The Blog Series: Fear of Failure

A fear of failure is something that I constantly struggle with. Even if it’s over something very small, there’s always been a voice in my head telling me that I can’t do it, or that I shouldn’t because I might fail. Fear is one of the thieves of joy so today I’d like to share some of the things that help me overcome it.

This industry can get be pretty harmful to your mental health if your head is in the wrong space, because there is so much competition and comparison (unfortunately). One of the reasons we fear failure is because we compare ourselves to others. So if you want to read more on that topic click here.

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White Knit Set from SSUMJ

Whether you’ve been blogging for a few years, a few months or just started, I hope that these tips will help you smother any ounce of fear you might have.

First we need to understand what “failure” really means in this context, so below I’ve listed a few of the things that I’ve personally feared over the past few years of my blogging journey.

1. I’ll never make enough money to support myself and continue doing what I love as a career.

2. I won’t get any brand deals this month/this year.

3. I won’t get the engagement I need to succeed on my platform.

4. I won’t feel inspired or creative tomorrow.

5. People won’t like the content I create and it’ll show in my numbers.

That got really personal and honestly sharing those things was a little outside of my comfort zone but if it’s going to help you then I’m happy to share! But that’s step one, writing down every fear, no matter how small you may have and be thinking.

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For some reason, writing down thoughts on a piece of paper or even typed out on a document brings them out of our heads and into reality. It makes them easier to understand and overcome. However, they’re not there to look back on every single day, that’s probably not a great idea.

Step two is to figure out how fear holds you back or affects your life. This is like a self-reflection and will help you in preventing those negative kickbacks of your fear. Maybe you procrastinate when you’re scared or you hold yourself back from starting something you want to do (ahem, blogging, IG or YouTube). Whatever it is, write it down.

I’ve also commonly seen bloggers create something, a YouTube video for example, edit it and finish it and then not post it because they feel it’s “not good enough” or “not up to their standards”. I’ve seen this way too much recently! If you put in the hard work and effort you should be able to post it without an ounce of fear. The reality is that you are your worst critic and no one else will see the “flaws” of your work like you do, or even at all.

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Step three is to make a game plan on how you will combat those negative fears of failure whenever they pop into your head. Below is a list of ways you can do this!

1. Positive thinking. It’s easier said than done but it is possible. This has been a huge goal of mine for a few months now but let me tell you, it really works. When one negative thought pops into my head I basically have a conversation with myself (in my head LOL) and tell myself to cut it out. I think of positive outcomes rather than negative ones.

2. Create a Plan B. If you’re really so scared of failing, just make sure you’ve got a backup! Then you won’t be stuck if you do actually fail and you’ll also feel more confident making the decision. But hey, failing is not a bad thing so don’t be too hard on yourself if plan B becomes plan A.

3. Analyze the possible outcomes. Often we fear the unknown and what’s on the other side of making a big decision, so analyzing all of the possible outcomes will paint a picture of the worst case scenario! It may even put your mind at ease knowing that the “unknown” is now known and written down.

I hope these things help you overcome your fears of failure and if you ever feel like chatting about this topic more I’m always available through DM on Instagram or through the comments 🙂

xoxo,

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Blogging FAQ

Thanks to that new feature on Instagram that allows you to easily ask questions and get quick responses back, I have a ton of blogging Q’s from you guys that I’m ready to answer!!

Below are some of the big ones that I felt would be best to answer in this FAQ but I’m responding to your other ones through DM on Insta!

“How do you stay inspired?”

I am constantly finding inspiration through other people’s work on Instagram, Pinterest, travel, the people around me and my everyday life. I’m never not observing and I think that helps me stay on track with my own content creation. There’s inspiration oozing out of Instagram, you just need to look hard enough! I also love searching for inspirational and motivational quotes on Pinterest and then saving them into a folder to look back on. I often share these with you guys through Instagram stories.

“How do you get invited to events?”

It was only this past year that I started attending brand events and for each of them I was reached out to by their event coordinators! I honestly think that being invited to events takes time simply because it depends (unfortunately) on how big your following is. This as well as your level of engagement with your audience and the experience that you have with similar brands. For example, in the month of June I was reached out to for two events and they were both in the realm of beauty and skincare. This is the topic that I mainly focus on within my platforms and in combination with my growing following they probably thought I was a good fit.

Event reach outs definitely also take into consideration whether or not you show up as a “well-known” influencer or blogger for your local area. I believe that events relating to store openings or restaurant openings/new menus look for the bloggers and influencers that are most active within the city!

“I would love to start a blog or YouTube Channel, but I don’t even know where to begin. Any tips?”

The very first piece of advice that I’d give for starting a blog or YouTube Channel is to ask yourself why you want to start one and what you’re going to be focusing on. If you truly know why you want to start one then you automatically have the motivation behind you to go through with it. If you know what you want to focus on then all you need now is the platform!

I recommend starting a blog with WordPress (maybe biased because that’s what I used ;), but I find that it’s very user friendly and has a ton of really neat features that help when starting out. You can even customize your theme and layout!

For YouTube you have to be prepared to wait and work hard. Filming and editing videos takes quite a long time and growing your view count takes patience too. It has taken me just over a year and a half to get to 700 subs, but I’ve definitely seen people’s channels grow quicker than that with a few viral videos. I post once every two weeks but have stopped earning money from my videos because of the change in YouTube’s Partner Program. You need 4000 annual viewing hours and at least 1k subscribers in order to monetize your videos, yikes! This is why you need to be dedicated to publishing weekly or bi-weekly videos in order to grow.

“How can I grow my Instagram following quickly?”

There is no natural/organic way to “quickly” grow your Instagram following, in my opinion. Here’s what I think needs to happen in order to grow your following:

1.        Post consistently and often. Aim for everyday or every other day.

2.        Post quality content. Quality over quantity is very important because people may see your account as spam if your posts have no direction or meaning.

3.        Engage your followers. Show your audience that you’re a real person! You can do this by sharing your daily life/struggles/funny moments/etc on Instagram stories or even through question captions and comment convos.

4.        Interact with others on the gram. Instagram is give and take. Like and comment on other people’s images and reply to people’s stories if you see something that inspires, motivates or interests you!

“How did you create your media kit and do you have any tips for reaching out to companies?”

After I surpassed 5k followers on Instagram I decided that I should make a media kit to send out to brands. All I did was Google what the kit should contain and then I created my own format and layout on Microsoft Word! Here’s what I include in my media kit:

Platform Types: YouTube, Blog, Instagram

Statistics: # of followers, subscribers, readers, engagement %, main countries and cities of my audience, ratio of male to female

Rates: Personal to what you can offer brands and should depend on the amount of work/time/resources you put into it as well as how large your audience is.

Images: I include logos of the brands that I have collaborated and partnered with as well as an image of myself! J

Testimonials: Any big reposts or articles that feature me are included on my media kit!

I reach out to companies that align with my personal aesthetic and values. My reach outs are mainly through email but sometimes through Instagram direct message. Sometimes I’ll even do both for one brand! Here is what I include in my email to brands:

1.        How I found the brand.

2.        Why I think we should work together.

3.        Direct links to my platforms (Instagram, Blog, YouTube)

4.        Rates in the body of the email.

5.        Media kit attached.

If you have any other blogging related questions please feel free to comment them below!

xoxo,

The Blog Series: How to Naturally Grow Your Following

This past week someone asked me if I had any advice on how they could grow their Instagram following, so I thought it would be a great topic for my blog series this month!

All of these points below relate to both Instagram and a personal blog because in a way they are very similar platforms. They’re things that I’ve done to grow my own following and increase engagement on both platforms too!

#1 Post consistently!

If you want people to know that you’re there then you have to show them! On Instagram you should aim to post at least once everyday or every other day because people forget about you quickly when you’re just starting out. For blogging I would suggest that you post at least once a week. This isn’t difficult if you plan and write ahead of time.

#2 Engage your existing followers!

You can keep your audience engaged by asking questions in captions or at the end of blog posts, replying to their comments, commenting back on their own profiles and sharing about your daily life through Instagram stories!

#3 Always reach out to people who inspire you!

Instagram is a place of discovery in my opinion, therefore you should always be on the lookout for other accounts that inspire you. If you see an account that you absolutely love then like and comment on a few of the pictures or give them a follow! Not only does this introduce yourself to that person but it introduces you to the rest of the people scrolling over that page.

#4 Quality over quantity!

Once you start posting just to post, you will definitely lose a few people. Your account could eventually be seen as a spam account if your posts are not up to par with people’s expectations of quality. I consider quality to be the image itself as well as what your caption offers. A single emoji caption just isn’t engaging enough! Unless you’re a famous celebrity 😉

#5 Give back!

Show love to your existing followers as well as the people who may not even be following you yet! A great way to do this is through a giveaway. I don’t do them very often but if I have the opportunity to then I do. My goal is to eventually be doing monthly giveaways because I know how important it is to show an audience that their support is truly appreciated.

#6 Build relationships with people!

A lot of messages come through Instagram (sometimes emails linked to blogs too) and it can be overwhelming but answering even just a few of them really helps to create a relationship between you and that person. Developing relationships with your followers is important because it shows them that you are a real person, not just someone on Instagram. It also helps with spreading the word about your account if that person decides to tell friends or family about you!

Do you have any tips for growing a following? I would love to know what you think so please feel free to share below in the comments! <3

xoxo,

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The Blog Series: Posting What Makes YOU Happy

This month I’d like to focus on the topic of posting what truly makes YOU happy. A blog is not only a place where people go to read, learn and be inspired, it’s also a creative outlet for you! Most blogs are started simply because the writer wants to share something about what he or she loves, however it can easily turn into a chore if you’re not writing about what you’re actually interested in.

I personally write about topics that are appealing to me, things that I could talk about for hours! They’re also topics that are always changing and evolving which makes it a little easier to be so invested in them. Since I’m a consumer of both the fashion and beauty industries I’m already looking for the latest and greatest products and/or trends. I love trying out new skincare and makeup products and then sharing my thoughts on my blog! Fashion on the other hand is something that I love but I’ve realized that it doesn’t come easily to me when I try to write about it. Clothing and accessories inspire me in many ways but I feel like I’m not as engaged by it as I am with beauty. But that’s OK. It took me a while to realize this but when I finally did and I started writing more about other topics I felt happier!

The same goes for Instagram and other social media platforms because they’re all meant to be creative outlets for YOU. You shouldn’t feel forced to post anything or keep things the same just for an aesthetic. I’ve struggled with this quite a bit on Instagram, trying to have a cohesive feed, have everything match and really keep everything as perfect as possible but it was exhausting. So exhausting that I started to feel unmotivated and quite disappointed to be honest. I wasn’t doing it for myself anymore but rather for all of the eyes looking at my account, which isn’t completely bad, but when that’s all you’re focussing on it can really consume you. It’s especially hard to stay happy with your feed on Instagram but once you relax a little and go with the flow, good things will happen! There are days where I’m completely in love with how my feed has turned out and days where I wish it would all disappear but I take the good with the bad and don’t fixate on it so much. I’m learning to post what makes ME happy.

This is a short little post but I just wanted to remind any of you that may be starting a blog or already have one how important this is <3 If you have other thoughts on this topic please feel free to comment below 🙂

xoxo,

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