Tag Archives: be a better blogger

Lessons on Blogging #5: Be FEARLESS

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(original post)

Being a blogger comes with a great deal of perks. From personal invitations to events and travel, taking photos in all the cool locations… But have you ever wondered how to do it; how do you get to be there?

Answer: You become fearless.

When I first started blogging I was an outgoing and bubbly college girl; a model turned fashion student who had sartorial stars in her eyes and an already vast experience in front of a camera lens. I asked photographers I knew if they’d shoot my outfits. If I wanted to work with someone; a company or brand or photographer or other blogger I simply out right asked them. Sometimes I’d be met with a little let down, but most of the time people were excited to collaborate. Especially since this was in the beginning days of blogging when not literally everyone and their mom had a blog. They knew I had reputable photography sources and that I knew how to appropriately pose. I was different; aesthetically and stylistically that made me unique. I liked to take charge in planning everything, which also probably went down to my slight OCD nature. I shot in Central Park, I shot in the streets of NYC and on the Brooklyn Bridge. I was loving my life!

As I grew older I became slightly more introverted. I was no longer in school with fellow fashion inclined students who understood the growing world of blogging. I felt sheepish to ask my coworkers for a quick photo sesh, and was apprehensive/fearful of rejection when reaching out to brands and event hosts, especially in a new city where few knew my name. I had moved around, losing my close-knit group of  blogging friends and was thrown into a whole new clique of people. It was terrifying. I grew reclusive. If I was finally invited to an event I’d either freak out and decide not to go or I’d get there alone and proceed to drink until I felt like I could talk to these strange girls who all knew each other. My boyfriend, who I convinced for a while to be my photographer, was sheepish to shoot in public settings, which in turn made me afraid to be under the scrutinous, curious eye of strangers. My blog fumbled as I struggled to regain composure amidst so much new and unfamiliar territory, while also staying true to myself, which is brave-ness in itself.

After reading about how one of the bloggers I’ve been following for years gets her shots it put a whole new spin into my plans. Andy Torres of Style Scrapbook always seems to be alone; she lives alone, travels alone, listens to music alone, explores new cities alone. She doesn’t have a full team a la Chiara Ferragni to follow her around and ensure the omni-present perfection of her life.

So how does Andy get her perfect outfit snaps while traveling? As she recently shared on her Snapchat and Instagram-She fearlessly asks strangers on the street.

My mind was slightly blown when I learned that, but it made sense. If you’re a blogger without a personal team you need to be able to ask for help, even from strangers or other bloggers. I also started paying attention to what some of my favorite bloggers’ photos looked like. It’s no secret that “action” street style shots are a major trend right now; gone are the days of standing blankly in front of a wall and posing. Hello to the days of friendly collaborations with both peers and strangers. Now is the time to email those brands you love and say ‘Hi’. Now is the time to tell that other blogger that you love her style and want to meet up sometime.

Andy gave me the jolt of courage to start being fearless again. I asked strangers on the street, or random coworkers in my office, for a quick photo of my #OOTD. I’d give them subtle direction and, if they offered a compliment on my style, mentioned that I was a blogger and gave them a card. I started doing more shoots in public settings; crossing busy streets amidst neighborly stares and managing to be okay with it. The attention means more people are seeing my style, and if they like what I’m styling it’s an excuse to hand off a card and hopefully welcome another reader and follower to the pack.

Halloween as Carrie Bradshaw #satc #manolos

The Lesson: Being a good blogger doesn’t always require a team of professionals to take your photos and help you out, sometimes it just takes being fearless among strangers, and with yourself.

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Lessons on Blogging #4: Continuity is Queen

Move over Bey, there’s a new Queen in my life and that’s continuity. Having been a blogger for so damn long I’ve definitely gone through some ups and downs in my blog. There were times when I was posting every other day, wonderful outfit posts a cool recipe every single Monday, loyal readers waiting for that next juice. But then all of a sudden I’d go a couple weeks without a post, and then it’d be a grainy set of images of a basic look that contrasted the fun sartorial looks I’d been known for. I went through blog re-designs, changing my fonts and logo, and even blog title, and I know a lot of people do too. But too much change and inconsistency isn’t good for a blog. While it’s okay to grow your blog as you grow as a person, it’s not okay to continually change it with your mood swings.

Continuity is what keeps readers and followers; they want that same experience and feeling from your next posts as they got from your old posts. Going hand in hand, quality over quantity.

For me, this has been a big thing I’ve been doing. I’ve been going through old posts and deleting ones that just aren’t of good quality that I posted just to post; just to have something up (not a good idea folks). Case in point #1: Back when IFB was the beacon of all great bloggers they would have a weekly prompt.  In my quest to be included I’d whip up a post on a Saturday afternoon in a short period of time that wasn’t so great. The end result? Poorly lit and executed blog posts that probably prompted some readers to go all “WTF? What is this? Unfollow”. Example 1, “You Know I’m No Good“; which I planned to delete but am keeping as a “don’t do this”. So now, I’ve been trying to keep this blog, and anything you search on it, of high quality content.

Okay, so quality and consistent blogging, got it. But what about the rest of the aspects of blogging? Social Media is basically the new blogging platforms, so you want to make sure those are consistent as well. Look at your InstaGram profile; how do the first 9 images look? Are some darker than others, using different filters? Some of your friends and life and drinking, and others about your outfit or your latest blog post? Do another clean out (more on that in the next lesson on blogging) and make sure that the visuals you are putting out there are consistent to your brand. It will make more people want to follow you and see more of what they like.

The long and the short of it; make sure that you are PROUD of everything you put out there on your blog and it’s medias and make sure that it evokes the same brand and feeling across the boards.

Have more questions and want more? Be sure you’re following me and feel free to ask me questions on Twitter or other medias!

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Lessons on Blogging #3: Content Recycling

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I read plenty of websites and blogs daily, especially Refinery29, sometimes opening up their homepage 2-3 times a day (mini-breaks are proven to make you work better). I’ve been following them for years, since college aged Sahra was wondering about the blogging world out there firs dipped her toes in. In all of this time of reading Refinery29 (and other news-worthy websites) I’ve learned something big; many of those “front page stories” are recycled content.

For some lifestyle bloggers that probably enrages you. You work so hard to constantly come up with consistent and new ideas for posts. And to learn that all those news sites with a different fresh post almost hourly is a falsity is probably blowing your mind. But that doesn’t mean it’s old, outdated information. They are still relevant works that are just resurfaced to continue their relevance and interest. This is especially key during holiday times (and I can’t wait to re-share some of my favorite gift guides soon!).

For example, last week’s “Blood Drip Nails Tutorial” I was sharing on social media? Originally posted in 2013. Why did I bring it back? It’s still relevant; every Halloween season people are looking for fun tutorials and there’s no reason you should hide such a post among your archives. While maybe you don’t want to completely dig out old posts to your landing page you can still share them. A big trend among bloggers on Twitter right now is sharing #FromTheArchives posts of relevant (and quality)topics.

What do you think of this Lesson on Blogging? Do you ever recycle your content in either of these ways?

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