Hello, Loves!!! Can you believe it? It’s been a whole year since I officially launched my labor of love, Queen of Sleeves. Time really flies! Thanks so much to all of you who have come along with me on this journey! I am truly grateful. I’ve learned a lot this year. I want to share with you all some of the things I’ve learned in the hopes that maybe it will inspire you in some way.
Follow your heart. When you have something in your heart that you want to do, just do it!! Don’t wait for the perfect time or the perfect circumstances because it will never come. Just start from where you are and things will improve along the journey!! When I first started this blog, I didn’t know what I was doing! I still don’t. Lol. I just had to start and keep moving! I have been learning as I go. If you want to start a YouTube page, start it! Reserve the page name and post a video. You don’t need to have the perfect equipment. Just use what you have (your phone or whatever) and start building your audience. When I look back on some of the things I posted this past year, particularly the things I took with my own camera (that I bought at some point after I launched the blog) and edited on my own, I am horrified. Lol. But I got that content out there and maybe someone benefited from it! I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve gotten so much better.
Don’t compare yourself to others. I think it’s important for me to be aware of what other successful bloggers are doing and learn from them, but watching others often creates a situation where I look at their successes in a way that makes me feel like I am not measuring up. Queen of Sleeves has grown a lot in a year, but if I compare myself to certain bloggers, who grew even faster than I did, I would feel like I’m not doing well. Can you imagine? Always comparing yourself to a standard that you weren’t meant to meet? What a horrible thing to do to yourself. To discount all of your hard work simply because someone else is on another path and is growing faster than you. So, don’t do that. I’ve been trying to focus on how much I have accomplished and pat myself on the back for it, then just strive to get better and better.
Never stop learning. There is so much information out there about blogging and entrepreneurship. There are countless articles, webinars, videos, blog posts, etc about how to succeed as a blogger and growing a business in general. I’ve learned so much about building a website, content creation, blog and social media growth strategies, marketing tools, affiliate programs, brand partnerships, and the list goes on and on. I have become a jack of all trades, but a master of none! Lol. I have a very long commute (about an hour each way) to work, so I made a decision around the time I started the blog to make the most of my commute by using that time to learn and grow. I’ve found several podcasts that I love….my favorites include Smart Passive Income, The Influencer Podcast, and How I Built This. I love learning about new tools and strategies that can help my brand or find inspiration from the stories of how other entrepreneurs built their empires.
Collaboration over competition. Having a girl gang/girl tribe of like-minded individuals is so helpful. It is an invaluable resource to have people you can bounce ideas off of that are in the same space as you and understand what you are dealing with. Over this year, I have met many bloggers, some of whom I’ve become close friends with. It’s great to be able to vent about blogging frustrations to people who may have experienced something similar and also share information and discuss growth or upcoming events, etc. You’ve seen that I’ve collaborated with several bloggers on this blog this year and I hope to collaborate with more next year!
A support system is important. Having friends, family, and readers that support my blog has been everything!! Some of you have sent me kind messages about my blog that encourage me to keep going. Thank you so much! I seriously receive so much joy when anyone tells me they’ve read my blog and loved something about it. My friends and family have been my spell checkers and photographers, and I’m so appreciative. My mom tells everyone who will listen about my blog. When I got blog business cards, she took them to church and started handing them out to everyone, “Follow my daughter’s blog!” Lol. She is just too sweet. My dad has also been so supportive of this journey. He makes suggestions on things he thinks would help the blog, as an entrepreneur himself. They both sing my praises and that’s a blessing. Being in this space comes with a lot of pressure, some of it self-imposed. Having supportive friends, family, and readers have really helped me get through those low moments when I feel like I have nothing to offer or when I’m frustrated.
Persevere. I don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to quit. This blog is seriously a lot of work, much more work than I anticipated when I decided to start it. It takes up all of my free time. And sometimes I wonder if the product I am putting out reflects how much work went into it. Blog posts take me hours upon hours to finish – selecting the photos, editing the pics, resizing them, figuring out what to write about, finding all the links to items I am wearing or looking for similar items if the originals are no longer available, etc etc. Even an Instagram post can take an hour to get together – editing the pic, making sure it looks consistent with the rest of my feed, determining the caption and hashtags to use, etc. I’ve been trying to stick to my schedule of posting on the blog twice a week and on Instagram every day, but it’s not easy. But all those times I want to quit, I look back to how far I’ve come and how far I could go, and I am motivated to continue!!
I may do a follow up post on this topic in the future, but this is all I have for now!! I want to thank all of you for your support, so I am planning some upcoming giveaways!!! Stay tuned!! Thanks sooooooooo much for reading! Love you guys!!
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Photographer: My mom (who came through in the clutch)