Time flies. It surely does. It feels like yesterday when I think of the moment I hit the publish button in my WordPress blog. Today is the day exactly a year ago “A Sip of life” was born. It was a moment full of excitement, anxiety, anticipation, all kind of mixed emotions together. Being a private person, the decision of putting myself in the public arena was not so easy. Also the apprehension of being judged and criticized by others was holding me back for long. Coming from a society where women are judged for every single decision, starting a fashion blog needed a bit of courage and self-confidence. Many still don’t understand the idea of fashion blogging and compare it to modelling in a demeaning way. As if modelling is something cheap or easy! But the combined positive energy of voicing my passion for writing and fashion was way too high to defeat the fear. And you know what, when you tackle your fear and come out of comfort zone something Magical happens. And A sip of life has brought that magic in my life.
Reflecting on one year of blogging I can tell you one thing that it has been a roller-coaster ride for sure. I never thought that I would come so far in this. So on this occasion of one year Anniversary of blogging, I would like to share the most crucial part of this journey which I am going to categorize as Challenges, Learning and Success.
Success is a very subjective word in the world of blogging. I am not going to measure it with statistics like page views, session time, subscriptions or the number of sponsored posts. For me marking one year of blogging itself is a success as every year thousands of blogs are started out of which 80% don’t cross the milestone of 3 months. I started this page as my creative outlet to share my take on fashion and other lifestyle topics and also to connect with similar minded people.
But never in my wildest dreams, I imagined getting so much love and support from numerous people all over the world. My blog and other social media channels have become a window through which I get to connect with the world. And for me, the biggest takeaway in this journey are those emails or DMs from so many women who follow me and take the time out to appreciate my posts or my sense of fashion. Those kind words mean a lot. Also those emails from different national and international level brands who approach me to work with them. It definitely boosts my confidence and keeps me going. Last but not the least the friendship of other bloggers from all over the globe. It is such an amazing experience to be part of this huge community.
Blogging is no doubt a never-ending learning process. And it definitely makes you an all-rounder. I can’t believe how much I have learned in this one year. When I started I had zero ideas about running a blog. Blogging is not only about content writing, but it has also so much more to it. But you have so many resources available on the internet which come really handy. I can proudly say that I started my blog, just based on the resources available on the internet, with zero help from anyone else around. From learning all the technicalities of a WordPress blog like web hosting, SEO, HTML code etc, learning photography, photo editing like a pro and learning Social media it has been huge. But to improve yourself you have to keep on learning and it should never stop. I still read a lot and try to implement those tips n tricks which I plan to keep on doing in the upcoming year.
Blogging is not a cakewalk or time pass as many assume. It definitely can be a hobby to some but that doesn’t make it less challenging. It takes a hell lot of time to run the show. Blogging is all about blood and sweat.
No one can imagine how much effort goes into the whole process. From taking those endless pictures to get the perfect shot, then hours of editing the pictures to give it a professional touch to those sleepless nights of creating content, optimizing them for SEO and then finally promoting them in social media, you sacrifice a lot of family time.
Every blogger has their strength and weakness. For me writing content is relatively easy as compared to taking pictures.
In every post you see me smiling in those beautiful outfits. But no one can see those behind the scene struggle. In every photo shoot, You need to put on your confident shield and ignore the bragging of the bored, impatient kid, staring of the passing strangers and your own guilt of turning your tired hubby into the photographer who definitely deserves a more relaxing weekend after 5 days of hectic corporate life. Not to mention the erratic climate of New Jersey. Being a fashion blogger, there are days when you are posing in that beautiful Knee-length dress in minus 10 degree and some other days, sweating & smiling in a sweater in 100 degrees.
My suggestions to those who want to start their own blog or other newbies in this field
It may sound cliché but there is really no stopping for you if you are truly passionate about something. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Few facts about myself, I am hardly five feet, going to touch the landmark of 40 years in a couple of years. So am I too short, too old to be a fashion blogger. The answer is No. Never say never. There is definitely no age to follow your dreams. Never stop dreaming and chasing your dreams. The biggest enemy to start something new is Self-doubt. So never allow your self-doubt to hinder your way to your passion.
Be true to yourself and be you. In this saturated world of blogging, I think your uniqueness is the only thing that helps. Take inspiration from others but don’t try to copy anyone. Rather focus on your own strength.
Be authentic and real. For example as a fashion blogger, I mostly choose and style my outfits in such a way seeing which anyone will say yes I would totally wear this.Remember, we are fashion bloggers not ramp walk models. Few clothes may look great on the ramp on those size zero models but may not work on common people in day-to-day set up.
Content is the real hero. In this world of blogging content is the real hero. And content means writing as well as visuals. So focus on both. Try to offer something really helpful to your followers and try to inspire them through your words and visual.
Don’t compare yourself with others. Comparison can make you demotivated. Take inspiration from others and try to improve yourself. But never compare. Because there is really no sure shot formula of success in the world of blogging. It is a combination of so many things. So something may have worked for someone but not necessarily that will work for you. Do your bit of work and keep going.
Focus on social media. In today’s competitive world only a blog may not be enough. Try to extend your footprints in other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest etc. But again focus on one platform at a time or else you are going to exhaust yourself. For example, when I started my blog, I didn’t have any idea on how to utilize Instagram or other platforms. I solely focused on my WordPress blog. But over the time I understood the importance of Instagram for a fashion blogger and started focusing more on it. It took me precisely 7-8 months to strategically reach from 500 followers to 15k in my Instagram account and I would call that the biggest win of my first year of blogging as I am getting the highest return from this platform with regards to recognition and work. Similarly, in the upcoming year, I would like to focus more on my Pinterest and Facebook page.
I am going to end this long post by thanking you all. Thanks for sticking with me on this journey . It would have never been possible without your support. Also a big thank you to Raghab(My hubby) for being the most efficient human tripod, lol. But jokes apart he is the most patient and supportive husband who respects my every decision, tolerate my craziness and goes beyond the limit to help me in every possible way. Thanks to my Mother. Without her I am nothing. She is my biggest pillar of strength in every single journey of my life.
My posts are incomplete without those fashion inspos to share with you. So signing off today with few of my photos from latest shoots.
Top & Skirt @ NeeSee’s Dresses
Moto Jacket & Pant @ Peach
Mom Jeans @ Femmeluxe Finery
Floral dress @ Lulus