It’s still crazy to me that only two years ago I was creating a WordPress account for the sake of a dream internship, blissfully unaware of how this decision was going to change my life. As someone who grew up in a barn and dressed horrifically from age 8-13, the last thing many people expected of me was an interest in fashion let alone publishing it on a public platform for the world to see.
Little did I realize what I could do at the time and since then, what I have accomplished up to today. I’ve always loved to write and I admired the idea of sharing my “creative ideas” like the influencers I came across on Pinterest every morning. I was never one who wore sweats to class and heavily relied on the images I searched for outfit inspiration I could put a personal twist on. When I created my blog, posting images of “my outfits” was my way of expressing my personality and style to a future employer. Today, it’s my blog’s entire focus.
I’m a social media psycho and the platforms we rely on today came very easy to me from the get-go. Since the beginning of our digital time, I customized my Myspace page by teaching myself how to use HTML code – which ultimately has led to the use of this technique – in a much more minimalist, mature manner – towards the layout of my blog today. Who would’ve thought these social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram combined – would serve as our means of news and information, as well as the medium of circulation for my blog posts.
Present Day: I blog seven days a week, posting five features Monday – Friday while using Saturday and Sunday as my photoshoot and drafting days. Yes, this has become a full-time job but with compensating reward – I make money doing this.
With every brand that is tagged on my Instagram/Facebook/Twitter – give or take a few – and every (g) placed before a brand in the DETAILS line comes a contribution to my source of income. Back in the day, I did everything for free to build my blog’s reputation and portfolio. Now that my blog has a larger following, the demands of brand collaborations are at an all-time high and my literal time is beyond limited. With an expensive rent and a state tax that kills my bank account for the bare necessities in life, I would be living in a cardboard box if I didn’t charge money for my efforts.
The time I spend on my site, every post I publish and every photograph I take, requires the utmost dedication that doesn’t come cheap literally or figuratively. Think of it this way – would you walk into Vogue and demand a free ad spot in the magazine in exchange for a free t-shirt thinking it would work? Chances are none to negative. Blogging has become a real-life advertisement and should be treated as such – someone’s working hard to make it look great, for a living.
Rewind two years ago, hell one year ago, I had NO IDEA I could make my newfound passion into a business. The money factor was only a benefit, not the soul or reason for the creation of To Be Bright. I legitimately loved styling outfits and photographing them, which brands that came across my site recognized and sparked interest with. It wasn’t until I was offered to be paid that I realized I could make my passion into a career.
Trust me, there are many people out there blogging for the sake of free clothes and monetary compensation and thankfully, these bloggers are easy to detect. When the quality of a site –photos and content combined – deem low brow, chances are the editor is taking the easy way out. Sorry, but there’s a reason I’m up till 2am most evenings and yes I would rather be in bed. These are the sacrifices to be made in order to achieve success in a two-job world…for the time being.
So back to where I’m at today – I work full time at an executive search firm from 8:30am-5:30pm M-F. The time spent before work, during lunch, and after work is used on my blog. This means I’m early to rise and often late to bed, struggling with the balance of having a social life and personal time sans computer on a daily basis. I have to admit I’m very proud of my diligence with these issues and have found somewhat stable ground. But of course, every day brings something new to the table.
Call me crazy but I love every minute I spend on my blog, despite the drawbacks and time commitment. Ultimately my goal is to blog full-time which would allow for a much easier schedule but until then, the rent has to be made and the work remains tough. But it’s better this way; I wouldn’t have the knowledge I have now or appreciate myself as much as I have learned to do if it weren’t for this incredible journey. It will make me a much better person when I reach the moment I can blog as a career.
Blogging has taught me to appreciate the value of hard work and the importance of not giving up. There have been many days where I’ve felt discouraged, sensitive to my efforts without immediate payback and wondering when the day would come that will make To Be Bright my ticket to ride. However, I NEVER wanted to quit. It’s insane that for two years straight, give or take a few days, that I’ve posted something to my site day after day during every week of every month. Like I said, I’m truly passionate about it.
That being said, I couldn’t have accomplished half of the amount of success and opportunity without the incredible readers and followers that choose to refer to my blog for advice. I’m not an expert but I really love what I’m trying to put out there, and I hope the passion and dedication I put into it is better recognized after this post if it wasn’t already. This year is looking BRIGHT for TBB and I couldn’t be more excited for this adventure. I hope you all come along and enjoy the ride – it’ll be a good one!