What It Takes to Be a Blogger


Blogging Tips, Love Notes

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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.

What It Takes to Be a BloggerMaybe 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.


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. 

How to Become a BloggerThree important early steps we took to setup our blog business for success were: 

  1. 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 at the time. Eventually, when we reached a certain level of income we transitioned our tax classification to an S-Corp. Keep in mind that we did all of this under the guidance of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). I encourage you to check with your CPA for what’s right for your unique situation.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Tips to Become a Successful BloggerDuring 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. How to Start a Blog

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.Blogging Tips

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.  

Successful BloggerWithout 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?

  1. Charlea says:

    Thank you SO much. This has truly inspired me. I sent you a message also.

  2. Charlea says:

    Thank you SO much for this information. You have a positive way of influencing others. Thanks for sharing your light.

  3. Shea says:

    Wow, I loved every word of this wonderful read. I’ve been on my own journey and reading this blog really helped to put things into perspective. None has it easy no matter how beautiful ,qualified or educate a person is without passion and grit you won’t go far. I’m shocked that for 2yrs there was no profit and you still kept going. That stands out to me because that’s a long time. What it shows me though is that sticking to your dreams and not giving up makes a difference. I appreciate you taking the time to share your journey. It made a difference

  4. This was what I needed to hear! Thank you for sharing especially about your doubts, fears, and criticism. I love your blog and your style!!

  5. Airin Barnett says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and experience. This has been the inspiration and motivation I needed. My heart is filled with so much I want to share, but all that comes out is, “Thank You”. May the good Lord continue to bless your journey and all those moved by your story. ????????❤️

  6. Robin P. Hutchinson Cole says:

    This was a great post! Makes me toy with the idea of blogging. I dabbled about 10 years ago. It was nothing that I put any thought in. I had dreadlocks then and was just sharing my hair stories. Reading your post has put the idea back on the fence with possibly a more serious approach. Thank you for sharing!

  7. I was on Instagram and somehow stumbled across your page. I said to myself ‘Wow she’s beautiful’ and was super excited when I saw that you’re a blogger as well. This was such an inspirational post. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. Also, I am now a true fan of your work. Keep pushing.

  8. Tasha N Moore says:

    Thank you for this article… I am beginning my baby steps into creating an image of myself to start blogging and I am so grateful all the information, I have come across… Yours has been the realist so Thank you…

  9. […] up where we left off on What it Takes to be a Blogger, I wanted to share my photography gear and equipment. Now I’m not a professional […]

  10. Norma says:

    Worth it. One of my fav blogs with substance and attainable style. Wearing my first top bun lol. Finally got it right and have been getting compliments. Lol. Definitely serving as my go to hair in this season. I need more than cute photos and you are so generous with info. Continued blessings.

  11. J A. Mulvihill says:

    Thank you very much for sharing. The information is helpful and appreciated.

  12. Tracey Pounds says:

    Interesting and some great information. Thank you for sharing. I had no idea how much time and energy is required to present blog content. Again, thank you for sharing and enlightening.

    Tracey Pounds

  13. Megan Johnson says:

    This is just what I needed to read. I want to create a platform for millennial single mothers. Thank you for sharing. This has helped me so much!

  14. Dr. Alvarez says:

    Tennille & Carol: It’s a treat to read a blog that is so rich in content. The story that maps out your journey, key points, and lessons learned are priceless wisdom. Thanks for posting epic content!

    Since you asked what other info would help, how did you develop the mindset to frame your blog as a business rather than a hobby? If you were to turn back the hands of time and recall your thinking, how did you have that professional awareness? I’d love to see a blog post dedicated to the professional and visionary mindset that seems to have been foundational to your planning and design.

  15. Loved this! This is great information!

  16. Sedric O Styles says:

    Oh my God, you’re Sexy

  17. Candace says:

    Discovering one’s purpose is not aged determined but passion determined. You have successfully turned your passion into your purpose. Congrats!

  18. Cat says:

    Your blog was very inspiring.

  19. […] tips so I want to make this a good one for you. In our previous Blogging Tips post we covered What it Takes to be a Blogger. Now I want to talk about HOW to get started. More specifically, today I’ll be sharing the […]

  20. Angela R Green says:

    I have recently discovered you on fb , and I must say I am highly impressed with your style of living, and your blogging style. I am someone who has just now discovered about a year ago of what my passion truly is. I started writing poetry at the age of 13 but at that time I never thought about it being a gift. I did not realize that it was a gift given to me by God until my sophomore year of high school when I was given the opportunity to enter into a poetry contest. Well needless to say I wrote a poem, and it was one of the many that was chosen to be published in a literary journal. That was a very memorable and proud moment of my life. I never considered back then that this could easily have become a ticket to me becoming a successful writer. Outside of writing poetry I also enjoy writing about things that I’m passionate about . Itwasn’t until a couple of years ago that I was sharing some of my poetry to friends of mines , who were very impressed with my poetic skills and encouraged me to pursue me to take this further than just writing for leisure. At almost 50 years old and going through many years of taking jobs ,and staying on jobs that give me no satisfaction, I have now discovered what my passion is. I have followed many blogging sites and have become inspired to see about pursuing my dream. Thank you so much for sharing your passion with so many us if. Keep on being a inspiration to others to pursue their dreams.

  21. Thanks for sharing this information! I love your content…would love to read more about the behind the scenes photo editing process and content planning ????

  22. Please share the basic steps for blogging. Such as attracting readers to your blog, how often you post a new blog, and making money at blogging.

  23. Mari-Abigail DyQues says:

    My name is Abi… Im 72 yrs young… I just found your pictures . My hair is grey
    Have any tips on hair care?

  24. Shelia says:

    Do you take all your own pictures and video tape yourself? Thanks for sharing

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I’m a clean beauty expert, a plant-based recipe guru, a fashion maven, and a mature black woman embracing my natural hair, silver streaks and all.

Welcome, I'm Tennille Murphy