A Year in Review: My Blogging Journey

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As the one-year mark of my blog launch quickly approaches, I’ve been reflecting a lot on this past year and all that I’ve learned as a writer, creator and dreamer.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison last December, I decided to put my journalism degree to good use and start a blog, Sweet Blog of Mine. What initially started out as an outlet for sharing my interests in fashion, entertainment and writing with others, soon turned into something even bigger -- a personal brand.

STUCK IN A RUT

Post-graduation, I resided in Madison for eight months. I had a solid internship at an advertising agency, and I was working on my blog as much as possible. Despite all of this, I found myself becoming creatively uninspired and emotionally unsatisfied.

I credit Madison with giving me some of the best years of my young life, but once college ended, reality settled. I was entering the big leagues, and unfortunately, Madison wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. I needed a city that could match my personality, my drive to challenge myself and succeed, and of course, my personal style.

In June, I visited my parents and broke the news that I wanted to move to New York City, even if I didn’t have a job lined up. Just being in the city alone was motivation enough for me to get my life started. As any concerned parents would, they immediately shot down the idea. A few tears and a long discussion later, they decided to jump on board and help me achieve my dreams. In August, I moved to New York with my FIT-bound sister, and it’s safe to say that the high has yet to die off.

INSPIRATION STATION

Moving to New York without a job is easily the most daring thing I have ever done. Did it suck at times? Yes. Did that make me any less deterred? Absolutely not. I powered through three months of countless interviews and a litany of rejections and no responses, only to keep pushing until I landed on my feet. After all, people don’t move to New York to sit on their asses, right?

To keep myself sane and productive during this lull period, I began working on my blog again. I knew I had something special going when I started it, and New York couldn’t have been a more perfect place to bring it to life.

Fashion has been the most prominent subject on my blog since its inception. I’ve spent the last year cultivating my personal style and displaying my outfits on my blog for others to see. My hope is that other women can use my style as a source of inspiration to apply to their own styles, and in turn, increase their self-confidence and everyday attitude. I had been following a few fashion bloggers on Instagram prior to my move, but once I got to New York, that few turned into hundreds. Living in one of the fashion capitals of the world, I decided that my blog would be more than just a blog; it would become my trademark.

A WHOLE NEW WORLD

Being a style blogger isn’t all peaches and cream. The blogosphere is saturated with hundreds of thousands of women trying to make their mark on the fashion industry, in one way or another. Since I only recently chose to take my blog to the next level, I had no idea where to begin. I didn’t want to feel discouraged or get lost in the shuffle, but everyone has to start somewhere. I spent hours perusing articles on how to market my blog on Instagram, and I have to say, it’s slowly but surely paying off. So without further ado, I present to you my gift this holiday season – three tips on how to get your blog off the ground:

Join a blogger network

What is a blogger network, you ask? It is essentially an online community created for like-minded individuals with mutual interests to empower each other and help each other grow as bloggers and social media extraordinaires. Furthermore, it provides resources and guides on how to succeed in the blogosphere, from monetizing content to pitching to brands.

I am currently a member of two blogger collectives, Style Collective and NYC Style Collective. Through both, I have been able to attend fun pop-up events, meet other fabulous ladies and share in our experiences together. Style Collective charges monthly or annually (your choice), but the dues are minimal and truthfully, you reap what you sow. If you put in the time and effort to learn and connect with others, the rewards will speak for themselves.

Don’t wait for brands to come to you

As fashion bloggers, we all want to collaborate with brands. The question is, do we wait for them to come to us, or the other way around?

You could do the former, but if you’re treating your blog like a business, persistence is key. If there is a brand you feel passionate about and want to work with, reach out! Worst case scenario, you don’t hear back. But if you make the first move, it shows that you are willing to go the extra mile to make your dreams a reality.

Remember to have fun

You obviously started your blog for a reason. It brings you joy to create and showcase your work for all to see. It is absolutely okay to take your blog seriously, but at the end of the day, just have fun with it!

 

Want more Sami? Find her online at sweetblogofmine.com and follow her on Instagram at @sweetblogofmine