HAPPY ONE YEAR BLOGAVERSARY: CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING!
I am so excited to share with you the news that this month marks ONE YEAR since the birth of vanessaindallas.com . Yes the birth because it took a while to plan, and therefore I went through hard labor so this vision of mine can be born! They say "only a small percentage of blogs survive within their first year" and I'm so happy that I fall into this statistic!
Sometime this month, I was drafting my first blog post ever! Did I know exactly what I was doing? NO! I had no idea if blogging would be for me or not. I have always been the kind of person that likes to try something new even if I fail. I do like a challenge at times because it's the only way I have been able to learn about myself. I once sold Jewlery from Stella and Dot, tried to get into the business of a skin care line NuSkin, have thought about opening a luxury vintage boutique, and even being a life coach because many people come to me for advice! I have always had that yearning to develop something that I can call mine. When I discovered bloggers, I admired their unique styles, photos, and how their personalities would shine through their posts. I felt like I knew them despite the fact that they were miles away!
For as long as I can remember, I have loved fashion. I never knew what to create or do with it. Modeling was one outlet to get in touch with my creative side because walking down that runway and/or posing in front of the camera is not easy people! There is a certain skill to learn and building on it is a craft of it's own. That was my first introduction to the world of fashion. I modeled for a few years and have completed many local fashion shows and photoshoots mostly of which have taken place in my hometown of Mcallen, Texas. It wasn't until I decided to move to Dallas to pursue further a professional career, and at the same time to venture into modeling more legitimately. What I love and still love about this city (Dallas) are the opportunities there are for all aspects within fashion. While in McAllen, modeling felt like the ultimate rank in the fashion hierarchy.....here people embrace vloggers, fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, freelance hair stylist, freelance make up artists, photographers, fashion show production staff, local entertainers and artists, wardrobe stylists, fashion mixers and the list goes on and on. Really, anyone wanting to get involved with anything that is related to fashion is welcomed here and I couldn't be more grateful for that.
So why did I turn to blogging? I felt like there was more to "me" than just modeling and striking a pose. I felt the need to connect with other people who have the same passion that I have. Blogging has given me a voice through pictures and a voice through text. It's helped me express my views on how I perceive fashion and life. It gives me a sense of uniqueness because no one has the same style that I have, and I don't have the same style that anyone else has...and because of that I feel purposeful. Blogging helps me deliver a message to the world; whether in my personal life or the clothes that I wear.
There have been a lot of things that I have learned within this year! Of course i'll share what those are ;-)
Top 7 Lessons I've Learned
Be Consistent- If you want people to take you seriously, its important to be consistent on posting. Sometimes, life gets in the way and it's impossible to post (I get that), but consistency is key to giving you credibility as a blogger. I usually post twice a week, but the number of times you post is going to depend on what works for you!
Be Patient- Blogging is not easy as you think! Blogging successfully takes time! You will not gain thousands of followers overnight. And please DO NOT purchase your followers that is cheating! Your blog will grow if you keep at it. Period.
Be Authentic- Even today, I am still trying to find my niche and figure out how to describe my "style". However I do post about things that are totally ME which, in my opinion, is worth something to the readers and my brand. Just keep being you on your blog posts! Don't be fake.
Collaborate- reach out to other bloggers that want to collaborate with you on a project and then blog about it! Tag each other to support each other! If a brand reaches out to you and says they want you to blog about their product, only if the product is a good representation of you and your brand, then go for it! It's ok to say "No!". This is definitely trial and error (I sooo learned that).
Find a Mentor- I adopted my mentor! I needed and wanted to have that person who has been in the business longer than I have so I can get feedback on my ideas and visions. It's important to check in every once in a while to see if you are on the right track. Do Not copy your mentor, but take the advice they give you and make IT (whatever IT is) your own.
Photos are everything! - While all the above are important, this is a BIG ONE! You want good, quality photos that are clear and concise. You essentially are marketing your product...wouldn't you want to look flawless? Then find a good photographer! A little investment is likely to happen, but if you want to grow as a blogger it's worth it. I started off with a photographer who took my photos for free ( I got lucky there) for the first 6 months, but the turn around time to get my photos back was taking too long. While normally I wouldn't have minded, I was getting anxiety to miss weeks of posting! Find a photographer who understands you, what you are trying to accomplish and offers the turnaround time to be within range. I am happy that I have developed a fantastic partnership with Haleigh owner of www.120photography.com . She just gets me :-)
Keep on Learning! - Do not stop learning how to grow your blog! Attend workshops, network with people in the industry, and over the years make changes to your site! The web is filled with lots of good information. Use it!
As I enter my 2nd year of blogging (OMG how exciting!)... here is what my future holds.
Design and Revamp my website- I am currently connecting with a Web Designer to assist me in redo-ing my website! I hope to accomplish this within this year (and hopefully sooner than later).
Create a Logo- I am excited to create my very own logo so readers and audiences can recognize my brand.
Attend blogging workshops as well as fashion and networking events- It's all about building relationships, spreading the word about your work, and learning!
Schedule "lifestyle" posts- I would like to continue to post twice a week, but hopefully post also within my "Lifestyle" tab more than I have this past year. My goal is to cover an event at least once a month and post about my experience. We'll see how it goes!
Blogging is the first "job" that I haven't had the urge to quit (it's funny but true). I am so happy for my supporters; my family and especially my fiance who would wake up early with me on the weekends in the beginning stages and would take my photos for the first couple of blogs posts! <3 Love you forever for that and more!
Despite this being quite lengthy, I hope you found this post interesting and possibly motivational to start your own blog!
I might have learned a lot, but I am not an expert! Feel free to ask questions anyway on the comments below.
Wishing you all a great weekend and Happy Blogaversary!