What I've Learned from Blogging: General Lessons
I've been writing Daily Dose of Prep for about two and a half years now and I have to say, it was the greatest thing I have ever done. I mean, I'm only 19 -- something is sure to top it but for now, the best thing I have ever done was create DDoP. It was no easy task, I'll say that. Not only did I have to work up the self confidence just to put myself out there, but I also had to teach myself everything. I had nobody to turn to or ask for help. It was all me. What I have going for me now is something truly special.
I love sharing what I have learned from blogging because like I mentioned earlier, nobody was there to teach me so even if you learn one thing from this post than I have done my job well. Blogging for sure has taught me a lot about myself, about others, about the internet, how to brand yourself, and how to go about putting yourself on a public platform. Truly the lessons are endless and I want to share a few with you today. If you find this little post interesting, make sure to email me or leave a comment below if you want more of these types of posts!
You are capable -- The first lesson that I learned was that I am capable. Since middle school, I always thought that a cool YouTube channel or blog would be such a fun thing to do and would help me tap into my fashionista side but truly, it wasn't a realistic thing to do -- especially as a middle schooler. Once I hit my upperclassmen years of high school the want for a blog grew stronger and truthfully, I just decided to go for it. It was something to distract me from a stressful time. I didn't know that you could get partnerships, sponsorships or even make a paycheck doing this. As things started picking up to my surprise, the work that went into Daily Dose increased too. I didn't know how school. work, and a blog would all fit together but nevertheless, it does. If you want to do it, or any dream you have, know that you are capable of accomplishing it. Yes, it takes an incredible amount of work, failures, and late nights but it leads to success.
Nobody is perfect -- Literally no blogger is perfect. You see the best snapshots of their outfit, house, kitchen, and lives in general. For a photoshoot I'll take 200 pictures and comb through them to find the best 8-10 for the blog and the best one or two for Instagram. There are plenty of imperfections in my alone with everyone else's life. Instagram is a weird warp of a mix of true and false identity. I say thing because yes, you are looking at someone's style, clothing, or handbag but your looking at a perfectly posed human within that outer shell. Our perfectly blushed faces and curled hair is an exterior to someone who could be stressed, conflicted, depressed, or nervous. The best way to get to know someone on public social media is by constantly reading their blog and trying to keep up with them from a day to day. But, please don't think that you too have to look incredible all the time because you see it on the internet -- I roll out of bed 4 days out of the week throw on leggings and a sweatshirt and sneakers and run out the door. Maybe, just maybe once a week will I wear jeans to class.
If you can't afford what bloggers share, odds are they can't either -- I am a victim of this, I'll say it flat out. Bloggers share clothing all the time and a lot of it is super expensive and out of most people's price range. Bloggers are sponsored by companies, stores, and brands and most are offered product and sometimes monetary compensation. It's how bloggers make their money, when you see full time bloggers this is mostly how they make their money and also expand what seems to be a pretty expensive and extensive wardrobe. If you want to buy that Nordstrom dress your favorite blogger shared but it's $200, just guess that it was sent to them.
Writing Formal Emails -- Writing a business email is such an important thing to learn and I have come across so many companies and people that either know how to write one or do not. This lesson is one that will take you far in life. Whether you're taking to teachers, potential bosses, business partners, or even readers of your blog it's important to be able to talk with fluidity and with elegance all while getting your point across in a concise and polite way. I might share an example of how to write a business email in a few weeks...let me know if that's something you'd like!
I Built it, so I pick what to share -- DDoP has taught me the importance of sticking to my opinions and ideas. I read tons of blogs, I have before DDoP was even a thought in my mind. I also am starting to realize that a lot of times, people respect and oftentimes, sharing in my opinions and join in on the conversation. The ones that get the most feedback are the ones about my faith and failures. It's nice to be able to share what I want, not what I think you all want. Although yes, I do consider my readers when posting, if I want to share a post that's slightly off brand, I'm going to.
Patience is the best virtue to have -- You can spend all the money in the world on clothing, get a photographer, buy a camera, and pay a professional web designer but that means nothing if you can't back it up with great content. If you can't put the pieces together in an intriguing and original way, your audience won't come. Also know that if you are supplying that great content, just know if a large audience doesn't come right away that is fine, and completely normal. Just continually set goals for yourself, be active on social media, and have reciprocity for your readers when they show you love. If they like your photos, hit up their account and like a few of theirs!
Your Readers are the lifeblood of your blog -- Without readers I would be nothing -- I mean let's face it, DDoP is relatively small compared to so many others but it would be nothing without you. I could have brands begging for me to share their clothing and companies willing to pay me but who would I be selling to? Nobody. Brands wouldn't come back if I didn't have loyal readers like yourself to share their items with. Treat your readers like close friends, they care about you so it is important to care about them just as well.
I have so many more tips to share especially about interacting with brands and readers, also about writing emails, knowing when you're being taken advantage of, and understanding your market. I would love to share more with you, especially if you are in the mood for starting your own blog. More to this blogging series will come soon!