Happy Christmas Eve! I love this time of year when i’m back at home, seeing friends and visiting family. It’s a great time to reflect about what’s happened this year and to see how far iambecca.com has come in the last eight months.
I’d toyed with the idea of starting a blog long before it launched. For me the biggest hurdle to overcome was putting myself out there and being open to criticism from friends, colleagues and the people who would stumble across my blog. My immediate thoughts were “I’m afraid to fail” and “What if people don’t like it?” and “Am I qualified to write about this type of content?” Essentially I had a lot of self doubt. This all stopped when I had a conversation with one of my best friends about putting those doubts aside and that I was starting this blog for me as it was something I would enjoy and hopefully something that could add value to others too. This time last year I read two brilliant books that really spurred me on to start, the first being Capture Your Style and the other was The Million Dollar Blog – I highly recommend them both if you’re wanting to start a blog or improve your Instagram!
Putting my insecurities into a box and reading those two books gave me the oomph to give it a go. A few months later iambecca.com was borne!
Luckily, I didn’t need to worry about the technical side of creating a blog as my full-time job in Digital Marketing had provided me with this skill set. I knew that I wanted to focus on three key areas, Style, Beauty and Travel so this meant that quite quickly the blog was up and running. The last eight months have by no means been straightforward so I thought i’d share some of my highs and lows and what i’ve learnt this year…
Finding the Balance
Striking the right balance between my job, the blog and life was initially quite difficult. I put myself under a lot of pressure to get X amount of blog posts out a week which meant that I neglected my friends and was up until silly o’clock most nights of the week. Knowing what I know now means that my time needs to be incredibly structured. I’ve taken the pressure off myself; planned a comprehensive content calendar making sure that I have time to create content in my spare time but also make sure that I don’t become a hermit! Planning is now my ‘thing’ and having this laid out has helped me no end.
When I jumped into the blogging world I didn’t know what to expect from fellow bloggers, from the outside I thought it could be competitive and potentially negative. I was SO wrong! The support network is incredible, i’ve met so many lovely people and everyone is to happy to help and offer advice. I’ve now got a little group of fellow bloggers who I meet up with over brunch and chat all things blogging – I love it!
Starting out meant that I could figure out my own style. It was a blank canvas to define iambecca.com which was very exciting! My Instagram feed is definitely more cohesive now than it was a year ago with the help of some incredible photographers.
It’s easy to post for the sake of it, to post because I hadn’t done in a few days, but realistically by doing this I wasn’t doing myself or the blog justice. I’ve learnt that I should only post the best visual and written content. It’s important to invest in someone who will capture my style, with high resolution images and this isn’t always something that an iPhone can achieve.
Not being demotivated during the slow periods
Instagram is an awareness driver for my blog, it’s a great platform to get noticed by brands and new people. Instagram and I have a bit of an up and down relationship, sometimes my posts do incredibly well and other times they totally bomb. When it’s not going well, it’s very easy to get demotivated and feel uninspired as I put so much time and effort into creating the best content possible. It’s important to remember that it will improve and not to let the little things deter you.
Ignore the haters
Unfortunately, starting a blog sadly opens me up to negative criticism. I’m always open to criticism, but if it’s not constructive then what’s the point? It’s just nasty. In the last eight months i’ve experienced two people who have messaged me commenting about my appearance. I was absolutely gutted and it really did knock me for six. Looking back at both situations made me think that it was sad that people felt the need to comment about how they didn’t like the way I looked. On reflection, 99% of the time the comments are positive and the support has been overwhelming so my take away from this is to ignore those negative people and to focus on the positive things that my blog brings to my life.
From the outside, it may look like my life is incredibly glamorous and I flounce about London all the time! By having a blog it means that I wear many hats, i’m a marketeer, model, location scout, writer, stylist, photographer, negotiator to name but a few and balancing this with my full-time job has been a challenge!
Starting a blog has been a big learning curve for me. With all the work that the blog brings to my life it’s sometimes easy to forget the positive things that have happened this year. For me it’s been an amazing year for personal and creative growth. I’ve overcome my fear of being judged; ticked off many of my goals on my 2017 goal list and have created my own little space that benefits me and hopefully others too.
I’m now looking forward to 2018 and planning some exciting projects; working on new ideas and launching a YouTube channel. Starting and maintaining iambecca.com has not been straightforward, but it was the best decision I ever made.
Merry Christmas to all my lovely readers.