Have you ever wondered what it is fashion bloggers do, exactly? Let me tell you, It's not just about getting free clothes and vacations! I am prepared to spend a few days writing and re writing this post because there is so much info about blogging, I wanted my readers to know what it is for me and why your support is the only thing making this possible.
First and foremost, you have to understand that blogging is a business. For a lot of people it is just a hobby, but for most, it is a way of bringing in income. There are different ways of bringing that in, which I am going to share, but the biggest way is through sponsored content. What is sponsored content? It is when a brand and an influencer (me) come together in a partnership that is beneficial to both parties. Generally, a brand will offer free product in exchange for advertisement of said product. However, most influencers charge on top of getting the product. This is just a form of advertisement and brands are starting to realize that influencers are the way to go. TV advertisements, billboards, newspaper ads, they are pretty much a thing of the past and social media is on the up.
As an influencer, I am approached by countless brands every week. I answer every single email I get from a brand, but I do not always say yes. Yes, I am turning down money. Why would I do that? Because I want to stay true to who I am and to my readers. Before moving forward with any partnership, I check out the brand's website, look at their products, read their story. I ask myself, "would my readers appreciate this? does it fit in line with my brand and what TBL is about?" If either one of those gets a no, then I send a polite email telling them I am going to have to pass. Is it hard to turn down money? Absolutely! But I want to reiterate that this blog is so much more to me than the money! It is place where women can come and feel inspired, beautiful, and loved. That is my goal. To help YOU, not just myself. Know that if I share a new brand, it is because I absolutely love it and think you will too, I believe in what they are trying to do, and I've spent countless hours researching and yes, even praying about my decision!
If you follow any bloggers on any form of social media, then you may think all we care about is pretty, perfect pictures and how many likes we get. As I said above, blogging is a business and social media platforms are our way of advertisement. Social media is generally the first spot companies see your work, so the goal is to make a good first impression. Clean, aesthetically pleasing, professional photographs are what brands like to see. However, they also like to see true engagement. They want to see that your followers are liking and commenting on your stuff. They want to see that your readers care about your opinion and the content you are putting forward. This is why our community of readers is the most important part of our business. That's right, we could not do what we do without you! I am so beyond grateful for every one of you that reads, likes, comments, subscribes, and leaves feedback on my work. I want to build a community that loves what I create as much as I love creating it, not just because it could get me more partnerships with brands, but because I care about the people of this world. And while fashion blogging may seem a petty way to show that, I know from experience how much our appearance can affect us and I truly feel called to this blogging thing. Man, I could go on and on about that but let's not get too sidetracked! Just know you are beautiful, I care about you, and I love when you engage with my content!
So, if you absolutely love a blogger, (or brand!), make sure to let them know! Engage with their content, you'd be surprised how much difference a thoughtful comment it can make in our day!
Like To Know It
If you follow me, or any other bloggers, on Instagram, then you may have seen a lot about liketoknow.it. What in the world is Like To Know It? It is a way for me to link all the products in my photo so that you can easily get the links to it. Whether you are interested in buying, browsing, or just want some info, liketoknow.it makes it easy for you to get access to the direct links. It is an affiliate program, under the parent company of Reward Style. An affiliate program means that any time you click on one of my links and make a purchase, I get a commission off the sale. Affiliate programs are another big way bloggers make money.
How do you use it? 1. Sign up with your email address at liketoknow.it. 2. Any time you see a photo on Instagram with the ltk hyperlink and @liketoknow.it, #liketkit, all you have to do is LIKE the photo and you will get an email sent to you with all the shoppable links. Super easy, and it actually got even easier! Like to know it now has an app (download here) so now all you have to do is, screenshot the like to know it photos, browse the app, or search for your favorite bloggers under the search item.
In review, liketoknow.it makes it easier for you (and me, I totally shop through liketoknow.it!!) to shop products that we see on other influencers and want to have for ourselves or at least check out. It also makes it so much easier for the influencer to share with their followers a direct link to the product. Liketoknow.it is an affiliate program that allows it's user's to make a commission off of the sales made through their affiliate links.
What It Takes
Blogging is serious work. We come up with ideas trying to keep them fresh and applicable to our audience. We turn those ideas into actual posts, creating content for social media, blog posts, videos, you name it! We put together outfits and whatever else needs to go with the content we are planning. Though I usually hire a professional photographer, I still have to show up with planned outfits and model them in whatever the current weather conditions are, I have endured both heat and cold extremes just to make sure I have good content for my readers. Aside from those photos I shoot my own flatlys, edit and design them. I plan an entire month's worth of blog content in advance, keeping it flexible in case new collaborations come up. I plan out my social media accounts so they are aesthetically pleasing and make sense. Market strategy, budgeting, record keeping, social media marketing and strategy, phone calls, emails, business meetings, brand outreach, deadlines... they are all on the list of what we do and need to accomplish. And most of us do it all ourselves, while still doing a 9-5 job (or being an awesome stay at home mom and nanny!! ;)
I hope this brings you some clarity into what it is we bloggers do and what it takes to make it work. A lot of heart, perseverance, and hard work goes into any business, and blogging is a business! (The government still takes our money so they see us as legit ;) The blogging market is large, there are a ton of bloggers out there, so I encourage you to show love to those businesses and bloggers you love. Not only does it help with our businesses, it brings great encouragement to us entrepreneurs!
And again, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to read my content and follow along on this crazy journey! If you've got more questions, or you're a blogger with more tips, feel free to leave them in the comments!
Have a happy and safe 4th!