Can you even believe it? My 3 year blogiversary. 3 years. Feels longer in so many ways but then to really think about how much has changed in just 3 years is beyond surreal to me. I contemplated what to write about for this post but I think just recapping the journey and where I am now resonated with me best.
SHOP THE POST:
BE A GOAL GETTER!
This blog, my Instagram, my Facebook — it was built from nothing. From the beginning I set goals. Goals to write a certain number of blog posts a week. Goals to reach a certain amount of blog views a month. Goals to get to a certain number of followers on my social media channels. Goals to make a certain amount of money a month. Goodness it’s exhausting! But goals girlfriend. It’s everything!
Those goals never ever stop. Not on my 3 year blogiversary or ever. Once I reach a goal I pour a glass of celebratory wine (sometimes 2 glasses) and set the next goal. To be honest I was never this way in the past. Maybe it’s because this is my full time business but I think a big part of it is due to HOLB being my passion. That drive to keep getting better is something that is now a part of my blood flow. Sounds so cheesy but really. Those that are close to me will say it. There’s been a huge change these past 3 years in how I work and my overall ambition. I’ve never been a fast runner but I am absolutely a goal getter!
CREATIVITY IS EVERYTHING
I never looked at myself as a creative person. Must have been all those years bottled up selling insurance haha. I can’t draw. I can’t do crafts. Summer will tell you. I’m mom failing in those departments all the time. Thank goodness for Nana’s LOL. But this job is all about creativity. It’s the essence of everything I do. I create content. I create content for brands. When a brand sponsors me they are expecting me to create content for them. They aren’t telling me what to post or how to shoot the photo. That is my job to come up.
When I look back at some of the work I’ve done it truly amazes me. My mind is always racing with ideas with ways to tell a story in a photo. Coming up with the location, the outfits, the message — it’s all creativity. I can’t draw if my life depended on it but I can execute some darn good creativity in a photo. 3 years ago I couldn’t. But practice, studying and learning to perfect my craft is something I never stopped doing.
YES I AM MAKING A FULL TIME SALARY
I think this is a good topic to get out of the way because either Erik or I am getting asked this all the time. When people ask me what my job is I say blogger, influencer, or content creator. Then I get the same dumbfounded reaction followed by “You can make money doing that?” I really want to say do you think I would honestly still be sitting here on my 3 year blogiversary writing blog posts and posting on Instagram all day if I wasn’t? Not to say there is anything wrong with those who create content as a hobby or as a form of self expression. BUT my goal was to build my own brand, my own business.
However, it did not come over night. It took awhile to start making consistent money. I talked more about this in this blog post. Bottom line is you have to put in the time. Build a loyal following. Post QUALITY and CONSISTENT content. Those things take time. Often years. You have to learn to negotiate. Gosh this might be one of the biggest things I learned to do. DON’T WORK FOR FREE! I have ingrained that into my head. Sure there are some campaigns that I negotiate differently but 99% of the work I do I make my own rates for and that has made all the difference.
I made more money this past year — by a landslide. And I’m not saying this to toot my own horn by any means. I am only saying it to clarify that this is a business as any other business. Know your worth. I learned mine, stuck to it and girlfriend I am proud of it.
I CAN’T DO IT ALL
This! This has 100% been my biggest struggle. We all know it was the biggest risk of my life when I went full time blogging. More about that in this post. I’ve talked about that risk many times with you. Being my own boss has been tough. It’s my brand so naturally I want to be in charge of everything I am doing. I have been scared to delegate work to others for fear of them not doing it right. For fear of having to pay someone. But the other thing I’ve always preached here is you have to spend money to make money. There just comes a time when you can’t do it all yourself. My family especially knows that. Not having enough time with them. Constantly working and not having time for me outside of working.
Sure I get the freedom to set my own schedule. I don’t have to worry about calling out of work on sick days. BUT I also don’t work 40 hours a week. To be honest? I probably work a good 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. On and off yes, but it never truly shuts off.
And as crazy as it sounds I want to still do so much more with HOLB (ahem goal getter), but I just can’t do it all myself anymore. I took my mom on to run my Pinterest this year and I recently hired a virtual assistant. I’m starting off conservative in their tasks but it’s a step in a better direction.
I HAVE BECOME A POSITIVE PERSON
Once thing I have learned in these past 3 years of blogging is you have to absolutely become a positive person. You don’t see frowns in my pictures do ya? People follow me for inspiration, for fashion advice, as an escape from the everyday. No one wants to follow a negative person. You have to radiate what you put out there for others to see because if you don’t they will see right though it.
I’ve also learned that hearing no isn’t a bad thing. If I don’t get a campaign it doesn’t stop me. I’ve only learned how to better myself so next time I get a yes. Don’t take it personally. Did you hear me? Don’t take it personally!
And lastly, I’ve learned how to brush people off. Whether it’s a critical comment on a post or people who treat me differently — It won’t stop me because at the end of the day I can’t please everybody. I just choose to detach and keep being me. The friends, the family, the followers who support — they are gold. Remember that.
I’VE LEARNED TO ADAPT
And as I sit here celebrating my 3 year blogiversary I am in a very different place than I was a few months ago. Probably very much like you. Covid-19 has left it’s mark on HOLB. My work has slowed tremendously. Brands have pulled back. Marketing budgets have been cut. My blog views went down (finally they are coming back up). I was on a streak that came to a screeching hault. But I’ve evaluated on where I can cut budgets, where I can increase revenue and have learned to adapt. It’s all about riding the highs and lows.
I won’t stop creating content or running HOLB because of what’s happening in the world. Nothing ever stopped me before. I am beyond grateful for all of you who follow, message me and take a few moments of your day to come to this little space. You are the ones who made this dream possible. So thank you. Thank you for being a part of my journey whether you were here from the beginning or started following yesterday. You are all a part of the HOLB family. You are my tribe and I’m forever grateful to you all. Happy 3 year blogiversary to me. Can’t wait to share more fashion, beauty, family and the simple day to days with you in year 4!