This blog turned 4 on October 6th and I can hardly believe it! It feels like just yesterday that I was writing this post and reflecting on the previous year.
Year 3 was all about scaling and growth. I feel like I have successfully managed to work on it and still have a long way to go. Each year that I blog, I know more then I did the previous year and am super grateful for all of the opportunities that have come along with it.
What did I learn and what goals do I have planned for 2019? Keep reading to find out!
Instagram is dead. This doesn’t mean that the platform is going away; I simply mean the growth and success that we’ve grown accustomed to is gone. I can’t help but think “is this thing on?” whenever I post now; my engagement is nonexistent and my likes and comments are dwindling. Instead of getting bogged down with disappointment, I try to take a step back and look through high-volume accounts to see what their engagement is like. I often find that there is a decrease across the board. With that said, I suggest not putting all of your eggs in one basket. You may not own Instagram, but you do own your blog. If the platform was to disappear tomorrow or your account suddenly got shut down, which does happen, then you still want to have a way to connect with your audience.
How to do this:
- Create a newsletter. You can sign up for mine here 🙂
- Encourage your audience to visit your blog to get more information on XYZ.
- Be consistent and produce quality content.
Not everyone is going to be your friend. The influencer space can be very engaging with an abundance of “community over competition,” but I often find it to be quite the opposite. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and share everything when I make new connections. I become that person’s biggest cheerleader, but the favor is not often returned. I’ve realized that not everyone is going to like or support me, which is true outside of blogging too.
Being an entrepreneur is hard work! I recently came down with the flu and was not able to work for over a week. This created a domino effect where I had to cancel a photo shoot and push out a deadline with a brand. Luckily they were super understanding and I was able to shoot the outfit a few weeks later. With Lace & Pearls Jewelry, I had to cancel a craft show that I was participating in, fulfill a wholesale order of 20 units, and replenish stock since I recently gained a new stockist right after having a jewelry show and my inventory levels were super low.
Looking back, I’ve realized that I definitely accomplished a lot this past year!
Increased sponsorships. I have been fortunate to have an increase in sponsored content this year. Sponsored content is when a brand pays you to share about their product with your audience. Most of my sponsorships have been on Instagram, but there have been a few on the blog as well. You can always identify these posts because the word “sponsored” or “ad” will be called out in the copy. My main blog expense is photography so having the income to cover this has been amazing! It is nice when I have some leftover income after paying my photographer too.
Jewelry business. Lace & Pearls Jewelry has had an amazing first year! This time last year I was hoping to have some shows under my belt and have my products in a couple of stores. Surprisingly, I accomplished both! I also have several more shows lined up for this year and plans to pitch to more stores in the future. Read more about Lace & Pearls Jewelry here and here.
More confidence in my writing. This one is big! Writing used to be tough for me and not very fluid. My sentences would often sound awkward and not like my voice. Now I feel like I have diarrhea of the mouth and can’t stop writing! I am very grateful since I have been working on this for a long time.
Work ahead of time. When I wrote last year’s blogiversary post, I was ahead of schedule with my blog content. With the added growth of Lace & Pearls Jewelry, I no longer have the time to dedicate to the blog as much as I used to, but I’m determined to continue blogging, even if it’s not as frequent.
More sponsored opportunities. I am very selective with the type of sponsored content I choose to share with my audience. I pass on most opportunities that do come around because they aren’t the right fit. With that said, it would be nice to make a little extra income to cover my time and expenses.
Start monthly newsletter back up. I was doing pretty good with this at the start of the year but as the jewelry business picked up, I had to put the newsletter on the back burner. I’m hoping I can start back up with this by January.
Increase blog traffic and posting more often. This one is a bit of a contradiction since I keep talking about how I don’t have time, but I really hope that I can eventually get my posting schedule back to twice a week instead of once. I don’t know if this will ever happen, but a girl can dream!
Overall, this blog has been quite the journey and I am so appreciative for your continued support throughout it! I can’t express how much each and every comment, like, DM, and e-mail means to me. I haven’t been the greatest at responding to blog post comments, but I do read them and always appreciate you taking the time out of your day to share your thoughts and well wishes. Here’s to another great year and hoping the journey to year 5 is amazing!
Shop the post:
Dress: J.Crew | Shoes: Josef Seibel (similar)| Bracelet: Lace & Pearls Jewelry | Ring: Stella & Dot (old) | Earrings: Ann Taylor (similar) | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Lipstick: NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment (American Woman) & Velvet Lip Glide color Cozumel (similar: Unlaced)
Photography: Nicholas Mercado