Looking to become a fashion blogger, a fashion stylist or a fashion influencer? You’ve come to the right place!
“I spent so much time comparing my chapter 5 to someone else’s chapter 30 and you simply can’t do that.”
Fashion influencer formerly deployed to Afghanistan, that’s not something you hear everyday. Read on to know more about Julianna’s story!
What should we call you and how long have you been a stylist/blogger/influencer? Do you remember the year that you started?
Hi! I am Julianna and I am the blogger behind Blush & Camo. My first blog post was on 22 February, 2015.
Do you have a specific style?
I would definitely say my style is very romantic and feminine. Those are the pieces I lean towards no matter where I shop. This season I am currently loving anything blush, nude, or pastel hued.
I also have days when I want to be edgier and switch up my look a bit. On those days I love wearing my signature romantic look but then incorporate a leather jacket or unexpected shoe! This way I still feel like myself, but going outside of my comfort zone.
Why did you want to become a blogger or an influencer? Was there a significant moment that led you to this path? Did you see something or someone online, or was it because of your avid interest for fashion?
I’ve always had a serious passion for style and creating outfits. Throughout high school, my friends would ask me where I purchased an item and I was always (seriously, every night!) creating looks for my sister to wear to school. I didn’t think my passion for clothes and fashion would really take me anywhere though!
Then, fast forward to 2013, and I just graduated from West Point and I’m getting ready to deploy (I’m an Army Officer during the day and blogger at night!). I started an Instagram account because there was all this buzz around this new social media platform.
After scrolling through the “search” tab, I came across Julia Engel’s Instagram account, and was blown away by her handle. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous all her pictures were and what a dreamy lifestyle she lived. I had no idea at the time that she was a fashion blogger – I just knew that I couldn’t wait to get to her handle every day to see the next dreamy picture she posted and stare at it in awe.
After a few weeks of looking at Julia’s Instagram account handle, I started to do some digging into what a blog was, (I honestly had NO idea), and after a few Google searches, I found all the information I needed to make up my mind that – I too was going to be a fashion blogger.
There was only one little problem – I was deploying in three weeks so this dream of mine was going to have to wait. With two weeks left until deployment, I went to Barnes & Noble and bought every single blogging book I could find, and made them all fit into my carry-on that I would take with me on the deployment. Books ranging from “Blogging for Dummies” to “How To Use a DLSR Camera”, I had them all. I was determined that as soon as I got back, I too would be a fashion blogger.
On the trip to Afghanistan, and throughout the entire deployment, I would spend every waking free moment I wasn’t working pouring over these books and figuring out which blogging platform was best to use (was it WordPress, SquareSpace, or Blogger?!), what server company to use, and most importantly- what would my blog be called?!
(**Fun Fact- I wrote on a rather large napkin all the names I could possibly think of until the last name I thought of stuck – Blush & Camo. It was perfect.)
How did you start? Did you begin with a certain social media then made a website? Or vice versa?
I had all my social media in place before I started the blog, but I didn’t post anything on them until my site was live. Once Blush & Camo went live and my first post was published was when I really started to use social media. Can I say I started them at the same time?! Because I totally feel like that’s what happened :).
Which website are you using for your blog (WordPress, Blogspot, etc.)? Do you have a reason as to why you chose this website?
I use WordPress because after much research, I realized this was the platform where I would have the most creative freedom to add widgets to truly create a site that I loved. I didn’t want to start on something else and then transfer over to WordPress, so I bought my domain name and jumped right into trying to create my site!
Which social medias did you use in the beginning? Which one did you think was the most helpful one in terms of reaching your audience? Why did you think that it was the best medium to use?
I started with Instagram and Pinterest and then eventually added Facebook and Twitter about six months later. Instagram is the #1 platform that helped grow brand/readership awareness to my blog.
The reason for this is for a few reasons:
- Instagram is an open site meaning you don’t have to request to be someone’s friend in order to see their handle. You can browse this social media platform easily and pull so much inspiration from it. This also means that anyone on Instagram can see a picture you posted at any given point in time.
- Instagram is free to use. What I mean by this is some other social media platforms such as Facebook are “pay-to-play”. If you have a Page for your blog on Facebook, and you want your material to be seen, you have to buy an ad in order to build engagement and have people see your content. Facebook intentionally created their algorithm this way. Instagram doesn’t require that so there is this ability, again to have your content reach hundreds or thousands of people each day.
- As a fashion blogger your content is very visual. You want to showcase your #OOTD and clothing items. Instagram’s social media platform was created with pictures as the main focus. Instagram and fashion bloggers are a perfect combination since both are focused on visual content!
Do you use more social medias now compared to when you were just starting? If so, which social medias have you added?
I do use more social media now! I’ve recently added Snapchat (@blushandcamo), and love to share my everyday life with my readers (or Blush Babes as I like to call them!).
How often do you post on your social medias during the beginning? Was there a specific time that you thought was the best to post?
I used to post all the time when I first started out. Now I try to post quality content over quantity content. When I first started blogging, the trend was to post a lot, and now I feel like the trend is to post quality content instead of posting four pictures a day.
There are so many amazing bloggers out there, and I think followers get annoyed if you post too much, instead of posting when you have something to “say” or share an amazing pic! Every blogger is different, but this is what I have found with my following!
The hottest time of the day to post is definitely at night because I feel like everyone is on social media after the end of a long day, but again, your engagement really depends on your own social media community. I recently went on a blogging retreat with a group of AMAZING women, and we started talking about posting times. Everyone’s posting time was different because they were truly in touch with their followers, and knew when their accounts were most active!
What camera were you using when you started? Did you have a photographer or did you take the photos by yourself? Would you be able to compare the quality of the photos from when you were just starting and to how it is now? What were the changes?
I have been very lucky to work with photographers throughout my entire time as a blogger! I did originally start taking photos with my husband, but I didn’t want to put that pressure on him so I started working with photographers and I’ve loved that option I’ve chosen!
Is there specific blog post or social media post which made you go “Wow!” because of the amount of likes, follows or interactions it received? Which was it?
I honestly will never forget starting Instagram with just under 200 followers, and then when I got my first 1,000 followers I actually said “wow!” to my husband! Even today, with how much Blush & Camo has grown, I have never forgotten the time when I only had 200 followers and where I started. I think back to that time often and it is very humbling.
How was your first year of becoming an influencer? Plenty say that the first year is the hardest, for any business in fact. Was there ever a point that you didn’t think it would work? Did you ever get demotivated? What happened and how did you go through that obstacle?
Maybe I’m an outlier but my first year of blogging was a BLAST! I was having the time of my life creating content, posting images, and growing my social media. There wasn’t ever a time that year when I got discouraged or wanted to give up because I was just having so much fun!
It was my second year of blogging that was my harder year. My second year was when Blush & Camo started to become more of a business which I was beyond excited about but also struggled with. Going through legal documents, having meetings, and trying to maintain all your social media channels can drain your creative juices, and by the end of last year, I faced a serious case of (what I call) blogger’s block. I just didn’t have any creative energy and I needed to take a step back and reevaluate why I was blogging.
When I realized that I truly loved giving style tips and inspiring other women to look and feel their best was when I jumped back into blogging with the same love and creativeness that I had my first year!
There must be a lot of times that you were contacted for a collaboration, do you recall the first time you were sponsored by a brand? Which brand was it and what were you sponsored?
I have the worst memory ever, I don’t remember the first company to contact me. I do remember the first big company to contact me which was Coach. I remember getting the email from their PR firm and I thought it was spam (I’m not kidding!). When I realized that it wasn’t, that was a huge milestone for Blush & Camo and I was so proud.
They gave me a handbag and pair of shoes. Both of which I wear all the time still!
How did it make you feel? For many bloggers, that must have been such an achievement! Did you celebrate when it happened or was there anything that you did in particular to celebrate?
I felt like a total blogger babe rockstar! I remember getting the package in the mail and just staring at it because I couldn’t believe I had the opportunity to work with such an amazing company!
I didn’t do anything to celebrate other than jump up and down and call all my family members! I feel like I need to take the time to celebrate those kind of accomplishments now that I’m thinking about it!
Any advice for the future influencers/bloggers/stylists? Few words to keep them motivated or inspired?
My best advice would be to not compare yourself to others. Take that energy and focus it on something creatively towards your blog! I spent so much time comparing my chapter 5 to someone else’s chapter 30 and you simply can’t do that. Instead focus on your blog and what you can do to produce the best content you possibly can!
Lastly, do you have a motivational quote that would surely motivate you whenever you feel demotivated?
This is my favorite quote that keeps me going! “97% of the people who quit to soon are employed by the 3% who never gave up.” Another favorite quote of mine is “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
Follow her on:
Website: Blush & Camo
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