What’s Your Motivation to Blog?

 

Blogging

Motivateplay.com

Four years ago today I wrote my 6th blog post.  Back then I had no idea where I even wanted to go with the blog.  A month before that post I didn’t even know what blogging was (or ever used Twitter!) and just saw it as a way to get back to writing.  I hadn’t done in so long and needed an outlet. My real life seemed to be falling apart.  I had no direction and no kind of motivation.  Once I discovered the world of blogging I was excited, happy to be doing something fun and exciting for a change.  As time wore on, I was motivated to be a top blogger, the ones I saw getting the major brand partnership and traffic numbers in the millions.  I soon realized that blogging success was a marathon and not a sprint so I slowed down. I took the time to get better, try new things, and work on standing out from the now thousands of style blogs out there.  Up until I found out I was pregnant I was motivated take Fierce a step higher than what it already was.

Fast forward to today and my motives are drastically different.  Instead of blogging on the side as I’ve done for years, it’s now a major part of my new found freelance career.  My blog was now the place where potential clients could see what I’m made of.  Talk about pressure!  I started doing some of my content not because I wanted to but because I felt like I had to.  If I didn’t post on a day I was scheduled to, I suffered from major blogger’s guilt.  If my traffic numbers didn’t look good on a particular day (okay I’ll be real here, it’s been stagnate for quite some time now!) I would rattle my brain at night trying to figure out what I could do to get more views.  Suddenly this blogging thing wasn’t much fun anymore.  It was on that slope to becoming a source of stress. And ya’ll, I can’t afford to be stressed!

When you have a little person who looks to you for everything, you gotta be sunshine and rainbows most of the time.  When I’m in a bad mood, she knows it and it directly impacts her.  That’s not fair to her.  She’s a big reason why I decided leave my day job in the first place.  Working from home isn’t easy and knowing where your next client is going to come from is stressful enough!  My blog needs to be the place where I can continue to grow and have fun.

I realized it’s time to go back to square one- my love of writing.  This blog started as a place  where I can go, write, and be me – good, bad, or indifferent. That has to be my primary motivation. I have to remember that the next time I start freaking out about a blog post.

Tell me, what motivates you to blog?  Have you ever fallen off track?

 

You Know You’re a Beauty Blogger When…

Beauty Cartoon

Favim

Yeah….Monday…

After having a relaxing weekend it’s back to the grind.  I have to hit the ground hard this week.  While I had something else planned for today, I wanted to have a little fun before the day got going.  The idea actually came to me when I was doing Friday’s post.  We have a pretty good idea of how to spot a fashion blogger but what about us beauty bloggers?  After having this blog for four years, there are clearly some things I do that is solely because of this blog and I thought it would be a lot of fun to share!

You Know You’re a Beauty Blogger When….

  • You have no problems wearing your latest beauty look to the store or to work, especially if it’s a dark smokey eye or a bold red lip.  I’m guilty of wearing one to my daughter’s library play date….at 10 am!
  • You’re kitchen has become your beauty lab.  My husband has strict instructions as to what is for cooking and what is for my hair. (I play no games!)
  • If you’re hair or skin isn’t cooperating, that makeup tutorial is a no-go!
  • You can’t have a Pinterest board just named Beauty. Oh no, you have to one for hair, eye looks, lipstick, and beauty products.  Guilty as charged!
  • While fashionistas can rattle off designers, we can have our own list of makeup artists and hair stylists.  Johnny Wright, Kim Kimble, and Mally Moncal are my personal faves.
  • You have at least two of everything like shampoos, conditioners, mascaras, etc.  It takes the idea of being a Product Junkie to a whole other level!
  • Despite the fact you get samples for review, you still go out and buy stuff.  The aisles of Walgreens just aren’t safe!
  • You can spend hours watching makeup and hair YouTube videos and not even realize it!
  • Your Instagram feed has pictures of you, you, and oh yeah, you!
  • You’re the first person you’re family or friends call from the store before they buy a beauty product.

 

And the biggest one:

You only get dressed from the neck up.  I mean who else is gonna see, right?

 

Okay guys it’s your turn!  Can’t wait to see what you come up with comments!

 

5 Tips for Managing Your Blogging Time

Time Management

Via: teramchugh.com

When I started blogging almost 4 years ago, I was working a full time day job. I quickly found out that trying to  to blog and do the things related to it can get really time consuming.  Just figuring out what to blog about took up a lot of time let alone trying to find images and promote it when it posted.  Forget about trying to comment on other blogs, get on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest¸ and whatever new social platform comes out.  Then real life can totally put your blog on the back burner.  During my time as a blogger I’ve gotten married, bought a house, and had a baby.  How can you build your blog with great and consistent content as well as stay in the social media loop?  It can be done (and doesn’t require being chained to your laptop on late nights and weekends!)

Have an Editorial Calendar

I cannot stress this enough!  When I got one it totally changed the blogging game for me. One of the big advantages of  creating a calendar is knowing what you’re going to write about before you sit down at your laptop.  You can make the most of the time you set aside to blog by getting right to work!  It also helps you set a posting schedule that works for you.  For more reasons on how an editorial calendar can save your blogging life, check out this post.

Block out Time to Write and Schedule Your Posts for the Week

When I worked full time, I had a standard 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job.   That left the weekends free for me to run errands, see family, and blog.  Saturdays were always hectic so I chose Sundays as my blogging time.  I would sit down for a few hours and write out all my posts for the coming week.  Then I would schedule them out  (with the help of my calendar :) ) and I’m done! I had the rest of the week to work and enjoy my evenings without having to stress over my blog.

Work on Blog Posts a Little Bit Each Day

Now that I’m freelancing from home and taking care of my little girl, my time is a lot less predictable.  The blocking time method didn’t work anymore so I have to split up my time.  Because I already know what I’m going to post for the week, I can take an hour or so each day and work on each post.  For example, if I have a styling post I want to do on Wednesday, I take an hour on Tuesday to look for all my images.  Then Wednesday morning I write the text of my post, drop my images in, and I’m ready to go!  For posts that require a lot of writing (like this one!) I write a rough draft the day before and finish it up the day it’s set to post.

Concentrate of the Social Media Channels that Work For You

Part of being a blogger includes promoting your content and engaging with your followers on social media.  In the beginning I tried to be on everything and before you know it, I spent more time on Twitter, Facebook, and everything else than actually writing posts!  With so many platforms to choose from you don’t want to spread yourself thin.  So pick and choose which ones that you  like to use and make the most sense for your blog.   For example, if you’re a personal style blogger platforms like Pinterest and Instagram would be good for promoting your blog posts.  If you do a lot a Youtube videos Vine and Instagram video may be worth playing around with.

Allow Yourself a Break Every Now and Then

This may seem counter intuitive but trust me, I’ve dealt with blogger burn out and it’s no fun!  Just like you need a vacation from your day job, sometimes you need one from the blog.  How can you tell?  You can be doing all of these things (and more) and you still don’t feel like writing anything or just fresh out of ideas.  You may even be thinking of shutting the blog down or taking a new direction.  Either way, take some time off, do some of the things you love, and regroup.  What should you do with the blog in the meantime?  You can set up some guest bloggers or simply write a post letting your readers know you’re taking a breather.  Remember, having a great blog is a marathon not a sprint!

 

How do you manage your blogging time?

 

Want some more blogging tips?  Check these out!

 

Fashion Bloggers, It’s Time to Step It Up!

blogger

ilovewildfox.com

I was lying  on my couch Friday night, checking out my Facebook feed on my phone (as I always do when the Princess is having her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse time!) and I came across this article on IFB  – Why No One Wants to Hear About The Decline of Personal Style Blogging (Yet).  I checked out the Buzzfeed article it was responding to (which was a bit snarky for my taste but anyways!) and backtracked to Jeanine’s article about the fashion blogger bubble bursting.  I tweeted the post and ended up having a great convo with Alison from Wardrobe Oxygen (who has a great blog by the way! I read it all the time). It sent my writer mind into a tailspin! The same feelings I had in my last post about fashion blogging were confirmed and I started thinking about what we needed to do next.  You know we creative types can be all over the place and the more I thought about it, I found that the state of blogging affairs has come down to this:

We have to evolve.  We have to take our blogs to the next level.

Now I admit I’m not just a personal style blogger.  I didn’t start incorporating outfit posts until about a year after I started blogging.  Back then (we’re talking 2010 when I did my first outfit post), the idea of putting up what you’re wearing was really gathering steam.  I loved doing it and loved checking out other personal style bloggers because it was awesome to see fashion that wasn’t on a model.  It was a source of tangible inspiration, something I could easily try to do without breaking the bank.  It exposed me to new ways of wearing clothes and accessories while challenging me to be creative with what I already have (remember the 30 x 30 challenges?)

Now in 2013 we’re dealing with a gross oversaturation of new bloggers who are starting to look a lot alike.  I’m not seeing anything really new and creative. It’s because those top bloggers who made it have set an aesthetic standard that new bloggers are trying to attain.  I can’t blame them – they see this as the path to success in securing brand partnerships, major ad campaigns and a big readership.  Also, like the IFB article pointed out, companies are learning how to get the best bang for the buck when it comes to bloggers.  They are looking for more than just a fashionable girl with pretty pictures.

Bloggers who “make it” aren’t just cute anymore, they have business plans, niches, a specific purpose other than broadcasting their own vanity. – IFB

We gotta step it up people!  If you want to be in this fashion blogging world for the long haul, leave that day job and go pro, you have to up your game.  We have to go higher than what we used to.  It takes more than a good camera and a great fashion sense.  They are a million girls that have that.  It’s going to take something that isn’t as fun:

Business Sense.

We’re talking business plans, media kits, and business cards.  We’re talking analytics, editorial calendars, and target audiences.  It’s all about pitching, ROI’s, and branding. Your own sense of style doesn’t separate you from the pack anymore.  If you want to be a professional blogger you have to think like a business a person.

Before you write that next blog post or email a PR company for samples, these are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • What really makes you different from the gazillion fashion bloggers out there?
  • What value are you bringing to your readers?
  • Why should brands work with you?  What can you do for them and their brand?
  • What does your reader get from your blog that they can’t get anywhere else?

I know we are not feeling the negative vibe that being blogger has these days.  The stakes in this game have been raised and if we have to prepared to meet it if we want to be taken seriously.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!  What do you think we need to do to stay in the blogging game long term?

 

PS:  A great book that can help you answer some of those questions as well help you with a business plan is Fashion 2.0: Blogging Your Way to The Front Row by Yuli Ziv.  I can’t say enough good things about it!

 

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As a side note, please take a moment to say a prayer for the victims of the Oklahoma Tornado yesterday.  They need all the kindness and love we can give.

Make today a good day!