How I Became a Blogger: Part Two
Thank you for your kind words on How I Became a Blogger: Part One! If you haven’t read it already, go catch up and come back!
2012: The first few months of blogging were quite a struggle, mainly because of scheduling and trying to juggle everything with work. To make things as easy as possible, I started blocking out Sundays for projects. I would craft, photograph, edit and post all on the same day. Once I was done, I was free to do whatever I wanted for the rest of the week. There were times I had to pass on hanging out with friends, or events I had to miss, but it was the only way that I could establish a routine that would get me through all fifty two weeks. After a month or so, things began to fall in place and I even started looked forward to Sundays. It was the one day of week where I was able to tune out all of the other stresses in my life and create something with my hands.
One of the benefits of hosting my blog on Tumblr (though I don’t recommend using it if you’re starting out now) was that every now and then my posts would be featured in their subcategories i.e. diy, crafts, etc. I had Google Analytics installed from day one (perks of dating a developer), and noticed that my blog was starting to gain a small readership. It was exciting that people actually wanted to see what I was making and it kept me motivated. I made it through the first year and decided to stick with it. Then it happened.
100% out of luck, one of my posts was picked up by StumbleUpon. My traffic went from 20k pageviews to 250k page views a month over the course of two months. This trend, of course, did not last for more than a few months, but it made me realize the potential of sharing my work on the internet, and it made me excited.
2013: By this time, I had undergone one redesign and was to the point where my readership was steadily growing. I was happy with the content I was producing and getting better at photography and photoshop along the way. We had moved to San Francisco in 2012, so I was still working all the time, just at another job. Only this time, I wasn’t passionate about the work I was doing on a daily basis. Not even a little bit. In the end, I was spending all my time and energy trying to make someone else’s startup dream come true. It paid the bills, sure, but ultimately I wasn’t satisfied. Because I was 25, had a great credit report and finally found a hair color that complimented my skin tone, I decided that if I was ever going to take a risk in life, then now was the time to do it. So I quit.
As much as I wish my stats were sky high and that I had brands lining up to work with me when I put in my two weeks notice, that wasn’t the case. In fact, I didn’t immediately jump into blogging full time. There was a lot of work to be done to get it to the point where I could make a living from it, and putting in one day a week just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I began blogging 2 times a week and working for my boyfriends startup part time until I had enough money saved for a professional redesign. It took me until December.
2014: Now completely on my own financially and living in the most expensive city in the US, I picked up a few freelance photography gigs along the way to help supplement my income. Yup, I went from not knowing how to operate a camera to getting paid to take other’s photos. I was getting a sponsored post here and there, but only through third party groups; I wasn’t directly reaching out to brands. To be honest, I wasn’t even making the effort because I was a bit embarrassed by my blog. Not so much my stats or content, but more so the name and design.
I teamed up with Jordan Brantley (who is amazing by the way if you’re looking for a designer) and launched a brand new site in March of this year. I hit the ground running with the new brand and haven’t looked back. It has since brought me opportunities I didn’t think were possible, like working with Bing and West Elm. I’m in no way bringing in the type of money I made while working at a startup in San Francisco (you should seriously see my credit card statement, it’s upsetting), but I am to the point where I can cover my rent and a few bills.
It’s stressful. It’s exhausting. But when it comes down to it, I’ve never been happier :)
(Left: My first project on 52 Weeks Project, 2011; Right: 10 Minute Vase, 2014)