Three weekends ago, I flew out to California for the wedding of one of my dearest friends from my MBA. In case you missed my sporadic posts on Instagram Stories throughout the weekend, just know that the wedding was absolutely stunning. The ceremony took place in a redwood grove, and the reception was held in a nearby barn. It was so simple, so stunning, and so them. My friend looked like a literal fairy princess and I was so happy to be able to stand by her side on her special day.
Then, I got sick for a few days with a fever and Little Mermaid-level laryngitis. And then I went to Austin to celebrate (1) my dad as he was inducted into the University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences Hall of Honors and (2) the wedding of two of my dearest friends from high school. Between being down for the count with a fever, and then the family time and celebrations, there wasn’t a spare moment to write a post.
And then there was last week. I originally thought, “I’ll have so much time to write this week!” Lies. I ended up getting home at or after midnight every night last week (which is not conducive to blog posts that take you at least 2-3 hours to write and you desperately need sleep to be borderline functional the next day). And then I hopped back down to Austin again this past weekend for my 10-year high school reunion. Phew!
But now I’m back and able to write again so yay. Let’s do this thing.
Today, I’m talking all about 3 things you should know before starting a blog. As of this month, I’ve been blogging for 5 years at glitterandspice.com! Where the heck has time gone?!?! Over that time, this site has gone through many changes. Case in point: anybody remember when Glitter & Spice was a food blog? Lessons have been learned, friends.
What I’m Wearing:
Dress: Gal Meets Glam | Shoes: Caslon, color sold out
Earrings: Sugarfix by Baublebar, c/o | Sunglasses: LOFT | Bag: similar
Now it’s time to turn 5 years of experience into 3 things you should know before starting a blog. Where does one even start?
When I first started writing this blog, it was a food blog focused on homemade recipes and Dallas restaurants. Eventually, it [obviously] transitioned into fashion… and then eventually into travel.
Which brings me to the first of the things you should know before starting a blog:
3 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Blog
Pick a name that encapsulates all you want your blog to be… and allows it to evolve with you
That’s one thing about Glitter & Spice that I love: it can evolve with me as I change directions and grow in life. Blog names referring to specific time periods or even careers can really hold you back. A few years ago, I thought about changing my blog name to sometimes sales or consulting-related to match where I thought my career was heading (plus, The Fashion Consultant just sounded so cute!). Thankfully, my friend Christina of Fashion & Frills talked me out of that one.
One blogger I started following in college (The College Prepster) recently changed her blog name to Carly the Prepster to reflect the fact that she had long left her college days behind her. She wrote a post all about the name change and how she felt like it was holding her back. It was a name to which she could no longer relate.
Best way to avoid this happening? Pick a more generalized name. Or even your name (like my friend, Mollie, and one of my favorite bloggers, Olivia Jeanette). Or something personal, like where you grew up, your dog’s name (like Margo & Me), or your passion in life (like History in High Heels – still one of my favorite blog names!). PS for more tips on how to choose a blog name, click here.
Start off organized and stay organized
One of the other big things you should know before starting a blog? Start off organized. Because, chances are that life will catch up with you. Things will get hectic (example: reread the intro to this post). Your inbox will begin to overflow. And if you don’t get in the habit early of being organized, its hard to catch up later.
I highly highly highly recommend responding to emails in a timely manner (or at least creating a to-do list in your inbox). If you’re a fashion blogger, get in the habit of hanging and steaming your clothes right after you take them out of the box. Edit your photos as soon as you get the chance and keep your Dropbox (or iCloud or whatever cloud storage service you utilize) as organized as possible, making it easy to find old content as time goes by. Get organized before starting your blog – it’ll make it easier for you to stay organized as the blog evolves.
Don’t forget to be you… always
Last but not least on my list of 3 things you should know before starting a blog: don’t forget to be you… always. As bloggers, it’s easy to get caught up in the fads and the trends. To think you need to buy the Valentino dupes or that faux designer belt because you keep seeing them all over Instagram and you’re nervous to be seen as not knowledgeable on current trends. Believing that you should mute the colors and turn down the warmth on your photos, solely because that’s what’s “in” right now in editing.
To be clear: I’m not hating on any of these things. I’ve seen really cute looks featuring designer dupes – my friend Christina of Fashion & Frills rocks her Valentino dupes like it’s nobody’s business. And some of my blogger besties have muted, cool vibes on their Instagram feeds (check out my friend Brooke, for example!). All I’m saying is that if you’re not into dupes or moody vibes, don’t change that about yourself. People respond to authenticity, so don’t forget to be you, to share yourself and your personality with your followers. And, not to be overly sappy, but always remember to stay true to yourself..
You have your style. That’s why people originally followed you. Stick to your guns. Your followers will respond to it and respect you for it.