My Fall Style Favorites

My Fall Style Favorites | The B Werd

If I could buy a new wardrobe to accommodate every season, I absolutely would. I started preparing for Fall with all of the end of Summer sales that took place and I’m trying not to splurge during the last quarter of the year because………. Wedding planning. By the way, coming up with an expense guideline with your significant other is CHALLENGING! Why didn’t y’all tell me?! I have a few packages coming in the mail that I feel will last me, and my eye on a ton of other transitional pieces. The gift of being in the south for colder months is that you don’t need much to maintain, the curse is… you have about three days to wear your favorite boots so you better take advantage of every cold front. Here’s a round-up of the trends I’m loving for the Fall –

9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

I began The B Werd in January of last year, and before I pressed “publish” on my first post, I didn’t do much research. I hadn’t decided exactly what kind of blogger I would be, exactly what I would talk about and I had no dedicated schedule on when I would be posting. Luckily this blog came very naturally for me, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. Blogging has truly been one thing I’ve took and ran with, because had I had the chance to wrap my mind around all that it would entail, I probably would’ve thought twice about moving forward. While this blog has been nothing but a blessing, here are 9 things I wish I would’ve known before I got started.

Motivation Comes and Goes

The response I got when I announced I’d launched a blog was so much more than I had anticipated. Not only did it give me the affirmation that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be, but it also put pressure on me to perform. When you know people are expecting to hear from or see you, you make it a point to show up. I was writing every chance I got and scheduling shoots on the weekends to make sure I had content, but after a few months that excitement faded and it began to feel like real tasks. They say if you’re doing something you love, it will never feel like work – I disagree. I love, love, love The B Werd, but just like any job some of your blogger tasks will eventually begin to feel mundane (which is why I wrote this post about forcing it).

Money Won’t Come Quickly

I broke this down in depth in this post about how to monetize your blog at every level. If you’re wanting to start a blog, know that you will spend a lot of money before you will ever make any. Before I’d gotten my first sponsored campaign, I had invested in a Canon camera, a new MacBook, memberships that would help me keep track of my social media and posting schedules, not to mention a couple thousand in clothes and shoes to make sure I’d have something to wear for my shoots. It took over a year of consistency and quality content before money became a normality and even still, it’s something I have to work for.

You Can’t Do it All

Believe me, if I could have – I would have. In addition to needing someone who can take an unlimited amount of photos of me, I went on to having to get help with my website, training from other experts and delegating tasks to other people who could do things quicker and better than me. Handle what you can, and get help when you need it. You’ll be better with it.

Carve Out Dedicated Time

When most of us start out, blogging isn’t our full-time job. In fact many of us will have a list of other responsibilities on top of this creative outlet, like 9-5’s, school, children, husbands and other involvement. If you know you’re going to have a jam packed schedule, map out the time you’re going to dedicate to your blog. This is something I especially have to do now with all that’s on my plate. I dedicate 90 minutes every evening of distraction free time to writing, sending and replying to emails or updating my stats or media kit info. I haven’t had a full weekend day to myself in a few months now, so I’ll set my alarm and try at least 4 hours in the mornings both Saturday and Sunday.

You’ll Need Effort

It’s not always about what you want to do, it’s about what you need to do to get the results you want. If we all quit after we didn’t feel like doing something, we’d never make it anywhere. Effort is key to moving your brand forward.

You’ll Always Want More

When I first started blogging, I just wanted the interaction. A few months later, I wanted my numbers to grow. Once my numbers grew, I wanted to work with brands I loved. Now my wants are to speak publicly across the country to women about branding and continue helping them build their own brands that they love. It’s perfectly okay for you to not remain comfortable for too long. Once you begin wanting more, set a plan and go after it.

Consistency is Better Than Perfection

Had I waited until everything was perfect to launch The B Werd, you wouldn’t be reading this today. I look back at my photos from this time last year and squirm at how bad they were. They were my best attempt at “blogger”, so I gave it what I had. All of those bad photos have gotten me to a place where I know exactly what I’m looking for, how to pose, when to post, and what my followers like. I continued to post, so my following grew. You don’t have to post everyday, but know that consistency breeds results. Posting on a regular basis and being authentic is what your followers will admire.

Build an Email List Early

Even if you’re only averaging 100 views a month, prompt your readers to subscribe. I didn’t do this for a over a year after I began my blog because I didn’t think it was important. Offering a way for readers to subscribe, and then sending newsletters or some sort of email, even monthly—is a perfect way to communicate and build readership. Also, if you ever decide to offer a service, sell a product or host an event, your subscribers would be the first to be interested. I currently use MailChimp, but ConvertKit is great as well.

Sticks And Stones

I hate to sound like I’m bragging, but I am. My followers are seriously SO kind to me. I don’t ever have to deal with trolls or negativity, but every now and then I’ll receive random comments about what I should and shouldn’t do, what someone doesn’t like or how unrealistic my photos are. At the end of the day, I do not care. A quick click and their comment is gone, then I treat it like it never existed. The Internet is the home of jokes and nasty comments. If you receive any negativity, it’s likely a reflection of the person behind the keyboard and not of you. Don’t let them get you down.

I hope these were helpful. What do you wish you knew before you started blogging? Or what are you struggling with if you’re just starting out? Comment below so I can help you! xx

Weekend Deals

Weekend Deals | The B Werd

Olive is one of my favorite colors to wear in the Fall and this belted duster is only $30 and also comes in navy. Easy to throw on over a sweater dress or jeans.

I’ve been wanting a pair of Adidas NMD’s and this white and a pink pair is getting added to my collection. Girly and sporty, just like me.

The perfect floral jacquard jacket for Fall.

A classic camel colored trench needs to be in every woman’s wardrobe.

How cute is this polka dot tie-up shirt? I love exactly how it’s styled in the photo, with a wool fedora.

Being in Europe has me wanting to change my entire wardrobe. Every girl had on peg pants like these with Stan Smiths.

I wasn’t too crazy about the items that I ordered from PrettyLittleThings but this dress was one item that I plan to keep. The frill detail is so girly.

A $12 black satin duster. Can’t beat that.

This white tank dress has me wishing that Summer would stay.

This twisted-back chunky sweater is a staple and under $20.

I need an event to wear this black fringe dress to. I love a simple statement. This off the shoulder dress is a good pick too.

You will see me in this yellow romper on my next tropical vacation.

H&M has some really good overalls. This pair and this pair are both worth a purchase.

I was looking for the perfect pair of black suede over the knee boots. I ordered this pair and this pair and will decide which I like better once I try them on.

I originally ordered this dress to wear to work but have worn it to date night and girls night out. You know I love versatility.

This underwire corset bodysuit is so sexy and would go perfect under a blazer with denim.

I bought these jeans as soon as I got back from Europe. I’m telling y’all, oversized is so chic!

This is a gorgeous caged maxi dress. It reminds me of a Grecian goddess, perfect for a beach vacation.

Shop the Deals:

#CoffeeTalk

Coffee Talk | The B Werd

My girls and I are matching in the color olive green for an upcoming event. I need to slay but I’m not finding anything in stores that is appealing to me. What would you wear?

Well that’s all going to depend on the type of event it is, of course. Seeing as you used the word “slay”, it’s safe to assume this isn’t anything casual. Olive is one of my favorite colors to wear. I believe it’s one of the few colors that looks good on every skin tone, so it shouldn’t be too tough to achieve what you’re wanting. Here are a few suggestions –

I wanted to get some advice from you. I am a 31 year old married mother. I have a 2 year old and a full time job. Lately, I’ve been struggling with finding an avenue that will cater to my creative side and the side of me that is constantly aiming for improvement of self. My daily routine consists of doing things for everyone else, both professionally and personally….and I’m sick of it. I’m more than just somebody’s mom or wife or co-worker. I’ve been contemplating starting a podcast that caters to young mothers of color. Our struggles and the things we face are unparalleled…and generally unspoken or discussed. I want to change that. My question is…. How do I even get started? I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, so Birmingham is the closest metropolitan-type city close to me, if that helps. 

I think many women can relate to your exact feelings of wanting more, especially for ourselves. Don’t doubt yourself into believing that your desires or ideas won’t be successful because of your full-time job, marital status or location. Anything you need and want to know can be found on the Internet. If you really want to start a podcast, here’s a step-by-step guide that walks you through the entire process. If you know other women of color who are mothers, start by reaching out to them and getting a feel for their interest in a podcast like yours. That’s a great way to flesh out what topics your podcast will address, how often you’ll want to feature guest hosts or how often you’ll be releasing episodes. If something is going to make you feel more fulfilled, DO IT. Your life is not meant to be lived satisfying others if you are unsatisfied. The more satisfied you are, the easier it is to pour into others. Go for it!

What are some good outfit ideas for a fall daytime wedding?

Attire to a fall daytime wedding will definitely depend on where you live, but I’m sure that daytime in most places is currently still warm enough to go without a coat. A sleeveless dress should still work well, along with midi length and flowy details. Fall is perfect for lace and tulle. Here are some dresses I’d wear for the occasion –

I recently moved to Houston from Los Angeles. I’ve been out here for about a year and I need to get a social life. I just don’t know good places to hang out and meet new people. Do you have any suggestions? 

Your age will play a big factor in what you enjoy but Houston is a huge city, so there’s always plenty to do! A great place to start is on social media. If you find girls who are doing things you’re interested in, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. I met one of my best friends on Twitter 5 years ago. She invited me to Fox Hollow on a Sunday and the rest was history. Look for events that people like you are attending in the city. I don’t go out often but some of my favorite places to have a good time are Alley Kat on Thursdays, and 5015 on Sundays but realistically clubs and bars may not be the best place to get to know people. Chaxter is a good app that gives you a run down of all that’s going on in the city so you can gauge what’s the best fit for you and your preferences. If all else fails, just explore! There are so many good museums, festivals, events and bars in the Houston area. Organic relationships are the best. You never know what a random conversation with a stranger will lead to.

 Really short #CoffeeTalk this week but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things and have a lot to get done before the clock strikes 5 pm today. Submit your questions for next week below or send them to me via email. Have a great weekend!

How to Monetize Your Blog at Every Level

How to Monetize Your Blog at Every Level | The B Werd

After having dozens of conversations with women wanting to embark on their blogger dreams, I think it’s very important to understand that although blogging can lead to a significant source of income, blogging does not start as a business. I had a decent following when I started The B Werd and I’ve been fortunate enough to create a modest additional source of income from my brand, but that didn’t come quick or easy. I blogged for nearly a year before I received my first collaboration opportunity amounting in $500 even though I was averaging close to 20,000 monthly views.  I didn’t begin this blog with the intention to blog full time or replace my full-time income so I was OK with not having an overwhelming amount of chances to monetize, but if the opportunities are there I encourage you to seize them.

Blogging will cost you a lot of money before it will make you any. You’ll pay for domain names, blog hosting services, equipment, and a handful of other expenses as investments to be able to eventually qualify for the chance to bring in some money. As a blogger there are ways to bring in extra dollars at every level, whether you’re a beginner or averaging 100,000 monthly views. My main goal with The B Werd is to teach after I learn – so I’m going to break down the different options for potential earnings as a blogger. Refer to this blog post at any time, even as your blog grows to make sure you’re exercising your options to monetize at every level.

Beginning Bloggers

Ads

Big money comes with big numbers, meaning followers, views and interaction. But don’t fret – even for those of you only pulling in a couple hundred views a month, there is a way to make some money. My first suggestion is to create an account with Google Adsense. Google Adsense is much more lucrative if you get a lot of blog views, but this is what I call the simplest form of passive income. Put an ad up, and if someone clicks it you make some change. Be careful not to put ads up that are too distracting or cause readers to leave your website before they get to indulge in whatever content you created.

Affiliate Links

Affiliate programs are also a massive form of blogger income, meaning you make money when someone makes a purchase from an item you linked. Amazon Associates allows you to include product links in your posts, whether it’s hair products or your favorite office supplies. You can link what books you’re reading this month, or your favorite things to pack in your carry-on. The best part is, you earn on the total of their purchase – so whether they buy one item or 10, you’ll get a percentage of everything included in their check-out.

Light-weight Bloggers

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links will play a major role for you because there are so many different programs you can be apart of. Amazon Associates is still a great one, because they have no viewer or analytic requirements that many will have. Many companies that you already spend your money with have affiliate income partnerships. For instance, Google “JustFab affiliate” and the details of their program will come up. Although I don’t use ShareASale, it is a giant affiliate program that partners with hundreds of brands to create links and banners you can use on your own site. They have available partnerships with every niche, so if there is a brand you use often for travel, business, or fashion, search them on the ShareASale website and see if they’re available. For fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers, ShopStyle and RewardStyle are what they likely use to link home, fashion and beauty items. I use RewardStyle, which are the @liketoknowit links you all see on my Instagram posts but they do require an application, where they review your analytics (site views, social media followers, etc.). It’s easier to get approved through RewardStyle with a referral, so if you need one, email me and let me know!

Gifted Campaigns

It may not be money, but free stuff is nice, especially if you would’ve purchased the item for yourself anyway. I’ve gotten some of my favorite products for free by agreeing to talk about them, which saved me money. I have a one-page rate sheet that I use to pitch to brands with an email explaining who I am, who my audience is and why I’m a good fit for collaboration. Get very specific about what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to exchange for whatever product you’re interested in. You can Google most press contacts for the brands you’re interested in. If you’re a curly hair blogger, reach out to some of your favorite brands for a care package. If you’re a travel blogger, who makes your favorite travel accessories? If you need help pitching, Melyssa Griffin has a blog post that taught me how to successfully pitch to brands. If you need a one page media kit, Creative Market has some of the best and inexpensive options that are very user friendly.

Once you build a nice size following and have remained consistent with blogging for long enough, you will begin to get offers for gifts in exchange for promotion because some companies simply don’t have the budget for paid sponsored posts. It could be boutiques, beauty products or other items particular to your niche. Be mindful not to accept any and everything just because it’s free. It’s important to only agree to talk about things that are in line with your brand.

Ad Revenue

Outside of Google Adsense and specific brand ads through ShareASale, you will eventually have the opportunity to pitch for ads once your readership increases. Making money with ads is always going to work better when you have more visitors. Once you start generating an impressive amount of traffic onto your site, you can begin to offer ad space on your site for certain rates. I have a one-page rate sheet that I use to pitch to brands with an email explaining who I am, who my audience is and why I’m a good fit for collaboration, all while making what working with me will cost them very clear. The most important details are how big the ad will be on your site, who will be seeing the ad and how often, along with how much it will cost the brand.

Heavy Weight Bloggers

Affiliate Links + Ad Revenue

The opportunity for big and steady money is available at this level, but do not overdo it so heavily that it takes away from the value of your content. Nothing is worse than suggesting your followers buy something every time you communicate with them, or having to click out of 10 ads before being able to read a blog post.

Paid Sponsored Campaigns

This is the part of blogging that excites people; the part that everyone daydreams about. Working with major brands you love. My paid campaigns have been an equal combination of brands finding and contacting me, and me applying through influencer networks. The tricky part about influencer networks, is that many of them require a certain amount of monthly views, and many of them require you to login on a weekly basis and apply for the campaigns that you’re interested in. I made the mistake of applying for 30+ influencer networks when I first began blogging and it made it very difficult to keep up with whether which ones I’d been accepted into, which I needed to apply to at a later date with larger numbers, and which ones had the opportunities that best fit my audience. Applying for sponsored campaigns can be a full-time job, so make sure you organize your network memberships on a spreadsheet with login information, campaigns you’ve won, and which platforms you like best. A few of my favorites are Tapinfluence, Clever, Social Fabric and Massive Sway. There are dozens to choose from, but find the ones that best fit your brand.

Another benefit of sponsored campaigns are the fact that you’re able to negotiate them. Sponsored posts can require a lot from influencers and can also be incredibly time consuming, from getting the product, to shooting the content, then editing and putting the posts together. Some require multiple posts with very particular instructions, so always gauge what amount of work you’re comfortable doing for the amount of money being offered. Some posts will be much too complex for $100. This is when having other influencers in your network will come in handy. We’re usually open to sharing what we asked for in campaigns

I did a handful of free campaigns (but not many) before I was offered a sponsored one. This was useful because it showed brands that I knew how to successfully put together an influencer post as well as the type of interaction they could expect. Sometimes we have to show them we can do something but they give us the opportunity to do it.

Products and Services

Creating a product or service is the ultimate goal for many bloggers because it brings in money 100 times quicker than working with brands. I mentioned Melyssa Griffin earlier, who is one of my favorite bloggers because she’s so informational. She went from blogging for fun, to creating courses that turned her blog into a multi-million dollar business. They trust her expertise because she gave away so much information for free prior to creating a business. I recently purchased a $1000 course of hers, so that I can continue to create content that best serves my audience and believe me, my $1000 is one of hundreds.

Once you can create and sell products and services (webinars, an app, coaching, an eyelash extension line, etc.) that people buy because of who you are, you don’t have much reason to work with brands anymore. You’ve become your own! You’re making money off of yourself, and not off of another person’s product with a cap on your earnings. You pocket all of your money and aren’t waiting on brand campaigns to come in to make money. The only thing I would suggest with this, is not to make your readers feel overwhelmed with selling to them. You don’t want to quit offering value in exchange for money. I’ve unfollowed a few bloggers because they were trying to sell me something in every single post. Once you prove the value of what you have to offer, it will promote itself.

Events

My first sponsored campaign involved attending a Macy’s event. I was paid for my presence and to promote it beforehand. Brands need influencers to talk about what they’re doing. Once you become an expert in your niche, you will have the opportunity to speak at conferences, occupy booths at different events around the country, or even attend beauty, fashion or tech events. When events you’d like to be apart of are coming up, Google the contacts of who you need to reach out to in order to see where you may fit in.

There are so many other ways to make money as an influencer, but these are what I know best and have all worked for me. Comment below with any questions you may have and let me know what level you’re currently at. I’d love to know how you’re monetizing your current position!