the real life of a blogger.

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This is one of those posts that has been on my radar forever but just haven't gotten around to posting. But, it's one that I think is super important so I'm so excited to finally share it with you!  I wanted to write this in hopes that those out there who want to start a blog can get a real-life perspective, but also so that the misconceptions around the "glamorous" life of a blogger are put to the wayside. Be forewarned, this is a lengthy post, but there is a lot to explain so bear with me! 

As I write this post, I am hunkered down at a coffee shop, which is usually where I do my best work. I do have a home office, but sometimes the act of getting out of the house and going somewhere for a few hours ignites the creative juices and also forces me to finish deadlines. Being at home, it's easy to get distracted by laundry, dishes, and my toddler {probably the most difficult part of working from home}. Now don't get me wrong - I know most of you would kill to work from home and not be stuck in an office all day, but working from home isn't as easy as it looks. You have to have an extreme amount of discipline {which I typically don't have} and really stay on task. It can also get really lonely. Sometimes I can go an entire day without talking to anyone but my 17-month-old {who doesn't talk back...yet}. This means by the time my husband Wes gets home from work I'm spewing out a million and one things and he is usually feeling the opposite being as he's in sales and has been talking ALL DAY. It's also lonely in the sense that you are working for yourself and have no one who checks in on you and holds you accountable. There is also ZERO job security. You are always hanging on to the hope that you might get paid out for a brand partnership, or that people will actually buy what you post and you'll receive a small commission {more on that coming}.

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So I know your next question is, "How do you get paid as a blogger?" For me, I produce an income from my blog via affiliate links and sponsorships, my personal styling business and as an Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot.  Here's a breakout:

1. Affiliate links: Whenever I post something to Instagram or Facebook with @liketoknow.it in the caption or post a URL with rstyle.me in it, and someone buys something from the link, I get paid. Reward Style {a.k.a. Liketoknow.it} helps influencers get paid for purchases made on their special link by working with brands to offer us a small commission based on purchases. For instance, if I link something from Nordstrom and you don't use the special link I have given, but just go to their website to find it, then I don't get paid commission for sharing it.  Even if you don't end up buying the exact item I posted, but you use my link and purchase something else, I will still get credit for it! Usually, on my blog posts, the link is hidden in the image, so you just click on the image to be taken to the site.  You can also view all my linkable photos on my shop tab HERE

2. Personal Styling: I am a personal wardrobe stylist, meaning I help style people, do closet clean-out and shop til I drop! I am also an Independent Stylist for Styled Seattle, which is where I get a lot of my customers from. This is one part of my many jobs that I really enjoy because it gives me the opportunity to style women who don't have great self-image due to their wardrobe. My blog helps bring attention to my services as a Stylist and also gives women style tips without actually having to purchase a style package. 

3. Stella & Dot: An online jewelry and tops boutique where I get commission based on items sold. I also do in-home Trunk Shows, which is bascially a party at someone's house where all their friends and family can try on product, sip wine and just have a good ole' girls night. Acessorizing is the most important thing to creating a complete wardrobe and I honestly love thier products so it's really fun for me to promote. I do have to buy all the jewelry myself {at a discounted price} so this isn't a 100% return on investment like the other two are {minus my time of course}. 

4. Brand partnerships: As an "influencer", brands will reach out to me to help promote their products. I only work with brands and I personally would use or buy on my own. All product is given to me for free in exchange for a review. In some cases, the brand will pay me commission based on sales or pay me per post {this is far and few between, but something that will be more prevalent as my social media and blog grows}.

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So there you have it. The real life of a blogger. It's not always glamorous like it seems to be on social media. It's a lot of work with sometimes little to no pay, but I absolutely love doing it and I get to help women every day feel better about the way they look. I quit my job in the corporate world because I wanted to be my own boss and hold myself accountable for my success. It's not easy and every day I am constantly comparing myself to others or feeling as if I can never check enough things off my to-do list; but I know it's all about balance, and owning your own business takes time. That's all I can say, is that you have to put in the time and along the way, the relationships you make by attending events, working with brands, meeting others on social media, and writing good content will pay off. Stay authentic, stay true to your brand and never be afraid to go after what you really want! 

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Thanks for reading and for continuing on this journey with me! You have no idea how much your comments mean to me. Sometimes I have no idea if anyone is even reading my posts or finding my shopping links useful, so the more I hear from you, the better!

xo // J E N N A