Blogging is not something I’d ever thought I’d be doing “when I grew up”. I mean, it didn’t exist as a hobby or a job back when I was growing up.
Who invented blogging? I’m really not sure, but back in 2000 I created a website about my travels through Europe which would have been classed as a blog these days, so I’m kind of thinking it must have been something I was always drawn to.
Why Did I Start Blogging?
- As a natural introvert I find face-to-face networking hard.
- As the mother of small children when I started my personal styling business in 2004 it was hard to even get to a networking event as most are at breakfast or in the evening
- As a small business owner I knew I needed to find a way to market my services.
I discovered the idea of educational marketing. And I thought “This is good for me”. So I started writing articles which I posted on my consulting website.
Then I discovered a style blog and thought “I could do this”, as it ties together the educational marketing aspect of article writing and works for my introverted (aka happy to sit by myself in front of a computer) nature.
And so Inside Out Style was born in August 2008.
My plan was that it was the marketing sideline that would help promote my personal styling services. I thought I’d spend around 4 hours a week blogging.
Little did I know that it would turn into a business of its own and turn me into a professional blogger.
How Long Does it Take to Write an Inside Out Style Blog Post?
I often get asked by other image consultants just how long it takes me to put together a blog post (I think they’re wondering if this is something they should be doing too).
The answer is something in the order (for the average post) of 5 hours (sometimes much more, sometimes a little less). This time includes image creation, content writing and all the technical aspects that go into producing and publishing a blog post.
I’m about 10 days away from my 9th blogging anniversary and have a back catalogue of over 2000 posts – which means in the past 9 years I’ve spent over 10 000 hours creating content for you to read. (And I believe that according to Malcolm Gladwell that means I’ve achieved a level of expertise from lots and lots of practise).
I do this for free, as there is no cost to read all the posts on my blog.
It’s a huge volume of work, each week I spend at least 20 hours (a seriously conservative number) creating new and free content as well as improving and updating older content along with another 5 hours answering emails from readers.
Week after week.
Year after year.
Sitting at this desk in my studio (yes it’s a bit of a mess, but I’ve got too much to do, and too many ideas to keep it totally spic and span), is where I spend much of my days, my active blogging time.
What’s behind my desk? The storage I use to keep my business life contained. I like colour so my system is:
- Pink is for my consulting business, Bespoke Image, for my face-to-face clients and corporate presenting work
- Blue is for my personal stylist training business information (Academy of Professional Image)
- Purple is for everything to do with Inside Out Style blog
Where Do the Ideas Come From?
This another question I get asked regularly. How can I keep coming up with ideas since I’ve already written over 2000 posts?
- Reader questions – emails, blog comments and Facebook group discussions
- Social media – just keeping my eyes open for topics people are asking about
- Google – just start typing into Google your question and it predicts – and this tells me what people are looking for answers to
- Articles– read an article and think “I could write one much better than this”
- My over-active brain – my brain never stops, ideas flow, middle of the night I’ve been known to start scribbling on a pad beside the bed as some new idea flows into it. The longer I’ve been blogging, the more ideas I have (that’s call “brain plasticity” so I’m told, I’ve rewired my brain to keep coming up with more ideas).
What’s Behind Blogging
Sure you can create a free blog on WordPress or Blogger or some other platform that you don’t own… but what can happen is that you can lose all the posts you’ve written overnight as you don’t own that platform. This is why you buy your own domain name (that’s insideoutstyleblog.com here) and start paying for web hosting (that’s the computers that keep my blog being seen by people all over the world). It’s pretty cheap to do this when you start out, but as the blog grows, as do the costs.
Costs of Blogging: website hosting, bits of technical software, plugins, web design and a bunch of other things that cost me thousands (and thousands) of dollars a year just to make sure that you can read it any time you like. Camera, lenses, tripods, lights and other technical bits. Plus these days I need to employ an extra person to help me keep it all afloat!
A blog is a beast that needs to be fed and fortunately I’m happy to keep feeding this one as I’ve got that over-active brain! I’m certainly not complaining.
Why do it? Why give away all my knowledge instead of only giving the information to paying clients? This is the question I’m asked all the time (by those in my profession). They find it hard to understand …
Why absorb all those costs and spend all those hours to keep on producing new content when there is no guarantee of return? As someone said to me recently “why would anyone pay a personal stylist when there is so much free information out there?” And here is what I told her…
I’ve realised that there are three sorts of people in the world:
- Those who do value what I do and share on the blog. Who will pay for good advice and who appreciate the time and effort, expertise and education that goes into producing high quality advice. Mostly because they want the extra information, sometimes just because they understand the time and effort that goes into producing the free content and they want to show their appreciation for my efforts. Producing good quality content helps me find these people and shows my expertise.
- Those who don’t ever think about paying for any kind of product or service (whether an ebook, program or consultation) because they don’t realise just how valuable the information is, and maybe have never thought about the time, cost and effort that goes into producing a blog. Sometimes they have already paid someone for good advice already, sometimes they are just reading to get an extra tip or two. They may love to buy a program but it’s currently not in their budget. And maybe they will share a post with a friend who is in the first category or sometimes they discover the value over time and move themselves into the first category.
- Those who will never pay. I just hope these people will share.
I know it’s not about rich or poor. I’ve had plenty of clients scrimp over time and save up to see me (whether through a program or face-to-face), as they tell me they value what I do and can teach them as they know it will have a long-term positive impact on their lives (and they get a good return on their investment).
Given that only a tiny proportion of the people who read this are in the first category of people, what keeps me going when there is absolutely no guarantee of any kind of return on my investment of time, knowledge and energy?
Three Reasons Why I Keep Blogging
- My information changes how women see themselves and their bodies, it gives them a new understanding and some skills that they weren’t taught at school or growing up.
- My information gives women a sense of empowerment and control over how they are perceived.
- My information changes lives, it enhances self-esteem and confidence.
When I can have such a positive impact on so many women around the world, in a way that is way more than skin deep I feel that it would be wrong of me to keep this all only to paying clients.
That I have knowledge that can be shared so easily these days with the amazing tool that is the internet, I feel it is my reason for being.
This is my life’s work.
How do I know the impact Inside Out Style has had? I’m lucky enough to receive emails from people telling me this. In fact every time I receive one of these emails I pop it in a special folder so that when I’m feeling tired and unappreciated (or something has gone wrong and I’ve spent hours on a call to a technical help desk trying to fix the issue, and I can tell you that I’ve ended up in tears of frustration on some of these calls) I can have a read through them and they lift my spirit.
I also read and see the impact of my programs on the private Facebook groups of the women doing Evolve Your Style, 7 Steps to Style and Ignite Your Style Genius.
They start these programs because they want to improve their style and find out what suits them physically, they discover that in the process of doing it they also learn and gain valuable insights about:
- Who they are as people
- Their likes and dislikes (this assists them in stopping making expensive purchasing mistakes)
- The why as well as the how of style (and this ends up saving them way more than the cost of the program).
There are many aha moments had along their style journeys’.
Self-discovery is hugely powerful and empowering.
Then they tell me that they just feel so much better about themselves, they gain confidence, not only in how they dress, but become more confident as a whole. And many of them comment about how much their partners like the “new them” as well. Doing these programs has a positive impact on their whole life.
My aim in life is to help as many women as possible feel good about their style and gain that all important confidence.
So if you do download a free ebook or guide from this blog, and you get an email promoting a paid program, please understand the reason is that I want to help you even more.
Like you, I also need to earn an income, which I do from sharing my knowledge, so I can feed my family, keep the roof over our heads, and keep producing all the free stuff you enjoy!
To balance the time it takes me to write all the free stuff, I have to get paid (just as many of you get paid to do your jobs and couldn’t do them for free).
If you appreciate the information you get here on Inside Out Style, then please do consider purchasing one of my programs or ebooks. Not only will you be assisting me and enabling me to keep blogging, but you will gain valuable knowledge and insight into your own style too. Now that’s what I call a win-win!
How You Can Help Me
Or any other blogger that you appreciate
- Share my blog posts on your own personal Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other social media accounts.
- Like my Inside Out Style Facebook page
- Join my Inside Out Style Facebook group
- Follow me on Instagram Pinterest and Twitter
- Click the like button anytime you see a Facebook post from Inside Out Style (and feel free to share it to your network as well, if you found it interesting, someone else may too!). Comments are great as well. This tells Facebook they should show it to more people (that’s called a Facebook Algorithm and liking and commenting helps a post get seen by more people).
- Sign up to receive my weekly email rounding up the latest blog posts and get my free ebook 5 Step Formula for a Fabulous Wardrobe as a thank you.
- Buy an ebook
- Change your style and life with one of my paid programs, they start at as little as $5 (the cost of a cup of coffee these days), you can find them here.
- Write me an email about why you love my blog as that will make my day.
- Write me a testimonial (or make me a video if writing is not your thing) about the value you’ve gotten from any of my programs or books (and that will make my week).
- If you share your own outfit photos, please use the hashtag insideoutstyle#realworldstyle because style is not about always wearing the latest fashion and I love to see your style.
As style is so much more than skin deep and showing you care is a super stylish act!
I want to to finish by saying that I really appreciate you coming by, leaving comments and taking the time to read each post.
I actually “found” you by buying your e-book “The Finishing Touch”, Imogen! You are the first image/colour consultant to allow a variety or combination of fashion styles! You show women how to be the best versions of themselves rather than try to push them into a mold, thank you!
Thanks Bernadette – I’m glad that you found me and understand my philosophy!
I’ve been a fan for so many years, I don’t remember how, or when, I found your blog!! I do know what keeps me coming back , day after day, is your undeniable commitment to education and sincerity towards helpfulness. You are not “giving ” anything away, your knowledge and style will always attract more business because future students, or clients, want what you have; knowledge, expertise, empathy, fantastic color co-ordinating ability, writing skills, etc. (I could go on)!!!
Believe me, your fans know how hard you work and how generously you share. I, for one, will be forever grateful you have come into my life.
As always, a faithful fan,
Thanks so much Pat – and I really appreciate you coming by day after day (and also getting to meet you when I was in LA – what a treat that was for me).
Everything Pat said x 2! I am so grateful for your incredible generosity in sharing your knowledge. I’ve struggled with certain concepts and have done much research on the internet but time and again, I find the most easily understood explanation here on your blog. Straight forward, simple and comprehensive thanks to the varied way you approach the more complicated concepts (contrast value/contrast color, anyone?) over several blog entries. While |I’ve joined and dropped subscriptions to several blogs, yours is one of the very few I know I will learn from and enjoy every time.
Thank you, Imogen.
Thanks Filomena – I’m glad that it helps you refine and discover your style and grasping some of the more complex concepts!
You are so talented at breaking down a complicated subject into smaller bits that are easy to absorb and implement. I am so, so grateful that I found your online program (7steps) and your amazing blog. My friends are used to hearing me say “Imogen says….”. Thank you for all that you are doing to help us become more confident in our style!
Thanks Ruth! I’m glad you are more confident in your style now – that’s really all I want!
I think the money I put on 7 steps were the best spent money this year; thank you Imogen for offering a product that can be enjoyed wherever we are in the world! I am chuffed with the progress I have made and feel so much better about myself now!
And you are looking fabulous! It’s great to see an improvement that then brings more confidence.
Hi Imogen, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you for all the time you put into making insideoutstyleblog the BEST blog to read. Your beauty, styling, creativity, generosity and intelligence astounds me. You are so right about the 3 reasons you keep blogging and I am so grateful. I copy your style whenever it speaks to me (and it so often does). You are my primary inspiration! Your blog makes my day, stretches my brain, excites me and makes me dress better. I am totally in awe of you and what you share with your readers here. I cannot thank you enough and I wish you every success in your business.
Thanks so much Leanne! I’m glad that I help to stretch your brain and improve your style.
Thank you so much Imogen for all the time and effort you put into Inside Out Blog. I had no idea how time consuming it is. I found your blog a couple years ago and continually go back to it to soak up all the information you provide. I’ve learned a lot and am feeling more confident about myself because of your expertise. I wanted to also mention here you FB community. In my opinion it is the best on the net. Everyone is so kind and helpful. If you ask them to help you with ideas for an outfit be assured you will get a tremendous response from caring women. I believe friendships are built through this community even though it’s women from all over the world. It’s just an awesome group. Thank you again for all you do. You are appreciated.