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

Reveal your creativity with Big Magic + my favorite summer uniform

Hi you! Happy Monday!

Glad you're here :) 

How are ya? How was the weekend? What did you do?

TBH, lately I've been capital B BORING.

I am super heads down working and trying to make things happen with the blog. I have friend time in between, but right now, in this season of my life, I need to really focus on what's in front of me.

Connecting with you through this blog medium right here.

(Or these here!)

So, Monday is back, baby. Here we are!

I wanted to write on two things.

 First, this jumpsuit. I'm not always into writing a straight-up fashion post, so I'll be brief. But this thing is THE BOMB.

Comfortable. All black. Bell bottom with lace-up sides. I LOVE this thing. I wear it every date night and it's super comfortable.

Plus it's on sale for $31 freaking dollars. 



Second, as we check the mornings email (potentially depressed from the thought of another week) it's a good time to think about joy, and finding creativity this week.

Big Magic, the book by Elizabeth Gilbert is all about that. 

For real though, ya'll need to read this book.

For the creatives or non-creatives, the message is applicable to anyone and everywhere.

(Especially my blogger friends!)

Big Magic is a reference to living a more creative existence, period.

From my perspective, it's removing the pressure we place on creativity. Making space to be creative without having an end goal. Bringing more joy back into it.

Every single one of us has the ability to be more creative. To live in less fear (of what people think, of failing, of looking stupid...) and live in more joy. 

It's applicable to Monday especially, because being creative doesn't mean your quitting your job and going all in on your passion sometimes. 

Your creative outlet, doesn't need to pay the bills or be validated by others. It only needs to feel good for YOU.

Whatever it is, if it's bringing you joy, that is enough.

Often we see glorified stories of people quitting their jobs, refinancing their houses and finding overnight success with a major innovative idea.

But that may not work for everyone. Being creative isn't only going zero or hundred. 

(See what I did there).

There's a place for everyone to be creative, and for creativity to do something for you that doesn't have to radically change your life. 

A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.
— Big Magic

We can find creativity in small actions. Creating, because it brings you joy.

Nothing more, nothing less. 

 For a bit more on the actual book, This book review from The New York Times, explains it well. 


Big Magic” is broken into six sections: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. Gilbert wonders in the first,

“Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? . . . The hunt to uncover those jewels — that’s creative living.” If the creativity inside of you has not burrowed deeper than ever before upon hearing itself referred to as a “treasure” and “jewels,” it is more stalwart than mine.

But Gilbert spends much of the book coaxing out even the shyest creativity with a kind of extended pep talk: Creativity is inside all of us, it should be expressed, and it is not selfish or crazy or foolish to do so — it is, in fact, the best way to live a satisfying life. Gilbert’s advice reads like a positive fortune cookie: a nice surprise you will forget once the taste of won tons has faded from your mouth. Creativity is “your birthright as a human being”; “Even if you grew up watching cartoons in a sugar stupor from dawn to dusk, creativity still lurks within you”; “You are not required to save the world with your creativity.
— Villa Paskin, The New York Times

Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.
— Big Magic

I know what I want from life doesn't have a linear path to follow. 

Reading the book helped to normalize and affirm a belief that I am a creative being. It also reminded me that I need to be kind to my creativity.

Being creative has brought me joy, and allowed me to express myself in a way that helps me to lead a more fulfilling life. It's allowed me to feel more like 'myself' than ever before. It's made my existence feel UNIQUE and special. Because only I can do what I do. Yes there are SO many other bloggers, but the fact that it's me writing Hundred, makes all the difference.

Which goes the same for your life. Only YOU can bring your own unique perspective, experience, ideas, enthusiasm and spice to whatever it is you are called to do.

You can do it without quitting your job, and you can do it because creativity is inside of all of us. It doesn't make you selfish or weird or crazy. You can take a photography class once a week. You can take up painting after dinner (maybe instead of Netflix). You could start making your own jewelry! There are so many ways to add a bit of creativity to your life. 

Thus, adding a bit more joy.

It's just the best way to lead a satisfying life.

Isn't that what we all want anyway?


But back to you.

What do you think? Have you read the book?

What are your current creative outlets? I'd LOVE to know how you find joy in expressing yourself. it could give good ideas to others! 

I find this blog to completely fulfill me in that way. It's photography, editing, writing, connecting, design....so many things!


You could also consider fashion, or dressing yourself as an expression of your creativity. Cooking, writing, photography, painting, ice-skating, dancing by yourself at the bar....

It's endless!

Guys, jumpsuits and inspired ramblings on this Monday. 

LIFE.

Cannot wait to hear what you think! Let a sister KNOW.

xoxo

Krista