SHE Media Partner Network’s Marilyn Hucek graduated from college with degrees in Mathematics and Spanish. However, working in the fashion industry was always her goal. Although she had no fashion experience, she felt compelled to share her style on her Instagram account. Fast forward, Marilyn now has over 55K Instagram followers, a career in fashion, and a profitable lifestyle and fashion blog she uses as a form of self-expression. Check out our interview with Marilyn below, and learn from her successful side-hustle!
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog!
I’m originally from the suburbs of D.C., but have since moved to NYC. I aspire to live a fabulous life immersed in fashion and to share my experiences with others. I initially started my blog, The Lunar Phase, in 2015 as a creative outlet and hoped it would also be a way for me to break into the fashion industry (Quick side-bar: I now work as a merchandiser for Ralph Lauren, so I guess it worked!). My blog name is a reference to the moon (obviously!) because the way I see it, just as the moon is seen in different lights, we are too as we dress up for the different occasions in our lives.
What tips can you recommend for bloggers trying to grow traffic to their website?
I would say cross-promote whenever and wherever you can and try to post your blog post on social media as soon as possible.
For the past four years, I primarily focused on my Instagram platform. Now that I have an established Instagram following, I use Instagram Stories with a swipe-up link a lot to drive traffic to my blog. I also link in the bio of my Instagram with any new blog posts. Additionally, I make sure to “pin” my blog posts on Pinterest, share the link on Facebook, and send out emails.
Another tip is to be a guest writer for other publications and have your byline link back to your website! I learned you can’t just sit back and relax to drive traffic to your website, especially when you’re just starting off. Just because you wrote a blog post and published it, doesn’t mean people will come running. Work on growing your subscriber list, even hosting a giveaway helps!
How do you keep yourself on a steady posting schedule?
I pick a day to publish every week and make sure to schedule my posts in advance. Sometimes, I’ll spend an entire weekend just catching up on 3-4 blog posts so I am not stressed during the work week. Quick reminder, I also work full-time for Ralph Lauren, so this helps a lot!
What 3 things does anyone starting a blog need to know?
Register a domain name.
Get a hosting site.
Find a good website template. Also… WordPress 101. I remember I had no idea what a plugin or widget was, and it totally freaked me out! After doing some research and having a friend walk me through the terms, I quickly became acquainted. It’s not rocket science, but you do have to learn it!
How do you decide which brands to partner with? Do brands normally reach out to you or do you contact brands you like?
I only work with brands I genuinely like and appreciate. If I already use and love a brand, it’s easy, but sometimes I look into new brands. When deciding when to partner with a new brand, I have to take a moment and honestly ask myself, “Would I use this brand if they didn’t reach out? Am I genuinely interested in what they have to offer? Do I like the design?” etc. It goes both ways; I’ll reach out to brands I would love to work with, but I also have brands reach out to me!
Which social media platform do you prefer?
I prefer Instagram because I’m a very social and visual person, and the app is so accessible! I’m constantly engaging and sharing photos! It’s like Messenger, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and now shopping, all in one!
How did you grow your Instagram following?
It’s not easy, and there’s no wrong or right answer, but I’ll share the recipe I’ve been using.
Content is king.
Authentic engagement with your audience.
Network for opportunities.
Collaborate with other bloggers, brands and publications.
What three items of clothing does every girl need in her closet?
A pair of white sneakers, a denim jacket for spring and summer, and a leather jacket for fall and winter…DONE!
What advice do you have for future fashion and lifestyle bloggers?
Be yourself and be genuine! It helps to understand the who, what, and why.
Why are you blogging?
What is your focus?
Another thing is…anyone can do it! That’s the beauty of it. If you want to start a blog, you CAN start a blog. That’s what was so empowering for me, especially when I was applying to a million fashion jobs in NYC and didn’t hear back: No one could say “no.” I decided if no one was going to hire me, then I would start my own thing and no one could stop me.
Follow Medi on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Check out her articles My Laser Hair Removal Experience, How To Wear Camo In A Casual Way, What To Wear To A Music Festival, and Why I Decided To Get A Tattoo.
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