A guest post by CJ of Everyday Chiffon
How did you get started as a blogger?
To be totally honest, I didn't intentionally start a blog initially. I was one of the first of my girlfriends in the corporate world and would randomly post images to my personal Instagram of my cute corporate looks. I had a friend recommend starting a blog and at the time I didn't really know what that meant. I simply started a new Instagram page to have a spot to showcase all my looks. I wish I would have done research and I wish I actually had an idea of what a blog was initially because that would have changed my growth pattern a lot, but either way I am so happy I did it. I still remember the first picture I posted and how nervous I was to do it. As time went on I taught myself everything and eventually kept adding on and truly started growing a brand. So with that please know that you can simply fall into things that end up being your dream job without really evening knowing it. You just need to take the risk 🙂
What is your goal with Everyday Chiffon?
I want my blog to be a spot for the everyday girl. I am as real as they come and my life is so not glamorous, and that's okay. I want people to feel comfortable when they stop by and feel like they can connect with what I'm doing or talking about in a way different than other spots on the web. I have always had a passion for fashion and came up with the name because my all time favorite fabric to wear is chiffon however I am not always wearing it. I have had so much fun adding new sections and piece to my brand and love seeing how each one connects with someone in a different way. I also want my space to be real and affordable. Trust me, I love a good splurge and like the rest of the world wish that could be my everyday life, but being a first time mama to be, a full time blogger and someone who hustles for everything... Life and the things in it need to be kept affordable!
How has your blog evolved over the last few years?
It is crazy for me to look back and see all the growth and change that has taken place since I started blogging. I posted my first Instagram picture (for my blog) in 2014 and eventually got to starting a website and publishing my first post in May 2015. Like I stated above, I had no idea what I was doing or what I wanted my brand to fully be. I wish I had more guidance in that area, but everything has worked out in the end. Once I started blogging I really started to grasp what I wanted Everyday Chiffon to be and what my "Why" was behind my brand. With knowing that, everything started to fall into place. I started with just fashion and quickly added travel & lifestyle. I added travel because Kirby and I got married in September 2015 and dubbed it the 'Year of Doing'. We love to adventure out and take in new experiences, and I wanted to share that with my followers. Lifestyle was natural to add for me when I realized I wanted my blog to be a place to truly connect with people aside from just my favorite fashion finds. I have a huge focus on positivity and have a spot called Everyday Positive that I really let my heart pour out of struggles, wins and everyday life. It's been my favorite spot to connect with my followers and has helped show people that they're not alone. I also just added an Everyday Mama section this year that is my spot for all things mom. It's been so fun going on life journeys with my followers and I can't imagine how it will continue to evolve over the years.
How do you prepare for a photo shoot?
Oh gosh. I am not glamorous so getting photo shoot ready is always a crazy time for me. I try to have the looks I want to shoot set in my head so I can start to figure out which looks I want to shoot when. I change in the car which has gotten way more difficult being pregnant so having a rhythm and plan is really important. I also note which collaborations I need to shoot and usually do those ones first because of deadlines & specific details that need to go into each photo. My biggest tip, is try to plan multiple looks into one shoot. This saves so much time and allows you to really set out your blog content plan for the weeks to come which helps with staying consistent. With just moving back to Minnesota we've had to spend some time driving around finding places to shoot, but I usually just change in the back as we're doing that to keep things moving. The car is always a total disaster after shoot day. Ha!
How has your style evolved since your pregnancy announcement?
Pregnancy is not so easy all the time. The first few months you feel nauseous, blotted and really weird because your whole body is evolving. People may not see the bump, but you sure feel something usual and out of place. I gained more weight in the beginning then now. We were going through a lot of stress with Kirby trying to find a job, us trying to lock down when and where we were going to move, me deciding to quit my part-time job and officially take on full time blogging and the whole pregnancy thing 😉 I basically ate like a college student and didn't work out at all which I do not recommend, but I had to be easy on myself because I didn't want to add more stress. Because of all that I dressed in loose clothing and tryed to hide any blot. Now that I am eating healthier (trust me pizza, pasta and sweets still happen weekly) and being active I feel way better about myself and love showing off my new curves. The second trimester is also bliss so we'll see how the third trimester goes. I try incorporate maternity & non-maternity wear into all my looks to keep followers happy on both ends and also to keep my budget in check. I dressed pretty boho already so all of my loose fitting dresses have definitely been life savers as the bump grows. Sizing up in non-maternity is really easy as well and something no one thinks to do.
What are your tips for incorporating old pieces and making them fresh?
I can't always afford the newest pieces out there so I try to use styles from years before and add new details to freshen them up. For example, adding a hat, a fun new necklace or pairing cute shoes with pieces you already owned can totally change the look of things. Fashion is all about being creative! Use Pinterest, social media and fashion magazines to get inspired with how pieces are being styled together. Instead of buying all new looks just focus on small key pieces that can totally upgrade your style and then add them to multiple pieces you already own.
What is your favorite place to shop for affordable shoes?
I am an absolute shoe obsessed girl. It's the first thing I look to when I want to buy something new for my wardrobe and I always need to keep my budget in check. The best place I have found affordable and long lasting shoes is ASOS. They always have new styles at amazing prices + are constantly pushing new pieces out. I also really like Nordstrom Rack. If you have time to search you can usually find a really good piece for super cheap.
What 3 tips do you have for bloggers just starting out?
Know your why before starting. Knowing this will help everything else feel authentic. It will also help you stick with it when you truly stand behind your brand.
Consistency is key. I try to post at least once a day on Instagram (as well as my other social pages) and 2-3 times on my blog. Figure out a plan that works for you and stick with it.
Don't compare your wins or loses to someone else. This is a waste of energy and you may lose out on other opportunities or growth because of it.
What advice do you have for people who want to become full-time bloggers?
Know that things do take time. You can't start an Instagram or blog and expect to get paid for you work right off the bat. Pick and choose the brands you work with for free in the beginning and really connect with you followers. Learn what they like and why they like it. If you're going to call yourself an influencer then you need to influence people. Talk about and share with your followers why you like or don't like things, be real and ask yourself why people would want to follow you. If there is a gap, fix it. It's an exhausting job, but so rewarding. Going into it you need to understand that it takes a lot of work and being connected online all the time is usually beneficial.
What are some ways to stand out?
It's good to follow your favorite bloggers and take notes on what they're doing, but its not okay to copy that. In a world full of people trying to all do the same thing it's important to be unique. Do things and blog about things that you really connect with. For me that was bringing the Everyday Positive section to my blog. That was something I wanted to do and a spot for me to really write with my heart. It's different than just talking about the latest sales or hottest new items and it made me happy. It also opened up a door of connecting with my followers in a way that's true for me. You need to understand that taking on a role of blogging and social media means you need to be creative. If you're constantly stressed about what to do, what to style, what to write, etc. then maybe its not the right thing to put all your energy into. My biggest tip, however, for standing out is connecting one on one with your followers. Being honest and real instead of always trying to be perfect and talking with them through comments, stories, etc.