HSC Influencer Series - Alyssa Amoroso
Alyssa Amoroso is a lifestyle blogger, social influencer and media maven. She has a keen eye for spotting the latest trends, a natural knack for beauty tips & tricks, as well as a hunger for living a well-balanced, colorful life. We caught up with Alyssa and asked her all about the business of blogging.
How did you get started in blogging?
I loved fashion from a young age and always knew I wanted to pursue a creative career. Knowing that breaking into the New York City fashion scene was nearly impossible, I knew I had to start interning early on. As such, I reached out to CollegeFashionista.com and began blogging for them as a representative for my college campus, Sacred Heart University. I would feature stylish students from around campus. Later, I decided to start my own blog, Alyssa PR, which focused on tips & tricks for landing an internship, style inspo and more. However, once I started working full time in New York City, my blog fell to the wayside. It wasn’t until 2016 that I decided to pick it back up after working in PR and seeing how much the world of blogging began to evolve and really “take off.” To think if I had stuck with it all those years ago where I’d be now…
You’re a successful blogger with a background in PR. Has this knowledge and experience benefitted you in any way?
100%. In fact, I still work in PR full time and manage my Brand on the side. I’m never not working! However, having the inside industry insight and knowledge definitely is an advantage. I know how to pitch myself, put together a press kit, negotiate and the list goes on. I also think being an influencer makes me better at my public relations job. I’m able to bring a different perspective to the table since I see the industry from both sides. I’m also able to leverage my influencer and photography contacts in the workplace. In fact, I’m often managing influencers campaigns at work.
Your feed is beautifully curated and the aesthetic is consistent. Do you have a system or use another platform to organise and curate your posts?
Thank you! It took me a while to get into a groove. That’s why I only have about 700+ photos (I deleted all of the old ones that didn’t match with my feed). For over a year, I used VSCO to edit my photos and made sure they were all the exact same filter. However, just this week I switched to Lightroom. My feed will still remain crisp and white, but I’m incorporating some warmer tones in. It’s all about finding a theme and sticking with it.
Where do you find your inspiration for your posts? How do decide what to post each day?
To be honest, I don’t spend as much time curating my photos as I’d like to. Since I’m still working from 9 to 6 each day, there’s only a small window of time to get the “money shot” and coordinate locations/looks. However, I do pull inspo from other bloggers or Pinterest. Then, I shoot a lot on weekends in the winter and after work in the summer. I like to have about 5 or so looks on hand, so I can post new content all week long. Then, I use the app Planoly to lay out my feed ahead of time and make sure everything flows.
How do you go about finding new brands to work with- or do they find you?
I’m both proactive and reactive when it comes to working with brands. I’ve seen success in both options. The PR girl in me knows that if a brand is collaborating with other influencers, they likely have a big budget for partnerships, so I’ll take note and reach out. This is where my background in PR comes in handy. I will craft a pitch, tell the brand what I can offer in exchange for a partnership.
Are there any brands that you regularly work with? How do you go about building and maintain these relationships?
I work with so so many brands. The partnerships that I find most successful are those that are ongoing vs. one-off posts. For example, I partnered with Avis (a card rental company) all summer long. They hooked me up with rental cars to and from the Hamptons. By the end of the summer, every single follower knew about Avis and associated the company with car rentals. I found the brand awareness factor to be expediential when compared to a one-off post’s reaction.
Instagram has undergone a lot of changes in the last couple of years. New algorithms, advertising, etc. Has this had an impact on your work at all, for better or worse?
It has absolutely had an impact and every single business on Instagram is feeling it at the moment. A lot of top-tier influencers have spoken out about the algorithm and the way it’s stifling creativity. Only about 8% of influencers followers are actually seeing their content. This is hurting us during a time when brands are caring less and less about followers and more about engagement. How can people engage with our content if they’re not seeing it? Until Instagram shapes up (or doesn’t), I’m focusing my efforts on other platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube (stay tuned for an announcement).
What would you say is the best advice or tip to build your business/ following on Instagram?
There definitely isn’t any easy way to build your business/following on Instagram (especially with the new algorithm changes), so my biggest piece of advice would be to remain patient and persistent. Know that your following will grow as you continue to create great content and interact with followers/other influencers.
In your opinion, what are the vital skills needed to be a successful blogger?
You need to be self-motivated, creative, social and have tough skin. There is a lot of criticism that comes along with being an “influencer,” so you need to be able to not let it get you down. You also have to know how to stand up for yourself and fight for your business because brands try to take advantage by under charging you.
Any more advice for budding bloggers?
Just go for it! I’ve had so many people tell me they want to pursue blogging, but don’t know how to get started. You learn along the way. So if it’s something you want to do, jump in, get started and hit the ground running. The only way to learn is to try and gain more knowledge along the way. I had no idea how to create a website, but I did it with a little help from YouTube “how to: videos and asking peers for help along the way. If you want it enough, you’ll make it happen.