IT’S MY 1-YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY!
Happy Friday and Happy 1-Year Reverie of Roses anniversary, loves! I hope you’re having such a fabulous day so far, and have super fun plans for the weekend! My hubby and I aren’t sure what we’re doing yet but as long as it involves visiting one or more of my favorite restaurants, I’ll be a happy gal. 😉
It’s been such a fun ride this last year blogging. I started my website a little over a year ago (the anniversary was really in mid-January) and I was nervous as hell to launch it. Like many creatives, I have a hard time with comparing myself to others. But to put the icing on the cake, I also have a hard time with delayed gratification. I had a vision with certain posts, photos, edits, writing styles, etc. that I so badly wanted to execute and do so immediately, but that’s just impossible. You can never expect things to just manifest for you; you have to take action. You have to go out there and learn it, love it, and always evolve from it. Now, don’t mistake me wanting everything to be “finished” already the way I imagined it as me not having a passion for going through the blog-building process and creating posts, editing photos, etc. Not at all. I was ecstatic to juggle it, I just wished I had started earlier. Earlier on editing and learning softwares, how to pose, what kind of lighting is best for portraits; all these things that you have to focus on when you’re creating and maintaining a fashion & lifestyle blog.
Needless to say, I pushed aside all of the doubt and fear that naturally swarmed me and just started. I thought about a quote I remember saving on Pinterest (by unknown) that said: success demands execution, not intentions. I couldn’t agree more. You can’t just keep thinking about the things you want to do and somehow expect the luck to find you, or the proficiency to find you. No, you’ve gotta go out there and push. Really, really hard. Against all the people and things pushing back, all the fear pushing back, pushing you to fail. You just have to say fuck it and push back. So that’s what I did.
I’m nowhere near finished accomplishing everything I’d like to with my blog, but I thought it perfect timing to share some things I’ve learned from doing what I love this last year:
BE AUTHENTIC, BE TRANSPARENT
Okay, I know this one is so cliche, but I can’t say it enough. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this past year is that comparing yourself to others can actually be healthy. There is such thing as healthy competition, and it doesn’t always have to be against the past version of yourself. Before I started my blog, I did lots of research and looked at other blogs out there that resonated with me. I found that each had a purpose and something that made it unique from other blogs. I started thinking about what my blog’s purpose was going to be, what is going to make my blog stand out. In this sense, I compared. I needed to find other bloggers and websites I admired to help get my creative juices flowing; I needed to understand what audiences respond to, what kind of content people like to see, read, hear, etc. For example, I found that more people like to see a clean layout with not too many colors so the blog doesn’t look too busy. Thus, I researched various clean blogging themes and found something that spoke to me and my style – but was still aesthetically appealing to a wide audience.
My primary point here? Find what makes you special and incorporate that into doing what you love. If you don’t know it, or you can’t quite pinpoint it, ask others around you. Ask your family, your friends, your colleagues at work what they think makes you unique or what they noticed first about you. You’d be surprised to hear how much of an impression you can leave upon others. I still struggle with my blogging identity; I have my outfits down because that part’s easy, I know my own style and how I love to dress or what makeup I love to wear. The editing and writing is something I’m still working on, and that’s one of my many blog resolutions for 2018. I want to be more transparent, less afraid of what others may think, and more…well, me. It’s all a learning process but I’m so happy with where I’ve come thus far.
PUSH PAST THE FEAR, GET TO THE LOVE
As mentioned in the intro paragraph, I had to push past a lot of worries to even launch my blog, let alone stay consistent and connect with other bloggers and brands. I still feel this fear everyday, but over time, I’ve trained myself to not listen to my ego so much anymore. At least that part, the part that says I’m not good enough, or I’m not as unique as the other bloggers out there with thousands and thousands of followers. It’s a daily struggle, but it does get easier. And what makes it easier every day is simple: loving what you do. It’s evolving, learning, and seeing all the cool, creative ways to express yourself every day. It’s impacting other people’s lives for the better. It’s telling a story in such a way that you move someone. It’s showing a photo that changes someone’s perspective entirely. It’s building and maintaining relationships with people you inspire and them inspiring you to be better and more productive, too.
It’s about love. Really. Loving yourself, believing in yourself, and loving those around you that support your work. Push past your fears and you’ll find the love.
NO MASTER CAN MASTER WITHOUT CONSISTENCY
Nobody ever became a pro at something without putting their blood, sweat, and tears into their craft. And to pour so much energy into anything, to want to become a master at something, you must stay consistent. There is no mastery without consistency. I don’t think about how far I’ve come with blogging while I’m editing photos or typing up a post. Not at all. In fact, I feel like I’ve been doing the same thing for pretty much a year. But wow… when I looked back (just the other day) at an archived version of my website a year ago, it was a dramatic difference than what it looks like now. The photos weren’t angled nicely, the backgrounds weren’t the best, the lighting wasn’t flattering all the time, my poses were boring, my outfits were even ones I wouldn’t wear today.
When you’re in your creative groove and you’re having a blast doing what you love, you’re evolving without even realizing it. You’re constantly learning as you go along, and when you look back, you really find out how important being consistent is…
ENGAGEMENT IS YOUR BLOG’S LIFE BLOOD
I may not have tons of engagement on my website here (HI GIGI I LOVE YOU) but that doesn’t mean it won’t come. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t other platforms where I am engaging with others I help inspire, like Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. Having a website, just a website, nowadays is a very limited way of expressing yourself to your target audience. There are a select few that don’t like to visit your website, but they’ll gladly read your tweets on Twitter, thoroughly enjoy them and respond to them.
My point is, what’s your blog’s purpose? Whatever it is, you need to actively and consistently engage with your followers. I love cultivating and maintaining relationships with other bloggers and influencers because it helps me stay inspired, motivated, and grateful that there are others going through the same struggles (and victories!) as me… and when you find people who you connect with, be it on a professional level or a personal level – or both, you get even more momentum to work on your blog and continue to inspire these great people. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF
It was so easy for me to jump ahead when it came to my blog, having issues with delayed gratification and all. I wanted to be a pro at Photoshop and Lightroom immediately, and I would get so frustrated when I had to look something up to see how it’s done and not be able to figure it out from the instructions provided to me. I would immediately feel like a failure and tell myself, “I bet you’re the only one that doesn’t understand this very simple set of instructions on how to do something in Lightroom/Photoshop.” That can’t possibly be the case, ok? You are not alone. No matter what you’re dealing with when you start up your blog, or if you’re already a seasoned blogger, chances are 1 in a million that you’re the first person to be going through what you’re going through. We’ve all been there, so don’t sweat it, but don’t give up.
I read Barbara Corcoran’s book, Shark Tales, a few years back. It changed my life. It helped that little voice inside my head that always pushes me to give up to…well, to not give up anymore. To push past the doubts and fears and pick myself back up again. In Shark Tales, Barbara talks about how the biggest difference between her highest performing real estate agents differ from her lowest performing agents is the amount of time they take feeling sorry for themselves. I realized then that I gave up on so many things because I just couldn’t stop feeling sorry for myself and felt like I was alone in whatever it is I was working on. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and I know better now. If you’re struggling with something and you’re frustrated, sad, or angry – be those things! But only for a little while. Be mad, for a day. Be sad, for 5 hours. Be frustrated for 20 minutes. But PUSH past that awful, disgusting and worthless feeling and GET TO IT. The action you take as a result of feeling lousy is what’s going to speak volumes for your success. Stop feeling bad for yourself. Use the feeling and turn it into energy and just do the damn thing already. Nothing will come of moping around all day – believe me. I’ve been there so many times and it’s a lesson I cannot preach enough; get up, do it again, and again and again, until you succeed. When you succeed? Keep going.
I LOVE YOU ALL! I hope this inspired you! KEEP GOING!!!