Hello there, friends! This past week was Style Inherited’s 3 year blog-iversary!! (I’ve actually been blogging since 2013, buttt I didn’t start taking my blog seriously until 2017 when I re-branded as Style Inherited). Keep reading for a little walk down memory lane and to find out what 3 mistakes I made in my first 3 years of blogging!
I can’t believe 3 years ago around this time I’d just started working at a hedge fund in NYC. I’d taken a job in finance to make a competitive salary and to be able to pay off my student loans (all $28,000 of them) in under 2 years. And it worked! While I spent my days 28 stories above Central Park, I spent my nights typing away on my laptop in Greenwich, CT. Fast forward to now and I’m living debt-free and working for myself!
Mistake #1 // I was too scared to ask for help. Over the past 3 years I’ve made so many blogger friends through IG! It’s a great way to connect with like-minded creatives and to grow your brand. In the beginning I was too scared to reach out and ask for help. Honestly, I probably lacked confidence in myself and my brand in my early days and I feared in reaching out to other bloggers, I’d end up being made fun of. Now I realize how ridiculous that was!
There are plenty of bloggers willing to answer a quick question or two over Instagram DM or even better, shoot them an email! If you think someone seems really cool online and you’re like “gosh, I want to be friends with them,” then DM them, introduce yourself, and maybe you guys will become IG friends!
It takes so much longer to grow on your own, so don’t! Start by connecting with local bloggers in your area and cultivate those relationships. Down the road if you’re like me, you’ll want to host some awesome blogger events and invite all those local ladies! If you look up to someone online, feel free to tell them that! It’s always makes my day when an accounting just starting out reaches out to me to say how they enjoy following me 🙂
Mistake #2 // I found out the hard way that sometimes being helpful can hurt you. Unfortunately there are some bloggers out there who don’t always have the best intentions. I’ve learned this the hard way. Most of the bloggers I’ve connected with over the years are awesome, but some aren’t. Always be cautious and if something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t be afraid to walk away.
As much as I love collaborating and sharing ideas with my blogger friends (and I certainly still do this a lot), I’ve learned to be extremely careful who I do this with. Sometimes bloggers present themselves as a friend at first only to take your ideas and frame them as their own. Don’t get me wrong, in the world of blogging there are very few original ideas. Many things are reimagined or inspired by content seen elsewhere, but of course it just hits a little different when someone you trusted ends up turning against you.
You’re probably a little confused since this seems to completely contradict my previous sentiment. My best advice here is to be open, but cautious. Protect your best ideas or your future endeavors by keeping them to yourself. If you must share them, then only do so with your most trusted circle. Be willing to meet new people, just make sure you get to know them fully before fully trusting them!
Mistake #3 // I undersold myself (& sometimes still do). It’s time to talk money. For the first year I didn’t make any money blogging. Keep in mind, I was making lots of money at my job in NYC, so I wasn’t struggling by any means. Honestly, I’m torn here. I didn’t charge brands in year 1 because I was just getting start, just establishing myself, and just starting to find my voice. If I didn’t know who I was fully, then how could I expect brands to value my content enough to pay for it?
I also see the other side to this, which is that our time and efforts are worth being recognized by a paycheck. I wouldn’t have gone to work each day at the hedge fund just for fun or for a new pair of shoes, so why is it that I’m okay with that as a blogger? The answer, it’s complicated.
Even in year three of blogging I still from time to time take for-trade partnerships and I’m not proud of that. I know I deserve to be paid for my content at this point because I know what I have to share is high quality. I have an authentic audience who is listening to what I have to say and that is worth more than $100 in free product.
Mistake #4 // I didn’t start using Pinterest right away. Surprise! I wanted to share one last mistake with you guys, because this one is just too good to leave out! When I started Style Inherited in 2017 I knew what Pinterest was, but I didn’t know how important it was to growing my brand.
Two years later, I finally took the jump into Pinterest and guys, my blog traffic exploded SO soon afterwards! If you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin with Pinterest, I feel ya! Since learning how to Pinterest, I’ve grown my account to over 3 million monthly viewers, my email subscriber list grows daily thanks to my Pinterest traffic, and my blog traffic increases by at least 50% each month!
That’s why I created the Learn How To Pinterest with Helen LIVE-taught Pinterest Course via Zoom. My next course offering will be in September and I’ll be announcing the dates soon! If you want to get on the list or to find out more details, click HERE!
Learn how to make viral pins here!
BONUS Advice: invest early on in learning how to take high quality photos. The quality of your photography is something that brands will value regardless of your following size or monthly blog views. Brands are always looking for professional photos to use on their website, email marketing, and/or social media and they’re willing to pay for them!
I’m embarrassed to admit that it took me almost 3 years to learn how to really use my DSLR camera. Please don’t make that same mistake! And if you need a quick lesson on how to use your camera, I’m here to help!
Photo credit: Mindy Briar
Check out her newly launched blog here!
keywords: 3 Mistakes I Made In My First 3 Years Of Blogging // lifestyle blogger // lifestyle blog // blogging tips // how to start a blog // new blogger // Connecticut blogger
Designed by Gillian Sarah
Images by Helen Phillips
Copyright 2020 Life on Phillips Lane
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Helen….your blogs are so much FUN!
Mistakes or not what you share with us is GOLDEN….keep the posts coming Helen
Thank you so much Anna Marie! You should do a guest post about your giant sunflowers!
Helen this is such a great piece! As someone who is new to developing a blog and her own voice online, I’ve felt a lot of fear! Fear of not being liked for what I have to say, who I am etc. I’m learning this is a story and it’s human nature to feel this way. It’s also more important for me to be my authentic self than to let fear hold me back from expressing myself! Thank you for always being so real with your followers. I absolutely look up to you and appreciate all that you do!
Lauren! Hi 🙂 thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve read your blog a few times now and I LOVE what you have to share. Your writing style and voice seem to come so natural to you, soooo just keep doing what you’re doing! I’m always here to chat more if you’d like, but I think you’re doing great!
I love this, Helen! Such an insightful post. I love having made a friendship via this blogging world and know I can always count on you for guidance and support.
Thank you Elsa! I’m so glad I’ve met you through blogging! 🙂