TEN TIPS + ADVICE FOR EVERY NEW BLOGGER | A Classy Fashionista

TEN TIPS + ADVICE FOR EVERY NEW BLOGGER

Friday, July 20, 2018

This post has been highly requested and is inspired by you--yes, you!! I receive so many DM's on Instagram, Facebook, and even comments on my blog asking if I have any advice for new bloggers, how I get paid for sponsored content, where I find the brands I work with, and if I have any tips on how to grow blogs & social channels. All of the answers to your questions are answered in this post! It's a long one--so grab a pen & notebook and a cup of coffee--It's about to get real!



One // Be true to who you are 

There is nothing more important than this right here. You have to stay true to who you are as a person and a writer. No one else out there has the same voice as you do. Use your unique voice to reach those you are meant to reach. We are all different on purpose--don't try to be like anyone else, because you think it will get you more followers or pageviews. Your numbers will grow as a reward of being truly you.

Two // Write about what gives you life

If you aren't wholeheartedly passionate about what you are writing about, there's no point. Make sure what you're writing about is something that you're passionate about and you're knowledgeable on the topic. You don't want to halfsies your way through a post just to write it. If it's not giving you life, stop writing it. 



Three // Join blogging community Facebook groups

Blogging Facebook groups are no joke what helped me through my early blogging days and still do to this day! There's something about being involved in a blogging community where you have the support of hundreds of other bloggers on the same journey as you.

If you're looking for groups to join, check out my post: Facebook Groups Every Blogger Needs To Join! 

Four // Always remember: quality over quantity

Don't just write a post to get a post out. There have been many times where I only have one post a week go out and that's okay. Sometimes you'll have five amazing posts go live in the same week, others you'll have less. It's all about finding the right balance for you. Take your time writing your posts, edit them, and edit them again. You want to make sure that you're putting out quality content and not just getting content out to get it out.

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Five // Focus on your blog over social media channels

Your blog is the only platform that you own. Yes, your social media channels are extremely important, especially when it's time to get paid for your content, but you want to focus on building your pageviews, not just your Instagram following.

Whether you want to give your blog a facelift or you want to research more on marketing your blog & current SEO practices, invest in your blog the most. I like to think of it like this: My social channels are the chips & salsa and my blog is the burrito. Yes, they go hand-in-hand, but the burrito is the main course--the blog should be as well.

If you are looking to invest a little extra time into a social channel, I share some secrets on How I Genuinely Gained 1,000 Followers on Instagram in 60 Days!

Six // Join Blogging Networks

For those of you that have asked how to get paid, blogging networks will be your starting point. Blogging networks are a great place to start and score your first few sponsored posts. My first six months that I was getting paid for content was all through blogging networks. They may not pay as much as you want, but they're a great way to build up your media kit. You want to show other companies who you've worked with and give yourself more credibility.

Here's a list of my favorite Blogging Networks:

TapInfluence (highest paid posts!)
Social Fabric (I got my first sponsored posts through here +25 others!)
Clever (Minimum pageview requirements: 20k+ I believe)
InflucenceHer Collective (LOVE this network!)
She Speaks (just joined this network!)
Brandbacker (some paid, but mostly free product--a good way to network with brands)
Primp (minimum pageview requirements: 40k+)
Influencer Central (I've done one campaign with IC)

I've done 50+ sponsored posts with these networks throughout the past year and I've loved working with them! They're such a great way to dip your toes into sponsored posts. They all have guidelines you follow to make the whole process super simple! Also, don't be afraid to ask campaign leaders questions. They are there to help make your campaign run smoothly.

Also, don't be discouraged if you're not accepted into a network right away. Some of them take weeks for the application process to go through. Others you may not have enough pageviews at first to join, but don't worry--it's not impossible--you will have enough eventually, you just have to keep working towards it! There were a few networks that I couldn't join for a while, but I kept hustling hard and now my hard work is literally paying off! 



Seven // Pinterest is your best friend

I wish that I could hug Pinterest. It truly has the power to make or break your pageviews. Once you get in a routine of promoting your content on Pinterest, the pageviews will roll on in. Pinterest generates tens of thousands of monthly pageviews for my blog.

I use Tailwind to schedule posts a month in advance and also pin manually through the week. You can join tribes within Tailwind or you can join group boards on Pinterest.

Sign up here (affiliate) for a free month of Tailwind!

Here's a list of my favorite group boards on Pinterest:

Fashion | Beauty | Lifestyle (my group board! DM me on Pinterest to request to join!)

These are all group boards that I pin to on a weekly basis. They truly have had an impact on my pins & just how far they reach. Some pins will take off right away, and others will take weeks. But all in all, these group boards have brought me farther than I could have ever imagined!

Eight // Connect with local bloggers

Connecting with local bloggers and making new friends has been one of my favorite things to come out of blogging. I've cultivated some amazing friendships, and it's so amazing to be able to meet some of them in real life! We've gone on beach trips, workshops, and even met up at local coffee shops. It's important to connect with those who just get you and know what you're going through. Blogging isn't always an easy gig--it's a lot of hard work, but it's worth it when you have your friends encouraging you and cheering you on the whole way.



Nine // Know your worth

I can't stress this enough. From the start, know your worth. Often times bloggers get sucked into working for a brand doing 3 blog posts, 10 social shares, and giving away their first born for product only. Some brands will even have the nerve to ask you to pay for the shipping or give you a 40% discount on the product. Stop right there. Don't respond--don't entertain them. You are worth way more than that--no matter how many followers you have.

On occasion I will accept free product, but it's only because I:
A) Genuinely love the product & need it anyway
B) Have been dying to try said product
C) Have built a relationship with the brand and they want to send me a product just because

Something that I will also say is when you do start getting sponsored posts and a brand low balls you, don't take it personally. It might just be the top of their budget or they are making a smart business decision on their end. Now it's your turn to make a smart business decision, know your worth, and ask for more compensation. When you ask for more $$$, be sure to let the brand know why you are worth what you are asking. I will often times send along a press sheet that shows my statistics, but not my rates.

I don't include my rates in my original press kit, because each contract I sign is different. Each brand could want a different amount of social shares, blog posts, you may have to sign an exclusivity contract, and each post requires a different amount of time commitment. You'll want to take in consideration each of these things when deciding how much to charge.

If you're not sure how much to charge or even where to start, I find that Social Bluebook will help you get a good idea on where your rates should fall. Some say their rates are a little low for a blog post, but make sure you select "Dedicated Post" and "5 Photos". This puts me pretty close to what I charge brands. Just make sure you take into account your content quality, your photo quality, and add in the value of your social shares as well.




Ten // Pitching to brands

Pitching brands directly is the most nerve wracking, exhilarating experience ever. I remember when I first started pitching, I was so nervous, which is so silly! Remember, the worst they can say is no. It's no big whoop if they say no right away either--maybe it's the timing or maybe you don't have enough followers/pageviews yet. Either way, don't give up.

Here are a few things that are bound to happen when you pitch brands:

1) Sorry, we don't have a budget right now.

A lot of brands will claim they don't have a budget--some honestly don't, especially during certain points of the year, and others, well, it's just their nice way of saying you're not the right fit in that moment in time. I will always thank a brand for their time no matter what AND ask to be kept in mind for future collaborations. I will also ask them if there is any way that I could help them promote products or the mission of their brand. Sometimes this will score you a spot on their PR list and other times it's the end of the road. Either way, it's okay--it wasn't meant to be and what is, will be.

2) Crickets. Crickets. More Crickets.

Do you hear that awkward silence? Cause I do. More often than not, your initial pitch will be completely ignored. Brands get hundreds, if not thousands of pitches per day. It's no wonder that your email got lost in a sea of pitches that just might have stood out slightly more than yours. Here's what you do: Wait a week and follow up! Sometimes you might have to follow up two, three, four + times. I've heard bloggers' stories where it wasn't until their seventh follow up email that they finally received a response. Moral of this point: Don't give up even if it's silent...but also make sure you are emailing a valid email address and not a dead end, because that'd be totes awk.

3) Yes, we'd love to work with you, but we can only offer you $X.

Some brands will come back saying they'd love to work with me, but they can only offer what they can offer. If it's only slightly less than what I would normally charge, I'll do it for the opportunity and for the experience. I'm not a huge stickler on my rate being X amount, but again, I know my worth and I know if a collaboration will be more of a headache than I'm getting paid. Use your best judgement on this one, but don't turn down an opportunity over what could end up being pennies in a future long-term collaboration.

Where to find Media Contacts for Brands:
1) Google it--Media contact for XXX
2) Their website--check under contact + media/PR
3) Their Instagram Bio

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Holy cow that was a lot of information. I hope that this post has been super helpful, because it was highly requested and inspired by you! Now that I've been in the blogger game for a little while, I want to share my experience and knowledge with you. Let's grow together, learn together, and celebrate together.

What advice would you give a new blogger?!
Do you have any other questions? Leave them in the comments!

14 comments

  1. Hey girl!!!! Oh my gosh this post was EXTREMELY useful for me!!!!! I can’t even thank you enough for all your tips and wisdom here! I just joined primp “power primper” network and Influenceher and I have no idea how to get started especially on Influnceher, any advice on how to use that site?! I’m at a total loss here! Haha

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    1. I'm so happy these tips have been helpful for you!! For InfluenceHer, they send out emails pretty much weekly with new opportunities you can apply to! I never use the site, because everything you need to fill out is in the emails. So, once you apply, you should get an acceptance email once you've been accepted and then you'll start to get collaboration emails! :)

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  2. Girl, this was so super helpful. I have saved the link on FB and Pinterest, so that I can come back to this! Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of your knowledge!

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    1. Aw thank you so much!! I'm so, so glad these tips were helpful for you!!

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  3. These are great tips, Kristen!! Although I've been blogging for quite a few years, these tips are really helpful for me! I've been declined by networks which really feels discouraging, but I have to keep the hope and remember that one "no" doesn't mean that I'll never be able to try again!

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    1. Definitely keep applying! It took me a little while to get in a few networks. Just keep hustling! :)

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  4. I've done just about everything I could for my blog and I'm starting to see some good traction (200ish visits a day after 1.5 months. I still need to check out blogging networks, GREAT resource.

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    1. That's so awesome!! Definitely check out blogging networks and utilize pinterest as much as possible to increase those pageviews!! :)

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  5. These are such great tips girlie! Pinterest really is SO important!

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    1. YES! Pinterest = a blog's best friend!!

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  6. AMEN AMEN to pitching brands - that's my bread and butter and I believe in it SO DANG MUCH!

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  7. Thank you so much for writing this post and sharing your insights! This is extremely useful. Most often, we think we're doing everything right until we come across something that we'd been missing. It's always great to read posts like these and make use of insights from others' experiences.

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    1. Yes exactly!! We all learn different things and experience different obstacles as we are growing our blogs. I love sharing my experiences to help others grow!!

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