Thanks to the Internet, we are able to connect with absolute strangers from opposite ends of the world. How else would we know about Internet sensations such as Tyler Oakley, get our five seconds of fame from viral videos, or learn about our favorite bloggers? Blogging has come in different forms throughout the years, but as far as we can tell, it’s here to stay. Anyone can easily set up an account and create a blog, but to actually be successful at it? That’s a different story. Cliché spoke with renowned business guru and fashion blogger Ariana Pierce to get her advice on joining the blogosphere.
Cliché: What are a few tips you want to give someone who feels as if they can contribute to the blogging community, but are too afraid to start?
Ariana Pierce: Bloggers are finally getting recognition and the opportunity to live out their dreams by sharing their story and lifestyle. Most of the time, the fear of blogging comes from thinking that there is not enough content to start a blog, or people comparing themselves to others who have been in the game for years. If you have a desire to blog, then you are going to have to just start. Write about what interests you and what makes life exciting from your perspective. If you have a company, then you can easily blog about what your product or service can do for the customer. Like with anything, you have to first start and then correct as you go. You will never really know how to perfect something until you practice it. Also, I would advise getting books and material on blogging to take away some of that doubt. I recently introduced my book, How to Build a Blogging Business…In a Week, which is a guide to anyone wanting to start their blog or perfect what’s already there. It takes the guesswork out, which is usually where the fear stems from.
What would you say to so many bloggers who become disappointed when they’re not noticed as much as they were hoping in a span of one night or maybe even within a year?
It’s so easy to look at other successful bloggers and think that they got to where they are in just a short time, when in reality, they’ve probably been doing it for years. I can tell you right now, you probably won’t get the recognition you are dreaming of for your blog until you put in some work and consistency. Companies, brands, readers, and even customers want to know that you take your blogging business seriously before they invest lots of money into you. Look at the beginning as your growth and maturity stage. Take that time to perfect and tweak your blog to make it more valuable. That way, when large opportunities do begin to come your way, you are worth more and can make a larger profit.
What type of advice would you give to an aspiring blogger who has a lot to say, but doesn’t necessarily have the photography, photoshop skills, or tools that seem to be a necessity?
For an aspiring blogger who may not have the best photographer or photoshop skills, that’s okay! Don’t let this be your excuse for not starting. When I first started blogging, I didn’t have a professional photographer, so I would use my phone camera during the day to take my photos. I used what I had during that time and made the most of it. As my blogging and audience began to grow, I decided that it was time to invest in my pictures by hiring someone in my area, with the professional equipment, to take my photos. Knowing that I needed lots of photos taken for my blog, I found a person to make a deal with for a price I could afford. Not stopping there, I took a mini photoshop course online to learn how to edit photos so I could empower myself to win at this blogging thing. Over time, I was making money from my business to pay for a camera and I met my awesome boyfriend, who is now my photographer. The moral of the story is that you should take it step-by-step and eventually invest in a photographer who you can work with over a long period of time.
When writing a blog, what kind of content do you notice gets more recognition than others?
When writing a blog post to my audience, I’ve found that sharing personal stories from my daily adventures gets a lot of recognition. People love to hear about exciting things that are happening and want to get involved, so it’s a great aspect to add to your posts. I would advise staying away from complaining too much or talking negatively. Your audience comes to your site to get away from their problems and enjoy a good read. Make it worth their while!
How do you go about creating collaborations with different brands and sponsors?
Since my blog has grown, brands and sponsors approach me to do collaborations. I have a set of guidelines that I follow when doing collabs. For example, things that don’t fit are either tweaked or passed on because I want to stay true to my beliefs and brand message.
If you want to work with brands who aren’t necessarily approaching you at this state, I would suggest taking some time to do reviews on your favorite items after buying them. Post your review on the blog and on social media. Tag them, use the brand hashtag and share with your readers why you love their products. This way, when brands are looking for bloggers to work with, your review will come up and it makes it a lot easier to approach them for collaborations.
Do you have a blogging process, such as mapping out what days to blog or what you’re going to blog?
My blogging process includes lots and lots of planning! I created this planner called the Superstar Chic Fashion Planner for bloggers who want to stay consistent and plan out their posts for the entire month. This is my go-to planner to map out what I want the focus of my blog to be about for the month. It keeps me organized and up to date.
What do you find the most frustrating thing about blogging?
The most frustrating thing about blogging has been staying consistent. When first starting out, I would be that blogger who posted every three months (yikes!). Once I learned how to get a system for my blogging business, things began to take off.
I’ve had a lot of debates about the online persona versus people in real life. Coming from a blogger’s perspective, do you agree with the fact we may not be seeing the “real” person behind the screen at times?
Your online persona should be what you want others to know about you. Though I believe that you should not totally give off a fake persona, you can be real without sharing all your business. I think that some people mistake you showing the good parts of your life as being fake, but it’s really just showing happy moments. Though I may go through tough times, I choose not to magnify those moments on Instagram or on my blog because what you put out there you get others involved with. Some things should be kept personal and between your loved ones.
You have already accomplished so much, but I know there’s a lot more in store. What else do you want to eventually accomplish?
I want to grow my Superstar Nail Lacquer and travel accessory brand internationally. I want my product to be in over 100 new stores this coming year and use my blog in media outlets to make a positive impact in the lives of other entrepreneurs.
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Ariana Pierce Teaches Us How to Blog Like a Pro: Photograph courtesy of Ariana Pierce