2 Year Blogiversary for witty n pretty!

fashion bloggers kansas cityHappy Monday friends! I hope you’re reading this with coffee in hand and a fabulous pair of shoes on your feet! Today, I wanted to share something special with you all because your support and comments mean the world to me. This month marks two years since I started blogging! Isn’t it crazy how quickly time passes? It feels like yesterday that I started.

The next two years of blogging I hope are much more successful than the first two. When I began, I knew nothing and made so many mistakes like working with brands who weren’t giving me anything in return or highlighting my text in bright pink! Mistakes are how we learn though, I certainly had to learn the hard way quite often. Between exhausting myself with writing content and comparing myself to other bloggers, I burned out fast. Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme, it takes hard work. Reevaluating why I started a blog in the first place, I realized that I loved being creative and writing. That’s still what motivates me today. Hopefully, somewhere down the road I actually make a little spending money or at least to cover the costs of maintaining a website. For now, I’ll keep working hard and sharing what I know with new bloggers. No one held my hand through this process and I certainly wasn’t handed a wad of cash to make my dreams come true. Real #girlbosses have to work for their success and that’s what I’m doing!

Because I believe that knowledge should be shared, I want to share with you a few things I’ve learned in my blogging journey. Not so much technical tips (you don’t want those from me!) but tips to guide you in your own journey and so you can achieve your dreams!

Never be afraid to ask questions. If you see a blogger doing something, ask them how they’re doing it! The worst they can do is not respond. Which brings me to another point, fashion bloggers who have a moderate to large following in my experience have been reluctant to share information or ideas. Obviously, no one wants competition. However, answering a simple question won’t bring down your empire.

Remember why you started. Most blogs fail within 3 months. The writer just gives up and shuts down shop. Chances are, they thought they’d be making money within a few months and since they weren’t, they gave up. Don’t start a blog just to make money, start one because you love it. My dad always told me to do what I loved and the money would come.

Formula for success isn’t a formula. There’s no ‘one way’ to be successful. It isn’t predicted mathematically, it happens because you work hard, go after what you want, and never give up. I asked several bloggers what led to their success, and they all said “chase your dreams.” At first I thought this was a cop-out, now I realize that most of them really meant it.

Leave a comment with your blogging tips for new bloggers!

-LIZ

Blog Mood Board

Good morning, I hope you have a cup of coffee to sip and a warm, furry kitty to cuddle! I certainly do. Three to be exact. And I have some Sweet Italian coffee creamer to go with the yummy biscotti I bought! It’s the little things in life that make it worth living.

As I prepare to overhaul my entire blog, I’ve been clipping pictures out of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar when I find something that inspires me. All these little clippings go onto my “mood board” that will eventually be narrowed back down into a few colors, textures, and fonts that I’ll center my blog around. This is probably the most fun I’ve had in awhile! My creative juices that have been stifled by college for the last four years are finally flowing again!

I really want this new blog to reflect me and what I like. When I started the blog, I had no idea it would be remotely successful. I was thrilled when I got 100 followers and 10 likes on anything I posted. Now that I have almost 2000 followers, I’m over the moon and looking forward to overhauling everything to make it even prettier! You’ll notice some changes taking place in the next few months so don’t be alarmed, it’s just me learning html coding.

This is what’s on the mood board so far! I’m really falling in love with light pinks and golds. For fonts, I want to stick with black because it’s easy to read and makes a bold statement. Something swirly-girly in terms of style will definitely be in my blog titles and blog header. In everything I do, there has to be something whimsical to maintain the element of surprise!

This new blog has to be a place where we all feel happy being in. When I go to other blogger’s spaces, I love to feel welcomed by beauty and cleanliness. That’s what I want to do here. Additionally, I want it to be a place where I can be realistic with my readers. Something I don’t appreciate about big-time bloggers like Rach Parcell or Emily Gemma is that they choose to wear and style their lives around things that the average girl can’t afford. When girls (primarily) visit their blogs, they’re given this false image that this is dare I say, normal? I don’t know many 23 year old ladies who have multiple Prada bags and studded Valentino pumps. These girls are beautiful and wildly successful, but they’re almost more discouraging than they are helpful or fun to be around.

As I find ways to set myself apart from bloggers like these, I’m going to do my best to show you how you can dress, live, and eat beautifully without spending your paycheck on a pair of shoes. That’s my mission with this blog overhaul and I hope it speaks to you!

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Taking Photos for Instagram or a Blog? Here are 8 Things You Need

Do you want to know one major thing I’ve noticed amongst all big-time bloggers, Instagrammers, and Etsy-ers? They all know how to take great photos and use props to enhance them. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a photo on Instagram using something sparkly or something with texture I’d be driving a convertible.

Seriously though, what makes some of their photos so great? It’s how they set them up. Here are 8 props you can add to your blog/Instagram pictures right now!

Props for Pictures

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The number one thing people seem to be using is sequins or glitter! As annoying as those little things can be at times (they stick to everything), they really make a photo look pretty! Sprinkle them around the key items in your photo for an added pop of cuteness.

Another thing I’m seeing is colorful paper straws. This was especially popular over the summer. Etsy store owners are laying them beside their prints and artwork as a way to enhance the colors in the art.

To illustrate the business of their day, bloggers are using stationery and notebooks. You’ll see these items on their desks laid out as if they were mistakenly left there.

Flowers, particularly Peonies, are being included in photos as a natural way to enhance and add color to an otherwise neutral palette.

Candles have been making appearances in many Instagrammers “lounging around” type photos. You know the pictures I mean- where the picture includes the bottom half of her pj pants, socks, coffee, laptop, twinkly lights, and a lit candle.

Expensive make up is also being haphazardly laid on a desk or vanity. If the item the blogger wants to highlight is pink, then she’ll use pink lipstick. If it’s gold, she might use red lipstick.

Finally, macarons are here to stay and for good reason- they photograph nicely. With this pastry, there isn’t much to capture other than the edges of these delicate treats. They sit in a picture to fill up space but they look awfully darling doing it!

Lately, I’ve also been using coffee mugs, jewelry trays, and jewelry in my pictures for Instagram. It seems to work depending on the quality of the image. A key element is having natural light. No fluorescent lighting! Ever. It adds a yellow glow to the image instead of a nice white one. A white background is also best.

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The Blogging Blues

pouty_faceThank God it’s Friday people. I’m ready for this week to be over. Do you ever have those weeks where nothing quite went how you wanted it to? It started with a long day at work on Monday and has ended with more confusion about the next steps after graduation than what I had last week. On top of figuring out my everyday life, I’m trying to understand my blogging life. For example, how on Earth do you integrate Google Analytics to your WordPress blog? I don’t speak “geek” and the articles I read skipped over quite a few steps. It’s frustrating!

However, I’ve made a goal for myself to learn one new thing about running a blog each week. Trying to do it all at once is just too much! So far, I’ve learned that I need to set up a Facebook page for my blog pronto. Here’s the funny thing I hate admitting though- what if no one likes it? How embarrassing would that be?

I’ve talked about starting an Etsy store selling my cute little designs and artwork. What if no one likes them though? I really hate the thought of that! My life and dreams are based on making a business out of my creativity.

I guess for anyone that’s ever taken on a daunting task there were many what-ifs. Taking the risk in the end is probably worth it. Motivating yourself to take that risk though is the hard part. Knowing that I have so much ahead of me before I can even consider making a career from my blogging is really intimidating.┬áHere’s a short list of things I came up with just sitting here writing:

  • Create a Facebook page
  • Set up Etsy store
  • Design printables and artwork for Etsy
  • Buy permanent domain name
  • Create color scheme for permanent blog
  • Figure out if WordPress will let me use my own palette and how
  • Buy a really good camera to get Pinterest-worthy pictures
  • Figure out how to set up a good email subscription option
  • Learn about Google Adwords and Analytics
  • Research how to get more followers from other sites besides WordPress

I’m sure you’re exhausted too! If you’re a blogger, then you must be frantic writing things down and setting reminders to do some of this stuff. Truthfully, I don’t know how the big bloggers like Rach Parcell or Emily Schuman have learned to do it. Obviously, they have somehow but they aren’t giving away their secrets and I can’t blame them!

Essentially, successful blogs require a lot of money to run. I doubt these girls started out with a budget for their blogs, but when did they decide they needed one and had a following to make it worth it? Right now, I’m edging 1300 followers (thanks to all of you) so is it time to set that budget? According to the only thing I could find on Google about this, it all depends. Well, depends on what? I still have no clue.

Just like you, I sit here wondering if I’m doing anything right. I haven’t seen significant growth at regular rates since the summer. That can’t be good. So what’s a girl and a blogger to do? I don’t know. So I’m just going to sit here and eat my Peppermint ice cream.

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