“This afternoon, whilst sat at my desk, editing my latest video for my channel, I had a sudden realisation. It’s been a month since we moved to London and for that month I’ve somehow transitioned into becoming a full time blogger.”
This afternoon, whilst sat at my desk, editing my latest video for my channel, I had a sudden realisation. It’s been a month since we moved to London and for that month I’ve somehow transitioned into becoming a full time blogger and actress. The two have been my priority and passions for years and although having another job on the side to help save and pay bills never distracted me from my dreams, it certainly meant I had slightly less time to spend on them. The freedom this last month has given me has mean’t that I haven’t been wishing away each day and I’m truly spending my time doing what I love, which is remarkable and a huge milestone for me! As you know, I’ve read blogs ever since I was about 12/13, however Style Petal was born on a hot, July day back in 2014, after a sequence of terrible, pointless (and hilarious!) blogs that accumulated over the years. I like to think that through my years of reading, writing and creating blogs I’ve learnt a fair amount along the way and after today’s realisation and the exciting past weeks of meetings and events, I thought I’d share some of the 5 things I’ve learnt from blogging.
1. Your Blog is a constant work in progress
You’d be silly to think that you can start a blog and be perfectly happy with every aspect enough to never change, grow or progress. I started out getting my mum, sister and boyfriend to begrudgingly take pictures of me in the middle of a Devonshire street on my samsung galaxy S3. Farmers and old people would drive past and wonder why I was prancing around half naked in March. Thankfully, times have changed, as has the photography and sartorial choices. However, my boyfriend still does take my photos, but it has become more of a passion than a burden. I’ve always strived to improve my blog in all aspects; photography, written content, design and social engagement. I remember being so happy with my blog design a year or so ago, but nowadays, it couldn’t be further away from what it used to look like after – and that’s okay! As we grow, learn and experiment, so will your blog. If it just stayed the same, it would become stale, dated and irrelevant. Embrace changes, the good and the not so good. Who cares if you look back and laugh at yourself, that’s the beauty of being human.
2. It’s a lot more than prancing around taking pictures
I’ve just about gotten used to people’s looks of confusion when it comes to explaining blogging. Lots of my friends and relatives are still confused by how you actually class it as work and not ‘faffing around on your computer.’ It’s a fully fledged career and with it, like any other job, you have the highs, lows and hours of blood, sweat and tears. There’s no masterclasses, courses or tuition. Therefore we must coach ourselves to be capable photographers, networkers, computer whizzes and social network gods. I have spent more time than I would like to admit watching Lightroom, Affinity and countless other videos on editing, coding and website design. No one sees this and no one sees the crap that sometimes comes with putting yourself, your style and your bare soul online. My blog would be a sad mess if it wasn’t for my dad. He’s a photographer and website designer and has had me contacting him a worried mess, all hours of the night asking ‘why is this happening’ ‘why can’t I put my logo here’. He’s also probably one of the few people that understands the hard work that goes into growing, creating and maintaining a blog. It’s easy for people to assume all I do is take pictures of me wearing free clothes. Wouldn’t it be fab if it was that simple. But then again nothing is worth having if you didn’t work damn hard for it.
3. Free stuff is awesome but won’t pay a mortgage deposit
I remember, fondly, my first few collaborations. The excitement as an email dropped into my inbox. The feeling that someone actually admired what I did and wanted to work with me. I still get this exact feeling every time my email notification pings, however I’m a lot more picky than I used to be. It’s forever surprising to hear how companies are so casual about their blatant exploitation of bloggers. The endless list some ‘campaigns’ contain, all accumulating to days of hard work to absolutely no benefit of the blogger apart from, perhaps, some crap you’d use once. This is, of course, a sweeping generalisation but at the same time, sadly true. Luckily the majority of companies I have worked with are incredible, I adore them and have also usually used their products for years beforehand. In any other job you’d be insane to work for days, weeks even, for free with absolutely no benefit for yourself and I used to be a total sucker for this. You have to know your self worth and if the payment or compensation is small, weigh up the pro’s and con’s of the campaign. If you love the brand and want to build a relationship then great! If it really isn’t worth your precious time and you get absolutely nothing from it – politely decline. If clothes were currency, I’d be buying everyone houses, but unfortunately this isn’t the case.
4. Being nice will get you far
This is something I’ve always lived by and has always proved to be a good mantra. People will remember you, like you and want to work with you if you’re pleasant to be around. I want people to feel positive and happy when they’re around me and you’ll often find me making fun out of myself or chatting away to try and put people at ease. If you’re someone who can’t often make events or meetings then fear not, because being a sparkly ray of sunshine online will also do you countless favours. Interact, compliment and share the blogging love. It’s a good way to network online and you could make someones day just by one nice comment. Email skills are also essential! I can’t re iterate enough how important being able to email in a timely and friendly, yet professional manner is. I almost, instantly, don’t take any emails seriously that don’t address me personally and it’s a cardinal sin to spell someones name wrong (it isn’t hard). People will appreciate that personal touch, as do we bloggers. If a brand or company can’t take the time to even figure out my name or what I write about, it’s probably not going to be a collaboration match made in heaven.
5. You need to bare some soul to be relatable.
Blogging is a whole new level of marketing and advertising. People read blogs and consequently buy things people have talked about because they trust these people and have a lot of respect for them. In order to grow a loyal and engaged audience, you need to become relatable. I’m not going to relate to someone who writes one sentence about why they like a scarf. Personally, for me, I look for personality in a blog. I genuinely take an interest in this persons life and their opinions and as much as I love looking at pictures, I love to read their thoughts and views and see them for who they are. This may not be for everyone and I understand some people prefer to see beautiful imagery rather than beautiful text, but eye catching content is what really makes someone stand out for me. Obviously you won’t appeal to the whole world, because I don’t think my grandma cares what foundation I’m wearing, but by showing people the real you it will attract like minded souls. Be real, be honest and be funny. I love retelling unfortunate fashion fails and sharing my past, I find that’s what makes people want to interact with you and spark conversation!
I really hope you guys enjoyed this post – I had so much fun putting it together and really wanted to reflect on my blogging journey so far! I would love to hear your thoughts, so make sure to snap me at ‘style petal’ or tweet me here!