FIRST YEAR OF SUCCESS
Yes you read that right, 105 posts and one year later, Friday marks the first year of JustNatonya! My blog was launched May 17, 2018 and it has been a rewarding journey so far. I made some genuine relationships in the blogging community along with gaining a few brand collaborations. Writing has truly given me a method to use my voice and overcome my occasional shyness. I’m still growing to become my best self personally and career-wise. I’m excited to share new experiences, helpful lessons and inspiring moments along the way to encourage others in becoming better too.
Grab your chocolate and wine, or even lunch because this is a LONG CHATTY post filled with tons of information to help you along your blogging journey! Oh, don’t forget your notepad and pen too because I’m sharing my top 9 lessons I learned my first year blogging.
Numbers Don’t Matter…Too Much
Let’s be real, to land a sponsorship from big-time brands like Dior, Fashion Nova, Oh Polly, Anastasia Beverly Hills, VERB or Fresh Skincare you must have tons of followers right? In total honesty, I say that’s true 80% of the time because bloggers with less than 5k followers can land brand collaborations like those who have 100k. I believe companies are choosing small bloggers because they know their engagement is higher.
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THE MERA | Growing up as a 90s kid, you couldn't break me away from wearing chokers. In high school, I made a choker out of a bracelet and wore it everyday with two necklaces but with daily wear, my favorite choker broke😭. For years I couldn't find a replacement…until now🙌🏾 • I'm wearing The Mera from @civionjewelry and it's very similar to what I wore as a teen. I feel so edgy and sophisticated in my modern 90s choker, it's easily becoming a favorite of mine. • If you like this piece hit that link in my bio to see more🛍️ I collaborated with @civionjewelry to promote some stylish pieces for you at a discounted price🎉. • Use my code NATONYA30 for 30% off❤️#civion #ad
While you want to be realistic and set goals for yourself, don’t let numbers dictate your passion for writing. Stay committed to producing valuable and relatable content. Eventually, you’ll find the perfect company who will recognize your authenticity and want to work with you.
Passion over numbers gets you farther in the blogging world. Just stay true to you.
As a beginner, I never thought I would have the opportunity to work with companies such as Perditi, Civion Jewelry, Ever-Pretty and even have my Instagram post featured on Philosophy‘s page! My Instagram following is only near 700 right now and my blog following a little over 260 subscribers but yet I landed some collaborations because I focused on producing content that reflects my passion in a genuine way.
Write in Bulk
As I’m becoming more established, people are actually reading my posts. I upload fresh content every Monday & Thursday to keep my audience interested. Publishing twice/wk gives me time to draft and schedule at least three posts. Writing in advance keeps me organized and free from running out of content ideas. Check out how I write my blog posts faster here.
Don’t Let Ideas Go to Waste
Being a creative means an influx of ideas is normal, it’s just deciding which thoughts need action applied. I’m literally sitting on 51 blog post drafts because I’m always having tons of content to share. Sometimes, I have these grand concepts but I get so nervous and overthink my ideas. STOP! Never talk yourself out of ideas because your proposition may be a game changer for someone else.
You could sit and plan your dreams everyday or you could live your dreams right now. Which do you choose?
SHEICONIC is a community I built to promote body positivity by celebrating ALL stylish women. We celebrate the diversity of beauty and body types. Every image posted is with permission.
At first, I was nervous to act on my concept because I wanted to ask permission to use their photos out of respect instead of casually re-posting. The first thought in my head was, “what if they say no?” I had to let the negative energy fly far from me and upgrade my thinking to “what if they say yes?”
Don’t be afraid to carry out your ideas because they may be life changing not only you but someone else too. You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you try. No just means find another route to yes.
Support Other Bloggers
You get back what you put out, popular saying but entirely true. With my old blog SimplyUntamedNatonya, I took everything for granted even the comments. I never read posts from other bloggers. I just quickly eyeballed random blog posts and left an empty comment, more to the story here.
If you’re not reading other’s post, then why should people read yours?
Now I recognized the meaning of Input vs Output. Today, I’m proud to say I genuinely read posts of other bloggers with the intent to give back, learn something new and become inspired. I make sure I’m supporting others, especially those who take the time to read my content and leave sweet comments.
Sometimes it takes me a few weeks to reply to everyone but I make sure I do it not matter how long it takes. It makes my day to see others enjoying what I share and I want to make sure I do the same.
Network but Establish Limits
Social media is a great way to build your audience, collaborate with brands and find job opportunities. Aside from the brilliance of networking and engaging online, social media can become a heavy-duty task. I had to stop spending hours scrolling through Twitter and Instagram because I was filling my mind with unhealthy images and actually increasing insecurities and decreasing productivity.
Less is more, right?
While I do generate blog topics and discover other helpful information, not everything online is great for your mind. I set a time frame for Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google. Plus, I take a digital detox for three days to readjust. I find myself more successful when I’m not online for hours searching for information. I like to let topics and ideas flow to me naturally and then put them into action.
Breaks are Necessary
Speaking of detoxing, don’t forget to take time for yourself. YOU come before your blog. Blogging is a superb career or hobby for some but it’s also time consuming. Sometimes you need a break from all the ongoing tasks. It’s ok if you don’t feel like uploading Instagram pictures everyday or tweeting every week. It’s ok if you don’t want to return comments today or even five days later. We’re human, it’s natural for us to get tired, it’s the body’s way of saying, “hey I need a break!”
Listen and acknowledge what your body is saying, if you need to rest, do it. Your loyal followers will always understand and will be waiting for you to return. Taking breaks allows you to rediscover your joy for blogging again.
Don’t Follow the Crowd
Early in my first year, I thought I had to follow everything in the fashion niche. I convinced myself I needed high-end clothes, a professional photographer, luxury skincare and exotic locations. As I found my way through the blogging world, I discovered I am unique enough. It’s not about the clothes I wear or what I eat for lunch but it’s more about how I present myself as a person.
Stay true to yourself because that’s your identity and ultimately will benefit you in the long-run.
I believe authenticity is identified through the computer screen, people can tell if you’re being real or fake. So I quickly realized it’s much easier to be me and not pretend I’m a rich girl from The Hamptons. I embrace my natural hair and my style combo of high-end brands blended with low-end fashion companies. I’m not afraid to show my acne or fluctuating weight. I feel what makes me appealing to others is my honesty and in return it’s inspiring.
I used to think if I promote my posts it would make me appear self-absorbed. I didn’t want to annoy my followers with always sending out my content so I retweeted a lot of stuff that I liked from others. Eventually I learned people will never know what I have to offer if I hold back.
Modesty in the blogging world has its limits. You cannot be modest too much because your work and exposure will suffer. If you want to be seen and share your story, you cannot be afraid to promote your content on a regular basis.
Now, I’m working on promoting old blog posts twice everyday along with any new blog content and random relatable photos of me. If you think about it, there’s millions of Twitter users online, how are they going to see your content if you post once or twice per week? Unless you have a huge following, you have to promote yourself over and over because content is constantly pushed out over and over.
Try New Tasks
Life is way more thrilling when you take time to explore and break old habits. I’m becoming more expressive in my Instagram Stories and share videos of myself on my feed. Although I haven’t spoke in front of the camera yet, I’m practicing so I can conquer my fear of giving speeches.
If you don’t let go, you’ll never grow.
Taking yourself to next level means upgrading your routine. You must do different things to see new results. I’ve been told numerous of times I would make a great motivational speaker. Maybe one day I share some inspirational thoughts on my stories or even make a YouTube channel. Who knows? But I’m excited to try and burst my comfort bubble into something new.
A big thank you to everyone who has made this year rewarding! I’m so happy you all were a part of my journey. I hope these 9 blogging tips help the beginners and inspire others to make the most of their blogging career too.
What did you learn your first year blogging?