What Blogging has Taught Me (so far)

Why I Blog

If I could change one thing about starting my blog, I would have started sooner! When I was in high school, my best friend ran for class president and I volunteered to be her “campaign manager.” I designed pun-filled posters and helped come up with ideas that would help secure her victory.

Blogging fulfills a huge need I have within myself. I get to have a voice, and that voice is delivered however I want. There’s a satisfaction in being the brains behind a great idea. The challenge of finding new and fun ways to share my voice excites me. Having the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people is fun–especially because I’m kind of introverted. I’m pushed to step outside of comfort zones and explore.

My voice is positive, encouraging, genuine, helpful and a little funny. I’m so grateful to have a community of people behind me who support me, believe in me and want to hear me out. This journey made me realize new things about myself and taught me lots of lessons along the way.

On Committing

Over the past couple of months, I’ve forced myself to be more invested in my craft. I’ve been appearing in Instagram story vids, writing more blogs, posting consistently and reaching out to other bloggers as just some of the ways that I’m putting more time into this.

When I initially started out, I didn’t realize how much of my time, money and dedication this would take. Having a full-time job, creating content was something that I did “when I had the chance.” After talking with other bloggers who’ve been doing this (and killing it) longer than I have, I realized that I needed to change my attitude if I wanted to be successful in this space. I can’t lie–using my full-time job as a reason for not creating content was an excuse.

Fooled into thinking that I can’t be as great of a blogger as the ones who do this full-time, I realized that this funk is NOT who I am. Nothing will ever come to fruition if I don’t put in the work. My full-time job would forever be a reason to live in fear and doubts if something didn’t change. I decided–eff it. This is what I want so I’m going to get it! Since becoming more involved and making the conscious decision to have late nights, early mornings and becoming vulnerable, I realize that I absolutely can, and will do this.

On Being Vulnerable

Like I mentioned, one of the ways that I’m becoming more active is by sharing videos of myself. Let me start by saying I hate seeing myself on video. The sound of my voice makes me cringe! Watching the success of my blogger friends and bloggers that I’m just obsessed with, I learned that I can’t be successful by being another pretty face in a crowd full of other pretty faces. Making the decision to be genuine by showing my community what I love, while being a little uncomfortable was tough but rewarding. I realize that no matter what you do, people will always have something to say whether it’s good or negative. Anyone who chooses to be negative has something within themselves that they project onto others and these are the things I won’t take personally.

Since I’ve become comfortable with being vulnerable–I’ve had positive engagement and love, lost some followers along the way and gained new ones who are on board with what I stand for.

On Putting in the Work

The other day I stayed up until 2 am updating my website. With a marketing background, I fully understand the importance of producing quality work. My website kept on breaking, nothing was working the way I wanted it to but I absolutely refused to go to bed until it was in a good place. How embarrassing would it be if I left something un-finished and a brand was thinking about approaching me until they saw my un-finished blog? Through persistence, research and trying lots of different plug-ins, my site in a good place.

My blog keeps me up at night and gets me up in the morning. If I didn’t get to capture all of my photos for upcoming content during the weekend, I’ve been getting up really early to make sure I get the photos I need (I’m talkin’ 4:30 am). My content is planned out at least two months in advance thanks to my trusty editorial calendar, which holds me accountable. There are 24 hours in a day and even less time when it comes getting a good photo. Taking action reinforced that I really am willing to be committed to this and rewards never come without sacrifice.

Where I Am, VS Where I Think I am

Would you like some humble pie? Try becoming a blogger. With so many successful bloggers and influencers out there, it sometimes feels like there’s no room for you. SIDE NOTE: If you feel that way with your life–even if you’re not a blogger, get out of that mindset now before it cripples you into submission! Anyways, I really enjoy sharing and supporting brands and businesses that I can get behind, and rally for. Super confused about why these brands wouldn’t reciprocate, I realized I needed to take a step back.

With solid marketing experience and good content, why the heck aren’t my favorite brands lining up to collaborate, and why aren’t I being selected for campaigns. Umm–“HELLO! Earth to Candice! Nobody knows who you are”… YET. In short, I don’t know exactly who the heck I thought I was!

Like Kanye said, “Look you need to crawl ‘fore you ball.” I’ve become conscious of the fact that I’m in a proving phase. Marketing skills are a great trait to have, but who cares? My community of supporters is still growing and that’s okay! The journey to being a blogger and becoming an influencer is long and requires patience. I have to constantly tell myself that all of my favorite bloggers started right here.

Thinking about blogging and generating a livable income off of it? That’s great! Just know that you will be sacrificing time at no expense to your favorite brands. You will spend your own money, and you will have to earn your keep in this space. Blogging will become a part of your life because in everything that you do, you will have to ask yourself, “how can I incorporate this part of my life into my blog so that my community can benefit from this?”

On Being Grateful

When I reflect on a larger scale, I realize that I’ve landed some really cool opportunities–especially as a new blogger. I get giddy with excitement when other bloggers want to meet me and see what I’m all about. It’s an amazing feeling to feel how others see you through their eyes. More than anything, I’m grateful that I have my blog as an outlet to share light and positivity. It’s really amazing to see your vision through and having people behind you who want to see you do good things. Always remember to believe in yourself with full conviction and zero doubts–that is what this journey has taught me.

 

 

 

 

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