Monday, March 4, 2019

Behind the Blog: Answering the Questions that YOU Submitted

Tampa Bay Florida Blogger sitting in her egg chair on her patio answering blogging questions
Shop items seen in this photo here: http://liketk.it/2Ah1y
Ben swears he sees my face literally light up anytime I talk about my blog. It makes sense right? The things you're passionate about should illuminate your face when you're talking about them. That's part of the appeal. Part of the fuel. Over the course of three years, blogging has truly become something that I'm passionate about. In that amount of time I’ve laughed, cried, gotten frustrated, been over the moon excited, gotten accepted into amazing campaigns, had pitches denied, questioned “why not me”, and learned a whole heckuva lot. More than I really thought I ever could. It’s wild to think that there’s still so much to learn from blogging. It’s more wild to think that people now ask ME how I got to where I am today as a blogger. I’ve answered countless Instagram DMs, some emails on the topic. I spoke on a panel at Tampa Bay Startup Week last month about what it's like to work with brands as a blogger. It blows my mind that I get to share these experiences and lessons I've learned from blogging with people who are interested in hearing it.

A few weeks ago I asked my Instagram followers to submit their blogging questions to me so that I could answer them in an FAQ blog post. I'm no stranger to answering questions from friends, family, and followers on the fly about blogging - so I figured this post would be well received. As you read through my answers I think it's vital to remember that everyone’s blogging/social influencing journey can look a little different. These are methods and ideas that have worked for me. The answers below have been crafted directly from my own experience.

Let's get to it!

How do you get people hooked when you’re first starting out?

I'm not going to lie - it takes time and dedication to build readership. It also takes time to get people to start picking up what you’re putting down on the internet. In the beginning of blogging it’s a lot of trial and error. At times you'll wonder if anyone is reading besides your mom. I look at my posts from three years ago and even though they are SO different than the posts that I put out now - I do notice one overall theme: I’m constantly sharing my life in each post. If I’m talking about an outfit that I love, I’m also talking about how I was feeling that day. If I’m talking about a concert that Ben and I went to, I’m also noting why the artist we saw is so special to me/us. I actually think that transparency and inserting your relatability into a blog post are two of the biggest cornerstones when it comes to blogging. Part of the beauty of being a blogger is connecting with others. The more you can connect and relate to someone through a blog post, the more hooked a reader will be (especially if you’re doing it from the beginning). It shouldn’t feel forced. It should feel completely natural to you. Sharing (and sometimes oversharing) has always felt natural to me. I feel that comes through in my posts. Another big factor in "hooking" readers in the beginning is posting consistently. You should try to post as often as you can without sacrificing quality. Posting once, going radio silent for six months, and then re-emerging with a new blog post probably isn’t going to be the best plan of action when starting out (or really ever, unless you're not trying to build a readership). Even if you can’t find the time for a full on blog post, you should try to connect with your readers via other socials: Instagram, Twitter, etc.

What’s your least favorite thing about blogging?

This question is a toughie. Blogging at times can be a sacrifice and that makes it difficult. It might mean not going out on a Friday night because I have to work on a post due the following Monday. It might mean not being able to veg out after a long day at my 9-5 job, because I have to get photos edited. That sacrifice comes with the territory though. I also don't love SEO, even though I know how important it is for a blog. I'm still trying to learn the ins and outs of it.

What website did you start with for blogging?

Does Xanga count? Haha. I use Blogger for Keeping Up with Kahla. I've actually always used Blogger for the blogs I've had.

How did you get your blog template?

I downloaded my template from pipdig. Love their templates!

What presets do you use for editing?

I use Marina McAvoy’s "Marina's Dream Preset 1", and Aspyn Ovard’s old mobile presets (I don’t know if her new ones are the same as what I'm using though). I also recently purchased Josie Sander’s preset pack to start using too.

How did you grow an engaged following organically? Love your insta and your blog!

Thank you so much! The best thing you can do for growing your readership/following is to be transparent and relatable through your posts. Share your every day life (you'd be surprised at what people can relate to). Provide a solution. Answer reader questions. Respond to comments. Post content that you believe in. It takes a little longer to grow a following this way - but I promise it's the right way to do things. I'm NOT an advocate for buying fake followers, the follow/unfollow method, or any of those fast growth methods. They're not sustainable in the long run. When someone follows you or your blog because they WANT to (not because you followed them first, or because you bought them) that's priceless. You're virtually relaying something to them that they're all in for. That's what you want in an organic following.

How long does it take you to write a blog post?

It truly depends on the blog post for me. Posts like Kahla Currently, or my Spotify Snaphots can be written in under an hour. Other posts can take me days or even weeks to write. Travel guides actually take me the longest because I collect SO much content for them. Even if a post is written, I will go back to tweak words and sentences constantly throughout my drafting process. I structure and restructure my post multiple times before I publish (sometimes even deleting full on paragraphs that I don’t feel “fit” in the post anymore from when I first started writing it). It’s important to me that my blog posts flow and read a certain way. Does it delay my publishing process? Sure. At the end of the day I’m happier to take longer writing a post than to rush and publish something I’m not satisfied with. Writing is only a portion of the process too. There’s still choosing which photos to include, editing said photos, linking items that I want to share, optimizing SEO, double-checking the HTML in a post, etc.

Thank you so much to everyone that submitted questions! Did these answers surprise you? Were they what you were expecting? Let's do this again sometime soon, k?

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4 comments

  1. XANGA! yesss the true sign of a blogger hahaha

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  2. I love how transparent you are! Can’t wait to see you continue to grow ��

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Natalia 😘! Definitely excited for the journey to continue. 🙌🏼

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