Back when I started S&T, blogs certainly existed but there weren’t NEARLY as many as there are now. Nor was it something people were super familiar with at first mention, either. I remember telling a close girlfriend of mine that I started one back in 2013 and I almost got the vibe that she thought it was weird, but it was moreso just that she didn’t understand what it meant. Over the past couple of years, it has completely blown up and become something almost everyone has thought about delving into for one reason or another and, obviously, not always to make it a career, but moreso to just have a digital outlet for family and friends to refer to. And, if they haven’t thought about starting one, they certainly are familiar with what the term ‘blogger’ means and have been to someone’s blog at least once.
As blogging has become more familiar, there are also more questions as to what it takes to run a successful blog. While I’ve always deemed Sequins & Things a work in progress, and not necessarily a huge success, I do think experience has equipped me with the ability to be a resource for anyone who does have questions about running a blog. Make sure you read that question again. That does not say that I am a resource to help you make you blog a successful one. Your sole purpose for running a blog should be about so much more than that, if I’m being honest. There is no secret to a blog suddenly taking off, and the biggest thing I encourage anyone who wants to “be a blogger” is to love doing it, even if you don’t have all your questions answered!
I receive quite a few emails a week from readers who want to either start a blog or take their blog to the next level, so to speak. There’s so much to say, from personal experience, in regard to these questions that it would take quite a bit of time getting back to each and every one of them, in addition to keeping up with all the work that goes in to S&T so, tonight, I’m going to answer 10 questions that y’all submitted last month about blogging and, at the end, I’m announcing a way for you to get more individualized, one-on-one blogging consultation from me and a couple of my favorite blogging buddies [and, in real life, friends!].
Almost two years ago, I registered Sequins & Things as an Limited Liability Company (LLC), which separates your business assets & liabilities from your personal assets and liabilities. Also, income you earn from your LLC is treated as your personal income.
It’s important to mention, I think, that you do not need to register your blog as an LLC to earn an income from your blog. It’s also important to mention that I would seek out someone that you trust that you can run through what would be the best move to make for your particular situation. My Dad owns his own business and my stepmom is a paralegal, so they both happened to be the best people to talk through this with when it was something I was mulling over.
In my personal experience, they reached out to me. I had no experience in marketing or partnerships. I was very naive when it came to blogging. I just liked styling outfits and sharing outfit details with whoever wanted to know them. I didn’t understand how bloggers and boutiques, brands and businesses could work together and why they needed each other. Even when they offered to send me free stuff, I didn’t really understand that it was because they saw my blog and audience as something that would benefit them. This is just one of the ways this whole experience has blown my mind and, also, I think that’s why these Q&A’s can’t teach you everything. 😉 They are certainly helpful but you will learn SO MUCH from personal experience.
If you have any questions about working with brands, establishing a media kit, what information goes on a media kit, how to determine what to charge, etc., consider going to the event discussed at the end of the post!
To date, it was my Birthday Q&A. Instagram Round-Up’s are always a hit, though.
I didn’t start a blog for it to be what it’s become. I didn’t know blogs could generate an income when I started it. I didn’t know much about blogging or the terms: traffic, reach, engagement, return on investment, SEO, etc. My goal was always just to style outfits and share them, and to have fun doing it, and growth just happened to be an unexpected product of that!
Are there growth strategies out there? Yes.
Have I utilized them? Yes.
Have they been successful? Yes.
Creating a growth strategy could be something that we can discuss at the event that I share at the end of this post.
Currently, I have two photographers: Miguel Emmanuelli and Kaylee Labor. Miguel has been my primary photographer since I started Sequins & Things, and typically shoots all of my outfit post photo’s. Kaylee is a friend of mine from high school who has intermittently taken blog photo’s for me since the beginning, as well. They are both extremely talented, and I am excited to have recently talked to Kaylee about becoming a more permanent creative partner here at S&T. So, you’ll be seeing more of her beautiful photo’s from now, like the ones in this post, as well as my trusty Miguel.
If you have questions about how much to pay photographers for your blog or what to pay photographers in regard to traveling, I encourage you to consider coming to the event discussed at the end of the post!
OH! And no, hah … they do not follow me around every day. I typically schedule a time for us to shoot at a mutually agreed upon date and time. I usually shoot with both of them once or twice a week, depending on my travel schedule.
Anyone with a blog can apply to rewardStyle HERE. It is invitation only and, after you apply, someone will be in contact with you to discuss next steps.
I did an entire post on Liketoknow.it HERE. We receive a small commission for each sale generated through a purchase made from a link from LTK emails.
As a blogger, once you are affiliated with rewardStyle, you will be able to use the LTK service for you Instagram posts.
If you have any questions about best Instagram + Liketoknow.it practices, consider coming to the event discussed at the end of this post.
I keep it sweet and simple:
Thank you so much for reaching out in regard to a partnership. I have reviewed your website and social media channels and, after much thought, decided that I am unable to move forward. I appreciate your interest very much and wish you and your company all the best!
There are so many questions that I receive weekly about blogging. You all submitted over 150 questions back in February when I opened this up to y’all at the same time I was taking questions for my Birthday Q&A.
I was asking my friends Ashley Robertson, from The Teacher Diva, and Katey McFarlan, of Chronicles of Frivolity if they get a lot emails about blogging, as well, and they said the same thing. So many of you want to know how to do what we do and we simply don’t have the extra time to get back to everyone and really give you the undivided, one-on-one consulting that you’re looking for. We all agreed that we feel so bad. We want to be a resource for y’all and have been brainstorming the best way to go about doing that while also being efficient with everyone’s time.
With that said, we have decided to hold an event in Dallas on Wednesday, April 6th from 6:00 to 8:00pm at 316 Design Source. There will be bubbles, light bites and lots of major door prizes [$200 gift card to Nordstrom, our favorite skincare and jewelry, as well as a photoshoot with Katey’s Dallas-based photographer]. We will also be sharing our personal stories and what we have learned about finding our niche market and how we got to know our reader. We will give you our tips on how to stand out in an over-saturated market and answering your very specific blogging questions to help you meet your goals faster! More than anything, we are excited to have a fun girls night, get to know you while also giving back to the community. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas.
For anyone else who is not able to come, I’m going to be creating a survey to see if this is something that you would be interested in us bringing to a city near you! I am hoping to get that put together this week because we realize this is not the solution for EVERYONE but we do hope that this event goes well because we’d love to do more of them if it serves a good number of people well!
You can purchase tickets HERE.
Please email me if you have any questions! Looking forward to hearing from you and I hope this post was helpful in even a small way for some of you! xo.