A lot has changed since I hit publish on my very first post back in October of 2012. A LOT. OF. DRASTIC. CHANGES.
Instagram became a thing, and took influencer marketing to a whole new level. The amount of content creators increased, but the amount of bloggers decreased. In 2013, I received my first influx of pair partnerships. In 2017, I became an LLC. In 2018, I signed with an agency. So many things have changed for me over the last six years, and with that, comes A LOT of valuable lessons learned.
Money shouldn’t be your priority
I say this every single time someone asks me if they should start a blog, or take Instagram more seriously. Money should not be a priority. Sure, it’s really amazing to have additional income on the side. That’s definitely one way to look at it. But over the years, I’ve built a small yet loyal community who can see RIGHT through me if I take on a partnership that seems “off.”I wrote more on off brand partnerships in this post. So while money is nice, being transparent with your readers is even better…it’ll keep them coming back.
But your blog should be
You probably hear people who have blogs say this: Tomorrow Instagram could disappear tomorrow, and many would be left scratching their heads…and probably without jobs. I often hear, “Oh but I’m not a good writer.” That’s just an excuse. I don’t think you have to write long form posts in order to run a successful blog. Having a space of your own is SUPER important. Of course, Instagram is on a lot of people’s minds right now, but I really do think your website should come before all else.
Adapt, adapt, adapt
If we’re being honest, most of my paid partnerships as of late have been Instagram only. But that’s okay. I know how important my blog is, and I know I just need to adapt to the way the influencer marketing pendulum is swinging for the time being. Between the amount of growing full-time influencers, a part of me always feels like I need to hustle extra hard to get on their playing field. No, I’m certainly not doubting their hard work (as a lot of my friends do this full time), but I definitely feel the pressure at times.
There’s the algorithm that forces you to re-evaluate your Instagram strategy every few months. There’s the new WordPress update that is screwing with people left and right. And then there are the trends: Fashion, beauty, schedule updates, being more “real”. It’s a lot to have to adapt to, but when you love doing something, you put the effort in. That’s why I’m willing to adapt to any change in the digital space that comes my way!