how i started blogging
hi! happy september, how are you?
i am dedicating this entire month to sharing what i have learned about creating and growing a blog.
aside from hair stuff, this topic is what i am asked about the most (especially from friends), so i decided to compile everything into a few dedicated posts.
today is all about how/ why i started blogging, and then tomorrow i’m talking about the best platform for bloggers, and on thursday i will be sharing 5 tips i have for anyone who wants to start a blog :) x
how (and why) i started my blog
ahh what a ride haha. i started blogging february of 2018, so about a year and a half ago. believe it or not, i was REALLY hesitant to start a blog even though eventually i had a little feeling in the back of my mind that it would probably happen at one point or another (call it stubborn or wasted anxious energy).
basically - i have always had a wierd fear (some may call it apprehension instead) of social media for as long as i can remember. i’ve always known that what you post on the internet is essentially a forever thing and that “delete” isn’t a guarantee; there’s also so many ways things can be misconstrued or manipulated and i have never wanted to inadvertently end up on the wrong side of that see-saw. i didn’t create an instagram account until after i graduated high school, and even then i posted quite sporadically for the most part. once i graduated college, social media was much more prominent and had become part of regular conversation, so i got to the point where i wanted to post more (because everyone was doing it, and nagging me to do it, too), but i didn’t want to feel like i was sharing too much. that makes no sense 🙃 but it did in my mind at the time.
enter outfit photos.
these were a really simple way to post a photo that was largely impersonal but still something (i’m not a foodie or crazy aunt so sharing photos of food or blurry flowers wasn’t really up my alley). i was also posting “b roll” photos of sunsets or flat-lays and pretty things i liked in between, but those weren’t as well-received as outfit photos so eventually i just stuck to the outfit posts
my overall inability to make quick decisions led to me posting photos with the same filter over and over again (more on that here) which was more widely known as a “curated” feed, and at some point i had a few girls messaging me asking where i got that top or how i edited my photos.. little things like that.
in the back of my mind, i knew that social media isn’t a for-sure thing (instagram could disappear tomorrow or next Tuesday) and towards the end of 2017, i started to get really curious about web design even though i didn’t know how to code. i wanted to try my hand at creating a website but had NO idea where i was going to take it, what the subject would be, or if i could even do it - i went back and forth with these two thoughts for a few months without connecting the dots (genius over here 🙋🏻♀️), and then in january of 2018, i decided to just jump in and start - mostly to see if i could actually pull it off. i decided to use similar content to what i had been posting on instagram to fill the spaces, so to speak, as it had become second nature by that point. i felt like trying to build the site was going to take most of my energy, so utilizing the stuff i had already been posting on instagram made it so i wasn’t completely starting from scratch and taking on two big projects at once.
i wasn’t sure if the site would ever see the light of day, but if it did, i didn’t want it to be all about me or, some blatant affiliate billboard, so i added in a few photos i had taken with my camera of other people, too.
i did a LOT of research, and ended up deciding to go with squarespace to host and run my blog, so i ended up not really needing to learn how to code. i designed my website over two weeks (the re-design, which is the version that you see now, took about a day), and i complied a general brainstorm of blog topics to share. i launched my website on February 17th with 2 blog posts (the first was posted on February 13th) - some people will say it’s better to initially have at least 5 blog posts or a month’s worth of content but i didn’t.
i began sharing new blog posts consistently and started to gain a little traction, but to put it bluntly.. basically no one cared about the photos i was posting of people/ places/ things that i had taken, which makes sense because (1) i’m not a professional and (2) i have no desire to be one, so i eventually pivoted: i removed that portion of my website and did a re-design a few months later to make everything centered around my blog content.
i think it’s important to find the balance between what you want to talk about or share and what your readers want.
(and you won’t be a perfect 50-50 all of the time, just a heads up 😉)
i’ve built my blog over the last year and a half-ish really naturally (posting consistently) and partially accidentally - i posted a little review that i shot in 5 minutes with my mom for a hair product and hear me what i say i don’t i will ever post something that will top it. ever. it’s my most-read post and what people from all around the world are constantly clicking on (travel posts come second, then the truth talks).
i never intended to be a hair blogger, don’t have a “like it to know it,” and never want to be called an influencer..
you can say a lot of this has been one big happy accident but i think if you just follow your curiosities, do what feels right, and stay open to trying new things, good things will come.
i was the girl who was terrified of social media and not gonna lie, i still get nervous about it and will actually walk out of a room when people start talking about the depths of technology and information retention/ hackers because it just freaks. me. out.
i am so happy you are here and really feel so grateful to have you reading my blog and supporting me - i feel like we are all friends around here :) and as always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out!
PS I will update this at the end of the month with all of the links to blog-themed posts :) but a hint for now is that there are 5 or 6 more posts coming that cover everything from tips and tricks for starting your blog, shooting and editing photos, how to organize a content calendar.. i tried to cover a good mix and answer all the questions i had when i first started :) x
thank you for reading as always and see you tomorrow for more blogging tips :) x