Looking to become a fashion blogger, a fashion stylist or a fashion influencer? You’ve come to the right place!
“I would hardly ever even look at my analytics because I knew they might cloud my judgement or stress me out, and stop me from focusing on the content.”
There’s a tendency for us to lose motivation if we don’t get the response we expect from the content we put out; in a blogger’s point of view, it may be an increase in followers on Instagram and Twitter or an increase in visitors to the site. Especially, knowing that hours, or even days, have been spent on it. Daphne, of To Style, With Love, does her best to not let those things distract her from doing what she loves the most. Read on below to know more about her story!
What is your name or what should we call you, and how long have you been a stylist/blogger/influencer? Do you remember the year (maybe the day and month, too) that you started?
My name is Daphne, Daphne Blunt, and I have been blogging for about two years now. I started blogging right around my 17th birthday (I’m 19 now) but really became serious about it over the last year while taking a gap year before college. Having this year to really focus on what I love and find myself has been such a blessing and really helped me to grow my blog and get a true grasp of what I was doing.
Do you have a specific style?
There is defiantly a key theme to my style as in something in each look that is always very “me” but I love to try out new things. One day, I might dress very edgy wearing fishnets and leather, and the next day, more preppy in a button down or loafers. I think of fashion as one big game of dress up but instead of dressing as a princess (which I honestly still do, I have about 4 tiaras) you are dressing as a different version of yourself that day and trying out something new. That is the beauty of the fashion industry if you truly love it. It is simple and pure fun. Incorporating yourself into a trend should come naturally because you should always love what you wear!
Why did you want to become a blogger or an influencer? Was there anything that happened that triggered you to become one? Did you see something or someone online, or was it because of your avid interest for fashion?
My mother was always interested in fashion. She had amazing clothes and liked to get dressed up. So, from the time I was very very little, she would dress me up and we would go shopping together, and from there, it was something I knew I wanted to be a part of. I was always the little girl dressing up and even styling my friends or having little runway shows in the living room. When I got older, fashion was just something that I had an eye for. Before blogging was really a career, when I was in my early teens, I would always tell people that I wanted to be the Editor In Chief of Vogue and the next Anna Wintour. As blogging emerged, I would look at inspiration from various bloggers and I desperately wanted to start my own blog and share my passion with everyone. I was so nervous to start, I was nervous to take photos of myself, especially this was something I was incredibly insecure about. I still yearned to do it so badly and I couldn’t let the notion go so I eventually just had to bite my lip and jump off the deep end. If I didn’t start blogging, I would have regretted it so much and probably would still be dancing with the idea of how badly I wanted to do it!
How did you start? Did you start with social medias first, then made a site? Or did you start off with a website together with the social medias?
Before I started blogging, I was already acting and doing some web hosting, so I had some social media, nothing extreme with a massive following or anything, but a few thousands and a small online presence. So it all really started with the launch of To Style, With Love. Once the site was launched, everything became about the blog and all social media was pretty much fully devoted to the endeavor of branding myself and my blog.
Which website are you using for your blog (WordPress, Blogspot, etc.)? Do you have a reason as to why you chose this website? If so, what were they?
I use WordPress for my blog and I am hosted through GoDaddy. I chose wordpress.org over wordpress.com because I felt the .com blogs weren’t as customizable and I always wanted my blog to look as professional as possible. I got pretty OCD with it because I wanted my blog to start off as the best that it could possibly be. Obviously, over time, it has grown even more but I am really glad that I spent a few months before launching, and perfecting the site to everything that I wanted and getting it all in order. Through GoDaddy’s hosting service with WordPress, I didn’t have to worry about the initial coding as I don’t know how to code an entire website, obviously, and my site came with my domain. It was a win-win in starting everything off with a bang.
Which social medias did you use in the beginning? Which one do 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 already had most of the biggest platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Youtube. As I said, I was already doing some web hosting for a few sites, so I was pretty well immersed in what was going on in the online world. I think that Instagram is the most valuable tool for building/reaching an audience right now though. Through Instagram, you can practically make your feed into a mini blog, showing photos from your site and even doing reviews of products and etc. With Instagram, you can get further exposure by using hashtags, getting reposted, even just posting comments and meeting others in the community, and, of course, you will show up on people’s explore pages based off of your following. I wish I had started marketing myself on Instagram earlier and that someone had told me the importance of social media. It is so valuable, I mean, loads of brands I work with reach out to me because they found me through instagram!
Do you use more social medias now compared to when you were just starting? If so, which social medias have you added?
I really don’t use any other social media platforms. I like Look Book for more exposure, and I occasionally join a new site or app but nothing has really stuck for me. In general, I would just say that I use social media a lot more than I used to in order to market myself and share my content.
How often do you post on your social medias when you were in the beginning stages? Was there a specific time that you thought was the best to post?
When I first started blogging, I would probably only post on Instagram once a week at most, maybe once every few weeks. So once I started posting on my blog, my goal was to post, at least, once on Instagram per blog post, and I was trying to post at least 2-3 blog posts per week. I wanted to make sure to post about my blog posts, in some way, on all my social media platforms to try and get the blog more exposure, and help to gain more recognition in the community of fashion bloggers.
What camera were you using when you started? Did you have a photographer or you took 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?
Oh my gosh, there is such a big difference in quality, and that honestly goes down to knowing what you are doing from both a modeling and photography point of view. I didn’t work with photographers at the time but with my best friends, who are also incredibly creative, or even my mom if no one else was around. I am not sure of the exact model but I had a little point and shoot Canon, little silver digital camera. It was okay at the time, it was my first “real” camera so it was amazing! After blogging for about 6 months, it was Christmas time, and I got my DSLR that I use right now which is a Nikon D5300. I used it with the lens it came with for a long time but now, I use a Sigma 17-70mm lens that I bought in Paris, and it takes beautiful photos. If not shooting with a professional photographer, I mainly shoot with my boyfriend, who is sort of my unpaid business partner. He helps me with shoots and content. Haha! You know, all the usual boyfriend duties or I shoot with my best friend who also blogs!
Was there a specific blog post or social media post that made you go “Wow!” because of the amount of likes, follows or interactions it received? What was that post?
Actually, my most viewed post of all time is titled “How to make your Instagram visually appealing.” At the time I wrote it, I just thought it was something interesting that I was really involved in and something that people would be curious about. The post teaches people how they can make their feeds look coherent in terms of filters, colors and even writing an eye catching bio. The post isn’t even really about fashion but lifestyle and visual content. I never expected it to get the response that it did. If you even google something like “how to make your Instagram look good”, I come up as one of the top results!
How was your first year of becoming an influencer? Others have said 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? If you did, what happened and how did you go through that obstacle?
The first year was hard but, for me, I honestly just loved taking control of my own creative content instead of someone else, and making the content has always been my favorite part. I tried to treat my blog like a business and do everything that I could to get it off the ground of course. But, my main focus was just creating and putting out the best possible content that I could. I would hardly ever even look at my analytics because I knew they might cloud my judgement or stress me out, and stop me from focusing on the content. I still get demotivated, sometimes, when I see the dream world that someone like Chiara Ferragni lives in but that is really just lust, and I know she worked hard for years and years to get where she is. So, if anything, getting demotivated by wanting something actually, in turn, usually motivates me to work even harder to get to the places that I want to be! I always just have to think about what I would do if I stopped blogging, and the answer is that quitting blogging is the last thing I ever want to do. If I could live without it, there would be no point and no motivation, but I live and breathe for it and that is what keeps me going whenever it seems like things aren’t moving or working.
As an influencer, there must be a lot of times that you were contacted for a collaboration, do you remember the first time you were sponsored by a brand? Do you remember which brand it was and what it was that you received? Receiving that from the brand, 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?
The first brand that ever reached out to me for a gifting was from Tobi. I didn’t know the brand at the time, but I am now such a huge fan of them and have worked with them loads of times. They asked me if I wanted to join their blogger loyalty program and feature a few pieces on To Style, With Love, and I was ecstatic! I had been gifted pieces before for the work I had done in acting and web hosting but, this, I was so proud of because it was entirely based off of something that I had built myself. It was my dream to have someone want to work with me, and to have my hard work validated was literally a dream come true. The first time I worked with a brand on a paid sponsorship was not too long after, and was with Clinique which was such a huge deal to me. Clinique is a world renowned brand, and I was joining them as a part of their #FaceForward campaign, which young bloggers such as Tavi Gevison and Margaret Zhang were the faces of. So, it was really exciting to be a part of that groundbreaking campaign. I’m sure I bought myself something with some of the money from the campaign to celebrate, but I’m not exactly sure what.. it was definitely some shoes!
Do you have any advice to the future influencers/bloggers/stylists? Do you have any few words for them that they could keep in their minds to keep them motivated or inspired?
To anyone out there looking to start in the field, I would say: Just go do it! Don’t let your fears get in the way, and especially don’t let negative thoughts bring you down. Do not walk around thinking about how other people do it “better”, think about how amazing you are at doing what you love. If you love it, nothing should be holding you back! Anytime you see someone doing something you dream of doing, get up and start working towards that goal because that is the only way to get there. Never stop believing in yourself if you are pursuing your true passions. It can be tough but you can’t let negativity bring you down..EVER!
Finally, do you have a motivational quote that could surely motivate you whenever you are feeling demotivated? If there is, what would that be?
One of my favorite motivational quote is: “Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. TRY AGAIN. FAIL AGAIN. FAIL BETTER.” I love this quote, and I think it reminds you that everybody fails and that the only thing to do is pick yourself up and try again because you will only “fail better” each time. It’s sort of like practice makes perfect in teaching you to keep doing what you’re doing over and over again to be better and better each time.
Follow her on:
Facebook: To Style, With Love
Pinterest: Daphne Blunt
YouTube: Daphne Blunt
Tumblr: Daphne Blunt
Soundcloud: Daphne Blunt
Website: To Style, With Love
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