Today I decided to share my blogging story with you and give you some tips on how to start your own blog. This page was on my Tumblr but I recently took it off because I wanted to share this here. I'm basically just explaining everything, how I started, what I've struggled with and finally I'm going to give you some tips on how to start a blog and how to build your Instagram community.




My blogging story

I started my blogging journey on Tumblr in 2011-2012 I think (?). I really enjoyed reblogging all these beautiful pictures there and they really inspired me to find my own style and also to start taking pictures myself. I’ve always had a passion for photography aswell. One day I decided to try taking “those” kind of Tumblr pictures myself. I uploaded them on Tumblr and people really seemed to like them, so I continued on uploading them here. Because I uploaded my own pictures with a link to my Tumblr I started to gain more and more followers on Tumblr.



I got to a point where I wanted to have a place where I can upload my own pictures only, not like on Tumblr, something like a real blog. Back then, I already read blogs of several fashion bloggers and I was a huge fan of Aurora Mohn. I can’t remember why I chose blogger.com to be the platform of my blog because there are other platforms, for example Worldpress 

Anyways, I created a blog there with a Blogger template and my blog looked like crap. I chose the simplest template and edited it to my liking, which was a pain in the ass because Blogger's html is different to Tumblr's. The whole website is actually so much different than Tumblr. It was really hard at the beginning but somehow I figured out how it all worked. I uploaded my pictures on here, and also on Tumblr with a link to my blogspot or blog post & a source so people could visit my blog. That’s how I got and still get traffic on my blogspot. I still post them on Tumblr so people get to visit my blog.

After a certain time I noticed that there were lots of people stealing my pictures and posting them on other sites ignoring the source & links and without any credit. Which was really annoying and still is… Then I started to put my url on my pictures. I personally think it destroys the whole picture and looks ugly but that’s the only thing I can to to prevent people from stealing my pictures (no that's not even the only thing I can do because people still remove those)

Then later, I decided to make an Instagram account for my blog. I do have a private one aswell by the way. At the beginning I didn’t have lots of followers but with the help of several people who were kind to do shoutouts for shoutouts (s4s) with me I gained more and more. Today I have almost 70k followers.

Then after a year or less or more, haha I can’t remember, I decided to change my template because I wanted something more special. I went on google and found several websites and people who offer you pre-made templates and also they offer you to make a custom one for you.. you have to pay though. I found one I liked on a website, bought it and edited it to my liking and, the designer of that template helped me with it. I also changed my domain from blogspot.com to .com.

Then I changed my blog design from time to time because I was never satisfied with it and I wanted a really professional one. And still today I edit it from time to time. I also thought about asking someone to create a custom design for me.. but for now I'm happy with it.
I also changed my blog style a little, I started to edit my pictures, edit the size, brightness, saturation etc. And since a few weeks I have a new watermark. I had a few phases where I didn't really enjoy blogging, I was lazy and not in the mood to take pictures and was so inactive here. But since this summer I decided that I have to start blogging regularly again.. and that's what I'm doing.

Also I get quite a few questions if I make money with my blog. And the answer is: YES (more below). 

Some general information

  • I have a Canon EOS 650d I take my pictures with.
  • I take my pictures using a tripod and self timer (I have a remote control). Sometimes you see it in my pictures but usually I just throw it away the second the picture is taken lol.
  • I use Adobe Photoshop CS 6 to edit my pictures.
  • Blogger.com is my hosting site.
  • Can't remember where I got my blog design from, sorry. I also heavily edited it. Browse google.


Here are some tips on how to start your own blog:

CONFIDENCE
Even if you’re not the most confident person ever, don’t be afraid of starting your own blog. Just try it. You don’t have anything to lose. If it doesn’t work you can always delete your blog. If you’re happy with the idea then just do it. You don’t have to own the most expensive things to have a good blog. Having a blog takes up a lot of time and you should be prepared for that. Also, the more followers you get- the more success you’ll have, the more negative/jealous/rude people will show up. Don’t let any negativity get to you and just keep doing your thing. When people in real life find out about your blog or you show it to them, there will always be people talking about you. Some are huge fans and some are simply jealous of your success and make fun of you. You love what you do, so just keep going to matter what other people say.

I wouldn’t say that I have a really successful blog. I simply like fashion and want to share it with my followers. I don’t want to become on of those successful fashion blogger who do this as a profession. There were times where I wanted to delete my blog bcause I had no motivation and no time. But I didn’t because I’m a fashion idol, even a role model for some of you and you guys love my style and my pictures and you’d miss it. That’s why I decided to keep on blogging... because of you.

CONCEPT
Find a concept for your blog. Do you want to blog about style, fitness, reviews, beauty etc. Your content should be something you're familiar with. Find a niche.

NAME
First, you need a name/url. I can’t really help you with that. Choose something eye-catchy & personal (example: kayture is a mix of kay, a nickname, and couture). I love reading the vogue magazine and I think fashion is something viral. It’s contagious, like a virus. I think that’s how I came up with viral-vogue it’s not really something personal lol. 

EQUIPMENT
As I said I use a Canon EOS 650d with a 55-250mm lens. I do have two other lenses but they’re rather unimportant because I don’t use them to take the pictures for my blog. I’m sure you can also use your digital camera, doesn’t have to be a reflex camera, the pictures simply have to be in a good quality. If you have someone who wants to take pictures of you, you don’t need a tripod, you also don’t need to stand in front of a white wall/white things like I do that’s just how I like it. It's clean and focuses on my clothes. It's totally up to you. If you want to do street style, do street style.

GOOD LIGHTNING
I alway try to take my pictures when the lightning is good that means I always use daylight to take my pictures. I don’t really edit my pictures on my laptop, unless the lightning is really bad. Then I use Photoshop CS6 as I mentioned before. If you can’t afford to buy Photoshop, GIMP is a really good alternative and it’s free. Take as many pictures as you want, it’s better to have too many than too less so you can always choose the ones you want. Also, I don’t know if it’s just me but when I scrolled through my Tumblr dash I saw lots of pictures from bloggers  and I noticed someone who always had the same kind of pictures- in front of a white wall with a wooden floor. It was always the same so I exactly knew when it was her. It was something like a trademark. I was really inspired by this so I chose to have always the same background in my pictures. My white couch. Now when people see one of my pictures they always know it’s me or at least they should :D .I think that’s something really important, especially if you don't show your face in pictures.

PLATFROM/HOSTING SITE
If I was you I’d also start with posting my pictures on Tumblr first, if you see they get lots of notes then I’d continue and make a blog on blogger.com or Wordpress (these are the ones I know of I’m sure there are others). It's a lot easier if you already have quite a good amount of followers than just starting from 0 because no one knows you exist and it's hard to get your pictures out there. Then if you decide to create a blog choose a simple template from blogger or buy one, this is up to you. Edit it to your liking and upload your pictures with caption or without. Then, whenever you shoot new pictures, maybe edit them, (put your watermarks on), and upload them to Tumblr/Weheartit/Pintrest etc. with a link to your blogspot, so people share them but still know where they're coming from and might click on your blog if they're curious.

GET SOCIAL
Make an Instagram, Facebook, Youtube etc. page for your blog to attract more people from all over the world, a huge audience. With that you also have to decide wether you want to write in English/German/Italian/Swedish etc. or even both but that's too much effort to be honest. I'd suggest writing in English so lots of people understand. Even if your English isn't the best, don't worry. Actually your English will improve the more you use it!

EDITING
Now to my Instagram account: I usually don’t edit my Instagram pictures because I take them with goOd daylight. If they look crappy I use Afterlight, Instagram or VSCOCam to edit them. To put my watermark on my pictures I use iWatermark. There's going to be a detailed post on how I edit my Instagram pictures. Also: have a certain theme, if you use filters always use the same ones. 
The time you post your picture is also very important. I try to post my pictures between 7-8pm because I think that’s the time where most of my followers are active. Also around 2-3pm is quite a good time. Try to post at least one picture a day and don’t spam your followers with shoutouts all the time. I used to make shoutouts aswell but only like 3 a day. It’s the best way to gain followers if you're a small account and want more followers.

COLLABORATIONS
When you start getting more and more followers on your social media platforms and your blog you’ll get collaborations requests. Like I do. Some people here think only Chiara Ferragni and Kristina Bazan make money off of their blogs. I also make money with my blog. Of course I don’t earn $1000 a day. As soon as you start to get your first requests be sure to always reply politely, no smiley :) or “haha’s”. I’d suggest you to make an separate e-mail address for your blog so things don't get messed up. Whenever a website or brand sends me a mail I always check out their products first on their website, how they look, read reviews etc.  I don’t want to promote a clothing brand with shitty quality items. That's why I don't do promotions/collaborations often.
Also, if you don’t get any collaboration requests you can always ask websites/brands if they want to collaborate with you. They usually agree to collaborate with you if you have over 1’000-2'000 followers on a social media platform like Instagram or even Tumblr for example. Just scroll down the website until you see something similar to this:



Not all websites offer a “fashion blogger”,“blogger” or “blogger wanted”- program or an affiliate program.
There’s a difference between these two: a “blogger”- program how I call it is when a website sends you an item or more for free and you have to promote it/them as soon as you receive the box with a direct link to the item. An affiliate program is when you earn a percentage (depends from site so site 6-10%) commission on sales “through” you because you promoted their website with a promotion code or when they can track the traffic coming from your site because of their banner or your blog post.
They usually ask you to send you an email where you say who you are, why you love fashion, how long you’ve had your blog, why they should collaborate with you etc. After you’ve written the text copy it and save it somewhere so you can simply paste it onto the next website’s contact form/mail hehe so you don’t always have to write the same text over and over again.. just a tip :) They usually get back to you within 3 days or something.

The more my blog grew, the more collaboration request and emails I got every day. I currently work with two agencies that manage most of my collaborations and campaign requests. They work with lots of brands and also big bloggers like Kenza or Chiara Ferragni. They send me an email and all the information when there's a new campaign that I can take part in and I can check it out and think about it. That helped me a lot. Through a campaign it's a lot easier for brands to reach out for me and find me/know about my existence. Also I didn't do anything, those two agencies came up to me.

Sometimes people also ask you if you want to post some of their pictures and you'll get money in return. I don't like doing that and I prefer to get the products sent so I can take my own pictures, my style, my lightning etc. so they're not that obvious that they're sponsored and fit my theme. 
How much do I charge for sponsored posts? When I got my first requests I surely didn't know how much to charge. Do I charge too much, too less? I asked a few bloggers that have around the same amount of followers like I have. Some charge more, some charge less. But they all charge around the same amount of money. Once I got I got 260 € for one Instagram post a few months ago. At the moment with the amount of followers that I have (70k on Insta) I charge around 150-250€ per post.


I'm still far away from being a professional blogger, which is not my goal by the way, I don't want to become one of those big bloggers like Kristina, I do this because it's my hobby and I like doing it. I will never blog as a job. Maybe part time job but clearly not full-time. But I'm still working on developing my little business, there's still a lot of work to do but I'm excited to see what the future brings.

So I guess that's it. If you have any questions leave a comment and I'll be happy to answer :) Hope this helps!

Lots of love,
Pascale