Happy Blogiversary House of Leo Blog. My little blog turns a year old tomorrow! We shot these photos where Erik and I got married so I thought it would be a sentimental setting for this post. In some ways I feel like I just started blogging yesterday and in other ways I feel like it’s been way longer. Sitting here writing this post brings a sense of accomplishment for what I’ve done in just a year, a sense of reflection of what this year has been and excitement for what is to come. Today I will be sharing what I’ve learned my 1st year of blogging and a recap of House of Leo’s first year. So grab a cup of coffee or maybe even a glass of champagne and let’s toast to House of Leo Blog’s 1 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY. And stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of my post.
DON’T CRINGE EVEN IF YOU WANT TO
So for those that have been with me since the beginning thank you for that early support. For those who started following later you can read my debut post here about why I started blogging. This brings me to my first lesson. Don’t cringe at your early posts. When I launched HOLB I had no idea what I was doing in regards to photography. Erik snapped pics in our yard, I wrote a post and linked what I was wearing. The photos were not good, the posing was not good and my editing was terrible. But that’s ok. Go look at any blogger you follow and look at their early work. It’s all the same. Blogging is a journey and no one starts as an expert. But the one thing we all have in common is we put ourselves out there. I took a leap of faith and decided to share my passion. Over time my photos and confidence got better but those early posts were all part of the lesson.
HUSTLE, HUSTLE AND MORE HUSTLE
When I started HOLB my intention was to grow it into a business. Most people looked at and still do as a hobby for me, but I had big plans from the beginning even in it’s early stages of not so much greatness. I started off with 400 Instagram followers, got a handful of blog views on each post and barely had any Facebook followers. I took course after course (and still do) to learn how to grow. I spend hours at night engaging on Instagram. I shoot EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND. It is work and more work than I ever could have imagined. Once I realized what it would take to grow this blog I committed to the work 100% and then some all while working a full time career and being a mom and wife. You can treat your blog like a hobby or you can treat it as a business. But if you choose the latter expect to hustle. It’s a FAST paced business with tons of competition.
APPRECIATE YOUR CHEER SQUAD
This for me has probably been the most touching part of this journey and also the hardest. When you have a blog it’s all about you sharing your passion and your voice. I have met so many amazing people along the way who have become followers and supporters. They read every post, leave encouraging comments, share my posts with their friends and are always asking about me about HOLB. This blog is a HUGE part of my life. It’s 24/7. It doesn’t sleep. It doesn’t rest. I have given it everything that I have and I haven’t stopped pouring my heart into it. For those that have recognized that thank you. On the flip side there are going to be people who aren’t going to acknowledge your passion or be a part of your cheer squad. At the end of the day though it’s ok. It makes you appreciate your supporters so much more. And I mean honestly who wants a Debbie downer reading your blog anyway. Am I right or am I right?
THE BEHIND THE SCENES IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK
So many people will say how they love the settings that we shoot at but the funny thing they don’t know is that I put that outfit on in the back of Erik’s truck (thank God for tinted windows). My outfits are piled in a laundry basket in the car with Summer amusing herself with Barbies and getting Goldfish crackers all over the place. Most times our truck is parked a foot from where we are shooting or there’s a porta potty 5 feet away. And 1/2 the time I’m standing there shivering cold in the photos. Sometimes we drive around for hours waiting for the lighting to be right because the first go round was awful. It’s not all glam. What goes into these posts is a lot of blood, sweat, crumbs, and temper tantrums tears. I used to scope out places to shoot where no one was around and now I could care less. I just embrace it!
COMMIT AND THINGS WILL COME
I think the biggest advice I can give to someone starting a blog is to ask yourself what can you commit to? If it’s one post a week then make sure it’s one post a week. I started out with 2 and eventually went to 3 a week but I NEVER miss a post. My followers know they can see a full blog post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They know I’m going to post on IG and FB 6 nights a week (I started giving myself Saturdays off from social media). People might think I’m crazy for all the time I pour into my blog but let me just tell you that it lights me up so much! All this commitment has paid off. I have landed some big brand collaborations and ironically May (exactly 1 year into blogging) will be my most successful month yet.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY
With Erik taking my photos and Summer tagging along it really has become a family affair. Hence the name House of Leo (Leo being a shortened version of our last name and Summer being born a Leo). I try to get collabs that will include them both because without them this blog wouldn’t exist. We laugh at the bad photos (trust me there’s a lot more bad than good). We toast to the viral ones. Anyone remember this post when Santa came to our home? When people see Erik shooting pics of me we always get asked by a random stranger if he wants to take a pic of us together. I imagine they think he’s some creepy husband taking pics of his wife LOL. I’ve had posts do really well and I’ve had others tank. I’ve landed great collaborations with brands and got denied by others. There’s been highs and there’s been lows but let me tell you it’s been amazing and I don’t have one single regret that I started this blog. From knowing nothing to growing to where I am just 1 year in I can say that hard work does pay off.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU AND THANK YOU
Thank you to my old and new followers. Thank you for reading, following and sharing. Thank you for sticking with me even when the photos weren’t what they are today. Without your support I wouldn’t have been able to continue growing this blog to where it is. In times of self doubt you’ve pushed me to keep going. And keep going I will! We are only getting started. I can’t wait to see what unfolds this next year!
As a thank you to my supporters I am teaming up with Seven7 Jeans to give 1 lucky winner a pair of the jeans I am wearing.
1. SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG (right side of my blog or at the end of the CONTACT ME page) and you’ll get an email to confirm.
2. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW telling me your favorite HOLB post this year.
**These jeans are available in a range of sizes from 4 regular -24W. This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Instagram. This is a collaboration between Seven7 Jeans & myself.
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