What I've Learned from a Year of Blogging
It occurred to me this morning that its been about a year (ish) since I started blogging (well.. I guess you could say for the 2nd time - I had a brief stint in the summer of 2014). Over the past year a LOT has happened. I got pregnant.. had a baby... and now adjusting to life as a new mom. I am thankful every day when I log into my blog account for all the memories it holds within its little virtual walls.
A LOT of work goes into this website- some days it can definitely feel burdensome and overwhelming, but mostly its been such a wonderful and welcomed challenge. The work I put in is a lot of fun & extremely rewarding. Most days I'm up at 5 AM working on the blog before Jett gets up - editing photos or writing my content for the week. Its also been just in this last year that I have really taken notice in how much I have grown - new skills I have added to my tool belt, and positive changes on my outlook on life and the confidence I hold for myself. I know I am just a tiny little fish in a big ocean of social media influencers but I still believe that this little blog-project I put so much work into is worth all the time spent. Here are some of main takeaways for this past year. (And If YOU have toyed with the idea of starting a blog yourself, I hope you find value and inspiration in this list):
Get over that embarrassment, do what you love and don't worry about what others think
One of the main reasons I stopped back in 2014 was I felt embarrassed - putting photos, stories, thoughts out there for anyone and everyone to see. What would people think when I posted photos of myself? I hope they don't think I'm narcissistic! (I am the FARTHEST from it) Why does anyone care what I have to say? Oh and taking photos out in public - can I always wear a hat and glasses and some sort of invisibility cloak so no one can see me? Well its taken awhile, but I think its FINALLY started to settle that life will not end when I hit publish on a blog post. I have been amazed at how supportive people have been and not at all judgmental. Not to say there aren't haters every now and then- but its never enough to stop me from pursuing what I love. CREATING. Creating a space all my own in which I am totally in control of sharing things that I love. Now this "getting over caring what people think" - I've been working on that for like 30 years, and the ONE thing that has made an impact on me at all has been going outside of my comfort zone by starting and keeping up with this blog.
More on judgement - Those who don't have a blog, probably wish they had a blog.
I am pretty confident that 99% of the people out there that you are fearful of judging you for having a blog probably would love to have their own blog themselves. Who doesn't want a space to share their passions and be creative? I think when I first started - back in 2014 - fashion blogging was definitely a thing, but not as MASSIVE as it is now - I didn't quite know where I fit, because I was the only one I knew besides the already "famous" bloggers posting their outfits to Instagram. And now days I get so excited to see so many friends jumping on board and launching their personal blogs (Hey I'm not alone!)- wherever their interests lie whether that be fashion blogging- or food blogging, or mama blogging, etc. I believe there is room for everyone - everyone's content is welcome.
Hey, you ARE pretty darn creative!
I really LOVE numbers. I can proudly admit that my favorite subjects in school was Calculus and Accounting. I even tutored accounting and lots of math subjects to student athletes in college. AND grad school. I remember being a kid and loving arts and crafts but as I got older I think I wrote myself off as being a creative person and just assumed I could only be good at math. I took a photography class in high school and I am pretty sure I got a C. I remember getting criticized on all my photos back then and just telling myself - "ah well I'm just not a photographer." Fast forward 12 years (EEK!) and I am by no means saying I am this amazing photographer but I feel like I can hold my own. I LOVE the editing process and have spent hours learning Lightroom and Photoshop. Really GOOD images inspire me and photography is probably the number one reason I got into blogging in the first place. I am always a student, always learning and feel like after a year of blogging I can confidently say - YES I am creative! I just had to flex that muscle a little bit.
Working hard on something you love makes you a hard worker in other aspects of your life.
Not to say I wasn't a hard worker before Alexander-Alexandra but my work ethic has probably grown 10,394 times over. I work really hard, and spend a lot of time - not only on creating content, but also just making and maintaining new relationships. And of course collaborating with brands, companies and other influencers. Some of the work can be tedious and time consuming, but by now I have realized the value that each part creates and know its necessary and just has to get done! But so much of it is really fun, and there is nothing better than taking a step back - looking over your blog, seeing it as a whole and realizing that all that hard work has resulted in this really amazing project that you can be proud of..
Be organic, be you, (and don't take all the free stuff if you don't believe in it)
Don't sell yourself short. Don't buy followers, don't work with companies or products that you don't really believe in. It's tempting when you start gaining some traction and companies start reaching out to you with all this free stuff in exchange for posting about them. But honestly I would rather just post about things I do REALLY like and use. I am not a walking commercial for anything people want to throw at me. I care less about the number of followers I have, and more about just producing the BEST CONTENT I can, and if others want to follow along- great! I enjoy blogging so much more when its organic and real and I build a community of people that actually have the same interests. Those followers you are looking for- they will come, just be you, and have fun with it, and they will come.
Thanks for reading - if you visit my little site often - Thank you SO MUCH for following along. One year down - a lifetime to go!