My Blogging Story
Hi everyone! Today I’m finally sharing my blogging story and how Simply Lauren Rose came to be what it is today. I hope this is helpful to all of you trying to start your own blog. It’s gonna be quite the long post, so grab some snacks and a drink and enjoy :-).
Alright so if I’m being honest, this whole thing started because of my shopping addiction and my spending problem and obviously my love for clothes. I have always loved shopping and loved seeing all of the new trends that come out each season. Since this has always been a passion of mine, one summer (July 2015 to be exact) I decided to turn my love of shopping (and my spending problem) into something that I could share with others. Being a teacher, I have summers off so I thought it would be fun to put those days off to good use. That’s when I decided to start Simply Lauren Rose. I had NO idea how much SLR would grow and I’m beyond thankful and excited that it has become what it is today. OK so now that you know how/why Simply Lauren Rose started, let me tell you a bit more about the steps I’ve taken to get to this point.
Obviously I had NO clue what the heck I was doing when I started this little thing and it was all about trial and error. I started by buying my domain name from Bluehost. I didn’t really know much about website hosting but I had heard great things about Bluehost so that is what I went with. I then had to decide whether I wanted to use Blogger or WordPress. I ultimately decided to use WordPress because after doing research, I heard it was the better option. So far, I’ve had no problems with it and it’s relatively easy to navigate. If you do have a question about something, you can typically find the answer via google. There are so many helpful sites out there that make working with WordPress a breeze.
After purchasing my domain, I decided to create an Instagram. I knew that Social Media is absolutely NECESSARY to drive traffic to my actual website and to get my brand out there in the world. I took that first step and made sure the name “Simply Lauren Rose” was available on Instagram. After creating the account, I started posting simple outfit pictures, and inspirational quotes, and all of that just so people could see my posts. I’ll get into more detail about Instagram and my strategies below.
SO basically what I did first to create Simply Lauren Rose was buy my domain name and create an Instagram account.
So like I said, I knew social media was going to play a HUGE role in driving traffic to my actual website, so I made it a priority. I started out by posting some pretty amateur photos and some inspirational quotes and fashion quotes and all that fun stuff. I also made a point to follow other fashion/style accounts that I loved – I still follow most of these accounts today! I think it’s important to follow people who are in the same industry as you and who have the same passions as you! I love following other bloggers to connect with them and to get inspiration from them too! Some of my favorites are Lauren Kay Sims, Pines and Palms 3, Caitlin Convington, Emily Ann Gemma, Pure Joy Home, and SO many more. They all have the cutest outfits every single day and you’ll love following them too!
OK so more on following bloggers I love – following them is not enough. You also need to interact with their photos. I make an effort (to this day STILL) to like fellow bloggers’ photos and comment on them! This comes easy to me because I genuinely DO love what they’re sharing so I’m going to “like” their photos and comment on their photos anyway. But interacting with other bloggers is a great way to get your name out there.
Posting Schedule for Instagram:
Alright so I don’t really have a specific posting schedule and I don’t use any app or anything to schedule my posts. I do have a business Instagram Account which I highly recommend if you’re a blogger or starting out as a blogger. The reason I recommend this is because it gives you all of your analytics in one place. Here’s what it breaks down for you:
Follower Count, Number of Posts, # of Impressions in last 7 days, # of audience reach in the last 7 days, # of profile views in last 7 days, # of website clicks in the last 7 days, # of email clicks in the past 7 days
It also breaks down some information about your followers:
% of followers that are male & female, ages range of followers, where most of your followers are located, what time of day your followers are most engaged
It also breaks down your posts individually (from the past year) and tells you the amount of impressions each post had.
It also shows you your stories and the amount of views and impressions your stories had.
Here’s a look at what my stats look like today:
^Above is an example of what my analytics look like! I didn’t do so great this week LOL.
OK now that I’ve gone through all that, I’m going to tell you why I think it’s important that you have a business account if you’re a blogger or starting a business or anything like that. I truly do analyze these analytics and determine when I’m going to post my photos to Instagram based off of what the analytics are telling me. For example, today (I’m writing this on a FRIDAY) the best time for me to post (when my followers are most engaged and most likely to actually SEE my post) would be between 3-7 PM.
Content on Instagram:
So from my experience, I’ve noticed that you guys like to see outfits that are affordable and easily attainable to the average person. I LOVE that you guys expect that from me because I’m all about that. I try to find affordable pieces that are still really cute and easy to style. There will be times where I do have some clothes or jewelry that are a bit more on the pricier side but I do believe in treating yourself! You should, too ;-).
I have also noticed that you guys (my followers) respond more positively to “outfit of the day” (or #ootd) pictures. Usually the pictures that I have my mom or sister take get the most engagement and positive feedback. I get this because they’re the ones that are the easiest for you to relate to – I’m a NORMAL person and those pictures show that. I’ve honestly never posted a flat lay picture of my outfits because I don’t have the ability to take a good one lol.
I also tend to post more casual outfits because that’s really what I wear on a day to day basis unless I have a special occasion. I feel like this is what most of my followers are looking for anyway. I have been posting a lot of outfits from Loft, Nordstrom, and J.Crew recently. I’ve had a few of you tell me that you never used to shop at Loft until you saw my posts! I think that is so funny and I’m glad you’ve found some new options from me!
I do often post outfits on my Instagram more than once because things often go on sale and I want to share that with you!
I also know that you guys want to see what I wear to work more often. I did create this page to show you what I wear to work. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been too consistent with updating it but it’s a goal of mine to post more consistently on there!
Posting on my Website:
Ok so again, I’ll be honest – I haven’t been so consistent with my blog posts. That being said – I also have another full time job so it’s pretty difficult for me to give 100% to both jobs. It’s also pretty hard for me to find someone to take pictures for me (especially when it’s so cold out!). I literally make my mom go outside in her pajamas (lol thanks mom!) just to snap a pic of my outfit of the day. Whenever my sister is home she’s really great about taking pictures for me. I also bother my brother and his girlfriend sometimes to take pictures for me too. I would say that’s the hardest part for me about posting consistently on my actual website.
When I do have photos and outfits to share in a full blog post – I’ll try to post it as quickly as possible so the items don’t sell out before I can even share them with you! As for a post like this (filled with lots of information), it takes me much longer to put together. I’ve been working on this one for weeks now! If there are specific posts that you’d like to see – I’d really like for you to see them as soon as possible.
Like I’ve said before, I know social media is HUGE when it comes to driving traffic to my site. I have been utilizing Insta Stories more often when it comes to this. When I share my skincare routine on my Insta Stories, it’s SO much easier when I have all the items linked in ONE post and I can just have you guys swipe up to get all your answers. I think that Insta Stories has been the main source of driving traffic to my site. So if you’re looking to do that – utilize your stories more! It has worked for me!
How I Get Paid:
I’ve gotten asked this question many times and it’s a good one! People must wonder how bloggers get paid – I know I did when I was first starting out. I mostly get paid through affiliate links. Usually in any blog post, I have affiliate links through a company called RewardStyle. Tons of brands and stores utilize RewardStyle and us bloggers get to benefit from that. We share our outfits with you guys and we use links from RewardStyle to get commission from your purchases. So if you click on ANY of my links and they lead to you a site (like Nordstrom or Loft), I will get commission based off of what the TOTAL is in your shopping bag. Each retailer gives us a different percentage of commission.
I also use a platform called LiketoKnow.it and I use this via Instagram. There is also now a LIKETOKNOW.it App that’s available in the App store. They make it super easy for you to shop all of my outfits! All you have to do is follow me on Instagram or on the LIKETOKNOW.it App and like or “screenshot” one of my photos! If you like my photo on your Instagram, you’ll get an email with details from my entire outfit. If you follow me on the LIKETOKNOW.it App, then you can just search for me “Simply Lauren Rose” and all of my posts will be there with links to each item! It’s really quite easy :-).
^A peek at what the LIKETOKNOW.it app looks like when you’ve downloaded it and followed me! You can click on each picture and you’ll be brought to a page where I’ve linked all the items I’m wearing! 🙂
Another way that I can earn money is by working with brands directly. I only share products with you that I absolutely love so if there’s a brand that reaches out to me that I don’t think fits with me and what I share, then I won’t accept the opportunity to work with them. I want to make sure that I am giving you guys the most honest feedback that I possibly can. There have been brands that I have been lucky enough to work with and that I’ve shared with you because I truly love their products.
OK I think I’ve written enough for today’s post. I will eventually share a post about how I plan what each blog post will be and all of that. If you have any more questions regarding how I got started with my blog, feel free to leave a comment and let me know! I know this was a jam packed post and I thank you if you made it this far!!
There ya have it! A look at my blogging story and how this all began! I hope you enjoyed this post!
Thanks for reading!