As I write this post, I can’t help but think I really just want to sleep.
I seem to be saying (or thinking) this a lot lately and it’s no surprise as to why. When I started blogging a year ago, I stepped into the blogosphere with little to no understanding of just how much work blogging – nay, being a blogger – required. My very first style post, Finding the perfect little black dress, is most certainly evidence of this.
Fun fact, The Girl With Bangs began not as the beauty and style blog it is now, but instead as my online diary. I was peer pressured, more or less, in the best way possible by friends and family to begin a blog as I’m a freelance writer (in case you didn’t know). When I realized my passion lay in not venting my not-so-exciting life online for all to see but instead in fashion and beauty – namely writing about said topics – The Girl With Bangs as you know it now came to be.
I’ve learned a thing or two along the way, so allow me to share with you some blogging tips.
It takes time
Without sounding overly cliché, it really does take time. Most of us (myself included) don’t rise to the blogging hall of fame overnight, not even in a year or years, so I’ve come to learn that while hard work is key, so too is patience.
Remember why you started
I’ve spent days – weeks, even – down in the dumps, wondering why I even bother. Often, I’ll scroll through my social feeds or even my past blog posts to see just how far I’ve come and the possibilities that await me so long as I continue to push forward. Reminding myself why I started this blog (out of a passion for writing, beauty and style) is key to when I’m feeling rather ‘bleh’ about things.
You’re only as good as you want to be
And even when I’m in dumps, no one is going to pick up that proverbial pen for me. I’ve got to do it, because if I don’t hold myself accountable, who will?
But know when to give yourself a breather
If I can’t meet that self-imposed deadline, I try not to sweat it (too much, at least) because, eh, every now and again #lifehappens.
I’m far from talented, but I’ve learned along the way. My DSLR skills are very basic, so I instead use a point and shoot, specifically the Sony RX100 II. It gets the job done and nine times out of ten it does the job well – I use this camera for most of my beauty posts and for the style posts I reference below (re: Exploit the talents of friends…).
Calendars do too
Planning counts not just for something, but for a lot. I learned this the hard way. It wasn’t until the 6 month mark in my blogging career (upon a redesign in April) that I came to take to blogging seriously. I began by posting twice a week (eventually settling on Sundays and Thursdays) but after a month’s worth of this, I couldn’t commit so instead cut down to posting every Sunday and every other Thursday, alternating between beauty and style. With the occasional exception, of course (this post included).
Exploit the talents of friends/family but rely only on yourself
I always remember to ask and never demand. And if all else fails, the internet is a wonderful resource. In fact, on more than one occasion I’ve had to rely on my own devices to get the job done. Case in point: How to mix and match patterns, 9 to 5 monochrome, 5 tips to shop thrift and Dress me preppy were all shot by yours truly.
A special thanks to my boyfriend and photographer John Hibionada, my cousin and editor Julia Van Norden and all of my friends and family who have dealt with my whining and everything else throughout this past year.
Social media works, but use it often
This is still something I struggle with, on the whole. By day, I’m a social media coordinator at an ad agency and so I find myself so saturated in social media that come The Girl With Bangs I’m pretty fatigued. Social media is something I can spend an entire post on (and maybe one day just will) but I’ll say, for now, while it isn’t necessary to hop on every social network it is important to stay active on your respective social networks.
And while I’ve learned all of the above in my first year of blogging, what’s surprised me the most are the relationships I’ve thus far formed with fellow bloggers. Who knew that such a friendly, warm and welcoming virtual community of bloggers and vloggers is a very real thing.
In other news, I’ll be in the Philippines with John and his family for two weeks so while I’ll be without a post for a couple of weeks, you can expect great things in the near future!