The planning, passion, grit, and vision behind the best friend duo that is The Tennille Life is bigger and stronger than anything we have ever done. Each day is an opportunity to connect with all of you. An opportunity to create content that someone might find helpful, inspiring, uplifting, or simply entertaining. Each day we are tasked with what we can do to further TTL. With everything going on globally, NOW is the perfect time to share a post that is lifting the curtain on what it takes to be a blogger.
Maybe you have been thinking about becoming a content creator, no time like the present. Not that we have it all sewn up, but we are frequently asked, “How do I get to your level? How do I work with brands and become an ambassador?” The thing is, the answer to those questions are not as simple as following these 5 steps and BAM you will be a successful blogger!! The topic is too broad and multifaceted for just one post. So we decided to break up the conversation into multiple posts. Let’s start with the basics on how we brought TTL to where it is today.
TREATING YOUR BLOG LIKE A BUSINESS
From day one we, my bestie Carol and I, wanted The Tennille Life to be a business NOT a hobby!! Our objective was to create a resource for individuals to come to for self loving and uplifting lifestyle inspiration. Ehhhh, no big deal — sounds simple enough RIGHT!!?? Truthfully, it was and has been WAYYYY more complex than taking pretty pictures and writing lovely posts.
Three important early steps we took to setup our blog business for success were:
- To begin with, we met with an accountant for tax advice and began structuring our brand as if it would one day be international. Ahhhh, yeah, that sounds grandiose but shucks we love dreaming big!! This ultimately led to us forming an LLC. This was the right step for the realities our blog business. I encourage you to check with your accountant for what’s right for your unique situation.
- From there Carol began building our website. Now I know there are people out there that call themselves bloggers even though they don’t have an actual website. We decided early on that we wanted to have a platform that was our own. A place to share content that would set us apart from other content creators.
- We spent well over 6 months setting up TTL’s infrastructure along with planning and creating content before we officially announced our launch on IG on December 1, 2016.
Mastering Your Craft as a Blogger
When you study successful bloggers and influencers the one thing that sets them apart is the quality of their work and the cohesive style of their photos and content.
During the first year, I was tasked with learning the fine art of shooting myself. To be honest it took me way longer than a year to hone my skills. 1000’s of photos, countless hours, long days of shooting & styling and no shame in admitting there were some tears in there too. I worked very hard at developing my own “shooting style”. Because without overcoming this enormous obstacle there would be no day to day content. This went hand in hand with editing my photos and planning content to give our blog and IG feed a cohesive, professional look.
PASSION: In the Pursuit of a Dream
While our goal was to treat our blog like a business, there would be no business without a passion and love for what we do.
- Passion fueled my daily drive to keep going even though I didn’t have a clue what I was doing at times.
- Passion told me what we are trying to create had meaning. I shouldn’t give in to my fears.
- Passion told me that no matter if my husband questioned me “what is a blog for anyway” not to get defensive. To the outside world I had embarked on a very strange path of tripods, lighting equipment, changing outfits multiple times in my car, and editing photos for hours.
- Passion reminded me that no matter what city I was in, there was always an opportunity to create.
- Passion pushed me to have a work ethic as if I was getting paid big bucks for each day, hour, and minute I dedicated…even though we didn’t make any money for a solid 2 years.
GRIT: For the Grind
Listen babes, grit has been a major factor in creating TTL. The number of hours that it takes to create and deliver a project (yes, even non-sponsored content) is ENORMOUS!!
- Grit kicks in when I’m tired, have a flight the next day, need to pack, shop catering for my flight, spend time with my family AND finish shooting a blog.
- Grit tells me to shoot until I get THE SHOT that brings a smile to my face.
- Grit picks me up when I’m technically challenged editing a video and my troubleshooting abilities are falling short….and all I want to do is curse and scream!!!!
- Grit is the best friend that lovingly whispers in my ear DON’T GIVE UP T, YOU ARE MADE FOR THIS!!
- Grit picks me up when my energy is down and I’m frustrated from long hours of shooting and nothing GOOD is coming out of the lens….literally with tears burning my eyes.
VISION: The Masterplan
After my hysterectomy in February 2018 for the first time in my entire flying career I took time off… 4 whole weeks. My body needed to heal and I needed to emotionally re-calibrate my NEW pain free life. During my time of recuperating TTL had its first company “retreat” right here in my house. At this time we literally sat down for 2 full days mapped out the year. We set short term goals, long term goals, and redefined our mission statement. This has since become the unshakable foundation of The Tennille Life. We put pen to paper and wrote down brands we wanted to work with and blogs we wanted to share. We designed a new infrastructure for our business and clearly defined how we planned to go about accomplishing our goals.
Without a doubt, those 2 days forever changed TTL. It was our definitive turning point as a brand in many ways. In fact, sharing my very personal hysterectomy journey with all of you was the moment we felt most connected to our audience. With each passing week we saw TTL begin to blossom.
- The confidence was there,
- Content that supported our mission statement was there, and
- The passion, grit, and planning was there.
All we needed to do was keep at it. And that’s the first lesson we want to pass to you darlings. To become a successful blogger you need to find your passion and keep at it. A strong love for what you’re doing will be what drives you to push forward in the early blogger days when it feels like no one is tuning in to read your content.
Do you have the passion and grit to be a blogger? What other information can we share to help?