Questions about blogging
Q: I’d love to start a blog. Do you have any advice?
That’s great! Whenever I am asked this question, my brain immediately goes to one of my favorite quotes:
Don’t talk about it, be about it.
The best way to start a blog is … to start a blog. Whether it be on Blogger or Squarespace, it doesn’t matter. Just start somewhere. I literally had no idea what I was doing when I started Sequins & Things and I didn’t follow any blogs. There was a huge learning curve but I was determined, motivated and worked hard to figure out whatever I needed to know. Google helped me with almost every single question I had back then and is still my ‘go to.’
The hardest part is probably figuring out how YOU are going to make a unique mark within this industry with your blog. I’d suggest following YOUR passion in order to find your ‘niche.’ There’s so much to be admired out there in other influencers but I think we all have something special to offer people around the world, so follow whatever it is that makes you different and sets you apart and share that with everyone!
Invest in a DSLR camera or a nice mirrorless camera that has a manual setting because content is king in the blogging world!
Take a photography class or watch photography YouTube videos to help you learn how to take photos in the manual setting. Automatic just won’t cut it.
Learning how to edit your own photos in Photoshop or Lightroom would also be helpful, however, if you have a photography partner from the beginning like I have, you might be able to get by without that skill set.
I also encourage you to reach out to fellow bloggers that are starting out, too, and build friendships. It’s helpful to have other gals in your corner going through the same thing.
One of the most important pieces of advice that I have is …
… make sure to start for the right reasons. My blog came about as an extension of what I was already sharing with my audience on Instagram. It was more work, but I was motivated by my passion for creating, sharing and connecting with other women with similar interests … even if it was super small. I didn’t find out blogs could generate an income until almost a year after starting mine, so when I hear girls say they want to start a blog because of the income you can make — it’s hard to wrap my mind around. Sure, it was a really nice realization and incentive — I mean, isn’t it everyone’s dream for a career to come out of the things you’re the most passionate about doing? — but it was never my motivation. So, make sure you’re passionate about blogging for what it is, even the not so glamorous things [i.e. accounting and taxes – ew!] because money will never make you happy in the long run.
My last piece of advice is to HAVE FUN, BE YOURSELF and BE PATIENT. Don’t focus on the numbers or being ‘the biggest’ or ‘the best’. Just do you. No one else can be the creative that you are, so share original content and have fun creating it. If you’re being genuine and authentic, in time, people will gravitate towards you and want to follow along as you go.
Q:What do you love most about blogging?
I love that the outfits I share with you could potentially make you feel better about yourself when you walk out the door, if you happen to buy part of that outfit for yourself.
I love that my travel diaries and packing guides could potentially take some stress out of traveling abroad and make planning your well-deserved vacation a little easier.
I love that sharing my faith has encouraged so many of you and / or has opened your eyes to exploring a relationship with Christ.
I love that you trust me enough to send me emails sharing what you’re struggling with, whether it be loss or singleness, both of which you know I know well. I do not take the privilege lightly.
I also love the flexibility this profession has given me. I consider myself an ironic mix of a human being. I’m right brained and left brained – almost evenly. I’m a procrastinating perfectionist. I’m very Type A but there are some days when I switch to a more Type B personality. Consistency is something that’s extremely important in this industry yet it’s something I truly can struggle with just depending on the day. This is why taking the Enneagram test and learning that I am a type 9, the Peacemaker, has been so enlightening. It has put language to this odd mix and made me feel like I’m not so crazy, hah! It’s also given me a deep appreciation for the flexibility that exists within blogging and working for yourself. It doesn’t necessarily give me permission to be lazy because I’m the furthest thing from that but it’s given me the opportunity to work the way I need to work in order to stay sane. It’s also allowed me to be home with Fish and adopt a second dog, Chips.
So, there are SO many things that I love about this profession and I look forward to discovering new things to love as the days go on! 🙂
Q:What’s your least favorite thing about blogging?
I am definitely not a numbers person so, although a necessary evil, the accounting / tax side of owning your own business is the furthest thing from fun in my opinion. I also don’t enjoy anonymous haters’ comments. [I mean, who would enjoy that, really?] I realize I put myself out there and there will be judgement but, if you don’t like what you’re seeing … be a decent human being. Unfollow and leave quietly. The misconception that blogging is ‘easy’ or that blogging is just some fake profession are also up there on the least favorite things about blogging list.
Q:How do you make money from your blog?
There are a few different ways bloggers can make money and I can’t pretend to know all of the ways, but I will share how Alyson Haley generates an income.
NOTE: Not all of the links that you see on the blog are affiliate links and the affiliate link network does not affect what I choose to feature on the blog. I ONLY share items that I truly love, whether I make a commission or not.
- BRAND PARTNERSHIPS: Another way Alyson Haley generates an income is through brand partnerships that are set up directly with a brand or through agencies. Agencies are companies that are essentially the middle man between me and the brand, who have campaign managers who essentially manage the campaign for the brand and acts as the middle-man between the brand and the influencer. Before the campaign begins, they help both parties work out a deal that is mutually beneficial and throughout the campaign, they ensure everything is running smoothly and the influencer is upholding their end of the contract. Last week’s post with Nordstrom was a brand partnership, which is indicated through the disclosure at the end of the post.
- ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES: There are many different ways to make an income through advertising on a blog, and I can’t begin to act as though I know them all. One time, a company asked if they could use the imagery I created for a previous campaign with them for their own online advertising. We worked out a deal that worked for both parties and set a time limit on how long they could use the content. I’m comfortable assuming that there are many other ways to generate an income through advertising, though.
Q:What is LiketoKnow.it? What do you choose to use it?
LIKEtoKNOW.it was created by the tech geniuses within rewardStyle. It is a free app and email system that allows you to shop my Instagram photos through screenshot technology. I choose to use it because I believe it’s beneficial for both you guys and myself! It’s free for you guys, which is a huge incentive, and it answers the burning question “Where is that from!?” It’s proven to be the best way to share outfit details with everyone while also giving me the ability to either finish some other work that needs to get done, nurture some of my personal relationships with family and friends or just do normal things, like cook myself a meal or clean my house 🙂 I always wants to give everyone what they need but, without LIKEtoKNOW.it, I would seriously LIVE on my phone answering the same questions over and over.
If it wasn’t so easy to use then I definitely wouldn’t promote it or use it as much but it truly is the easiest app to navigate! Be sure to follow me on the app to ensure that you don’t miss any of the outfits I share. I’ll also be sharing exclusive content on the app … just for those of you who choose to follow me over there!
Q:Who takes your photos?
It depends on where I am!
In London, I shoot with Victoria.
In Dallas, I shoot with Angie.
Q:What kind of camera do you use for your blog photos? What lenses?
Even though I have photographers take a lot of my blog photos, I am really interested in photography so I have learned how to use a DSLR camera and keep a couple at home for shoots that I do at home, as well as for my travels.
At home, I typically use a Canon 5D Mark iii. In terms of lenses, I have a Canon 24-70 Zoom lens, which I typically use for travel, and a Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens that is great for flat lays, interior shots and outfit photos! They are both amazing lenses. Highly recommend!
While traveling, I used to bring the Canon with me. However, it is quite heavy, especially with the travel lens I normally shoot with, so I have tested out quite a few mirrorless cameras over the course of 2017. Overall, I love this Sony full-frame mirrorless camera with THIS lens. I would highly recommend this camera for people who are familiar with how to shoot in manual mode. If you need something that takes great photos, has a manual feature, but you mostly shoot in automatic, THIS is a good mirrorless camera that is more affordable.
Q:What program(s) do you use to edit your blog photos?
Ever since I started blogging, I’ve worked with photographers who have taken care of the editing aspect of the photography you see here on the blog. My photographers use either Photoshop or Lightroom, depending on their personal preference.
Q:What program(s) do you use to make your collages/style boards?
I use a program called SnagIt. This program is such a dream! It’s easy to use, allows me to make quality style boards and is such a great deal. Plus … you get to try it for a month for free!
Let’s get personal.
Where do you live?
Atlantic Beach, FL
Q:How tall are you?
Q:What size are you?
In tops, I usually wear an XS but if an XXS is available, I size down because that usually means the garment runs big.
In bottoms, I wear either a 24 or 00. If a 23 is available in a pair of jeans, I order that size because that usually means that the garment runs big.
In dresses, I wear a 00. If petite sizing is available, I typically purchase the smallest petite size.
In shoes, I wear a 6.5.
Where do you go to get your hair done?
I go to Sami at RIO Hair Studio. Let her know I sent you for a special discount on your first appointment with her!
What curling iron/wand do you use?
I use a L’ange Ondulé Curling Wand 1.25” Titanium Wand. If you click HERE, you will receive 50% off your purchase on L’ange’s website! I’d recommend their Lustré Curling Wand, only because it has an automatic turn off setting as well as a protective end-cap that prevents accidental burns. Just my personal opinion! I’m looking to switch to that one!
Can you do a hair tutorial?
I’ve done a couple!
Do you ever hire interns?
At the moment, I am not looking to hire interns.
Why did you leave nursing?
I worked really, really hard to become a nurse and, although I find it to be a truly honorable profession, I decided to walk away because I enjoyed working on the blog so much! Check out my goodbye letter to nursing HERE.
Who made the little framed images of Fish & Chips?
They are actually from different artists! Amanda Capshaw Art did the one of Fish. However, when we contacted her to do one of Chips, she never responded, even after multiple follow up messages. So, I have no idea if she is even still in business even though her Etsy shop is still open. And, then, Chips’ was done by Seedy Studios! Both ladies did such a great job!
Where did you get the large acrylic calendar in your office?
My wall calendar is from GirlFridayAcrylics! I love it so much!