Be a better blogger (tips and tricks) + Fringe feels in this Tobi number

Oh hi! How was the weekend? What did you do? Anything fun?

I had the perfect mix of friends, being productive and actually had some alone time (GASP).

I also volunteered at this event Sunday and I heard some stories that literally had me in tears. Full details on that to come! I also recorded a lot for The Almost 30 Podcast and let me tell you, I was laughing so much at some points. If you haven't listened, you must! 

But for now, writing about blogging today! The crazy world of BLOGGING!

So many bloggers, so many blogs so little time.

I think the one question I get, EVERY single day about blogging, is,

"So how do you make money then?"

Not everything in life needs to make you money. Ya know? 

But it does make me money (as with other bloggers) and ya gotta love people for being curious! 

So, it's affiliate links, sponsorships and other weird ways. As an example and this is a serious LOL, I work with a company in Japan to give them fashion videos weekly. I record things I've bought and am interested in, and they pay me enough to cover my rent each month. It's truly a GIFT. 

I know people that do social media freelancing, photography, styling, editing, and writing guest posts to also make an income. There are so many ways! Of course, they all take time, but that's part of the job.

Stuff like that. Through being in the world of blogging, marketing and social media now I've learned some things from people way smarter than me.

Blogging tips and tricks. In the most random order, EVER. I've written some really helpful things that I've learned growing Hundred Blog for the past 1+ years. 


Tips for bloggers: 

First, if you have a blog and are looking to make money through brand sponsorship's. I think that having calls with brands, is so KEY. 

I have been suggesting that instead of doing everything via email, that I hop on the phone with a brand and speak with them. I make sure to ask:

  • What are their goals for this year from a marketing perspective?
  • Who is their ideal audience?
  • How can I best partner with them?

This allows me to really connect with them and to chat in much more detail about what I can do for THEIR BRAND not just for me. I did this last week with a brand I use and love, and now we are working together on another full post, Instagram takeover, and giveaway for 10 of my readers. Without treating this company like a client, I wouldn't have gotten so much out of this partnership!

For brands that don't pay, I ask them to post my photo on their Instagram (which can have hundreds of thousands of followers). This gives me visibility, and promotes my brand, in a way that works really well for me and makes it worth it! 

If you love a brand, and they don't have 'budget' (even though most do!) I think it's good to start that relationship, so them value 10x and get your foot in the door to lead to a paid sponsorship later.

Pinterest

I made my pinterest business account so I can see which pins do well and which don't. This allows me to understand which articles or photos are best, and what I should do more of. This is totally free to do! My best performing pin? The one with Justin :) 'Tips on Living with your Boo'

I also made my Instagram account a business account so I can now gather analytics. 

Looking at the numbers or 'insights' on instagram can helpful for anyone really. It' tells you what posts did the best so you can post at better times, and see which posts your followers like!

Add your blog pages to 'Stumbleupon' to get traction and readers that way. it's helpful to share your content with people who may not read it, It's simple, you can do it here

Make your media kit a page on your blog, so you can keep it up to date with your statistics.

I have mine here, and it's password protected. I share this with brands that I am talking to. It allows me to stay up to date (to the week) with my numbers (vs. a PDF may be hard to keep current).

Also, everything else is digital. Why wouldn't this be?

Shoot with different photographers.

I love my girl Danika, but I also learn a lot when I shoot with different photographers. I learn about timing, light, composition of photos, and the varying perspective really helps my content. 

Avoid multitasking! I feel like I try to do that, and it just takes me longer to get what I need to get done, done. Try to focus your time, using something like a time cube, so you can accomplish what you've set out to do. 

Learn to say no to things that don't vibe with you. Lately I've really changed my opinion on being gifted stuff, and really don't accept anything free anymore that I don't love already. It makes me feel obligated to post or write about the product, and if I'm not obsessed with it, I don't want to feel like I have to share with you (and be dishonest!)

Snapchat and Instagram Stories: Do them both, and mix it up. For me, I plan to do sponsored stuff on Instagram stories (because my audience is bigger) and then keep my snapchat personal and more real. 

Take time off: If you need it, give it to yourself so you can come back more creative, focused and still in love with blogging. 

Utilize these apps that I wrote about in a previous post. 

Share updates that are personal and authentic. I've found that the more true I am to myself. The more people connect with me. 

When working with brands, numbers are important, but if you’re able to show a brand why you’re valuable to them, they will want to work with you. This all comes down to how well you can package yourself while being honest. The best partnerships are as much about organic integration and unique content creation as they are about sales.

GMAIL has Canned Responses for things, and they are a game changer for your emails. Read about conquering your inbox here

Save photos for Instagram in a specific folder so you can access them when you need content. 


Shop this look:

Black Tobi Fringe Dress (size down it felt big on me! I usually wear an M but this was really big)

Nasty Gal Strappy Heels

My Willows Shades

Turquoise Necklace (I usually just get these simple necklaces from Etsy! Super cheap too!)

Gold Midi Rings

Dior Lip Addict Maximizer


Oh, and if you're thinking about starting your own blog? Let me know! I'd love to chat with you and brand strategize. 

Also, DO IT! Don't be afraid and trust that there will be people out there that support and LOVE what you do. 

For me, my blog is the blog that I want to see in the world. My podcast (Almost 30) is the Podcast that I want to hear. That's it! 

OKAY YOUR TURN! 

What are some tips? What have I missed? We should share!

Have the best week! Loving you!

xoxo

Krista

 

Blog updates and the apps I use + babe feels in this Tobi dress

Oh hi!

How are ya guys? How was the weekend?

Summer is FLYING. We resigned our lease at our apartment - YAY. I got to work on some things, and hung with friends. For the most part, laid low. I leave for Chicago on Wednesday so preppin' until then!

So, I wouild love to use this post as a conversation starter because I feel like I learn the most from you.

I've wanted to talk in general about blogging. 

Some of the changes I've made to my blog and some apps I've used that are really helping me lately. 

This will cover helpful tips, apps, and just some updates on my end. I would LOVE to hear what you're doing differently or what you're noticing in the industry or blogging community. I want this to be helpful, but also a conversation between us :) 

First tho. I want to share this off the shoulder black dress from Tobi, because it's the BOMB. I mean, these pictures though? My girl Danika really killed this shoot.

It's super soft, you can dress it up and down, and it's becoming a go-to. I can wear it to the beach as a cover-up or out at night.

Or, by a door for a photoshoot - hehe.



Thoughts on social/blogging right now:

In general I do notice how 'crowded; the space is. Everyone and their mom has a blog.

Which if you think about it, is cool. I love that people are getting more comfortable expressing themselves, and I always remember (when people try to point out competition) that what makes each blog different is the person that's creating it. YOU are the differentiator.

I've been meeting with new bloggers on a coaching basis, and it's been really nice to discuss brand strategy and the creation of their vision. I have a goal in the future to create a coaching service or business that helps babes launch their business or blog of their dreams.

The common theme I've noticed here, is that we're all creative beings with something to express and it's becoming less of a stigma to do a blog overall. 


For Hundred Blog:

I have removed ads that I was using via Google AdSense. I don't think the amount I made from the ads was worth the look aesthetically.

For monetizing I'd rather stick to sponsorships and affiliate links. I noticed on the blogs I really loved, it was super clean and really focused on them, which I liked.



For Instagram, I've been struggling with keeping it authentic, keeping it real and to keep it looking aesthetically pleasing.

Anyone else with me here?

I want to post photos sometimes but the quality is meh, and I think when you make your Instagram more your brand you move away from personal posts. Which is interesting. I really loved what Jordan of The Balanced Blonde wrote on this here.

Right now I am seeing my blog as my way to share or a creative outlet I want. I don't want to compromise my posts and share a brand that I don't vibe with. Yes it's going to make me money, and I definitely work for that, but forcing it to be something before it's ready isn't the best thing to do.

I'd rather do, few sponsored posts, that are with brands I really love, and start a genuine lasting partnership with brands I'm into.

Like, SoulCycle for example. A brand I LOVE, and a partnership that makes actual sense. 

I'm struggling right now, actually with this because I made a commitment to a brand that I loved. But when I did more research on the product, and unfortunately, they animal parts, that I'm not cool with. 

But it's a struggle bloggers have, and as you become more conscious it gets more challenging to find brands that fully align with what's good (for you and the planet).

More updates on that later.



To the good-good. Apps I use:

  • UNUM: is my FAVORITE app for putting my Instagram together before I post. It allows you to add photos so you can see your 'squares' together. It's helped me to create a MUCH more cohesive Instagram. I love it - and it's free.
  • Followers App:This app allows you to see who has unfollowed you or who isn't following you back. I don't use it THAT often, but I do check once a week what's happening with my followers count.
  • Aviary: For photo editing, I use it to brighten up my pictures and increase the vibrance.
  • Evernote: Where I put all my ideas and all the craziness when I think about things I want to do!
  • Calendars Plus: A good calendar app to use - there are so many but this one is nice!
  • WhenToGram: Helps you analyze when to post that amazing gram of your back on top of the hike you did this weekend (hehe GUILTY)
  • Buffer: Buffer lets you schedule out your posts for across the board. This really helps if your swamped for time!
  • LaterGram: Let's you schedule out your Instagrams. So key for making sure to be consistent. Being consistent with my Instagram is definitely what got me into the thousands of followers, and now about 12k.
  • Hundred Blog: I mean DUH. I need to rep for my app! I definitely use it to browse hehe.

What's next:

Adding Emoticode to my snaps so that I can link products that way. This allows you to shop snaps via Shopstyle, and it's being used by some of the big bloggers like Gal Meets Glam and Fashion Lush.

More meeting with brands and other bloggers in person. This is really everything. It's the best way to meet people who have a common interest to you, and there's nothing better than meeting new friends. I've LOVED getting to know people in this community, it inspires me everyday.

Cleaning up my travel guides. I mean some of those have some whack photos in there! I want to make this page much more attractive. 

Getting a virtual assistant to help with things. If you know anyone that does social media and has VA experience - holler at ya girl!

More giveaways and things that I can do with readers. I LOVE doing giveaways, it's free product for you and I want to give you guys as much as the good stuff as much as possible.

Anything I missed? If ya have feedback I'm all ears!


Now your turn. What do you have going on blogging wise? I'd love to see and hear what you're doing as you evolve. I know we're all at different places in blogging, but it's always good to hear tips and tricks from each other!

I'd also LOVE if you shared your favorite apps. Any that I missed? 

IMG_1438.JPG

Let me know, I love chatting with you!

Off to the week. Exciting news to share with you soon too! August will be a good one.

xoxo

Krista

BABEALICIOUS CHOKERS. A delicate and unique way to up your details game.

Hi friends! 

Welcome back from da weekend :) hoping your relaxed and the week flies by. 

Before we get into actual life today, can we discuss a little bit of accessories fashion? 

Anything to delay the day...!

 The last time I was wearing a choker, I had a stretchy choker that looked like a temporary tattoo around my neck for like 6 months. I never took it off.

Sun, wind, rain.

This shit stayed on.

I'm pretty sure my tight stretchy choker broke at a sleepover with my cousins at our lake house - LOL.

(We had matching chokers that we kept on for as long as possible OBVI). 

Chokers of 2016 are different than stretchy barbed wire styling. They may be the BABEST thing out there. Maybe it's the fact that they make the neck look super long, or that it draws attention to the neck, clavicle and chest. Whatever it is, it's just enough sexy.

Delicate and light, they're BADASS and I'm in loveeeee.

Need more convincing? 

Gigi...Kendall...and North WEST are wearing them.

(North West, is probably not wearing it by choice. But, whatever).

Harpers Baazar is talking about it, saying:

It's a trend that's been creeping back thanks to an overall '90s resurgence. The choker, of the velvet, metal, rhinestone or leather variety, has been seen on the necks of models-off-duty, everyday cool girls and, of course, North West as of late. See who's setting the trend and shop the necklaces—slip dress accompaniment optional.

It's truly a cool girl thing to do. 

Oh and P.S this will be EVERYWHERE at Coachella. I'm writing a Coachella post for later this week, so stay tuned!

I've got all the chokers you'll ever need this season, linked below and my favorite from Nasty Gal. WOOO!

(The best brands right now for them are Nasty Gal, Urban Outfitters and Free People).



Shop Similar Looks:

Cute right? So chic!

What's your favorite way to wear the choker? They have such crazy ones now, with fringe, metal and fabric, studs....would love to know if I missed any!

Also how was the weekend? I kept it super low key and really just worked on da bloggy blog. I hope you had a good, one! 

Chat soon,

xo
Krista