The truth about blogging

My very first photoshoot (photo taken by my SIL, Ashley Lindsey)

One of the questions all of us Influencers/Bloggers get asked about frequently is – “how did you get started?” or, “how can I start getting paid as an Influencer?” Well that’s kiiind of a loaded question, so I’m gonna have to give you a fairly loaded answer. I’ve been meaning to answer this in a blog post for quite some time, but ironically have been putting it off due to how insanely demanding this job actually is. Like, you’d possibly even question why I’m doing this to myself or how I can still function — and that would be totally fair if you did. I hope that by the end of this post (if you stick around, that is), you will have a new found appreciation for this very “new age” sort of career choice.

How it all started…

I started my blog right before my 30th birthday back in October of ‘16. I had been a stay-at-home working mom for about a year – working for StitchFix 15-20 hours a week. I loved being a stylist and the fact that my little part time gig allowed me to spend lots of time with Knox before he was in any sort of child care setting. I also loved that my job was all about fashion and making women feel good about themselves. I prided myself in getting women to try out new styles, gently pushing them to step outside of their “comfort zone.” Denim has always been my thing. My favorite part of the job was finding the client that PERFECT pair of jeans – something about it just made me so happy. What didn’t I love? Feeling like I was working 24/7 for very little pay… and there was just something missing. I knew it wasn’t what I was called to do.

First IG post – October 7th, 2016

You’ll never start anything if you wait until you’re ready.

I had been following a few fashion bloggers for a while and was just starting to figure out what LIKEtoKNOW.it even was. My inspiration was Cella Jane…. still is. I loved how effortlessly chic she always seemed, and admired every single look she posted! I drew inspiration from her outfits, but of course put my own retro spin on the pieces I would buy through her LTK links.

So one day it came to me. I was going to start my own blog before my 30th birthday. So I went for it without even hesitating… I posted my very first OOTD photo on October 7th, 2016. I had no idea what I was doing, but did it anyway not knowing what to expect. So I posted a very grainy selfie of my outfit and tagged each piece so that people knew where it was from.

And I’ve posted every single day since then….

My goal at the time was to eventually get some free stuff at some point. I mean, after all, I was buying cute clothes anyway and realistically had no place to wear these clothes half the time as a stay-at-home working mom. My shopping habit was pretty much a waste of money so I figured I better make use of these clothes!

Find a way to get paid for something you’re already doing.

I mean that’s the American Dream, isn’t it? Fast forward to 2017… I was still posting every single day but not seeing a whole lot come out of it other than meeting lots of amazing women through Instagram with the same exact dream (which is incredible in itself, by the way). I applied to Reward Style a little too early (before I had much of a following) and was rejected. So I waited a few more months and applied again. Still nada. I finally got accepted into Reward Style around August of ‘17 and was THRILLED. It was such an adrenaline rush because I had started to think I’d never be accepted and all of my hard work would end up being a waste of time. Being able to link my outfits and having the opportunity to make a little bit of money motivated me more than ever. Because I knew sales… I knew clothes…. so it had to be easy money, right?

Boy was I wrong.

But wait — Cella Jane and all the other bloggers make it look so EASY! They’re making a living posting effortlessly beautiful photos – so why can’t I? Surely the money will start rolling in soon…. right?

The reality is that nothing and I mean nothing good in life comes easy. I knew that deep down, but I was so excited about everything and didn’t realize at the time that there is a 90 day waiting period after you earn your first $100 in LIKEtoKNOW.it sales. Let’s just say it took a really long time for me to see $1.

But I kept going and going.

Was this news discouraging? A little. But it didn’t stop me from posting every day, throwing tons of money into clothes at the mall that we couldn’t afford. It sucked at times, I’m not gonna lie. I could have had a husband that said “why are you putting us in this position?” But instead, Rob believed in me enough to allow me to invest in this little side business of mine.

Eventually, I couldn’t handle two jobs anymore – I was holding onto StitchFix as a way to help “offset” some of the clothes I was buying for the blog. But it got to be too much and I knew deep down that you can’t do anything well if you’re doing too much.

So I left my part time job in February of 2018 and put all my faith into blogging…

It was scary, don’t get me wrong. But the excitement of this whole new chapter outweighed any cons in my mind. What I didn’t realize is that this would eventually turn into something amazing. Once I quit my part time job and was able to put my ALL into Boymominjeans, crazy things started happening. I was seeing a light at the end of the tunnel! Brands were emailing me, offering me free product in exchange for collaboration, I was starting to sell a tad bit more via LTK, and I’ve made some incredible friends along the way.

I knew this was my calling.

What didn’t I know? How to juggle it ALL. Because as I got deeper and deeper into this, I started to see that those big time bloggers I followed didn’t have it so easy after all!

This is hard. Like really, really hard.

Replying to emails and DM’s all day, coming up with content constantly just to sustain LTK (even though we were not in a good financial position)… all while taking care of a toddler who only went to Mother’s Day out twice a week. Oh and you have to engage…constantly. It’s one of my favorite parts about this job but can also be so difficult because you’re always. plugged. in. Thankfully I have an amazing support system including Rob who takes the majority of my pictures now, and of course my wonderful SIL Ashley, who volunteered to take pictures of me in the beginning (not knowing what she was getting into).

Never give up on your day dream.

Ladies, if starting your own business is something you REALLY want to do – then do it. But I will say that if you’re not willing to put your blood sweat and tears into it, then this probably isn’t the job for you.

Don’t wait until the time is right because it’ll never be the “perfect” time to start. That goes for anything in life, really. If I hadn’t impulsively started my blog 2 1/2 years ago it would have never happened. I’d probably be scrolling through Cella Jane’s feed right now wishing I would have given it a shot. Point is, YOLO.

Turns out that it’s ALL important.

For me, personally, paid collaborations seemed to be the way to go. But you kind of have to do it all until you figure it out – and I still don’t have it figured out, to be honest! I’m still doing it all. I’m posting every single day for LIKEtoKNOWit but I’m constantly working on a campaign or collaboration. Oh and the whole blogging thing….. turns out it’s pretty important to actually write blog posts in order to consider yourself a “blogger.” I don’t want to be JUST Instagram based, so my goal this year is to be more consistent on www.boymominjeansblog.com. Because that’s my name and my brand that I’ve been working my ass off to build.

For me, it’s not just about posting “pretty” pictures and it’s definitely not for ‘likes’…

For me it’s about much more. Getting real and raw with you guys and helping women feel GOOD about themselves. All while letting you know that I’m human, too….. boy am I. I have lots of shitty days and I’m not afraid to let you know that I struggle with anxiety/depression off and on. I’m not always dressed up and there are lots of days where this job can get to me, causing my anxiety to spiral out of control. I’m a perfectionist and a workaholic and it can be a real problem – it’s something that I’m trying to work on every single day. Trying to find balance as a mom and wife and blogger and friend. Mom guilt is REAL at times, you guys. It’s pure INSANITY keeping up with the collaborations that I commit to each month. The opportunities are endless which means although it’s a great problem to have – the work is never ending. And if you start comparing yourself to other bloggers…forget about it. Game over.

The best advice that I could ever give you ladies is to be YOURSELF and keep looking straight ahead.

This blog has also gotten me through some incredibly difficult times… maybe you can call it a distraction, who knows. But I love it and I pray that it shows. You see, I’m not writing this post to discourage you if you’re considering starting up your own blog or small business. I’m simply writing this to tell you about my own personal experience so that you have a better idea what all goes into this.

If you’re still reading this… THANK YOU. And if you’ve been following my blogging journey since that very first OOTD post… THANK YOU. For every encouraging word and every time you trusted me enough to shop through one of my links. I literally could not do this without all of your love and support.

It means the world.

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