How did you first get into blogging?
I know I have told this story before, but I want to just reiterate it since this is a question I get asked frequently. I started a separate Tumblr, back in May 2013, just as a place where I could put all my photos. My goal really wasn't to be noticed, I created it just so I could be organized, stay inspired, and try to better my 'photography' (which at that time wasn't photography. It was literally pictures from my phone and mostly me standing in front of a mirror hahaha). Then, people started following it and asking me questions about my style, since most of the photos were fashion related and pictures of my outfits. I loved talking to people, giving them ideas, and it sort of blossomed from there. I got my first company, a choker company, who wanted to send me necklaces to promote and I was like wow, can this be a thing? Fashion blogging really didn't exist at that time, or it had just started coming about, so it was all new to me. I didn't really know if other people were doing things like this. But I stuck with it, because I loved it, and it kept going.
How did you start collaborating with companies?
So, like I mentioned before, I got really lucky because a company actually reached out to me first. Again, at that time I didn't really think I could be the one to reach out, I didn't even know collaborating with companies was a thing. Once I did that first collaboration, other companies realized and started reaching out to me more (through my business email--if you want to collaborate with companies or do blogging as a business, definitely make a separate, official email). But, of course there were companies I really wanted to work with, and I decided to just take the plunge. Literally, you have to think to yourself, what's the worst that could happen? They don't answer? Okay, you move on.
- When reaching out to a company...
- You can start it off with a cute hello, I usually say 'Hi there!'
- Quick introduction about yourself, what you do (one sentence)
- Say that you would love to collaborate, you could even compliment the brand and say why they're perfect for you're aesthetic
- Add a thank you and end with a simple, kind ending, like 'Best, Christie'
Again, don't be discouraged if they don't answer you. Sometimes I'll reach out to companies, forget about it because they haven't answered, and then all of the sudden I will get the reply in my inbox. It takes patience.
How do you now go about collaborating with companies?
Obviously, as your blog starts to grow and you collaborate with more and more companies, the opportunities will grow larger too. But, a thing I really, really feel passionate about is collaborate with companies that you love. You can get a lot of offers, all from various companies, but you have to make sure you stay true to yourself and pick companies that share the same aesthetic and message as you. Even if they are paying you, do they really match your style, or are you just doing it for the money? I have turned down opportunities that would have been obviously amazing to have just for the payment, but I am always reminded of that #1 rule that I set for myself. It might just be me, but it is very easy to tell when someone is doing a post just for the payment or benefits. Anyway, sorry for the rambling! Once collaborating with companies becomes a constant thing, keep reaching out, keep building relationships, and of course stay true. Also be aware that companies of companies that might be taking advantage of you. Set your rates and be confident in them and in yourself.
*Also, constantly keep the company in the know. If you have received their gift, let them know, say thank you, and tell them when your post(s) will be live. They will really appreciate it and it sets up a great relationship.
How can I set myself a part from everyone else?
I know this sounds typical, but I think it really helps when you develop a style that is uniquely you. Of course most of us in the blogging community follow trends and share them on our social media, but I find always have a little quirk that sets you a part. Whether that's how you physically style a look, how you edit your pictures, your color scheme. Also, you definitely don't have to have a color scheme or 'perfect flow', but it helps with staying organized and really knowing your style. Obviously I love sticking to my color theme because it makes me feel focused and motivated, but do whatever you feel will express you.
How do I feel confident in myself and what I'm creating?
It really is hard staying confident in an area in which it feels like 'you are just another blogger/creator/artist'. Especially now since everyone really does have the same style and share the same trends. You need to stop comparing yourself to others. Blogging isn't something you start because you want to make money and get sent free clothes. You have to have a passion and dedication for it; it has to be something you just love to do. Like how some people love writing poetry, or performing music, you need to love styling and photographing (or cooking, or giving advice, whatever your blog is about). Of course, the perks are amazing, but what will set you a part is how passionate you are about it. People will notice it and it really will make a difference. When you're doing something you love, the likes, the comments, the offers won't matter. You need to stay true to why you started and how happy it makes you feel.
Any other tips?
A little tip I like is simple--be kind. Never take anything for granted. Keep it real (haha, sorry that sounds corny). But seriously. If you do the right thing and the thing that feels okay in your heart, it will make a difference in the long run. Stick with your gut. Really pour your heart into what you want to create. And also, don't be discouraged if you go through a 'creative funk'. Everyone goes through them. I feel like I am in a creative funk at least once, maybe even twice, a month. Keep pushing! Also, it definitely helps if you set guidelines for when you want to post, what you want to post. Your followers will like it because they know when to expect new things, sort of like if you're a Youtuber and put up videos every Sunday. It also helps you with staying organized too.
Okay, even though these were just 6 questions, I obviously rambled quite a lot. If you still have a question, ask away in the comments! I probably won't answer in paragraph form but I really love talking and helping in any way that I can. Love you guys and thank you, as always, for supporting me so much! Again, really hope this helped!