Tag Archives: bloggers

Have you been reading these blogs and feeling inspired? A lot of people start getting the blogging bug by seeing some totally high-quality content out there, such as Dani (Blonde In The District) who has been instrumental in the Bubbles + Bloggers scene here. But it’s only one side of the life of a blogger. A lot of people look at the glamorous side of blogging and think they can do it too, and yes, anybody can do it, but it’s about having the tenacity to push through with these things. There have been some bloggers out there like Zoella who have been instrumental in the blogging side of fashion for the younger audience. And it’s great to start thinking about getting yourself a pursuit or a career that you are genuinely excited about, a lot of people roll their eyes at the prospect of leaving school and falling into a job which, let’s face it, is going to be the height of tedium! So, it’s not surprising that you want to follow your dream and get blogging and get yourself out there. But how is this done?

Kraft Blogger Notebook

The Very Start…

The thing about picking a totally awesome blog is that you have to go from the heart. This means beginning with writing about that you actually care for. When it comes to picking, what they call content, a lot of bloggers say they will write about anything, but this isn’t the best way forward. The best thing for you to do when you are setting up a blog is to go with what you are really passionate about. This may be something like fashion, but what parts of fashion are you really passionate about? Are you really keen on the summer styles, or does it all interest you? It doesn’t have to be that, so many people love music, so what do you like? You could like Justin Bieber, or you could like acid jazz, it doesn’t matter! The important thing is right at the very start it’s about picking what you are really passionate about, and getting that out there, don’t even worry about having people reading it just yet!

Getting It Set Up…

There are some fantastic blogging platforms that you can use just so you can get the bare bones of your blog online. There are numerous hosting platforms, such as WordPress, but the key when it comes to getting your blog online, there is a big question for you to ask yourself, to self-host or not? When it comes to hosting, the two things you need to think about are the page loading speed, as well as the uptime. There are plenty of web hosting companies, like GoDaddy, iPage, and Bluehost. But a lot of people are going for Hostgator right now, as the load speed and uptime has been better than most. Also, when it comes to web hosting, you need to think about your domain name, and while a lot of people go for things like WordPress. If you get some money together for your own web hosting, it’s only around $5 per month, and the cost of a domain name is around $10 a year. It’s not going to break the bank, but it’s much better than having a blog name with a million numbers after it, that people will never find, and therefore you won’t get many followers, and won’t build up an exciting blog that people will want to read. If your name isn’t straightforward and accessible, you are not going to get off the ground. So think of a domain name that is catchy, and is totally you!

Writing The Content…

While you may have a fantastic idea for what to write about and an amazing domain name that is easily accessible when people search in google, if your content isn’t fantastic, people are going to gradually click off your webpage. So, the best advice at the outset is to write in your own voice. As time goes on, you will get other people to help write content for you, because it builds up so much that you won’t have time to do it all yourself, especially if you expand into things like different platforms, like vlogs and YouTube videos in general. But when you’re starting out, and it’s just you, it can be difficult to try and write so much every single day. So here’s a major hint for you, get some voice recognition software, and in fact, on Google Docs, you can get the Speech Recognition Sound Writer program, which is great (and free), and it means that you can write as fast as you can talk! If you are an unbelievably slow typer, this will be your lifesaver, as you can potentially do thousands of words in the space of a few hours. It can take some time to get used to not writing with your fingers, but you’ll find that it becomes a bit more natural, because when you write with your fingers, you are somewhat editing yourself before you’ve even typed the words out. At least when you are writing by thinking about the words, it’s going straight onto the page, and it’s in your own unique voice! And this is the key to writing in your own unique style! Nobody is going to write in your style as good as you, so why don’t you start making life a bit easier for yourself?

Getting The Blog Out There…

Networking is something that strikes fear into the hearts of most bloggers, but it’s one of those essential things that if you actually want to start getting your blog out there and being read by people. And if you really want to start earning money from it, it’s one of those things that you need to start doing! So, think about networking with the right people, which can be difficult when you are stuck at home writing your blogs, but instead, it’s time to start getting out there and visiting the key bloggers either where you are, or get going to trade shows. Now, this may sound a bit businessy, but it can be very useful for you to get your blog read by people from all over the world. A lot of companies congregate at these trade shows, and so you may want to get yourself a stall set up there or get out there with a mode to network with new people, at the blogger so you can have them write for you, or you write for them! Either way, these are going to be handy tools to getting your blog out there. Now, it can be very costly to get to these places, but there are cheap airlines, cheap hotels, and apps that you can use to find the best bargains for where you need to get to. There are airlines like Allegiant Air that do cheap flights all over America, and, of course, there are websites like Airbnb. It can feel a little bit of a lonely life, especially if you’re going to all of these trade shows and conferences. But you need to learn how to make your own company, and there are lots of tech making travel easier for people right now, so it is a bit of a necessary evil, especially if you got to spend lots of time away from your family and people you love, but it’s part of the blogging game now. Loads of bloggers are out there, so make sure you start to get your name as popular as possible.

Living The Blogger Life …

Yes, if you’ve got to the point where it is your life, day in and day out, it can be quite an amazing thing to have achieved this. But it’s important not to be complacent, make sure you start pushing your boundaries, you’ve got a platform that people are clicking onto on a regular basis, so use it and start to experiment with different formats. At the outset of any blog, developing that audience is important, but once you have a dedicated fanbase; it’s now time to start pushing the envelope. Use it as a way to communicate your true passion in life, and while blogs are fantastic as a way to get people talking, it’s great to start mixing it up and make your blog more interesting. Keeping ahead of the curve and keeping your blog interesting and contemporary is the thing you need to start thinking about. And so if you do something like a fashion blog, it’s kind of inbuilt in the purpose anyway, but if you are doing a blog on something else, it doesn’t take long to be old news. Keep this in the back of your mind every time you make a new post, vlog, video or anything.

From that little idea of running a blog, all the way through to it being your livelihood, it is one great journey, and it can be the best thing you’ve ever done with your life, so if you are feeling inspired, put pen to paper, or actually, finger to keyboard!

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!




It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the first weekend of my favorite month which also happens to be the weekend of Chowderfest. Time for the annual girls’ trip to Long Beach Island, NJ to buy all the things and eat all the things and generally enjoy life and the sisterhood of friendship. Like- there’s a picture of Tiffany and I hanging up in one of the gift shops. I grew up going down the shore but since we sold our house, it’s been this weekend that completes my little half-Jersey heart. We’ll stock up at the Island Gypsy sale and I ignore that I’m just a little allergic to shellfish. WHOOPS. What do you have planned this weekend?

Beach decor

Lateley on The CaroLøve:

I’m beyond ecstatic that a Stella&Dot x RebeccaMinkoff collection is a thing and the pieces are GORGEOUS!

Every once in a while I just need to share a friend’s outfit post. My girl Rox killed it for NYFW!

So, SO happy that The Diner made this list of top breakfast (not brunch) spots in DC. (Go for the chorizo omletes.)

A huge congrats to Christine for making the Top 100 French Blogs and Websites for Francophiles!

I know I’m obsessed with my PosyPaper Planner but Tiff just told me about a new planner I may try for 2018. You can get the The Happiness 100-Day Planner at Anthropologie for $26, but I may splurge for the dated Jan-Dec.

After over a year of bugging ever Trader Joe’s cashier I have come across and recieving varying answers, it has been confirmed that we’re getting one in Glover Park! YAS. (Kendall, love, you can still keep going to Safeway for your pickles. I won’t fight you on that.)


On a very serious note, one of my college friends has organized a Puerto Rico Relief Fund. My tie to Puerto Rico is that one of my best friends’ family is from there and I had the privilege to visit the island with her, his are much deeper. Beyond that, please don’t forget that Puerto Ricans are our American brothers and sisters and they need our help. From Joe’s page:

Though Hurricane Maria is long gone from Puerto Rico, the island’s people are still struggling to cope with the chaos and destruction the storm left behind. As some are aware I am of Puerto Rican descent with several family members on the island who are facing a growing humanitarian crisis. My family and I visited the island earlier this year after the passing of my father who had been living there for the past 7 years.

In his honor and on behalf of my family I have felt compelled to do what I can to raise money and support relief efforts. My Uncle Robert Gonzalez and I are setting up this page to raise funds to support our efforts to buy and send much needed supplies directly to local organizations on the ground.  Robert will be overseeing logistics of getting supplies from his warehouse in Elizabeth NJ to Port San Juan.

 

 

 

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I’ve mentioned at a couple of blogger events that as a new blogger, I kind of jumped at every opportunity to partner, even if the brand asked for money upfront. I know now that that is a no-no, and I won’t call out some of those brands because, honestly, I have made a couple sales through their affiliate programs. Not enough to recoup even the cost of what I originally purchased, but there is a chance to make that money back if you hustle hard enough, I’m sure.

I would recommend staying clear of any affiliate/ partnership program that asks you to buy the product yourself and share it with your readers because, frankly, you never know if you’re going to make that money back. However, most of these programs have also been totally transparent with me so I can’t really fault smaller companies for trying to gain a following and make a buck. It’s not really how brand partnerships should be done, but that’s another topic for another post.

ANYWAY- 

There’s also a collective of shady biatches that I will 100% tell all of my readers and fellow bloggers to stay away from. Apparently, they’re all under the same umbrella of crap. The first is Nora NYC. They contacted me earlier this summer about an affiliate program where all I had to do was buy their sunnies half off and advertise with a special code and make money. Mmmmk well I’m a sunny-junkie so I figured why not. The sunglasses came in and I’m telling you it felt like my head was in a damn vice. They were cute, sure, but so uncomfortable that I couldn’t in good conscious advertise them to my readers. Essentially money down the drain on that one since I couldn’t return them. Also, that code they sent me for my readers- a generic code that gives my readers a discount but does nothing for me. Not much of a partnership, huh?

Then, recently, I started getting emails in my inbox from Chic Wish List. I never signed up for these emails, but they caught my attention, so I checked them out. I’m a big fan of fast fashion sites, so I recognized some of their products as the same type of thing I would find on, let’s say, SheIn… but marked up into the hundreds of dollars. Last Thursday, they tagged me on Instagram and asked me to be a brand ambassador. I decided to check it out just for the heck of it.

Tassel Detail PU Crossbody Bag With Ring Handle available from SheIn Note: I know these bags are not exactly the same, but both are PU aka polyurethane aka not real leather or even vegan leather. Great for a fun cheapy- def not worth $265.

First of all, the language was very unclear- was I getting a necklace for free or was I paying a discounted price on the item plus a free gift? I knew this site looked shady so I decided to follow through with the set up until it asked me for money, just to see. WELP- the cheap crap marked up x100 would not be free but “heavily discounted.” Nope. Wasn’t paying for it. Stopped what I was doing and looked up Mirina scam and Chic Wish List scam and found hundreds of blog posts and videos calling them out on their BS. I believe that Mirina is the umbrella company and that Nora NYC is part of it, but I’m not 100% sure. They may just be sister-scammers. It seems like they make most of their money convincing bloggers to buy their junk, but that’s just my own speculation.

Check out the video below for a detailed rant of one experience that kind of covers all the bad stuff they’ve been doing to bloggers, and I assume, other customers.

Bloggers and consumers alike- if you ever find yourself looking at a deal that doesn’t seem quite right, Google it. Read the reviews. Educate yourself before you make a purchase that feels funny. Have you ever been scammed or avoided a scam? I’d love to know about your experiences!

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!




I was shocked and delighted that during brunch with my MOH last year, when I was talking about having two jobs, she assumed that I meant my blog was my other job. I actually meant helping out at CorePower, but honestly, blogging is way more time consuming… and I actually make more money from The CaroLove than I do cleaning the yoga studio. I do consider my blog a little side hustle. I know it’s gauche to talk about money but people ask me about this all the time. For me, the money I make from contributed posts and some advertising is enough to chip away at credit card bills, but I certainly can’t live on it, and I don’t think I’d want to. My blog is for me and I like that if I’m not feeling inspired or motivated to write that I don’t have to.

However, I would love to create something out of my blog. Be it a boutique or event planning service or something. I’m not 100% sure what that something is yet, but I have seen a few ladies create businesses from their blogs that I find truly inspiring. My original thought was to put them all in one post, but I realized once I got started on Lindzi that it would be a monster of a post and I actually want you guys to read it and learn! So, without further ado, let me introduce Lindzi of The Trendy Sparrow.

The Trendy Sparrow wasn’t born overnight. Creator & owner, Lindzi Shanks, started out as a psychology major with the intent to get a PhD & become a professor. She started TTS as a side job while in college; making a little extra money in addition to her other multiple jobs. She grew TTS so much that she was able to quit all of her other side jobs and only focus on school and her Etsy store. Keeping on her original path, Lindzi gained an MA in Psychology from The University of Chicago. However, while in graduate school she felt like something was off. She noticed that she answered Etsy emails and designed new products while in class; barely listening to her professors. She could tell that her heart was in TTS, not in her planned career path. In June 2014, Lindzi made a huge leap of faith. She postponed gaining a PhD to run TTS full time. Within a year, she grew TTS to include art prints, coffee mugs, apparel, and more! Now she has no intention of ever turning back to the life she thought she was supposed to have! Lindzi now runs The Trendy Sparrow and the conjoining blog full time, building it into a fabulous empire and constantly remembering that it is more important to do what you LOVE rather than what you think you are “supposed” to do.

I actually think I found Lindzi’s Etsy shop before I found her blog. I’m an Etsy NUT and a huge Gossip Girl fan so when I stumbled across the The ORIGINAL – What Would Blair Waldorf Do / black and gold travel coffee mug I knew I had to have it. She also made me a custom mug with my favorite Lion King quote on it. Since then, and it was only a couple of years ago, her shop has grown exponentially. While her Etsy shop is still open and thriving, her online boutique can be found right on TheTrendySparrow.com. She’s also co-owner of XOMarshmallow: Gourmet Handmade Marshmallows – Made with Love.

I think the coolest part of Lindzi’s story is that she recognized that she was not on a path that was right for her and followed what she loved. Her empire is getting stronger day by day and she is truly a role model for those of us who can’t quite figure it out. She followed a passion and created not one, but two businesses!

When I think Boss Babe, I think of Lindzi, but there are so many bloggers who have businesses integrated with their blogs. I’d love to share as many as possible- so let me know! Please, even let me know if it’s you! I have a few others that I’d love to share, but I’m all about empowering bloggers!

 

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!




This has been a very long but productive week. Last weekend, Kendall and I skipped town to head to New York for a wedding and to visit with a couple of my best friends. It was amazing but I feel like I haven’t caught my breath since then. I’m still getting settled into my new job, so I just constantly feel like I’m holding my breath. I realized that I physically let it out at night. Kendall asks me why I’m “huffin’ and puffin'” while I work on blog/ social media stuff, and honestly, I think I’m just actually just breathing deep for the first time all day. Does anyone else have anxiety that manifests itself in such a way?

Texas Floral Map

I usually start my TGIF posts with what I’ve been up to on the blog, but this week I wanted to start with just a few ways you can give back to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

  • Gentry + Monica already posted a bunch of links of their own so go check those out
  • The Humane Rescue Alliance needs DC residents considering adopting a pet to speed up their decision-making as quickly as possible. The animal-rescue organization needs to clear space in its two shelters to make room for animals arriving from Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. via Washingtonian 
  • Espiscopal Relief & Development has set up a Hurricane Harvey Response Fund.
  • If you’re like me and don’t have a car in the city, Green Drop will come pick up your gently used clothing and household goods to assist charitable programs for American Red Cross, Military Order of the Purple Heart, National Federation of the Blind, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Philadelphia.
  • Texas Diaper Bank has asked people to donate diapers to families displaced by the storm. Diapers are apparently not distributed by disaster relief agencies.
  • Let me know in the comments below if there are ways you’ve given back that are not mentioned by myself, Gentry, or Monica. I’m honestly on the hunt for a DC area Harvey-specific clothing drive but I’ve yet to find one.

Lately on The CaroLøve:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: 15 FALL THINGS TO DO IN GEORGETOWN

Did you know that there’s an apartment above the Junior League on M Street? And it’s available for rent!

This is one of the coolest programs I’ve ever seen regarding animal rescue: putting feral kitties to work as “blue collar cats“. They take care of creatures you don’t want near your home or business in exchange for shelter to protect them from cold/ wet weather.

Have a fun and safe long weekend!

 

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!