I'm loving the fact that I've spent this month celebrating five years of blogging. From launching a YouTube channel to throwing a party with my own Snapchat filter, I'm so grateful to be able to celebrate the success of this website that has grown so much in just a few years. (Want proof? Click here to read my first-ever post!) All of my gratitude goes out to you, the readers. If you've ever liked or comment on a photo, shared a post, or mentioned my blog in person to me you've already done more than I ever could have asked for.
In the spirit of celebration and continuing to give back, I wanted to share what I think some of the most important takeaways from the past five years have been for me so that maybe they can help you as well whether you're a seasoned blogger or a newbie.
1. Planning is everything
I always feel better when I lay out an editorial calendar for the month. I always try to do two posts in every category each month (fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, career) so when I come up with the ideas in advance it helps a ton in the long run. I work on my blog at night when I get home from work and on weekends, so making sure that I have a plan in place considering how busy my schedule can get is key. Even planning outfits and locations for shoots is important because I know that an outfit I'll wear on the Upper East Side is super different than one I'd wear if I was shooting in Brooklyn.
2. Try everything at least once
I've had some ideas that I thought were going to be great totally flop and some posts that I was worried wouldn't do well be some of my top-viewed stories, so it just goes to show you should try everything at least once! Blogging is a creative space for testing out ideas. If you don't like doing it or your audience doesn't find it interesting, you can move on from it and find a way to do something bigger and better.
3. If you don't love something, don't do it
I can't tell you how many photos will never see the light of day because I'd come back from a shoot, look through them and think, "No, this is just not right." I may be a bit of a perfectionist (I blame the Virgo in me) but at the end of the day if I'm not really in love with something, I'll hold off on sharing it. I'm not afraid to re-shoot things to delay my post by a day to make sure that it's really the best it can be for you all.
4. Consistency is key
This is tied into scheduling, but I've typically found that my followers like consistency. For some people this may mean posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while for others it may mean doing 10 posts a month. I usually aim for the latter because with my full-time job it can sometimes be difficult to find exact dates to stick to. Consistency even applies to social media. If you categorize yourself as a fashion blogger and aren't sharing photos of your outfits it will feel off that things don't line up.
5. You get out of it what you put into it
In the last six months I've upped my content, redesigned my website, and launched YouTube and people are really responding to it, which makes me so happy! I find the more time I spend on blogging the more I learn. The last few months haven't been easy but they've been so awesome.
(Bonus!) Take advantage of the blogging community
I've made tons of friends from blogging and it is a fabulous community. I love that I can feel so connected to people who live in Chicago or Boise even if I've never met them simply because they are willing to share their lives on the internet. I am constantly reading other blogs, commenting on them, and following the people who run them on Instagram because I am constantly learning from watching others and it is so cool to have a network of people like that.