Thursday, June 25, 2015

3 years!

Happy 3rd birthday to my blog! I remember June 2012 well, when the idea to start hatched. I jumped right in, unsure of what I was doing—randomly choosing Blogger over Wordpress (#regret) and scrounging up a then two-year-old photo from my senior sorority formal for the homepage headshot. But the details didn't matter; I was completely confident in my purpose and my goal.

Three years later, I've gone through a rebrand, design overhaul, unsuccessful platform transfer, domain registration pain, hundreds of dollars, periods without posting—plus two cities and three jobs—but the same feeling I had when writing my first post remains: excitement as I mentally construct the copy and design (even when "design" was just a JPEG), energy while the words flow out through my fingers and onto the keyboard, and then excitement again as I pop out of bed and post to the site. Especially on dull weeks when work is boring and there's not much going on with friends, having fun stuff happening on the blog starts my day on a high note. And while I certainly have mixed emotions sometimes about why I'm blogging, the fact that it makes me happy is really the only one that matters.

Scroll for a few more nuggets of wisdom (note the sarcasm!) I've collected since 6.25.12! And whether you've been reading since that summer or are stopping by for the first time, thank you, thank you, thank you!

one | two | three | four

1. There's always more to learn — I read a blog post by Blair recently and almost had an anxiety attack over all the things I could/should be doing to get casse-croute up to speed. I wish I knew how to code. There are design elements I want to update. Advertising. Pitching to brands. Rome wasn't built in a day, but my to-do list will never be more than that if I don't start chipping away. A year ago, I didn't know anything about Photoshop. But I cleared my schedule one October weekend for an online tutorial, and my graphics have drastically improved since. The same can be true for coding or sponsored content if I just walk the walk.

2. Not everyone will be a fan — I have friends that have never read my blog, "liked" a post or shown any outward support. It's hard not to get hung up on that sometimes. I think, "I'm putting myself out there with this creative endeavor that's a pretty big part of my life, and they can't even acknowledge it?" That's selfish thinking, though. Everyone has their own interests. I'm obviously into blogging—I follow other bloggers on social media and start each day skimming my favorite sites. But others may not care about Poor Little It Girl's "Weekly Weakness," what Gal Meets Glam wore to her latest international getaway, or the killer culotte jumpsuit I included in my Fourth of July style guide. In the end, I remind myself I'm not blogging for praise or fanfare. I do it because I enjoy it.

3. Stay original — It's tempting to want to imitate what other bloggers are doing well, especially if they have more followers (and most do!). But I'm very particular about my writing (ask a boss or coworker) and I'm not going to change or compromise it just to see the stats go up. I started the blog to get a job as a copywriter, and I'm still using it as a career-building vehicle, so I'm going to stay true to my voice. And my unique voice is what adds value, I think. In the end, I want to be proud of the content I'm producing—and, of course, have people follow along with me. But I won't determine my success solely on the Google Analytics dashboard. This is me, take it or leave it!