I started blogging in January of 2014 with this post HERE. Short and simple, but something to hold me accountable. I had made the decision to stay home with my daughter and needed some sort of an outlet, as I am a very social person who enjoys spending time with other people! It was one of the hardest things to do for me in choosing to stay home, which I would never regret, but I felt like I was giving up MY thing. So I decided to trade in one thing for another thing that would allow me to still have something that was just for me. I used to write a lot about being a Mom because everyone assumed I already knew everything about babies, being that I was a labor and delivery nurse, but boy are you guys wrong. I told my patients no co-sleeping, we co-sleep, I told them not to get too worried about small things, and I freaked out all of the time. 😂 The list goes on and on, trust me, but I also told my patients to do what works for them, and that I do. People are so quick to judge, and force beliefs onto others without taking into consideration their situations. Stop it.
Have some grace, for yourself and towards others. That is one of my biggest tips for people who want to start blogging or that person who has started a blog but frustrated it's not taking off like they had hoped. When you put yourself out there each day with a public profile, photos, clothing, your child, your life, it opens your world up to a lot of criticism, rude comments, and unfortunately inappropriate comments as well. Proceed with grace. Realize that sometimes they are the ones struggling with something and move on, block, or use it as fuel to keep going! It may be hard sometimes to look away, but you have to know it will happen sometime. I mean, I am no Kardashian, but the comments I receive are sometimes so hurtful you start to think twice about allowing everyone to see your life in real time. But in hindsight, I have more supportive and kind people in my life due to blogging and I love them way more than to let a few comments get to me. Give grace, get grace. Simple as that.
How did you get started blogging?
I seriously think I Googled "best blogging sites" and bam signed up for Wordpress. I really just wanted to be able to write, have my own .com site without the .blogspot.com.blablabla so that is where I chose to purchase my domain, Ladyandred.com. There is a small fee for it but I think if it is something you want long term, it is worth it. Wordpress was perfect for me starting out because it was super user friendly, but this past May 2017, I was accepted to LiketoKnow.it and unfortunately unable to sync to Wordpress due to their incompatibility. Talk about panic mode. I put an SOS out there for someone to help this technically challenged gal out and a friend suggested this angel who then fixed me up and gave new light to my new business! If you are needing someone to help you, let me know and I will get you her contact info, because she is the best!!
How did you choose what to blog about?
Well, like I said, I was a new Mom when I started my blog, it was a lot about mom stuff to start with, but I also loved to cook, and I have always loved fashion, so really that is how I came up with my name! Lady and Red. It stands for Lady= me and Red= is my daughter's initials. And that way I didn't have to choose just one thing to write about! In the beginning I was trying to show other Moms that just because we have a child or children, doesn't mean OUR lives should end. I was clearly a first time Mom 😂 haha. My life did not end, but it changed, and I would say for the better. I would choose a Friday night at home on the couch rather than bar hop any day! Keeping my independence was and is crucial to my happiness and sanity though! So if you go back and read my first posts, you will find entries like Easy Over Experience or Go Ahead and Judge Me because that is where I was in my life! Then in 2015 I signed up to become a Stella & Dot stylist because I needed that excuse to get me out of the house. Hosting parties is actually a blast! Wine & shopping are two of my favorite things! I started styling my jewelry like a mad woman and one of the first selfies I posted to IG was re-posted by Stella & Dot and that fueled my idea to pursue the fashion and styling part. So here I am! It has been a long journey of learning and my content continues to improve, but I want to remain the same honest and genuine person that I strive to be. It is so easy to sit behind a screen and want to pretend you are something much greater or that your life is "perfect" but that is not reality....for anyone.
What is your advice to someone just starting out on IG?
I get asked this a lot. To tell you the truth, I am still trying to figure the whole IG thing out myself. I know it can be really hard not to focus on the number of followers you have, but try not to. With the new algorithm, it makes it even harder to be noticed I think! Some of my loyal gals may miss several posts if they don't continue to interact with my account. It's crazy.
Also, in the beginning before liketoknow.it, I thought you needed a certain number of followers to get noticed. But I was wrong. I bought, yes you heard me right, I bought 1,000 followers from some company I once again Googled. It did not hurt me or help me. Most of them dropped off rather quickly and it wasn't any help because I learned that they are bots, not buying, or engaging, which is what I needed and ultimately wanted. I seriously was starting from the bottom and willing to try anything. Don't do it. I feel now it is all a learning curve and wouldn't have know if I didn't try I guess.
The best advice is to interact with like accounts to your niche. If you are into fashion, follow fashion people who inspire you. Comment, follow, lift up, share through Follow Fridays or just share in general. We are all in this together and when you help and lift up others, I think it makes you more successful. Plus, the more people who learn how to shop with Liketoknow.it, whether it's from me or another fellow blogger, it helps us both. For the most part, we all have our own styles and products, so you are not seeing the same things on every blogger or maybe you are but they are styling it differently. Make sure you friend these alike IG people because they will be the ones to help and support you the most. They all had to start somewhere too. So the next time you see something you love, share it with your friends! Tag the gal who inspired your look, share bloggers with your friends, and comment!
How do I get accepted into LiketoKnow.it?
It was a long process, trust me! I first applied alone, and that is ok to do but I don't recommend it. I have some pretty awesome friends who are also blogger babes and they referred me through the referral system in Liketoknow.it. The person who refers you will end up receiving a small commission from your sales, but only for the first year (it's really minimal so don't think we do it for the money! Haha). I don't mind referring anyone, but I will look at your content and give you some tips and suggestions if I do not feel your IG is ready, because I want you to succeed too! Keep in mind though, just because you are referred by another blogger, doesn't mean you will be accepted!! Just keep trying to better yourself if you are rejected, then re-apply!
What do they look for to be accepted into LiketoKnow.it?
I would say they look for good content, consistency, and photo quality. Now I am just guessing based on their feedback during the acceptance process and also if you follow them on IG, you can tell by what they repost as to what they are looking for. Photo quality is big because you want people to see the details of the pieces you are wearing. Think about it like you are a part of the magazine that is modeling these products for the companies! With that being said, you don't have to loose your creativity!
I have heard that posting 1-2 times a day is best for you to be noticed, but also staying consistent is key because people want to see what you are wearing even on your "off" days. But let me tell you one thing, they don't care how many followers you have. Some people have 400 and some have 400K. It doesn't matter.
How do you start making money blogging?
The biggest misconception is that once you start a blog, you start making money....like a ton of money. Nope. I am fortunate enough to stay home with my daughter and that is why I blog. I did not quit my job because I was making so much money blogging, I wish. After several companies started reaching out to me to collaborate with them, I was taking a lot of time away from my daughter to meet, style and promote these products just for an exchange of product. I had to figure out how to better balance my time and if I was going to take the time away, I needed to be compensated. I put together a media kit, which I highly recommend, and once companies reached out after that, I was able to send that directly to them and they can choose "packages" that I created to accommodate their needs and mine too!
I do know that you do need to be reaching a certain number of people for the larger companies to even look at you! But that is to be expected right? Makes total sense for them to put their money with someone who is reaching a lot of people from their accounts! Something to work towards!
Are you in any of those comment pods? How do they work? Do they help?
I am! But my pod has like 6 people in it 😂 They are some Stella & Dot sisters who also love fashion! I have been asked and added to several pods but at the beginning of the year I was totally overwhelmed when I was added to one with like 40 people! I literally freaked out thinking about the mass amounts of comments and likes I was going to be responsible for and removed myself from it before I even started! That is not to say I wouldn't join another small group, because I do think they are beneficial, but I really just love to scroll feed and comment and like things I love, and on my own time.
Comment pods work by helping the algorithm of Instagram and making your photos seen. The more likes and interactions you get, it helps get noticed on others feed. So you join a group (if you wish), and once you have posted or each time you post, you notify your group and they like and comment on your photo. Now do you see why I freaked at the thought of liking and commenting on 40 other people up to two times a day?!
Are you constantly on social media or on your phone?
The short answer is yes, but that is my job. Yes I have boundaries that I have set for myself because it can take over very quickly. I usually get up before my daughter so I answer questions, scroll feed and reply to people while I drink my coffee. (Now you see why some comments bother me? Because I haven't had a full cup of coffee yet 😂) At night I turn my phone to silent. No buzzes, dings or calls because I need my sleep or I am a B. I do most of my phone stuff after I put my daughter to bed while I watch reality TV, multitasking at it's best! If I am out to dinner or on a date, I leave my phone in my purse because I HATE when couples are out to dinner and both on their phones. Also no phones at the home dinner table either. I am not perfect by any means and you may see me out and I am looking down but I haven't ran into anything yet, so I consider that a win! 😉
I truly hope you all enjoyed this post and that it answers some or all of your questions! If you have any other questions, of course feel free to ask!! I think most of you know I try to respond to each comment or message!
If you are wanting to read past posts, utilize the search bar or the tab at the top of the page to find what you are looking for! XOXO