Barefoot Blonde Amber FillerupBarefoot Blonde Amber FillerupBarefoot Blonde Amber FillerupBarefoot Blonde Amber Fillerup

TOP: Topshop / JACKET: Nour Hammour c/o / JEANS: Frame / SNEAKERS: Frye / SUNGLASSES: Gucci

These are some pics from the other day! I loved this mural so we had to stop and take pics 😉

You guys had SO many good questions about blogging! So many that I have to divide this up into two posts. There were also a lot of questions that require long answers and for those I will be doing stand alone posts that have more in detail answers that I hope will help more than the paragraph in this post! Also – anytime I do posts for this blogging series, I am only talking on behalf of myself as a blogger and not any other blogger. Each blogger has their own system and way they do things so what I do could be completely different than another person 🙂

Q: What platform should I start my blog on?

A: Lots of you asked this and question #2 so here are long answers for both! Ultimately you’re going to have to ask yourself what you are trying to get out of your blog experience, what your budget is, how much customization you want, how easy you want it to be, etc. If you’re new to blogging and don’t want to break the bank, maybe start off with a more user friendly cheap option.

I started on Blogspot, google’s platform (it’s called Blogger now.) mainly because I didn’t know where else to go.  But there are a ton of options, all with their pros and cons. I ended up switching over to wordpress.org, not wordpress.com (I’ll explain below) in 2013 and have been very happy with the switch.

First, wordpress.org vs wordpress.com.

WordPress.org is free self hosted (see the next question) platform, not to be considered by new-comers to blogging, unless you’re looking to shill out big bucks to a designer to create a website for you from scratch. it’s the backbone of your website, with which comes a lot of responsibility including self hosting, figuring out your own design, build, and security. The trade off is that it allows you much more in terms of customization.  It’s doesn’t offer a quick set up. It’s a foundation on which you can either personally design and create your own site, if you’re a web builder, or have someone do it for you. You can choose from some themes, but there is no easy quick setup. I’ve had my blog designed and redesigned multiple times over the years by web designers and developers who have customized it to look and function the way I want. Some of my designs have been hundreds of dollars, other re-designs have costed thousands of dollars. It’s a great tool, but if you’re looking to just dip your toes into blogging, it might not be the best start.

Worpress.com is different for a variety of reasons that hosting is free up to 3gb of space, after which you have to pay for your hosting. You’re also able to use a subdomain name for free, but if you want a custom domain, you’ll have to pay for that. The tradeoff here is that it’s much simpler, doesn’t require a background in web building, and with a few clicks of you mouse, you can have a blog running. You don’t have to worry about your own web security or maintenance. There are tons of themes and quite a few plugins, but over all not great if your goal is to have something custom. It’s a great option if you’re looking to dip your toes into blogging with limited investment.

If you need more information on wordpress or wordpress.com, there are some great blogs including this post that go over the pros and cons to each and more detailed information.

Blogger is similar to wordpress.com in that it’s a free platform with limited customizability. They provide the hosting, the subdomain, and the interface to create a simple blog with themes provided. Another great option to try out blogging with limited investment.

Other new great options that weren’t on the market when I started, but are on the market now are companies like Wix and Squarespace. They’re platforms that charge monthly membership fees. They’re also one stop shops like wordpress.com. You host your blog through them and the provide the security and maintenance. They have a lot of sharp themes and with a little bit of time and effort you can create a really beautiful website. 

Q: What is hosting? Why do you need hosting? And what hosting company do you use?

A: Web hosting is your storage space for all your content. Just like your computer, or phone, your website takes up space. A LOT of it after you’ve been running it for years. You can imagine how many photos I have on my website from posting 4-5 days a week since 2010. That has to be stored somewhere, which is where your web host comes into play.

For this you’ll need to consider the size of your audience, they type of content you’re displaying and your budget. There are different kinds of servers, on which your host stores your content. This might seem confusing, but just keep in mind that your web host will be able to tell you exactly what you need based of your traffic, content and budget.

At the beginning when I left blogger, I used a shared server, a cheaper option to a dedicated server.  In other words, my website shared storage space with other websites. But because it was shared, it also didn’t perform as well as a dedicated server, so I outgrew it quickly.

Think of it this way. Your content you have stored on a server is a dynamic thing. When it’s being accessed, that requires processing, and the more people are accessing it, the more processing is required. And when that happens, it can slow down your website. Occasionally I would have a post that gets shared more than others, and it would shut down my site. For example, when I shared both of my birth stories for Atticus and Rosie, my sight crashed. The problem is, on a shared server, other website’s traffic can affect your performance. So if someone else’s website with whom you share your server, crashes, it can affect your website performance. There are safeguards to prevent this type of thing, but it’s never as good as dedicated. The tradeoff is that it’s cheaper.

*Just a tip, it’s also always smart to let your host know in advance if you’re expecting any excess traffic. They can allocate more resources temporarily if let’s say you’re expecting a certain post to be shared by a big website or publication. So you can let them know in advance to avoid having your site crash.

A dedicated server is dedicated to you and your site and will help with load times. Our first dedicated server was Blue Host. They were good and bad. Good because they were cheap but bad because our site crashed multiple times a year which was annoying. In the beginning (if you are broke like I was) you may just be looking for cheapest hosting site and that is okay. You don’t need the best of the best when starting out. Do what works best and upgrade when you can/need to.

I am now with WPEngine and have had a great experience. There are dozens of hosting options to look into, all of which, like blog platforms, have their pros and cons and vary greatly in price. I started off with web hosting that ran around $30 a month, but now it’s in excess of a few hundred per month. If you’re considering using WordPress.org as your platform, I definitely recommend WPEngine.

Q: How do you make a schedule with two kids around?

A: This is always so hard. At the end of the day my role as mom is my most important role and it always comes first. I am lucky that my kids both nap for about 3 hours. So I work during their nap time – usually 12-3 and then as soon as they go to bed I am working until about midnight. Days when we have to go shoot content or have work we need to do for our other business we have our sitter come over. It is really hard to find a balance and when I am doing really well at work I have guilt thinking “ah most of my thoughts in my spare time have been about work! I need to be thinking about how to be a better mom blah blah” and when I am in full mom mode I feel guilty for neglecting work. I am slowly finding a better balance. This is where I feel really lucky that I work from home and can be available to them almost all of the time.

Q: Are you paid to travel?

A: Occasionally, but mostly no. Sometimes a hotel will host us for free or sometimes a campaign we are working on will require travel and pay for that travel(for example my Beautycon conference in Roseville) but 90% of the time we are paying for our vacations/trips in full.

Q: When did you and David decide to blog full time together?

A: David was in law school in Alabama and I had Atticus and was blogging full time by myself. At that time my blog was really growing and I couldn’t keep up with everything on my own. I was having to say no to a lot of opportunities and I either had to hire someone on full time or I needed David. We decided together that it made most sense for us to give this blog all we have and that there was no better time than right then. We decided that night to move to NYC and within a month we were on a plane headed to the big apple. We haven’t looked back since and know we made the right decision.

Q: How do you get sponsors?

A: I will do an entire post soon on this and get more into it. The simple answer is, this is different for everyone. Most likely the company or a PR agency will email you or DM you. If you have just started your blog you probably won’t do paid sponsorships for a little bit. I didn’t do any for about 2-3 years. Mine started out as trade. How this came about was I had linked to ASOS and they saw traffic to their site from mine so they emailed me and one thing led to the next.

Brands, companies, or boutiques will recognize you and the content you create. So be creative and have your own unique voice.

Q: How do I get in touch with big brands?

A: This is different for every blogger but for me I don’t reach out to people for sponsorships. If you are wanting a brand to notice you, you could wear them and tag them and show them that you 1. love their product and 2. you make good content. I have never worked in PR so I can only speak from a bloggers stand point — but if you did decide to reach out to a brand (and this isn’t a bad thing – you can totally do this, won’t hurt!) I would just find the email for their marketing or PR and send a nice note saying you love their brand and maybe send a link to a blog post or insta you did. I wouldn’t be pushy and just try to send a friendly note and get you on their radar.

Q: What has been your biggest obstacle?

A: Honestly it was really hard for me to deal with mom shaming in the beginning when I was a new mom. It made me second guess a lot of what I was doing. I have grown to learn to listen to my gut with parenting and not stranger’s anonymous comments. Mother’s know best. Strangers who have never met the children they are giving advice for, don’t. I am much more confident in my role as a mother now but in the beginning I already felt so inadequate that the comments made it hard.

Q: What do I do when people make fun of me?

A: I changed the original IF to WHEN because it WILL happen. I don’t know a single blogger who hasn’t had some form of “hater”. Like I said before, in the beginning it was mostly just people making fun of me since I didn’t have a following and people who knew me thought what I was doing was silly and narcissistic. This was the hard part… because I have always believed it only matters what you and the people in your circle think of you. But sometimes the people in your circle won’t support you either and you need to have enough confidence to keep going anyways. You need to remember how YOU feel because at the time I had fun doing it – I enjoyed doing hair and saw nothing wrong with sharing that with the whomever decided to follow. I just try to listen to myself. This is where I have come to grow more as a person than ever before. I have had to give myself endless pep talks and really have good thoughts about myself to combat the bad. When someone says one bad thing I tell myself three good things. Don’t let people take up valuable real estate in your mind. Fill your mind with only the good and use the bad as motivation to work even harder.

Q: Which social media is most important?

A: All of them but I would focus on Instagram and Pinterest – at least that is where I get most of my traffic. I love all the social medias for different reasons. Instagram is nice because it is curated and shows all of your favorite photos – I think of mine as my mini journal. Pinterest is good for maintaining traffic to your site. I will do a post on how to utilize Pinterest later. Twitter is good because you can have quick back and forth with readers. I love to go through twitter and answer questions or chat with readers because it feels more personal. Insta stories/snap is nice for people to see the unedited side of your life and what is going on right then/behind the scenes.

Q: How did you design your blog?

A: I sooo wish I had screenshots of what all of my old blog designs looked like! They have just evolved over the years. I started out with basic templates for free. I definitely think this is something that you want to invest in and get a good custom design though. If this is not possible for you and you need to use a basic template – go with simple is best. Clean, white background and easy to navigate.

Q: Which camera/lens do you use?

A: My husband David takes 98% of my photos! He made a little video on most of the gear he uses which you can find here. The main change is that he has upgraded from the Canon 5d Mark III to the IV and almost always uses the Canon 24-70 lens. We started out with a Canon T3i and then years later upgraded to the Canon 70d. It is good to start at your experience level and work your way up as you gain more experience. Lenses make the biggest difference in my opinion though. We could take the same shot with a 20mm, 50mm, 24-70mm and get different looking images. But just remember to be patient with yourself! Seriously cannot tell you how many times we came home from shooting (when we first started shooting together) and I couldn’t even use the photos because they were either grainy, or blurry, or unusable in some way haha (sorry David!) but no really it is okay because you have to start somewhere!

Q: What do I need to do to start blogging? (what I think you should invest in.)

A:

  1. Photography. If you or your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/whoever don’t have photography experience and you are really wanting to grow your blog I would either invest in a photographer or find a local photographer who is looking for trade. Good photography will make all the difference. Your site and social platforms will look much more professional.
  2. Web design. When people get to your site you have less than 2 seconds to capture their attention and make them decide to stay or leave. So I definitely think this is important. If you’re not in a position to invest money in web design, pick the best platform that allows you to create something unique.
  3. Time. You will invest a lot of time. This isn’t something that is just a quick start up .. for me it was 3 years of blogging before I made a dime. Now that blogging has grown so much you can grow easier but still it will take time. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Q: How do I grow my blog?

A: As I mentioned above I am making stand alone blog posts for answers that are hard to answer in just a paragraph and this is one of them. I think the easiest way to do this is just to share YOU and to stay authentic. One of the biggest ways you can do this is to not accept too many sponsorships because I personally find it annoying when people have a product shot or sponsored post in every other instagram. For every one sponsored post I do I try to do at least 8+ non sponsored entries. Look at why you love following certain bloggers and note what they do and don’t do. I love to follow people who share their personal side and who I can feel like I have a connection with or people who inspire me. Don’t try to force this. Just be you and let people know that if they want to they can head to your blog to read more. If they like what they are seeing then they will 🙂

Q: What route should I take in schooling if I want to be a blogger?

A: I am not the best person to ask (college drop out over here haha) but I would say a public relations, advertising, or business degree would be helpful. Readers would maybe say I need an English degree with my spelling and grammar errors 😉 so maybe that too. I don’t think there is anything wrong with trade schools either. I am proud to have gone to hair school because if I hadn’t I would have never gained such an interest for styling hair. Styling hair led to my blog growing so I am thankful that I listened when something was telling me college wasn’t working and to try something else.

Q: How do you gain followers on social media?

A: For me I think a big part of my growth was having my photos shared by big accounts. When I was really small on instagram I remember being in San Fransisco with David and all of the sudden seeing my numbers jump by 15k. I was baffled then realized that @hudabeauty shared a photo of me and tagged me. A lot of other big accounts shared my photos and tagged me which helped a lot. I never sought to be shared by them, it just kind of happened. I think when you create unique content, others out there will want to share. Other than that it just happened on its own.

Q: How do you make money with a blog?

A: You can make money a lot of ways, but most of the money I make comes through sponsorships and affiliates. For example, when I say a post is sponsored it is because that company paid me to promote a product. We get 50-75 emails a day from companies big and small wanting to work together but only very very few actually end up being a good fit. We need to believe the brand and love the product. How much a blogger makes is based on their following, their platforms, content, engagement, conversion rates, and anything else the brand sees relevant.

Q: What if people are annoyed of you doing sponsored posts?

A: I think there is a fine line between too many and a good amount. If readers feel you are posting too many sponsorships then try to listen to them and take a step back and see if there is a way you can space them out more. Sometimes people get annoyed about sponsored posts in general and I think people need to realize that blogs and social media are free entertainment and with that comes ads. Television has ads. Hulu has ads. Youtube videos have ads. Facebook has ads. Blogs have ads and its just the way it is. I don’t expect others to work for free. There is definitely a way to do ads organically though and that all depends on the blogger.

Q: What do you do on days when you don’t have new content?

A: This is a good question and I think its always better to NOT post than to post something you aren’t proud of or something that is thrown together. Especially with Instagram and social medias. Quality over quantity.

Q: How do you edit your photos?

A: I color correct my photos in Lightroom 5 – it is an Adobe software you can purchase. I love to play around with VSCO filters and create my own. The few that I use in all of my photos are ones that I have slowly created over the last few years by making small adjustments and tweaking little things. In lightroom you can adjust everything from just the oranges to just the pinks – make blacks darker – take away grain or add grain, remove noise, and selective adjust levels – etc! So fun to play around with it. I remember getting it and at first thinking – “I will never get the hang of this, this is sooo confusing!” Sure enough the more you play around with it the more it makes sense and starts to click.

Q: What are you blog photo sizes?

A: I export my photos at 75% quality and a width of 12oo pixels. I export at a little greater than the size of the displayed images on the blog, but do that just incase they are used, or shared elsewhere that has a larger display size. There are a lot of good online image optimization tools too like tinyjpg.com which can help keep your images optimized for web use.

Q: Do you use an editorial calendar to plan your posts?

A: Not really – I always have a list of posts I want to do. Which is always a long list and with two kids sometimes things stay on the list for a long time. I use google cal to plan some posts but a lot of times the night before I am just editing whatever I feel like. I don’t like to be too planned and just like to post whatever I feel like talking about or sharing in that moment.

Q: Do you use your iPhone for blog photos?

A: Generally not. Occasionally but I usually just use them for insta.

Q: Do you use social media to promote all of your posts?

A: No. Some posts I don’t promote at all. In fact one of my most popular posts ever that still drives constant traffic is a post that I haven’t ever promoted on social media.

Q: How do you maintain privacy?

A: This is one that is especially different for each blogger because everyone has their own definition of privacy or values privacy differently. I was always the roommate walking around naked and sharing TMI. It is just the way I am. Because of that I think I don’t mind having people know what is going on in my life. I like having the connection to readers and I like sharing stories and photos. With the blog I have learned to keep to myself certain things for certain reasons. Whatever I don’t want to hear someone’s opinion on, I don’t talk about.

Q: Do you need to have something unique to offer to start a blog?

A: I think each individual person’s thoughts, and how they express themselves, is unique enough. Add your own personal style or your recipes or whatever it is on top of that and you are good to go.

Q: How do you get free stuff like in the videos of bloggers opening gifts?

A: Giftings are different than sponsorships. A lot of companies or PR agencies like to just send stuff for us to try out with no strings attached. We are not required to post about or mention the product. Simply for us to try. This happens naturally as you grow and brands reach out to you.

Q: Do you buy all of your clothes or are they gifted?

A: A little bit of both but I buy 75% of my clothes, shoes, etc.

Q: How do you manage all of your photos?

A: LOTS of hard drives divided into categories by month and day.

Q: Do you feel like its too late to get into blogging?

A: Absolutely not! I think its great that now you can see what has worked and what hasn’t worked for other bloggers. It is never too late and I am a big believer in going for something in the moment – you never want to look back and wish you had gone after a dream.

Q: What were your costs of blogging?

A: In the beginning it was just time. I used and hustled as much as I could and did it for free. Then I bought my first camera for I think around $500. When we paid for our first blog design we paid $600. It can cost upwards of 15k depending who you use and how much customization is added. When we added hosting to help with load times we were paying around $30 a month. This was hard for me at first and felt like so much. But you kind of just have to do it as you grow more. We now pay a few hundred a month for hosting. Other than that we didn’t have many “start up” costs.

Q: Is blogging your full time job?

A: David and I run this blog and our other business, Barefoot Blonde Hair, full time.

Hopefully these help! If you don’t see your question on here, it is because there were so many so I divided it into two parts 🙂 thanks for reading! And leave any questions below you would like me to answer in Part Two. xoxox

Pin Gallery

4 Photos

Photos from Blogging Series Vol 1: Q&A Part One

154 comments | Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I love all of these tips!!! But when are you going to do another post about sponsors and also growing your blog?? Dying for more answers!!
    xoxo

  2. This was really helpful! It is always great to see big bloggers give out informstion and tips. I just started a blog.
    Emstevenson.blogspot.com

  3. Excellent job! I loved this article so much. Your so inspiring every wife wish to help their husband in building and raising a good family. And happy to know you made it, nothing is impossible when the two of you making dreams come true. Congrats!

  4. What plugins do you use for your site? Also, how did you get a full width instagram feed on the top of your page?
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Kasey! Go to lightwidget.com to create an Insta scroll. Copy and paste the code generated into an html plugin on your site and it should pop up!

  5. I was starting to feel defeated about the growth of my blog and thought to myself, “If only someone who’s experienced some success could give out some tips!” This blog series has been so encouraging! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Also – welcome back to AZ! If you guys can hang in there for the next 2 1/2 summer months, you’ll be SO glad that you moved here!

  6. You are so inspirational! Thanks for all the advice! My question is how long did it take you to start making money off of your blog? I feel like we have similar starts, my husband and I just moved across the country so he could attend law school in Kentucky and I decided to stay home with my baby boy only 3 months old at the time. That is when I decided to start a blog in the hopes of being able to help provide for our family and possibly get my husband back at home with me kind of like you and David.
    Also, how did you decide what you would blog about? Did you pick a niche and stick to it or just write whatever you wanted? I started mine as a DIY blog because I am a creative spirit who is always working on a project, but I am really wanted to shift more into lifestyle/young mom life blogging (I am 21).
    Anyway thanks for the inspiration, I can’t wait til part two!

    P.s. this is my blog if you wanted to take a look! Any advice would mean the world! http://www.lifeonwaller.com

  7. So so so helpful! Thank you!! Can you create a “How I edit my photos post?” please!!!

    1. Yes! please do! Perhaps even a youtube video of your lightroom editing. Your pictures are amazing. I’m always blown away by how perfect each picture is, even the beach pics during mid day with all that over exposed light.

  8. Super helpful and honest post! Appreciate how positive and encouraging you always are.

  9. Thanks so much for posting this amber! Knowing what to do in order to gain a following is the hardest part of this!! Thank you😊 Your pictures and family always bring a smile to my face! Your are so pretty and I love how you are you! Your great! So excited to see the more detailed pintrest post on how to use it because I feel like use it incorrectly… ya I’m almost positive I do!🤦🏼‍♀️ ☹️Lol

  10. Wow Amber! Thank you for sharing so much valuable information and not being selfish at all!! Your authenticity, honesty, and uniqueness is awesome!

  11. You are just the sweetest. and I love how you are so kind and willing to offer tips + advice to share this blogging space with others. Keep doing what you’re doing! Love seeing your family grow and travel. It’s inspiring.
    xx
    Courtney
    http://www.thedaringdarling.com

  12. Amber, I’ve been thinking about blogging since 2011 but never started a blog because I was very shy, and was always thinking about “other people’s opinion”…. but after reading your post I’m so excited and motivated to finally start my own blog! You really make me believe that all of us are unique and everyone will find their audience! I wish you all the best in life and your family is such a role model to me. Thanks again for inspiration <3

  13. Great post! Thanks so much for sharing this!
    Do you have the lightroom CC version? Or just the “normal” package without the cloud function?
    One other question: Does David always take RAW photos for editing in lightroom? Because we barely do RAWs and I was wondering if you could apply the presets in lightroom also for non-raw pics 🙂

    All the best,
    Jasmin

    P.S: I just startet my blog a few month: https://minipingublog.wordpress.com and I want to switch to wordpress.org. Do you know something about sideground as a hosting page?

  14. Amber you are so kind to share these tips!! Seriously, so nice of you. You have become so successful and now you are taking the time to teach others. You are truly an amazing person. Beautiful photos as always. Thank you!!

  15. Thank you so much, all of this is so helpful and informative!

    I am new to using lightroom, and was wondering if you have any tips. How do you get your photos to look so amazing and have them all blend together so well. Do you have a typical combination that you use? Are there specific vsco filters that you use as well?

  16. This is absolutely amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your blogging advice and wisdom, Amber. Your honesty and enthusiasm is sincerely appreciated! 🙂

    Laura
    BlondeInGrey.com

  17. To be honest, I think you’re very beautiful, like-able (and lucky!) People are drawn to you, which means you’re definitely doing something right! Hopefully we can all be seen by the right people and catch our big break someday 😉 At least that’s what I learned from this Q&A…

    Kim @ http://www.simplylovebirds.com

  18. Amber I just love you so much even more now! This post was really long and it shows how much you care about your readers and helping them! This was extremely helpful for me as many of the questions I have been wondering about for a while. Can’t wait for part 2! Thank you for this!! <3

  19. This was one of the most helpful encouraging posts about blogging I have ever read! Thanks so much for being real and sharing the struggles as well as the successes! What tips would you have about coming up with content that people want to read/need that hasn’t already been overdone? I just started my blog and I am loving it but also want to reach more people! Thank you! Elizabeth

  20. Thank you so much for being so honest and REAL about all of the questions! You seem so authentic and I really appreciate that! This answered like half the questions I had, so definitely can’t wait to read more from this series! Also cant wait to watch David’s video about all your camera gear, not sure how I missed it before but thanks for sharing!!! I used to blog 7-9 years ago before it was real popular but gave up, kinda getting the itch to start again! thanks for the inspo in all things fashion, family, and babies! xoxo Alena

  21. This was SO helpful! I am just starting to set up my blog again after getting discouraged by people who thought it was silly. I really appreciate your answers and your willingness to help everyone else trying to do this 🙂 Thank you!

  22. Thank you so much for posting all this info! The mom /work guilt really hit home even though I’m not a mom. I still feel the guilt between enjoying time with friends/family and thinking about what content I can create in that moment. I’m still finding the balance! Also love the really practical advice you have here!! The photo editing, how David got started, and what percentage you travel and buy things on your own are very encouraging! xo Holly
    http://www.hollycanon.com

  23. This was honestly so helpful thank you so much for posting this!! As a new blogger myself, I often had the same questions that you answered on here so it was refreshing to see you started out just like us! 🙂

  24. Love all of your blog posts and content. I seriously appreciate how transparent and honest you are throughout your blogging and social media! Hoping I can get a running start with mine like you did with yours!

    http://www.krechusifyoucan.com

  25. I can’t wait to read the post on Pinterest for blogging!!

  26. I love this so much. I JUST started a new health and wellness blog about a month ago. There are so so so many different ways to be a blogger, so many ways to get yourself out there, and so many things to try. I agree with just being authentic though. Create the blog for you, love it for you, and people will want to check it out. And even if they don’t- who cares if you love it? You’ve been my favorite blogger since before you even had kids. I love that you share how it’s important to be personal too. I think your authenticity is what makes the blog so popular. xx

    http://www.riceandrepeat.com

  27. Yay, my question was in this post! 🙂 🙂 thank you for sharing! XO

    P.S I love how nonchalant and chill you are. You seemed to just have put in the work but left the rest up to God. Your authenticity is inspiring ❤

    beeandkai.wordpress.com

  28. This post was incredible Amber, thank you so much! I actually had to buy more server space for my blog a month ago because 5 posts a week since 2012 meant I was out of space too! Such great answers and now I am off to check out that camera gear (though what I really need is my own David….) 🙂

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  29. Wow! This was a good read. I can tell how much work you have put into your blog. So inspiring and thanks a ton for sharing😘😘

    lafruGAL.com

  30. Thank you so much for this! I’ve only been blogging a couple years and this was very helpful for me, saving for future use!

  31. When a company wants to sponsor a post do you have a set amount that you charge or does the brand tell you we will pay this amount to talk about the product?

  32. I follow you and you’re blog a couple years right now. Thank you for the post, it answered all my curious questions 🙂 looking forward to part 2!!
    xx from Flanders

  33. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve read so many different articles on blogging but yours is such a spot on! You are so inspirational! Now I’m off to go to use some of your advice!

    http://www.anythingbutpink.net

    Xoxo
    Kate

  34. Thank you so much for sharing this as I’m in the beginning stages of my blog. One question I have is at what point do I need to register my business with the govt? And how do you set up this type of business (LLC, SCorp, etc)? Does this need to be done before paid sponsorships or after?
    Thanks again for all your advice!
    Xoxo
    Livinglifeinblush.com (coming soon!)

  35. Thank you for sharin your thoughts on this! I appreciate the open heart and the honesty! I’m in the stage of having had a blog for a few years and getting discouraged in how it’s working or not working… you probably hear it all the time, but your family is an inspiration! We are going to Australia this year and I’ll be looking thru your travels to get ideas on places to visit and go out to eat there.

  36. Love this Q & A! I’ve always loved your style of editing photos and was excited to hear a little bit more about this! My blog is much, much smaller then yours and I can barely keep up with emails! I can totally see where you needed to bring your husband on full time, plus you two make the perfect team! So happy for you and your family!

    XO,

    Mol

    http://www.raisingbuddiesblog.com

  37. Thank you Amber! I appreciate the detail and sincerelty in which you handled this post:) Keep it up because your kindess and dedication to being yourself shines though on your blog and it what kept me following you!

  38. Thanks so much for this post, Amber! You really are such a savvy business woman and it’s so wonderful to see you supporting other women (and men!) by sharing how you got to where you are.

    xo

    http://www.shorethingblog.com

  39. Thank you for sharing Amber! I have been looking for a long time for blogging articles that can answer all of my questions and this post is so good and I look forward to part 2.

  40. Hey Amber, I really love this new series on your blog! Even though I am mostly an instagirl, I think it is great you explain a lot over here on your blog. 🙂
    What really strucked my mind was the question: how long are you working on one blogpost or also on one instapost or is it more like an “it-happens-right-in-the-moment” thing?

    Keep doing what you’re doing and best wishes from Berlin 🙂

  41. Very kind of you to give back to your followers. This was a wealth of information. I started reading your blog years ago. I was living in Los Angeles and wanted to start my own so bad, but had no direction or information as to how to get started. I find myself in New York now, and know this is my time. I will keep your advice in mind. Much continued success sweet girl! Enjoy the rest of your trip with your wonderful family in Japan. 🌸🌸

  42. These tips are great, especially for a girl just finding her feet with blogging. Sometimes it can feel like I’m working so hard but not getting anything back from it so it’s good to know it took a while for your blog to properly take off.

    You’ve mentioned your bucket list a few times and also lists for the cities you have lived in of things you’d like to do there. I’d really love for you to publish them on your blog. I love reading other people’s lists and finding out about new, cool places/things to do/visit/see/eat. Do you think this is something you’d ever do?

    Nikki x

  43. Thank you for sharing! I’m working on growing my blog and you’re definitely an inspiration. My cousin, Kiersti, told me about you and I’ve been following for years. Thanks for being so real! XO

  44. This was such a great post to read through! You really hit the nail on the head on so many great points about blogging. I especially enjoyed reading about sponsorships and how to organically post ads and collaborations. thank you for sharing this with us =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

  45. This was an amazing post, such great content! I look forward to part 2.
    xoxo, braylea
    sweetsouthernvogue.com

  46. I loved reading this as a small blogger myself! Thank you for sharing and taking the time to help out your readers! Any chance you will share what you charge for sponsored posts (blog and Instagram) and what you suggest small blogger charge per number of followers? There is a lot of conflicting info so it’s nice to hear it from someone experienced in this business! Xoxo

    Hannah

    Hannahreneeblog.com

  47. As a new blogger (for more than my family/personal journal), this post is so, so helpful. Thank you for taking the time to answer so many questions! I look forward to reading part two.

    smalltownfancy.com

  48. Thank you for all your blogging insight!! I love following along with your sweet family! I especially liked to see that you started with Blogger! I just started out a month ago and am so excited for what the future holds!Thanks again for being you!

    My blog is corrinemonique.blogspot.com

  49. Thanks for posting this Amber! It answered lots of my questions but honestly more than anything it just made me like and respect you and David more (even more than before…and that was quite a lot! Haha). You guys are so down to earth and put yourselves and family first and I think it’s so admirable. You’ve inspired me in quite a few ways and I’m really glad I stumbled upon that cute picture of you and Atticus in NYC on Pinterest a few years ago.
    xo

  50. Wow, thanks so much for sharing! I love how genuine you are and this really helped to break down some terms that are thrown around a lot but I was always like hmmm 🤔 So I really appreciate this! And my baby gal is 14 months and I keep showing my husband Rosie’s hair and bangs as inspiration when it comes time for her first trim! Thank you for sharing you and your family!

  51. I LOVED this! I recently launched my blog and have been fortunate enough to already have some collaborations with companies and such and reading this post helped me figure out how to make my blog even more successful and take it in the direction I want. Thanks, Amber! <3

    <3, Lauren
    https://www.loanciaux.com/
    @laurenanciaux

  52. This was a fabulous article, thank you so so much for writing it!

  53. These were such helpful tips! Thank you so much for the good read… definetly going to incorporate these into my blog. Love you Amber 💕

  54. I think it is so sweet of you to share all of this! And it is really helpful, I quit my job last month to become a full time blogger and I have days that i’m fullt commited and very positive and days that I am sooo scared that it is not working out!! But than I can say that at least I tried 🙂
    X Richelle
    https://www.pinkavocado.nl

  55. Such good and easy to understand guide and tips Amber! It is so generous of you to do this for your followers. 🙂

  56. This is the best Q&A I have seen on blogging, thank you on being so open, and meticulous in all your answers, it is always important to be authentic and it shows how much you are, I am looking forward to the rest, and I love Lightroom, best way to get crisp photos!

    http://www.lakenmoon.com

  57. Love reading other bloggers tips! Thanks for sharing Amber 🙂

    xoxo,
    Lauren Lindmark
    dailydoseofcharm.com

  58. Oh Amber! Thank you so so so much for this awesome and detailed Q&A Post!
    It helped me so much, because I never knew the differance between wordpress.com and .org and you explained so many things so understandable and easy. Now I am super exited for the next post and lerning more and more about blogging.
    I am working with wordpress.com and will stick to that for a bit, but I really would like to have a customed blog designe one day.
    I really would love to read / see a blogpost / video about how David takes good pictures of you (for example for outfit posts)

    Love from Germany
    Pauline <3

    http://www.mind-wanderer.com

  59. Thank you so much for such an honest post!!! I read it couple of times;) As a mom blogger myself I struggle a lot with being a good mom and developing my blog. So thanks a lot for the info!

    http://www.girlwithnocloset.com

  60. Well said Amber! I have only just got back into blogging and to be honest the one thing that really stood out was when someone says one thing negative about you, you think of three positives about yourself. I am generally a very positive person, but occasionally there is someone who will try to push your buttons. I can’t wait to put this into practice!

  61. Thanks for taking the time to write all this. It was really helpful! I want to know if sometime during the the beginning if you ever dreamt your blog could be this big? I also want to know your aspirations for the future regarding your blog, family, and personal goals.

  62. You are one of my favorite bloggers that I follow, so I love this Q& A you did. I love the filter you put on your photos, and was wondering if you can go into more detail on how you create your filter using VSCO and lightroom?

    http://www.pennyanddash.com

  63. Hey Amber!
    I love the blog! Thank you for your tips! I am new to blogging and am loving it so far! I was on twitter and saw that you were coming out with presets in Lightroom! I can’t wait to utilize them! I was wondering how we can download them and when they will be released?
    Thanks so much, Olivia Baroody

  64. I loved this Amber!!! Thank you so much for sharing all of this! Could you please do a post on how you shoot your photos? Do you shoot a little underexposed or overexposed? Basically how do you get your photos to look consistent and so bright, sharp, and crisp? Thanks!!! xoxo

    Amanda

  65. i love when you say “when someone says one bad thing I tell myself three good things” it s such a nice way to think and to live life.. you are a very genuine person… i wrote you an e mail… but i put it in here… nu son Juan is soooo similar to Atticus… i always look at your pictures and tell to my husband… jajaja.now Atticus had cut his hair but when he had his long blonde hair … they look like twins jajaj love you Amber and your pretty family !

  66. You have SO MUCH valuable information! Thank you for sharing. I LOVE your style.

  67. Love love loved this! Thank you Amber! I really look forward to the other posts you described in this posts, particularly about promoting your content on Pinterest. I would love your tips and tricks!

    much love

    http://www.kristenskouture.com | Luxury. Fashion. Lifestyle.

    .

  68. Thanks for this post, Amber! I’m in my first year of blogging and it’s seriously hard work! I wish we could all get paid for blogging simply based on the hours we spend! Can you do a detailed post on how you edit your photos (on lightroom)? I would be so curious as to what you do besides color correction!

    Love,
    Kim
    http://www.simplylovebirds.com

  69. Great tips hun! Thank you for sharing, and good job in all you do! You seem to balance it all really well, and are a wonderful #girlboss!

  70. You are one of the few blogs I even read anymore as I feel like you are so real and authentic and kind! I love how you balance your sponsored/nonsponsored posts too. Thank you for letting us know so much about your blog world and being so honest. Loved it!

  71. Amber, I have been following for years! This is a great post and thank you for taking the time to put it together for us. Love you approach to motherhood and how you handle critics. Keep doing what you do best- you! I did have one question, I have been contemplating in starting a blog but I am stumped. I would like to purchase equipment (i.e., camera, lens, blog theme, etc) but wasn’t sure if I could deduct these expenses in next year’s taxes. Should I obtain a business license before starting a blog and/or purchasing equipment for it?

  72. Thank you for your honesty and tips. It’s very refreshing to hear about the beginnings from someone who has made blogging so successful and look so stylish. I love reading your blog and look forward to your upcoming posts. Great inspiration and motivation to keep going.
    http://www.dadoletdilou.com

  73. I have no ambitions to start a blog of my own but I think it is so cool of you to share what helped you. A lot of times people don’t want others to succeed and it is heartwarming that you want to encourage others to do great things. As always I enjoy following along and I especially love the family posts with your cute little ones! Have a great weekend.
    -Heather

  74. I would love to know more about exactly how you organize and store your photos..Computer organization would be great! I am struggling with that right now. What hard drives to buy and how to back up camera/iphone pics….would love for you to go deeper into this!

  75. This is going to sound so odd, but I’m so happy to see this side of you in the flesh!! I think sometimes people forget that at this scale, a blog is full-blown business that requires the same level of dedication, intelligence, strategy, and pragmatism as any other businesses. At the core, David and you have grown this space to be a huge value creator not only your followers, but for brands that work with you. Striking that balance is what separates you from others, and I’m just so happy that you are showing a side of yourself that can be easy to overlook if the underlying mechanics of your business aren’t understood. Good for you, mama!!!!!

    XOXO
    Kristina

  76. This was AMAZING!!!!! I read every word! Thank you for sharing! I have been following for so long now, over 5 years and I have seen all your hard work pay off! It’s amazing to see. And then the babies! OMG, they are the icing on the cake that is BFB! Of course David too, the way he supports you in work, life and love! xoxo

  77. This was so great!!’ Thank you so much for sharing!! And love your comment on the English degree…my sister always emails me any grammar mistakes I may have made missed as soon as I publish a blog post🙈

    Myuneditedstory.com

  78. This was sooooo helpful omg! You’re so good at explaining things in the simplest way possible! One other question I had was, how do you pick a blog name! It’s so tricky, especially with all the blogs out there now, so many are taken! How in the world do you come up with one to stick with!?

  79. Wow! Such a great post, you answered so much!! “Don’t let people take up valuable real estate in your mind.” So true, and such a good quote. Thanks for putting so much effort into your posts, this was so informative and great.

  80. Loved this post! I just love reading about other bloggers and what they do. I find it interesting but also a positive way to share with others. Thanks for this post! What post of yours drives traffic but you’ve never promoted? I’d just be interested to look at it (and see if I’ve seen it before).

    http://www.giltedgeblog.com

  81. Hi Amber, this is exactly what I needed right now. I just launched on my own domain. I was also wondering what you think about me focusing on hunting and fishing and the outdoor world (these are the hobbies my fiance and I share), but also having posts about our life that are much girlier? I want to make sure my blog has a focus, but I also love just sharing the other parts of our life, too. http://thehuntbundle.com/

  82. Love this series’s so much! This is super helpful 🙂 Can not wait for the rest of the posts.

    Lindsaywithlove.com

  83. Wow! All super helpful and I’ve been blogging for a bit! (Not nearly as long as though) For me, the piece about not letting others opinions get you down is so important. Not everyone will understand, but that’s okay as long as you understand why you’re doing it. When I first started, it was really just for me, but now it’s turned into a little community! Easily one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life because I feel like I get to log on and see a bunch of my friends every day 🤗 Loving this series! Thank you for taking the time to do all this!!

    xo, Sofia
    http://www.thecozie.co

  84. Amber – I can’t thank you enough for sharing all of these incredibly helpful tips. I couldn’t believe it when I saw this post today, because I literally just launched my blog yesterday, and you were a huge inspiration for me to do so! I fell in love with your travel posts with your kids and it has inspired me to keep traveling the world, kids in tow, and share more of my photography. I especially appreciated your honest commentary about your biggest obstacle and what to do when people make fun of you. It’s so scary to be putting yourself and your family out there so publicly, and I totally agree that you just have to stay true to yourself and trust your gut, and lean on the love and support of the people closest to you. Anyway, I think you’re doing a wonderful job (as a blogger and a mom), so keep up the great work and thanks again for sharing this post. It felt heaven-sent for me today. 🙂
    xx
    Melisa
    http://atherleylane.com/

  85. Love this blog entry! Such useful info and a fun glimpse into your dedication and business savviness! Random comment – you need to visit Barcelona. It’s literally one of the most photogenic places I’ve visited in my life. The entire city is like one big beautiful canvas begging to be captured in photos. Artwork, statues, Guell park, mountains, flowers, museaums and the food is to die for. I’m sure you, David and the kids would take some epic pictures there. Hope you’re enjoying Japan!

  86. Amber, this is so helpful. You are such a sweet and dedicated person! Your blog and style are truly inspiring – it’s amazing that both you and David can work together and create something so awesome!

    xx http://www.qustomquinns.com/blog

  87. Great post Amber!! I read every word, thank you for taking the time to do this. Looking forward to the rest of the series 🙂

    Would you ever allow David to do a series where he answers Q&A questions too? Interested to know more about how he learned photography, what’s it like being an “Instagram husband” (not an bad term) etc….

    Sam
    http://www.springsummersam.com

  88. I read your blog all of the time, but never comment. I thought this was an especially great post though because of how willing you were to share with others what has made you so successful. There are a lot of people out there that are not as quick to help people along in their journey and this just illustrated how wonderful and genuine you actually are.

  89. Hi Amber! Thank you so much for writing this post. Seriously that was so useful! I started blogging a little bit more than a year ago and I have learnt lots by just reading your blog and following you on various social media but reading all the additional info gave more even more insight about how this whole blogosphere works and how to make your blog sucessful. Thanks also for mentioning several times how important it is to be authentic. When I started, a lot of fellow mums (I am a mum of 3 little ones) chose to totally ignore my project or had a little smirk when talking about it and it was a bit hard that people did not believe in me while some of my family thought I shared too much….it’s been hard to listen to comments etc but I was so happy to read that you followed your guts which is what I am trying to do too. It may not be perfect (I can only work on my blog in the evenings) but I am proud that have started something that I enjoy creating and where I can use my love for photography. Thanks again for being (you and Dave) such a fabulous source of inspiration! Lots of love, Julie

    http://www.jafinthebox.com

  90. Ahhh I love your blog!! Thank you so much for sharing all these tips; they will certainly help a lot and I feel like I’ve learned so much. I love your blog q&a posts! Have fun in Japan!!

  91. The internet always remembers! Check out the Wayback Machine, you can see your site from 2012! Thanks for such great content!

  92. Thanks so much for all this, Amber!! Hearing how you started is so helpful!!
    I’d like to think my blog could “get big” someday, so your advice is so helpful.
    -Emily
    FondlyEmily.co

  93. Thank you for writing this series! I’ve always loved your blog. I’m putting a lot into my Instagram growth, and even though I knowI should probably start a blog too, getting one all set up is exhausting! I know of a few big Instagrammers who don’t have a blog and seem to be making a good income on Instagram alone. Is that doable? My husband is so supportive, but has NO time to help me with this stuff as he’s approaching his last year of med school. We hope to have kids soon and I’m not sure I’d have the time/energy to do all that you do by myself, even though your lifestyle if my dream haha. p.s. I got degrees in English Language and Editing and I have to say, you do an awesome job writing your posts 🙂

    Laura (@simpletonpleasures)

  94. This post was SO HELPFUL, thank you so much! Thank you for taking the time to write so much out! Blogging is such a huge venture, it’s really cool to hear what your experiences have been and what you’d advise. 🙂 very very very thankful for this series!! I hope your time in Japan finished up well! xx

  95. Thank you so much for sharing. And for your time!!! You rock, Amber! Best of success to you and your family.

  96. Wow, thank you for writing this post! It’s so thorough and not many successful bloggers are willing to share these tips, so thanks for being so transparent! You’re the best! 🙂
    Can’t wait to read the rest of the upcoming blogging posts!

    -Marissa
    http://www.quartzandleisure.com

  97. Wow…how sweet are you to write such a long post while away on vacation for your viewers. Great content and advice as always xx

  98. I’m happy for you that your blog was successful. I’m not sure I could let me husband leave something he loves, but I guess it is ultimately his choice right? Thanks for all the blogging tips.

    p.s. i think david needs to cut his hair! NO to man buns!

    -Kirsten // pork & cookies

    1. It was 100% his choice. He was excited for the opportunity for us to grow our business together and that he could be around more to watch the kids grow up. 🙂

      1. You always answer this girl’s comments with so much grace. You are so kind Amber.

  99. Your answers are so helpful! 🙂 I would definitely agree that having high quality photography makes a huge difference! I was a photographer before I was a blogger, and when I first started out, I had a lot of other bloggers ask me about how I got high-quality photos (which actually led to me starting an online photography course through my blog!). And one of the things that surprised me when I first started blogging was how much time it takes, but I definitely think it’s worth it! 🙂 I’m looking forward to your next post about blogging, the ones you’ve done so far have been so helpful and insightful!

  100. Thank you so much for sharing all of this! It is really such great knowledge. 🙂 Can’t wait to learn more. Also, I am loving all your Japan pics, this mural is so cool!

    –Elise
    http://www.caturdaystyle.com