Thoughtful Thursday: 10 Things I've Learned About Blogging

 Outfit Details:

1.) My mom bought this gold leaf headband for me on QVC (it is NOT the most comfortable headband!), but I found a similar and less painful one for you (only $10!!) here!
2.) You can find my shimmery gold t-shirt in a longer &
more flowy version here & it comes in 4 different colors!!
3.) Here is a smaller black crossbody bag. I also found a cute fringe version here!
4.) I purchased my black linen shorts from Old Navy a while ago,
but I found a very similar pair of black linen shorts here!
5.) I found some way cuter black and gold sandals here and they are only $10!!
And I LOVE the Essie nail polish I'm wearing!
The color is "Big Spender". I painted an "Orly" matte layer over this color - so cute. I am very into flat/matte colors on my toes & fingers right now!
Here's a better photo:
(Not my nails - I found this on Pinterest!)

 Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday!

I want to share with you 10 things I've learned so far about life + style blogging.
I'll number each point so the transition from one to the next is smooth!
I may look back on this post and think, "Hey, number __ wasn't so true. This is actually how it is." 
Therefore, these things that I am learning will definitely evolve and may not be as true as I thought at one time. It's a journey!
But I am always open to new thoughts and perspectives, so if you are a blogger, feel free to share your wisdom in the comment section!

1.)  Consistency is KEY. I intentionally numbered this as the first one because to me, it's foundational to your success as a blogger (and in every area of life). 
If you don't post consistently, whether it's on certain days or at certain times or both, you'll lose your readers' interest. The goal is to capture people's attention with your content, which leads us into the second point...

2.) Every part of your content is IMPORTANT!
If I post two similar things in a row, I've noticed I lose followers (on Instagram). If I post something that's irrelevant to style or something that doesn't have much of a point, I lose followers. Of course you're not going to gain followers with every post and of course there will be times where you don't post the "best" thing you could have, but hey, that's life. No matter what you post, you will have people who will unfollow you - sometimes because they wanted you to follow them back. You don't want people like that to follow you anyway. You want to attract readers who genuinely like your content, or people and shops who want to collaborate with you. The main point is to try your best to put much thought into every post. The worst that can happen is you lose a follower or two for some reason, but you can still think, "Hey, I put a lot of thought into that post. They must not be the type of reader I want anyway." 

Note: I refer to Instagram a lot because it's becoming more popular than Facebook. If it's not already, it will soon be the number one social media outlet. Posting on Instagram is essential to marketing your blog. Therefore, quality photos are key - make sure your photo content is sharp.

3.) Make sure your writings & posts screams "YOU" and not everyone else - strive to be original!
I will admit that I look at other life + style bloggers' content to see what they're doing right, but I don't think it's such a bad thing. I look at the best of the best because I want to be the one of the best. I don't try to copy their content, rather, I look for patterns in how often they post and what makes each blogger different from one another. Then, I think to myself, "what are they not doing that I can come up with? How can I give my readers something different?" I'm not saying I discount other bloggers who don't have as many followers (um.. that's me!) - I feel as if I can relate to them because they're trying to grow just like me - but it's important to see how the most successful bloggers got to the top. There's something they're doing right and it's important to pay attention to what they're doing. If you come up with posts and photos that are unique, thoughtful, and eye catching, you're already on the right track to becoming a very successful blogger. There are many original ideas out there that our blog ancestors came up with that people liked. If you consistently copy their content, you're just going to slowly disappear into the sea of fashion bloggers who are all trying to mimick those who came before us. Let me clarify, though, that I think there are things worth mimicking, such as prime times to post and what kind of posts are most viewed - is it selfies? Is it more personal posts? Is it posts of outfits that are neatly folded with pretty flowers & accessories laid next to them? If so, do that and think outside of the box.
(Go here to find the best times & days to post on each social media outlet!)

4.) Reach out to companies early on to collaborate with!
I don't know much about collaborations (yet), but this is an amazing way to get your blog's name out there and to gain genuine followers. Partnering with boutiques and other shops definitely boosts your blogging business and the followers who enjoy seeing the boutique's posts will most likely enjoy your posts because they both involve style. Once you have a solid amount of followers, I would say to begin requesting a fee to collaborate. There's no reason your amazing efforts should remain uncompensated. If you prove your credibility and talent as a blogger, I believe you should eventually be rewarded - you're building a valuable business. There's a growing market for fashion blogging. 

5.) Don't let blogging interrupt your quality time with others.
It's easy to become so immersed in something you're passionate about. Since I'm a perfectionist, it's easy to spend hours upon hours "perfecting" one thing. Just make sure to continue checking yourself and being aware of others around you - you don't want to put your relationships at stake. It's all about balance, and it definitely takes time to find balance. One way to cut back on spending too much time in front of the computer or your phone is to plan a time to sit down, write a few blog posts, and schedule them to posts on certain days and at certain times. "Blogger" allows you to schedule your posts - that's the website I use for this blog. I'm scheduling my posts right now. If you're not a planner, sorry, but get ready to change this because success in blogging requires careful thought and consideration for future posts. This is something I have to suck up and do. But I admit, it's extremely helpful and you'll thank yourself later for planning everything out. 
Relationships will always be more important than social media. Always. If you can't seem to balance this, then give up your phone or computer for a while or for good. Sacrificing solid relationships for blogging (or anything, really) is just not worth it.

6.) If you're invited to a blogger event, GO!
This is opportunity you don't want to miss. Before I attended my first blogging event, I was really nervous about it. I would say I was more nervous than excited because I am involved in fighting against human trafficking and my mind usually goes to the fact that anyone could be trafficked. Of course, in hindsight, this seems ridiculous, but I am glad that I made sure the event was legitimate (and oh, was it legitimate - it was amazing!). You should always be safe about going places you're unfamiliar with and doing things you've never done before, especially when it involves social media. 
Going to events is huge because just like collaborations, it gets your blog's name out there. You can also connect with other bloggers and have a good time. I was able to ask some questions that had been burning in my mind and some fellow bloggers who have more experience than I do gave me great advice. 

7.) This goes along with consistency but I think it still deserves its own category: Brain storm some ideas for days of the week that give you more to write about and proves your consistency. For example, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY! I think they're more effective if they are alliterations! They don't have to be, though! Thoughtful Thursdays give me the opportunity to take a break from style blogging and focus more on the "life" aspect of life + style blogging. I am a deep thinker and decided that I cannot separate style blogging and the fact that I love to write/talk about deep stuff. Therefore, Thoughtful Thursdays! This is also an outlet for me. It's therapeutic to sit down and write all about what you've been mulling over lately. Posting these each week also proves your consistency and gives your readers something to look forward to and expect. 

8.) Collaborations: Be sure to choose a shop that echoes your personal style. Just like being original, you don't want to collaborate with a shop whose taste isn't really "you". You'll find yourself not really putting much heart into your posts about that company. This is a piece of valuable advice I received from my fellow style blogging friends Hailey & Paige from "The Middle Closet"!

9.) If you buy something from Etsy, I think it's a good idea to feature the item and mention the Etsy shop from where you purchased your product. Then, send that shop owner a message on Etsy and tell them you've given them a shout out on your blog. I've done this twice before and the shop owner will be extremely happy and grateful for this. Just like your effort to build your own blogging business, the Etsy shop owner is trying to build his/her own business as well. Why not help them out in the same way you would want to be helped out? 

10.) Include your friends & don't be discouraged by rejection!
Okay, I added two to this one. I want there to be exactly 10 things in this list because it's the perfect number for a list! But I can't leave this out: There will be many times that you will get rejected - whether it has to do with losing followers or having a shop tell you that they don't want to collaborate with you. In order to succeed, you have to fail. Walt Disney was once told he lacked creativity. Pshh! 
It seems that some of the most successful people in this world have been given the harshest rejections. Be encouraged by this. 
(Success isn't the end-all-be-all, by the way. It's a great reward after you've put in hard work, but if you're doing something you're passionate about and giving your best, that's what matters and is success in and of itself. However, you should definitely have goals to achieve and the desire and drive for growth! But I won't be insensitive or ignorant - it stinks to be rejected.)

Lastly, include your friends in your blog posts! It's a great way to put a unique spin on your posts and surprise your readers with new guests on your blog.  Have a fun photo shoot and make a day out of it! This is a great way to balance blogging and not neglecting your relationships. 

Let me know your thoughts on this post, especially if you are a fellow blogger! I'm always open to insight!




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