I’ll Drink to That – Happy Birthday to My Blog!
Yes, it’s been a year since I re-started Any Second Now, can you believe it? I virtually baked you all a cake, I hope you like it.
There were so many things I wanted to do for my first year blog anniversary. A giveaway perhaps? A badass, flashy post maybe? I guess I’ll simply acknowledge this milestone by telling you all what I learned and then give a few special thanks.
Lessons in (Blog) Love
I learned quite a bit in this year of fashion/personal style/lifestyle blogging. The biggest changes I see immediately are picture composition of the photos that I take and the content of my posts. I’ve learned a few other things, mostly “ah-ha!” moments. Some are funny, but many were truly direction changing revelations.
Depeche Mode has taught me zero about fashion
I have seen great blog posts about what people learned from their favorite shows, movies, and even musical artists. As much as I love and admire my all-time favorite band, I have learned nothing about fashion from Depeche Mode. Wait, that’s entirely not true. I learned that they should not have collectively worn white jeans back in the 1988 video version of “Strangelove”.
Eliminate The Great Expectations & Have Fun!
When I started to get to know fashion blogging, I saw all of the opportunities out there. But it is impossible to think that when you start a blog in this genre, that you will be automatically be up there with the likes of “Bryan Boy”, “The Glamourai”, “Cupcakes & Cashmere”, “Keiko Lynn” or “Karla’s Closet”. It takes hard work. If you’re willing to put that work in, then you will no doubt reap the benefits.
I had to drop those expectations fairly quickly simply because of priorities: I have to somehow fit in blogging while working a full-time job as a full-time mommy and wife.
This blog is an outlet for me to express myself and if good things come of it, that would be great. My ultimate dream would be to be a stay at home mommy, working on this blog full-time. But reality dictates that I help pay the bills to take care of my family, so I do what I can in the time that I have it. I have to keep that in mind so that I keep loving what I’m doing, and stay interested. I don’t want to resent blogging because of unfulfilled expectations.
To Tweet is the Thing
Early on I have learned to link my posts to both of my Facebook accounts, but not on Twitter. I’ve had my Twitter account since last year, and I can’t believe I just started Tweeting in May. The final push was reading posts from Beautifully Invisible (10 Things about your Blog that Drive Me Crazy), Grit and Glamour (12 Days of Christmas…to a Better Blog in 2011) and quite a few on IFB, lauding the reasons to make sure you’re connected on Twitter if you have a blog. It’s all true and I’m now a regular “Tweeter”. I’m only just getting my feet wet. Just wait until I get my iPhone!
Make a New Plan, Stan
I honestly thought that people were posting their outfits the following day after they wore them, which is how I was originally doing my outfit posts. I was up late every night working on my blog, growing more grumpy by the hour. Finally, a friend of mine said, “Why don’t you schedule your posts? It will make life so much easier.” Wow. Plan ahead? Schedule my posts? You mean those style bloggers aren’t posting their outfits the day after they’re wearing them? Do they really post ahead into the next week? This single piece of information was a paradigm shift for me as a blogger. It was like what Tivo/the DVR did for most people. I felt like I was given the gift of time again. It was a blogging miracle.
I have really learned that there is a community of bloggers out there who support each other everyday. Although I learned this by being a part of Fashion Beauty Friend Friday (FBFF) and The Full Time Fabulous Community (FTF), I really didn’t get a sense of it until I joined in the conversations on Twitter. You’ll see what I mean when you read this next section.
From the Heart – Special Thanks
To my friends and family for understanding this need for me to express myself. Thanks for putting up with my snapping pictures at every event and non-event, capturing moments as they happen. I knew it was very much ingrained in my family when I was taking pictures of food at the San Diego County Fair and my 5-year-old niece said “Are you taking pictures for your blog, Auntie?”
To my husband for “dealing with” this seemingly insane fashion addiction that precedes our time together and will most definitely continue as long as I am living and breathing. Sorry that you sometimes trip over my shoes in our bedroom and that your closet space seems to be a cubby-hole compared to my rows, racks and drawers. Your are endlessly patient and I love you more than I could ever say in words alone.
To my son, because you are the definition of love and joy for me. I know you don’t know why mommy dresses you the way that I do, or why I take so many pictures of you. But you will understand someday when you go back and read mommy’s blog. I hope by then you won’t think that mommy was crazy.
To my sister, who talks about my blog more than I realize. I saw an incoming link to my blog, from someplace I wasn’t expecting. It was a post by my sister, telling others to come visit my blog. I was touched. Over the years, I realized how much she has really become my best friend.
To this community of bloggers that I’ve built friendships with. Since my Twitter revelation, I’ve solidified these connections and made many more. But I would not have made these connections in the blogosphere if it were not for the following people. They have made me the blogger I am today.
All the blogs in my “Daily Reads” and “Daily Reads Too” sections - I read them everyday. I comment as often as I can, but know that I’m reading and loving everything you post. You inspire me. I hope I do the same.
Independent Fashion Bloggers - You provide such a wonderful place for bloggers to become educated and understand why it is that they blog. If I could give any advice to new bloggers, you must join IFB and follow them on Twitter. The “Links a la Mode” is a great feature, and I’m honored to have been a part of that list 4 times last year. Whether or not you are blogging to create a business or just to have it as a place of expression like myself, IFB is still a great tool and source for what you need in the world of fashion blogging.
Bella of The Citizen Rosebud - When I received my first negative comment not too long ago, she sent a Tweet to her followers, which prompted a wave of love and support on my blog and on Twitter. But she has always been that kind of person, encouraging support and to fight for your right to be relevant and to have a voice. I take heed to this on my blog, and in life. And if you ever asked yourself “Should I be doing this at my age?”, you must read “Spin it Spinster“. Best. Post. EVER. I only hope to be as vibrant as she is.
Life offered options. I dressed for it. – Bella Q
Madison of Fashion Tales - I’m endlessly thankful for the beautiful and kind words on Beautifully Invisible’s “Links of Love” feature (post seen here). I cried when I read what she wrote. To me, that was the definition of a strong blogging community and the beautiful support people provide for each other.
This is what the blogging community is all about, supporting and being able to uplift each other, stating our opinions yes, but not in a hurtful manner. Despite the unnecessary negative air pointed in Cyrillynn’s direction she gracefully shines on. Check out the post for yourself, and see how good our girl is rocking her style! – Madison
A most special thank you goes to Kristy Elena of Vogue Gone Rogue and Full Time Fabulous - She is as beautiful as she is intelligent, which is why I followed her blog in the first place. Had she not invited on IFB me to be a part of her community when she first started her journey through the Full Time Fabulous contest, I may not have met all the wonderful people I correspond with on a daily basis. The FTF Community is a wonderful group of bloggers, but most of all, a wonderful group of people.
i think as we get older we should have a better grasp of our personal style thanks to experience but the idea of being more careful depresses me beyond belief. who made this rule that women are supposed to stop having fun and being carefree as they get older? – Kristy Elena
The BIGGEST thank you of all!
This goes to the people who read and follow my blog, those who comment and those who don’t. I have heard from friends and family that they actually do read it everyday and how much they enjoy it. Reading your comments and hearing what you have to say makes it all worthwhile.
Here’s to another year!
This is a work in progress, but I think I’ve figured out my blogging personality. I’m glad you all are here, and I hope you want to continue to read and follow. Cheers!
(Cake image courtesy of go4outsourcing.com from Google images)