Thinking of Starting a Blog? Don’t. Here’s Why.

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I started blogging several years ago and I thought I’d do a little recap of my experience and advice I have for anyone wanting to start a blog! There’s so much I didn’t know when I started and sharing what I know about the blogging world is how I like to help others. Blogging isn’t my full time job but its something I do for fun on the side, so with that frame of mind, let’s get started.

Blogging Won’t Make You Money

Can you believe it? You really don’t make any money. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Many style bloggers have gotten very rich and famous from blogging but they usually have a few things in common: they had some money to begin with (or enjoyed credit card debt) and they started blogging way before everyone else did.

Blogging to eventually make money is just like starting a business, you have to spend money to make any. And there’s no guarantee you will. So unless you know something I don’t, you won’t be making any money.

Blogging Involves Smoke and Mirrors

Did you know you can buy 500 Instagram followers for $5.99? Me neither until I saw an ad for it. I decided to do it. 5 minutes later my follower count went way up and boom- I looked more popular than I was before. These services offer to deliver “followers” to your account for cheap, very cheap. Most of these accounts aren’t run by actual people but they certainly bump up your numbers quickly.

If you follow anyone with a lot of followers, take a look at how many likes and comments they’re getting on photos they post. If the engagements are low, you can bet most of those followers aren’t real. Like I said- smoke and mirrors!

Blogging is Dead

Yep, blogs are dead, or at least on their way out. Everyone and their cousin has one and its saturated the market! Traffic is hard to get and unless you’re willing to pay to promote your blog on Facebook, not many people are going to read it.

More importantly, our attention spans are dwindling and  no one wants to read an entire blog, which is why social platforms like Instagram are popular – it’s all visual. If you’re going to start anything, make it an Instagram account!

It’s Hard to Know When to Stop

I’m not going to lie- I’ve been considering shutting my blog down for awhile. Its exhausting to maintain and unless you can devote a lot of time and money to make it successful, there’s very little reward. Sure, I get free things here and there which is nice, but the amount of time it takes to photograph something, write about it, and then promote it on social media makes it far less appealing.

However, I’ve put so many years of my life into this that throwing away all of my content and hard work seems like a big mistake. So I continue writing, and perhaps, wasting more time.

Blogging Takes a Toll on Your Confidence

Maybe this isn’t the case for everyone, but it has been for me. As with anything in life, we compare ourselves to the Taylor Swifts of our industry- the rock stars at the top that are making things happen. I constantly, ask myself why I’m not as skinny, pretty, rich, or popular as some of the style bloggers I follow. It just doesn’t seem fair. And from this point its a downward spiral of constantly wondering why you aren’t good enough for other people to follow you, pay you to wear their clothes, and take lavish vacations (comped of course).

Still Thinking of Starting a Blog?

Then do it if you really want to! My experience won’t be exactly like yours. Just be prepared for everything that comes with – or maybe nothing at all. Go in with no expectations that you’ll ever get a single comment or make a single dollar. With that mindset, you might actually be successful- and that’s where I went wrong.

Blogger Takeaways From Everything Content & Social Digital Summit


Hey everyone! Recently, I went to the Everything Content and Social: Digital Summit here in Dallas where speakers talked about, you guessed it, everything content! I like to say that by day I’m a content and SEO specialist, but by night I’m a blogger. Rarely do these two aspects of my life intersect (and I like it that way) but on the occasion that they do, I’m gonna blog about it!

I thought I’d share with you a few of my big key takeaways from the event’s speakers. Some of the takeaways surprised me and they may surprise you too!

Facebook Live is Huge

Going live on Facebook is incredibly important to engaging followers on your page. I think one of the speakers said that this kind of video performs 60% better than other videos (don’t quote me on the number but I know it was very high!) This surpised me because going live is far less predictable and certainly not as curated as other forms of content. Do people actually like this? Apparently so. Authenticity in content creation is more important than ever!

I can relate to wanting my favorite bloggers to be more authentic. I don’t want to see your perfect white home and your massive closet full of shoes. I want to see the girl that’s wearing the shoes and how she’s stepped in gum and can’t get it off her shoes because that’s my struggle too! I relate to this! Seeing it live is even better (and funnier.)

Don’t Create Crap

One of the first speakers of the day talked about how one of Thomas Edison’s first short films was attended by socialites, politicians, and other important people- all dressed to the nine’s as my grandma would say. You know what the film featured? Men shoveling garbage! Seriously. But a “moving picture” had never been done before so people loved it. After awhile, the novelty wore off and other filmmakers that tried to create similar movies didn’t get much attention.

The same thing happens with content we create. It’s not interesting to blog about the top 10 restaurants in Dallas because it’s been blogged about hundreds of times and no one cares anymore. To be successful, we have to create new, exciting content!

Work With the Facebook Algorithm

You can’t “hack” or beat Facebook’s new algorithm but you can work with it. Facebook announced it was going to go back to favoring people over brands (like the original Facebook we all loved.) This means that what you share, comment on, and react to is going to have more weight than ever before.

For example, if you’re friend shares a funny meme and you react with a “haha” and then go comment on it, Facebook is going to make sure more people see that meme. Better yet, if you and your friend have a back and forth conversation in the comments section of the meme, Facebook will value the meme even higher!

Creating content on Facebook that’s designed to get reactions and get people talking will help you work with the algorithm instead of against it!

There’s so much more I could share with you, but these were the biggest things I took away from the conference! It was awesome to be with other content marketers that understand how hard it can be to constantly create. It’s exhausting! Let me know your thoughts or experiences with any of these takeaways! 

Dear Instagram: An Open Letter From a Blogger

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As a blogger, I wear a lot of hats. However, one of those hats that I never thought I’d have to wear is the “Instagram Algorithm Guru” hat. I’m not good at beating the system, and an algorithm is a system that isn’t necessarily meant to be beat. Since the latest IG algorithm roll out, I’ve found myself being forced to try and understand something that no one really does. If you love Instagram as much as I do (or did), then this open letter to Instagram might echo your sentiments.

Dear Instagram,

Your new algorithm has royally messed my Instagram up and I want to know the reason you changed it. It can’t be for the user experience as mine has been awful. I’m seeing some of the same posts twice at the top of my feed and its almost always from influencers who have a lot of followers to begin with. No one seems to be seeing my posts either, unless I pay of course. Most annoying of all though, is the popularity game the algorithm supports.

No one likes a system where the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Everyone wants a fair chance to succeed. I shouldn’t have to figure out how to out-think an algorithm in order for my posts to be seen by my own followers and by potential new ones. I worked really hard to build up my following and increase my engagement rate. Then one day, it dropped in half and my Instagram hasn’t recovered since. Talk about a lot of hard work and time spent to literally have it all taken away.

Interestingly enough though, the algorithm tends to favor people who have always been popular. By showing only their posts in my feed or in the “explore” area, popular influencers continue to get all of the followers and traffic that smaller accounts have to pay dearly for.

So what am I asking for? I’m asking for the algorithm to show a chronological feed from EVERY account I follow. Forget the relevance aspect of the algorithm- if I’m following an account, then chances are its relevant to me. A chronological feed like in the old Instagram days makes it easier for everyone to have their posts seen. I miss IG being about creativity, getting to take a peek at someone else’s life, and sharing the things that made people happy.  When my feed featured everyone instead of just the popular crowd, it was much more interesting.

Please change the algorithm back to the way it was previously, because right now it’s ruining my ability to grow as a blogger.

How to Find Your Side Hustle

Happy Friday you guys! I’m so excited to share this post with you! As many of you know, I’m a Style Collective member and every few months every city that has Style Collective girls in it does a meetup, Last weekend, I met up with the Dallas/Fort Worth SC girls at The Theodore in North Park mall and we had a blast!

We ordered our brunches, shared a few style tips, and chatted about Christmas plans and that sort of thing. Just gal talk! It was so nice! After we finished eating, we all exchanged blogging tips and suggestions for coming up with a “side hustle.” Every blogger has one and I’m no exception. I write freelance on the side for small businesses that need content for their websites. A topic that came up during our conversation, is how do you know what your side hustle is? And that’s what I want to chat about today.

Finding Your Side Hustle

It’s so hard to know what you’re good at. We all have jobs, careers, and things we enjoy doing but what of those things can be turned into a side hustle? We all talked through our side businesses and I noticed a few things we had in common:

  • it was an extension of what we did as bloggers
  • it used our creative mindset

For example, Jessica of My Curly Adventures blog is also a photographer (and happened to take the pictures shown above!) In addition to her regular job, she blogs and does photography on the side.

Other bloggers I know sell product lines like Rodan & Fields or essential oils. Quite a few them do really well with it too! Their side hustles are an extension of what they love to do and value in their own lives. But how do you know what your side hustle is? Here are a few of my tips:

  • Would you do it if you weren’t paid? My dad always told to do what I loved and the money would come later. I’m still waiting on that great paycheck but for now, I’m writing, which is what I love.
  • Is it something you do for your blog anyway? Photography, SEO, social media, graphic design, and content creation are all part of what a blogger does to create a  blog post and promote it. Selling these talents as a freelance service is a great way to start a small business.
  • Is there a subject you blog about more than others? For example, if you find yourself blogging about how you’ve decorated and then redecorated your apartment a million times then sell your design services! Or if you’re a fashion blogger that comes across great deals on clothes, start an eBay account and sell the items you find!

There are so many smart ways to make a little extra cash on the side, sometimes you just have to be creative. Share your ideas and tips below!

 

Key Takeaways from StyleCon Dallas 2017

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Hey everyone! I wanted to give you a little recap of StyleCon Dallas last weekend! One of the things I never expected to find in Texas was so many fashionable ladies (and bloggers!) This event was so much fun and everyone walked away with a ton of swag in their swag bags (who doesn’t love that?!) I got to meet up with my Style Collective sisters and meet our founder, Miss Annie Spano!

Fashion Blogging Tips from Experts

I wanted to share with you a few blogging tips and things I learned from the panelists that spoke at StyleCon. They were all really helpful and lots of fun to listen to, especially Catherine Lowe, the winner of the Bachelor a few years back!

One of the speakers (I’m a flake and forgot who) was talking about how brands are looking for influencers with high engagement rates. What this means for bloggers like me is that a big following is no longer enough, brands want influencers with followers who like, comment, and click on links.

Holly Tuggy talked about her experience on YouTube dealing with bullies. I thought she was really clever when she said that she pins mean comments to the top of the comments section and replies to them saying she’s sorry for whatever they’re going through, because happy people don’t say things like that. I’ve had one or two people say rude things to me and I just brush it off because they’re trying to get under my skin.

Raven Elyse shared how she puts herself out there and tries to be authentic with her followers. I think that’s really important because people want a personal connection with brands and influencers. I’m in marketing so I should know! Raven said she will cry on camera if that’s how her heart is feeling and I admire her for that- it’s scary to be vulnerable!

Catherine Lowe shared about her life and winning the 17th season of the Bachelor and also starting her own company, Lowe Co. She also brought up being vulnerable and authentic with your followers. She said her very first kiss with Sean (her now husband) was on national television. Talk about being vulnerable!

Finally, Annie Spano shared her story on how she went from being in a work place that wasn’t kind to her to running her own company- Style Collective! The whole purpose behind this resource for bloggers is to help women to connect rather than only compete. I absolutely love this! Women are so competitive and to have a group of girls that lifts one another up is fantastic!

Fun perks from StyleCon

StyleCon also offered some really fun perks in addition to great speakers! You’ll see in the photos above that I got my hair done for free thanks to the Tangerine Salon. Aveda also freshened up my makeup AND waxed my eyebrows- all complimentary! I also got a neck massage for free, talk about being pampered! There were also several stations offering manicures to conference goers, which was really neat!

There were tons of fashion and beauty vendors there as well. One of my favorites was Studio to Street Boutique! They specialize in affordable luxury fitness clothing and let me just say, it’s adorable! I bought a cute shirt from there that says “Will Blog for Brunch.” How accurate is that?!

If you were at StyleCon, let me know! It was such a fun event and I’m still tired from it, but so worth it!

dallas fashion blogger