baby blog turned one! This time last year I hit “publish” on my first ever post announcing I was starting a blog, and you can read it here! I can’t believe a whole year has passed since! I wanted to write a post to mark the occasion but have been so stuck on what to write about. So, I’ve done a reflection post looking at what I did before blogging, why I enjoy it so much and where I see it going in the future! Give this post a “like” if you enjoy it and let’s crack on, it’s a long one!
Why I Started Blogging
The only sort of reflective post I’ve written on my blog was back in April when I hit 100 blog followers and did a little celebration post, much like this one. That post is way more concise on why I starting blogging, but reading it back I’m so happy that so many things I wrote are still true! I do still love blogging as much as the day I started, and even love it more. I do still get so excited when I see someone has liked my newest post, Instagram photo, or even followed those accounts because they want to see more from me. I started blogging as a way to participate in the online beauty blogging/vlogging community. After years of watching my favourite gurus on YouTube and talking about makeup with my friends, I finally made a space for myself online where I could communicate back, and I’m so happy I did.
What I Did Before Blogging
I’m going to throw this Thursday WAY back and start from the beginning because writing this post has made me realised I’ve done so much before I started blogging and it’s all contributed to where I am today. I feel like Kylie Jenner realising things.
I have no idea in which year I started my tumblr, but it’s been going for a long, long time. I don’t use it anymore, but I was “micro-blogging” since middle school, constantly being exposed to a feed of images created by fellow bloggers, professional photographers, editorial images, tv and film screen caps and the rest. I spent years constantly looking at photos and carefully curating a digital collage of them and that’s definitely where my love for flatlaying/blogging/fashion/beauty has come from. Tumblr was all about creating an “~aesthetic~”, it was all completely anonymous, your follower count was hidden and you had full control on what you wanted to reblog. It was the training wheels of blogging without even realising it.
Before I discovered my genuine, obsessive passion for beauty, I also had a brief stint of fashion blogging on my old tumblr account but I cannot for the life of me find the few posts that I did – which is maybe for the better as I was standing awkwardly around my house. I think 15/16 year old Jessica swiftly deleted those once she wasn’t feeling it.
Because I saw on tumblr how creative you could be with images and items you owned, when I started Instagram it just felt natural to compose them in a nice way to share them on my feed. I’m never in the mood to take selfies (something I want to improve in 2017, make of that what you will), but I love social media, sharing, talking about myself and my day, so when I would want to post on Instagram that I’m enjoying my Sunday, I’d do a little flatlay of my day – coffee, textbook and Yen magazine at the ready. My friends always told me and commented on my photos how much they loved what I would come up with, which was such an amazing feeling! My Instagram was definitely a stepping stone to blogging, because pretty much all that has changed is in my captions I direct you to a link where I have a dedicated spot for my ramblings! But before I ever thought of starting a blog, I had another idea in mind.
I’ve always wanted to start something and for a long time I thought the answer was YouTube. What put me off was the guaranteed clunky, awkward start everyone has and, being the perfectionist that I am, I would have wanted everything to be perfect before I began – hence why I never began! Maybe in the future I’ll venture into YouTube, but it’s a huge project and if you want to do it properly, consistently and be successful, I don’t think you can work, do university full time and run a blog on the side.
What I’ve realised now is I’ve always wanted to create something online, and preferably something successful, and since I’ve been so busy with this blog I didn’t even realise it was becoming successful. I’m defining successful as something that’s consistently producing quality, original content that people are enjoying.
Why I Enjoy Blogging
When I started my blog, the strongest feeling I remember was feeling normal about it. I was of course excited, but I felt so normal about the whole thing, there was no embarrassment about sharing what I was creating. When I thought about starting YouTube, having to film myself and, god forbid, having to promote those videos on multiple platforms so that people can watch them, it sounded terrifying! My, although short, experience in fashion blogging on tumblr felt odd too, forced and unnatural with no creativity or “me” in it, even though they were pictures of me. But beauty blogging literally just felt so natural from the moment I started and continues to a year on. I’m so happy I’ve found something that gives me so much joy and happiness and the fact that people I know in real life and online genuinely enjoy seeing my posts pop up on their feed is a wonderful feeling! Blogging is a complete escape for me. It has nothing to do with work or university, it’s purely me spending time with things that make me happy, creating online content that make me happy. I know I’ll evidently hit a rut at some point, but I’m quite surprised to say in this first year, I’ve honestly never been stuck for ideas to the point where I forfeit a post or throw the towel in. While I sometimes haven’t had the time to blog, usually around university crunch time, the passion for blogging has never dimmed.
Where I See My Blog In The Future
I look at my blog in a very short term sense to keep things relatively fresh, new and as spontaneous as my meticulous planning allows. I usually look at things on a month by month basis, keeping a huge “Ultimate Blog Post Ideas” list on my phone and laptop and pulling from there when the month needs those certain posts. For example “Summer Makeup Picks” has been there for months but has been planned for January. Because of this monthly planning, I don’t have any “super long term” goals or ideas for the future in relation to followers, statistics, or brands because it takes the fun out of everything and would feel like I’m running a business, not a fun hobby. I did want to reach 200 followers before the end of the year, and in October I had 180 when I made that goal, and I’m so happy we passed that goal in early December! In general, I’d like to keep my blog going for as long as possible and I’d like to maintain or improve the quality of what I’m producing.
In terms of the year ahead, I will obviously keep beauty blogging but I want to also add more fashion posts in, and even more lifestyle posts like baking and reading. I’d also like to add more personal posts like “monthly goals” posts I see other bloggers doing. I love reading them and seeing what things other people are hoping to achieve in the next few weeks, whether that task is big or small. It makes me feel like I know them more and they become so much more interesting and relatable. In 2017 I also want to become self hosted, drop WordPress from my URL and purchase a better theme.
In terms of in the long term future, I have no idea where I’ll be. I’m not sure what I want to do in life, I have a vague idea, and I’m in a university course that will launch me into that general industry, but I can’t look at my options and add “blogger” to the mix as a full time job. Every single blogger will tell you it’s a bit of a one in a million gig to become a full time blogger with that has your primary income. So, even though blogging full time would be a dream come true, I don’t realistically see it like that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t give every part of it 110% of my efforts and want it to be as great as it can be.
This post was so freaking long and I put it off until today because I had no idea what to write, yet here we are 1521 words later! Thank you so much for reading this post! Also, thank you so much for reading any of my blog posts from this year, visiting my blog, liking my posts here or on Instagram, following my accounts or leaving me some love in the comments section! All these things add up and make me so incredibly happy. Give this post a “like” if you enjoyed it and check out my Instagram if you haven’t already! So, cheers to the first year of blogging and bring on many more!
All the love,