The other day I did a story question box on Instagram asking my followers what questions they have about bloggers. There were an overwhelming amount of questions on blogging and how I got to where I am, which was amazing! I realized it was time to keep you guys more informed, so I answered a ton of questions and saved them in a highlight reel on my Instagram page.
Aside from those, I received a few questions that I didn’t answer, and some that were a little invasive. I wanted to write more about proper questions to ask and why some of them shouldn’t be said. I’m also providing insight on some of these questions, so hopefully I can shed some light for you!
How do you make money?
I actually don’t mind answering this question. When I first started blogging, I had no idea I could make money doing it! I sincerely started my blog as a hobby. I needed to get my mind off of working a ton and traveling frequently across the country for my previous marketing job. When I found out I could make money doing it, I was pleasantly surprised!
There’s a few ways I make money. First, affiliate marketing via LikeToKnow.it. Truth be told, I only make a few pennies to a few dollars per item sold on LikeToKnow.It. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the ~13k people who follow me on LTK, and love seeing the items that you like to buy! Truthfully, this could be an entire blog post in it’s own, but you support me immensely by following me on the LikeToKnow.It app! Plus, it’s the only (and easiest) way to shop my looks. When I see trends of what you guys are buying, I try to share more items like that, as well. It truly helps us both!
Second, brand partnerships! I love working with clothing, beauty, and travel brands to share products on my Instagram and Blog that I’m loving. It’s a great way for a company to get brand awareness, attain new customers, and for me to share items you wouldn’t have heard of otherwise! My promise to you guys is to NEVER work with brands or share any item that I’m not enjoying myself. If I wouldn’t buy it, I’m not sharing it.
How much money do you make?
Ok, now that I’ve shared a couple of ways I make money blogging, please bear this in the back of your head… DO NOT EVER ask a blogger what her income is. It’s so rude. Would you ever ask a complete stranger what their salary is? How about a friend? I sure wouldn’t! It’s literally the same thing asking a blogger what she’s making. Please don’t ask! It’s shocking how many people ask me this question and it’s so awkward for me when I have to shut someone down with no answer.
What’s the contact info for XYZ brand?
This one is probably more for other bloggers asking questions. I have a long history of sales and sales management. Needless to say, I’ve become really good at finding the right person’s email address for a brand I want to reach out to! Also, 9 out of 10 times brands have influencer contact info on their Instagram or website. It’s really not that hard to find!
If you’re an Influencer looking to build brand relationships, shoot a brand a DM on Instagram and tell them you want to work with them! I almost always get a response. If I don’t get a response, I shoot an email. Super easy, right?
The thing is, there’s a TON of us girls out there trying to make a living, and not all brands are a good fit for everyone. There’s plenty of times where I reach out and get no response. I just chalk it up as a non-fit and move on! I absolutely NEVER reach out to another blogger via email or Instagram and ask them for a contact.
Think about it – that blogger has spent their time emailing brands, developing a relationship, and proving their worth! They earned that relationship, and it’s my job to do the same for myself. I promise you it’ll be more rewarding if you do it on your own and the brand will be much more impressed with you for it.
Will you follow me?
Believe it or not, I get asked this ALL the time! I know it’s super flattering to have other bloggers follow you, but isn’t the point of being an influencer gaining an organic following who wants to follow you and buy the stuff you’re sharing?
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE following my influencer friends or other influencers I admire. I’ve followed girls for years who I ended up meeting at NYFW last year, and love them even more now that I’ve seen in real life what incredible strong boss babes they really are! It’s so flattering when they follow me back, but my 98k something followers are primarily NOT bloggers. These are actual people who like what I’m posting and are buying items that they like from my page. I appreciate every single one of them and am thrilled to be able to connect with them on Instagram! It’s truly the best feeling.
I promise my follow isn’t as valuable to you as someone who found you organically and is really into your feed!
Can you give me a shout out?
Ok… this one I get from time to time, as well. I love doing stories (like Follow Friday’s, for example) with influencers I admire and have connected with! I did one last week with Ally Deaver (she’s freaking awesome), but let me give you some context.
Ally and I have been in touch for months! We comment on each others photos, we chat in DMs, we have a relationship and I actually love what she’s doing with her feed and brand. I shouted her out, because I think my followers would vibe with her!
It would be extremely inorganic for me to share a stranger in my stories or on my feed, just because they asked. I’ve never asked another blogger to do that for me, as I respect their business and what they’ve built – plus what would I really gain out of it? A few followers (maybe)? I promise you if you work hard and really engage with your audience, you’ll grow and it’ll be WAY more worthwhile than if I shared you in my stories.
Can you tell me your secret to growing?
Isn’t it funny thinking about this one? I get asked what my “secret sauce” is all the time. Here’s the thing… there ISN’T one! I grind you guys, I freaking grind! Check out what my schedule was up until January 31, when I quit my full time job. I hardly slept and worked my butt off!
I’m constantly learning, constantly trying to grow, and also supporting other women in the Influencer community. That’s my key!
I also don’t reach out to other bloggers and ask them that question. Anything I’ve done has been strictly on my own or through Google. Don’t get me wrong, I talk to my friends (mostly Makenna), who are also Influencers, and we bounce ideas off of each other. We make suggestions about photo editing, talk about engagement, hashtags that work, etc, but we really don’t have a secret! Try it on your own, watch YouTube videos, and don’t be complacent.
How do you deal with the crazy Instagram Algorithm?
Girl… I don’t! The Instagram algorithm completely 100% out of my control! So guess what, I’m in the same boat as EVERY OTHER INSTAGRAM USER in the world. We are all created equal in Instagram’s eyes. So why complain? Sure some posts do much worst than others, but it’s not the Instagram algorithm throwing me off, it’s my post.
Sometimes when I think I’m about to post the absolute best picture and when I do post it, the photo tanks (less likes, less impressions, etc.)! Instead of sitting there complaining, I chalk it up as a learning situation and move on. Please stop complaining about the algorithm. We all are in it together and just have to keep on learning and growing!
Will you share my products for me?
This is more of a frequently asked brand question! I get asked all of the time by amazing business owners to post their products for them. As much as I would LOVE to do this… that’s not who I am. What if I one day just started posting ton of pictures every day shouting out companies and their products? Would you believe me? I wouldn’t! It’s super disingenuous and it goes back to the “will you shout me out” question… so I don’t work like that.
I promise you that I will only post products I love, whether the brand is paying me (which I disclose with #sponsored or #ad) or not.
SO you do you just get free stuff and take pictures?
Um… how nice would that be! I literally had someone message me once and say “teach me your ways, I don’t want to work anymore.” Well I had news for her! I used to work at LEAST 80 hours a week between my full time job and blogging. Yes you saw it, 80 hours a week. I think Makenna still does that! She’s a boss, and still works full time while blogging full time. Mad props to any girl out there doing it still!
You can see my old schedule HERE and then ask me if it’s not work. 🙂
I realize this job is not traditional, so it’s really intriguing and what goes into the job abnormal. I can tell you, I work probably 60 hours a week now. I’m obsessed (my husband loves to tell me that too! He’s right…). I love writing blog posts, finding new affordable outfits, doing try on sessions and sharing how my outfit fits. It’s not an effortless job, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had! But I swear to you, it’s a lot of work, so please don’t discount how much a blogger actually does put into his/her job.
Some more insight… When we travel, we often are working the ENTIRE time. It’s always business for us – it’s taking photos, going to cool places, changing outfits in public bathrooms to get another outfit pic, and writing reviews when we’re back. We absolutely have a good time, but we all have a common bond and understanding of why we’re on that trip and how hard we have to work.
I love sharing my world with you guys! I’m honored that I get these questions, because it means you’re interested. I hope this is a helpful guide of how to interact with Influencers and gives you motivation if you are an Influencer to run your business your way!