One year ago today I created my blog, and one year ago tomorrow I launched it. I’ve come a long way from my first few posts, taken with a makeshift tripod propped up on my bed in my bedroom. What a year it has been, and I’m thrilled that Selfies & OOTDs has continually given me a platform to create content and share what I love.
If you want a good laugh, go back to February 2019 and see what my first few posts looked like. (Yeah. Pretty amateur.) Luckily, I’ve matured in more ways than one, and I’ve learned a ton about blogging, social media marketing, and content creation in the process. Here’s 8 things I wish someone had told me when I first started blogging:
1. For the best shots, have no shame
When I first started, I took all my #OOTD shots against the door in my bedroom. Aside from the fact that I didn’t have a real tripod, I was also self-conscious about people seeing me pose and wait for the self timer to go off. When I got my tripod this summer, the game completely changed, and after a few outings of taking my pictures in public I was no longer fazed. This let me have way more creativity with my poses (and it meant you could actually see my feet!
2. Even lighting is the best lighting
I thought the wall by my window was giving me good natural light, but it really wasn’t. The best lighting I’ve found is when I’m outside, in the shade. That way no one part of my face is in the shadows and none of the lighting is too harsh. But more on that in a bit…
3. Early bird gets the worm
Remember what I said about even lighting in the shade? That’s why I take almost all my pictures in the morning, preferably before 9 a.m. This gives me optimal choices for locations in terms of where is still shady, as the sun has just barely come up over the horizon. I also like the mornings because it lets me take pictures when my makeup and hair are freshly done.
4. No one can tell how cold it was when they look at the picture
When you’re getting up early in the winter, you know what that means… It’s going to be cold outside. Luckily, no one can tell how much your toes were freezing when you took the shot as long as the end result is cute- and I find that the pictures I took on the coldest days end up being my favs.
5. Hashtags are everything
About 4 months in to my blogging journey and I had only hit 80 followers. What gives? Answer: not using the tools Instagram was handing me in order to reach a larger audience! I used to feel squeamish about hashtags, but once I started using them I never looked back. It’s never been so easy for me to find and engage with like-minded individuals!
6. Engage and be engaging!
Like I just said, the purpose of Instagram is to engage with others. You will see such a difference in what you get out of it if you give it as well! Tell that girl you like her outfit, comment on your favorite brand’s post- there’s tons of people just like you out there waiting to connect!
7. Content planning saves lives (or at least, your feed)
I’ll admit it, I fell off the wagon somewhere between September and December. School caught up to me, and suddenly I was posting less and less just because I wasn’t prepared with a plan. I implemented a content calendar for the start of 2020, and it’s already working wonders. Consistency is key, however frequently that means for you!
8. Don’t be afraid to call yourself what you are
When I first started out, I felt weird calling myself a blogger. I felt like that was just a title reserved for influencers and people with way more followers than me… but I soon realized that it’s not the number of followers you have or the number of likes you get: if you have a blog, you’re a blogger, and you shouldn’t be afraid to call yourself one. (Shout-out to my dad who always tells people I’m a blogger if we’re out doing a restaurant review in public. It’s hella validating!!)
So excited what February 2020 – February 2021 has in store for me. I hope you’ll stick around, because there’s more where that came from!
P.S. Thanks to Nompton Social for letting me come in before opening and take pictures with your murals today- you’re seriously the best!