Sunday, February 25, 2018

Q&A: My First Year Blogging

I can't comprehend the love, gratitude and generosity I have felt throughout the last 12 months. I am amazed at how many life changing opportunities that this blog has brought me, and I owe every last bit of it to YOU GUYS!

Growing up, I developed a passion for fashion (that's a given), as well as a passion for writing. I was published in the local newspaper at age 5 and magazine at age 9. I participated in UIL writing competitions (voluntarily, *eye roll*) and 'blogged' for fun in middle school. Total nerd. I read Vogue cover to cover and even created my own magazine with catalog cutouts. Currently, my major is public relations and it is definitely writing intensive. I get excited when I am given an essay assignment and even carry a journal of sayings and quotes that speak to me. I've researched, organized, ghost written, rewritten and edited. Needless to say, I am a firm believer in the art of writing and the utter expression that unfolds when putting pen to paper. 

A year ago, I didn't know that a laundry list of internships, editorials, press experience and insight to the ins and outs of the fashion industry wasn't necessary to pursue a position in the traditional fashion industry. All you really need is a camera, a computer, an eye for style and a worthy opinion. Bloggers, or social influencers, are gaining more and more power. There's not a chance that you scroll through your Instagram feed without coming across an influencer or paid promotion of some sort. Girls around the world are looking to their favorite bloggers to see how they style trends, chic locations and every day advice. 

I began my site when I was 19 years old. I was the girl that my friends texted when they needed a dress for a special event, or an eyeliner that held all day (the answer is Kat Von D trooper tattoo liner). I knew I had a unique eye for style and some knowledge to offer, so I created I also love the idea of having a virtual scrapbook to document anything and everything that I want. It has been the best journey I've ever embarked on. The goals I have for my business are endless, but the investment I've made in the last 12 months has been indescribable. 

About four months after I began blogging on a consistent basis, I began receiving DMs and emails from girls in other cities, states and even countries who had come across my profile. That connection was so rewarding and fed my desire to create content and share my ideas. This business can seem so superficial at times, but connections from even one other person remind me that I started this for a reason. 

Has it all been simple and amusing? No. Sometimes it is the exact opposite. Brands are not all joys to work with and negative comments are definitely difficult to take in. However, it's all worth it when that one person reaches out to send a picture of your outfit they recreated, or asks for advice on their own blogging journey. 

With that being said, I wanted to answer my frequently asked questions when it comes to the blogging industry. If it helps just one of you, my purpose is fulfilled. 

1. "How did you start your blog?"
This is my most frequently asked question. My family had actually been encouraging me to start posting photos in my favorite swimsuits, as swimwear has always been my favorite. I frequently  considered the idea, but couldn't see myself being solely devoted to swimwear. Over Christmas of 2016, my boyfriend, sister and mom helped me photograph looks in our favorite spots around Dallas. After we created 10-15 looks, I developed my own website (coding and all) and began posting to Instagram. 

2. "How do you collaborate with brands?"
About 2 months in, brands began reaching out to me asking if I would promote their clothes, products, jewelry, etc. I received emails, DMs and comments regarding collaborations and quickly accepted, regardless of the branding, reputation or influence. Now, I have a specific media kit and particular niche of brands that I try to work with. 

3. "How do you have time to take photos?"
With school being a main priority, it has been difficult. I typically try to schedule 3-4 shoots a week, depending on collaborations and ideas I have going on. If I have to wake up at 7am to finish a shoot by 9 and make it to class at 9:30, then I do. Time commitment is huge when it comes to running a small business that relies solely on yourself. As far as editing and creating content goes, I dedicate 20-30 hours a week - give or take. 

4. "Do you take modeling classes?" 
Although I wish I could, I do not! It has taken me about 11 months to figure out what styles look best on me and which positions I prefer. A wide leg jumpsuit would have to be posed totally different on a 5'2" girl than a 5'7" girl. Taking things like that into account has helped me achieve the particular looks I like to go for. 

5. "What is the best part of blogging? I bet it's amazing getting all of the free clothes."
Aside from the business aspect of it, blogging is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It has given me the opportunity to connect with likeminded women, some of which are now my best friends. I look up to these women for their creativity and confidence, but also their kind hearts and generosity. It has also allowed me to freely express my utter passion for so many pieces of life. When it comes to putting my personal life out for the world to see, I often get nervous and apprehensive. Of course there are some things that simply remain personal, however I sincerely adore sharing my thoughts and opinions with all of you. Whether it is hair, makeup, denim, boys, dogs, etc. I love it all. 

My goal for this upcoming 12 months is to be more personal with my readers. I admire the women who keep their business and personal lives separate, however the connections I have made by being vulnerable are irreplaceable and there is nothing more fulfilling than that. 

If you made it through this post, leave a comment and tell me something that you hope to see more of this next year. If you're a blogger, leave your site link so I can take a look! 

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