Beyond Basic is an entire year old. It has been a journey since the day I first launched. In celebration of the blog’s first anniversary, I have redesigned the website with a brand new look! I also baked a cake for the occasion (yes I do other things than post about fashion). And if you were watching my snaps yesterday, you probably thought I was a major psycho in the kitchen. However, baking this cake was similar to how my blog all started.
I was on Pinterest and saw a picture of this gorgeous “naked” cake. I haven’t baked anything in awhile, so I decided I was going to do it for my blog’s anniversary. I went to the store and purchased my ingredients. On the real, I bought a boxed cake, I had no time to mix up flour and sugar (as lazy as that sounds). But before you start criticizing, I did make the frosting myself. So once I got to baking, things went awry. One of the layers literally fell apart. I got frustrated and threw that layer in the garbage. I was about to give up on the other layer until I realized, I can salvage this. I shouldn’t be quick to toss the idea in the trash. So, I baked another two layers, leveled the cake, frosted it, put it on some fancy display and decorated it with flowers.
In all honesty, my blog began the same way. My friend inspired me to start my fashion blog. So I bought a domain and went to work. While I did take a shortcut by purchasing a theme for the blog, I customized the look to my liking (yes I can code and make graphics too). By the time I got the site up, I launched it…with no content. It was a slow start. I posted once a month and barely got any traction. After speaking to the original person who inspired me to start my blog, she gave me advice on what I can do to improve. So here it is, what I learned my first year of blogging.
Treat your blog like a job.
As painful as it might sound, treating Beyond Basic like a job is actually fun. After I switched to that mentality, I became professional about how I treated it. I wasn’t just posting random things for no rhyme or reason. The first thing I did was create an editorial calendar on Google. This helped me map out what posts I needed to write throughout the year. I also made an action list of things that needed to be done prior before the post goes live. Once I started treating this blog as a job, slowly the collaborations and partnership emails began pouring in.
Instagram is just a supplement to the bigger picture.
I noticed a lot of people use their Instagram following, likes and comments to measure their success. I actually don’t. Yes, having a ton of followers and an engaged audience on Instagram is helpful, but in order for a brand to set you apart from the others and contact you, you must have the complete package. If you are focusing all your time obsessing over numbers on Instagram, you will be limiting your brand. You need to be well-rounded in order to pitch yourself to companies on why they should partner or collaborate with you.
Your blog and your email list is your bread and butter.
If you need to focus on numbers then it might as well be your email list and analytics. I actually define my blog’s success when someone subscribes to the blog. The larger the email list grows, the larger your voice is heard and the larger your brand will eventually become. And best of all, it’s all yours. No one else can have it. It’s your customer base that is interested in you and your brand. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook do not belong to you. My blog belongs to me and it holds more value than any social media outlet.
Quality blog posts over quantity.
Around the infancy of Beyond Basic, I was only posting one post a month. My website got lost in a sea of bloggers and I lost engagement (I wonder why). If you want your blog to thrive, you should post as often as you can. However, that does not mean post every single day. The quality of your work is what’s most important. If you haven’t noticed by now, every time you visit Beyond Basic you will be looking at a new outfit post and possibly reading up on where I have been traveling to lately. If I do not have content for that week, I am not going to throw in a random post. I don’t pull it off images from Pinterest, all the images and content you see here are original and created by me. I am currently working on producing inspiring content that I can post twice a week, but for right now, once a week is all I have time (and money) for.
You can’t please everyone.
This is more on the personal side of blogging, but as a blogger you’re really putting yourself out there no matter how much you share about your personal life. And people will talk. There will be positive things. You don’t understand how excited I get when someone I barely talk to, comes up to me and mentions how much of a fan they are of my blog. And then there will be a few who sneer on the sidelines. But remember not everyone will agree with everything you do. While it’s easier to focus on the negative energy, just stop and think about what you have to do today. I don’t know about you, I am pretty damn busy. Do I have time to waste on negative energy? Nope, nope, nope. Move on my friend. There’s more important things than dwelling on someone’s negativity.
So what’s next for Beyond Basic? As you all well know, I don’t like to share too much of my personal life, but I want to show you my home eventually. My boyfriend and I have a house together and we have been crazy busy trying to get it ready. If we would just buckle down, stop jetting off to places, maybe we can get this thing done! I will be doing a reveal soon. One room at a time. Just like everything in life, right?