July 5, 2013

Dear Frannie Friday--What I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

I've been at this blog for two years and some change now.  I would under no circumstances label myself as an expert--I don't use Photoshop or edit my photos in any way and have no clue how, I don't "seek out" sponsors and I still feel like a newbie around this territory--however, I have learned a thing or two.  Here are just a few things that I wish someone would have told me prior to starting a style blog:

1.  Pay no attention to stats and followers.

I've never been big on the latter, but I used to check my stats like some people check their reflection.  Constantly.  And I would get so personal about it.  It took a looooong time for my stats to rise.  When I reached 1,000 views in my first month, I was excited!  But when they would dip, I would totally take it personally, thinking that my outfit or words weren't good enough.  The truth of the matter is--your stats are probably going to suck at first.  And they might continue that way for a long time.  You might not be approached by Free People within your first year of blogging to review clothes.  You might only have your Grandmother and best friend reading your posts.  It's ok.  If you stay with it and don't freak out about the stats so much, it will all come together on its own time.  Trust. 

2.  Figure out some basic photography skills

I am absolutely NOT recommending going and getting expensive camera equipment solely for the purpose of blogging.  What I am saying is learn how to work with whatever you have a bit.  Become comfortable with the settings like the timer or remote if you are taking your own photos.  Familiarize yourself with how different lighting and weather and shadows affect your pictures turn out.  Do a bit of research on things like aperture and shutter speed.  Of course most of these things require trial and error and you probably won't know everything from the start.  I am definitely still learning.  But when you start out with the basics, you can have photos that you are usually happy with.

3.  Have a backlog . . . and take breaks

When I started my blog and I took photos everyday and posted them the same day, I loved it but at the same time, it was a lot of pressure.  Because if you don't take photos, you don't post and if you don't post, your stats go down and if you're stats go down, people might forget that you're blog is around.  I can say with certainty, though, the photos I took where I hated my outfit, but just wanted something to post or I loved my outfit but my photos were less than stellar were by far my worst posts.  It was almost worth not posting at all!  The same was true when I felt that there was something I had to post and just posted to post. When you are just posting to maintain your blog, it shows.  And it's usually not very interesting.  After I got back from my honeymoon, I had a few outfits in a backlog and I used them for the days when I just wasn't feelin' my outfit or photos or the day or whatever.  That was nine months ago (wow!) and I haven't looked back.  So sometimes I will change my outfit several times in a day.  And I might go take photos of every one of them just because I'm in the mood.  And those outfits and photos that are taken when I like my outfit and I am actually into taking the photos are the best.  Also before my wedding, I was getting a little blogged out. I don't know why I kept blogging to be honest because I was really busy and stressed out.  But after I returned to blogging a few weeks later, I loved it again.  Sometimes you just need to step away completely.  And know that if you do--it will be a ok.  Your true readers will be there for you when you get back.

4.  Make sure you dress and shop for YOU, not your audience

Not to pat myself on the back but I have kept fairly true to myself in my blog--even more than needed to some standards.  But when I started, there were a few times when I found myself "needing" whatever all the other bloggers were wearing.  There were some outfits that I would end up hating or super uncomfortable in, but I wore them because I felt like I had to keep being original.  It's fun to be different, but always, always be you.

Do you have a question for Dear Frannie Friday?  Feel free to email me at franniepantz@hotmail.com

White Pencil Skirt-thrifted; Mint Mesh Sweater-Target; Chambray Button Down Shirt-Wal-Mart; Football Booties-Charlotte Russe; Earrings-gifted; Sunnies-Target

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