My first year of blogging has been such a whirlwind, in the best way. I learned SO much that I could probably fill this post with hours of jabbering.
My last post was generally about my feelings towards one year of blogging. But in this post, I’m sharing my journey this year, and how my blog came to the point it is now. I will say it is super flattering when someone is shocked that I’ve only been doing this for a year. I’m like WHAT REALLY CAN I PLEASE HUG YOU!? But the truth is I just fooled you with my #fakeittilyoumakeit mantra that’s been going on since Glass of Glam all started.
I moved to DC with husband of glam in October of 2015. We already had family and really close friends here, so it wasn’t too scary. I had just quit my job doing civil defense litigation at a mid sized firm, and at 27 years old I really was not sure what I wanted to do with my life.
I knew I loved fashion and beauty. More like lived, breathed, obsessed. I went to my favorite blogger’s websites every single day, poured over magazines, and literally studied the inventory of my favorite online retailers. You get the point. Along with that, my friends and acquaintances were asking me where I got this and that, what skincare I used, what lipstick I was wearing. I was on to something, but I didn’t know it yet.
At the end of December, after living in DC for 2 months, I finally started Glassofglam.com. Choosing a name was really difficult, but I love feeling and looking glamorous, and I seriously can’t get enough beverages. Boozy and not. So Glass of Glam it was!
I read all the websites and watched all the Youtubes on “how to start a blog” and registered my domain on Bluehost (I don’t know why, maybe because they had the best deal at the time and I had no budget.) Everyone said USE WORDPRES.ORG NOT WORDPRESS.COM so I followed their advice without really knowing why.
I picked an ugly theme, took some photos on my iPhone (go through my archives if you must) and started posting. I figured it was better to go early and go ugly then to never go. I made my collages on whatever free software I had and taught myself how to install plugins and build the website I imagined. But it was still kind of janky. I remember trying to install a widget to make my instagram photos show up on my homepage and it took me like 4 HOURS. But struggling with a task is a learning experience that I know I am better for.
I finally upgraded to a better camera – a Canon Rebel SL1 (the perfect mini blogger camera!) and bought a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens to go with it. Me and my husband shot with the kit lens on auto at first, but I finally starting playing around with the settings and was able to get that blurred background that everyone covets. Now that we understand how the camera works and have confidence in what we are going for, we have so much fun shooting together and I am always (usually) proud of our work.
I also upgraded to a photo editing software called Photoshop Elements. Guys, this program is a game changer and worth every penny. It takes awhile to learn the tricks, but there is so much you can do. As SOON as my imagery started to look better (both outfit shots and collages) that’s when I started to get noticed. I know I still have a lot of growing to do, but it’s fun to look back at where you came from once in a while.
Sometimes, I have some really talented local photographers take my photos. It’s SO nice to have a creative mind take your photos and send you the final edited product. I really struggle with editing, and it takes a ridiculous amount of time for me to get photos that I am proud of. Having a professional on your team is such a treat.
Overall, I try not to compare where I am now to someone else’s middle. You know those bloggers who have been around for 10 years and have so much more experience. They make drinking a cup of coffee look impeccable. Sometimes I like to go back in my favorite blogger’s archives and see that they, too, improved along the way. It’s refreshing and gives me a little boost of confidence.
If you’re just starting out, my advice is to just go for it. Keep pushing and studying and “figuring out” how to get the website you always imagined. Pretend like you have a million viewers a day, and your content will reflect confidence and authority. Invest in your website where your gut tells you, like in a better camera and good software. But don’t just GET the toys, learn how to really use them.
I’d love to know if you have any blogging questions, although I am by no means an expert. Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or drop a comment and I’ll definitely answer!
Currently Sipping: Perrier