It’s officially been one year since I began building my own corner of the internet. While this has been a fun year it also has been a very hard and eye opening year. I’ll start with the good stuff, because well, that’s what I like to focus the most on.
I have met some pretty amazing people and formed a lot of friendships over the last year. Some of these individuals have turned into some of my best friends. I have also participated in some really fun experiences that I would have never gotten the chance to do if it weren’t for blogging and becoming an influencer. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone and created relationships with brands, these things would have never been possible if I hadn’t taken started this journey. I am truly grateful for the friendships, relationships, and experiences that this past year has brought me and I can’t wait for this next year!
But with the good there is always some negatives. I am not writing this for pity or to complain. These are more of lessons that I wish someone would have told me when I started blogging so that either I would know how to navigate through or just avoid them. This is for the girl or guy that wants an honest perspective of how this past year has been.
Lesson: Just because you have a Lit degree and used to knock out 10 page papers in 2 hours, doesn’t mean writing a blog post will come easy.
So yes, I literally could write a 10 page paper in about 2 hours. I also used to write papers for my friends and even classmates. Not something I am particularly proud but we all struggled for extra cash in school at some point, right? I also thought that by becoming a blogger/influencer that I could totally knock out 3 blog posts a week! No problem. HA! If I am being completely honest, writing on my blog has been at the bottom of my priority list. Ever since I began to see traction on my Instagram, my focus shifted and that is where I have posted
the majority – who am I kidding? ALL of my content. So, for year two, my goal is to bounce back and post on here more than just once a month.
Lesson: Just because other girls look nice on Instagram, doesn’t mean they are in real life.
Another learning experience was that just because you plug yourself into a community of bloggers/influencers, doesn’t mean everyone is going to give you a warm welcome or be forth coming to you and your brand. I can’t tell you how many times just in this past year, I have had girls give me the cold shoulder, wait to be approached by me, or act as if they are the celebrity in the room with over 100K followers on Instagram. Since I am not a founder of any community (except for this little corner of the internet) I can pretty much guess that blogging/influencer communities are made with the intensions for everyone to come together, share contacts, and just feed off of each other’s energy. It can be very disheartening to attend an event, or even plan an event and have other girls who are in attendance act as if they are better than you. Excuse my lame Disney Channel reference but what happened to “WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER?” We all want the same thing so why not just be nice to each other and help your fellow sisters out? I can literally count on one hand the girls who have helped me or have actually been nice to me at an event. Just because we are all adults and in a community that is suppose to promote love and encouragement, doesn’t mean that everyone acts like adults or throws love and encouragement around like confetti. It’s really the exact opposite.
However, I would not change my experience with this for anything. Sure, it totally sucks, but you know what, the friends that I have made and myself, are getting more collaborations, followers, and contracts than those other girls.
Lesson: Nothing worth having comes easy, including money.
Alright, I knew this when I started this whole journey and understood that things take time but honestly, what no one tells you is how small the commission is. When my followers shop my links I believe I get somewhere around $1.00 for every $20 spent. I remember when I made my first sale. Someone had bought something off of one of the Gift Guides that I put together over Christmas. I was so excited to see the email from RewardStyle come through! When I clicked over into the app I saw my commission and literally busted out laughing. I made .70 on my first sale. Y’all, when I tell you that I am not in this for the money, I truly mean it. Of course, it would be nice to make great money doing what I love and being able to quit my full-time job and work for myself, however I do not foresee that happening anytime soon. I’d also like to thank those who are reading this and who have shopped my links and made a purchase. You guys are really making my dreams possible because each time I make a sale it helps me to provide more quality content for you. So, thank you so much and I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart. You all are the reason that I do this.
Lesson: The Influencer/Blogging world is NOT for the faint of heart.
I can’t tell you how many times I pitch to a brand or company and I get told no or never even receive an answer. Being told no a lot or not being told anything at all can be draining and discouraging. You have to know that just because someone tells you no or doesn’t respond at all, doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough or that you aren’t big enough. Maybe that brand or company has exceeded their budget for collabs that month. Or maybe they aren’t collabing at the moment. Sure, it would be so much easier and nicer if they just said that in a message but not everyone thinks that way. While there is no guarantee that a brand or company will work with you the best thing to do is be confident. If someone doesn’t want to work with you then treat it as it’s not a no, but more of a “not right now.”
Since were on the subject of being faint of heart. I feel as if it’s my duty to let you know what you might be getting yourself into. Have you ever heard that saying “first they laugh, then they copy.” Yeah, that really happens. Blogging is a lot like high school all over again. Once you find your tribe, stick with them. They are your biggest fans and all the others may not be nice to you but don’t worry, they will be reaching out to your vendors/sponsors trying to get collabs with them as well and even stealing your style. Sure, at first it totally sucks. You’re mad; you’re angry. You might even call your friend/boyfriend/husband/cousin twice removed, and scream out curse words or even cry. Chin up babe!
In hindsight this is really a compliment to you. Imitation is a form of flattery, however sometimes imitation is not flattery but more of a lack of creativity. Either way, stay true to you and let karma do the dirty work. Never let em see ya sweat, babe!