Today is my birthday, so... a post about me! Ha, so humble, huh?
I still hesitate to call myself a "blogger" like the title suggests; I usually identify myself as a "person who has a blog," as if the official title of "blogger" was too big, too successful for me. However, I'm coming to realize that I AM a blogger, dangit! I've put in a lot of work over the past couple years, and I'm going to call myself a blogger!
That being said, I've also hesitated to share blogging tips or talk about the act of blogging because I figured, who am I to write about this? I'm working a day job. I'm not a "pro" blogger making a bunch of money off my blog. But, revelation two, I HAVE learned a lot along the way, things that others can find useful in their own journeys. I have knowledge to share!
When Jessica posted her 11 questions and answers about her life as a blogger that she found from Bonita of Lavender & Twill, I knew I'd take up her invitation to answer these questions for myself. Because I. Am. A. Blogger.
1. When did you first start blogging and why?
I first started blogging via Flashback Summer in 2012. I didn't know any other vintage wearers in "real life," and from what I saw, it looked like a blog would be a really great way to make friends. I also realized that vintage was expensive and I was a poor college student, so I hoped to eventually make a bit of money to fund my vintage habit. My dad always told me to find what I love and make money off of it, so that's what I've done! (As for the actual effectiveness of making a blog profitable... Let me just say a blog is probably one of the worst ways to make money! It requires MUCH more non-paid effort and time for longer than most other money-making ventures!)
2. Have you had any past online presence?
I had previously attempted to start a vintage blog in late 2010, and it was an epic fail. I was pretty much trying to copy more famous vintage blogs... with a beginner vintage wearer's closet. Obviously, impossible. What I learned from that epic fail: Be yourself when you blog. It works better.
3. When did you become serious about your blog?
As I mentioned earlier, I was very serious about my blog from day one. I knew I wanted friends and some pocket change to buy more vintage, so I was very intentional from the start in meeting those ends. I commented on others' posts and got involved in the community. Soon I knew who people were talking about when they dropped names of other bloggers, and I found kindred spirits to be inspired by!
4. What was your first blog post?
My first post was "And So It Begins..." on 14 October 2014. Oh first posts. I've learned so much since then! At that point I wasn't wearing vintage every day and still very new to it, so I hadn't found my "niche," and I was honest about the cluelessness!
5. What have been your biggest challenges blogging?
I've found the temptation to compare and looking for my blog's "niche" to be the most difficult challenges. Especially before I really knew what my blog was, what it's "niche" would be, it was really easy to compare to bloggers who seemed to have it all together, who had a cohesive look and fancy outfits I couldn't afford. I kept reminding myself that I was new to vintage and blogging, and I was on a journey. I couldn't expect to jump ahead to a five-year bloggers expertise level right off; I was just starting!
Social media strategy and organization still boggles me a bit. I work in a marketing department though, so I think my expectations for myself are just ridiculously high. (So much conflicting advice out there on how to use social media! Gah!)
|This is where I blog. The ironing board is my chair, and that desk is actually adjustable shelving. And I'm obviously still figuring out how to organize my yarn. It's "make do" at its best, and I love it!|
6. What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Friends and progress. Needless to say, I get my vintage fix from the blogosphere, not real life. The online vintage community allows me to interact about vintage things that make the eyes of most people in "real life" glaze over. I hugely appreciate that about my online peeps! Progress is also hugely rewarding for me. I enjoy learning, and seeing my blog hit milestones and grow little by little is great. It's wonderful to see the fruits of all that labor!
7. What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?
On the flip side of progress is the lack of progress, and that can be demotivating, too. When numbers aren't as high, or a post didn't get as much interaction as I swore it was going to. Working to come up with good, valuable content is a lot of work, too. I really love it though, so it's worth it! I've relished the ability to post more often and do higher quality posts now that I've graduated from uni. It's so much fun!
8. What is your lasting inspiration or motivation (of blogging)?
Making money is nice, but I'm finding more and more that I'm motivated by my affection for the vintage community. I want to give you guys good content, because you so often give me good content! You guys have helped me learn about vintage through your posts, comments, pictures, etc., and I'd like to return the favor. Maybe there's another vintage newb out there than can benefit from what I've learned.
9. What is your blogging dirty secret?
I'm RIDICULOUSLY strategic. Now that I have more time to blog, I'm hugely intentional about the content here and such. I'm talking editorial calendars, sticky notes, binge writing, the works.
On a deeper note, though, I do sometimes have a rough time with comparison, as I mentioned before. I think it's a little easier to see someone else's progress and success than it is our own, though, at times. Our own progress comes with a price of work and effort that we don't see when we observe other people's success, so it looks more effortless with them when it's really probably not.
10. What is your current goal as a blogger?
I'm actually working on more vintage- and sewing-related freelance writing in addition to my blog. I never thought I'd be a writer, but there are opportunities coming up, so I figure, what the heck. Might as well try! This can help grow my blog, too.
11. Have you learned or become passionate about anything through blogging that caught you by surprise?
It sounds weird, but I'm actually passionate about blogging itself now, and I didn't think I would be. At the beginning, I figured blogging was just a means to an end, but over the years I've begun liking blogging itself. I like researching and sharing information, and I like interacting about it with you guys!
There's a bit of insight about myself and my blogging journey. Feel free to reuse these questions and post about them yourself!