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Blog Birthday + 12 Things I've Learned This Year Through Blogging.Monday, October 5, 2015
Today I've officially been blogging for two years. Two years! I really can't believe it.
Two years ago today I thought, why the heck not?! I had been reading other blogs, following fashionistas and oohing and aahing over every post I read and every photo I saw. Not much has changed from that - I still browse my favorite blogs to learn more about the community and gain inspiration, but really to support the other ladies who are just doing what they love.
For the past two years I've created relationships with a few bloggers that I never thought possible. One of my favorite gals being Meagan from Because of Jackie. She is a daily inspiration and really, we're soul sisters... or blog sisters, it's strange at times. I'd love to actually meet her in person one day.
Another one of my favorites is Kacie from Elements of Ellis. I love every single thing she wears. Everything. Plus, her relationship with her husband reminds me of Chris and I and she has a lab... although, hers seems much more chill than Ollie. And maybe a tad bit older.
Blogging has been a continuous creative outlet for me and something that I feel has molded me into who I really am. Sometimes it's a struggle to share the reality of your life, knowing that it will always be online somewhere for someone to see. But it's also rewarding to look back from where I started and where I am now. Started from the bottom now we here. Only kidding. I'm still at the bottom of this totem pole, but it's all good!
I also love that this blog will be something that I can someday look back on and show my kids. I mean, where the heck will technology and the internet and blogging be when that time rolls around? It's kind of scary to think about.
All in all, I am beyond happy that I decided to step out of my comfort zone and just do what I wanted. I can't really put into words what blogging has done for me, but there's something relaxing and exciting about sharing your life behind a computer screen, one photo at a time. This is my story board and my hope is that at least one person has gained something from it.
Last year on my blog's birthday I shared my favorite 12 looks from my first year. You can catch that blog post here. This year I want to share 12 things that I've learned from blogging.
1. Be yourself. This is a struggle at times. In a world of social media and gorgeous photos making everyone's lives seem absolutely perfect it's hard. I compare myself to other bloggers on a daily basis. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Be proud of your blog and what you've accomplished. We all started somewhere and no matter how big or small your blog is, it's worth the time and effort you put into it. Own it and love it.
3. Blogging is hard. It really is a second full time job. If you love it, you make it work... at least that's how I've accomplished two full years.
4. Be genuine. This kind of goes with #1. People want to know the real you. They want someone they can relate to.
5. Give it time. This is a huge one for me. When I want something I want it then. My blog isn't one of the ones that have had overnight success and a hundred thousand people following. As much as I would love to connect with that many people and be inspiring to so many, it doesn't always work that way. This is a hard pill to swallow, especially during this time of so many blogs and bloggers. "How do they do it" is any easy trap to fall into... try not to. Know your blogs worth.
6. Don't give up. I've wanted to, multiple times. "It's not for me", "This isn't working", "Why am I doing this?" - all thoughts that run through my mind on a daily basis. I love doing it, that's why. If it's your passion, go with it. Hard work pays off.
7. Have fun.What's the point of starting a blog if you're not ready to laugh at yourself and have a little bit of fun? I've found that during most photo sessions, it's the days where Chris and I are just laughing, dancing and having a good ole time when I get my best shots. Why be so serious all the time? It's your blog, do what you want!
8. Be kind to your photographer. Especially if he's your husband. It's way too easy to get frustrated during a photo session when things just aren't going right. I constantly have to remind myself, he's doing this for you. He didn't want to start a blog. He never held a camera before this. Be patient. Be kind.
9. Follow others, read their content, build relationships. This is another that I'm trying to get better at as the days go on. With working a full time job, taking care of two crazy dogs, spending time with my husband and trying (daily) to not go bat shit crazy, sometimes I go days/weeks without reading others blogs. The other bloggers out there are the ones who completely understand how you feel about your blog, build a community! Take a few minutes out of each day to catch up with a a few of your favorites. A day never ends bad by knowing that you might have put a smile of someone else's face. Plus, do you know how much I learn from the other ladies? Always making me think.
10. It's OK to say no. As a new blogger when opportunity comes knocking on your door (or sitting in your mailbox) you are so excited and say yes to everything, just to be working with brands. That's okay, it really is, but it's also OK to say no. It's better to be sure that what's being offered fits your blog, the content you typically share and your overall audience. There's nothing more frustrating than seeing your favorite blogger post about something that has nothing to do with their blog... at least not from what they've always posted about. Another opportunity will come around. I said no for the first time about a month ago. It was hard.
11. Be consistent. With so many things going on in my life I always want to share it with my readers. It doesn't matter if it's a girl's night out, fashion, beauty, places around Dallas, work-outs, food, etc. I want to share it. Although I typically stick to fashion, I've thrown a few beauty and lifestyle posts in there. I think that's okay, as long as it's not completely out of left field. Your audience reads your blog for a reason, stick with what they came for.
12. Quality over quantity. Don't post just to post. You'll never look back on a good post and regret it. Take your time, edit, save it as a draft and come back to it. Post it when it's ready and you're ready.
Now for the reason I chose the photo shown at the beginning of this post. This was one of my looks from year two of blogging. It's also a look that was featured in Nylon's Magazine's March issue. The most exciting thing that has happened to me to date.
Who said small bloggers can't get featured?! Holla!
Thank you friends for sticking around, sharing your thoughts, reading mine, following, being supportive and just giving me something to blog for. I am truly grateful to have such a great community who allows me to be myself.
Now let's rock this week!