Today marks one month since I left my full-time job as a magazine editor to become a “social media influencer,” and well…it has been a JOURNEY. For the most part, I’m confident I made the right decision—the freedom to be on my own schedule (and, you know, work in my pajamas) has been pretty rad—but I’ll be honest: it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
Before I started doing the whole blogger/influencer thing, I was beyond intrigued—ok, obsessed—with knowing everything about this world and what it was really like for the people who do it full-time.
There seems to be so much mystery around it, you know? I imagine a lot of you have the same curiosities that I’ve always had, and in a weird way, I feel like we’re starting this rollercoaster ride together…so my goal is to keep you in the loop throughout the process.
I want you to think of me as your friend who also happens to be a blogger—the person who can answer any of the juicy questions you have about what really goes on “behind the scenes.” I’m basically an open book (which you know if you’ve been following me for a while.)
ANYWAY, let’s get things started, shall we?
Here’s what I’ve learned about being a blogger and influencer so far.
1. Saying no is as important as saying yes.
Once word got out that I was “open for business” (so to speak), I started to receive a lot of interest from brands, hotels, products, etc. about working together. I’ve said “no” more times than I’ve said yes. Since I’ve never previously done ads or sponsored content, I feel super protective of my integrity and audience…so if I’m approached by a brand that I haven’t tried yet, or asked to endorse a product I have mixed feelings about, I say no—even if the money is appealing. I’d rather wait for opportunities that I feel good about (SKINNY TEA WHERE U AT) and I’m confident that my “dream” partnerships will come. In fact, I have a few in the works as we speak… 😉
2. I have the best, most loyal following ever.
You guys have been incredible throughout this process. I’ve been blown away by the number of people who signed up for my newsletter (even when I admitted there wasn’t a newsletter yet LOL), posted about my big move on their stories, left comments on my blog, and DMed me words of encouragement. I honestly assumed people would think blogs were old news and no one would read mine. I was wrong! (Thank God.)
3. You know what sucks? Not having an IT department.
If I told you about all of the tech issues I’ve run into, you’d be bored to fucking tears. I decided to set up a “fancy” new email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I could be official and shit, and when I emailed all of my contacts to let them know, I ended up getting filtered into everyone’s spam folders. Apparently I hadn’t added some kind of security protocol that tells email servers you’re not a bot. Like, how the hell was I supposed to know about that?!
Then, while I was in Kenya, I woke up one morning to 20 DMs from people telling me my website was down. It was my own fault—I had accidentally messed with something on the backend and broke my own fucking website. Cool. It took a three hour call with my domain host to figure out what I had done.
4. There’s no such thing as a day off.
Sure, I traveled for 2 weeks this month, but I spent my flights writing blog posts, late nights editing photos, and early mornings responding to emails. There was no napping. There was no going to bed early or sleeping in late. I’ve worked every Saturday and Sunday this month. But what has surprised me is how excited I am to work—which I think tells me everything I need to know about whether or not I made the right move.
5. I have a lot of fans/readers in Virginia!
Who knew?! My website gives me a lot more intel into the demographics of my following than Instagram does, and while I had a feeling most of my followers were from NY & LA, I certainly didn’t think that people in Virginia, Texas, London, and Toronto would be here too—but you guys are representing! (Comment below if you’re from one of these places!)
6. When you don’t have colleagues, your “office hours” are really weird.
Some days I started work at noon—and didn’t stop until 10pm. I don’t mind it, since I’m a night owl anyway. The bottom line: this isn’t a Monday through Friday, 9-5 job. (I’m currently writing this on a Saturday at 7:30pm….)
7. When you’re a one woman show, things take time.
I wanted to get my YouTube channel off the ground in month one, and well, that didn’t happen. (I did, however, sort of teach myself how to edit video, so I count that as a win.) There are still some changes I want to make to my website, and I have 9 million blog post ideas that I haven’t had time to do. But I’ll get there… stick with me, ok?!