Ask Jillian

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Frequently Asked Questions

explore f.a.q topics: blogging charleston personal

Blogging

I’d love to get in touch. How can I contact you?

Feel free to email me at [email protected] or head to my contact page.

Who takes your photos?

I have worked with a couple amazing photographers over time including Valorie Darling and Jessi Burrone in Los Angeles as well as Carrie Patterson in Jackson Hole. However, I’m so lucky to have my husband, Edwin, taking all my photos now.

What kind of camera do you use?

When Edwin shoots my blog photos, he uses a Cannon 5D or 6D. He then alternates between a few different lenses but mainly uses a 35mm prime lens. To capture close-up shots, he uses a 70-200 lens.

Will you start doing video content?

This is something I really want to do! My husband, Edwin, is a cinematographer, producer, and co-founder of Hunt House Pictures so I have aspirations of creating video content for Rhyme & Reason someday.

How do you create collages on your blog and graphics for your Instagram Stories?

I use Adobe Photoshop, which I know is not the answer anyone wants to hear. It can be daunting to learn but so worth it once you do. I watched YouTube videos when I decided to learn and I was fortunate enough to have two pros in my life who let me ask them a million questions, my husband, Edwin, and my best friend, Allison. I also love the app Unfold for photo collages on my phone.

I want to start a blog but I don’t know where to start? Do you have any advice?

Absolutely! My first piece of advice is to decide what you want to write about and determine why you have a fresh and interesting perspective that the world needs to hear. Especially when starting out, it can be tricky to find your footing if you try to do too many things and be a “lifestyle” blogger that covers recipes, family, beauty, fashion, travel, décor etc. You might want to naturally expand your content over time as you grow your brand and you evolve in your own life but many of the most successful bloggers are so popular because people associate them with something they are amazing at. So, decide your topic and then stand tall and proud as you prepare to let everyone know why your site is a must-read and why you are a must-follow. Maybe you are a baker who makes beloved desserts for all the parties your friends and family host or maybe your favorite part of the day is getting up and putting together outfits that then get complimented all day. Whatever makes you stand out… that’s where you should start!

My second piece of advice is to start a blog! It seems simple, but it can be hard to take the jump and put yourself out there. There is room for everyone so start gathering post ideas, writing them down, and taking photos/getting photos taken. Professional looking photography is beyond important so invest in a camera and learn it or invest in a photographer you love. If you think you want to create graphics, then I recommend taking a Photoshop class or studying Photoshop YouTube tutorials. Research web designers or purchase a blog design (many web designers have beautiful already created templates you can purchase and have them install for you that are cost effective), purchase a URL, consider if you want to work with a branding company or not (they help with logo, fonts, colors etc.), and get going.

My third piece of advice for starting a blog is to surround yourself with and reach out to people who will support you. Many people have preconceived notions of what blogging is and they write it off as “stupid,” “silly,” or “easy.” Don’t let anyone tell you that something you love doing and growing is stupid or easy (it’s a business after all)! I highly recommend reaching out to other bloggers where you live as it’s great to make friends in the industry who can and will support you. Like so many industries, networking is important so be prepared to put yourself out there a little bit. I’ve met more people through blogging than I could count that I absolutely love and now consider friends!

Most importantly, blogging should be fun and if it one day becomes a source of income, then fabulous, you’ve found a way to make work fun. I love the quote, “find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life!” Don’t go into blogging though with the pressure of quickly becoming the next “big” blogger. It will kill you and take all the fun out of the work. Stick to this formula: start your blog, pour your heart into it, work hard, create original content you are proud of, have fun and you will find success within yourself and with your readers.

Who designed your blog?

I worked with and continue to work with the amazing team at chloédigital. I literally couldn’t run a blog without them! Not only did they help me bring my blog design to life but they also help me with troubleshooting, staying up to date on all the backend of my blog, and so much more. They are the dream team!

In addition, I worked with Honor Creative on my branding. I cannot say enough wonderful things about them either! I had the best experience working with them.

How do you make money through Rhyme & Reason?

I am incredibly grateful to be able to make money from Rhyme & Reason as I dedicate a ton of time, energy, and love to the site and my social media channels. I would not be able to make the small income that I do from Rhyme & Reason if it wasn’t for my amazing, interesting, and thoughtful readers and followers. I’m so grateful y’all have put some time and trust in me!

The two main ways I make money are through affiliate links and through sponsored content on my blog/social media. I work with RewardStyle to create my affiliate links, which are special links that I receive a small commission from if readers click through them and make a purchase. Not everything I link is through an affiliate link and I absolutely do not decide what to share based solely on affiliate links. I’m so fortunate to work with brands that I love, admire, and shop but if a post is sponsored, it will always say “sponsored.” Don’t worry, all the words and opinions will be my own! I also never work with brands that I don’t believe in or don’t think are a good fit on R&R regardless of if they are willing to pay me or not.

What do you love most about blogging and Rhyme & Reason?

Yikes a bee, so many things! Two main things stick out the most though…

One: I love the feeling of owning something myself that I can work hard on and watch grow due to my dedication, efforts, and ideas. I honestly never imagined myself as a business owner but I truly love the feelings of pride I get every time I create new content and share a new post on R&R.

Two: My readers. I’d be nowhere in the blogging world without y’all! I love connecting with you in my blog comments, over email, and on social media. I get so many emails from readers planning trips to Charleston and it brings a smile to my face to respond to every single one (should I become a travel advisor like my sister!?). You are such a kind, generous, supportive, smart, positive, and thoughtful group of people. From the bottom of my heart, I so appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and to follow me on social media. I’ve also become friends with some of my readers, bloggers and non-bloggers included, and I adore these relationships! Thank you, thank you.


Beach Day in Capitola, California | Rhyme & Reason

Charleston

How many times had you been to Charleston before you decided to move?

A million times! Ha, not quite but a lot. My sister went to the College of Charleston and lived in Charleston for a bit after she graduated. My parents also split their time between Charleston and Phoenix so my family was in Charleston a lot before Edwin and I moved.

Was your transition from Los Angeles to Charleston difficult?

Not at all. I had zero culture shock upon moving to the South. My dad is from Georgia and his entire family lives in the South (he was the only one to ever leave until my parents bought their house in Charleston… now, he’s back!) so I grew up spending a lot of time in the South. Edwin and I have worked hard at it but we’ve loved making new friends!

Why did you decide to move to Charleston?

In short, Edwin and I both love the city so much! We love the people, history, culture, architecture, proximity to the beach, food, and more. We also moved from Los Angeles and were seeking a less expensive city. We originally decided to just move to Charleston for six months but we loved it so much that we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave. We bought a house and the rest is history! I shared a bit more about our moving thought process in this post where I announced our move.

I’m planning a trip to Charleston! Do you have any recommendations?

Absolutely! I have a great resource for you. I created an in-depth travel guide for Charleston that includes where to stay, shop, eat, sip, and explore. Visit my Charleston Travel Guide!

A few other helpful resources for you are my Guide to Charleston Beaches, my Beginner’s Guide to Charleston, and my Guide to the Best New Places in Charleston from 2018 and early 2019.


Introducing ChappyWrap, a line of super soft reversible and durable throw blankets | Rhyme & Reason

Personal

Where did you go to college, what did you study, and what sorority were you in?

I went to the University of Colorado at Boulder and loved every single minute of my four years! I cherish my beautiful college girlfriends who are still my best friends today! I double majored in history and psychology. If I was going to do it all over again, I’d pick Boulder every single time. I’d also still major in history but, instead of psychology, I’d add on a second major in something that would have educated me more in the world of blogging like digital media, graphic design, or marketing. I was a Kappa Kappa Gamma and wouldn’t have traded my experience for the world! Go Buffs and go Kappa!

How did you and Edwin meet?

Edwin and I were introduced by two of our mutual best friends who were dating at the time and are now married too! Thanks Allison and Tim! You can laugh at old photos of us and read more about how we met in this post.

How long did you and Edwin date before getting engaged and then married?

We started dating just after my 20th birthday and right before Edwin’s 22nd birthday. We then dated for 6 years and got engaged right after my 26th birthday and right before Edwin’s 28th birthday (we seem to like that time of year!). Edwin and I were engaged for a year and a half so it was a total of 7.5 years between when we started dating and when we tied the knot. Looking back, it flew by!

How did you decide to get married in Charleston?

Ever since I was a little girl, I said I wanted to get married under big live oak trees dripping in Spanish moss. When I pictured my wedding day, that’s what I pictured every single time! My grandparents retired to Sea Island, GA so we grew up going to the magical little slice of coastal heaven. For the longest time, I said I wanted to get married on Sea Island… if you’ve ever been, then you’ve seen the live oaks and you can imagine why I was attached to this idea. However, when I got engaged to a California boy and had friends all over the United States, it just didn’t make sense to have the wedding in such a difficult place to get to. Plus, Edwin had never been to Sea Island (until our mini moon!) but he had been to Charleston multiple times and loved it just as much as I did. Everyone in our lives was always saying how much they wanted to come visit Charleston with us so we decided to give them the perfect excuse, our wedding! Not every wedding venue in Charleston has the massive and romantic live oak trees with Spanish moss that I knew we had to have. However, when I first stepped foot on our venue property, Legare Waring House, I knew it was destined to be! Edwin and I were married under the most beautiful live oak I could have ever imagined and with that + the best man in the world by my side, all my wedding dreams came true!

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

The day after our wedding, we drove from Charleston down to Sea Island, GA for a mini moon. We stayed at The Cloister and had the most magical time. We were the 37,533rd couple to honeymoon at The Cloister and yes, we had our photo made as well as signed the honeymoon guestbook. The following spring, we honeymooned in the Caribbean on St. Lucia at Sugar Beach and on Mustique at Cotton House. The trip was everything and more!

What does Edwin do for work?

Edwin is an incredible talent! He co-founded the boutique production company, Hunt House Pictures, after he graduated from the University of Southern California Film School. He also works independently as a cinematographer and producer. He travels all around the world for work and different projects.

I notice you travel with your sister a lot. What exactly is her job in the travel industry?

You’re right, I do! For starters, my sister, Sarah, is the most fun travel buddy! If I tag along and travel with Sarah while she is on a work trip, I spend the whole trip pinching myself because I consider myself so lucky to have the opportunity. Sarah has an absolutely amazing job! She is a luxury travel advisor. You can learn more about her job here. P.S. my brother, Clarke, is also an outstanding travel buddy!

How do you stay healthy?

As I grow older, I’ve become more and more interested in and invested in my health. I’ve also struggled with acne throughout the years so I’m dedicated to my skincare routine and to promoting healthy skin from the inside out. I enjoy exercising 3-5 times per week, which makes me feel like my best and strongest self. In addition, I swear by Kelly Leveque and her philosophy. If you are looking to make a change to your health and body, then I can’t recommend picking up her book, Body Love, enough. You can read about how Kelly personally helped me get healthy and ready for my wedding here.


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