Always Stay Posted

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What you really need to know about blogging!

When I started on this blogging about two and half years ago, I had no idea the journey it would take me on! You can read all about how I got started here! I get questions all the time about blogging! So I decided to do this post to answer any questions you may be wondering!

1. How did you get started blogging?

Long story short (read the full story here)…. I was a first grade teacher for 13 years, and towards the end of teaching, I was feeling very stressed out. I wasn’t qualified to do ANYTHING else! One day, I just decided to start a blog! It took me WAY too long to come up with the name “Just Posted” – I mean, my last name is Post for crying out loud! Originally, my Facebook page was “Little Bits & Pieces”! Ha! So I started my Facebook page, Instagram page, joined ShopStyle Collective for my affiliate company, and launched a blog website!

2. Can you actually make a living blogging?

In short… yes! Every time you shop through the links I post on my page, you are helping support my dream! (The dream I didn’t even know I had!) There are several ways that bloggers earn money. The first way is through affiliate links. Basically, when you click on a link that link is affiliated to me! When you purchase through that link, I earn a small commission. Each retailers rate varies. I typically earn 2-12% off of the purchase. I also make money on a sponsored post. (These are the posts you see that say “ad” or “sponsored”.) A retailer will pay a fee for a blogger to do a blog post and all of the social media posts.

3. Do you get all of your clothes for free?

Ha! That’s funny! And the answer is NO! I actually purchase 95% of the clothes you see with my own money. Most of the time, I will make that money back from orders of that item on a post. Occasionally, a retailer will send a product for me to review. But most of the time, I purchase the items you see.

4. How often do people want you to promote their products?

I am contacted several times a day with someone wanting me to promote an item that they sell. Typically, I charge for a post. However, I will only promote an item that I like. Occasionally, I will get a product, test it out, and I don’t love it. If that is the case, you won’t see me promoting it on the page.

5. Who takes your pictures?

When I first started the page, I took my own pictures – mirror selfies, full body selfies, and using a tripod on my front porch! But as I continued to grow, I needed someone to take my pictures. My sweet neighbor takes almost all of my pictures. We go out almost every week, talk anywhere from 10-50 outfit pictures, and I am ready for the week.

6. Where do you take your pictures?

I live in a small town and most of the pictures are taken somewhere around town! This is SUPER glamorous… but I usually change in my neighbor’s van in between each post! Ha!

7. Do you keep all of the products you post?

Mostly, yes! But if I am doing a post on 7 great dresses to wear to a wedding, I don’t usually keep all 7 because I don’t need that many! But because I keep most of the products, my closet fills up pretty quickly. Every few weeks, I go through the items in my closet and pull the ones I don’t think I will wear again. I have several clothing racks in my attic and hang anything I choose to get rid of in the attic. Then twice a year, I have a sale at my house with clothes, shoes, bags, and more! I sell each item for $5 and almost everything goes to a new home!

8. How do you balance home life and work life since you work from home?

Oh man! This is a hard one! I try to set boundaries so that I am not constantly on my phone or computer when my family is home! But I will be honest, it is hard sometimes! The lines between work and home life blur since my office is on my couch! I try to work really hard during the school day while the kids are gone! Then I will work another couple hours at night when they go to bed.

9. What does a typical day look like for you?

Each day is a little different, but I try to keep a basic schedule! At 7:00 am, the kids and I get up and then we head to school. After I drop them off, I come back home, drink my coffee, and have my devotions. Around 8:30, I start my work day. I usually spend 1-2 hours getting posts scheduled for the next day. Almost every post you see posted on my Facebook page is scheduled. Depending on the week, I may have some sponsored posts that need to go live or need to be turned in and reviewed. I usually spend an hour working out during the week too. And lastly, I spend time answering questions on the posts and answering messages and emails. For me, this page is a community of amazing women. So when you take the time to write something on a post or send a message, I want to take the time to respond in some way!

10. How many hours do you work each week?

Well, each week definitely varies. But I typically work around 50 hours a week! Every job has parts of it that are more work than anyone knows, blogging is no different. When I get a sponsored post, for Nordstrom let’s say, I have to come up with a theme that I think will resonate well with my readers. Then I spend hours finding the perfect products for the post. Once the products come, I hang them up and steam them. After that, it’s time to be photographed in them! Next, I take all of those pictures and create a blog post and all of my social media posts. I submit a preview of all of these posts to be reviewed. After they are reviewed, I make any changes that are suggested and everything goes live!

11. What surprised you most about blogging?

A couple of things did surprise me! I had no idea how many hours a week it took to run a blog! I was also surprised at the negativity. Yes, you are definitely putting yourself out there. And while most comments are so sweet, there are the occasional ones that cause someone to be banned from the page. I have definitely developed a thicker skin, but it still hurts a little when someone is just plain mean! But overall, I have been overwhelmed with the love and support that you guys show every day! So thank you!

12. What advice do you have for someone who is just starting out?

The best advice I have is to just go for it! (Blogging, starting a new business, starting a dream you have always had, whatever it is…..) JUST GO FOR IT! I was definitely nervous at first, but I put my fears behind me! So if you are thinking about starting a blog, the first thing to do is just go for it! Start a Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest page. Then I started a blog website. I used a free Weebly site at first just to test it out. Then about 6 months in, I switched to the WordPress site that you see now. Join a few affiliate companies. The primary one I use is ShopStyle Collective. When I first started I joined ShopStyle, Amazon, and Share a Sale. This is how you can start making money blogging.

13. How did you grow so quickly?

I think this is a combination of several reason! When I first started out, I had NO idea what I was doing. I was definitely learning as I went along. I reached out to other bloggers and asked questions! Some answered, others didn’t. Some were helpful, others weren’t interested in helping. Another thing that has helped me grow is by posting consistently on my pages. I schedule posts on Facebook from 7 am to 11 pm – one an hour! I also think it is important to tell your story in your posts. I want you guys to feel like I do – the page is a community of amazing women! When I create my posts, I put my voice and story into each post. Lastly, I invest money into advertising my page through Facebook. Someone once told me, “If you want your blog to become your business, you have to treat it like a business. Sometimes you have to invest money to earn money!”

14. Do you think you will ever go back to teaching?

I don’t want to say the door is completely closed. But I definitely feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing right now. My license expired last July. I had enough PGPs to renew it, so I renewed it for five more years.

15. What is the best part about blogging?

My favorite part is being able to set my own schedule! Henry is in third grade, and Lucy is in first grade! I love being able to help in their classrooms on Wednesdays, go on field trips without having to make sub plans, and actively help our PTO! And teachers, you will understand this part – I love being able to use the restroom whenever I need to!! Ha!

16. What is the hardest part about blogging?

Balance!! Since I am working from home, the line between work life and home life can sometimes get blurred! One of the best parts of working from home is you can work whenever you want…. and one of the hardest parts about working from home is you can work whenever you want! As with every job, there are deadlines to meet, projects to complete, etc.

17. Do you have to have a website to be a blogger?

In short… yes and no. When I get a sponsored post, one of the requirements is a blog post. So when you are first starting out, you don’t have to create one right away, but as you grow, a blog post on your personal website may become a requirement.

18. How do you know what to buy?

Honestly, I just buy what I like! My style is a mix of inexpensive items paired with a few splurge items sprinkled in occasionally – I love my luxury handbags! But I started this blog because I wanted to help women become more confident in their own skin and be able to dress on a budget. So while I may throw in a few splurge pieces occasionally, most items I feature will be a good deal! I buy what I love! But I also pay attention to my analytics to see what sells well for you guys! I can see my average order size and most popular products! This is a HUGE factor when I am thinking about what to purchase for the page!

I hope this answers any questions you may have been wondering! If you have any more, please let me know! I am happy to answer them!

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