My oh my. It’s Collartocollar.com’s third birthday! THIRD. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for three years now. I’ve had my struggles and my successes. I never in a million years would have thought this little passion would grow in the way it has or brought me the most amazing friendships. Not only friendships but partnerships and relationships with businesses. Over three years I’ve definitely learned a couple things and wanted to share with you all.
- Use a professional camera for photos. It totally makes a difference. I know that when you just start out it can be a huge expense to buy a new Nikon. A lot of college campuses will let you rent out a camera to use. If your campus doesn’t allow for that you can head over to the film and digital media department and find a student who is passionate in photography and might swap a photoshoot for dinner. I did this a lot with friends. I didn’t have any extra money to spend but wanted the quality of my content to be there, well eventually. I did start out with an iPhone, haha!
- Be yourself. Individuals start blogs for various reasons. Mine was an escape. Where I could truly display my passion for fashion. When I first started blogging, I wanted to be like every other blogger. You think that’s what you’re supposed to do. This blogger posed this way so I’m going to do that in my next photoshoot. Well, if it’s cute enough maybe, but you get where I’m coming from. Don’t be like anyone else. You’re not going to be happy with your blog if it isn’t 100% YOU! You can see who isn’t themselves. Its extremely easy to tell. So being yourself will help you in the long run believe me. Plus its very refreshing to see individuals being themselves in a somewhat saturated industry. I’ve learned the blogging world is very kind. We support each other and share in one another’s successes. My followers are my family because they support me for being me. I took a major break from blogging because I was unhappy with it. I felt like I wasn’t being genuine. Once I finally realized I was doing it for me, everything fell together in the best way.
- Explore. When I first started blogging I hated that I lived in Waco. Nothing is in Waco. Where could I shoot cool photos. I’m over here looking at bloggers who live in LA and NYC and wanted exactly what they have as backdrops and restaurants. Well guess what? Waco is pretty freaking cool! If you’re closed minded in your blogging you WILL NOT do well. I know from experience. I didn’t want to explore my city and see what all it had to offer, which is actually a ton! A great way for me to destress from an intense day is to take a drive. I note places I would love to take photoshoots at. It makes my photographers job easy when I can take us to specific places I’m already interested in.
- Struggles happen. You are going to struggle. You are going to get upset. You may even quit for a while, I know I did. BUT, hear me out. BUT it’s how you overcome these struggles and strive forward that makes you the amazing person you are truly meant to be. Sometimes blogging can be toxic. Don’t let it get the best of you. I took about 6 months off from blogging because I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. I was beating myself up about it. It was because I wasn’t being myself and worrying more about numbers. I’ve only recently realized that’s not what blogging is all about. The amount of followers you have isn’t truly what matters. I’m still struggling with things when it comes to my blog. Reach out. Ask others who have done the same. I’ve been having issues with my website lately and for the life of me cannot figure it out. I’ve been contacting someone who specializes in this. Seek the advice and help from others. Don’t try to do everything on your own.
- Step Out. Don’t wait around for individuals or brands to reach out to you! Contact them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been the one to reach out. The worst thing they are going to do is tell you no. Ouch. That hurt. Obviously it didn’t actually. Most of the time if they brands tell you no at first they will come around as you’ve grown. A no isn’t going to kill you. It’s going to make you stronger. Don’t be discouraged. Keep being persistent. Don’t give up. That’s the BEST piece of advice I can give! Take initiative and sell yourself. You are a wonderful individual building your brand as a blogger. You know you more than anyone else. If you’re confident in yourself it will 100% show. Contact brands that YOU like, if you don’t like the product then you’re not going to be able to blog about it naturally. Be honest with brands. Let them get to know the real you. Most brands want something new and different, so if you’re like everyone else… then you probably won’t go as far.
- Celebrate. My favorite bit of advice!!! Celebrate those goals reached baby! Take time to love yourself and celebrate your big wins, but never give up on your dreams. Be sure to treat yourself when you reach a new goal, even if it seems on the smaller side, it’s still a goal reached. You seriously can do anything when you put your mind to it. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I’ve made an extreme amount of progress and that makes be beyond excited!
It’s been an emotional roller coaster over the past three years and I’m ready to take on this next year with more drive than ever. Happy Birthday Collartocollar.com. You’ve been my home away from home and my biggest de-stresser! Turn your dreams and passion into something. You won’t regret it! I’m so grateful to my supporters and followers. Y’all are my family. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without YOU!