On Instagram, we asked what you wanted to learn from the lovely Camille Styles and your questions came pouring in. Camille is a blogger and party stylist living in Austin, Texas, and the author of the book Camille Styles Entertaining. As her name would suggest, she has an impeccable eye and is known for transforming a space and making the whole thing seemed effortless. Below, she answers a question that we're sure tons of you are wondering about, and this is just a taste of her wisdom! Catch Camille live at #CreateCultivateDALLAS, where she'll be speaking on the panel Brand Vibes: How to create a brand that lives beyond the blog bubble.
Casuallydisheveled: As a new blogger, how do you build a following outside of your friend's group?
Creating a blog requires energy, resources, creativity, and most of all, time, so it’s natural that we all want an audience reading and appreciating our efforts. However, the first thing to realize is that building a following is usually a slow process—one that I’ve been working on for the last seven years, since I launched my blog. The second most important thing to keep in mind is that your audience will only stick around if you’re creating great content. So while it’s important to strategize about your promotional efforts, creating high quality original work should always be first and foremost.
While it’s important to strategize about your promotional efforts, creating high quality original work should always be first and foremost.
With that being said, there are a few strategies I’ve used over the years that have significantly helped to build my following and get the word out about CamilleStyles.com. Here are the most successful ones:
• Just say yes to collaborations. This is probably the most important one, especially if you’re a new blogger. In the early days of my blog, I jumped on every opportunity to be interviewed, featured, or contribute to another site, even if it required an outlay of time and energy on my part and I wasn’t getting paid for it. Remember: value doesn’t have to come in the form of cash. Exposure and promotion can be an incredibly valuable way to grow your readership, so look for any opportunities and say “yes” to any that come your way.
• Be proactive about getting what you want. Even if tons of opportunities aren’t coming your way, you can be proactive about going after them! Think about what unique point-of-view you have to offer as a blogger, whether it’s in fashion or food or lifestyle, then offer to contribute to sites that are bigger than yours in exchange for promotion. I can’t tell you how many times I styled photo shoots, wrote stories, and pitched new ideas to larger media outlets just to keep getting my name out there in front of their audiences. Over time, that exposure adds up.
• Brand yourself on social. It probably goes without saying that you should have a strong social media presence if you’re hoping to grow your audience. But have you spent time thinking about and cultivating your unique personal brand on your channels? Every tweet, Instagram, and Facebook post is a building block that defines your brand message. Take some time to articulate what sets you apart as a blogger and determine your brand vision, then write it down. Now you’re ready to be strategic in the messaging that you put out there on social, and this is what will make you memorable and build a following that keeps coming back for more.
When it comes to building your brand, start with these small steps, but don’t be afraid to dream big! It may seem like a daunting task at the beginning of your journey, but if you keep at it, before you know it you’ll have built something great. And since being a blogger is all about having the opportunity to do what you love, don’t forget to enjoy the process!