257 | Building a Sustainable Brand with Your Blog with Jessica Camerata

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Are you looking for motivation to keep growing your blog? Today's guest is the encouragement you may need! Jessica Camerata is the author and owner of An Indigo Day, a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog that provides practical tips for her audience.

Since launching her blog in 2011, she's gone through the ups and downs that come with blogging, but is a prime example of why it's so important to create a sustainable business. Listen in as she shares how she turned An Indigo Day from a creative outlet to her full-time job. She shares the value of SEO, branding, and intentional strategies in order to build a business that you not only love, but also serves you.


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Bree: If you're looking for motivation to keep growing your blog, then my friends, this is the episode for you. In this episode, I am talking with Jessica. She is the author and owner of the brand An Indigo Day, and she has been blogging since like 2011. So her and I go way back and we finally got connected and got to have this conversation on the podcast.

And it was so much fun to just talk about the ups and downs of blogging and just for those helpful reminders of why having a blog is so important to creating a sustainable business. So without further ado, let's go ahead and dive in.

Welcome to the thrive podcast. If you're a blogger, influencer, you found the show for you. I'm Brie Pear, your host and blogging coach, here to help you take your brand to the next level. At Thrive, our mission is to equip bloggers and influencers with practical tactics and strategies that can transform your brand to give you the lifestyle you want.

We offer tutorials, workshops, and a supportive community to accompany you on your journey. I created the Thrive Podcast to give you simple, actionable steps that you can use to to drive real results in your business. I also wanted to give you a peek behind the curtain of others in the industry that you look up to our guests, share strategies they've used to grow revenue streams that are working for them and insider info you won't find anywhere else.

Now let's get ready to thrive. Hello, Jessica. Welcome to the podcast. How's it going? It's going great. I'm so

Jessica: excited to be here and get to chat with you today.

Bree: Well, I am just thrilled to be talking to you. You guys, I did a post on threads. It's probably been a month ago now. And you responded, I did a post, I was like, Hey, I'm looking for like some podcast guests.

And you responded, and I was so excited to finally connect with you. Because I feel like we've just been running parallel. And it's finally through. Finally, we're getting to have this conversation. So

Jessica: also shout out to threads, like connecting people again. I feel like that's how things used to be back in the day.

Bree: Right? I know it feels very much like, like nostalgic in a way. I'm like, Oh, this is like totally like back in the day thing. Like we used to connect on Twitter, but. I feel like that's just a toaster fire right now.

Jessica: So, okay.

Bree: We'll stay on threads. We'll, we'll stay on threads. I agree. I would love to you to just like tell everybody about yourself.

You've been blogging for so long and in this industry for a long time. So tell us about yourself, tell us about your brand and what you blog about.

Jessica: Yeah, so I consider myself like an OG blogger because I started in, gosh, I want to say 2011 I started and so it's been about 13 years now and I really started it because I just wanted a fashion and writing outlet from my day job at the time, which was being a revenue accountant at the railroad company, Norfolk Southern.

And, uh, I hated my job to say the least. And I just really wanted to kind of shift into something new. And someone suggested, why don't you start a blog? And I was like, what's a blog? Like, we didn't really know what those were back in the early 2010s. And so I started a blog, had no idea what I was doing, but then I started to stumble on to other bloggers who were doing, you know, Outfits and beauty tips.

And I was like, Oh, like that's, I can do that. That's what I'm kind of already doing, like with my friends. And, you know, it, it just felt really natural. So I started sharing my personal style and, uh, over the years it just kind of evolved into what is now my full time job. And the thing that I kind of always strive to do is to provide practical tips to feel just like a little more put together.

I don't think that, you know, putting an outfit together or putting your makeup on or doing your hair needs to be this like big, complicated, tough, challenging thing that feels overwhelming. And I just want to provide these practical tips so you can feel a little more put together, having like an elevated every day.

And that is where I came up with the an indigo day. I want everybody to feel like They just did a little something that morning that made themselves feel more put together so that each day can be what I call an indigo day. Originally, my blog was called My Style Vida. After like eight or nine years, I was like, that's got to go.

And so I did a big, um, rebrand. I did a big rebrand back in 2020. with a new name, new website, and it's just kind of been really fun to have this new fresh brand also that kind of just felt like it more aligned with what I was offering my readers, which was these, you know, practical tips to just feel a little more put together.

Bree: I love that. Your website is absolutely gorgeous. What made you like, was it hard to rebrand? Like how was that experience for you? Cause that's a big undertaking to like change the name and everything.

Jessica: Oh yeah. It was a really big undertaking. What's funny is I actually didn't know what I wanted to call it.

It was like a last minute game time decision. And so, you know, a lot of people. You know, so well, why don't you just use your name? It's like, well, Jessica Camarata is a very long, wordy last, like my last name is very wordy. I always have to spell it for people. Right. So it's like, that's not happening. And a part of me, a part of me of all has always wanted, I'll never forget someone actually gave me this advice that's really stuck with me.

They said to me, you know, name your, your brand or your blog, something that you would want to see on a label in a store. And I was like, that has always kind of stuck with me. My dream is to always have like a coffee table book of all of these practical tips. And so I was like, I want to see something on a coffee table book or a label that is not my name, but like made me feel really good.

And so that was something that I always have kind of kept in the back of my mind. Um, but I ended up hiring a, She's like a, what's like a copywriter. I think, um, her name was Danielle Kreeft and she was fantastic. We kind of went through like word mapping because I was clueless. I had no idea what to call it.

Um, a part of me wanted to call it elevated every day because that was kind of like my tagline at the time. But it's also very common. And so I was like, I need something else. And we, we kind of did the whole word mapping thing, which I always recommend people to do when they're coming up with like a name for their website.

Um, and we were kind of getting to the end of all of it and we still didn't have anything. And she was like, all right, this is my last thing that you are like my last thing for you to do is to go through these colors. And it was just like cards of colors with the names on them going through it, going through it.

And then we get to, I get to the word Indigo. And I was like, That's it. So I'm someone who really loves denim. I've like, I live in denim. It's my favorite thing. I love the color blue, as you can see with my, my backdrop here. I was like, indigo is, is the word. Like, I don't know the rest of it, but indigo has to be in it.

And we eventually worked it to having an indigo day. And so an indigo day was where we landed. And even though it's made up, it's my own thing in my own head, makes me very happy. And I love it.

Bree: I love it. It gives me this feeling. It feels like very classic and just, and it, it, when you guys look at her content and you're, they can find you on Instagram at an indigo day.

And so you guys go check her out, go follow her, go look at her website and indigo day. com like it, it just flows. It's like, yep, that's, it's so classic and beautiful. I love the name. Naming things is so hard. Thank you. Oh my gosh, I hate naming things.

Jessica: It's impossible. Yes. And then to also have to make sure, well, to make sure no one has the Instagram handle, to make sure no one has the URL.

Like, it's not easy naming things in 2024. People have hoarded URLs and stuff, so.

Bree: Yes. Yeah. Oh my goodness. No, it's like you come up with something and it's, you like, this feels aligned. It feels wonderful. And then it's not available anywhere. Mm hmm. Or, and it's usually, I always find the ones that are just sitting there with an empty Instagram account.

Nobody's actually using it. And it's like, are you kidding me? Mm hmm.

Jessica: Yeah, I actually ended up buying, um, I found somebody who had the URL elevated every day because that was really something that I was really debating doing. And I bought the URL for like 500 and then ended up never using it. I was like, forget it.

Like this isn't it. It's not it.

Bree: The domain name struggle. Well, you know, something that I've noticed when I've been on your blog is just how much evergreen content. You have as well. So like your content is so well done. There's so much evergreen. And especially with you talking so much about fashion and beauty, I feel like that's something a lot of people, especially in that niche, get really tripped up on is creating content that will last for a long time.

So I would love to just pick your brain on that because I know it's going to help our audience so, so much. So how. How are you going about planning out the blog posts that you're going to write? What does your content planning process look like specifically for blog posts?

Jessica: Sure. So my bread and butter is my blog.

So I love that we're talking about that today. I'm a firm believer in having a blog, focusing on your blog and letting the other things kind of be supplemental to it. Uh, so I take a lot of pride in my website and my blog content. So I'm so excited to chat about that with you today. So. My planning, I'll be honest, is kind of a little all over the place.

There's several different ways I go about coming up with ideas. The first is really just, what do I want to talk about? You know, it is my brand and the things that I love and want to share. So that's kind of where one of it's like one way that it starts. And then the next thing is usually what are my followers asking me?

So I do something on Instagram called millennial Mondays every other week. And people ask, questions of like, how to style something, or I've got this bag, like, does it still work and what can I wear it with? And so when, when I see a lot of like consistent questions, I'm like, okay, something's going on here.

People are confused on how to style this. Maybe I should start talking about it in more detail on the blog and then turn it into a other content. So that's another way. And then lastly, I do work with an SEO manager who kind of helps me come up with ideas that are SEO friendly, that align with my brand and the things I want to talk about.

So it's kind of like a back and forth that we do with that as well. So she comes to me with ideas, but also, um, I'll go to her and be like, you know, everyone's asking me about how the style, you know, vests for spring. Is this something we should talk about? And then maybe there'll be a similar angle or something that's maybe a little bit more effective that would be better for SEO and traffic that kind of also answers the question, but could also be more evergreen and more beneficial for my website.

So there's a few different ways that I go about it. And then I also like to just throw in things that I'm loving and a personal post here or there. And, Maybe a recipe that I've been loving and so there's definitely a variety of ways, but I think they all I always want to go back to how can I provide that practical tip that You know way to do something or how to style something or you know ways to use contour You're clueless on how to use contour.

Let me show you how you know what I do and how i've learned it Um, so that's something that's always in the back of my mind too when i'm workshopping my ideas

Bree: Has it always come easy to you to kind of think in that way of, you know, again, like you're creating the content on your blog that, you know, aside from like a, like one off of like things you're loving lately that you're like, I know this is not like an SEO friendly type of blog posts, but those other ones they are, and they're going to last for a really long time.

I feel like, especially, you know, in the, I feel like we're all in our. This Amazon era, right, where you want like the fast links and those clicks and so many people are making money from that, and that's amazing, but you know, doing blog posts on, you know, with a ton of like Amazon links or even, you know, Um, whatever store you're shopping at, um, you know, Target, Nordstrom, whatever it may be, they're not going to have those links maybe even a month down the road.

So that's something I kind of have gotten a little bit of pushback when talking to people is they're like, I can't wrap my brain around how to do evergreen content in whatever their niches, even if it's like home decor. So how has that been for you in this, you know, Do you feel like, like what has helped you stay focused on creating that evergreen content in a world of affiliate links that expire?

Jessica: Sure. I think that's a really great question. And because I think so many people are hooked on that feeling of getting instant sales from Amazon. But for me, I'm here for, I'm here for the long run. And so I want, you know, my top performing like 20 blog posts are not from this year. They're from years ago.

And so back to how do I, you know, make sure that the affiliate links are up to date. I'm probably going to throw several people through a loop here, but I don't use LTK on my website. I use Collective Voice pretty much exclusively on my website. Because they have the ability to, you can name, for people who aren't familiar, um, Collective Voice used to be called ShopStyle Collective.

It's now called Collective Voice. It's basically a version of LTK. However, I just prefer using it for the capabilities that it has and the user friendly aspect of it. But all of my widgets in my blog posts, I name them the name of the blog post. And every like three to six months, or if I see like a blog post kind of starting to pop off on SEO.

I go into Shop or Collective Voice, search for the blog post title, and I just update the widgets on the back end to make sure they've got in stock items, and you know that they have like enough options, and I just make sure that they're in stock so that those blog posts from years ago have updated items in them so that if you're landing on it from Google or Pinterest, you're going to land on in stock things, which is more likely to convert.

Which is the goal. So I, I am a collective voice diehard for that reason alone because it helps me update old blog posts all the time and it's so easy to use too. And they even tell you when there's like a sold out item and they give you like related items to pop into it. So it makes it seamless, easy, fast, and it's just really great.

Bree: I love that. That's such a good idea. And. With all of that, you know, any, any kind of tools that we can use that are going to like simplify our lives, especially when we're cranking out so much content. And with that, you are releasing blog posts super consistently. What's helping you stay motivated? With that and have you says, okay, you've been around and started your blog back in 2011.

Same as me. So like I We've seen the Instagrams and like the different social medias come and go What's helped you like really hone in and like stay focused and stay motivated to keep growing your blog

Jessica: I will say it was really focusing on SEO. So if you looked at my blog probably maybe like six plus years ago, it was not SEO friendly.

I was, I was not doing, you know, using headings. I wasn't writing long enough blog posts. It was just really like a journal of my outfits, which is fine. If you want that to be your business. Great. However, I really wanted my business to grow and to be more sustainable on its own, um, and not have to rely on Instagram or Tik TOK or these changing algorithms.

Yes, they're great. And I do, you know, obviously earn money through those, but I just really wanted. a website that stood on its own two feet at all times so that if Instagram goes down tomorrow, which is like, is it could happen. I mean, the tick tock fan just literally passed the, you know, the house yesterday.

So these things are a reality. And so I just have always been, you know, website first. It, it definitely is hard to be motivated when you don't see the return happen right away, um, because it is, you know, obviously affiliate income is great. And so that does take time to build over time when, with your blog posts and then growing your traffic, which again, takes time.

Uh, but then so does the ad revenue comes with that too. So it, it can be challenging at first to be motivated by it. But when I just know that, The end game is for me to have this website that can stand on its own two feet. That to me is really motivating in and of itself. And then obviously seeing the growth year over year by focusing on SEO and good content and evergreen and all the other things that go into it.

That alone to me is motivating. I love seeing my numbers go up, you know, year over year and seeing the progress. It kind of helps me stay more focused. Um, but I won't lie to you and say that You know, I sometimes stare at the screen and just think, what the hell am I gonna write today? Because that happens too.

Of course. And sometimes, sometimes, yeah. And when it happens, I, you know, I go for a walk, I go do something else. I, you know, I try not to like focus on it too much if things are challenging to get done. done. Um, but there is always usually a very long list of things I know I should be writing. I mean, I've got like a good 75 blog post titles that I should be writing.

It's just a matter of do I want to sit down and write them? That's probably for me the hardest part because my writing kind of comes in waves. And so, Sometimes I'll knock out a thousand word blog post in like 20 minutes. And then other times it takes two weeks to knock it out because I'm just like, I don't know what I'm writing about.

It's just, yeah, it just comes and goes. And I think that's just a creative thing maybe. Um, but that's at least how I work. I'm sure people are looking at that, that that's a little chaotic, but it happens.

Bree: No, it a hundred percent happens. Are you making sure that you're like your content is scheduled pretty far in advance then to allow yourself?

Yeah. That buffer space for when you're not feeling motivated to write?

Jessica: Yeah. Um, I feel like I used to be a little more obsessed with always having something up several, like, I always have something up usually four days a week. It used to be five. And then once I started working with an SEO person and better under me, better understanding SEO as well over, over time, I knew that like, okay, five posts that are kind of crappy, isn't worth it.

It's better to have like, Two or three really good posts instead and so I've kind of learned over time that like it doesn't it really doesn't matter how You I don't need to have something up just to have something up That was something that took me a really long time to learn So I I think people will be shocked to learn that like I don't have tomorrow's blog post finished for in, in the slightest.

I'm working on it and it might go up tomorrow, but I do have some other things that, you know, sometimes it just depends on the week. Some weeks I've got the whole week planned out and I'm done. It just kind of depends. I would say for the most part, I'm very much still flying by the seat of my pants on getting things up.

However, the one thing I do have to kind of keep me, um, Having things to post is I do recirculate a lot of content which is really important for SEO and Also, I think maintaining your sanity because yeah cranking out a new blog post four days a week is absurd when you're just one person So I do have a spreadsheet with a ton of my like best posts, my good evergreen posts, things that are seasonal that I always kind of want to recirculate.

So I'm actually always updating those posts and I've got kind of a list of ones that are ready to go at all times. So if I don't finish tomorrow's blog post, I've got like a several dozen posts that are ready to go. to just be recirculated. And so that's been like my my little secret to always having four pieces of content up every week is that I recirculate a lot.

And that's fine. There are people who like I just recirculated a post yesterday. That's like five years old. And it's still relevant. I updated some of the content. I updated the widgets and It's doing great and I barely did any work and I think that's the secret to like keeping your sanity and also growing your business because that, that post is a good post to update.

Bree: Yes. And there's like, you put so much energy into writing that post the first time. And that's one thing I see all the time and you probably do as well. Like we spend so much time and energy writing this blog post and then it goes up and then boom. That's it. Like, we hope that it gets picked up by like SEO and Pinterest and all that, but I'm like, you guys have so much content and you worked so hard on it.

Like we need to like recirculate it again, like share it again. So I love that you're doing that. I have one girl that's inside of our coaching program shift and she's been in that mindset of like four blog posts a week and I'm just like, Ashley, we cannot keep doing this. Like that is so much. You're going to just like say peace out to blogging.

Like. In a few months and be done. I'm like, you have so much great content. So like, re circulating, re sharing that stuff. That's brilliant. We don't talk about that enough.

Jessica: It's the way to go. I also feel like people think, well, someone probably, you know, my followers have already seen it. And it's like, If, if you feel that way, fine, don't, then don't share it to Instagram, but you know who hasn't seen it?

All of Google or all of Pinterest. And so we have to kind of also understand that your, your blog, while yes, I'm sharing my blog to Instagram with those followers, my Instagram is also kind of like a separate beast in and of itself. And so was my blog. So my blog is really designed for Google, Pinterest, and my current audience, but it's, I'm not so worried that the person who was reading my blog for the last five years might know, might remember the one blog post I recirculated this week.

And if they did, okay, maybe they just won't read it. That's fine. But they'll read tomorrow's new blog post. And that's also great.

Bree: Absolutely. Oh, I love it. Just keep sharing all that content. Keep sharing it. This podcast is sponsored by our friends at link whisper. Did you know that it's important to add internal links to your blog posts by adding links within your blog posts that goes to other pages on your blog.

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All you have to do is install the plugin and you're ready to update old blog posts or use it as you're creating a new one. Link Whisper will suggest internal links for your blog posts. And you can connect Google search console with Link Whisper. When you do this, Link Whisper can use keywords from Google search console for anchor text for internal links.

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Jessica: all of blogging? So I think my favorite thing about blogging is the, You know, the lifestyle that it's allowed me to build and the career path that I'm on, I don't think I would have ever imagined doing what I'm doing. I've always kind of wanted to work in fashion and I worked in fashion after my revenue accounting job.

I did work in the Retail world for about four years and fashion retail world and loved it. And so it's kind of been this new thing that I've been able to do that. I never thought I would be able to get to do. And so I just really enjoy getting to share the things that I like and the things that I know about and the things that I've learned about in fashion or beauty.

And it's just kind of allowed me to do that in a creative way that feels really good and authentic. I don't know if I would have ever been able to do something remotely similar to this in another nine to five job. And so I'm just going to milk it as long as I possibly can because I do love it so very much.

Bree: Yeah. Oh, and isn't there something like, do you feel a little bit differently. Whenever you go to work and you're like, okay, I am, I almost feel like when I'm working on my blog, I am kind of putting on like a, I don't know, I feel like a part of all of us, maybe it's our generation is like the devil wears Prada or like we all wanted to work for like a fashion magazine at some point in our lives.

Right. And so I think of that kind of mindset when I go to like, Write a blog post or do some editing on my website Versus I feel like it's a completely different mindset when I go to create like an Instagram reel. Do you feel that way? Mm

Jessica: hmm. I think so. I definitely treat my website with like a different, like, sort of caliber, and to me it's, it's more business y than probably my Instagram is.

And I just feel like the blog is really the place that I want to put more like energy and focus and sort of like more soul into, whereas my Instagram is just sort of more personal and fun and laid back. So they're definitely, they definitely feel different, but I just have always kind of approached my blog, especially I would say more in the last like five, six years by, you know, treating it more like a business.

Cause I've went full time and kind of needed to treat it really more seriously that I've kind of held it to that higher standard of like, this is the blog and this is the important project. And this is the thing we really need to kind of like nurture and focus on. So it's really important for sure.

Bree: Mm hmm.

Yeah. So with both of those and you have very successful blog and very successful social media accounts, what revenue streams are working the best for you right now?

Jessica: Yeah. So right now I'm, you know, The, my main revenue streams are obviously sponsored content, uh, and anyone who says that sponsored blog content is dead, they're wrong.

You're just not focusing on your website and there is definitely value there. It's definitely harder. Tell me

Bree: more. Tell me more because yes, like I hear this constantly. They're like, I can never get a brand to sponsor anything on the blog. They want like that quick turnaround of social media.

Jessica: And I, and I get that.

And it's, that's definitely common. I am. I don't disagree with that. It's definitely what's going on in the industry right now is they want this like quick turnaround, share to Instagram stories. And you, you just have to be a really big advocate for your own website and your business. So I always try to upsell whenever I can, especially when it makes sense.

Uh, like if the brand wants to do a set of, of Instagram stories, I'm like, well, I, that would really make a great. SEO blog posts. So let me pitch it to them and see if we can up the package price and you know, throw it in there. It is challenging. I don't deny that one bit, but I will also say that like, there are brands and there are platforms who do value websites and blogs.

And so if you can show that you have, you know, really high affiliate revenue and clicks coming from your website, you can secure those blog partnerships. And I even in, within the last month have secured three blog partnerships alone, which is not super common. I'm not saying that that's the norm, but it just goes to show that it is possible and it is happening.

And then it's a variety of brands. It's like, uh, I've seen a variety of brands over the last month be really interested in blog content and it's because they understand the value of the blog and the, the content. Lifespan of it. And sometimes you have to just be that advocate for it and say, look, this will make a great blog post.

Here's what I'm thinking. Here's the angle I want to go for, you know, this will survive over 24 hours. This is going to be something that lasts, you know, years. Like I said, at the beginning, my top blog posts are ones from like three years ago, sometimes, or even longer. So it just goes to show that, If you can advocate for your business, you should, and there is value in a quality blog post always.

Bree: I just love hearing that that's working. And like you were saying something about like advocating for your blog. And I feel like that's something we all are still, I hate that we're still having to do this, but we're still having to do this as influencers, as content creators and bloggers is advocating for like sharing with brand.

Like, this is why. I'm worth this. This is why the, you know, the content you're purchasing from me, whatever it is, whether it's a real or blog post or whatever, this is why it's worth it. And so starting to like, realize that, you know, we can, it's just learning how to advocate for the blog and showcasing, like, look, when you Do a sponsored blog post and, and put it together.

Like, yeah, let's do the real, let's do the Instagram stories, whatever it may be, but let's also do the blog posts. So that way it lasts a long time for your brand as well. It's just like learning how to advocate for yourself and learning how to advocate for that blog.

Jessica: So definitely advocating. It does suck that we have to do it, but I think if, if your blog is important to you and your blog is.

a powerful large blog that generates revenue and clicks and has influence. Build case studies and add them to your media kit. Have examples ready to go and show people like this is what we're working on. Also, I think having that SEO focus, if you can come up with a good SEO outline or concept that you can kind of sell to them too, because Not every concept is going to be SEO friendly, but if you can find an angle that works, that can really be a, that can really be a good selling point for sure.

Absolutely. So in addition to, um, having sponsored content, sponsored posts are always like a, a great resource and for a revenue stream. Um, but the other. Ways that I monetize my business is through obviously affiliate revenue, which I share on the blog and on my social channels. And I also have ads set up on my website, which is another great way to generate passive income.

And then I also, in addition to my blog and. social media. I also do have a newsletter that I think is super important when it comes to building your brand and your blog. It is such a valuable tool to have. And it's another way to generate affiliate revenue and potentially sponsored content too. And it's just a way to build your community and your audience and have that like deeper relationship with them.

So I always advocate for all bloggers, And even if you're not a blogger and you're just an influencer with an Instagram to still have a newsletter or sub stack, whatever you prefer. I'm more of a newsletter gal, but I just think it's really important to have those, that as well. So those are kind of all of the different reviews, revenue streams that I have for my business.

Bree: Yeah. And I think, you know, if you don't have a blog, I love what you're saying, like with an email list, I'm a huge advocate for email lists. Like at least start there. Like if you're not like fully ready to jump into like blogging, at least start with like an email list and start by emailing your list once a week and start to like flex those skills and hone them with your Writing.

I feel like that's like probably the easiest way to tiptoe your way into it. Totally.

Jessica: I support that a hundred percent.

Bree: How else, like, do you recommend whenever somebody asks you, Oh, should I start a blog? And you know, they've got a really successful social media and they're super busy with that. I feel like it's kind of like that, like, how do I convince somebody and show them like why it's worth it?

I think this entire podcast episode is like shows why it's worth it. But like, if you're like, Okay, I am at happy hour somebody and I want to give them a quick little spiel about Here's why you should start a blog along with your successful social media. What do you tell them? Yeah,

Jessica: I I just think it's really important to ask yourself if Instagram goes down tomorrow Will I have a sustainable business still and if your answer is no Then you need to start a blog and or a newsletter.

You have to have something that Outside of Instagram. Yes. Period. I would prefer it to be a blog with a newsletter, but I do think it's really important to have a website that you can own that can be yours, even if it's just a landing page for the content that you're sharing on Instagram with, like, shopping widgets.

Or maybe it's a landing page for this newsletter that you're starting. Just having something and if you can even just get one to two good blog posts out a month, you're going to slowly be ahead of the game anyway. And so you will find that the blog will start to generate income on its own and Also help to build that newsletter list to which you can use to convert an affiliate sales as well So just think overall if you ask yourself if Instagram will be is down tomorrow What happens if you can't answer that you don't have a business It's like it's as simple as that

Bree: Mm hmm.

Oh, I agree. And that's something that as I'm like, you know, just scrolling on Instagram, like it stresses me out when I like see these girls like with these massive followings and I'm like, Oh my God, their business is dead in the water. If algorithm changes, if affiliate revenue changes, like we saw back in 2020 or like if Instagram crashes, like Your business is gone.

Jessica: Yeah. It's just really important to diversify. Cause even, you know, what's going on now with the Google updates, I've heard nightmare stories of people losing all of their traffic from Google. And so, yes, that's also a possibility. And that is why it's important to have all these other revenue streams and to also have your newsletter, because if you can't get your Google traffic, you want to be able to at least reach the people who have visited your website at some point who were.

remotely interested in your content and reach back out to them and re engage them. So anything can kind of go away tomorrow. So you kind of want to get as much in the bucket as possible and keep things moving so that you can always be improving and growing your business in every aspect that you can.

Bree: I agree.

I feel like it's like a big three of like your blog, an email newsletter and pick one form of social media content. That way, if one drops off, You still have assist. It's all with creating sustainable business, right?

Jessica: Exactly. Cosign

Bree: All right. So looking to the future to wrap this all up After being in the blogging industry for so long.

What has you excited? about this industry and the future of what's to come.

Jessica: Yeah, I think the thing that I'm excited about is that people are all of a sudden into Substack, which I'm, I'm not into Substack because I have my newsletter, but I'm just excited that people are going back to more long form content.

I love when people are like, it's Substack. It kind of feels like the old blog world. I'm like the old blog world really never went away. So you should be putting these things on a website, but. I digress. I'm glad that you're at least doing something. So I'm excited that people are sharing more things like that because it just, I just find it more enjoyable too.

And I think it also is kind of maybe getting people back to wanting to read that kind of content and see it in their inbox, or to click it and see what's happening. So I love that we're kind of like collectively back to it, even though it never really went away. But for those of us, at least who've been doing it this whole time, we're like, yes, we're all back.

Welcome back to the team.

Bree: Exactly. It's like, and welcome. We've been waiting for you. I, I'm also excited for that. I'm also excited to see with people starting to like, enjoy the long form content again, what kind of like new tech and new things are going to come out? Like, I would love to see like another year.

Easy, fun blog reader like we used to have with like, yes, blog loving back in the day. Like we need another one of those. I don't have the capacity to make an app like that. So somebody like bring something like that back.

Jessica: Honestly, I'm, I'm still, I think a little bitter that Google reader and blog loving kind of did us all a little dirty and just went.

Just disappeared like bloglovin is somehow still around but no one's reading it and I don't even know if things are synced properly Um, I feel like that was such a miss and that's where I think a lot of things really shifted in the industry but I feel like If there's a way to build something that someone can, if that's the new tech on the horizon, sign me up.

I love that for us, for sure. I'm also really, I'm also really excited to see different affiliate platforms popping up. I really think that LTK has, has had like this monopoly on affiliate and it's, It's limiting, it's, it's bulky, it's not my favorite platform to use, it's not user friendly on our side, or even sometimes the, the like, follower side.

And so I do think it's really interesting to see new platforms pop up, like Howl, like ShopMy, it's just a, a great way to diversify your affiliates, and to also have more transparency, I think because Of all of these new platforms we're starting to see like, oh, wait a minute. I didn't realize I could actually see what people are buying I want that information now And so I i'm really liking the fact that that's that that's kind of putting a bit of a fire under LTK's ass, which I think they've been needing for many, many years.

Bree: Well, I just love hearing that you are with, um, it's now collective voice from shop style. I'm like, I feel like that one back in the day was just so super popular and like to see you using it. And I know, I don't know if you follow Erin over at living in yellow, like her and her team still use it. And so it's kind of cool to see, like, again, some of those OG bloggers, like.

Using that tool because it used to be around all the time.

Jessica: Yeah, I I'm a huge fan of theirs I like consider myself or like unofficial a spokesperson because I just love it so much and they have all the capabilities That you know the widgets the you know Making an image shoppable like those are all things you can do on collective voice and it's just so much easier easier and faster to use.

So it saves me a ton of time because as you know, creating a widget for a blog post is time consuming on LTK and it's awful. It is the, one of the, like the most annoying tasks there is when it comes to writing a blog post and collective voice makes it really fast and really easy. And so of course I'm going to move, I moved all my widgets over to collective voice.

I really, The only time, and honestly, I used to use LTK for a handful of them, depending on like if the brand wasn't on Collective Voice. But now that, um, M Press Themes has their Shop the Post widget, I just use whatever links I want and throw my own images in there and make a widget. Myself. So, that's a great option too.

Bree: Amazing. I'm gonna have to go and check that out. You're definitely, I don't know when the last time we talked about them on the podcast. It's always LTK, LTK, LTK, and so, I love hearing. Other ones out there that we can all go and jump on. I know that's going to drive a lot of traffic to them after people listen to this.

So you're definitely, um, an ambassador for them. Unofficial. Unofficial. Oh my gosh. We'll, we'll, we'll chat. We'll chat with them and then need to throw some extra commission your way. Yeah. Love it. Oh my gosh. I'm so glad that you and I finally got to connect and have this conversation and anytime you want to come back on and talk about.

Blogging specifically, not social media. I am here for it. So thank you so much for being here and spending time with us today.

Jessica: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. All right, you guys, that's it for today. We're going to wrap this up and we'll see you back here in a few days for a new episode.

Bree: Thank you for listening to the Thrive Podcast. For resources mentioned in today's episode, head to thrivetogether. blog. And if you're a blogger or influencer looking for a community that is ready to cheer you on and be a resource to help you grow, be sure to join the thrive blogging community on Facebook.

If you love this episode, I would be so honored if you subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast app and give our guests some love over on social media until next time, keep thriving.

Today's episode is brought to you by Link Whisper:

Did you know that it's important to add internal links to your blog posts? You'll not only see a boost in your page views from your viewers clicking the links, you're also signaling to Google that you are an expert on this topic, which helps you rank higher. Link Whisper is the tool that will plug into your blog that will help you utilize this strategy! Head to the link below and use the code THRIVE.

The Journey to An Indigo Day

Back in 2011, Jessica was looking for a creative outlet from her full-time job as an accountant. Someone suggested that she launch a blog and after finding a few that inspired her, she decided to do it. On her blog, she shared about fashion, beauty tips, and more!

Rebranding to An Indigo Day

After 9 years, she felt like it was time for a rebrand. What had originally launched as My Style Vida was rebranded to An Indigo Day. The approach for this new name came from a dream she's always had to release a coffee table book—she ultimately decided that it would be something that wasn't her own name, but felt good about.

She hired a copywriter to help her map out what to call her new blog—yet Jessica was still struggling. In the copywriter's final exercise, she had Jessica go through cards of colors. When she got to the word Indigo, she knew that was it.

They landed on An Indigo Day.

Creating Evergreen Content

One of the secret strategies to creating a blog that is sustainable as a business is to create evergreen content (content that has a longer life). In order to ensure this, Jessica is a firm believer in focusing on her blog and letting everything else be supplemental—this means she's created a specific approach to developing her blog content.

When it comes to ideas, she considers the following:

  • What do I want to talk about?
  • What do her followers ask her?
  • SEO keyword research and planning

From there, she's creating content that stands the test of time. One of the biggest hesitations that lifestyle bloggers who make their money through affiliate commissions complain about is the expiring links that come with using affiliate links.

Jessica's hack for managing this is to use Collective Voice, which allows her to name her blog widgets, then adjust based on the popularity of a blog post. That way, she can ensure that the links are up to date and working. Another feature it offers is that it tells you when an item has sold out, so you can update it and add another similar product in so you're not missing out on too many commissions.

Search Engine Optimization as a Sustainable Strategy

In the first few years of her brand, Jessica didn't put any effort into her search engine optimization. When she started to put an effort into her SEO, she started to see the longevity and sustainability of her content.

While it doesn't pick up right away and can be hard to stay motivated, when you do see the impact and results, it makes it worthwhile. You'll see growth year over year, while also building a foundation for your brand on a platform you own.

Recirculating Content

When it comes to actually creating content, it's easy to hit a block or experience waves of creativity. When that happens, one of the most strategic options you have as a creator is to recirculate your content. This is not only ideal for SEO, but also for maintaining a level workload. When you're creating a ton of content, but only sharing it once, you're missing out on so much potential content for your social channels.

Consider updating seasonal posts and repurposing and recirculating them. That's the secret to maintaining your sanity, but also growing a sustainable brand.

Revenue Streams for Content Creators

What makes a blogging career successful? Making money? Jessica's biggest revenue stream comes from sponsored content (including blog content). Her key to getting blog content sponsored is putting an effort in her blog content, highlighting her own stats, and upselling brands from social to blog content.

The other revenue streams include affiliate revenue through her blog and social channels, website ads, and a newsletter that she sells through to a deeper audience.

Is a blog right for you?

If you're struggling with whether or not a blog is right for you as a content creator, Jessica highly recommends you start one, even if it just starts as a landing page. Whether we lose access to our social platforms, or you're looking to slowly get started as a blogger, get started today!

👉 How to Start a Blog Guide

1:42 -Meet Jessica

2:46 - An Indigo Day

8:51 - Evergreen Content

15:11 - Staying Motivated and Managing Content

20:10 - Content Recirculation

22:47 - Blogging Strategies and Insights

24:25 - Blogger Lifestyle and Career

27:04 - Navigating Revenue Streams in Blogging

29:36 - Advocating for Your Blog in the Influencer Space

33:20 - Diversifying Your Online Presence Beyond Social Media

35:56 - The Future of Blogging and Affiliate Platforms

Ready for a Blogging Coach?

If you're ready to join us here at Thrive and get a coach to help you go to the next level, DM us over at @ThriveTogetherBlog and just say, "Hey Bree, I think I might need help." We have multiple coaching options at different budget points and we're always happy to chat with you about what those could look like for you.

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