What I've Learned My First Year of Blogging


What I learned my first year of blogging; the bleached curl

Happy Wednesday and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BLEACHED CURL!!!

I can't believe it's already been one year since I started blogging. It felt like just yesterday I was up until 4am countless numbers of nights designing my site, writing posts, and getting ready for my launch. Like, excuse my French.....but holy shit lol.

It has been an amazing year full of so many amazing blogging moments, accomplishments, and more. From launching my blog, to converting my Instagram account, to getting accepted into rewardStyle, landing brand collaborations and more...it's been a whirlwind.

Since I've been blogging for a year now, I wanted to share with you all what I've learned from my first year of bogging. This post will be full of tips and tricks I have that I have found worked for me personally that I want to share with you babes whether you're a fellow blogger, looking to begin a blog, or just tagging along for my journey. I want to warn you right away, this post is looooong. This is by far the longest blog post/article I've written ever, but I have so many tips for you guys that I can't leave some out.

Regardless, before I jump into it: THANK YOU. I seriously could not have done all of this without your support on the blog, my social media platforms and more. You, my readers, will never have even the slightest bit of ideas of how much your underlying support means to me...this is all for you! So thank YOU, from the bottom of my heart.

Now let's begin. I'm going to be splitting this post up a little bit so it's easier for you to follow my advice and strategies. I want to start right from the beginning (the process leafing up to the launch), move into my first few months of blogging, what happened when I transformed in Instagram account, and my thoughts now a year later. *all advice/tips are bolded*

The Process Leading up to the Launch:

I officially clicked "Publish" on The Bleached Curl on March 20, 2018. The process leading up to that one tiny click though was so exhilarating. I'm the type of person that loves to see my ideas come to life--whether it's in the form of something creative (like this blog), a paper I'm writing for school, a project I'm working on, or anything...I'm a very visually-minded.

A lot of bloggers may say the process of leading up to their launch was exhausting, a lot of work, and very time-consuming...and that's because it was. But I promise if you're a new blogger or looking to start a blog, it's worth the payoff.

When I first began creating my blog, I really had no idea about anything blogging-related. I knew the existed, I read them, but I had no idea what really went into it. Granted, it would've been helpful had I known ahead of time what in the hell I was doing, but learning as aI went and teaching myself I've found really helped me in the long-run.

My first order of business to begin The Bleached Curl was to research hosting sites to find on that was suitable for me, and also find one that I was able to easily figure out all features on.

So, most bloggers tend to use WordPress (which I'll eventually transfe r to) but I went with Wix because I had used it before, was familiar with the features, and found it the easiest platform to build my site from scratch on. YES, I BUILT THE BLEACHED CURL FROM SCRATCH! This leads me to my next piece of advice...

I knew from the start I wanted to make The Bleached Curl from scratch. There were templates available for me through Wix, and there are also hundreds of website templates available for purchase online, but I started with a blank white page. Once you decide a hosting site, decide if you want to use an already made template, or draft your site from nothing. This decision is based off of your personal preferences, originality, and your time commitment. If you want to spend more time on making your site and want it to be 100% original to you, I'd suggest starting from scratch. But if you're on a time limit and want something already set and stone for you to tweak, go with the templates.

Since I started TBC from scratch, I put well over 40-60 hours of time into designing the site alone before I started even writing posts to have on there before the launch. This was a huge trial and error process, so if you're looking to start a log, be prepared for that. It's an unbelievably huge time commitment always, so the process of designing your blog actually prepares you for that.

I have so many drafts of my blog, you'd cringe if you saw the very first versions of it. I laugh every time I look at them. Keeping an open and creative mind when designing your blog is so key, I cannot stress that enough.

Choosing a blog name was hard. And I mean hard. I had lists of so many names, and it wasn't until I was sitting in marketing class about three weeks before my launch that The Bleached Curl came to mind. I was sitting there writing down words that related to me....bleached (cause I'm a natural brunette with bleached blonde hair) and curl (cause of my curly frizzy mane) were both written on the sheet and it kind of just came to me. The minute I thought of it it stuck. I would recommend not pulling a me and choosing a blog name well before you start your design process cause I had to go through and add in my title everywhere to my finished (but not yet published site).

Another thing I did before launching my blog was writing all of my automated email campaigns....email campaigns should be your blogs BFF! These help drive traffic to your site and easily contact visitors to your site and/or subscribers. My first two automated emails created were my subscription and "thanks for contacting" emails. These templates have relatively stayed the same throughout the blogging process (aside from when I changed my logo, updated pictures, etc).

Once I had everything for my blog design and ideas figured out, I began drafting posts that would be available the day my blog was launched. And on March 20, 2018, I clicked publish.

My First Few Months of Blogging:

I'm not the traditional fashion blogger, and I don't think I'll ever be. One thing that I have always found very important throughout the process of blogging is staying original to yourself and your ideas. Starting my blog without really knowing anything about blogging (or promoting or advertising a blog/brand), I sort of just did it here and there. I wasn't as consistent as I am now (I'm still not on a set weekly schedule...I'll get into consistency later) and I looked as my blog as just a way to share ideas and to have un with it. I didn't really look into making money with it or landing collaborations with brands for the first few months, but that was okay with me because I allowed myself time to learn my niche and strategize.

Having a strategy when it comes to blogging is key....almost anyone knows that, but I'm just here to reiterate it. I started my blog as just my blog. I really had no strategy, I didn't have an Instagram business account (I kept the link to my blog in my bios of my personal accounts), and I really did pretty much nothing to really promote it in the way I do now. Sure, I posted to my feed and stories on Instagram and Facebook when a new blog post was uploaded, but it really was only to friends and family. I followed other bloggers on my personal Instagram account (three in specific that I really owe crafting my strategy to are Taylor Brown, Lo Meyer, and