Friday, September 4, 2015

Life Chats


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! 

13 comments:

  1. So inspiring girl!! Needed this today <3

    www.ONTHEKATTWALK.com

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  2. Great Advice Naty! So encouraging to hear your journey and how far you have come since starting your blog. My question is related to your photos..how did you get comfortable with taking pictures without feeling awkward around other people? like in public places? it's so random, sorry!

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    1. So happy you liked the post! Truthfully I still feel awkward lol It's definitely weird when you're out in public and all dressed up and have someone shooting your pics. People drive by and look at you like you're crazy. I actually get annoyed sometimes haha but I mean it's just part of it. In my area a lot of the people are used to seeing me now so I think they finally get it. I just do my best to block everyone else out and just focus on taking the photos. I think when you do that and you're more relaxed about it you'll see that in the pics you appear to be much more natural. It was definitely a process for me. Hope this helps! Xo

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  3. Loved this post, Naty! You're so right. Blogging industry is so number driven, and at first I was kinda fixated on numbers ie: followers, traffic views, comments etc. I now focus my energy on reader engagement, and figuring out ways to add value to my content. Have a great labor day weekend, Naty! xoxoxo

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    1. Yes girl that is the way to do it and the rest will follow! xo

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  4. I absolutely loved reading this. Incredibly encouraging for someone who is just starting out. Thank you for sharing your heart and being so real. That's exactly what makes you such an inspiration and icon to me. <3

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    1. Your comment put a smile on my face. Thank you so much for reading the post and for your sweet words. I'm so happy that you enjoyed it!

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  5. This post was so inspiring! As a brand new blogger, I've been stressed just being so caught up in the numbers and how to gain followers when in reality the reason why I started this blog was simply because I wanted to share with people who are constantly asking me how I find such good deals! This post was a great reminder to stay true to myself. Keep up the awesomeness!

    xo, Linda
    www.SmallStepstoHappiness.net

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing this post, I love your content it's so real and effortless! I truly agree with staying true to yourself. It's crazy! because you & ashesintofashion were the first bloggers I started reading consistently & you girls inspired me so much! I got the chance to meet her, very sweet girl! Hope I get to meet you one day! :)

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  7. Adore this post babe, you are absolutely right love.I never thought of really starting off a blog but yes I personally get cautious of being confident of what am wearing as I have lost 45 kgs ,so am not used to of clothes that every girl wears ,I don't how should I say this you have inspired me to be confident of everything I wear and carry myself .Its been 3 years I have been following your blog ,and honestly I have never come across a person like you ever .The people you be with on daily basis your friends ,family are really lucky and am glad that somewhere I am a part of your life....
    God bless you my gorgeous
    Love you
    Dab (damini) xo!

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  8. Beautiful! I hope my blog is one day as successful as yours. I've been blogging for three years but I'm definitely not there yet. My dream is to make blogging my full time job. I love it! Keep doing you :)
    <3
    katsfashionfix.blogspot.com

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  9. Loved this! Your posts always inspire me.

    XO

    thefashionfreeway.com

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