I can’t believe that this little blog has been around for six years. It’s been a bumpy ride, but this is one side hustle I can never seem to give up.
I’ve spent the last few months working on moving the blog from Blogger to WordPress with a new site design. When I realized I could align the launch of the new site with the blog’s sixth anniversary, I began reflecting on this experience so far.
This blog has been the catalyst for essentially all of my goals and dreams over the last six years. The lessons I’ve learned here have made such a difference in my life both personally and professionally. Whether you’re just starting a blog or have been at it just as long as I have, I hope a few of these ring true for you as well.
Write for the audience you want, not the audience you have. Your content should excite you, first and foremost. This has been one of the hardest things for me to learn. When I first started blogging, I was only interested in being a style blogger. I followed many style bloggers and, with hopes of being an editor at a fashion magazine one day, it was a perfect fit. However, those goals have changed. I’ve evolved and realized that this space needs to evolve with me. Style posts definitely won’t be going away anytime soon, but I’m looking forward to introduce more content that is true to my life now.
Find your community. This is probably one of the single most important things you can do for your blog. It can also be one of the hardest. Finding a group of people who understand your obsession with social media and why you must photograph everything can be daunting, especially when you’re first starting out. However, I am so thankful for my blogging bestie who encouraged me when I was lacking enthusiasm and supported me when I dreamed big. I might have given this whole thing up for good if it wasn’t for her.
Test and change. As a personal style blog started when I was 16, this space has been the epitome of “test and change” when it comes to my wardrobe. I’ve shared many outfits on this blog that would make me cringe today. However, I’ve only recently learned to apply that idea (which I first heard on the Being Boss podcast) to the blog as well. Devoting yourself to an online space means that space will evolve and grow with you.
Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come. Before social media had grown into the marketing and personal branding powerhouse it is now, there were link ups, guests blogs and trails of comments. The point is not to get trapped in the idea that just because you’ve put all your effort into creating the greatest content ever, that your ideal audience will automatically come flocking to your site. It’s important to spend just as much, if not more time, promoting content as you do creating it.
Find your voice. The phrase “Be yourself, Everyone else is already taken.” is so applicable in blogging. It can be tempting to echo your favorite bloggers in terms of content and voice, but carving out your own style makes the difference between just another blog on the internet and a site that readers check daily.
Forcing a quantity of content won’t lead to quality content. I’ve gone through spurts where I’ve barely blogged at all and blogged every single day. While writing consistently is definitely the best way to develop your voice, forced content is never good content. I’m having to remind myself of this lately. The excitement of getting back into blogging has me tempted to fill my content calendar with daily posts. However, I know this will only lead to posts that don’t get written or content that is only half-baked.
So here’s to lessons learned, the ups and downs along the way and the girl who, six Thanksgivings ago, decided to bite the bullet and start a blog.