The fact that I am writing an anniversary post is beyond me…WOW! Hello, my Loves! We are here!! One year of blogging/influencing in the books and what a ride it has been. It has been a joy for sure but a stressful one to say the least! I have learned so much and I continue to learn every single day. To be honest, I will always be learning! The blogging/influencing world is ever changing and most of my fellow bloggers know. Anything involving the internet and technology will have changes involved and rolling with the punches is something you have to get used to. That is definitely something that I need to work on “getting used to” since I am soooo Type A. I like to be set in my ways and that’s it, ha!
Before we get into my tips and tricks for beginning bloggers and influencers, I wanted to share why I started this journey in the first place. When I was pregnant early on with Noelia, I came across Andee Layne on Instagram (@andeelayne) and absolutely fell in love with her! If you follow her, I’m sure you know why! I connected with her right away since she was also pregnant with her second baby and was sharing all sorts of tips on pregnancy/motherhood. She showed how to style your new, ever changing pregnant body which I so needed at the time. She was the first blogger I followed and she is still to this day my favorite. I fell in love with her website/blog, The Honeybee and have been an avid reader ever since. I loved the idea that a woman like her can make a business out of sharing her life, her successes, struggles, and all the in-between. This allowed her to stay home with kids and that was something that stuck with me, “Wow, people can do this?! How?!” I had always been a lover of writing and being transparent with people never bothered me. If what I had been through and how I overcame certain obstacles helped other people, I am all for sharing anything I can. The idea, though, of mixing fashion into it was SO me. I had always been a lover of clothes and all things girly. Sharing my style, style tips, and parts of my life really was so me. I wanted to start my blog while I was pregnant with Noelia, but I think the fear really stopped me. I had no clue where to start, who to ask, and if it would be successful enough to make the work worth it. It wasn’t until Noelia was almost one that I decided “I have to do this”. I just knew it was time for me to do something I fell in love with, even if I had no clue how to get there. I spent all of late Winter and Spring of 2017 learning how to create a blog and start influencing. Brody was all on board and even bought me my professional camera. It was A LOT of money to purchase it and definitely a sacrifice but it was worth the investment. If there is one thing I love about Brody, it is how supportive he is. He knew/knows how much I love doing this journey and he has been all on board from the beginning.
Cheers to Vida Noel and my 26th year!
As I was thinking of a catchy blog name…I originally came up with “La Vida Bella” which means “A Beautiful Life” but I wasn’t quite satisfied. I then chose “The Pink Peony” only to find out one of the most popular bloggers right now named her blog “Pink Peonies” so that option was canned, too! One day I was just sitting at work daydreaming about the blogging world and my plans for it that it donned on me. It was like skies opened and heaven shown down with huge, bright sun rays laying the name right in front of me. That is when “Vida Noel” was created. Vida is what we call Noelia as a nickname. My mom used to call me Vida or “V” when I was younger and it just stuck. Vida means life in Spanish. She is our LIFE! Noel is simply the suffix of her name. Noel means Christmas, or gift. She is my gift in life; everything that I do is for her!
I launched Vida Noel on July 14, 2017 which was my 25th birthday! I wanted it to be a special day. I wanted it to remind me that I started it for a reason, and that no matter the struggles I may face with it, there is a greater purpose behind it. My brand, Vida Noel, focuses on 3 things; fashion, fitness, and mommy hood. After I had Noelia I had a period of time where I struggled to find “myself” again. Motherhood is a beautiful gift, but I knew I couldn’t let it consume me to the point where I lost myself. I want Vida Noel to be an inspiration to Mama’s everywhere that it is possible to get that groove back. Whether it be through fashion, fitness tips I provide, or the occasional transparent story, I am here for all Mama’s going through that transitional period. Nothing can stop you, but you!
My First Year of Blogging Tips
Create a name with meaning
When your name/brand was founded on meaning, you will fight for it no matter what. When the going gets tough and every response you tend to get is a “No”, your purpose will fuel you to push forward! If you have a WHY, you cannot fail!
Know your worth
At the beginning of blogging and influencing, a lot of companies may reach out to you to offer you an “exclusive discount” to purchase one of their products, send you product for exchange of X,Y,Z, and/or want you to send them your first born child in order to work with them. Ha! Companies love to get the most out of people for as low of cost as possible. I believe it is okay to work for free if the product received equals your rate and is something you could truly benefit from, if the promised exposure is worth it for your brand, and if the collaboration will help build relationships for future paid brand deals. When you are just starting out, you really DO have to hustle so much harder than those around you. This still remains true even when you are “bigger”, but your mentality of working harder and longer needs to be there from the beginning. Think of it this way; NO ONE knows about your brand yet. You need to market, market, market your brand until you are blue in the face to form that trust between your followers, audience, and brands. How can you expect anyone to “buy” something from you if they know nothing about you? Market yourself, boo!
Like I said above, a lot of brands/companies want to try to get the most bang for their buck. I have had companies reach out to me that want X,Y,Z and are not willing to pay or even negotiate pay. To me, this is unfair and I have said “No” to many, many brands. I am a wife and mother who currently works full-time 8-4. I come home to take care of my family, workout, and continue to work on my blogging dreams. My days are FULL. I have no room for favors, because I know that every company has a marketing budget! Do not be afraid to say “No”, ladies and gents!
Engage with a purpose, not for reaction
When I started blogging, I turned my personal Instagram into my “business” Instagram (@nickyschmaderer_fit). A lot of bloggers have a private, personal account on the side of their blogging one. I decided I did not want to do that for two reasons. 1. I had a solid audience that I felt would enjoy my content. I was still myself, just with prettier pictures! 😉 2. I knew starting with a higher follower count would give some leverage when it came to collaborations and networking. I soon discovered how much of a BUSINESS Instagram is. I learned about this thing called the algorithm (HAIL MARY, FULL OF GRACE!), engagement, hashtags, and how “important” a follower count can be (as much as I hate it). A lot of bloggers participate in private like and/or comment pods to help with engagement, and I have definitely been in a few. What I realized with this, though, is that the fun was sucked out of Instagram and peoples comments were often short, spammy, and frankly annoying. Nothing bothers me more than when people engage for a reaction. If you truly want to comment on somone’s post, make it worth it! Leave a genuine comment and don’t expect anything back. People are too busy to always commenting back on your own posts, and it just isn’t realistic! Often times, people find you just by seeing your username on someone else’s photo. Let that be your positive!
Apply to agencies
There are some great agencies out there that have amazing campaigns for all kinds of bloggers. Most are paid and provide great exposure! My favorites are Fohr, Social Native, Activate, Clever, and Social Fabric.
Network with other bloggers big or small
MAKE FRIENDS! I wouldn’t be where I am today without my blogger, boos! Everyone starts somewhere, so ask all the questions you have to those you look up to and connect with. Some things are for you to figure out on your own (if it effects your brand, etc), but if a concept has you stuck, always ask for help!
Find your niche
When I began Vida Noel, I knew I wanted to focus on three things within my life; fashion, fitness, and mommyhood. I wanted to connect with other first time (or even second, third time!) moms that were struggling to find themselves again. People know that I love fun, form fitting looks but I also have a sporty side. I love my sweet side, but from now and then I like to be a little “baddy”, haha ;). I am knowledgeable on fitness and nutrition and give tips often.
Whether its fashion, beauty, food, travel, etc find what you want to be known for and stick to it!
Across all your social channels, there should be a cohesive look. This is something I still struggle with! The colors, fonts, filters, etc should all be consistent so people know what your “brand” looks like. I am not one that posts super bright colors against bright backgrounds. I like my neutrals with pops of subtle color… like pink! Sometimes I go against the grain if I can’t resist a good picture I took, ha! Julie Solomon (@julssolomon) is great resource when It comes to branding, how to be cohesive, and what to charge for posts. I absolutely love her and her podcast! Check her out!
Thank you all SO much for reading this post. I am so incredibly grateful for my first year of blogging and all the people I have met through it. If you are a an avid reader of Vida Noel, I thank YOU for sticking by me and supporting me through this journey. I appreciate each and every one of you so much! If you just happened to stop by randomly and read this post, I thank YOU for taking the time to read and to get to know me a little bit. I hope you stick around for the long-haul! Cheers to Vida Noel and to my 26th year!
Are you an avid Pinner?! It would mean the world to me if you could pin this image below!