It all started about 5 years ago to the day. I was living in LA, wardrobe and personal styling. I wanted to create a “portfolio” of my overall look and aesthetic. I had no long term intensions of becoming a “fashion” blogger as I was not keen on taking pictures of myself. Like, seriously… NO thank you!! LOL Luckily about a year in I stated to share my condo and the engagement in my home content was HUGE! So I decided to pivot. I have been surrounded by real estate development, home building, designing and entertaining my entire life. My grandparents and parents were involved in all of these things. It was a gift that I got to experience this growing up and also discover I have a passion for everything home. Making the move to blog about home and lifestyle was THE best decision I made. I’ve learned to pay attention to the signs and be willing to take risks!
Years, homes and babies later, I now have built a legit business/brand. It is WILD to me to think about how far I have come. With a lot of hard work and focus, I have made this my career. The good news is, if you are interested, you CAN do it too! This is all such a new space, changing daily. Below I will go through some of the BASICS of blogging and answer all of your questions.
So where to start, right?? Again I began this journey 5 years ago, so the landscape was a bit different. I was lucky that I had a good friend who was a food blogger that helped guide me. Treat your blog like a business! You are creating a brand SO have a value proposition and clear understanding of what you’re about! Here’s a list of the things I did to get started…
Select a name – SBK Living (originally it was Styled by Kasey – I changed it when I decided to focus on home/life)
Purchase your domain – SBKliving.com
Decide on a blog/website platform – I went with WordPress. I taught myself how to use it and found it very user friendly.
Get a logo designed – I had a friend create one for me. 5 years later, I’m in the process of updating all of my branding.
Find a designer/developer to build your blog – I found a great gal that specialized in blogs (Lush to Blush Design). She was reasonably priced and help create my site and teach me about the backend.
What is your blog is about? In order to deliver quality content you will need a point of view. I suggest not trying to be everything to everybody. FOCUS on what you are about! For example I am 80% about home, really focused on: how-to style rooms, affordable decor finds and creating livable spaces. The other 20% is my life: baby, clean eating and skincare.
How much content are your going to create each week? Think about your blog, instagram, LTK, etc. Consistency is key!! Create your plan and REMEMBER you can change it based on what you are seeing with your audience and in the space. This is YOUR brand, which mean you have control of how/when/what you put out. I post twice a week on my blog, almost every day on Instagram/LTK and take Thursdays off completely. I make stories a place where I can share my home, family life and whatever I feel – it’s more personal.
Purchase a camera and editing software – I bought a Canon EOS 60D and over the years have invested in different lenses. I photograph my social media content with my iPhone and blog images with my camera. Take the time to watch some YouTube videos and understand your camera. For editing I went with Lightroom to help brighten my images. I taught myself (there’a a theme here LOL – ya just gotta do it).
Use 3rd party apps/tools to help you – I do not use “pre-sets” rather I use the Afterlight app to brighten my Instagram photos. I like to do it. To organize my blog/social content I use my iCal as well as the app Teux Deux for daily tasks. On Sundays I like to plan out my week using this app.
These are all of the things I did before I started blogging. JUST do it! Yup… it’s time to take the leap! See below for my Q&A section. If you have another questions feel free to leave a comment. I will get back to you!
What did you do before blogging? I worked in fashion marketing for years and then transitioned to full-time wardrobe styling.
What did you get your degree in? Business Marketing
What is the best advice you can give a new blogger? A few things…  It takes time and consistency… things don’t happen over night!  This is YOUR brand/business so you can dictate the amount of content you put out. Don’t stress out – baby steps!
How do you grow your following? No magic recipe just TIME. Consistency.
How long did it take you to hit 10K on Instagram? I don’t remember as it was a long time ago. Maybe a year-ish.
What is the best blog platform? I don’t know if it is the “best” however I really like WordPress. I’ve found the backend very easy to use.
What camera do you use? Canon EOS 60D – I am by NO means a “expert” in photography BUT I have taught myself enough, explored different lenses and understand lighting. This has helped over the years. I have had this camera since the beginning and is a basic all around DSLR.
How did you learn photography? I watched YouTube videos and played around with my camera. Understanding lighting helped me a lot!!
How do you get approved with LTK? When I started you had to have a referral and have 10K followers on Instagram. I believe now you can sign up via their website.
How do you add the swipe of function to Instagram? I believe you need to have 10K followers.
How do you schedule your day? Now that I have a little one, every day is a bit different depending on if I have help. The fact he has two naps a day really helps! I make sure to schedule work items during that time. The app I use to plan out my week on Sunday is called Teux Deux. I time block for specific items: creating content, writing blogs, answering emails, etc. NO multi-tasking over here. I need to focus on one thing at a time, especially when I want to be creative.
What are the best third party apps to use? Teux Deux – scheduling, Afterlight – editing images for Instagram/LTK, StoryLuxe – creating graphics for Instagram Stories, InShot – editing videos (mainly for Reels).
How do you make money blogging? Again, time! Now that I am established, I make money via TWO main sources: affiliate links (liketoknow.it) and brand partnerships.
How do you determine pricing/rates for partnerships? At the beginning I had NO idea. For the first 3-4 years doing this, I didn’t now what to charge. I felt like I was on an island navigating what I was “worth”. Once I started to make friends in the space, it was easier to figure it out and discuss with them. Now that I have a manager it’s completely changed the game. They are experts in this field, pairing influencers with brands daily, so they have a great grasp on influencer value. I have been with my management company for a year and it has been wonderful. They negotiate all of my rates, partnerships and take care of invoicing. I can just be creative. When/if you are ready for this step, I highly suggest taking our time to select representation! It’s important y’all are on the same wave length.
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Very helpful! Especially what apps you find useful and the how much am I worth part. Figuring out how much to charge to work w/ brands is a little difficult if you’re on your own. Another question I have is do you have a media kit to give out to brands & did you have someone create it for you or did you do it yourself?
I’m glad you found it helpful, Kristy! It is difficult figuring out value at the beginning. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with brands. I do have a media kit. I created my first one and have had my graphic designer update it over the past year.
Thank you for posting this!! It is so helpful!! I have been thinking of starting my own home & lifestyle blog for over two months now but haven’t pulled the plug yet. I have been doing a lot of research but some of the suggestions that you mentioned I have never heard of so thank you!! I love seeing your posts and stories and you have great style! My friends and family have been encouraging me for months now but I truly guess I am just scared. I need to just do it! Thanks again for the tips… 🙂
Hi Christie! You are so welcome! I’m glad you found it helpful. If you ever have any questions, email me at [email protected] I understand it can be scary to take the plunge but if it’s something that’s calling you, GO FOR IT!! xx
Thank you so much kasey! I really appreciate it!! 🙂