But over time, I bowed to the pressure to conform and stuck mostly to outfit posts. Back in 2012, that is what drew most of you here. I was working out of the house back then so outfit posts were the easiest option. I didn't need to do any research to put those up. I was content with what I was doing because that is all I had time for.
Come 2013, I started working from home doing freelance web content writing. Apart from the fact that my contract had ended, I wanted to explore my writing and make a career out of it. Writing made me feel complete. It gave me satisfaction that no desk job had ever given me. As a result, my outfit posts became fewer and fewer to the point where I post one or two a week. Since I wasn't doing too many outfit posts, I decided to refocus my blog on my first mission, which was to give women styling tips and inspiration to dress stylishly but still remain elegant. So I re-invented the various series on the blog like Monday Stylist, Celebrity Style, Plus Size Fashion, Maternity Diaries and now Momma's Closet.
This brings me to my point. I don't think quitting this blog is the solution to my problem. I am not a quitter, ask anybody who knows me well. I usually try to make something work until it does. I believe that by trying different combinations of things, you will succeed at what it is that you are passionate about. So, I have decided to redesign my blog. The new site will incorporate all the different things that I do so that it is easier to find them. I hate clutter and disorganization and as this year's challenge is to embrace minimalism, it has to reflect here also. I hope these changes will be beneficial for you.
10 Lessons I Have Learned
Without further ado, here are a few lessons I have learnt in my 3 years of blogging.
1. Don't compare myself to anyone
When I started blogging, I didn't know anything about being a fashion blogger. I only knew of the handful of fashion blogs that I read. But as I began to explore, I discovered that there were millions and each more fabulous than the last. As much as I enjoy reading other people's content, I found myself comparing myself to them, wondering why I wasn't as successful as they were. What I didn't realize was that we are all different and we all have something unique to offer. Comparing myself to others was only going to make me discouraged and not realize my dream.
2. Blogging is hard work
People usually think that blogging is easy. It's not. Coming up with a good article is hard enough. For those of us for who taking photos doesn't come easily, taking blog photos can be a chore. Then there is the sharing on social media which can take up a lot of time. Research for suitable topics, looking for current news to share and photos! No wonder some people blog fulltime!
3. Like any good thing, it will test you
I have wanted to quit SO MANY TIMES, but every time I was on the verge of quitting, I wondered what I would do with myself afterwards and came up blank. I love blogging. It's an inherent part of me. When I feel like I'm starting to lose it, I just take a break for a couple of days to recharge my batteries before I get back to it.
4. Blogging calls for dedication
Putting up a new post, every day requires discipline. Ever since I became a mum, I have learned to curve out time to spend building my blog and interacting with my readers.
5. I have to invest in it
No good thing comes for free. When I started, I didn't have my own domain, used my 1.3MP phone camera and used my phone's internet as a hotspot. With time I got a modem, bought my own domain and bought a better camera. And since there is always room for improvement, I am still looking for other ways to improve the blog.
6. Always be myself
The simplest thing would be to copy another blogger and do things exactly as she/he is doing them. But that is not staying authentic to myself. I constantly reread my first post and my about page to check that I am still staying in line with what I had intended for the blog. I also check my circumstances and what is currently inspiring me. I try to incorporate this into my blog posts every time so that I remain authentic. If I see something that I like on another blog, I find a way to spin it to suit me and my audience.
7. Don't be afraid of change
From 2011, I have worked at different offices, gone freelance, started an online clothing store and become a mum. Life has changed and I can't refuse to move with the times. Also, my content will also reflect the changing times.
8. Not to put myself in a box
I don't like doing things like everybody else. I like to think out of the box. When it comes to my personal style, I have accepted that it will evolve as well. I will like different things at different times. But if I say to myself this does not sit well with your personal style, I will never get to experiment and try new things. Who knows? Maybe I will find new things that I like.
9. It is not a traditional job
I am not a full-time blogger although I would like to be at some point. But having worked freelance for more than a year, I know that people will always go like, "Ati what?? Why don't you look for a real job." But this is a real job. Who do you think writes the things you read on websites? People like me!
10. If you love it, go for it
I love writing so I do it here. I love clothes and helping people dress well, so I started doing personal shopping. I like motivating people, so I write motivational posts. I realized that sitting and planning when I would start doing following my dreams was not going to satisfy me. I needed to start now.
If you ever thought of starting a blog or are struggling with your own blog (or pursuing your passion), know that you aren't alone. We all go through that but what counts is that you keep holding on until you get past that difficult phase. Besides, life is full of ups and downs. That's what makes it interesting.
Thank you all for your support and motivation. Cheers to the fourth year of i2s.
God bless you all and happy Friday!