i have been blogging since 2005. yes. way before blogging became huge in this industry. fast forward to 2016 and i am still here. just for basic information though, i used to blog on a personal level – meaning my daily diary musings (which was the main idea back then. after that, i moved on to officially launch as a style blog in 2009). recently got interviewed for a feature at a huge newspaper and because of it, i thought i would kick start some of inspiring notes on the blog. its all about sharing in this industry so lets kick start the articles with this one shall we?!
i get asked so many questions about how to start a blog, how to maintain the lifestyle and the most famous of them all…how do i make it a successful blog. with thousands of bloggers out there, and more starting up their own every single day, being successful in this industry to me is being able to keep up with regular articles, maintaining the quality of your blog content (your photographs take up a huge chunk of that content so make sure you do produce the very best) and make sure you innovate, coz the only thing constant in this life is change and if we dont adapt, if we dont change, and if we dont grow, we will never really get anywhere (i never used to be on snapchat and could really care less, but since almost every single blogger used it, i tried it out – i still dont really post much, i most stalk people and enjoy watching what other people are upto daily). oh and remember, what matters most is you, how different you are from everybody else. your individuality and your own personal style will be the one thing that can keep those readers coming back for more. and there is nothing more amazing that reading all the great feedback from people who take the time to read your blog.
stand on your own, by yourself if it means keeping true to self and the direction you want your life to go. The best things in life are off the worn path.
LEARN THE ROPES AND GO WITH THE FLOW
- i have learned that it is important to update your blog at least two or three times a week. heck, if you can do it every single day, it would be better (from my own research, and because i am an avid blog reader myself, i tend to unfollow someone who has not updated their blog in weeks). with this thought, you kinda go ok, but then when do i work? when do i sleep? when do i eat?! learning to manage your time so you can produce the best content is crucial if you want to make your blog successful. but lets not forget that even though you post every single day, it does not mean you actually have quality posts that readers will love and come back to. at the end of the day, quality beats quantity. a good balance of it all makes good sense. and because of the huge growth of the blog, this year, i am concentrating on organising myself by pre-scheduling all my shoots and preparing my editorial calendar way in advance. good luck to me.
- i get asked about photography and all i can really tell you is learn. putting in that extra effort to learn how you can produce great photos will help you produce a better blog. and yes, although it helps a lot on investing on camera gear, i do not always suggest it for everyone because it can be expensive. i suggest investing after at least a year or two of blogging – upgrade your gear to a new camera that has more features and a great quality lens like a 50mm F1.8 or F1.4 (the best lens to buy for street style photos). my gear is on full beast mode – simply because i am a photographer by trade and it goes with the territory. but note that the basics can get you where you need to be if you know how to make it work for you. and of course it will also help if you collaborate with a photographer. a lot of bloggers are now working alongside aspiring photographers so do a little networking and you might just get lucky.
- does it matter if i write or can i just post my photos?! this is different for everyone. because honestly, we dont all have a writing or journalism degree. but i would have to be honest when i say that i hate going to blogs that have no personal voice. i hate reading press releases and get about 100 of them on my email. so why would i go to a blog that cuts and pastes?! blogging is supposed to be your personal space so use it to voice out your thoughts. even if its just a sentence. this is a sure way to get readers because once they connect with you, that relationship builds and they will surely keep coming back. oh and don’t forget to give google a visit for some english grammar guidance. coz if your sentences don’t make sense, you will surely give your readers a headache. and yes, i know that includes me.
- someone once noted that to be a fashion blogger, you cannot repeat outfits. he is right on some level. nobody really wants to see the same thing again and again. but how the hell do you do that without breaking the bank?! again, this is different for everyone. because your blog is personal, sharing your personal style is what matters most and because i have luckily outgrown my need to keep up with trends, i now basically revolve and evolve my style with classic pieces, simple silhouettes and comfortable cuts that are all pretty easy to mix and match. and yes, i am one of those bloggers who repeat outfits. i honestly dont care coz to me, any piece of clothing (if you really have great personal taste) can be styled in hundreds of ways so although i repeat several pieces from time to time, i know it is always highlighted in a different way. plus my blog is definitely more than the outfits i share.
- being different can sometimes be a challenge. take for example this location. i call this place “my-not-so-secret-location” simply coz there was a time when nobody knew about this place. but soon enough, because of the magical powers of social media and geo-tagging, everybody has now snapped their own secret rendezvous on instagram. and so because everyone now has photos at this place, how you present it with your own vision and your own perspective, is what will make it different.
- holding on to every bit of integrity and learning how to compromise is the hardest thing. blogging will surely open doors but sticking to who you are, knowing your worth and learning the ways when it comes to collaborations and projects will definitely help you establish yourself more in the industry. remember that it is all about quality and not quantity. so it doesn’t really matter if you attended all the 10 events of the day and get a handful of “free stuff”. ever wondered how much you actually spend on transport alone just to attend the same event again and again? do you really want to experience the horror of wearing the same outfit with about 3 or 4 more bloggers/media simply because you got it as a “freebie” at an event?! and do you really think it is right to collaborate with the high-street or the “cheap and affordable” when your closet only houses chanel and you honestly wont even be caught dead inside a discount store?!
- be an inspiration. i have said this before and i will say it again. being a blogger and having an online presence is a huge responsibility. you have the ability to influence people (be it one or hundreds or thousands) so take it seriously and be careful what you put out there. also, it helps to know the law. i live in the middle east and although dubai is forgiving and more open, that does not mean i get to abuse it by flaunting my boobies (i hardly have any either way).
- last but not the least. be passionate with your blogging goals and always aim higher. i never thought i would still be a “blogger” till now but year in and year out, i continue. and with hard work, with my passion burning, my drive to create, to learn, to share and to inspire has definitely fulfilled me in the best of ways.
CAPTURED ON LOCATION AT THE ARABIAN TEA HOUSE, BASTAKIYA
photography by princess lovella