The Truth About How I Blog-Where Bloggers Live
It’s always interesting to hear about the backstories, right?? Which is the prompt for this month’s Where Bloggers Live. Bettye put out the words “How we blog/process/get inspired, etc” and I decided to give you a more in-depth look at my process.
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Quote of the day: “I got to this stage by being myself, and I should keep doing that.” Naomi Osaka
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about blogging both in the sense of instruction and to explain the logistics and costs associated with it. While you could blog for almost free, there are still some expenditures that pop up over time.
This is why you see ads, affiliate links as well as sponsored posts on bloggers’ sites, so they can at least recoup their costs.
Yet even now, things change with the process and how I blog. So it’s fun to have you join me for some back story and what goes on here at Jodie’s Touch of Style
I hope you will sign up for the emails below. I share extra things in my email along with inspirational articles. Besides that, you also receive my free eBook about accessories.
In the Beginning
If you are new to my blog, then let me give you some insights into how Jodie’s Touch of Style came to be.
I had just sold my cosmetic dental practice and I was thinking that my next career would be as a personal stylist/shopper. After taking some classes and working with a couple of women, my husband suggested starting a blog because building a clientele would take a while.
My response to Rob’s suggestion?? What’s a blog? LOL!
So I googled fashion blogs and even found a couple that included older women. However, I wanted to do something different. Which is why I called up my mom and stepmom who lived close by and twisted their arm to be part of the fun.
Related post: Behind the scenes with our blog relationship
My original thought was by the time we are over 50 years old, we already have a closet full of clothes and probably aren’t buying new things all of the time. So I wanted to show how one item could be worn for three different occasions.
If you ever look back into the Categories tab on my site, some of the first posts were showcasing the exact same item from our closet worn this way.
For example, we each wore a glittery item from our closet for a casual day, for a dressier time, and then again.
While these original articles don’t have the best photos, the narrative is short, and they only show one angle of the outfit, I still like to keep them up on my blog.
I still believe in this concept of versatility with our clothing, and I showcase it often when I show the same item worn in different ways like this tiered skirt.
Making Money with a Blog?
Then I heard women talking about making money with their blogs. With more research, I realized that many of these women bought clothing at stores where there were affiliate links available. Then the blogger would style the piece before returning it back to the store. I saw this as modeling things from a store just for the sake of getting a commission.
Yet, it’s smart and can be extremely helpful for women interested in those clothing items.
And I totally understand about wanting to make some money because this venture is much more time-consuming than you realize (unless you have a blog. Then you know, haha).
That’s one of the reasons I love having ads on my site. Sure they can be annoying to the readers, but I’m not dependent on having my readers buy anything for me to get reimbursement.
I also enjoy working with brands to showcase their products. Honestly, I turn away more brands than you end up seeing here on my blog. I only consider brands that have something that I would buy or something I think you would enjoy. And at a price I consider reasonable.
Budget and functionality are things I keep at the forefront when researching a brand.
Yet my basic values have never changed even since the beginning. I still want to showcase real women, wearing real clothes (that we buy and keep). This includes ways to change up your style without spending lots of money, showing hacks that help style what you already have in your closet as well as learning about ways to keep us healthy, so we can enjoy this life.
In fact, I feel blessed that I can share all of this with you without having to depend on the income from this blog. It’s my hobby, and the money I make, I use to take my mom and the models exploring besides paying the blog bills.
How I Blog Now
Yet, because I put so much time into each and every article I write, I love the idea that other women find it when they google a question.
When I first started blogging, I ignored SEO, thinking I was doing this just for fun. Well, fun is all well and good, but I also began to realize that my time is worth something.
Insider info: SEO is Search Engine Optimization. That means when you google, what to wear for a funeral, if I wrote my post correctly, my article will show up somewhere near the top of your search.
Finally last year I took an online class about the subject and would recommend it to any serious blogger.
So how do I decide what we will be styling for you??
1-If a reader requests an idea, I will be sure to add it to my list. Sometimes this means waiting until the right season.
2-Sometimes the three of us have the same item or I will buy it for us (like the cropped pants from Old Navy we wore last month).
3-Otherwise, I will try to think about what women might be struggling with clothing-wise.
4-And sometimes, I just post what I want!! Lesley is also wonderful about giving me ideas.
The difference between when I first started and now, is that I try to research the keyword I’m using (part of that SEO thing) to make sure Google finds it enticing to share with others.
So for example, when the Ageless style group suggests a theme for the month, I will google it and try to figure out a way to make it show up on the first three pages of Google.
Insider tip: The other way that helps me as a blogger is when you share my posts either via social media or telling a friend. As I always say, the more, the merrier.
Now, as you’ve noticed, this blog is not just about me!! Sure, I could just gather my mom, Lesley, and myself together in our backyard and take photos and call it a day. But what would be the fun in that?
Therefore, once a week, we try to go somewhere fun and explore our area. What that means is I research places to visit and set up a tour or a time for us to visit. That’s exactly how the post about 20+ hidden gems to visit in AZ came about.
This may sound easy, but I try to figure out not only a fun place to go, but also will our outfit ideas work for the place.
For instance, if you remember when we visited the monastery here in Arizona, they had a STRICT dress code of what we had to wear. And, we wouldn’t want to be dressed in our heels and gowns to go to a baseball game, right??
The hardest part is there is a science to taking great photos. And it has to do with the lighting. Unfortunately, that means the best lighting is the 2-hour window after sunrise and before sunset. Yet, that timing rarely works with our schedule (especially early in the morning), so we have to make do.
What we end up doing is searching for a shady area that has a somewhat pretty background. Considering we are going places we’ve never been before, it can be a challenge.
Wait, There’s More about How I Blog
That’s not the end. Because once we take photos, then Rob edits them (there is no photoshopping, just lighting and cropping). I’m so happy because I used to do this part myself, and now it’s nice to have Rob helping out.
Then the hard part starts, where I actually have to write a cohesive article incorporating what we are showcasing and how I want to inspire women.
Now, for some women, this part is easy. Some women have a gift for writing and explaining what they mean. Not me! But I keep plugging along and hope you give me grace!!
The best part about how I blog is when women email me or comment. It’s the community aspect that I treasure so much.
Those testimonials found on the first page of my blog? I can’t tell you how those emails mean the difference between continuing and giving up.
What I Have Learned
I wrote an entire article about why I started blogging and what I had learned 4 years ago. The funny thing is those things I’ve learned are still very important to me (especially #3).
I’ve also learned how freeing it is to embrace our bodies no matter the size or changes. I realize that is H.A.R.D. for most women. We are used to dissing our bodies because there are lumps, saggy skin, or many other “imperfections”.
But I’m a Pollyanna and I think we need to be kind not just to others but also to ourselves.
One of the biggest things I’ve figured out is how many of the “rules” we’ve learned are hogwash. Come on, say it with me, “Hogwash.” (It’s a fun word, don’t you think?)
But seriously, why is it important to look taller? Or slimmer? Why should we cover our arms when it’s 100 degrees outside just because we think that crepey skin is bad? Doesn’t that seem a tad egotistic?? Besides who said crepey skin is bad? Have you ever thought about that? (Don’t we think those wrinkly dogs are cute?)
Having fun with our style and trying new things!! That’s been incredibly fun and makes me feel 10 years younger. I only hope you agree. Many stylists take our fashion very seriously, and I think life is too short for that.
Heck, as I always say, you get a mulligan every day. If you didn’t like how an outfit came together, no biggie. Take it off and try again.
Where Bloggers Live
What is Where Bloggers Live? It’s kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…Bloggers! Who doesn’t like to peek behind the scenes and hear all about the personal backstories and interesting details? Go take a gander at everyone else’s reasons, inspirations, and why they blog.
FYI, we don’t all post at the same time since we all have different schedules and live in different parts of the country
Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Iris at Iris’ Original Ramblings
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After
Sally at Within a World of My Own
We’ve been doing this fun series for a long time as you can see by all of the prompts below from just the last year. Feel free to visit any that might strike your fancy.
Past Home Memories
Junk Drawer Essentials
Peep My Ride
Favorite Piece of Furniture
Top 5 Favorite Movies
Memories of NYC Trips
Hairstyles from my Childhood
Welcome to Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to look great. Clothing and style are meant to showcase your inner personality. So let’s have fun and try new things.
It’s not just about me on this blog, but also about my mother and friend. We get to showcase not only different decades of life but also different body shapes and unique personal styles.
Find out more about all of us here. And make sure to join the email list where I include so much more.