Question #1: You have a niche: army wife & cara box. What are your suggestions for us bloggers who are just starting out & don't have a specific niche? How do you get traffic without one?
Hi Marci! So I have a lot of women ask me this. Most importantly, look at who you are and why you blog. Try to find something within that, that makes you "unique". I LOVE my Birchbox's every month. I love to encourage and help bloggers grow. I put those two things together to create the Cara Box Exchange. Now, I didn't ask to become an Army Wife lol. Ryan created that niche for me. But it is an interesting life situation that I have found myself in and I've loved meeting other military wives through that part of my blog. You can gain traffic from all sorts of things. Participating in Blog Hops is a big one! And sometimes the best Blog Hops for you, personally, will be the ones that pertain to a niche you are in. Mommy Bloggers, Foodies, Newlyweds, etc.
The most important thing is to stay true to who you are and why you blog. I know you and I know that you're going to be a new mommy! You can use that to create a special link up or something else similar on your own blog to draw in other new moms! Things like that are how I've come up with some of my ideas in the past.
Question #2: How many times do you make a recipe before you take pictures and blog about it?
I get asked about my recipes frequently. I make up almost all my recipes. If I get inspiration from someone else's recipe, you'll see that noted in the post. For the recipes I do create - sometimes they make it to the blog in the first try, sometimes I re-make them a few times...sometimes you guys never see some of my kitchen disasters.
Once you get more comfortable in the kitchen, you start to know what flavors taste well together, what works and what does not. It doesn't mean I have things down perfect, but 95% of my recipes now make it in the first try.
A huge secret of mine: Always take pictures of your food the next day or in natural lighting. Most of us make dinner after it's already dark out. DO NOT use indoor lighting in your kitchen or a flash! Going outside or using the light from a window will make your food look 1,000 times better! And I've found that cold food photographs better. So all those pictures of scrumptious dinners you see on Wifessionals? They usually are taken freezing cold at 10am the next morning (:
Question #3: How have your sponsors done in regards to increased followers in the past?
Hey Melissa! Honestly, this is a question that you would probably have to ask my past sponsors about. When I was a smaller blog, I basically just had the bare minimum when it came to sponsors. Now that I've grown, I offer a TON more and hopefully, my sponsors have gained from that. I offer V-Blate Workshops (where I help you fine tune your blog, help you create a plan to grow, and answer ANY questions you may have), HUGE monthly giveaways, spotlight posts on your blog and social media shoutouts. Now I know you and Lisette gained a ton from the V-Blate Workshop we had, even though you guys weren't sponsors. I think all of my sponsors would agree that my giveaways give them the most bang for their buck as far as gained followers.
I don't see my sponsors as dollar signs, I see them as friends. A few ladies who started off as sponsors and grew into some of my sweetest friends are Hallie, Ashley, Julie, and Carolynn. I would email them personally if you want to know about their experience sponsoring Wifessionals (:
Question #4: Ultimately, why did you begin blogging...and lets face it, how much do you love it!?
Hi Becca! I started blogging because Ryan and I packed up and moved to Arizona one week after we got married. We were in the middle of nowhere. I wanted to start blogging to keep my friends and family in the loop and to make some new friends. As Ryan puts it, "You were lonely and bored as hell." Well, yes I was. I absolutely LOVE the blogging community. While there are positives and negatives to everything, the positives that I've gained through starting Wifessionals far outweighs the bad. I adore all of the amazing women that I've met. It has opened my eyes to so many different walks of life. I've been blessed to learn from girls who I would have never had the chance to meet, if it wasn't for being a blogger. My encouragement to all of you is to cherish the friendships you make through your blog, always encourage each other, and never walk on others to get ahead. Even if you are a brand new blogger, if you follow that advice you will find yourself with some of the closest friends you have ever had (:
I hope you guys enjoyed seeing some of your questions answered! I'll be back next Tuesday with more!
I'd love for you to submit a question for me to answer & for you to be featured next week!!!