Today is my blogaversary. Yes, that’s a made-up word, but it’s my blog’s birthday and I want to celebrate it! Eight years ago I published my first blog post on Thrifty Wife Happy Life. It had no pictures, no links, and I had no expectations that anyone would actually read it. I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew that I had something I wanted to share and I wanted an outlet for it.
Flash forward 8 years later and I feel like my blog is still the same space it was in the beginning, just with a lot of improvements along the way. Since I started this blog, a lot has changed in my life, but my message is still the same. I’ve always wanted to inspire people to live a happy, fulfilling life on a budget.
Kevin and I had just sold our condo and moved into a little apartment when I started my blog. Money was tight for us. We both had low-paying jobs, but we had worked so hard to pay off my student loan debt. We knew we wanted to start a family one day and we weren’t going to do that until we were debt-free and financially stable. We lived on a very small budget to make it work, yet I never felt that I was missing out on anything in life. I didn’t mind spending less so that we could enjoy the perks later in life. I wanted to share our frugal mentality with others and show that you can still dress cute and live a fun life without spending a lot of money doing it.
My wardrobe has always been my main focus for the blog, even though I do love to share other topics, I always go back to affordable fashion. Although I have a much bigger shopping budget than I had 8 years ago when I started this blog, I still stick to affordable clothes that all women could afford. I love sharing outfit inspiration and new ways to wear different clothing items. I believe that everyone can have great style and you should never let your size, age, color, or definitely your budget hold you back from dressing and feeling your best. That’s what Thrifty Wife Happy Life is all about!
What made you want to start a blog?
Do you make money from blogging?
How do you work with brands? Do they contact you or do you contact them?
What is the best blogging platform?
The only blogging platform I have personally used is Blogger. It’s free through Google. Most bloggers would say not to use a free hosting platform. I personally haven’t had any trouble at all using Blogger. I do pay for my own domain name, which is very inexpensive. That way my website has a .com name instead of a .blogspot.com name. (Read more about this HERE!)
Most bloggers recommend wordpress.com as their blogging website. I hear it’s user-friendly and it allows more freedom to design and help your SEO. I would one day like to make the switch to a self-hosted WordPress blog, but the thought of switching it all over is overwhelming to me, that’s why I continue to stick with Blogger.
Did you use a website designer?
No, I don’t use a web designer. I actually bought my template on Esty for about $10. It was very easy to install, but if you don’t want to install it on your own you can pay for them to install the template for you. You can easily find affordable templates on Esty and other websites if you shop around.
What are some of the worst things you’ve come across when blogging? Any crazy or rude people?
I have been very fortunate to have a really supportive group of followers. However, every now and again I come across a troll or just a rude person who leaves a snarky comment. I’ve been noticing that each platform has a different group of people. I consider the people who actually take the time to read my blog or follow me on Facebook and Instagram to be my true audience. Those followers are so supportive and I really enjoy engaging with them. On Pinterest, I don’t get a lot of comments, but the ones I have gotten are not so nice. They pretty much just make fun of the way I stand in my pictures. TikTok is interesting as well. I’ve been growing pretty quickly over there and the audience is much different than my followers on Instagram. People are so quick to put you down on TikTok. One of my recent videos got over 200k views. I styled a pair of thrifted Madewell skinny jeans. I got a few people telling me that no one wears skinny jeans anymore and I was so out of style. I had to laugh that one-off. They also made fun of how I tucked in my shirt.
When I come across a rude comment I usually just ignore them or kill them with kindness. I am not interested in debating or arguing with anyone. I think that people who take the time out of their day to put down a stranger on the internet are not worth my time. I think a lot of people are under the impression that the internet is a scary place full of mean people. It can be, but overall I have had a very positive experience. You just need to stay true to yourself and try to ignore the rude people out there.
How do you grow in authentic ways?
- Post quality photos and content- You don’t need to be a professional photographer or anything, iPhone photos work just fine, but do make sure that your photos are quality. Use good lighting and good angles. Also, make sure that your caption is engaging. I often feel like no one reads the captions, but they do sometimes and it’s good to have something meaningful written. Also, Instagram is all about videos these days, so posting reels always helps. I have gained a lot of new followers after posting reels that do well, so it’s definitely worth trying out!
- Be consistent- Post regularly. It doesn’t need to be every day, just be sure you show up consistently for your followers. Make sure you use Instastories too! Showing your face to the camera is huge! I hate talking on stories. I always feel dumb, but I have been told that it makes me feel relatable and people like it when I talk to them. It keeps people wanting to continue to follow you.
- Use relatable hashtags- I like to use at least 20-30 hashtags that relate to my photo and will attract the audience I am looking for. I use a lot of Michigan and midwest hashtags to attract a more local audience. I also use a lot of mom and mom fashion hashtags to attract moms to my posts, because that is who I speak to the most. I also use affordable fashion hashtags. Look for hashtags that are not underused or overused. Any hashtag that has been used in over a million posts is overused. I’ve heard that the sweet spot is between 10k-100k posts.
- Collaborate with other bloggers/influencers- I have grown the most from teaming up with other bloggers and influencers. I have done giveaways, try-on’s, or just doing shout-outs to each other. I think that collaborating with other bloggers is always a great way to meet people and make connections through Instagram. I feel like we are all in this thing together and it’s great to support each other!
- Engage with other accounts- Engagement is huge on Instagram, so it’s really important to spend time liking, commenting, saving, and sharing other people’s posts. One technique I use is to click on one of the hashtags that I used in my post, go to the recent posts, then I will click on the posts I like or can relate to. I leave a comment on one or two of their post and will like 3-6 posts on their page. That will usually get the person’s attention and they will head over to your account. If they like your account they will follow. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s worth trying.