Hey CD community!
I’m Maristella Gonzalez from A Constellation and today I’m officially becoming the first Contributor on the chloédigital blog!
2016 is definitely shaping up to be an amazing year; one of major life lessons, experiences and accomplishments. From attending Create + Cultivate DTLA, where I heard so many inspiring and successful women speak, to being nominated as Breakthrough Fashion Blogger of the Year for the Bloglovin’ Awards.
During the past few months, I’ve received a ton of useful advice through the mentors I’ve had thus far, like Grasie Mercedes or Paola Alberdi at Create + Cultivate and Leandra Medine during the Bloglovin’ Awards mentorship day at H&M. And, of course, from my team at chloédigital!
Sure, you have to pay attention to SEO. Of course, you have to use hashtags on Insta. Don’t forget to comment on and like other bloggers’ posts, and it’s a must to cross promote on all your platforms. These are all very valuable tips, but the most important lesson I’ve learned this year is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to blogging! What works for one blogger may not work for another.
That’s why these rules that I’m about to share with you all are not the most important universal rules of blogging. Instead, and more importantly, the following guide is about making these rules your own.
Or, at least, how I’ve made them my own 😉
DIVERSIFY YOUR NETWORKING EXPERIENCE
Perhaps one of the most valuable things in any industry is creating a network of colleagues with whom to share ideas and receive support. Many bloggers recommend networking with other bloggers that belong to your same niche. But I’ve found it more enriching to connect with bloggers from all sorts of backgrounds that have different approaches to blogging, and that can become a valuable resource when I need inspiration or an opinion regarding anything from photography, to writing, to digital strategy, etc.
Think of networking as an opportunity to create your own multidisciplinary source of knowledge, support and motivation!
DON’T RESTRAIN YOUR PERSONALITY
Of course being professional is a must in every industry – but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to restrain your personality in order to do so. Instead, add a touch of your character to everything you do and use the things that make you different to meet new people and establish or consolidate professional relationships.
For example, whenever I was in New York for Fashion Week or when I attended Create + Cultivate, I was the crazy girl going up to anyone speaking Spanish and introducing myself to all the people in the room. Would this work for everyone? Maybe not…but it does for me! Find your own way of letting your personality shine through.
DON’T GO WITH THE FLOW
I will never forget the moment at Create + Cultivate when a panelist from (top notch) blogger agency Digital Brand Architects referred to the easy, done-to-death type of posts as “low lying fruit”. Typical photos and content that are easy ways to generate likes and traffic. Think of #ihavethisthingwithfloors, #flatlay and #coffeenclothes. Now, there’s nothing wrong with posting this type of content.
But if you really want to stand out, you need to up your game and post more than that. Instead of trying to replicate other bloggers’ content, use your skills and personal background to come up with other types of posts. I’m a designer, and it was right at the time I started to use my designer skills that my blog really began to feel like a cohesive and original concept.
IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT THE NUMBERS
Most people believe that the most successful publishers are those with thousands and thousands of followers and pageviews. And of course, numbers do matter, but they’re not necessarily reflective of the actual situation or reputation of a publisher. What does success look like to you?
Maybe you’re more interested in having a highly involved community of readers who support each other and find common ground in your content (as Leandra put it; are you looking for empty eyeballs or an emotional response?) Or maybe what you really aim for is being signed by a top agency – which you can also achieve if you’ve built a strong, identifiable brand, regardless of your follower count
Ultimately, if you’re passionate about blogging, the best advice I can give you is to be patient. The process of becoming a successful blogger is different for each and every one of us. Focus on being original and differentiating yourself, and the rest will come!