Thoughts On One Year of Blogging
Wow. It’s already been a year? In some ways it doesn’t seem like it was one year ago that I wrote that small little introductory post and pressed “publish”. And yet, in other ways it seems like forever ago. It feels like sometimes I can’t remember what it was like to not be blogging. In some ways it’s like there is “life before blogging” and “life after blogging”. 🙂 And it’s crazy to think how much has happened in the past year, and how much my blog has grown since the beginning too! Blogging definitely hasn’t turned out to be what I thought it would be like: it has turned out to be even better. I’ve learned a lot in the last year, so I thought that I would share a few of those things I’ve learned along the way.
1. I have become a lot bolder and confident in my style since I started blogging about it. Instead of wondering whether something is too “out there”, I go for it. I know what I like to wear, so I just wear it; instead of fearing the reactions of people around me (who by the way are very nice- I’ve never had a terrible vintage wearing experience like I know some people have!) It’s just my assumptions of what people will think of me, and that they will think I’m strange. Surprise! I am strange, so what am I worried about 😉 I’ve talked a bit about my vintage “journey” before, here and here so you know I haven’t always been so confident in what I wear. I’m still not always confident, but knowing that I am supported by a large vintage community of people who are also wearing the same kind of offbeat style, is so encouraging. I may not see you in my day-to-day life, or ever cross paths in real life with another vintage lover, but I know that you are out there, and I am not alone. And, because I am sharing my outfits here, it encourages me to try new things, sew new pieces, put together new ensembles, and generally keep me out of the rut of wearing the same old thing over and over again.
2. I should have started this blog years ago like I dreamed of, but never had the courage to. I was afraid of whether it would fail. And I haven’t failed. Yet. (haha!) I have all of you lovely readers who faithfully read what I have to say. This blog, and each of you, has given me the courage to try other things that I was afraid to do, like selling and showing my art and other crafts at several Christmas markets and art shows. (And, I am going to be starting up an online shop soon too, so stay tuned for that!)
3. I really enjoy writing and making things and taking pictures and dressing up. This blog has given me a bit of purpose, I suppose, for all of those things. I have a place to share what I’m doing, the photos I’m taking, the things I’m learning and the outfits I’m wearing. I love to write, but I hadn’t done much since leaving high school. Now I can write as much as I want, and I have a purpose for it. (Some of my favourite posts have been the ones where I had to research and really take the time to think it out and write, such as my post on the history of harem pants.) I love to dress up, and now I have a place to share those outfits I’m really proud of. I love photography, and now I have a reason to improve my skills, and somewhere to share the pictures. I love to sew, but am famous for starting and never finishing projects. I am terrible at procrastinating and putting off the things I truly enjoy, but having a blog has given me a reason to do those things that I already love to do, and the accountability to stay with it till the end. This blog has turned out to be a great creative outlet, and I really look forward to coming up with more to share with you all.
4. I’ve made so many new friends since I started blogging. Instead of being on the outside of the internet community, I’m now smack dab in the middle of it. Before I started this blog, I would rarely leave comments or engage in the conversations I saw happening on the internet. But now, I realize how valuable comments and emails and participation actually are. I truly enjoy each comment that you dear readers leave, and I now love leaving comments on other people’s blogs too. Since starting this blog, I’ve met so many interesting people, (both online and in person), have written two guest posts (here and here) for some lovely fellow vintage bloggers, and have established a personal connection with many more. Each of you, my dear readers, I consider to be friends. You are the ones who make this fun for me, and I always look forward to what you have to say, in the comments and on your own blogs too.
5. Blogging is a lot more work than I thought it would be. I look back to my earliest posts, and I am not super proud of them. (So don’t go looking back at them, OK?) I didn’t really know what I was doing back then, but also I just wanted to quickly put a post together and publish it. I posted a lot, but those posts didn’t have much substance; I didn’t take the time to write something interesting or take good photographs. Fortunately, along the way, I made the decision to be more purposeful about what I post. I now take the time to take better photos, and write something useful. It now takes much more of my time, but I am much happier with the look and feel of my blog. I am always seeing areas that need improvement, but overall I am glad to be putting in the extra effort. The posts that I am most proud of, are the ones that took me the longest to write and put together. All things that are worthwhile take time, right?
6. Becoming a famous, full time blogger is probably not something that is going to happen to me. When I first started blogging, I looked at all the other bloggers out there, and thought it would be the same for me. I thought that once I had been doing this for a while, the sponsorships and collab posts would start pouring in. OK, well I didn’t think they’d start “pouring” in, but I did think I would get some notice, and that I would be able to make some money from blogging. As of now, I’ve gotten one email from a company, whose product didn’t fit very well with my style, or this blog, and so I turned it down. For a while I was kind of disappointed, but then I realized that it’s OK if I’m not a professional blogger. I don’t always remember to take pictures every time something noteworthy happens and sometimes those photos don’t turn out how I like, even if I do take them! I don’t dress up perfectly every day and plan the perfect outfit, and then make sure to post it to my social media. I can’t stay in a “niche” to save my life as I end up posting about any and everything I like. And, I realized, I don’t want to post only the things that will get followers and likes. I know there are practices that I could put in place to boost my readership and followers, but I don’t really want to feel boxed in like that. The result is that I don’t have a 100,000 page views and 20k followers on Instagram. That’s OK. Because I actually like my blog, and I look forward to posting. And I’ve realized that it’s OK if it remains a creative outlet, and never turns into a paying job someday. (And besides, I’ve got all of you lovely followers here and on Instagram. What more could a girl want?)
7. After a year I realized that my blog direction has changed from what I initially thought it would be. I originally thought I would post a lot of artwork, some fashion and a bit of lifestyle thrown in for good measure. That order has changed a lot, as my main focus is now on fashion, and especially vintage. Fashion history, vintage style outfits, thoughts on ethical fashion and vintage “fashion moments” make up the majority of what I post. I haven’t posted a lot of my artwork, or photography, but I do like to dedicate a few posts solely to that creative pursuit. And as far as lifestyle goes, I hardly ever have anything to say about that. As you can see, I have now updated my blog style to reflect the changes. The watercolour header and bright colours didn’t really suit my style, and it had the appearance of being strictly an artwork blog- with no reference to the vintage aspect of the blog. So, I’ve changed a few things to reflect that more vintage focus, while still having a “homemade” and “artistic” look to it. I am not going to be changing what I post- I just think that this design reflects more clearly what I am already posting: the creative expressions of a girl looking at the world through vintage coloured glasses 🙂
All in all, I see how much has changed in the past year, and I am very excited about where this next year will lead. I have lots of ideas for posts I am very excited to share with you all, and I am always learning ways in order to make this blog better. On that note: is there any feedback you have for me? What kinds of posts do you enjoy the most? What would you like to see more of?
So, on my one year of blogging anniversary, I thank each and every one of you dear readers who have been following along with my journey here, whether you’ve been here since the first post, or just started reading this week. And, if you’ve never left a comment before: please introduce yourself, I’d love to meet you!
Here’s to the year ahead!
January 27, 2017 @ 3:06 am
THANKS FOR A GREAT BLOGGING YEAR – I HAVE REALLY ENJOYED YOUR BLOG AND HOW IT HAS DEVELOPED, AND ESPECIALLY YOUR STYLE, WHICH GIVES GREAT INSPIRATION. KX
January 27, 2017 @ 4:31 pm
Thank you Karen, that means so much to me and thank-you for reading this past year too! xox Nicole
January 27, 2017 @ 7:31 pm
Happy one Year BlogAVersary, Nicole!
Oh it’s always so fun to see how other bloggers have grown and changed. I’ll be cheering you on for all the blogging you’ll be doing this year!
Carla, Tiny Angry Crafts
January 27, 2017 @ 11:20 pm
Thankyou Carla so much for your lovely words. <3
January 27, 2017 @ 9:55 pm
hello there,ciao Nicole…Auguri,cheers for your blog annivesary!…Your style is unique & fabolous !
January 27, 2017 @ 11:22 pm
Thank-you so much Aure! I really appreciate your comments! xoxo- Nicole
January 28, 2017 @ 10:22 am
Happy blogging birthday!!
I look forward to seeing more of your fashion posts, but also like anything crafty, and would like to see more of your creations. You have a very professional looking blog after so short a time, it’s very impressive. X
January 28, 2017 @ 1:56 pm
Thanks Porcelina for your encouraging comment on my blog- it means so much to me.
Your suggestions have also been duly noted, and I will work at sharing more “crafty” things this year. 🙂 Honestly, in the past few months I haven’t done much in the way of sewing and crafts 🙁 but I am getting back into the swing of that now, so hopefully there will be more to come in the future.
January 28, 2017 @ 1:19 pm
In a sea of blogs, it’s always a treat to find new ones that say something beyond just photographs or fashion posts. It’s a treat for me to read your blog not only for it’s celebration of VINTage but for its celebration of being ourselves.
Here is to many more years. Xo
January 28, 2017 @ 1:53 pm
Thank-you so much for your thoughtful comment Amy. I really appreciate it- and I’m also so glad to have now found your blog too!
January 28, 2017 @ 9:31 pm
I enjoy your blog immensely and appreciate your efforts. The research, the photos, the writing, etc., all take time. Thanks for giving of yourself to give us a great blog, Nicole. 🙂
January 28, 2017 @ 11:30 pm
Thanks Annabelle 🙂 Your comment just made my day. I’m so glad you appreciate it, as I enjoy doing it so much! xox Nicole
January 29, 2017 @ 12:59 pm
Congratulations on a full year of blogging! It is a lot of work, but as you have explained it is so worth it. I can relate to so much of what you have writTen here, i feel very similar about my own blogging journey too 🙂
January 30, 2017 @ 12:08 am
Thank-you very much Bianca 🙂
I agree that blogging is definitely worth all the work that goes into it and I love seeing what everyone is posting from all their different lives.
January 29, 2017 @ 2:40 pm
Happy blogging anniversary! I think you’ve done an amazing job in the time that you’ve been writing, and frankly, you’re so far beyond where I was a year in that i’m a little bit jealous.
You do have an amazing sense of style, and I can’t wait to see how much further you go!
January 30, 2017 @ 12:06 am
Thank-you very much Jessica; this just made my day.
And definitely no jealously allowed- I am equally in love with your great blog and style!
February 5, 2017 @ 8:56 am
I’m shocked to learn you have only been blogging for a year! You are so very polished and what I would consider to be a pro blogger in my eyes. Always great writing and beautiful photos. I appreciate that you aren’t flogging a bunch of products you don’t care about. You are so very good at being you and that is why I keep coming back.
February 5, 2017 @ 12:01 pm
Thanks so much Suzanne- that means a lot to me! I’m glad you keep coming back- and that’s why I enjoy your blog too- you have a real voice behind what you write as well.
February 8, 2017 @ 10:52 am
Happy blog birthday. You have achieved lots with your blog in your first year, you should be really proud. I always think it looks really professional. I loved what you wrote about blogging, I can identify with lots of what you said. Here is to another successful year!
February 9, 2017 @ 10:40 pm
Thanks so much Kate-Em! It seems that a lot of us bloggers can relate to one another in our “blogging journeys”. Thanks for the well wishes, and I wish the same for your year too!