50 Days of Kenyan Kids Fashion- Day 25: Blogging basics and collaborations
Let’s get this straight. I do not think of myself a guru in blogging and neither am I adroit at brand management and securing collaborations. Nevertheless, I believe that over the last 15 months of running this blog, I have learnt a few key lessons that would go along way in helping those with similar struggles. After all, what is that they say about experience being the best teacher? Today marks day 25 of our Kenyan Kids Fashion campaign that I launched on 4th of July. We have sailed through the first half, resplendent, and I cannot wait to unveil what we have in store for you in the second half of the series! The realisation of how far we have come and how much this blog has grown is what has driven me to share some insights on how to be successful at blogging. Granted, we have barely scratched the surface but it pays to appreciate the journey in order to stay focussed and keep aiming higher.
1.Find your voice. This is something I learnt at the Bikozulu Masterclass last year in December. While I may have found my voice, I am yet to fine tune it. For starters, I know this is a Children’s Lifestyle and Fashion blog who’s essence is to promote products & services that will ultimately be of use to kids. So don’t expect to see me endorsing stuff that do not resonate with the core of this blog (well unless I am paid good money to deviate hehe). My challenge remains in the writing style. I started out writing in a child’s voice but then it proved arduous. So I decided that since we all know the four-year old is far from learning how to write and I am in charge of the blog, I might as well tell the stories and give reviews from my perspective as opposed to hers. For those who have been following our journey for a while now, I would appreciate if you dropped me a comment with your take. Which features do you like the most? The ones written in Xena’s voice or from the mum’s perspective?
2.Good things come to those who wait. Patience– Dont be in a hurry to get traffic to your website and collaborations. Work hard to build and promote your brand, starting with the little resources you have. When I started out, I thought clothes retailers would understand my concept and at least give me freebies to promote which would give me content at no cost. But without any track record, that was definitely a tall order! So I had to invest in a new wardrobe for Xena and it cost a good chunk of money. That was my initial investment, plus the website of course. I also paid for adverts on Facebook to increase my reach (I still do). For the first 6 months I did not earn a single cent and when I finally did, I stayed for another 4 months without making a dime. I had to cover my expenses using cash from my main hustle. Point is, it takes a while to start generating income. Be passionate about your blog, find your footing and consistently generate content for your readers. The rest will unfold, slowly, like a petal flower blooming (halo yogis!).
3.Getting collaborations is a struggle for everybody, be it an individual or a corporate. This realization came to me in April this year when at my new job I was trying to put together a proposal to offer services in a certain field. While my organisation is reputable, it did not have a phenomenal track record as my previous one in terms of number of deals scored in the past. I therefore had to work extra hard to ensure we got the prospective client on board! That led me to the realisation that getting partnerships is a struggle for everybody, and one therefore has to keep on rising above all the rejections they encounter. All the ignored emails, phone calls, messages. All the empty promises. Put your pride aside and keep pushing. Once you get the first partnership, I promise you the rest will flow. But remember that to get the first clients you certainly will have to work for free, if they let you in the first place! Sigh. Eventually, you will have a sizeable portfolio to your name and that will be your leverage.
3.Take your time developing concepts. It will eventually show in your end product which will then be regarded highly, naturally so. In the past, whenever a concept occurred to me in my sleep (that’s when I always get my ideas!), I would be in a rush to put together a proposal the next morning and send it to the concerned party. It’s no wonder 99% of the initial requests never got positive responses, if at all! Sleep on your concept, research more on it. Find out how other people have executed it because trust me there’s someone out there in the world, probably in Mongolia, who has thought about it. Google, your friend, will avail that information in a split second. Thereafter, send out your proposal and watch the magic that is your email getting a positive response unfold. I swear I had been ignored so many times every time I got a response, never mind whether it was positive or negative, the feeling was surreal.
4. Only be in competition with yourself but it’s ok to feel challenged by those you admire or look up to. Set your goals and evaluate them periodically, be it monthly, quarterly or bi-annually. Measure your performance against your set goals but not by how accomplished other people in your field are. Let them challenge you but not be the benchmark for your success.
5. Believe in your self, even when you don’t. Because if you don’t, you have no business doing what you do in the first place!
I hope this goes a long way in guiding the novices in their blogging journey and if so, please leave a comment below! I will be running at Ndakaini Marathon this Saturday and cannot wait for the experience. I hear the terrain is monstrous but I guess fact that it is scenic makes up for all the frustrations! Happy weekend guys.
Featured Kenyan store- www.mykidscouture.com (Jeggings and crop top. Sunglasses though of different designs from the showcased are available)
Photography by Charles Ngomo
Love, Joy & Xena.