Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
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When I first launched The Grey Edit in 2016 I remember feeling excited, nervous and terrified all at the same time. Why? Because launching something on your own is scary — and more so, can make you feel vulnerable.
What would my friends think? Would people think my content was dumb? What if I get made fun of?
I’ll admit, these thoughts still pop into my mind every now and then, but what’s kept me going is the fulfillment I get from creating and the part I underestimated most — the friendships I’ve made in this community along the way.
In honor of the love-centric holiday tomorrow and the “unofficial” Galentine’s Day holiday today, I wanted to give a shout out to my galentines. Because without the gals I’ve met from blogging, I can’t even imagine doing this thing on the regular. And without the gals I’ve called my friends for years and their support, I wouldn’t have the confidence to continue.
In this post, I’ll be sharing:
So you’ve decided to launch a blog… now what? Well you’ve gotten through a big hurdle that’s for sure, which is just freaking doing it — congrats! But once you’ve started, there’s an even bigger one to conquer next, and that involves focusing on you, your why and your purpose.
It sounds simple, but I’ve seen way too many bloggers launch without having a clear idea on what kind of impact they want to have. Sure they might be good at decorating, recipes and events — so creating content around lifestyle seems fitting. Or they’ve always been asked for fashion advice — so creating content around style feels natural. But I’ve got news for you — with 30 million blogs on the internet as of 2018 and a huge portion of them being around life and style — you’ve GOT to find a way to stand out.
// Decide on your mission. Get clear on what it is you’ve set out to do, in a sentence or two. Stand behind this in everything you produce. It will help your audience understand why they should be following you.
// Treat your blog as a brand. Define your target audience, decide on your tone of voice and build your persona. Stick to this. Also hone in on the top 5 things that make you, you.
// Focus on cross promotion. Just because you own a URL on the internet doesn’t mean it’s going to get noticed. Promote on various channels — especially social. Create a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram page. Leverage advertising. Don’t, stop, promoting.
// Be transparent. If there’s one thing people gravitate to on the internet, it’s honesty. So do yourself a favor and don’t be someone you’re not. Be you, be authentic, speak your truth — and those will notice.
Once you get in the groove of what it is you’re doing, now’s the fun, but also very scary part — you’ve got to put yourself out there! There’s no way you’ll be able to find a girl gang to support and be supported without a little effort. So, as my husband so eloquently put it — “you have to break a few eggs in order to make an omelet”. Get out there, take some risks, and scramble well with others.
// Attend events. I know, I know, events can be draining, and also a bitch to get ready for when you’re cozy at home on a weekend or tired after a long day of work — but suck it up. Attending (the right) events will put you in front of the people you’re seeking to make connections with. If your focus is around personal style — attend style events, not business networking. Remember your mission.
// Get coffee with local bloggers. Shoot an email or a DM to some bloggers in your area you look up to, or feel like you could relate to and learn from. Ask if you can pick their brain. Mention you’d like to get to know them and find ways to support them. Make a photo date out of it so you both get something out of it — even though you will just from the connection.
// Engage on the regular on Instagram. Once you find the bloggers you want in your tribe, make it a point to support them! Comment on their photos, subscribe to their blog newsletter, react to their stories. The relationship can start or continue online, which is the best part about social media! Be sure to read my journey to 10K on Insta for more tips.
// Be a connector. Once you get to know a handful of gals — remember how beneficial it was for you to connect with them. So watch out for others who might be seeking a support system. If someone’s new to the area and reaches out to you, suggest they meet some of your connections. Help them build their network.
So you’re clear on the mission of your brand and you’ve built a small tribe — hell yes! Now let’s take that a step further. Lean into what you do best — create. And create fun, new ways to engage and celebrate the community you’ve built.
// Crowdsource content for a blog post. Figure out a topic and ask the members of your community to contribute to a post with their views and opinions. Maybe it’s a post on favorite coffee shops in Seattle, or ideas for a New Years Outfit. Whatever the topic, you’re giving the participants exposure and they’re helping you with content. Check out the post I did with 40 local bloggers around my style edit quiz.
// Set up a creative collaboration. Come up with a reason to create content. Host a stylized photo shoot, bring in your gals. Make it a one time thing or try out recurring. Peep the recurring series I created with two other gal pal bloggers — Stylelogue.
// Participate in other’s projects. If someone you know has a creative venture of their own — say a YouTube channel or a podcast, find ways to be a part of it. This will provide them with content and you with additional exposure. Give a listen to my recent debut on The Gossip & Glamour podcast!
// Plan an event. If you have a group you love, why not plan an event for you all of you to enjoy?! Think of a theme. Decide on an accessible date and time. Leverage your network with local vendors. See below with the recent Galentine’s Brunch events I was a part of over the last month…
Jenna of Styled Out West and I met on Instagram and our friendship began after we decided to have a coffee date and learn from each other. We had so much to discuss, that this has since turned into a regular meetup where we snap photos, tackle to do lists, learn new tools and just have a good time.
Elisa of E for Elisa and I met one Monday night at a DVF event I almost didn’t attend because of rain, and motivation. SO glad I did as we’ve become so close ever since. Then Mary of Sportsanista reached out to me after she moved to Seattle from Chicago — we got coffee and learned we had a ton in common. I felt the need for the two to connect because of all the energy I got from both of them. Here we are, half a year later pubbing a series on style and hosting brunches at a new restaurant, The Hart and the Hunter within one of our favorite local hotels — Palihotel Seattle.
Below are some shots from the brunch we planned with local blogger friends Jenn of What Jenn Wore, Kelsey of Northwest Best Dressed, Sorelle of Autumn Sorelle, Stephie of The Color Floral, Rose of Refined Rose and Whitney of Whit Wanders. The food from H and the H was incredible — everything from the butter biscuits, coconut almond french toast, eggs benedict and avocado toasts!
A HUGE thank you to the Palihotel and their staff for the incredibly hospitality as well as the amazing group of sponsors that supported this event — Jenny Cookies, Loho hosiery, Velvet Report Beauty, Recoup Spa and Veque Beauty.
I hope this post about my journey and tips on how to help with yours has inspired and educated in some way.
Thanks to all the gal pals in this post, and then some, for your friendship during this ride. It’s meant more than you know.
Happy Galentine’s Day!
// cb ????
Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor.
I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Get To Know Me
Mother. Wife. Blogger. Photographer. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Hi, I'm Cortney
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