Alaina Kaczmarski is taking the world of lifestyle blogging by storm. As co-founder of the popular site, The Everygirl, Alaina is no stranger to long days online. The 29-year-old has spent the better part of a decade blogging. From the latest fashion trends to home decor, this girl knows how to spruce up your life. Don't believe me? Just take a look at her Instagram. From posts of her gorgeous apartment to cute pics of her pup, Alaina knows how to curate a social feed — and a personal brand. Kaczmarski's goal (as well as the mission of The Everygirl) is to empower young women from all walks of life. According to the website's mission statement, Alaina and team want to inspire you to "help you achieve your dreams, whatever they may be." Now that's a website that I can get behind.
Recently, Kaczmarski appeared as a panelist for the Create & Cultivate conference in Chicago. Her panel focused on women in the digital space — a topic that I'm personally passionate about. With all of Alaina's personal knowledge about launching lifestyle and fashion blogs, I wanted to chat with her about how to stand out in the Internet crowd. It may seem like a crazy challenge, but Alaina had some amazing advice on just that subject and much more.
On Creating Her Own Blog
Bored at your mom's house in the suburbs? We've all been there, but very few of us turn that boredom into a successful business. For Alaina Kaczmarski, she used her downtime to create her own blog, alainak.com. "It probably took six months to a year before I really got my stride, found my voice, and gained any kind of followers," she says. "Keep in mind these are the days before Pinterest and original content." This means she was finding her images the good ol' fashion way: Google image search results.
On Gaining Confidence
According to Kaczmarski, staying true to yourself is one of the best ways to gain confidence. The blogger says one of the best ways to gain confidence is by building on your strengths. This means developing hobbies and skills in order to identify what you're passionate. "Research it, practice it, nurture it. The better you feel about something you love, the more confident and empowered you'll feel about your place in the world."
Her Advice For Aspiring Bloggers
Her biggest piece of advice? Collaborate! "Local bloggers are not the competition; they're your community. These will be your biggest allies as you continue to grow," says Kaczmarski.
On Keeping It Real
When it comes to developing a relationship with your readers, it's best to keep it real. For Alaina's personal blog as well as The Everygirl, this means being consistently honest. "A lot of what's out there today is about pushing product," she says. However, in order to keep from constantly sounding like an ad, Kaczmarski says to look to the readers. If it's inaccessible or superfluous, then it's probably not helpful for the reader.
On Her Changing Style
For Kaczmarski, her style changes like the seasons. Over the years, she's gone from exclusively wearing all-black to "preppy, but fun" to classically chic. These days, she says that she likes to reach for "pieces that are comfortable, classic, and flattering to the female figure."
Her Holy Grail Beauty Products
According to Kaczmarski, some of her must-have products include: Not Your Mother's dry shampoo, Kate Somerville Daily face wash, Cetaphil moisturizing lotion, Frederic Fekkai shampoo and conditioner, MAC Studio fix powder, and Benefit Hoola Bronzer.
Chicago Versus NYC
When Kaczmarski and her fellow co-founder, Danielle Moss, created The Everygirl, the Chicago blogging community was a much smaller place. "I actually used to be one of those people and had big dreams of working in magazines in New York, but NYC as a 22-year-old was always daunting", she says. Starting their blog in Chicago allowed the pair to grow easily and stand out to brands. "Our content also reflected midwest style — kind of a no frills, attainable (nothing had to be luxury), classic, all-American look and voice."
By staying true to themselves and their vision, the duo was able to create one of the most popular lifestyle blogs on the Internet. #Girlpower.