I want to start this post off by saying thank you for being patient with me! Two months ago I came to the realization that I was not passionate about most of my blog post. I was doing post because I felt obligated. So I’ve decided to make a change! From now on my blog will be focused on my life as a 19 year old in Music City and everything that comes with that! I also want to acknowledge and support my friends and fellow bloggers who are taking risks in order to make their “dream jobs” a reality!
With that being said I want to start this new chapter by highlighting Lauryn Hock. Lauryn is a blogger based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. She started her blog, Lauryncakes, in 2013. I sat down with Lauryn to talk about what got her started, everything she has learned, and what lead to her quitting her “day job” to blog full time!
1. How long have you had your blog? What got you started? I have had my blog since Dec 2013! I started it on a whim when I had surgery and was stuck in bed forever. It began with me sharing photos of Spencer (my now husband) and I dating and eventually, became a a lifestyle blog!
2. What advice do you have for new bloggers? I would tell new bloggers that they need to invest in their business. This could mean paying for courses, spending money on a photographer, building a website. Like all businesses, blogging doesn’t make money immediately and requires an up-front investment! I didn’t grow my audience until I learned to put money back into my blog monthly.
3. What are some “pitfalls” you have found that new bloggers should avoid? I see a lot of people that pursue the blogging industry think that they should start a blog and make money right off the bat. When they don’t, they throw in the towel. I tell a lot of women pursuing social media marketing and influencing that they have to start a blog as a passion product and realize that the money making comes after hard work, dedication, and some expertise. It isn’t a get rich quick line of business!
4. How did/do you build your following? Posting genuinely has built my audience (and the ones that stick around). Your audience will ebb and flow as people transition through different parts of their life, but the feel and vibe of your followers will always remain the same. The saying “your vibe attracts your tribe” is true here: what you put out on your blog and social media should be a reflection of the people you want following you!
5. How do you drive traffic to your blog? There are many working parts when it comes to blog traffic, but the three main components are 1. having your website and blogposts optimized for SEO (search engine optimization) 2. building a social media following to promote your posts to and 3. writing articles that serve a purpose for your audience. It took me a long time to figure out that I didn’t need to put up 5 posts a week, I just needed to put up 1 meaningful post a week! Quality over quantity.
6. What social media outlets have you found are most beneficial in promoting your brand and blog? Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram stories!
7. Which ones do you have the strongest presence one? I have my strongest presence on instagram, but Pinterest consistently brings in the most page views from a social media website.
8. What have been the easiest and your favorite things about blogging? My favorite thing about blogging is getting to merge my creative side with my business/practical side. I’ve never felt like an artist, but I have always felt like a creator. Now I get to work with brands to create storylines and imagery that speaks to people, all while doing networking and negotiations!
9. What challenges have you faced in the blogging industry? There are a lot of people in the industry (bloggers specifically) that will only promote and work with other bloggers that will benefit them. They are cliquey and perpetually work together, but won’t work with, or sometimes even speak to, anyone that they don’t see as helping them climb the social ladder. It definitely makes me feel bad and second guess myself at times. It’s like high school all over again!
10. How has blogging helped you grow as a person? It has challenged me to become better at communicating, and connecting with others, and with understanding my worth!
11. How did you come to the decision to leave teaching in order to pursue blogging full time? It was a two-part decision. I actually had a “five-year-out plan” with teaching and ended up quitting a year earlier than I had set course to. I knew once I got to student teaching (I had already had my blog for a year) that I had more passion for marketing than teaching. Once I got to my 4th year teaching resource in a low-income school, I felt serious burn-out and needed to take a step back for my mental health. The second reason I decided to quit: blogging is more profitable than teaching! I was ready to invest in my business by giving myself the gift of more time!