10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging
1. It can be whatever you want it to be.
This year was rough. I honestly went through this phase where I thought that I couldn't do blogging, fashion, lifestyle, and photography under the same brand. But after speaking to a few people I came to the realization that because I am my brand, my brand can quite literally be whatever I want it to be.
If I want to share my art, I will.
If I want to share an outfit I like, I will.
If I want to share my thoughts, I will.
The beauty of this creative space is that you have utter and complete control of everything.
2. Networking will come naturally.
I've learned a lot about networking since I began my blog. And after a while, networking doesn't seem so scary. Collaborating with brands, other creatives, photographers, models, bloggers and anyone else is considered networking. I think there's kind of a stigma about networking being a chore, but if it's done right it can actually be incredibly fun and you can create really unique projects with like-minded individuals that turn out to be mutually beneficial!
3. It'll be exhausting.
One of my favorite things to ask other creatives is whether they're introverted, extroverted, or an outgoing introvert. I'm actually amazed at how many introverted creatives there are in the community.
Working with other people is so inspiring, but it can be so taxing - not only mentally, but also physically. Working outside in the hot sun, shooting for multiple hours can absolutely drain you. Working through tough edits and creative blocks can mentally drain you. Keeping high energy levels while working with others can really catch up with you. And at the end of the day, it's really important to be aware of these things and do what you can to take care of yourself so that you can continue to produce high quality work.
4. It's okay to post less frequently, as long as your content is high quality.
A lot of people seem to stress out about the frequency of their posting, whether it's on social media or their blog. Don't worry! Your content will speak for itself. It's better to post less frequently and have better content, than to post just to post.
5. Keep a list of contacts.
I honestly only started doing this after my third year of blogging, and I wish I had started sooner. It's a really good idea to keep some sort of organized spreadsheet of all the contacts you've acquired over time. This may mean fellow bloggers, brands you've worked with, photographers that have helped you with content, PR agents, etc. You never know when you might need to reference that list in the years to come!
6. Don't be afraid to share.
Of course you have to find the line between sharing too much, and sharing enough. I personally love following creatives that are open and honest not only about their process, but also themselves. If you want to be relatable to your audience, you have to be willing to share things about yourself that your audience will be able to relate to.
7. Put the measuring stick away.
It's really easy to compare yourself to others, especially on social media. You cannot let yourself fall into the state of finding your worth in how many followers and likes you get.
Because you breathe, you are worthy.
When you find yourself mentally pulling out the measuring stick, physically pull out a pen and write down some goals. Put them in a visible place and work diligently on achieving them. Make sure these goals are attainable, and not number oriented.
Instead of having a goal of reaching 10k followers, make a goal to come up with an inspiring blog post biweekly. Aim to add one thing you are grateful into your gratitude journal each week. Strive to come up with a new creative concept shoot each month. This will help shift your entire perspective.
8. You'll get a lot of "No's."
You'll get a lot of "No's" when pitching to brands. But every "Yes" will be worth it. And it's okay to get rejected. Along the way you'll learn to stop fearing rejection.
Think of it this way: a 'no' is a lot better than no response at all. This way you can stop wondering if the silence means there's still a possibility. Rejection sucks, but at least you can stop wasting your time on someone who's vision doesn't align with yours and tailor that energy to someone who will take a chance on your vision. You have to let the positives outweigh the negatives.
9. It's okay to make blog sacrifices.
There are going to be times when you find yourself in a pickle between either going to a blog event or going to a personal event. Sometimes you'll have to choose between going to a restaurant opening, or going to your dad's birthday dinner. Sometimes it's possible to make both happen, but for the times when they can't, you have to really think about what matters more to you.
10. Invest in yourself.
Blogging is an investment, not only financially, but also in terms of time. Time is the most valuable currency you will ever have. Once it's gone, it's gone. You spend this currency every time you talk to someone, eat a meal, write a post, sleep, etc.
There will be times when you don't feel like having a very productive day, but you'll have to push through. There will be times when you want to cancel your plans to shoot because you're tired, but if you cancel a number of things will happen. Your photographer will start to think that you're a bit unreliable in terms of scheduling, you won't have content for the week, and your editorial timelines will all be pushed back.
There will be tough times when you're stuck and just can't figure something out. And you'll have to force yourself to sit there and work through the problem.
It'll be hard, but each time that you overcome a challenge you'll immediately reap the reward.
Investing in yourself means taking a chance on yourself, whether it's promising a brand a high quality level of work, or bringing your A-game to a shoot.
Be picky about how you allocate your time.
I hope these tips were helpful! Have a great week! :)