blogging goals | partnerships

blogging-goals-partnerships
photo by Briley Noel

When I started blogging in 2011, it was because I wanted to be a part of the community I already followed and loved. I was a big fan of early fashion bloggers and loved the idea of bringing style inspiration to people who felt stuck in a closet rut but didn't follow the fashion blogging scene. My goal was to provide real outfits that I had worn in my real life and bought with my own money.

After getting into a rhythm and gaining a bit of a following, this space changed into something more than daily outfit posts. I wanted to create a safe place online for people, especially women, to feel less alone when it came to things like body image, depression, and anxiety. These topics have been pillars of Writes Like A Girl because they have a lot to do with who I am as a person and I wanted my blog to reflect that.

While I've had general goals for Writes Like A Girl (post more consistently! fine-tune your style! get more followers!), I realized that I've never thought of this space in a long-term capacity. Working alongside Indiana of INDIANA/ELSEWHERE (formerly Adored Austin) as we've prepped for CAMP has been a whirlwind of awesome. Not only is she just such an inspiration to me as a funny woman who writes on the Internet, but she has pushed me to see something greater for myself in this sphere. She believes in what I'm doing here, and that made me believe more in what it could become.

On several occasions Indiana has asked me what my goals are for Writes Like A Girl. For as dedicated to this space as I am, I hadn't ever really thought about it. That worried me. I, like many bloggers, have been feeling a little burnt out lately. I've had middle-of-the-night meltdowns asking myself "Do people ever care about these outfits? It's not like I'm reinventing the wheel here," and "What do I have to say that isn't already being said on a blog with more followers." These questions can be the start to a really ugly spiral of doubt if there's no one there to remind you of your value. I am so thankful to have had Indiana on the other side of my text messages telling me that I'm not alone and that what I'm doing is good.

I have spent a lot of time thinking this season about what I want for Writes Like A Girl. The blogging community is so unbelievably saturated, but there is still a place for me here and I still have things to say and do that are valuable. One of the big things I've been considering (and reconsidering) is working with brands. To be transparent here, I get contacted several times a day by brands I have no interest in working with. Having seen what marketing is from their side, I feel bad because they A. don't know how to send a good (or even grammatically correct) email, and B. they don't know who their audience is. So many brands have heard "bloggers are the future" and they just assume we're all the same. Spoiler alert: we're not!

After politely declining or ignoring (oops) so many emails, I started thinking about my role as a blogger in a new way. There are products I love and would love to tell me readers about. That's all these brands want anyway, isn't it? Someone to market their product in a real way? I have never wanted this space to become a marketing platform for products I don't care about/don't believe in just for the money or free swag. No shade to bloggers who choose that path (girls gotta pay the bills, you know), but since the beginning Writes Like A Girl has been a safe space for readers to read something real and I will not sacrifice that for anything.

Having that brands just want someone who believes in their products to write about them, I'm going to start searching for my own partnerships. What I hope is that I can create some amazing relationships with people who make products I'm so excited to tell you about. Starting my blog was about community, and I have been wary of including brands in that community until now. With this new inspiration, I'm excited to grow my space a little bigger, while continuing to provide useful and honest content to my readers.

From a reader perspective, not much is going to change. You may see a few more c/o (meaning "courtesy of") items around here, but know that this is never going to become a place where I try to sell you things for the sake of it. This feels like a positive next step for both Writes Like A Girl and my little community, so I'm glad you're coming along for the ride!

13 comments

  1. Good for you! I'm 100% behind bloggers who are interested in getting paid for more of their time. Whether it's through ads, sponsored posts, or a clothing item here or there, I think it totally makes sense for everyone involved (as long as the brand matches the blog of course!). I like to hear about what people are wearing/buying/supporting anyway so as long as everyone is honest, I think it's a win/win.

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  2. Full disclosure, I am someone who blogs and enjoys reading blogs (while also reading GOMI and raising my eyebrows at the way some blogs approach sponsorships). I think your approach sounds sensible and it makes sense. I enjoy quite a few blogs that do work with sponsors and affiliate programs. As long as the blogger is thoughtful about his or her partnerships and is very upfront about disclosing things, I feel like its fine.


    It isn't really something I personally need to think about because my blog has a very small readership and I anticipate that it will stay that way!

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  3. I used to say "yes" to practically every brand that contacted me to either do a review or wear something of theirs on my blog because I thought that's how people grew readership. I was so wrong, haha. Now I almost never accept c/o items unless I truly love the brand. I like the idea of reaching out to companies that I've always wanted to work with, but I guess I just don't know where to start or what to say. :/

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  4. "What do I have to say that isn't already being said on a blog with more followers." I feel and think that about once a month when I'm wrestling with where I want my space to be and where I want it to go. I think your space is great and that you've really carved a niche for yourself and proved very helpful, to me at least. It's exciting to see new things coming your way and mine as a reader.

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  5. Of all bloggers, YOU especially deserve some nice c/o swag! You put so much time and thought into your little corner of the internet, and it shows! I'm curious on how you plan to approch brands for partnerships and I wonder all the time if bloggers actually reach out to brands they want to work with or is it just the other way around?

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  6. I love your thoughtful and transparent approach to this. Best of luck with your new endeavors. =]

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  7. so that's sort of my goal. i've never pitched a brand before, but i figure if the people i want to work with aren't finding me, i should find them. wouldn't that make their job easier? i hope to be able to come back with some findings and share them here! i hate how 'in the dark' all blogger/brand interactions are. i have NO idea how most bloggers get the connections they do -- obvi they're amazing, but how did they get there?

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  8. i'm so glad i'm not alone in those feelings! i so appreciate your kind words, especially as another blogger.

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  9. i was so set on not working with brands for a really long time, so it's taken a while for me to get to this place where i feel ready. i don't really know what to say either, but i'm going to do some trial and error and i guess the worst they can say is no. i'm hoping that i'll be able to share whatever i learn here!


    honestly your post with Loly was one of the things that pushed me to write this! i want to work with brands like that, and it's frustrating that they don't know who i am after this long of blogging. i'm hoping that by reaching out, i can start to build some exposure i guess? i'm just tired of feeling small + stuck!

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  10. fellow GOMI reader here, and i have had a lot of issues with the way blogs and brands interact from the get-go. i'm hoping that this approach will help even the playing field a little, but i guess we'll have to see!


    i always think of my blog as having a very small readership, but after blogging for nearly four years and being motivated recently to think about goals, i've been considering more of why it's small and what that means as far as being "successful" -- and what success even means to me.

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  11. Great post, Nicole! I get emails all the time, but I'm picky about what I say yes to. I always make sure it's something us young women can afford, something I would actually use, and something I think my readers would like. Definitely be picky!
    ~Sara

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  12. I'm so excited for you! You've posted so much consistently good content that it makes sense to reflect and find ways to grow, and I think partering with some rad companies, especially (hopefully) some local ones, will open up some bomb.com opportunities, challenges, and experiences. Best of luck, dear.

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  13. Hi, I love you. Let me help you pitch like a pro. See you sooooooooon!!!

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