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Hey Friends! I’m so excited about today’s post, I’m linking up with two bloggers I LOVE, Arin and Navy, for their summer series! Today’s topic is about *my* blogging story and how I got where I am today! Make sure to head over to Arin and Navy’s posts so you can see all 10 bloggers posts on the same topic!
So let’s do a quick recap. And take it all the way back to 2010 and my very first attempt at blogging via tumblr. Let’s be real, I miss tumblr! I made a bunch of friends and we all had fun reposting. After tumblr came Instagram in 2011. Here’s my very first IG post ever. Check out that sweet filter, I know, it’s really really good.
Through Instagram and tumblr I made friends with a few local to St. Louis bloggers. The first time we met up I didn’t have a *real* blog. But listening to all of them gave me some seriously FOMO and I think I came home from that dinner and set up my first url, which was ellieandaddie.com. Which hopefully you already know is my dog’s names. Not mine. :) And that name was chosen because that’s what my Instagram handle was. Clearly not a lot of thought was put into it, hah!
Read about my rebrand from “Ellie And Addie” to “Liz Rotz” here.
After having Jude I enjoyed writing and taking photos and sharing on my blog. At this point I really didn’t tell people about my blog, it was still more of a scrapbook of memories to me. Of course it still is a scrapbook of memories, but it’s also a lot more than that now!
Through my group of blogging friends I was introduced to the world of “influencer marketing” and I discovered a whole different side to blogging. I realized I could create content and connect with networks and brands (and brands could find me) and I could share things I was already using and loved with my audience and potentially make money doing all of that.
I’ve had so much fun over the last FIVE years doing this job. And yes at this point it is a job. It’s something that has provided so many fun experiences for my family, created an additional source of income for us, connected me with brands, connected me with so many St. Louis companies, and most importantly, connected me to YOU! Because without you as my audience, none of this would even be possible. I so appreciate each and every like, comment, heart, and message from all of you.
And when you come to me with questions on where to get your next beer, or where to go for date night, or tell me about XYZ you bought on Amazon (because let’s be real, that’s the only place I shop), I absolutely love it!
What does a blogger do?
I know a lot of people have questions about blogging, and I’m definitely not an expert, but I know how hard I’ve worked to get where I am. This didn’t all just happen overnight, it’s been a work in progress for over 5 years now. And it’s always evolving. People think bloggers just take a picture and post to IG and that’s all there is to it.
But really it started with:
Emails between me and a brand
Applying to campaigns on networks
Reading and signing contracts (really wish I was a lawyer sometimes!)
Scheduling and taking photos (don’t forget learning how to use a camera!)
Publishing a blog post
Sharing blog post across social channels
Responding to comments
Submitting links to networks
Sending invoices and learning to do self-employment taxes (finally my degree coming in useful!)
And that’s just a portion of it, there’s so much behind the scenes work that people never see, just like there is with most jobs! I don’t want to say “hey I’ve made it, look at me now!” because I truly don’t think there’s ever a limit in this kind of work.
When do I work?
I won’t lie I’m not a morning person so I’m not going to tell you I work before the kids wake up. Ain’t happening. So I try to squeeze working in throughout the day. After lunch E takes a nap and I set Jude up with a project/toy/craft/iPad. Yes I said iPad. Luckily with BTR being home during the summer I can also work later into the afternoon and he will play with the boys. And there’s many evenings I work after the boys are in bed. And it works well for us because a lot of time BTR will also be working on wood projects for clients!
Any tips for a newbie?
- Be yourself. Be authentic. Be real. Be consistent.
- Don’t say yes to eeeeeeeverything. In the end it won’t be worth it. Trust me I’ve done this and it stretched me too thin and no one was happy.
- Send the email. You never know what brand will say yes! Or no, but that’s ok too!
- Connect with others. My blogging journey started with an email to a local blogger because a post of her’s helped me in a really rough time. And now she’s one of my dearest friends. All because I wrote her an email that said “hi, you don’t know me but your post really helped me today.” Trust me, that’s something every blogger wants to hear!
Are you famous? Haha, nope ;)
But so far this year has already been the most rewarding. I was able to connect with brands I’ve worked with in the past (that means they liked me enough to work with me again, yay!) and signed a year long contract. I collaborated with a company and got a new mattress for me and BTR (which of course meant he had to build a new bed….details).
And one of the most exciting points has been being invited to appear on KSDK’s morning show, Show Me St. Louis four times to make recipes on air! Live television seems scary, but it’s turned in to something I absolutely love!
So while I’m not an expert, and I definitely do not have a *millions* die hard followers, I’m so happy with where I am and the content I’m creating. Because creating that content means creating memories with my family, and that’s really the most important part for me!
If you have any blogging questions feel free to drop them below or you can always email me! Thanks for being here friends!