Whhhatt? One year already? I can’t believe it! If you would have told me a year ago that I could have actually made the leap to do this full time I probably would have deemed you as crazy.

But here we are!

First and foremost I would like to thank everyone (including you) for taking the time to read what I’ve put out there and engage with my posts and pictures. Without your support, I couldn’t be where I am today. So THANK YOU!

Now into the deets or as today’s kids call the “tea”. This last year blogging has been the biggest game changer for me. I went from not knowing how to properly dress, to working with brands like Sephora and Neutrogena!

So what changed? How did I do it? Whats’s the tea? Keep reading to find out my 5 takeaways from my first year of blogging!

Branding/Cohesiveness

Up front the number one thing that changed my overall blogging and Instagram game was figuring out my brand and building a cohesive feed! I knew pretty early on I wanted to be in the lifestyle category because it didn’t just restrict me to fashion or travel, I could do both!

Once I nailed down what category I wanted to be in, I started looking at editing styles and tweaked a preset that I could use to fit over my photos and videos. This allowed me to stay cohesive with my posting and allowed me to bring certain colors in my brand.

My brand and posting style is more contrasted photos with deeper coloring. For more reference look to my Instagram!

Finding my brand and cohesiveness also helped me grow my following up to 10k Instagram followers. This is the number piece of advice I would give to those trying to grow or get more interaction on Instagram! Stay consistent and have a theme and cohesive theme.

Quality Pictures/Content

I know many people who shoot amazing content on their iPhones, and honestly, if I had a newer nicer iPhone I probably would as well, but I like the pictures and content I get out of my DSLR as well.

Investing in a DSLR camera was the best investment I put toward my blogging and digital content career. Not only have I made my money back and more, but it gives a more professional cohesive feel to my feed and brand.

Currently, I shoot on a T3i Cannon with a 35mm and 50mm lens. One of my goals this next year is to amp up my camera gear, but this camera definitely gets the job done and more.

Feeling Failure and Rejection

Before blogging I was in the acting/modeling business, so rejection and feeling like a failure wasn’t a new concept to me. But it still definitely happens in the blogging world, and that’s okay!

This last year there were lots of ups and downs, and many rejection emails. But I learned that that was okay, and maybe now wasn’t the time to be working with certain people or brands! Feeling like a failure and getting rejection happens but it doesn’t deem your success or worth.

If anything keep going! Don’t let one bad email or bad day get you down. Know tomorrow will be better and get ready to crush your goals!

Brand Work

Working with some of my favorite brands and companies was a high note of my first year, and something I plan to continue doing! Working with brands is how many bloggers make their income aside from ads or affiliate marketing.

How does it work? A brand or company’s (like Sephora) team will reach out via email and propose terms for collaboration. This usually entails content needed, deadline, and payment. Some brands will pay, others won’t (but I’ll get to that next!)

After terms are discussed a date is set and the blogger or creator will deliver that content within that time frame! It’s the new way of marketing in my opinion, and it’s how I was able to monetize my blog and Instagram this last year.

While I did have brands reach out to me, don’t be afraid to reach out to them! I have done many collabs where I made the first move. You don’t need to have a certain number of followers to reach out either, brands aren’t looking for numbers these days, but how quality your content and interactions are.

For more info on being a successful influencer see here.

Authenticity and Knowing your Worth

Social Media can be an easy way to “fake” how you feel. But if there is one thing I can’t stress enough it’s being AUTHENTIC!

Being genuine and authentic with yourself and following is how to gain true interaction and start having a real discussion. I find more people want to see both sides of the camera and not just the final product.

This also plays into knowing your worth. Starting out I took lots of projects that didn’t involve any compensation, but it helped me build my brand. As I started to gain traction that’s where I was able to set a price point for my blogging and Instagram.

Setting that price point and knowing my worth has helped when choosing what brands and companies I want to work for. Contrary to popular belief a good blogger doesn’t take EVERY collaboration thrown at them.

Side note, if a company wants you to PAY for any part of the product (including shipping) it’s not a collab.

Work with brands that align with your authenticity and brand. If you are strictly a food blogger don’t promote a shirt a company has set you. Or if you don’t end up like a product or company don’t be afraid to speak up.

There have been times when I thought I would like a product or company but ended up not, and I would have to write the company back stating why I couldn’t share this with my following.

Your followers put trust in you, that’s why they follow you right? Being authentic and knowing your brand is what makes YOU!

So here’s to the next (and hopefully many) years of blogging and learning new things! Let me know down below what you have learned or what you want to learn in your blogging career!

xx Tina

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2 Comments

  1. Alisa Infanti
    June 6, 2019 / 2:39 pm

    Authenticity is absolutely one of the most important things on social media. With so many influencers hitting the news because of sketchy things it is more important than ever to be real and trusted.

  2. Sue
    June 6, 2019 / 6:43 pm

    Nice recap! I just started blogging a month ago so I’m not there yet but love reading about the experiences of others! Thanks!

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