Well, tomorrow, August 1st marks the One Year Anniversary for Navy Grace Blog. I was almost scared to go back in time and look at my first official
(If you dare search all the way back, you're in for a good laugh :)
It's hard to believe that just one year ago tomorrow I was sitting behind this computer screen not knowing a single thing about blogging or what to expect. All I knew is that I wanted to try something new, something to improve myself by learning and growing from a goal I always had. I love looking back and seeing how much I have grown from this experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I have met some outstanding people along the way and I know I will continue to always meet new people and have the opportunity to keep growing through each experience and learn more about the business side of blogging.
I can honestly say it is because of all of you loyal readers and followers. You make it so I want to wake up everyday and provide new material for you to see and read, well that, and besides its fun :) It has been such a pleasure working and collaborating with such great companies both small and big.
Today I wanted to break down a few things that I have learned throughout my year of blogging. I get asked all the time if I have any advice on where to begin or what I would do differently. So, here is a few things I have learned..
1. Find a reason you 'can' instead of reasons you 'can't'.
There were so many times I almost backed out of starting a blog for the silliest of reasons. Even one such as; feeling like I would bombard people's newsfeed on Instagram. Another reason was; I didn't want anyone to see me fail. My advice is to not worry about how many times you post a day, yeah maybe 5 is too many and I would never do that :) But, people love seeing what you are wearing, or what activity you are up to. If people don't want to see 3 or 5 posts a day they don't have to be your social media friend. I promise there is thousands of people who are thrilled to see your posts each day.
2. If it doesn't bring you joy, don't do it. Or change the way you look at it.
I can openly admit that having a blog can be very stressful and overwhelming at times, but if you wake up and dread having to complete even one small part of what it takes to creates a blog, then you need to change your perspective or quit. You will never find joy in something you don't want to do. I surprised myself with how much I really enjoy blogging and wake up excited each day to work. Somedays I think I spend TOO much time blogging, but thats because I have a huge passion for it.
If I would have told myself that I would be making blogging an almost full time job, I would have laughed at myself one year ago. No one really understands how much time and energy, or blood, sweat, and tears you put into making your blog perfect. Especially in your eyes. Between photoshoots, editing, shopping, online links, creating of posts, meetings and so much more it really does take a lot of time. I highly respect all those full time mommies out there who still manage to have successful blogs. If there is one thing to know about starting a blog, it is knowing that it will consist of so much of your time, so prepare yourself now.
4. You must DO all the work!!
This is one thing you can't pawn off to other people. If you want to be successful, YOU must be the one to find all the ways to make that happen. I have learned that going above and beyond your expectations gets you closer to achieving your goals. And the only one that can make those goals is yourself. No one else wants this as badly as you do.
5. I chose this...
This is something I always have to keep reminding myself, especially when you are having a hard day wondering why you ever started a blog. Trust me, you'll have those thoughts! You were the only one who chose to start a blog, Remind yourself of why you started your blog in the first place to help you get through those tough moments
6. Money will come.. stay patient
The hardest part of starting a blog is feeling stressed about not getting anything out of what you have put in. But I promise if you stick with it you will earn yourself good money and feel like you have achieved something. I still remember how I felt when I earned my first dollar like it was yesterday. Even though the amount was small, it was well earned. It helps me to think of it this way for the first year or two of blogging. Before you land yourself a great career in any field, you pay a lot of money upfront for schooling. Same applies with blogging, even though we aren't going to school for it; you have to pay to go to conferences, classes, workshops, all your new clothing, collaborations, giveaways etc. All of that quickly adds up and before you know it, you have spent way more than you are earning. After you have worked your way high enough into the blogging world you will start to break even, and after that you will start to feel satisfied with the amount you make per month. Just try to get through those first 6 to 12 months!! I promise it is worth it
7. Baby steps
It's funny how I get so excited over the silliest things. Like being featured on a well known companies instagram page, or when so and so befriended me, or the sweet comments from you all. It has been fun watching the progression made that lights up my day. I'm always looking to find something to get excited about each and every day. Take in those sweet moments, because they are what help you through those rough patches
8. Put yourself out there
I look back at my experience at ALT Summit and remember giving myself a pep talk in my car before walking into the conference. I told myself that it is a make or break situation. I didn't want to leave feeling regret about being shy and not having any confidence with in myself or my blog. I am a very shy person the first time or two you meet me, ( but once I have warmed up to you that becomes a different story :) Being shy it was very difficult for me to overcome this and go out of my way to introduce myself to people, especially those who I have been following on instagram for years. I knew if wouldn't have put myself out there, I wouldn't have met 3/4 of the people who I can call my friend or had the opportunity to work with so many great companies.
9. Always challenge yourself
Each month I set goals for myself and am amazed that I make them each month. This is one way I remind myself that I am making progress and improving each and everyday along this journey. Make sure to keep a log of your progression. I didn't the first 6 months, and was feeling like I wasn't achieving much. After you have number and goals to look back on you surprise yourself how much you have actually grown in such a short amount of time.
I think it is such a huge turn off when you find out your favorite celebrity or blogger in this case turns out to be a jerk in real life. It doesn't matter how big you get in the blog world, you are still human and you had to start out somewhere, just like the rest of us. Staying Humble and kind is what makes you and your blog so beautiful. Let's all just be nice and supportive of one another.
Back to my experience with ALT I was amazed after meeting people who I felt thought they were better than everyone else attending and it broke my heart. Two people who stuck out to me the most for being so genuine and kind and caring of others is Corrine from Mint Arrow and Alix from A Ruffled Life. I have so much respect for these two women because they were there to help you be a better person and blogger.
11. Life isn't perfect
We like to think that our favorite instagram users have the perfect life, and are always traveling to amazing places, and eating way better food than you are. But in reality, you only see small fraction of their life. I catch myself sometimes wishing to be more like these amazing bloggers and wanting their beautiful homes they live in, but I have to remind myself that I too travel to amazing places, and eat great food and people might feel that way towards me, so I need to be thankful for what I do have. Trust me, the bad days can't be shown on social media, it would scare everyone away!
A big HIGH FREAKING FIVE to anyone who read through this whole thing.
Again, I can't thank you enough for your love and support.
Here is to another great year!!
I would love to know if there is anything you would love to see more of on this blog, are you loving the trends I choose to style.
Do you want to see more than fashion? Let me hear it from you babes!!
Also, Feel free to ask me any questions that you have!