I get DM’s pretty often from adorable gals all asking me the same question: how in the world do you become a blogger? Blogging is so popular because A. it’s SUPER FUN and B. everyone wants their voice to be heard in some capacity. But when most people decide that they want to start a blog, they have no idea how much work it entails or how to go from OOTD pics in your front yard to a contracted influencer. And I 100% get that because just over a year ago, I was in the exact same place.
In order to answer this question for these girls and others in the future, I thought I would write a short guide to blogging (be on the look-out for a full-length e-book in 2019!!!). Obviously, I don’t have the most experience or the biggest following. But there is one thing I am sure of: I have learned a lot in 2018.
I’m sure you’ve seen the trend on Instagram stories where bloggers are posting their best picture from every month. Being a sucker for Instagram trends, I went back through all of my posts to do the same thing. And WOW what a difference. Let’s compare my favorite pic from January and from December (so far).
The key difference between being just another blogger and being a great blogger is your content. So how do you take your content from good to great? How do you go from January to December without a year of trial and error?
1. Determine your style.
Do you want your feed to be classic or eccentric? Funky or chic? Monochromatic or multi-chromatic? Do you want to post head shots, body shots, detail shots, or all of the above? I know that it can be hard to have any idea what you want at first, but if you give it thought, it will give your feed character.
For example, this summer I was really wrestling with the fact that heavily-filtered and monochromatic feeds seemed to be performing better than mine. So I thought that I need to make my feed monochromatic to succeed. But I have come to discover that consistency isn’t necessarily created by wearing the same color, posing the same way, or even by using the same filter. It is created by knowing your vision. So now I wear whatever color I want, use different presets and adjustments, and pose however I want, but I do it on purpose. The energy and vision of all my posts is the same, and that makes all the difference.
Answering these questions for yourself is vital as you start blogging. Something that helped me was to base the style of my feed on my own style, my personality, and the season. Plan out some posts, and see what you like. This will be very helpful as you dive into photography!
2. Use a real camera.
There are several ways to make this happen.
If you have a camera, you can:
- Purchase a tripod and take the photos yourself. Some tripods come with a remote, others will connect to an app on your phone. If nothing else, every camera has a self timer setting.
- Teach a friend the basics of your camera and beg them to take pics of you. An annoying but effective method.
- Find a blogger friend in your area and go out and shoot each other! This is a fun way to make new connections. You’ll also probably discover that you can learn from them and that you will push and challenge each other creatively!
If you don’t have a camera, you can:
- Shoot with a close friend who has one. This is obviously ideal, since you get free content and they can build their portfolio. Also it is very fun.
- If and only if you have modeling experience, reach out to a photographer and ask if they want to collaborate with you. You have to be ready to execute their vision and help them grow!
- Buy one on Ebay.
- Hire a professional or semi-professional photographer.
I listed hiring a photographer last because I understand that as a new blogger, it can be hard to see investing in photography as necessary. But let me tell you, my blog did not start getting the response that it is getting today until I starting working with photographers consistently. Unless you use a very heavy filter (which I don’t), it becomes very obvious that a picture was snapped on phone vs. on a camera. Repost accounts and brands looking for influencers will be looking for professional content, and a professional photographer is the best way to make this happen.
3. Be creative.
This point is truly the key to growth. When someone finds your account, your content needs to give them a reason to stay. To achieve this, your posts have to be creative. Why should someone follow you, rather than another millennial girl with a camera?
There are a few essential ways that a post should be creative. Your outfits should be next-level, not something that anyone on the street would be wearing. Push yourself to try unique and bold combination. During photoshoots, you should also vary your posing as much as possible. It helps to researching posing beforehand to get some ideas. If it feels wrong, it probably looks great. Try to find a photographer to collaborate with who is creative with angles and editing as well.
I have read a proliferation of how-to-start-your-own-blog blogs, and they all say the same thing: use hashtags, locations, and tags. And it’s true that those are the three main ways to get your account discovered. But when people discover your Instagram account, you want them to be wowed. A feed with a clear vision and professional content is the way to do that.
I could go on and on about this subject, but I will leave it there for now. After all, I have to save some advice for my e-book! Until then, let me show you some of my favorite accounts that have mastered vision and professional content.