman, etc. I still have a lot to learn but it's been interesting becoming my own boss.

Can you tell us how to get the attention of media and brands?
Wearing the brands stuff is a great way to get noticed, tagging them, following them and liking their stuff. If you're on brand, chances are they'll reach out. They look for people who genuinely are invested in their products and if you can show them that, you'll increase your chances of getting noticed. Don't be afraid to send a cold e-mail or DM and find out if they'd be interested in working together.

Hi! I've been wanting to start blogging for years, I just don't think anyone would read or be interested so I never start. Any tips you can give for those who want to start? What sites do you recommend using? Or do you think Instagram is a good start and then move to blogging. I also want to blog about anything and everything- food, travel, outfits, reviews, purchases, etc. While it seems like that should provide more than enough content, I also feel like it's all over the place. Should I be more focused and pick 1 or 2 things to focus on?
The only way I know how to answer this question is based on what I did. I started writing/blogging not thinking anyone would read it or be interested, but I continued to share the things I loved to write about. After a while, I was able to gain a following from Tumblr which then shifted over to Instagram. It was actually people on Instagram that convinced me to start a blog, which I did. Everything I write about is part of my lifestyle, what I'm doing, wearing, where I'm going, etc. There's no right or wrong answer on how to blog because it's different for everyone. If it's what you want to do or write about, do it. Some people will be into it, some won't. Share what you want to share because if you begin to write about what you just think other people want, you'll be blogging for the wrong reasons.

How do you manage your blog? I mean, there must be times you're bored with blogging things. And the distraction nowadays is so powerful, scrolling in Instagram or watching YouTube.
I'm a bit confused by this question, but I'll try my best to answer! If ever I get bored with blogging, that's a bad sign. I make sure I maintain a balanced by not making everything about social media so this means hanging out with friends, spending time with family, traveling, etc. Because I write about my lifestyle, I'm never bored because my topics are always changing. As for distractions, it won't be because of Instagram or YouTube. It's important that I have my time away from a computer or my phone and hanging out with my boyfriend, family, or friends is a great way to do that.

How do you keep consistent? How do you maintain your feed to be cohesive?
To be honest, it's just how I am. I've always been an organized person and studying art and design helped train my eye for photography and how I arrange my images. My projects would consist of mood boards so I just love arranging my images in a certain rhythm so it looks great all together and not just individually.

What are some of your tips and tricks for building out your brand/image? What goes into your process of figuring out how to compose your photos into an artistic and consistent theme and style?
Photography has been a hobby of mine ever since I was a kid. I think years and years of photography and going to art school has helped me know exactly how I want something to look, directing shoots, etc. I study the composition of each image, as well as all the images arranged together. From Tumblr, to Pinterest, looking at other great Instagram accounts, I'm able to take inspiration and it motivates me to put in the work for my content. Planning apps such as Planoly or Later help you arrange your images before posting them to Instagram so you can see how everything comes together.

How do you get invited to special events?
Brands or PR agencies will reach out with invitations.

How much should I invest to even start up for a good outfit post + an actual blog up or blogpost. I have some ideas I just don't have a good camera and don't have a laptop. I want to make it a job hopefully.
There isn't an exact dollar amount I can give you. Narrow down your ideas and think about what you want to do. Most of my images are taken with my iPhone but my blog images are taken with a Canon 6D. And I have to admit, having a laptop definitely helps... haha. If you want to start a business, you have to put money into it. It's an investment.

What is the most important step you can take towards becoming a successful blogger? Consistency? Style? Just doing it? What is your "how to" blog?
Do what you want to do and don't try to do exactly what other people are doing. Be unique, be yourself, and do it because you love to do it. Not because you're trying to get paid for it. Think of all the bloggers you look up to, what is it about them what you love?
Who is your photographer?
Most of the time it's my boyfriend, haha. Other times it's my friends.

How did you teach your boyfriend to take aesthetic photos for you? I'm guessing he has an interest in photography but any tips to get my bf to be the perfect IG hubby?
Haha photography has definitely been a part of our relationship from the beginning seeing as how it was both a hobby of ours. When I started my blog, he was the one that helped me take my photos and still does to this day. Over time, he's learned my angles, how I like my images framed so it's definitely something that doesn't happen overnight. Just give it some time, show him what kind of images you like and are looking for and that should be a good guideline.

How do you edit your Instagram pictures?
My process depends on the photo, but my apps are VSCO, Snapseed, and Colorstory. Studying Photoshop in school and having a few photography and editing classes also really helped me figure out my own process for images. Some photos take a minute, others take a few more minutes. I'll brighten, darken, add contrast, burn, sharpen, throw on a filter that suits the mood, etc. I've been experimenting lately so I'm afraid my editing has been a bit all over the place!

Do you take your photos with an iPhone or camera?
Mostly iPhone!

Do you have a personal assistant?
Nope. It's just me.

Thank you so much for all your questions and I hope this post has been helpful. Let me know if you guys think a video Q+A on YouTube would be great for next time and feel free to ask any additional questions down below!

J. Crew Sweater | Mejuri Rings | Cartier Ring | Aritzia Shorts

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