I’ve been blogging for 4 years (it’s still kind of surreal to me). What’s even more surreal is that I’ve never taken the time out to do a Q&A. I get questions daily in my DMs about everything from my diet, to who I’m dating, to how I keep my armpits so light. So today marks the day that I answer some of these questions publicly.
Do you use filter apps? If so, which one is your favorite?
Yes, I use VSCO to filter 98% of my images on Instagram. I like the HB1 filter and I normally add some saturation and a little grain.
What tips do you have for someone wanting to or first starting a blog?
Just start, and start with what you have. You don’t need a fancy camera, most smartphones work just fine. Reach out to local stores and smaller brands to start building a media kit. DO THINGS FOR FREE. Everyone is so worried about getting paid. We all started out doing free work, which eventually led to paid work. If you want to make this a career treat it like a part-time job. Give yourself a set schedule and stick to it. Nobody will take you seriously until you start taking you seriously.
Do you go to a lot of blog meet & greets in order to get exposure? Has your experience at these meet & greets been positive?
Honestly, I have never been to a meet & greet unless it was my own. However, I do attend ALOT of events: brand events, blogger hosted events, parties, previews etc. These are VITAL for my career. Meeting the people behind the brands is what fuels brand partnerships: they want to see you and get to know you. It’s also great to meet and network with other bloggers. I normally leave events feeling slightly accomplished, knowing that I’ve made a connection with at least one person is gold to me.
What kind of camera/lens do you use?
My iPhone7 Plus. The camera is incredible, I can edit all my photos and it effortlessly fits in my purse or back pocket. I do own a Sony A5100, and when I first started blogging I used a Nikon D3000, but my phone works just fine. However, most of my outfit photos are taken by professional photographers and they use a range of different equipment.
How do you get your following to grow rapidly?
I think its much harder to do now that Instagram has become some oversaturated. Post often, like maybe 2-3 times everyday. Also, hashtag all of your posts (this makes you visible to more people). Cross promotion helps alot: take photos with other influencers and have them tag you in their posts. Try to get reposted on bigger brand accounts by tagging them in your photos (ex: forever21, whowhatwear).
Do you think there is a divide in the blogging world? Not in terms of niches, but in terms of cliques?
Absolutely, but I also think this is normal human behavior. People have a natural tendency to clique up and to gravitate towards like-minded people. Read the Book “Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria”, it gives some insight into how and why we naturally segregate ourselves.
How do you remain authentic to yourself while trying to connect to a large audience?
You Can’t. That in itself is an oxymoron. Can you remain truly authentic to yourself if you are focusing on connectivity or gaining popularity? I think that connectivity is a beautiful byproduct of authenticity. In a world so over saturated by the fake, realness is a breath of fresh air. It is something people crave and are naturally drawn to. Remain true to yourself and forget about the numbers, the right people will come at the right time.
Do you just hang around photographers all the time?
LOL. Nah. But most of my friends are creatives so the images always come out pretty good.
How long did it take before companies started to reach out to you?
I think I had been blogging for about a year before anyone reached out to send me free stuff. I didn’t get paid for a collaboration until I had been blogging for 2 years. But you don’t have to wait for companies to reach out to you. You can pitch to them as well, even if you don’t have huge numbers.
Tips on my experience moving to another state:
My outlook on this is probably different than the vast majority of people. I grew up a military brat, so every 2-3 years of my life were spent moving to a new state. I learned the art of adaptation at a very young age, so moving is second nature to me. Relocating is more normal to me than stability is. Open your heart and mind to new people and experiences. Don’t be afraid to get lost or to go places alone. Go to events- that’s how you will meet people. Sometimes you will get lonely, learn to embrace it and don’t wallow in it.
What I like/dislike about LA:
I’ll start with what I like: It’s a major city, which means there is ALWAYS something to do. It is the creative mecca of the world and you can just feel that energy everywhere. There are so many opportunities. Marijuana is legal. The food is amazing. The weather is unbeatable.
What I don’t like: Traffic. The cost of living. The way people want to know what you do before they want to know who you are.
Thank you guys SO much for all of your questions. I will be doing another Q&A post soon because there were just so many questions and I figured it would be best to break them up. A lot of your questions were based on blogging, Instagram, and taking photos.. I do teach a course that answers these questions in depth (and if you’re thinking of taking I’ll give you 30% off for being an avid blog reader. At checkout just use code POST)