Blogging: The pretty, the ugly, and the truth.
I've spent quite some time with this post. Mostly because I want to say the right things - the real things. As I process in a short time what i've learned over the span of 5 years of blogging, I remember there is too much to share in one post (i'll continue to share as I learn, I promise). I'll start with the inspiration that ignited this post. It's minuscule. It's irrelevant to you but a little big thing to me. Lately, i've found myself super emotional and humbled by the small things. Such as a follower sharing with me she saw a girl on the subway reading my blog, a follower telling me she's been following me since my handles were MandaKorina (way way back), or my girlfriend letting me know her friend's clients in Cleveland are obsessed with my instagram page. These small things have become huge things - humbling yet kind of crazy.
And then it's the most recent: having one of my favorite images become an illustration (scroll back up!). I had always wanted one since the beginning of the IG days. When fashion sketches and illustrations of my favorite bloggers were all over my feed. I always wanted one and the amazing Natasha at @njosephillustrations blessed me with her talent. It was a small thing but it inspired this post.
I guess, I'll just get right to it. Blogging is hard. Blogging is so damn hard. It takes time, effort, money, and true love for whatever you are blogging about. Whether you are a beauty blogger, lifestyle blogger, mommy blogger, fitness blogger and so on and so forth - it takes hardwork and dedication. A person who blogs is not just a blogger. We wear multiple hats. Model. Stylist. Photographer. Web designer. Editor. Writer. Videographer. Director. The list goes on. Might I add, most of this is self-taught which goes back again to.. time. You need the time.
Most bloggers who start out, work a full-time job. THAT'S RIGHT. I work a full-time job at Marchesa (google it). While I love what I do, like most fashion jobs, my job drains me mentally. I'm learning through trial and error what works for me in order to maintain a full-time job, run FTHU, have a social life, and a little spare time to do absolutely nothing. So I took a page out of Courtney from Mimosas & Manhattan book - where we met at a blogger dinner and I asked her how she does it. I didn't understand how she had a full-time job in fashion yet blogged full-time as well. She said it short and simple. "Early mornings and not a lot of sleep." She told me she did most of her shoots at 7:30AM before work in order to have a social life on the weekends. I was all "GIRL THAT IS SO SMART." So I tried Courtney's method. *if you aren't following them, please do, Courtney and Kelly are my cousins in my head*
It's working! I sacrifice my sleep to get a shoot in before my 9 to 5. It means getting up at 6AM to do a full-glam. It's as exhausting as it sounds but it allows me to spend my weekends how I choose - whether it's to sleep in or go out with my friends. You gotta do what you gotta do, right?
I work a full-time like anyone else because how could I forget the most important part - money. A blog is an investment. You'll invest in a web designer, a photographer, an agent, props, clothes, and the list goes on, to build your brand. In my case, it is my job to keep up with the latest fashion trends. It's my job to constantly be inspired and then inspire an audience while sharing other brands/designers.
Then there's the really shitty part. The days I feel so ugly I don't want to step out of my house. The days I hate the way my outfit photographs and I spent so much time putting a look together. The days I lack motivation and inspiration and question why am I even doing this? The days I am drained by social media, I want to shut off my phone and go on an internet hiatus. The days where I see no growth/engagement and I feel frustrated. Or the days where I am so tired, the last thing I want to do is do my makeup and hair. But blogging is full-time. There's no real "clock in" or "clock out" if you are working towards a goal. It's non-stop, everyday, on multiple platforms.
I enjoy it so much. Truthfully, it's become much more enjoyable as I form friendships with my followers. 80% of the time I spend on my phone has been answering DM's and emails. I love hearing your feedback and all your suggestions. It truly has inspired me to be more consistent. I'm so excited to share a new look because I can't wait to hear what you guys think! Sounds super corny but I have kind of put my followers first. While shopping i'm thinking, "my followers would loveeeee this" or "I have to share this with my instafam."
Blogging isn't all that glamorous but it's rewarding and that's more than enough for me. *and here comes the waterworks* I've been able to work with brands I would have never imagined I would. I've inspired other girls to start blogs of their own. It's almost surreal to think I made so many friends and connections just by sharing what I love and hoping someone loves it too.
Thank you so much Natasha @njosephillustrations!
Read this super old post here