I hope your week is going amazing! I am about to go MIA for a while as I take off to the Boots and Hearts Music Festival. I am so excited! It’s the biggest country music festival in North America and it’s a whole 4 days long. Gavin and I will be camping. I haven’t been camping in a really long time and part of me wishes I could keep it that way. Mainly because I like warm showers and a roof over my head. Anyways, wish me luck! I will try and keep you all posted and up to date with the events! 🙂
So recently I have been doing a lot of thinking on ways to grow my blog and develop my business around it. Being able to see where I am today and look at what I have accomplished over the past 6 months is implausible. I have had a passion for fashion for many years now and being able to express myself and my passion across different social media platforms is inspiring. I would have never guessed that after 6 years of post-secondary education in Kinesiology and Health science and completing my certification in athletic therapy would I find myself where I am today. I have moved from job to job and even changed careers along the way. This may be a story for a different post but it’s incredible what you can learn about yourself when you are forced to put yourself out there and “find a career you love”.
When I first had the idea of starting a blog, I had no idea where to start or what the first thing I was to do. I researched for hours and hours on end trying to go about launching my blog and my story the best way possible. I found it really difficult at some point because I had no experience in marketing or website building; my technological skills are very minor, if not poor. At the end of the day, I needed to figure everything out because I know I needed to dive into the world of blogging and find my niche in fashion. Here are some of the lessons I have learnt throughout my recent time as a blogger.
1. Be yourself.
Easier said than done right? Like I said, I had done a ton of research and fell into the blogs of many local and worldwide bloggers. It gets very intimidating being surrounded by huge bloggers with so much influence in the fashion community. All I wanted to do was seek ambition to be just like them. I compared my content to other bloggers all the time. I had to stop myself one day and realise, this blog is for me, this blog is me. I don’t care what people think of my content, or what they think of me. If I like a certain style, I am going to rock it, if I like a certain recipe I am going to make it. Don’t get me wrong, even today I still look at others in comparison, but I need to bring myself together and find out what is true to me. Looking up to others for inspiration is amazing, but trying to be someone else doesn’t make you true to yourself.
2. Risk taking
The internet is a scary pool to dive into. Being able to put yourself out there is very intimidating. You never know if you will receive good feedback or negative feedback. All of which you have to learn to deal with in the best way possible. For those of you who know me, you know that I don’t handle constructive criticism very well, let alone criticism. I take it very personally, especially when someone is critiquing my blog. I felt like they are taking jabs at me or putting me down. I had to learn and tell myself that there are others out there who truly want me to be successful in my career path as a blogger. You don’t always see things that others do, so it is very important to take constructive feedback and look at it positively. There is no easy way to go around it, but if you are passionate about something you just need to dive in head first. You may feel like your drowning at the beginning but, eventually you will figure out how to swim. For me, I’m still learning.
3. Social Media
In today’s society we revolve around this huge and powerful thing called social media. There are about a million different social media platforms and different ways to utilize them to help promote yourself and your blog. I will have to admit, I am not always the best when it comes to social media because maintaining it is pretty much a fulltime job. When I first started off on my social media train, I would get so down and upset if I did not get the likes or attention I wanted. I constantly was putting myself down and always worried what people thought of me. I was very unhappy with myself and very unhappy with my blog because I thought social media was telling me “my content isn’t good enough”. One day I was crying and venting to Gavin, hoping he would have a solution for me. With all the words he used to try and make me feel better and calm me down, I left that day understanding that it’s all in my head and the only way to get over this overwhelming state is to accept it. I have only been blogging for 2-3 months at this point and still learning. One day, Gavin and I ran into an old friend of his when we were in Kingston and he said “even if one person likes your content, realize that it’s one person who took the time to appreciate your material. Out of the billions of other people in this world, and all the other blogs and bloggers who are out there, they like you”. His comment really touched me. Even if I am getting a small amount of attention towards my blog, I am still reaching people in a positive way and getting positive reinforcement from them. So next time you post an Instagram or a facebook and twitter post, I hope you have a more positive outlook on your results.
Growing up I was never a writer, in fact I hated it. Reading and writing were not my strong suits, nor was it ever my favourite activity. I excelled more towards math and science throughout my schooling years. Getting into blogging has really but my writing skills to the test. I have made numerous spelling mistakes and grammar errors. For all I know, you may have found a few by reading this. Having a well written blog post can be very beneficial and can take you far in your blogging career. I have been practicing and practicing my writing and grammar skills because I truly believe it will help me excel as a blogger, and it’s never too late to fix something that wasn’t perfect!
Once you get to know me I am a very outgoing and energetic person, but I do take time to warm up to people and you won’t see my ‘crazy’ side until I get really comfortable around you. When meeting new people and hanging out with a new crowd of friends I tend to fall back in the shadows. By networking and meeting new people I have forced myself to come out of my shell. I put myself out there by creating new relationships with other bloggers and developing connections. This is probably one of my biggest accomplishments and milestones in developing my blog. You would not believe what an introvert I was at times and how shy I would be when I would meet new people. By stepping out of my comfort zone and making new friends I have 1) become a much better and well-rounded blogger, and 2) a lot happier and comfortable with myself.
Don’t know where to start networking? Don’t worry, neither did I a few months ago. I started reaching out on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Sending people direct messages to meeting up and create conversation can really be beneficial. It’s that simple. Try it!
6. Time management
Working a full time job to pay the bills, blogging, and trying to have a social life can really be difficult to manage sometimes. Never did I ever think that blogging would be a full-time job “on the side”. I thought it would be something to keep me busy and give me something to do when I was bored. The more I invested into it the more time consuming it became. I finally found something that I loved to do and willing to put all the time and effort into it. Unfortunately, I am at the stage where I do not make a lot of income from my blog therefore, I can’t put as much time as I would like. Being able to balance work life and blogging has definitely put my time management skills to the test. The key to it all is prioritizing and finding a schedule that works for you. For blogging you need to consider pictures, content development, social media engagement, networking, preparing posts and much more. So far I have been able to find a schedule that works for me. If you’re thinking of starting a blog today or currently have a blog and having difficulty, grab a pen and a calendar and start scheduling yourself so you can visualize everything. This tip definitely worked for me.
If you are a blogger, what are some of the obstacle you have run into? How did you solve them? I would love to hear from you! 🙂
Photography done by: Fiona Hua