Today, I wanted to talk about rules I live by when it comes to being a blogger/influencer. I know I have a small following, but I wanted to touch on this topic for fellow growing influencers. As time flies by, I’m becoming more and more confident in what I want here on SSD (and with my calling in life). The more I write what’s on my heart in real time, the more I’m comfortable in my skin and who I am. The outfit poses, however, still need some work, haha!
I’ve talked about blogging lessons I’ve learned earlier this year and even shared what to do when things seem hard because it was a topic that was on my heart. For this blog post, I wanted to talk about who I am as a blogger and the rules I have set for myself and live by.
When it comes to conversations and discussions online, I’m a huge believer in the fact that if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all. Before I started taking my blog seriously, I knew that I wanted to allow readers to give their two cents. After all, how can I get better without constructive criticism and feedback? One thing I will NOT tolerate? Unnecessary hate. For example, comments like, “Your feet are ugly!” or “You’re too thin/fat!” will not be tolerated.
People already have a tough time with self image, especially women. This is one thing I will not let happen on this blog nor on my social media platforms. I will not be afraid to stand up for myself, my readers/followers and utilize the delete and block buttons.
As a growing blogger, I know that with time, I’ll become more successful. The more success that comes my way, the more I’ll be online. Until that day happens, two things are for sure: I will always take one day of rest from the blog and 2) I will not respond to emails after my office hours. It’s all about respecting myself and time with my family/friends who aren’t in this blogging world of mine.
What I mean by editing is using apps or software to alter my appearance. Aside from the occasional zit, raindrops, wrinkles in my clothing, stuff on my backdrop or on the ground, I refuse to Photoshop myself to give off an appearance of being thinner than I am, alter my height, etc. I’m very comfortable in my own skin so I feel no need to edit myself in such a way. I work a day job anyway and it’s hard enough as it is trying to create, write and schedule posts to go live five days a week. That and it’d be weird if I Photoshopped myself and you met me in person and I did NOT look like my photos, haha! #AwkwardMoment
And for the record, I’m 5′ 3″ so if I ever do look somewhat tall in my photos, I thank my parents for my long legs and for Rachel knowing what angles work best, lol! Thanks, Rachie!
The topics I write on here are in real time, usually at a week or two in advance at most. Some days, I’ll have a post scheduled to go live and then God tells me, “Nope, post this instead.” It’s happened more than I’ve expected, but I couldn’t be happier. Why? It’s in real time! What my thoughts are, what I’m going through/experiencing is very current. About 98% of topics on this blog is based on real-life experiences. The other 2% is based on inspiration I’ve drawn by reading other blogs. I try to keep every category even keel so there’s not too much or too little of something.
I grew up in a family that had a very tight income/budget and remember every hardship we’ve gone through. I’ve come a long way myself. I remember I used to dream about what it was like to not worry about money, to buy whatever I wanted without worrying about what’s left in my bank account. I still do, however, my goal is to be extremely well-off, to the point where I don’t have to check my bank statements until the end of the week when I sit down to cross-check everything.
I’m definitely not ashamed to admit this because I know that my working hard to make it in life comes from my parents and I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that I’m successful. It’s the only way to honor their hard work. That’s why right now, you’ll see affordable items on my blog. However, it is my goal to be a luxury lifestyle blogger. Not only do I want to create content that I want to watch/read myself, I want to prove that people can live in that 10% if they work hard to get what they want, that even with humble beginnings, one can stay humble when they’re successful (whatever that means to a person) and wealthy.
SPONSORSHIPS / AFFILIATE LINKING
It’s extremely important to me to disclose to my audience how I get paid whether it’s with money or product. Whether you believe it or not, everyone is a seller. After all, whatever we recommend to our friends and family when they ask us about a product or service, we are selling. However, we do NOT get paid for it. Isn’t that a doozy? I figured it was time to acknowledge this as truth so, I finally started (this year) embracing the fact that I’m a sales/business woman.
Yes, I do use affiliate links so I can make a few bucks, but I have taken into careful consideration who I work with. I believe in this so much that I put it in my disclosure, in which you can read anytime. Even though I’m coming up on my year mark, I have turned away brands that do not match my aesthetic and voice. Part of me once thought, “Well, you’re a small influencer, so be grateful and take whatever work/partnerships you can get.” However, my heart won. I couldn’t collaborate with a brand that wasn’t “me” as a whole. It was important for me to establish this rule from the beginning. I wanted to be fair to myself and brands I work with so no one’s time is wasted.
This rule has taught me that it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to “be picky” with brands I work with. Side note, if you have ever clicked and/or purchased something from my links, thank you. Thank you for giving me a small commission to do what I love: share what I love while utilizing my God-given gifts.
I laid down these rules since day one because if I hadn’t, I knew I’d no longer be grounded. I wouldn’t be me. Instead, I’d pretend to be someone else while being a puppet for brands that may not reflect the real me. Therefore, I would no longer be in control. Someone else would call the shots for me and for me, as an entrepreneur, that’s not freedom.
It’s hard because success in this industry is very slow now as it’s SO saturated. Part of me feels like I was at the right place at the right time five years ago. However, I doubted myself and was too chicken to chase my dreams to see what the outcome could’ve been. Now that I don’t care about what others think of me and am well aware of who I am, I refuse to be like anyone else.
I don’t care how long it takes to grow my following, but I want real dialogue and real relationships with people even if it’s online ones. And lastly, I refuse to be a cookie cutter of someone else. I wrote my blog to regain confidence in myself, find my voice and my style. I don’t want to dress like someone else nor do I want to talk like them either. I’m proud of who I’m becoming and I can’t wait to go back someday and watch how I’ve evolved over time.
Anyway, on a lighter note, I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m in sandals in November. Answer? I live in freaking Texas! The day I shot this look was about 80-something degrees outside. I wasn’t about to pull the typical blogger thing and wear a sweater just to shoot a fall outfit. I wish. Trust me! Love y’all, but I’m not going to sweat for you guys, haha!
Thank goodness I found this dress at Clotheshorse Anonymous to battle Mother Nature’s indecisiveness! Also, my friend, Kimmie launched these beautiful ombre tassel earrings a little over a week ago and they’re SO beautiful in person!!! If you’re reading this Kimmie, I’m SOO proud of you!!!
So, do tell.
What rules do you live by as a blogger/entrepreneur?
Also, what do you think of the lace up dress style?
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