It took me a long time to pluck up the courage to start writing my blog, and actually stick to it. When I created Fashion Blur last summer, though, I'd never imagined I'd be so lucky as to be in the place I am with it today. I'd started blogs several times before and given up on them really quickly. I'm not going to lie, it does take commitment and dedication to stick with them for this long. But - even though I've only been blogging 9 months or so, I've already had so many benefits from it. The fact is, I couldn't imagine not being a part of this world anymore. So, here's my summary of 10 things blogging has given me - and what it could give to you.
10 Things Blogging Has Given Me...
1. Amazing, Wonderful People.
I know you might have seen the Devil Wears Prada and think that everyone in the fashion industry is super-bitchy, super-competitive, etc., etc. But bloggers are some of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever met. The fact is, there's no need to be competitive - the blogging market is just so saturated already, with hundreds of new blogs being created everyday. So why be bitchy and back-stab - when instead you can help each other get ahead? Because of the people I've met, I've been invited to amazing blogging events with brands like Pandora, I'm a part of blogger Whatsapp and Instagram groups that are always there for advice, and I've made lovely, genuine new friends.
2. Useful Connections.
If you do view your blog from a business standpoint, the people mentioned above are not just wonderful friends - they are useful connections. They can help you snap blog photos, or introduce you to a photographer themselves. These people can put you in touch with PR companies; introduce you to collaboration opportunities. They can help you not only grow your blog - they can help you grow personally.
3. A confidence boost.
Starting my blog has given me so much more confidence in myself: confidence in my appearance, in my body, and even more so, in my outfits.
Not only does blogging give you a creative writing outlet, it can also encourage you to experiment and try new things. I have become so much more experimental and bold in my outfits since I started blogging. I wear things I wouldn't have dreamed of wearing previously, whether it's see-through tops or dazzling metallic booties that, I'm not going to lie, made me feel a little like David Bowie.
5. A Great Image for Employers.
One of the main reasons I started my blog is because I know I want to go into Fashion Journalism. It's so difficult not only to score internships, but to get published in such a highly competitive field, that a blog is one of the best ways you can create an online portfolio to show employers just what you're made of. When I go for interviews (as I did recently at Central Saint Martins) or business meetings, one of the first things I show them is my blog. Even if you don't want to go into fashion - or journalism - having a blog where you write about your passion, whatever that may be, looks amazing to any employer.
6. A Free Hand.
One of the downsides of journalism, unless you're a columnist, is that you often get told what to write, and given quite strict guidelines. A blog is a place where you can write about anything that's on your mind - without having to worry about pleasing other people.
7. Freebies & Monetization
Let's not lie - we all love a good freebie. It's not very high up on my list because it's by no means the main reason I blog; but who doesn't love to work with their favourite brands and receive things for free? And, once you've grown your engagement and following to a large amount, there's opportunities to make money through sponsored posts.
8. New Brands.
Following on from the above point, blogging's introduced me to so many smaller, more niche brands that I have loved working with and that I would never normally have discovered. Yes, we all love Zara, Topshop, New Look - but working with niche brands is something unique; something you can't just get by strolling down Oxford Street.
9. An Improvement In My Writing.
Again, this is a bonus if you want to go into journalism, or really any aspect of the creative industry. I've found that blogging has really helped me to discover my "personal voice."
10. Tech Knowledge.
The power of the internet and social media is at an all-time high right now, when so many people turn to apps and blogs to stay current. So, SEO, Photoshop, CMS... now's the best time to learn about it all, in the current "social media age". While blogging and social media are not the same thing; they're so intricately linked that the popularity of social media is crucial. Some people I know have even started Instagrams first, and then launched their blogs - Instagram is one of the most powerful tools I use.
Blouse: Zara (similar)
Skirt: New Look (similar)
Coat: Urban Outfitters (similar)
Black Bag: YSL
Grey Bag: Givenchy
So that's 10 things blogging has given me - and I've only been doing it a few months. Seriously, if you're thinking of starting a blog - do it. You won't regret it.