Guess what? I’m officially moved back to Hawaii! I’m so excited to be back with my friends and family and whoever said there’s no place like home was sure right. If it’s ok with you all, I’ll still be sharing some of the outfits I shot back during Fashion Week in New York City, some throwbacks from my Europe trip, and a couple of travel guides still on the docket. I was inspired to write this post because even though I’m back in Hawaii, I feel like my entire life is in boxes and creating new content right now feels nearly impossible. Whether you’re a fellow blogger or someone looking to join the club, here are 5 things I didn’t realize before I got started:
1 – Instagram isn’t really instant
While Instagram is supposed to be just that — instant — it’s tough to produce quality content and blog in real time. And you shouldn’t pressure yourself to either! The reality, at least for me, is that I plan my looks out ahead of time, find some time with my photographer, edit my photos in Adobe Lightroom, and then think about the order in which I post so it looks most aesthetically pleasing in my feed. If you’re looking for an app to help you map out your feed visually, I suggest UNUM…it’s free and super easy! Yes, I could easily just snap a photo with my iPhone and share (and I do this from time to time when I’m feeling spontaneous), I find myself much more pleased with my feed when I put a little more thought into it. After all, the most important thing about blogging is to enjoy the process!
2 – Most bloggers are here to help
When I first started blogging, I remember having so many unanswered questions that I just couldn’t figure out on my own. How do I get into fashion week? Who do I contact about potential brand collabs? How much money should I be asking for? What time of day do I post? What hashtags should I use? And many, many more! It took me a while to realize it, but 9 times out of 10 bloggers are super supportive when you slide into their DMs or inboxes with blogging questions. I’ve gotten so many answered just because of this! If you have any specific questions for me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 – Set up a blogging budget
Let’s face it, blogging can be expensive. Between clothes, shoes, makeup, camera equipment, photographer fees (unless you have a #InstagramBoyfriend, in which case I’m totally jealous) and software for photo editing, it really adds up. Unless you have unlimited funds, it can be really helpful to set up a monthly blogging budget so things don’t get out of control. Mine is always a percentage of how much I make off of my blog the month before.
4 – There’s no ‘I’ in Blogger
Sometimes it’s so hard to ask for help. We want to do it all ourselves because we’re hard-working #girlbosses, but the truth is that there are probably plenty of people in your social circle who WANT to help! When I first started out, my mom and sister helped out as my photographer (and sometimes still do!) because I simply didn’t have the funds to hire one. Then when I first moved to NYC, one of my good friends who is also an amazing blogger and I would meet up and take photos for each other. Win-win!
5 – Blogging is freaking awesome, and don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise
Hawaii is a small place, and everyone knows everyone (and if they don’t, then they know their brother’s girlfriend’s cousin…or something like that). I specifically remember a day when I received screenshot via text of someone else’s Snapchat story. It was a picture of me posing for a photo at a hotel pool in Waikiki, and the girl had drawn words all over it saying “she thinks she’s a blogger, haha!” As it turns out, the girl was the wife of one of my boyfriend’s friends. She probably thought the photo would never get back to me. But it did, and it hurt that she was making a mockery of something that I truly loved to do — which is blog, experiment with fashion and style, create content, inspire others, and just share my life. For a month or two after, I would only take photos when no one was around, I felt so self-conscious. The moral of the story here is that if you love to blog, do it and don’t look back. Blog whatever you want to blog, whenever you want to blog, and share it with the world. Putting yourself out there takes courage and everything you put into it will soon come back to you tenfold 😉
Bag: Louis Vuitton
Photography by Lydia Hudgens