Hi everyone! My name is Katelyn and I’m the Co-Founder of Midwest Bloggers. I’m also the voice behind the blog, Katalina Girl. Katalina Girl is my personal style diary where I share all of the things related to fashion, beauty, personal style, travel, and entertaining about which I'm truly passionate. I currently work at Meredith Corporation, as the E-commerce Editor of an online fashion & beauty magazine called, Divine Caroline. At night I'm a freelance stylist and writer for Juice Magazine and the Director of Social Media for Go Blog Social. While I’ve only been blogging for about 1.5 years, I’ve immersed myself into the fashion/blogging world and think I have a few things to share that will hopefully be helpful and really kick your blogging butt into high gear.
Buy Your Domain Name (URL):
This is one of the easiest things you can do and the best way to get people to your site. Purchase it at Go Daddy for around $10. Make sure to keep it simple and memorable. No one wants to type something out that’s way too many characters long.]
First and foremost make sure your blog has a clean design. I can't reiterate this enough! A white background is proven to keep viewers on the page longer. I work with bloggers everyday and I can't tell you how frustrated I get when I can't find all of their social media links, about page, contact info etc. Dumb you blog down. Making it user-friendly should be your main focus or you'll lose readers.
Make sure your blog has:
- About page with your name and location (Some companies look for bloggers in certain areas)
- Press page
- Contact page with email
- Let companies know your expecting ads, giveaways, collaborations, etc.
- All of your social media platforms
Create Social Media:
Make sure you’ve created social media for your blog. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are must-have social platforms. Companies want to see that you’re establishing a well-rounded brand. It’s important to keep up-to-date on your social spaces. Tip: It’s proven that 7 hashtags on Instagram works best to gain followers. Make sure to engage your followers daily. It’s important to update your social spaces.
Sign up for Google Analytics if you haven’t. This is so important and best of all it’s free! Companies will want to know your stats (Monthly Pageviews & Unique Monthly Views). Make sure you add the tracking code to every place on your blog a reader can click to optimize your stats.
Ways to Monetize:
RewardStyle- This is an invitation-only web tool that helps top tier style publishers find and monetize their content. Apply for the program and start making money from your blog through personal, generated links from clothing, décor and much more. Apply here!
Google AdSense- Use this tool to place ads on your site and get paid. If you have Blogger as a platform it’s incredibly easy to install by clicking the Earnings tab in Blogger. They pay you for CPC (Cost Per Click) via PayPal.
Network- Every week I email 5 companies I want to work with on my blog. Don’t wait for people to notice you; you have to get their attention. In each email you have to make it special.
Things to include:
- Address the email to the company or contact person—be friendly ask them how they are.
- Who you are and what your blog is. (Always hyperlink your blog)
- Tell them why you love their brand and why you want to work with them
- Come up with 2 ways you can collaborate. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Propose an outfit post, product review, giveaway or social media contest.
- Let them know you’re looking forward to hearing back from them.
- Attach your media kit!
Don’t overthink your media kit. I think we all do. My media kit is a one-page piece of paper that gives the gist of who I am. Think of it as a resume/pricing sheet. Make sure to keep it simple and easy to read.
Things to include:
- Your blog name
- Your name
- What is your blog about
- Who you are and what you do
- What you can offer
- Social media + blog stats
- Sponsored post + ad pricing
- Contact + social media information
Sign up with Networked Blogs so your posts automatically push to Facebook and Twitter. This is an easy way to promote your content without even trying.
Independent Fashion Bloggers
Register with IFB! IFB is an online community of fashion bloggers and the ultimate resource for bloggers to learn about blogging, media kits, fashion, photography and marketing. This is a great resource for tips and to stay up-to-date on blogger information.
Register! Refinery29, the largest independent fashion and style website in the United States, is a lifestyle platform that delivers nonstop inspiration to live a more stylish and creative life. In addition to its global and local newsletter editions and 24/7 original editorial content, Refinery29 connects over 10 million visitors every month and over 1.25 million subscribers with content, commerce, and community, giving them all the tips, tricks, and tools they need to live a more beautiful life. This is also a great place to get blogging news.
Lucky Magazine Blogger Community
Sign up to be a Lucky Contributor. This is a great resource to share and grow your blog. You can even enter great contests here.
Constantly set goals for you and your brand. Set goals for the amount of times you post each week. Keep it consistent. Your readers want to know that they can come to your blog often and get an update. If you can only post twice a week that’s fine. Just work to give your readers two top quality posts a week. Quality is better then quantity.
Set goals for social media. I said in 2013 that I wanted to double all of my social media and I did!
Set conference and travel goals for your blog. In 2013 I went to my first blogging conference and attended New York Fashion Week. Events like that are priceless and so great for your blog.
You can’t ever set enough goals.
Stay True to Your Brand
Staying true to you and your brand is EXTREMELY important. Your readers most likely follow you on all aspects of social media meaning they probably know you pretty well—that’s scary to think sometimes. Work with brands that are a natural fit and don’t push content you don’t believe in. That’s the quickest way to lose your following. Oh ya and always make sure to be relatable. We all love following bloggers that could potentially be our BFFs.
Collaborate With Others
Blogging can get expensive but it doesn’t have to be if you’re creative. When you need something for my blog whether it’s a blog redesign, business cards, clothing, an accountant, lawyer etc. you can collaborate with someone to get it at a discounted price. Always reach out to people before paying full price. Offer to promote them or negotiate a lower rate through some sort of collaboration.
Business cards are extremely important for networking purposes. Keep them simple. The font should always be easy to read. Make sure to keep a few in every bag you own. You never know when you’ll make a connection and need contact info.
Managing a blog is all about balance. Really life is all about balance so try and find a routine that works for you. I work a fulltime job and am involved in quite a few other activities that tend to keep me extremely busy. Pick a day of the week to dedicate to your blog. My day is Sunday because I know that’s usually my least busy day. I spend anywhere from 2-6 hours working on it or shooting outfit pictures. I also work at night on the weekdays when I have free time. Take advantage of a few spare hours. It’s the girls who do that will succeed at blogging.
Keep a calendar. I have two. One is a hanging monthly calendar that is tacked up above my desk. I write all of my due dates, collaboration dates and keep my editorial calendar there. I also have a travel calendar that fits in my bag. It’s important to know your schedule at any moment. Being prepared and organized is key when building your brand.
If you make around $600 a year or more on your blog, I recommend doing taxes on it. Keep your receipts for everything blog related: clothing, mileage, food, coffee meetings, travel expenses, office supplies, camera, computer etc. Anything you use for your blog can be written off. Also, spend the $150-200 on an accountant. It’s so worth it in the end. I promise they’ll get you more money back than any online program—get your billion back America!
Go Blog Social
Go Blog Social was born by bloggers, for bloggers with the aspirations of bringing together women and men passionate about the world of social networking. Designed to inform, educate and inspire, Go Blog Social brings bloggers, social media experts and businesses together for a two-day event to connect-the-dots in Kansas City.
This is such a great resource for Midwest bloggers. If you’re not going you have to. Email me right this instance and I will personally do my best to get you there if cost is an issue.