serenaajoyce

A fashion and lifestyle blog by Serena Tomalis

What I Learned In My First Year of Blogging!



Can you guys believe it?! My blog turns 1 today!! I ended up switching platforms so unfortunately all my previous blog posts are no longer on this one, however if you would like to check out older posts from the beginning half of the year, or even my first blog post, you can visit my old site HERE! :)

I'm so excited blogging and influencing was something that stuck with me. I feel as though I always try something new in life, and then don't stick with it. I've aways been this way. Photography was something that was a huge part of my life for so long when I was younger, and now I feel as though I grew out of it, and got back into by taking photos for my own blogging experience lol.

My love for clothing and helping others find looks they love is definitely my true passion in life. This is something I love doing at Francesca's as well. Helping my customers feel good and comfortable in what they're wearing.

Since today marks one year since I first launched my blog, I thought I would share with you guys some of the greatest lessons and tips I've learned in the last year. Hopefully for those who are reading this, or may be aspiring to be a blogger take in some of my greatest lessons for yourself :)

SO much of what I've learned from blogging was really just from watching others bloggers and see what they do. I've been asked this question many times, and that's really all I have as an answer!
I noticed:

  • What type of content they were putting in their Instagram captions
  • How they were laying out their Instagram captions kind of like a template (for example I like to talk about my day and then relate to my followers. I maybe ask a question next, and then lastly I get into my outfit details)
  • I noticed the aesthetic of other bloggers photos. Lots of bright light, outdoor natural light, white images, and the types of backgrounds being used)
  • I noticed presets on feeds and did research on great ones to use. This has really changed the game for me!)
  • I noticed what types of outfits other girls were putting together and created my own
  • I took notice of angles being used for photos, and tried to the same and took notice of other poses girls do
  • What types of blog posts were others writing about? I could totally write that same type of posts but put different clothing and content in it that I like!
All of these tips are how I learned to get my Instagram feed the way it currently looks! I'd even say I see a huge difference in my feed now compared to halfway through this year in my content!



But anyways... Onto the other things...


The Time and planning. I would have never guessed how time consuming blogging really was. At first it wasn't time consuming for me because I wasn't producing what I really should have been... But when you have to plan to take photos that match a specific blog post, that can be pretty hectic! Plus typing up a post takes longer than I could have imagined. I usually spend hours on each post whether or not I even get any readers. To physically write the post, find outfit content for the post, link all the content, create captions for the Instagram posts, upload the image to LIKEtoKNOW.it, and edit all the photos involved it usually takes me on average 3-4 hours per post. I also spend an additional few hours per day even taking photos, and then planning out content for the upcoming days or weeks. It really is a full time job! When I'm not working at Francesca's usually this is what I am doing in my spare time. 

Get a blog calendar. I didn't start doing this until October, but planning your content a week or two in advance in key! I've decided to post a blog post every Sunday or Monday, so I like to plan ahead of what I'm going to post. It's key to write down for what you're going to post on your social media platforms different days as well. It's just really important to stay organized in this industry or else you may start to get a little overwhelmed and messy.

It's OK to say no. When you first start out blogging, it's so exciting when brands reach out to you and want to collaborate! Of course you want to grow yourself on social media, and show other brands that you can create good content, but in a business sense, you need to do what's best for you and your brand. When receiving an email or message from a brand I am always asking myself “is this product something I genuinely love and can’t wait to share?” and “is this something I would use if I wasn’t sharing it on my blog?” If the answer is yes, then I accept the collaboration! I've turned down so much free product and brands wanting to collab with me just because it's something I don't feel comfortable promoting, or something I won't even use. It's OK! You don't want to say yes to everyone because you don't want your feed or blog to seem like a virtual advertisement anyways. 

The connections. You will meet/talk to so many amazing women from blogging! Friendships through social media are so comforting to me. I have a few group chats through Instagram where we all support each other's posts and we all talk to each other and share our plans and we can all ask questions! Plus, in this industry there are so many blogger meet ups and events hosted where we can all get together and meet each other in person and create those friendships both online and in person. Some of these girls I even team up with and host giveaways togethers! I love knowing I have my friends in real life, I have my boyfriend, and I have these girls through the click of a button. 

It's OK to take a day off.  This is something I need to work on a little more. I know if you really want to grow, then you'll see others telling you to post everyday, but in reality sometimes that's just not possible. Give yourself a mental health day, and take a day off from posting. It's OK. I promise.

ENGAGE. One of the biggest things I've learned this year is to engage, engage engage. Engage with your own followers, engage with other people's followers, and engage with ANYONE! I wrote ALOT about this in one my more recent blog posts on how I gained 1,000 followers in less than a month. Check it out here because it has really changed my Instagram game!

You will be vulnerable. I remember publishing my first post. I was so scared no one would read. I was so scared my current followers at the time would judge me for constantly posting photos of myself. Fast forward to a year later, and now that I have people actually following me for what I'm doing, it is so much easier to be vulnerable! People are here because they want to be. 

This is my passion. Although I get extremely frustrated sometimes with algorithms, certain posts flopping, or no follower gains for days, I don't know what else I would want to do. I sometimes think about maybe taking a break for awhile, but then I wonder what else I would possibly do in my spare time. I always come back to this. 


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