Woohooooo! It's been just over a year since I started this little blog of mine, and I have truly loved the experience so far! Getting to write about fashion and share my greatest passion with others is a really awesome feeling. I wanted to share a few things I learned this past year. Maybe it will inspire you to start your own blog or keep going with the one you already have! Either way, I love reading blogger advice no matter how large or small the blog is.
First of all, I had to wear this party outfit to celebrate my one-year-blog-anniversary!! This polka dotted top from Zara is perhaps the cutest ever. It seriously makes me feel like I need to go to the circus or a birthday party or just throw some confetti around. All the party vibes.
Okay, let's do this!!
1. Don't be afraid to break out your party outfit. Being a blogger means you get to set your very own outfit standard!! For me, blogging has given me so much more confidence to wear what I want to wear. I used to be so freaked out like, oh my gosh if I wear wedges to the grocery store everyone is going to judge. Or if I wear a fur coat to class people will start whispering. And this might actually still happen (or people are living their own lives and don't really care) but even if people are silently judging you, you probably just look super bomb. I don't know why it took starting a blog to gain that confidence, but I definitely don't care whether someone dislikes my style anymore. You are able to have an influence on others through fashion, and no matter what, somebody out there is going to like your style. How cool is that?! Blogging has made me so much more comfortable wearing whatever I want and not worrying what others will think!!
2. Make allllllll the blogger friends. Bloggers are seriously some of the coolest, nicest people ever, and the best part is they are all passionate about something. And passionate people are the coolest ever!! I have met and talked to so many incredible fashionista friends this year!! Especially if you have just moved somewhere new and are trying to meet people, blogging is a great way to do so. It has made me feel much more a part of the Seattle community, even though Seattle has only been my home for two years now.
3. Numbers kind of sort of matter..but don't...but do...it's complicated. If you're a blogger, you've probably dealt with the ultimate "numbers" struggle. How many people clicked your link today? How many unfollowed you? Did anyone even read your latest post? How many followers do other local bloggers have compared to you? How many followers do you need to have for that brand to work with you?? The truth is, even though we all try our best not to worry about numbers, there's no doubt it's going to cross your mind.
At the root of all this we know we blog because we want to and are passionate about a certain niche! We are creating content we love and inspiring others. Even so, we all do want to gain a following. The biggest and most "successful" blogs are clearly those with thousands, even millions, of followers. And it's true that certain brands will only work with you once you hit a certain number on Instagram. Honestly, numbers stressed me out so much at times I would just take a week-long break from blogging-- because a following on Instagram really shouldn't be consuming your life, no matter what benefits it may bring. I think it's important to find a happy medium of how much numbers influence your choices as a blogger, and this is something that takes time.
4. Social media can make you super lonely. Or help you out when you are lonely. Whaaaaaaaaat. It's true. Social media has become the newest root of comparison. Sometimes it's hard to watch other people all having fun at the beach or going on the coolest ever trip or eating a fancy brunch or getting the newest Gucci bag (to name a few) while you're working and studying your little booty off. And even though blogging can help you connect with people, there are always going to be exclusive cliques in blogging that can make you feel separate from the big picture. HOWEVER social media has been a major tool for me these last two years, being so far away from home and old friends, and has allowed me to keep people updated on my life! It really is an amazing tool for sharing and connecting.
5. Free stuff rocks. But be careful. Companies really will send you free stuff because you have an aesthetically pleasing Instagram page. So that's pretty wild. I learned pretty quickly to be careful with this. Aside from products that are just plain free, there's a little something called a "collaboration." Collaborations typically involve a company sending you product in exchange for a few posts on social media. There are a lot of rules to this and it's important to familiarize yourself! Also, only work with brands you actually care about or support. If you aren't on a diet, maybe you shouldn't promote "skinny coffee beans." If you live in Alaska, maybe you shouldn't promote a bikini company in January. Makes sense. The point is, work with brands that fit well with your brand. Your blog is a brand too!!! How neat is that.
6. DO YO THANG. At a certain point this year, I started to freak out about the perfect aesthetic of blogging and felt the need to have perfect photos and perfect writing and a perfect Instagram feed. (Life isn't perfect so I don't know why this even seemed plausible). I started posting a lot of pictures that were aesthetically great but really didn't have much to do with fashion or my life. Sometimes working with other artists, or observing large influencers can lead you astray from what you want your "brand" to be. I also noticed, surprisingly, that while my pictures were awesome I was receiving way less positive feedback, or "likes." The stuff I was posting really wasn't "me." I decided to go back to posting iPhone photos, or day-to-day snippets of my life that I had styled my own way. Even though the content may appear lower in quality, I am so much happier with photos that represent who I am. Since then, I have felt so much more content with my blog and have grown way more.
That's all I've got for now! Thanks so much for being a part of this first year!! Let me know what you think and what you'd like to see in this upcoming year of From SEA to NYC!!