Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Blogging: How I Started Out, and a Sneaky Shoe Change

I get so many emails and direct messages about my blog and how I started out and, many people then go on to ask for any tips as they themselves are wanting to start out and don't know how or where to start. I would love to do a top tips or answering your questions post another time, so if you have anything specific you'd like me to answer then please do comment it below and I will try and incorporate them into another post. 
However the one initial tip I can give wholeheartedly and from experience is, don't force it. The blogging industry and to be honest the media industry has exploded over the past few years, and has seen many people now set out to set up a blog or youtube channel or whatever outlet they please to be a part of the labelled 'Team Internet".  I never set out to be a blogger from the start, not at all. I had no idea what a blogger or influencer was, let alone it could be a job or that people actually cared about it. 
I had an Instagram account the same as anyone else, mainly to keep up to date with friends etc and post pictures with said friends and I never intended it to be anything more.

As I said, I never set out to make this a job, or even make it a thing, however I have always been into fashion so its always been something I loved to express from a younger age. I posted an array of awful (now) mirror selfies which included my outfit and it seemed like people began to follow me because they liked something about what I was posting, I then figured I may as well put a little more effort into the images I am posting if people may actually be following me for it. Bearing in mind this was four years ago, when I was 14... so it still doesn't count as blogging AT ALL. I began to get questions about my style or messages for style advice and figured hey, maybe people are actually interested in it like I am.
This is when I decided I wanted to set up my blog, and I came onto Blogspot and sorted out a simple 'hayleighjm' domain and this is where the writing started. I have always adored writing, and took my english GCSE's early alongside looking into maybe doing journalism when I was older, so this became a little outlet for myself for the fashion advice that I wanted to give, alongside the other topics I just loved writing about. This is why I tend to slip in quite a few more advice posts and lifestyle posts as these are the ones I absolutely adore writing for you, and usually get the best response. 

This is where everything grew from, a little girl who had a social media account where she kinda liked fashion and people kinda took interest. I never really realised this was a big deal or potentially could be a bigger deal for a long long time. Brands don't work with you immediately, they won't get in touch straight away and they DEFINITELY won't pay you straight away. (FYI this never changes...). I started posting more, mainly fashion, and little brands began to send me things to style, and it was ridiculously exciting for me. I remember the first time someone offered to pay me, I think it was only £10 or so, but the idea of charging for content (however bad it may have been at the time) had never even crossed my mind. Which is a testament to myself really, and how I am not doing this for money, nor did I set out to do it as a job, simply an adored hobby thats slowly and hopefully surely going in the right direction. 

I quickly began to realise that its definitely all about making sure you try and excel on as many platforms as you can, because it allows you to reach more people, alongside making it easier for brands to see the content you are creating. 
I am still definitely trying to grow as best I can, but for me, its all about trying to invest as much time and energy I can into this, because its something I genuinely adore doing for myself, and you all. 

Nowadays, nothing warms my heart more sometimes than when someone leaves a lovely comment on a blog post or tells me they really loved something I posted. Its amazingly rewarding to hear that people like what you're doing, especially those you're doing it for. I got such an amazing reaction to my most recent post (read it here if you missed it!), from both you lovely readers and actually people close to me, something that genuinely never happens. I got a few texts and messages from people who read it, and it got a little bit overwhelming when you do realise that people take the time to read your posts, something I still don't believe to this day actually happens. 

I think if you are considering starting out, you need to figure out if this is something you would genuinely like to be putting a lot of time and effort into this. I learned the hard way that people like and appreciate consistency within your content, especially on your blog and Instagram. This is why I now post twice a week, ideally on Sunday and Wednesday, and am working at pushing that up to three posts a week for you all. I do struggle sometimes with coming up with ideas for posts, but you guys are always my inspiration for it, so please always let me know if you would like to see certain things!
Blogging was in essence something I built up, but was definitely not something I am not grateful, I have worked hard during my education to keep it going so that now I am no longer in education I can fully devote time, effort and the money I earn from it, into building it up into what I hope I am able to. I have every faith in anyone who is able to dedicate themselves into creating any kind of platform, its so rewarding when you receive a positive comment, or more views that you thought on your latest post. Its the best thing in the world for me to have the opportunity to make something that started as a hobby, hopefully into a full time job. I believe in myself, and others who are wanting to start out. 
I am in no way saying I am doing amazingly, because there are so many amazing women in this industry who are doing far better than me, but I am striving every day to get closer to where they are. 

I will do a top tips and what I have learned post for you all perhaps next week, but I just want to know whether there is anything specific you would like to know or advice on anything specific before I write it up.

On a fashionable side note, how cute is this day to night outfit change with a simple shoe switch!? I didn't think I would like the perspex heels, but hell they elongate your legs and little shortie here needs all the height she can get. A shoe change is the easiest and simplest way of changing your look from dressed down to dressed up, genuinely one of the best fashion tips I can give you.

Shop this whole look below, I know you want to...

I hope you enjoyed this post, please do let me know below what you'd like to see next alongside what you may like me to answer in the blog advice post!

Love, H 




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