MY THREE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY
So I finally had my three year blogiversary! Thank all of you who read this blog for your support and encouragement over the year! Your support truly means the world to me.
What is my three year blog anniversary in actuality is my 12 year blog anniversary. So I am ancient in the blogging world, but you might never know it. I started originally blogging as a professional photographer back in 2007, after the birth of my first daughter. For seven years I spent my time photographing newborns, pregnant women, and families. At the time I loved it, but after moving across the country twice, starting a new full-time job and having four children, I knew it was time to retire the business. As I said in my one year blogiversary post, I started this endeavor on a whim. I had just lost all my baby weight (which wasn’t exactly easy after having four kids) and gotten my body back in shape. Having spent the last ten years in mommy mode, I was a bit fashion clueless at the time. My sister-in-law told me one day, “April, you need new jeans!”. I looked at her rather dumbfounded, but took her advice. I decided I needed a whole new wardrobe revamp! After stumbling across several fashion blogs, I decided starting my own would be a great way to express my creativity. Little did I know just how different fashion blogging is from a photography business! Needless to say, I have definitely learned so much, and this blog always has been and will continue to be an evolving work in progress. I love that this blog allows me to be creative, and at the same time I get to continue to do photography, which is really where my passion lies.
It Is All About the Journey, Not the Destination
This is probably the biggest lesson learned in blogging I can teach to other aspiring bloggers. Back in 2007 when I started my first blog, the field of blogging of any type was wide open. It was incredibly easy at the time to develop a reputation, and in six months I was as busy as I wanted to be. Fast forward to 12 years later, and now quick success couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality there are thousands of blogs out there now, and it takes years to develop a reputation, where people know and trust you. And as new bloggers come to the scene, it becomes harder and harder to stand out in the crowd. Because of this basic fact, I tell other aspiring bloggers that you have to truly love what you do! Find your passion, and even though blogging takes time (lots and lots of it) it really won’t seem like work. I put in probably 20-30 hours a week on this blog, and I don’t mind it at all. For me creativity is the “dessert” in life and I wouldn’t want it any other way. And don’t make your blog about money, at least in the beginning. Thankfully this blog does earn some money now (thanks to you!). But money is definitely not consistent, and I will never be one who will give up my career in medicine to blog full time. Variety is the spice of life, and to me blogging just keeps life interesting!
You Cannot Do it Alone
As for the second lesson learned in blogging, running a successful blog is not a one person job. You need help wherever you can get it! I couldn’t run this blog without my family, as they support me in every possible way. My daughter for the most part takes my pictures, and she does a spectacular job! I have web designers helping me maintain my blog and that is tremendously helpful. Keeping up with engaging in social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) is almost impossible without a good assistant, and my younger daughter helps me with this. And help doesn’t just come through family and hired help, but it also comes with making friends. The friends I have made along the way keep me motivated to do this day in and day out! Finally, try not to be hard on yourself when you need to take a step back, as we are all only human. If you need a break just to recharge, or to spend time with family, by all means take it. Your health and your family are two of the few constants in your life and you need to maintain all of these.
Persistence Pays Off
The third lesson has to do with persistence. This is true with anything in life, and is definitely true with blogging. As I already said, blogging is all about the journey. Find a niche (mine is petite fashion, though I do also focus on beauty and home decor) so you can stand out in the crowd. Be consistent with blogging, even when you might not feel like doing it. So often I have wanted to just go to bed after a long day’s work. I might take a day off here or there, but I generally stick to posting on this blog three times a week. The more you write (and photograph for that matter) the better you will become. And if it is your passion, again staying persistent and disciplined won’t even seem like work.
You Can’t Make Everyone Happy, But Appreciate Those Who Do
This is one of the hardest lessons learned in blogging. The vast majority of the comments I get on my blog are so nice, and I appreciate them more than you know! I will never forget the first time however I got a hateful comment on my blog. It was like a punch in the gut from someone who didn’t know me at all. The time I stumbled across a site that did nothing but give hateful critiques of me I broke down in tears. But in the end I realized that you cannot please everyone, nor should you try. And really, when someone says something negative, try to look at it as an honest critique. If there is no critique to be learned, then chalk it up to issues with that person and move on. The issue really is with the hateful commenter. In the end you will be happier just doing what you love. And people will find you. The great thing about blogging, is there are always going to be people who appreciate your style.
ALWAYS BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
This is probably the most important lesson of all! Be who you are and listen to your inner genuine voice. That is one of the easiest parts about being an “older” influencer. Find your style and express it, as this is your best selling point.The longer you blog, the easier it is to develop your own voice. Don’t ever compromise your values, and be simply the best version of yourself that you can be. People will definitely take notice and ultimately you will be happier too.
Finally if you are curious, we took these photos at Ping Tom Park in Chicago! I stumbled across pictures of this beautiful wall on Instagram, and I knew I wanted to take photos by it. Who can resist a blue floral wall? It was the perfect match for this blue and yellow Eliza J. dress. It was a bit of an effort to find the place (it’s not by the rec center, but rather the playground down the road), but the results were definitely worth it!
As always, thanks for stopping by, and please do not hesitate to reach out with questions!
xo | April*This post contains affiliate links.
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