Photo by: Lauren Joseph
My 5th year “blogiversary” was yesterday. Naturally I completely forgot about it, until someone in a blogger network tagged me about it. I’m kind of shocked that five years have gone by since I started this blog honestly; time really does fly when you’re having fun! Or in denial about being a real adult.
A lot of people ask me why I started the blog in the first place – I was in a weird transitional phase of my life when I decided to launch it. I transferred from Drexel to Virginia Commonwealth University (aka VCU), but since Drexel was on a quarter system and VCU was on a semester schedule, I had an awkwardly long period where I was living at home just waiting to go back to school (from March to August!) I had plenty of time to look at blogs, and I randomly just decided to start one before I moved to Richmond and attended school at VCU.
I had zero strategy going into blogging, but I knew I loved it and wanted to keep at it. I don’t think you can run a successful blog without loving blogging in general. A couple of years went by before I decided to work with brands and turn it into a business.
To celebrate 5 years of blogging, I’m sharing 5 of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last 5 years:
Stay true to yourself
You can read as many blogger tip posts in the world, but honestly, being unique is the only way you’re going to stand out in the oversaturated blogging world. When I started blogging, I aimed for a serious, editorial look for my outfit posts. In reality, I’m a total goofball who’s cracking real bad jokes to my friends/family and somehow they still love me. You have to let your personality shine a little bit. Don’t mimic another blogger, just do you boo!
Don’t allow yourself to plateau
You know the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Yeah, that doesn’t apply to blogging. I’m not saying you have to constantly introduce new categories/crazy new series on the blog, but you should take the time push yourself creatively. Collaborate with another blogger, a new photographer, a new business – don’t allow your content to become stagnant! Are you in a blogging rut? I have some ideas to help you get out of it!
Communication is key
I had a very interesting time when I first started to collaborate with brands. Miscommunication is the #1 reason why a partnership will fail, and it’s your job as a blogger to avoid that at all costs. If you’re going to participate in any sort of brand collaboration, both you and the brand need to chat about every single little detail about the collaboration. I’m a big fan of contracts as well, just to simplify everything!
It’s OK to say no
I’ve chatted about this so many times but guys — learn how to say NO! If you’re participating in a collaboration that isn’t your niche and/or beneficial to you, say no. If you’re invited to an event that’s an hour away and you just can’t bring yourself to make the drive, say no. If you know you don’t have enough time to complete a project, say no. There also comes a time where your blog starts to grow, and partnerships that were ideal when you first started aren’t as appealing now that you’re experience. As Destiny’s Child once said, “No, no, no, no, no.”
If blogging ever gets to a point where it’s stressing you out, or if you’re not happy, it’s okay to take a step back and reevaluate things. Maybe you’re a little burned out and need a short break, or your content feels monotonous. Just take a small break from it.
Most importantly: thank YOU all for reading along, whether it’s been for the full five years or the last five minutes. Without you, I couldn’t do what I love. I majorly appreciate all of your support throughout the years!
P.S., a treat for you: if you’ve never seen my first outfit post, well, you’re welcome. #StartedFromTheBottom