Last week I asked on IG stories if you had any questions about blogging, and these are the first I’m answering in a new blogger series over on my Youtube channel! I’m excited to start a conversation with y’all about blogging to see what video content you would be interested in for this series. I also hope to clarify any questions you have related to blogging! If you have any other questions, just write them in a comment below or send me a DM on Instagram and I’ll answer them in future content. Be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel and hit the notification button to not miss any of my videos. I’m so close to 1,000 subscribers and it’s my goal for April, yay!
Something I didn’t expect with blogging?
To be honest, when I started my blog I had no idea I would still be doing it years later. I was definitely uncomfortable putting myself out there and needed encouragement from husband, Tim. I would probably guess I wouldn’t still be blogging if it wasn’t for him and all his help with my content! I also didn’t expect to be contacted from other brands and working with brands that I’ve always loved. I definitely didn’t start my blog with the intention to get free products or to make it my job one day.
How did you grow your blog?
When asked this question, it was kind of hard for me to not compare myself to the growth I’ve seen from other bloggers. I’ve blogged for 4.5 years, so my growth doesn’t seem inspiring by any means to me. Especially when I see new bloggers grow to 100k on Instagram in like 6 months. That just seems unreal to me! Maybe it is unreal, maybe it’s authentic, but I’m trying to stay in my own lane here. Recently, I have had more successful growth with my blog by switching up the content I’ve been sharing. Less fashion posts and more topics that I would be interested in hearing a voice from. My more successful posts have been tutorials, reviews, and monthly favorite types of post. I think creating content that people are googling will help you gain traffic and an audience. Having great content will get people to your blog but also keep them coming back!
I also think focusing on Pinterest during the last year has made a difference as well. I signed up for a free trial with Tailwind last year and noticed a BIG jump in my blog traffic. Pinterest is like a fine wine, it only gets better with age and old content can stay relevant as long as people are pinning it. If you’re wondering what Tailwind is, it’s a pin scheduling tool where you can schedule out Pins during your most popular times. It also offers pretty valuable analytics that you can dive into to see what content is working the best. If you sign up through my link, we both will get 1 free month.
How do you manage/prepare new content for your blog?
I keep a running sticky note on my MacBook filled with topics I may want to cover. If not, I would completely forget some of the content ideas I’ve thought of. Sometimes, I even text myself a few thoughts about something or I write it down in my google calendar if it’s a good idea to post around a certain time of year.
I can only shoot on the weekends, and that can definitely be limited throughout the month because I feel like in Georgia it likes to rain only on the weekends! When it’s nice and I feel motivated, I try to take advantage and shoot a few different topics. My husband, Tim, takes the photos of me with a little direction on what I’m wanting, then I edit them on Lightroom. I’ll go into detail on my editing method in the future and I would love for Tim to share his point of view taking my photos and how it has developed over the years.
After I have the photos edited, I typically open a draft of the post that has already had a few bullet points I wanted to include and I finish a rough draft of the post. I typically take a few days to make sure I’m happy with it and I usually just post it the following day. I don’t really stick to a strict editorial calendar, but I’m thinking about trying it out to keep me more consistent.
How has your blog evolved over time?
I can think of a few ways my blog has changed throughout the years! I’m sure this question will have my older content getting a little more page view love, haha. Makes me kinda cringe but you have to start somewhere.
My content has changed a bit throughout my years of blogging, but I think my typical style has remained the same. I used to post more fitness related content and started a series called WOW: Workout Wednesdays, where I shared a new workout every Wednesday. This helped me stay consistent and it was relatively quick and easy for me to put together during the middle of the school week. It’s now been years since I’ve even mentioned fitness on my blog.
Once I started trying out outfit posts, they all started from my iphone4 and Tim’s iphone5. I did very little editing on a website called Pixlr, which looking back was way more complicated than what I use now. But for almost 2 years I blogged with only an iPhone, so don’t feel like you have to wait until you can afford the best equipment.
How do you make money blogging?
I will go into more detail in a later video, but there are different outlets bloggers use to make money. To be honest, I get really stressed out when it comes to contracting sponsored post, so I haven’t really prioritized that as my income at this point. But sponsored content is the most lucrative form of income in the blogging industry. If you’re wondering what a sponsored post is, it’s basically where a brand and blogger set up a contract to share a product or service on their social channels. Every sponsorship will have different requirements depending on the payment and how many social channels the blogger will share it on. This type of work doesn’t necessarily mean the brand dictates what the blogger wants to say about it, but I know most of the brands want to approve the post before they go live.
I primarily make a side income from using affiliate links. That lets me have 100% say in what I share and don’t share here on my blog. I use Reward Style (LiketoKnowit) to monetize most of the links you click-through on my blog. If you buy after clicking my link then I get a specific percentage back. The affiliate company also gets their cut of it, too. I usually make anywhere from .75 cents to $15 on purchases based on how much the order was and what the brand and affiliate company has contracted percentage wise.
What would you do differently?
I wish I started on WordPress from the get-go or at least made the switch from blogger sooner than I did. I recently switched a few months ago and finally purchased my domain name and it feels so much more official. I’ve also noticed a big jump in my page views and I think the new space has pushed me to create better content.
I also wish I had kept all my social channels consistent in names. When starting out, I switched some of my personal accounts to my blog name and on some social channels, Strawberry Chic wasn’t available. I improvised with other additions like strawberrychicxo on my Instagram. I definitely regret that, because many brands reach out to me with that name or put it in contracts like StrawberryChicxo. Ugh. When I got married, I switched most of my social channels to xoAmandaJohn except for my blog Facebook and Instagram. It definitely still needs to be consistent throughout, but for now I don’t want to mess any of the links up.
What advice do you have for new bloggers?