Today's "Life Chats" post is a little bit different as this time it is geared more towards blogging. I've been getting a lot of questions lately about how I got into it, ways to be successful, how to stand out amongst the rest, etc. so I thought that it might be a good idea to address some of these questions in today's post.
Although I have been blogging for almost 4 years, I still do not consider myself to be an expert or anything like that. It's really been one huge learning process and I am still figuring things out on a daily basis. If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you have probably already heard about my own personal blogging journey, but I will touch on this a little bit again right now. I started my blog a year after losing my father and losing my job. As I've mentioned before, I was just very lost in life for a long time. I was transitioning out of music slowly and needed something that in some way could fill the voids that I had. For as long as I can remember, I have had a love and connection to fashion. I have also been extremely passionate about writing since grammar school. Blogging about my own personal style became a way that I could combine the two together. It started out as my new creative outlet and a way to connect with other people. I truthfully did not have much else going on in my life at that time, so I put 100% of myself into my blog. I never had any intentions of it actually going anywhere. I didn't think that anyone would even care to read my posts each day, but first and foremost I did this for myself and organically over time it transitioned into something full-time. I think that is extremely important. There are so many reasons for starting up a blog, but I personally feel that the number one reason should be that you are doing it for you because you have a love for it and you have something that you want to say. It's also important to be consistent with the message that you want to get across to your readers, whatever that may be.
My blog was only geared towards fashion in the beginning and initially, that is how I started to grow my following on social media. After awhile though, it was not enough for me. I didn't only want to talk about the clothes that I was wearing. I really wanted to show more of who I am as a person. This is very important to me. So, I slowly started to incorporate some lifestyle and travel posts into the rotation. Then finally, I decided to create this Life Chats series. Every one is different though and don't feel pressured to share personal things about your life if you are not ready. It definitely took me some time to begin to fully open up with you all, but it was one of the best decisions that I made. Another reason for me doing this was because I wanted to make sure that as I evolved more as a person over the years, that my blog would evolve with me. I am in such a different place in my life then I was when I first started A Love Affair With Fashion so it only felt right and natural for me to make these changes on the blog.
A lot of this journey has been trial and error. Sometimes things work and other times they don't. Either way it is important to just put yourself out there and try. When it comes to working with brands, I think that in the beginning it is very easy to get caught up in that. It's so new and exciting and you might want to work with literally every brand that contacts you. What I have learned though is that above anything else, stay true to who you are. If something doesn't feel right, trust your instincts. If a brand reaches out and they don't really match your style, voice and aesthetic, it is OK to say NO. Actually, it's extremely important to say no at times. Like I said, I have learned a lot through trial and error. For me, when it comes to building partnerships and doing sponsored posts, I only want to work on things that truly feel organic and authentic to me. If it's a brand that I love, use, believe in, want to learn more about, etc. then it makes sense to me. If I hesitate even the slightest about it, then I know it is not for me. Just don't lose yourself. Always remember that.
This brings me to my next point: social media followings. While this industry is number driven, I still believe that you should not let numbers define you. I touched on this in a previous Life Chats post. You might have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers and that is amazing, but don't forget who you are and how you started in the midst of that number. You might work just as hard, but your follower count is extremely low. Do not let that number make you feel like you aren't good enough. Just stick with it! I've been on instagram since 2011, but didn't start using it for my blog until 2012. I think that for me, I got on during a time when not every single blogger was on it yet. 2012-2013 were amazing instagram years for me. I was growing a following pretty quickly and my engagement was very high. Then, slowly that started to change and it became a bit more of a struggle. I definitely felt at times that I was not good enough or that my content "sucked." It's so easy to fall into this trap on social media, especially when you constantly see what everyone else is doing. It's important to just keep focusing on you. If something is not working anymore, then it's time to switch it up. In terms of my instagram feed, I decided that I wanted to post a good balance of my outfits along with other aspects of my life. I wanted to make sure that I was putting more of my personality into my posts whether that is through the actual photo or the caption. Not every single thing does amazing, but I find that posting this way makes me much more happy! :)
I don't want to turn this into a novel, so I will stop here. If you want me to do more posts on this topic in the near future of if you have any questions, please let me know! I hope this was helpful in some way or gave you a bit more insight into my own blogging journey. Hope you all have an amazing weekend!