Please bear with me if this is a long post...
I've been asked by friends and family how I've managed to have my blog, produce content, do collaborations, take photos, network, pay for things, etc., A LOT lately. Having these questions asked recently has made me be super reflective on my life and my blog/social media and the kind of content I want to produce and how to do it. I've also had to think a lot about what my goal is with all of this and have also had to face some realities that I face in regards to having my blog and social media influencing. I've decided to explain the reality of all of the behind the scenes from my point of view in regards to my blog and social media to help you all understand what I do, how I do it, why I do it, and the reality behind it all. I have different topics explained below and I hope you all enjoy!
Starting My Blog:
When I started my blog 2 months ago, people were asking me questions like "didn't you already have a blog?" "Are you just trying to become a famous blogger?" "Why?" I've always loved writing and have written all sorts of stories, poems, whatever, since I basically learned how to read and write. It's always come so easily for me and it has been the easiest way for me to express with 100% truth whatever I was feeling or whatever I wanted. With that, I've tried blogging multiple times since I was about 14. Every time I tried I would go strong for a while, but being so young and not caring as much, I didn't give it my all and didn't know the ropes as to REALLY how to make and maintain a successful blog.
Since meeting Kurtis, he encouraged me almost from the get-go to re-start a blog focusing on the things I love. He really believed(s) that I had a voice to share with others that they would want to hear no matter what it was. Finally, at the end of February of this year, I decided to completely start fresh and launch a lifestyle and fashion blog. After a few weeks of designing my blog, paying to have my own domain, learning how to produce content as best I could, etc., I launched my blog on March 10th. To be honest, it was scary for me. When I announced it on Instagram I remember hiding my phone from myself because I was afraid of people's responses. I was super excited to be starting a blog that I was willing to give my all to and the thought that others wouldn't be receptive to it SCARED me.
Thankfully, I had a lot of support from friends and family--and even strangers! I became dedicated to producing content and learning more to even better myself and my blog and social media influencing.
Some days I have trouble coming up with blog topics. I have a note in my phone with different potential posts, but sometimes I think that it's not time to make any of those posts, or I'm more excited about making something that isn't on the list at all. There are times where it's harder for me to produce content or I'm unhappy with something like the pictures for a certain post and become discouraged. Having a blog can make you feel so vulnerable and insecure, but it also can be one of the most fun and confidence boosting things you do!
There are still days where the photos are perfect or I strive to be producing even BETTER content than I am. These days I try not to let myself down and instead do so much studying (like, legit hours more than I study for school sometimes) on how to make my blog and content better as well as my content on social media. Truly, I've learned that the most important thing is to produce content I'm PROUD of! Even if it's only myself or just one other person that likes what I produce at a given time, I'm happy. It only motivates me to improve!
Collaborating + Networking:
I put these two together because for me, they often go hand in hand. Literally the night I launched my blog I was up super late trying to grow my Instagram audience so that it would also bring attention to my blog. I started commenting/liking/following other bloggers/influencers and building relationships with them. I contacted companies THAT VERY NIGHT asking if they'd ever like to collaborate. Want to know a cool thing? THEY DID. I got more yes-es than no's that night. It's honestly hit or miss with you being the initial person to make contact for a possible collaboration, but it is rewarding when others say yes!
Collaborating may seem "super cool." Sometimes you get stuff for free, get it for a huge discount, or you just agree to purchase something at full price and posting about it just to get a "repost" on Instagram from that company for some exposure to your own profile. There's nothing wrong with collaborating. It can be super fun, but beware that sometimes it can be overwhelming!
When it comes to networking there are days where I'm super motivated with it and days (or weeks) where I just can't be bothered to put as much of an effort in it as other times. I seriously will just sit on my phone and computer trying to build relationships with other content producers and companies in the hope to increase and better my network. It can be a bit tiresome and tedious at times, but still, when I see myself improving I get reinvigorated to keep improving!
How I Pay for Things:
As mentioned before, there are times where I do get stuff for free in exchange for doing some sort of marketing, content producing, whatever for a company. HOWEVER, most of the time I'm having to pay out of pocket to invest in my blog. You know that job I got for at a boutique? I got that strictly to fund my blog. Literally because I'm in school I don't work a ton, but with the amount of hours I put in and the money I get from it, it goes right back into purchasing clothes, shoes, products, etc., for my blog. Sometimes it sucks because to be honest, I'm not the most financially free or capable person I'd like to be right now, but I know that investing in my blog will be worth it. It makes me happy and makes the content I produce for my readers/supporters/friends better. There seriously have been times right now where I've turned down a collaboration or haven't made a certain post or whatever because I simply couldn't afford to--and that's okay! I know that sometime soon I'll be able to and that right now, as long as I'm producing the best I can and having fun while doing it, I'm please!
"Are you just trying to become famous?"
Let me be real with you for a second. I don't intend to become "famous." I intend to become successful. I strive to put my all into my blog and social media influencing in the hopes that I can inspire others and that my voice can reach out to them. There's nothing that would please me more than for my writings to motivate and inspire others. Sure, there are perks to blogging that I definitely love and get excited about; but for me, it's so much more than the perks. Writing about a cute dress or skincare or a new adventure or whatever and having it flow from my fingertips onto my keyboard and then showing up on this screen excites me. It's an adrenaline rush. Famous? No. Successful? Yes. Others may not see a difference, but if you're like me, you understand. Even if you don't, that's okay! I hope you enjoy the content I produce anyway.
There you have it, folks! This was probably the longest post I've written so far. I hope you all enjoyed it and that it gave you a little glimpse into the "behind the scenes" of this blog. It's something I work hard at and love doing so dearly.