On Sunday afternoon I was very lucky to be invited to guest speak at a Fashion Careers and Blogging Seminar, that was hosted by Kimberley Sara, Founder and Director of The Style Side.
I was asked by Kimberley to speak about my background as a blogger, some tips and tricks as well as about social media management and how to better your presence online.
There are a few fellow bloggers that I know were unable to attend the course, so I thought I’d share with you a few of the pointers that I discussed, as some of them were really well received with the attendees!
BLOGGING – WHY DECIDING ON YOUR BLOGGING PURPOSE AND FORMING QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER BLOGGERS IS IMPORTANT
It’s always important when you first decide to start blogging, to determine what your blogging purpose is.
Is it to express your personal opinion, work with a particular demographic, or become more creative?
Having this set idea of what your blogging purpose is, will ensure that you stick to your goals later on down the track. Also, if you just want to blog to make money and gain lots of followers – then trust me, you wont get very far!
Start your blog with an idea – what do you want to blog about? Food, fashion, travel, vegan cooking, canoeing – whatever it is, or it may be a mixture of a few of these, set your sites on what your topics are, and stick to them. What you’ve got to remember is that being a blogger isn’t just about taking photos of yourself, or of your food, and uploading it to a website. Sure, if you’re into that sort of thing and don’t want to be creative; then you can stick with doing this.
However, if you’re like me and have developed a blog with the intention to influence and inspire others, then you’re going to need to constantly be creating new ideas and posts that are going to keep your audience interested.
Whilst being a blogger, forming really consistent and quality relationships with other bloggers is super important too, and the reason why my blog has gotten to where it is today, is because I have spent time forming these relationships and making quality contacts.
These relationships have been a huge part of the success of my blog, and having this positive and uplifting relationship with other bloggers means that we are all able to unite when the blogging road can get a little tough! Never underestimate the power of collaborating with other bloggers too!
WHY ALL BLOGGERS NEED A MEDIA KIT
When bloggers ask me what they need in order to start working with brands, I give them two answers: a media kit, and a quality online presence (website and social media).
A media kit is something that is going to make you and your blog stand out to potential sponsors and brands. This media kit (and a good one at that), will hopefully convince these potential sponsors that your blog is worth them investing their $$$ in. This could be through sponsored posts, advertising, giveaways etc.
I like to think of a media kit as a resume, but for your blog. Whether you’re new to the blogosphere, or have been blogging for years, having a polished and up to date media kit is crucial, and it is your way to ensure you have a winning edge over your competitors.
A media kit is also a great way to provide potential sponsors and clients with a quick snapshot of what you are all about, without them even having to hop onto your blog.
This is why first impressions really do count.
Once you are at a point where you have an intention to work with brands, it’s a good idea to get your media kit in place first. This should never be a large document. Mine is only one page, but others I know have two. This should be your maximum.
If you’re interested in knowing what to include in a media kit – read my previous post here.
MEDIA KIT TEMPLATE EXAMPLES
WORKING WITH BRANDS
If you want to work with professional brands, then those brands need to see that you’re a good fit for representing and working with them.
In order to be well received by potential sponsors, it is seriously important to have a visually attractive blog, that is professional, unique and readable.
A professional website must have the following:
– A unique and readable look. No messy layout, unreadable fonts (or three types of fonts for that matter).
– A consistent look and theme on all your pages and posts.
– Never use bright colours. Background colours should always be a single wash – black or dark grey text against a white background will always work, and never place patterns behind text.
– A website should always be easy to navigate. If it takes more than 2 clicks to get to an article, then readers won’t bother.
– A website must always be mobile-friendly. More than half the readers of A Stylish Moment, read my posts on their mobiles.
Essentially when it comes to your website design, keep it simple yet unique and professional and avoid using too many images and busy icons.
Also, always be active on your site. I guarantee, no brand will want to work with you if you haven’t posted anything since 2015…
CONTENT CREATION AND BEING CREATIVE
It’s really important to be continually developing creative ideas, and it’s also important to remember that being a blogger isn’t just about taking photos of yourself, or of your food, and uploading it to a website.
If you have developed a blog with the intention to influence and inspire others, then you’re going to need to constantly be creating new ideas and posts that are going to keep your audience interested.
Here are a few tips to keep you on a creative track:
1. Have a weekly plan.
2. Always be on the look out for inspiration.
3. Get out and explore!
4. Collaborate with another blogger or creative influence.
5. Attend as many blogging workshops, seminars such as these and events as you can.
6. Connect with and follow other bloggers.
7. Have a pen and paper (or iPhone notes) handy with you always!
It’s easy to have a blog, write a few posts each week and leave it at that. BUT, if you want to increase your following, then you need to have a point of difference and stand out. To do this…
1. Become a lover of taking quality photos and using quality images
2. Don’t overdo it with the imagery on your site – quality vs quantity
3. Ensure you have a key topic or focus
4. Understand your target audience
5. When writing posts, use headers and titles
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
I believe that in today’s rapidly growing and forever changing digital market, having a presence on social media is ESSENTIAL for small business. Many potential customers and clients search online via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to investigate and research brands and products to suit their needs.
It’s incredibly important for all businesses to have an up-to-date social media presence.
1. Don’t try and be present on every social media channel, as you wont be able to keep up with all of them. Focus on only using 2-3.
2. Don’t always self promote, as it’s important to collaborate and share other content that isn’t just about yourself too.
3. Don’t try and cater to everyone – as you just can’t please everyone and their needs, so just always be you and post what you are comfortable with.
4. Be ACTIVE on your chose channels
Having a fully functioning website AND strong social media presence is definitely the way to go. Why? because what if Instagram just suddenly disappeared one day… (I’ll leave that thought with you!)
The Fashion Careers and Blogging Seminar was a fantastic success, and big thank you to Kimberley from The Style Side for allowing me to be a part!
If there are any bloggers out there who are looking for assistance with their blog or social media, let me know – I’d be happy to give you some tips!
Did you find this useful? Click here to read my other blogging posts, tips and tricks.