1. You have to find a balance with social media. It’s no longer just for fun–I can’t just post a crappy photo of me sitting around watching cartoons anymore. You have to post eye-appealing content, be authentic, post consistently, engage with your followers and new people, and always showcase your “best self” even when your life may be not-so-great at the moment (at least I feel this way for Instagram). Social media is still enjoyable for me for the most part, but I definitely give myself breaks otherwise I’ll go crazy. Instagram leaves me feeling either inspired or insecure and a failure–it is mentally exhausting sometimes. I’ve found it’s easier for me to be myself on Twitter while my Instagram is strictly the highlight reel of my life.
2. You feel the need to shop more. Back in my early blogging days, I shopped A LOT. I was constantly trying to produce new content, and there are only so many ways you can wear your usual go-to pieces. I also didn’t want my outfits to come off as stale or the same ol’ same ol’, so I tried a bunch of new trends to keep my followers (and myself, tbh) interested (most of those “trendy pieces” ended up being donated). I’ve managed to dial it back on the shopping, but even still, style bloggers tempt me to shop for things I don’t think will last. Like backless loafers, I wasn’t interested when I first saw them, but now after seeing them all over IG… I weirdly want them now.
3. You have to teach yourself new skills. Writing, SEO, web design, marketing, photography, how to monetize your blog, networking, etc. My blog began as a fun hobby (as I think most blogs did between 2008-2012), and it still is otherwise I wouldn’t do it, but after about a year it started to get noticed by businesses looking for promotion, and I slowly began to turn this blog into a brand. Creating a blog is easy, but maintaining it takes a lot of work and upkeep. Fortunately, you learn a lot of necessary skills that can help you in real life as well–all of these skills combined allowed me to land multiple jobs after college. #winning
4. You plan your whole schedule from when you’ll be taking photos. If I have a photoshoot planned, my whole day is centered around it. I have to wash my hair 2 days before to make sure it’s not too wet/too oily with enough time to style it (ugh), I wake up earlier the day of to prepare my outfits/accessories + put on makeup for work (a very rare occurrence), I skip going to barre (the class times never line up + I hate wearing makeup while exercising), I even pass on happy hours (my favorite past time)… My co-workers tease me because I’ve never gone out for drinks with them after work, but it’s only because I ALWAYS have a photoshoot scheduled at the same time! I’m sure all of this sounds like not a big deal–to look pretty and take photos–but honestly you won’t get it unless you’re a style blogger.
5. You find out who your most supportive friends are. The ones who take the time to read your blog, the ones who fix your hair for you when you’re on a shoot, the ones who share your posts or comment on your sponsored content, the ones who ask, “Do you want to take a picture of this before I eat it?” and the ones who are willing to snap some photos of you for an outfit post even though they are not a photographer: I am so so so grateful for you people. I hate bothering my friends to take photos of me, but it’s a simple favor that I appreciate A LOT. To the friends who don’t complain or groan when I ask you for help, THANK YOU & I love you (that goes double for my mom–she’s my #1 fan and my original “photographer” lol).
6. Things you didn’t care about before now matter. Like feeling the need for a curated Instagram feed or getting the new iPhone just so you can have a nicer camera for taking food photos or feeling guilty for not posting as frequently as other bloggers. You will also suddenly notice every little flaw in your photos such as a hair out of place or a pant leg coming up slightly higher than the other or some chipped nail polish on your toes. “Omg I forgot to take off my hair tie!!” – literally me in the middle of every photoshoot.
7. You start looking at your city differently. You begin to see areas around town as possible backdrops for your photos or places with certain aesthetics that would make appealing content. I literally have a note in my phone labeled pretty places in ATX to take pics with a list of murals I’ve noticed, spots with the best city views, buildings with accessible rooftops other bloggers have tagged, and restaurants with either an awesome outdoor patio or plenty of natural light (yes, I realize how basic I sound right now). More than once while exploring around Austin I have thought, “I need to come back and take pics here”–which happens to be the case for the photos in this post as well.
8. You will constantly question, “Does anyone even care??” The style blogging world is VERY saturated, and it can be tough creating inspiring content when it feels like everything you could ever think of wearing or talking about has been done already. Because of thoughts like this, I have almost given up on this blog twice in the past. I didn’t end up quitting because I generally love this space I’ve created for myself, and it has helped me in real life more ways than one. This is why, above all, you have to blog for yourself. If you are happy with the content you’ve made, that’s all that matters.
9. You have to censor yourself. I try to sound as much like myself on my blog and as possible, but even I can’t fully portray my complete, unrestricted weirdo-self as much as I would like to (I save most of it for Twitter). All you have to go off of style bloggers are the words we publish, so it can be difficult sometimes to establish a real connection when our true personalities are hidden behind a screen. Maybe that’s why I’m such a bad writer? I type like I’m having a conversation with my gal pals, so it comes off as babble and all over the place mixed in with some bad jokes and puns (me irl). Many style bloggers keep their words to a minimum and don’t talk about their real lives & only post strictly about the clothes they’re wearing–and hey, that works too! Some things I keep to myself, and some things I don’t. It’s a balance.
10. You will go places and do things just for the sake of new content. Like going to a pumpkin patch for fall-like photos even though its 85 degrees outside. Like buying a donut (but only taking one bite) because it matches your donut-print sweatshirt (I forgot I did this, haha). Like holding a couple number candles for a birthday post. Like standing in a tree full of bees for a pretty photo. Like driving to a lemonade stand shaped like a lemon because it matches your dress. Like blowing confetti all over a public place for a blogiversary post. Like carrying around a huge bouquet of flowers in your purse for no reason. This is my life now; I accept it.
F21 grey halter crop top
Francesca’s gingham skirt (similar)
Kapten & Son sunglasses (c/o)
Urban Stems bouquet (c/o)