Blogging is a job that takes many hours, you don’t get paid (usually), and you often wonder why you’re even doing it. I’ve had this blog for 4 years. Over that time, the theme of the blog has changed a couple times, I’ve stopped and started it, learned a lot, met people online and in person. I honestly feel like this little blog is a part of my life now – just like reading, running or any other hobby.
I started the clothing menu in January 2009 for 3 reasons:
- I was bored
- I’ve always liked fashion and wanted to get more involved in it
- I was working in advertising on print and TV campaigns and knew social media was becoming an important part of the industry, so I wanted to learn more about it
The great thing is I had no expectations for this blog, but it has totally paid off all of those reasons.
Right now, I spend about 5-10 hours per week working on this blog. That includes coming up with new ideas, researching, writing the posts, putting together the images, taking photos, reading other blogs, tweeting and Facebook posting. There was a time when I spent closer to 20 hours per week on it. I was working for hours every night after work and on weekends. It became a second job where I was feeling accountable for putting in all of those hours. And that’s when I got burnt out and took a break from blogging for 6 months. It was really helpful to take that time off and realize there were other things outside of blogging that I liked doing after work and more importantly, that I like blogging and didn’t want to walk away from it forever.
So after those 6 months, I changed the theme of my blog to something that’s more closely related to my life (what to wear to work), making it easier to write about. (I started the blog about clothes from independent designers). I also told myself that it’s ok if I don’t publish 3 posts every week or get through all of the blogs in my Google Reader. And I started an editorial calendar where every couple months I outline generally what I’m going to write about each week so I can be thinking about the actual posts and researching whenever I have downtime so when it’s time to write, I can get right to it.
In regards to the second reason I started this blog, I’ve definitely become more involved in fashion since I can’t go a day (or even a few hours) without checking my Twitter feed in addition to following a bunch of inspirational blogs and reading InStyle magazine every month. The other unexpected part of this is that I’ve become more involved in the Boston fashion scene, which I’m not even sure existed when I started this blog. A goal of mine when I restarted this blog after my break was that I wanted to get out there and meet other bloggers, which I’m glad to say I’ve done throughout this year by attending conferences, blogger meet-ups and local fashion events. It’s felt really good to meet other people who have the same hobby as me. There are a lot of opportunities to meet other fashion bloggers in Boston and I’m not great at taking advantage of them all. I highly recommend for any other bloggers out there that you put yourself out there and meet fellow bloggers in real life when you can.
Finally, I don’t think I really need to get into how I learned about social media by starting a blog. But what I will share is that starting this blog played a part in getting the (paid) job I have now that I really like, which is working at an advertising agency as part of the social media team for a global brand. A couple years ago, this social media position at my work came up. My team was looking to hire someone internally and because my co-workers knew about my blog and how much I liked working it and in social media (along with other reasons), they recommended me for the position and I got it. I’ve been loving the position for the past 2 years I’ve been working in it!
So for anyone thinking about starting a blog, just realize that it will change over time and if taken seriously, it will affect your life (hopefully in a good way)!