It’s safe to say MANY things have changed since I started this website in 2012.
I think over seven years of blogging, I’ve learned A LOT. When I look back at the beginning stages of my blog, it was so cookie cutter. I did a lot of things I wouldn’t really think about doing now. I wanted to write this post in hopes of helping any new bloggers/influencers (ugh, worst word ever). Or if you’re a seasoned blogger like myself (I think 7 years is considered seasoned, right?), maybe it’ll help you reflect on how you got to this point in your journey!
I said yes to everything
And to be honest, I think saying yes to everything was really important in the beginning. It’s how I met a lot of great people. It’s how I made so many connections. It’s how I started making an income through this platform. And it’s also how I learned where I should be focusing my time. As time went on, I noticed I didn’t need to say yes to absolutely everything. Maybe that collaboration wasn’t on brand. Maybe spending 2 hours at an event that I didn’t even get face time with a rep wasn’t worth it. Saying yes to everything in the beginning allowed me to start saying NO. And that was one of the most valuable lessons learned in these years.
I spent hours posting about every sale
When affiliate links first came around, I jumped on every opportunity to post links. I would spend HOURS researching the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I literally used to wake up at 6AM to curate my posts. I would make sure I would post a “sale alert” every time I noticed something I liked/owned/wanted was on sale. I’d spend hours making collages and linking back to products. And you know what? IT WAS NOT WORTH IT. I’ve always been really upfront about this: I don’t make a ton of money through affiliate links. Yet I would waste a lot of time creating posts linking back to sales because that’s what everyone else was doing. For the amount of commission I make through these posts, I should definitely have been focusing my efforts elsewhere. Which leads me to my next point.
I followed what everyone else was doing
This is NUMERO UNO in my book. Whether it was posting about every sale, or making sure I was posting a ton of outfits with a ton of links wearing the same things everyone else was wearing, I noticed I was really just following the crowd. I used to exclusively post outfit photos. I’d write about my outfit and why you needed a certain piece. Sure, I still do that from time to time. But one day in 2017, I found my voice. I remembered JUST how much I loved to write. And writing was something I’m good at. So I wrote. And I kept writing long form content. AND PEOPLE RESPONDED SO WELL TO IT. So that’s why over the last two and a half years, I’ve really been drilling down into long form, meaningful content. I’ll never stop posting pictures of my outfits and letting everyone know where I buy things, but when you find something you’re good at…you roll with it.
I didn’t take my business seriously
This is one of those “you live and you learn” moments. When I was a 20 year old college student, I didn’t think this could ever become a CAREER. When I think about it, I started my blog around the time of some crazy OGs who are absolutely CRUSHING the game (looking at you, Jacey). Sometimes I WISH I took this space more seriously. I try not to harp on this, but there are definitely days when I get frustrated with myself for not trying harder in the beginning. On the flip side, back in 2012, there was no real responsibilities when I did this as a little passion project as opposed to running it as a full time business.
There’s definitely A LOT of other things I did back when I started blogging compared to now, but these are definitely the ones that stood out to me. No matter which way you look at it, these things are things that SHAPED me as the blogger I am today. And I’d like to think that it put me in a pretty damn good position!
What are some things you did when you first started your blog or Instagram, but you don’t do now???