I love reading secrets about people's professions or hobbies that you would otherwise be utterly blind towards. I think that a lot of people looking in from the outside of the blogging community view it as very glamorous and stress-free. With Instagram accounts acting more as a professionally coordinated portfolio than a spontaneous sharing outlet, styled shoots mirroring high-end fashion magazines, and recipes calling for multi-tiered, naked cakes and a spotless kitchen, it's really no wonder why this expectation exists. I read an article by Studio DIY's founder last month about the secrets of being a DIY blogger and it inspired me to share my own revelations about what I've experienced as a lifestyle blogger over the past 3 years.
As I've mentioned previously, being a blogger has changed my perspective on a lot of things in my personal and professional life. When I first decided to write with Anna Elizabeth Events, I was unsure of many things. I didn't have a single friend or connection in the blogging community and therefore, had no idea what to expect before the website was actually launched. You could say that I "winged it" in many ways. I still am, really. (I think a lot of us are!)
There are many categories to this whole blogging thing and being deemed a "lifestyle" blog is both challenging and freeing. It has allowed me to cover a large variety of interesting topics and creative projects in my blog posts from week to week. It gives me more flexibility than, say, a strictly DIY blog. On the other hand, being in this broad category has made it difficult to define a niche market and differentiate between other websites and bloggers.
Now, before I receive a string of criticism and nasty emails, let me preface this blog post by saying that it has been written strictly from my own experience as a lifestyle blogger. As expected, my experience may differ greatly from yours (and that is okay!)
"My go-to location for shooting a new recipe is the corner in my bedroom. I use a big, white board propped on top of a wobbly stool and stand on the corner of my bed frame until my toes are practically bleeding to get the perfect shot."
01. It's the opposite of the "get rich" scheme
If you joined the blogging industry after reading a viral post of how much the top bloggers make (hint: millions) with that singular goal in mind, well, I hate to break it to you but, you're dreaming. As the founder of Studio DIY explained, when you are first starting out, many people don't realize how much time and money will be spent simply to attract your first few readers. Constantly coming up with new content, purchasing supplies (whether it's for a craft, recipe, or style post on trend) can take a toll on your finances. Especially if there's nothing going back in for the first year or so. There are a ton of ways to generate income from blogging; however, these things don't happen overnight while you're sleeping.
02. Thick skin will become second nature
The first time that negativity ever came from starting a blog for me was within a year of my first post when someone went out of their way to inform me that my new puppy was ugly and that I'm a detriment to society because he wasn't adopted. I remember reading the comment in disbelief. This obviously wasn't the first time that someone had ever said something unkind to me and it certainly wouldn't be the last. However, I think that putting yourself out there on the internet in such personal posts opens the door for people to comment, whether that's positive or negative reinforcement. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I have also met many wonderful people in the blogging community that have provided nothing but support, love, and encouragement. I think that as a blogger, you have to take the good with the bad. That being said, having thick skin and a sense of self-confidence (and humor!) behind your brand can be essential to your long-term success and happiness in this business
03. The majority of us are normal, working class people
Surprise! The larger majority of us bloggers aren't rolling around in bed at noon with a cup of joe and a perfectly color-coordinated magazine in our lap. We're probably sitting in a cubicle, drinking stale, black coffee and staring at our computer screens or daunting to-do list. Although we would like to be spending our days in the kitchen coming up with new, trendy dessert recipes, working on perfecting our social media strategy, or shooting a style post in the sunny weather, we have bills just like the rest of the general public and can't afford to have blogging be our only income (at least not yet!) Almost every blogger that I've connected with in this community are holding "real" full-time jobs in addition to working on their websites in between. There are days that I wake up at 5am to write, stay at the office from 8am to 6pm, and come back home to shoot a project or work on publishing and promoting a blog post until 1am. I know that I work my ass off to grow Anna Elizabeth Events and I don't take one single praise for granted. Simply put, if you don't love what you're doing, you won't last very long.
04. We have one hell of a supportive partner and/or family and one of those lucky people has been deemed our on-call photographer
When I launched Anna Elizabeth Events just 3, short years ago, I had 2, whole readers: Sam, and my Mom. And, to be honest, I'm pretty sure that my Mom didn't actually read my posts (she just clicked on them to get me excited when viewing my stats!) That being said, I would never have been able to expand the blog into the categories that I have if I didn't have such a supportive partner and family behind me. I am blessed beyond belief to have reconnected with Sam in the early stages of launching Anna Elizabeth Events. He is my editor, my photographer, my recipe-tester, mentor, and biggest supporter. I know that he is always out for my best interest and cares about the success of this blog as much as I do. An overwhelming amount of our weekend dates are decided by where we want to shoot a new post for the blog. We have turned it into a fun activity to do together and always reward ourselves by grabbing a tasty margarita or dessert afterwards.
05. We are overly concerned with the weather
I'm not a meteorologist but, I play one on TV. I have never been more concerned with the weather than when I am shooting a new creative post. Knowing the exact timing of when the light shining through the window of the bedroom will be perfect has become second nature to me (it's 2pm on a partly sunny day, in case you were wondering). Rainy weather can truly be a disaster, especially if there is one gray weekend after another. Like I mentioned above, the majority of us bloggers are inside in an office all week. So, it can be especially frustrating when the weather is beautiful from 8am to 5pm and, the moment that we pull our car into the driveway at home, the sun has set and the rain clouds decide to rear their ugly head. I've had days that I spent getting ready for an hour only to shoot outside on a cloudy, gray day and erase the entirety of my camera memory card when I arrive back home. Those days deserve an extra glass of wine.
06. The places we shoot new posts are... unique
While our styled posts may look spontaneous or very glamorous, I assure you they are not. Our perfectly, color-coordinated charcuterie may appear as if there isn't a fig out of place but, you should see the mess right outside of that frame (or, our kitchen!). My go-to location for shooting a new recipe is, get this, the corner in my bedroom. I use a big, white board propped on top of a wobbly stool and stand on the corner of my bed frame until my toes are practically bleeding to get the perfect shot. In terms of style posts, I personally don't like shooting at the same location (there are SO many places to choose from in the city). So, as I mentioned above, Sam and I usually make an afternoon of searching for the perfect spot to carry out a new post. Just last weekend, we got kicked out of a location on the water and almost ticketed for leaving our car in a tow-away zone while shooting my date night look (decidedly very worth it).
07. We've never known ourselves more fully
I am absolutely positive that I have never felt more "myself" than since I began blogging and using Anna Elizabeth Events as a creative outlet. If you are truly passionate about blogging and enjoy writing and sharing your projects, you are already a success. A lot of people out there can't truly say that they "love" their jobs. I think that blogging is a huge industry in which loving what you are doing is inevitable. Yes, there have been days that I've wondered to myself "what the hell am I doing, and why?" But, each time I write a post like this from my heart or find the beauty in photographing a simple cocktail, I know that I am exactly where I need to be. I may not ever become Emily Schuman or have an empire like "Cupcakes and Cashmere" (#dream) but, at least I'm spending time dedicated to something that I truly love and respect.
What do you think? Tell me about your experience as a blogger in the comments below or via Facebook!
xo Anna Elizabeth
Welcome to Anna Elizabeth, my creative space for fashion, recipes, styling, tutorials, figuring out how to run a successful business... and all of the little moments in between!
I N S T A G R A M S
Now trending .
1 A Change of Pace
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4 Dark Romance
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6 Plaid and Chambray
7 Pecan Toffee Cookies
8 Leather and Satin
9 London Fog Tea Latte
10 Rosemary White Bread
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