Today is my 8th anniversary of creating content on my own, for my own website. In eight years, I’ve learned a lot. Back in 2007 when I started (as MIMI+MEG) there weren’t many blogs around. The two I remember were Design*Sponge and Oh Joy!
I didn’t start my blog with the intention of “being a blogger” because at the time, that wasn’t a thing. Blogging wasn’t monetized like it is today (if at all!). I started blogging for a few reasons. It was before Pinterest, so having a blog was a good way to keep all of my digital inspiration somewhere. I thought it would be my online aesthetic portfolio that would basically become my résumé and help me get a really cool job later.
I also started it because I thought that it would be a good way to grow an audience so that by the time I had my own business or product, I’d already have people that liked my style, that might also like what I’d have to offer them later.
Both of these things have somewhat happened, but not exactly like I pictured. After I’d been blogging for a few years blogs and content sites became more monetizable, blogging became an actual job in itself. And about five years ago, upon moving to DC, I decided to make it my full-time gig, in addition to other freelance work (social media/online marketing consulting, graphic design, photo styling).
It’s been quite the journey — 8 years of blogging, and 5 of it as my full-time job — so I’ve learned some things I thought I’d share with you:
1 — If you’re blogging as a business, follow your passion, and the numbers.
Make sure you pay attention to your stats, and what your readers respond to. You don’t have to stop doing the posts that you love but that might not get the best response, but pay attention and let the numbers lead you.
2 — Communication is so important.
I can’t tell you how many times friends of mine have told me about working with a brand and either they, or the brand is unhappy, or expectations aren’t met. I cannot stress enough that communicating expectations (on both sides) and getting everything in writing is extremely important for a successful partnership.
3 — Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
If you don’t feel comfortable with a partnership or collaboration, then negotiate for what you do feel comfortable with.
4 — Value your time, your audience, and yourself.
Please charge for the time and effort you put into partnerships. Also take the size of your audience into consideration. Do NOT do things for free unless what you are getting out of it is very valuable to you. The rest of the world doesn’t go to work for free — you shouldn’t either.
5 — Underpromise, overdeliver.
This is one of my personal mottos. I always try to do my best when working on all content. But when I’m working with a brand or business, I always try to impress them with the content I create. I always want them to be really happy with how the partnership turned out.
SHOP THIS OUTFIT
Jacket // Tweed Jacket (under $35!)
T-Shirt // J.Crew T-Shirt
Jeans // Madewell Skinny Jeans
Handbag // Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)
Necklace // Small Gold Spike
Photos by Laura Metzler