Back again friends! Over the past few weeks, I have had a lot of questions about how I got started I the blogging world so I felt it was time to share my knowledge and answer some frequent questions to inspire anyone looking to start one of these things. It started back in 2015 when I was fully in my apparel marketing program at KSU and starting my minor in journalism. I decided to start a little blog on Wordpress after my friends and family gave me the encouragement to do so. I have always loved to write (English was my favorite subject in HS and I prefer writing papers over taking a test!) and my sister suggested I start a fashion blog to combined my two passions and show the world my style. We both had a few bloggers we loved and followed (Gal Meets Glam, Sequins and Stripes, Cupcakes and Cashmere and Carly the Prepster to name a few!) and she and my mom thought I had to the talent to start one as well! My first post ever was about a pit-stop in Nashville after my mom and I's flight to NYC got canceled. I wrote it in our hotel room on the Wordpress app and hit post after my mom snapped a quick pic of me. I started and Instagram and the rest is history right? Hahaha not quite....
Fast forward 2 years and I hadn't posted since that first post.... I changed my blog name 3 times and turned my Wordpress into a Wix which then basically just turned into my resume on a website. I knew I loved it when I started but it felt like so much work to keep it going because I was trying to look like the "perfect" blogger. The second semester of my senior year, I took a magazine and writing class at the journalism school. This class required a blog so that we could keep writing and practicing everyday. Now since this was a school assignment, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to rebrand and refresh to get inspired to write again. But what would I even call this draft? I called one of my best friends and asked him for suggestions and as a joke said Kris and Tell. I laughed and thought it was clever but then I actually loved the name because it was unique, memorable and just felt like me. So since 2017, my blog has grown into what it is! So, what is like to have a blog? What does it take to run one? How do I run mine? Here are all the answers to some of the questions I have gotten about Kris and Tell:
Q: How do you pick your topics?
A: I pick them based on what feels natural! Obviously I started out with fashion and as you can tell by my Instagram that is still my main topic but I like to write about what I feel in the moment! I love fashion but I also love career development, travel and sharing my personal story. I suggest having a main focus to help you start out but don't be afraid to branch out! Not everyone is going to be proficient in fitness, fashion, beauty, travel and whatever else there is so make it your passion! I can't do beauty or make-up to save my life so adding that section wouldn't fit my personal brand. But I do love podcasts, movies and allllllll things TV so adding those suggestions to my Tea and Tell section was a natural fit! Show who you are, not what you think a "blogger" should be.
Q: Who takes your pictures? Do you hire a professional?
A: Nope! My wonderful mom, fiancé and friends take my photos! While I still feel sheepish to ask, they are wonderful and are always eager to help! I have a couple of pals that are photographers (if you want to check out one, go check out my friend Jess's page https://femininqualite.com/) and if I bribe them with enough coffee or brunch they can do some of my more extensive shoots! I am extremely lucky I have an AMAZING support system that has been with me from the beginning and knows that sometimes I have to step away to snap a pic or post on Instagram. That being said, when I am with friends or family I try NOT to post everything we are doing to stay in the moment and be with my friends as Kristin and not as a blogger. It is a balance but I think I have finally managed how to keep that balance going.
Q: Is blogging your full-time job or do you have another one?
A: I have a full-time job while I run my blog! While eventually I would like to turn this blog into a business, it isn't exactly paying my electric bill lol. I wrote about how I got my new job here and all about adapting to change and I am lucky to work at a place that allows me the time to do both!
Q: What do you use to edit your photos?
A: I have used a lot of different apps in but my favorite is VSCO! I use one of their presets and I think it works perfectly for my feed! I have also used Faded and Lightroom but I mostly use VSCO since it is on my phone and quick and easy to use.
Q: Do you have a professional camera or just your iPhone?
A: I have a professional camera! I got it my Junior year of college as a b-day gift from my parents. It is a Sony and I love it for trips and when I plan out photoshoots! However, a lot of my outfits and photos are in the moment shots so I just use my iPhone for those!
Q: Do you make money?
A: Yes and no. I am lucky to be on an app called LIKEtoKNOW.IT where my followers and readers can shop what I am wearing. With that app, anytime someone buys from one of my links I get commission! That is why it is important to follow any influencer that is on the app because that is where all the content is! In addition to that, I do collaborations with brands when the opportunity presents itself and when I feel it is natural for my brand. With collaborations, they could be paid or they could let you borrow for a shoot or give you something for free! It all depends on the brand and what you negotiate.
Q: Who does your website or what site do you use?
A: I run my own site and always have! I am the only one who has access to my site to write and curate all of the content. I try to make updates when necessary to keep it fresh but I manage everything on this page. I switched over to using Wix when I revamped because I found easier to manipulate the way I wanted. I also pay for my domaine name but I would suggest starting out with a free site to see where it goes! There are tons of platforms and each blogger has their favorite so do some research and see what you like.
I hope this answered some questions and hopefully encouraged those to start what they love! Blogging can seem so daunting at first but everyone has a voice. Be yourself and the words will start flowing! I am so thankful to have this as a creative outlet and fun way to connect with others and I love this little community we have made. If there are any more questions that I didn't answer, leave them in the comments below, email me at email@example.com or DM me on Instagram.