It feels like it has been such a long time since I blogged. I have not blogged at all this week. To make it up to you, I will blog everyday for the rest of this week. Tomorrow is the first Essential Friday so I hope you are excited about that!
I will admit part of the reason to why I have not posted is that as I have been working on improving my content, the focus on quality is a lot greater. It means that I am less eager to just post an outfit for the sake of posting, but am so much more focused on the quality of that content. This makes me scrutinise each post and each picture, just to ensure that I am on the right track to achieving my blogging goals. As the process is not overnight, I am open to the fact that I will get some things wrong and overlook others but there is definitely a lot of thought put into it all. What that does though, is increase the pressure and with pressure comes exhaustion and I believe this week I just needed a break from thinking about where I could improve. Today, I gave myself a break. My break was to do only what I needed to do and to get back to understanding why I started the blog in the first place and why I enjoy blogging. I think as one moves from working on something as a hobby to working on it as a career, the focus completely shifts! It’s however, important to never lose sight of the passion behind it all and to never overlook the value of enjoying the process. So in my case, for example, laughing and enjoying the photography and photo shoot process more (I know Julian as my full-time bae and photographer would appreciate that a bit more lol).
I know I have had a few questions to do with blogging of late and I will sum up some of the tips I could give for those looking to start a fashion blog like this one or improve their blogs. A lot of these I am learning and needing to put into practice:
1. Do not compare yourself to other fashion bloggers
We all exist in this space because we are creatives in our own right. The fact that you have considered starting a fashion blog, means that you have a passion for the industry. However, you need to tap into that passion and focus on what you can contribute as a creative, as you run your own race, and not what you can copy from other creatives. I have found myself in that situation, where I was so focused on seeking inspiration from other bloggers, that I forgot to tap into my own creativity. I learned the hard way to stop comparing and start creating.
When you compare yourself to others, there may always be someone better than you so don’t forget to embrace your individuality. We each have something unique to contribute to the industry and that is what will set you apart as a blogger.
2. Do not forget your passion for this
While many of us aim to monetise our blogs, the passion for it should not be forgotten because that is what keeps you working on your blog and improving it even when you are not seeing the results you want. It is also what will keep you motivated.
3. Quality is more important than quantity
I will testify to this! I have found myself in that bubble in which, I did not focus enough on quality of all areas of my blog. So sometimes quality of image or of the outfits or the poses would be compromised because I need to post 3 times a week. I sometimes sit with a month’s worth of content and feel very proud but the quality is inconsistent. To help me improve on this, I am:
– Taking more time to shop better to improve my closet as this determines the quality of the outfits I post and the outfit options.
-Working with my photographer bae to improve on the quality of pictures. A greater focus on lighting and times that are most suitable for taking pictures because of the current limitations on our equipment. We are also focusing on understanding the right angles to take for each pose (I never ever would have thought that to be of any importance or significance). Also the angles that are more complimentary to me.
-Focusing on locations, which are now a much more strategic aspect for each outfit. I hardly cared too much about this but now I am more aware of how it improves on that story I want each post to tell and how it makes the outfits look that much better. I used to take in the backyard of the flats (apartments) I lived in in my before PhD years. I literally loved the washing lines because that was where the lighting was amazing! I look back and it is all so funny!
-Understanding that editing is also an area I never appreciated. I always wanted everything to be as natural as possible in terms of how I looked and how the setting looked. Julian made me appreciate that editing can be used just to enhance the image. You will still see my blemishes and that I am currently fighting acne and that I have eczema but the overall image will be enhanced a lot better and will appear a lot more consistent and of higher quality.
4. It is never too late to start afresh
I think this is very important as many bloggers have been at this for years, using the same platforms and same techniques. Sometimes, as you start to seek that growth it may be a bit stressful to consider changing. You may know it is time for a change but change is not easy. I believe that it is never too late for change. Change is always good. It may be minor or complete rebranding. I changed my name from ‘Fabulously Pink’ to ‘Anicheberry’. I know a lot of people still cannot pronounce this, something I need to address (lol) but it was definitely time for a change. I no longer could relate to my blog under that name and no matter how I twisted and turned or changed the logo or blog layout and template, nothing could make me forget that I was called Fabulously Pink and I could no longer stand the colour pink. So I was Fabulously Pink in black and white. It was a huge change and it definitely had me stressed out a bit and especially Julian because he was helping me with the new template and had to deal with me changing my mind every day about the look. I am probably going to change again soon but don’t tell him!
5. Don’t focus too much on increasing subscribers
Ok. So this is a very touchy subject but I feel a lot of us do get caught up in trying to gain more subscribers but sometimes you have all these people subscribed to all your platforms but they hardly remember what your blog is about or hardly visit it. This does nothing for your blog. I have been that person before and I had to learn that if my content is of high quality, the readers will grow naturally. So while my traffic is still not where I want it to be, I am confident that with more effort it will begin to translate. Work more on your content and you will begin to see results. That is also why I removed the subscribing section of the blog. I needed to not pressure myself.
6. Network with other bloggers and creatives
This is something I still need to do but from the little experience I do have with this, I know that it does get me more creative. If you are also open to learning from other people (without comparing and copying), you will grow as a blogger.
7. Get yourself out of your comfort zone
Try to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I had to push myself away from the washing lines to the outside world where I may get judged and stared at. I still cannot get over the stares I sometimes get when I take pictures. It can get uncomfortable but whether I post the pictures or not, it is important for me to get comfortable and confident.
8. Put in the time
Like any business, you need to be strategic with your time. One cannot expect to get the same results as someone else putting in more time and more effort and investing more into their blog. It is simply unfair. Take more time to read more about blogging and improving your blog, attend workshops or subscribe to workshops online if you can afford to, read other blogs and get a feel of what kind of effort you need to put into yours if you want to monetise. Increase that professionalism, proofread your posts and plan your content. All of this adds towards your improving your blog.
You cannot put in less than an hour a week on your blog, or hobby or business and expect to get the same results as somebody working full time on theirs. So work out a schedule and put in the time.
This is one of my major things to learn!
9. Never forget to enjoy this
While we may want to generate an income from this, it is important to enjoy the process. Learn to love it and laugh and it will translate into your posts. It will be so visible in all you do.
So this is not an exhaustive list but these are some tips I am learning as a blogger who has been on level 1 for the past how many years and is seeking some growth.
What are your tips and how do you all stay motivated and improve your blogs?
White shirt- Cotton On- R200
Track pants- Factorie- R100
Faux stole- Identity – R250
Heels- Spree – R303
Hat- Spree- R120