You asked and I answered! Today, I’m giving you the rundown of everything from fashion blogging advice to Instagram tips, dealing with self doubt, and where I see myself in 5 years.
What first attracted you to blogging?
Like I’ve mentioned in the past, I was first attracted to blogging in 2013 when I wanted to provide the students of University of Montana an opportunity to gain fashion experience. That opportunity ended up being a blog, Trendsetters at The U. After I graduated, I wanted to continue developing my personal brand and style while building a profitable business. Then, I created Hot Dress Hot Mess.
What are your top tips for growing a blog following (Besides being yourself and creating good content)?
Of course being yourself is important. But in order to stand out from an over-saturated sea of bloggers, you have take that a step farther to clearly define who you are as a blogger. For me, “being myself” means being authentic, humorous, honest, and connecting with others. Define what being yourself means and learn how to consistently communicate that on your blog and in social media. People will start following you when they clearly understand who you are and what makes you different.
Finally, understand how to get people who are not in your direct circle to read your blog. You can do this by promoting Facebook posts to new audiences, submitting your posts to Stumble Upon or Reddit, asking your friends to share your posts on social media, commenting on other blogs or using unique hashtags on Instagram.
How do you defeat self doubt or insecurity both in life and as a blogger?
I deal with self doubt and insecurity all the time. But, I’ve learned how to deal with these feelings and move on quickly.
First, adjust your mindset. Insecurity usually happens because you’re comparing yourself to someone else. I can’t speak up because I’m not smart enough or I’m insecure because everyone around me is a 6’ tall model. Although it’s hard, change your mindset to not seeing what you aren’t, but what you are. (Cheesy, but true).
Let it go and go for it! Self doubt destroys opportunities. If you question yourself constantly you’re wasting time and missing out on your own success. Learn how to recognize those feelings, let go, and go for it! Your success and happiness is more valuable than what other people think or what you look like.
How do you organize your blog posts and social media posts?
On the most general level, I organize my blog posts based on trends, seasons, or topics I want to discuss. Beyond that, it’s pretty sporadic. On a weekly basis, I post what I’m inspired to write.
For all my social media accounts, I organize my posts in conjunction with my blog posts. Other than that, my Facebook posts are usually a combination of my blog, Twitter, and Instagram. My Twitter account is never planned and totally my random thoughts, articles I like, or funny memes.
For my Instagram, I plan anywhere from 3-7 days in advance. I use the app Layout to organize the photos so that my grid stays color coordinated and cohesive.
How long did it take you to find your Instagram aesthetic?
Everyone used to always tell me, “Bailey, you need an Instagram aesthetic if you want to gain followers.” But, choosing one look felt very constricting. I decided to instead of choosing one look for my whole feed, start with only posting high quality photos. About 70% of my Instagram photos are professional and the others are from my iPhone. The second factor is that I plan out my grid by 9-16 photos at a time to maintain a certain look. This look is usually maintained by a certain color or style to maintain a cohesive, styled feed. I like maintaining my grid this way because I’m not limited to one certain look or color scheme.
As a blogger, what accomplishment has been your favorite?
Such a tough question! Okay I have two answers.
- I love blogging because I am able to create something I have complete control over. Control freak much? Yeah kind of. But I like that I can take a vision I have and create a real product through fashion, web design, social media or writing.
- I love connecting with other people. This is what keeps me blogging when I start to question myself or get burnt out. I have met some of my closest friends through blogging! Nothing makes me feel better when someone tells me that they connected to something I wrote or purchased something I suggested that makes them feel great.
What are your recommendations for increasing your Instagram fan base and engaging with followers? I just started my blog-dedicated Instagram this year and have felt discouraged about shouting into the social media void.
It’s totally normal to feel this way. To be honest, in the beginning everyone is kind of shouting into a void of selfies and endless hashtags. Engaging with other bloggers and Instagram users is crucial to building a following. I have so many “Instagram friends” who I’ve never met in person but we consistently support each other. Try searching by a location or hashtag to find other bloggers and like & comment on their posts. Soon enough, you be following and supporting one another. As you continue to engage with more people (bloggers or not) you will start growing your audience.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I’ll be 29….gasp! It’s tough for me to predict what I will actually be doing on a day to day basis but I do have an idea of what lifestyle I would like. In 5 years, I hope have turned my blog into a significant portion of my income and to be doing more creative work like styling photo shoots, doing branding for companies, or even freelance writing. I hope in 5 years I’ve seen Greece, Thailand, London, and Cambodia. Finally, I pray I have a Pomeranian….or two.
Shop the Look!
Photos by Jenna Lynn Photography
Like I said, I love connecting with others and I want to hear your suggestions or questions. Email me anytime at email@example.com :)
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