Five Things I’ve Learned in Two Years as a Full-Time Blogger
I cannot believe it’s already been two years since I left my secure salaried job in finance to pursue my dream career of becoming a full-time blogger (and six years since I started Laura Lily!) Over the years I have learned so many things and today I wanted to share the 5 that I think are the most important to success not only as a full-time blogger but in any career you pursue.
Side Note: I use the term blogger to describe my job because the term “influencer seems to be getting a bad rap these days. It seems people think influencers just take pretty pictures so am going to stick with the term “lifestyle blogger” because I actually write articles with valuable content to go along with those pretty photos 😉
Be Nice to Everyone
This is just a general life rule. But I feel it needs to be stated here particularly because you never know someone’s background story: what they’ve been through, what they are currently going through, who they know, etc. Heck, they could become your new best friend if you’re just nice to them! Being nice doesn’t cost anything. It doesn’t take anything away from you. The influencer/blogging community can be a cruel place. Women can be particularly mean to each other. I’ve literally stood next to two bloggers at a party because I didn’t know anyone else and they completely ignored me for the entire 5 minutes I stood there. It wouldn’t have been hard to include me in the conversation. I do it to strangers all the time. We had plenty in common. They are now very successful bloggers. I’ll forgive, but I don’t forget. And because I know they are not genuinely nice people and couldn’t just be nice to someone who had nothing to offer them, I will never like, follow, or support their work.
2. Always go above and beyond for your clients
When a client comes to me with guidelines, I take their idea and I run with it. I’ll add whatever I think necessary to make it the best collaboration possible. Even if that means paying out of pocket for extra props, driving 2 hours to a location because I know it’s the perfect fit, or shooting 3 looks instead of just the one they asked for. I send them a collaboration recap afterward with all the data, links and feedback I can give them. And you know what, this pays off. I’m 6 years into blogging and I have repeat clients which saves me a lot of time from having to pitch new ones!
3. Surround yourself with people who inspire you
…and stop following the ones that don’t. I am very fortunate to have met such incredible women in this space early on in my blogging timeline. We help each other and share our ups and downs in this emotional rollercoaster blogging space. I used to follow people I thought inspired me. After a while I realized their content didn’t inspire me, I was just following them because they followed me back. When I hop on to Instagram I want to see my friends, family, accounts I adore, and new products from the brands I love. If we are just following each other to have a higher follower count, but not engaging with each other, than what’s the point?
4. Stop accepting free stuff… unless you really want it.
It’s just that: Free stuff. I used to spend so much time shooting stuff brands had gifted me. Then I realized that I was paying for the product in other ways… my time and paying a photographer to shoot the product for me. Now I still accept free stuff here and there if I really like it and genuinely want to write about it. But otherwise, I say no more often than I say yes. Especially if it’s a brand that wants a dedicated post. Creating content is work, hence why all brands have some kind of social department these days to do a job: create content. Plus, this is my livelihood. I cannot pay my phone bill in free lipstick. I get a kick out of brands telling me they “don’t have a budget.” Well, that’s too bad because I saw your billboard on Sunset Blvd so I know at some point there was and will be another marketing budget. Did you come into work for a free t-shirt today? Didn’t think so.
5. Don’t Force Anything
If it’s meant to be, do the work and let it come naturally. For so long I wanted to work with particular brands. I would go out of my way to post about the products that I love; raving about them to my readers. I would pitch them time and time again, even to get on their influencer list to be able to share the latest and greatest with you all without hurting my pocketbook. (See this is one of those times I would accept free stuff.) What I came to realize after a while is that if the brand was going to ignore my emails or tell me they’ll “put you on our influencer outreach list” and still never did, then maybe it was time to step back and let them come to me. You know what they say… Be so good they can’t ignore you.
I hope this article helps some of you out there on where to spend your time and energy in the blogging sphere! Check out more of my full-time blogger guides here:
And as always, thank you for following along.
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Photo by Taylor Lynn Photo