Brunchin For 3 Years Now

Yesterday was my 23rd birthday and today is my blog’s 3rd birthday! What a wild and crazy ride this has been. Three years ago I launched this website that I really had no idea what I was doing with and I just thought it would be a fun creative outlet for me. It has been cool to look back and see not only the growth in my writing and communicating skills, but who I was 3 years ago.

This day 3 years ago I launched my very first blog which received 1.3k views in 24 hours. I was blown away by the response and the love that I was receiving from all my friends and family. I was proud of what I had created. I have always been a social media addict but creating a website is a whole different beast. I taught myself everything I know today from the ground up.

I didn’t know much but I did know these two things:

  1. I love words. I love writing more than I love singing and I LOVE singing! Since I was little I had some type of journal or I would write short stories on the computer (mainly about stupid drama and boys. Those entries were awesome). Poetry is my jam and I am a sucker for a really good play on words, hence the reason why I am so obsessed with the line from the song, Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons, “I’m an apostrophe, I’m just a symbol to remind you that there’s more to see.” Like come on that is ingenious! I can write songs all day long and I truly only enjoy singing lyrics that are unique instead of the typical “Throw your hands in the air”. I knew I could write and that I wouldn’t ever get tired of it.
  2. I love a challenge. I don’t like when someone tells me I can’t or that I am not allowed to do something. I am a, play with the big dogs, kind of girl. But, I am not going to lie, creating a website was so far out of my comfort zone that I was pretty scared. I don’t love technology and I didn’t even know how to really use my computer so that was a huge road block. I gave myself four months to learn, and create. I can say know that I am pretty proud of myself.

This day three years ago I had just moved to Knoxville, Tennessee from Los Angeles, California. What a change. This blog was the only thing that kept me holding on to myself. The move was tough, but you know when famous people say “I do this because of my fans”? I totally understood them for once in my life. Not that I was famous or even that I had any fans, but the fact that I could communicate and try to inspire others was that thing that kept me sane in that time.

This day three years ago I was, as my aunt would say, “a party looking for a place to happen”. So fun, but also all over the place. like I said, I didn’t really have any direction with this blog. I was studying The Blonde Salad’s path to success and she was my main inspiration. If you don’t know who that is, she is ultimate goals! Now I have more of a grip on who I am, I am committed to the growth process, and I am a party that found my place to happen!

The three biggest things I have learned over the past three years are:

  1. It is hard to be vulnerable, but people don’t want to read fake news. I have shared many things over the course of this blog, my failed engagement, my depression, my struggles as a young working woman, the rough times, and the good times. It is hard to try and convey to people that you are more that a white screen with words on it. Your life is suddenly subject to criticism from all angles. It’s hard to try to convey to people that you are not a two dimensional character in a comic book waiting for a super power or a hero to save the day. I am a real person. That is the biggest struggle when you open your life to everyone on the internet, but it’s a burden I’m willing to carry.
  2. Keeping up with the Kardashians is absolutely impossible. I am obsessed with the Kardashians and their ability to make a business out of their everyday lives (which is just like blogging), truly inspiring and #Goals. But, what do we do when we want to live a total rock star life style without a rock star salary? It’s hard to be a blogger sometimes when you follow big time bloggers and they are constantly getting make up packages from Dior and perfume bottles shaped like a total flawless body. Not comparing your own blog to others is difficult, but you will never feel like a success or proud of what you do if you constantly compare. When I was 18 and going off to be a music major my vocal coach said something to me that totally wrecked my world, “There will always be someone better than you.” it stung my pride but I soon found out that it was true. When you stop comparing yourself to others, it allows your personal growth to flourish and that is all that matters because in the end, there will always be someone better than you and that’s something you can’t help, but you can help yourself.
  3. Do what you want to do, end of story. I see so many bloggers that run the promotion type of posts which means they try to get sponsors and they promote their products. I tried to do this and I just never really could get behind a product enough and it just simply is not me. I am not a sales person. I wish I was because then I could get some cool products, but I’m not. I was afraid people wouldn’t read about a young girl coming up into corporate America and what that looks like, but at the end of the day you have to be proud of your blog and your passion will show through. It is contagious.

I have absolutely loved being able to communicate with everyone that follows and reads my blog. Thank you for the continuous support and all of the encouragement. I am excited to see what the future holds for MoreThanBrunch and what we can accomplish!

How to Have Consistent Content

The question, “How do you stay focused and keep making content?” came from my Instagram follower @ali0n who is an incredible artist and lover of her totally rad purple hair (link for her profile below). This is such a HOT topic because writers block is real! Right now I have 12 drafts just sitting there waiting to be finished, but I lost interest half way through writing them and just stopped. How do you start having consistent and fluid content when there is a lack of inspiration? This is a good and really hard topic to touch on because it all depends on what type of blogger you are, but since I am a lifestyle blogger I will give you my tips and tricks!

To be able to continuously have content, there are three things you need to know before you put pen to paper

What Is The Purpose For Your Blog?

So, I am hoping that if you are starting a blog you already know which category you find yourself under. Are you life style, fashion, design, art, short story, adventure, travel, ect. ect.? The most important piece of your blog, however, is knowing why you are doing it.

My blog falls under the “life style” category. I originally chose Life Style because it has no limitations as to what topics I can talk about. However, when I first started my blog I didn’t know why I wanted to, I just wanted to do something. This made it hard to write when there was every topic at my disposal and no clear vision. Before creating a blog or publishing a post I needed to think one step further. I am not just a life style blogger. I am a life style blogger that caters to young women in the corporate/working world, encouraging them in their everyday routine and business ventures.

Suddenly all my content had purpose, it’s purpose drove my posts, and my posts had a theme. I don’t know about you but I absolutely love the show, Project Runway. When they get down to the finale, the contestants have to design and create an entire line of 8-10 pieces, the biggest factor of the winning designer’s line is not just the design, but cohesion. You could have incredible posts but if you are all over the map with unrelated topics, I promise, it won’t be as successful as you would have hoped.

The thought is: Knowing why you want to blog will create cohesion and steer your mind to the right topics that will keep you focused and helping avoid writers block.

Who Do You Want Your Reader To Be?

If you noticed I didn’t ask, “Who is your reader”. This is because you should never let others dictate what you write, instead you should make what you write dictate who reads your blog. It is important to know who you want to write to. Get into the nitty gridy with this. Don’t just say you want to write to women from 18-30 who like fashion. put yourself in your readers shoes.

What is your readers age, gender, style, what do they do for fun, what is it specifically that you write about that they can relate with? Are you an introvert, extrovert, mega punk rock lover, and how are you going to incorporate that to gain a specific type of reader? All of these things will drive unique and creative topics that will help you stay on track and motivated. Know who you want your reader to be.

The thought is: Knowing who you want your reader to be will help you because instead of posting for the whole world, you are basically writing a letter to a fellow friend.

Content Inspire Your Topic or Topic Inspire Your Content?

since I have my a clear vision for my blog and I know who I want my readers to be these are the two ways I begin a blog. Most of the time believe it or not my content inspires what I write about. What does that mean for me? This means I go out and do a photo shoot with 5 different outfit changes, and different locations. I then come back and hit the drawing board. What is it about these photos that I am trying to say? Then I write an entire blog post off of how I interpret a picture. the other way is to already have written topics down and you choose a topic and then you go out and have a photo shoot for that specific topic. Which I actually find to be harder, but sometimes my topic does inspire my content.

The thought is: Change things up if what you’re doing isn’t working. Find people who inspire you or do things opposite of what you normally do. There is no specific “right” way to get inspired.

my 3 writing tricks

After all of that there are a few things mechanically that actually help me as I am writing so that I don’t stop half way through because I am bored or have completely lost what I was going to say in the first place:

  1. I always create an outline.
  2. I write my punch lines for every paragraph first.
  3. I never stop educating myself or reading other blogs for inspiration.

I hope this has helped anyone with providing some practical tools and ways that I have content and HAPPY BLOGGING YALL!

@Ali0n instgram: https://www.instagram.com/ali0n/?hl=en

Photography by Naomi Ledford:

https://www.facebook.com/naomiledfordphotography/

https://www.instagram.com/naomiledfordphotography/

 

Want to Start a Blog?

I have had so many people ask me about starting a blog, what it took, and how I do it, so I thought I would give you a little insight to my blogging life and what it looks like. I hope this will encourage you to take the next step into blogging even if you have no mother-earthly idea of what you want to do with it. So, lets go over some things that would normally keep people from starting one.


  1. What do you do if you are not a tech wiz?

Okay, for all of you ladies and gents out there who, besides social media, have no tech experience it is okay! I honestly hate technology with a passion because I just don’t understand it. This was my biggest hang up when thinking about starting a blog. What-the-potato-chip was a domain name? And there is no way I am going to be able to format an entire website all by myself. 

Luckily for you the blogging site that I use (wordpress.com) is incredibly helpful and does most of it for you. With beautiful free templates, it almost feels like back when MySpace was a thing and you could customize your profile. It is pretty easy and they have videos that will walk you through your design process. I will say though, that this is not something you can throw together over night. I gave myself 4 months of prepping and designing before I launched my blog because I wanted it to look professional, I wanted to create content, and I wanted to hype up the start of it with some marketing. But, if you are like me and don’t understand technology, it is okay, you can still do it! Plus along the way you will learn a lot!


2.  How do I sign up for the free wordpress without seeing the @worpress.com after my username, letting people know it was free? I just want it to be username.com without having to buy a $250 annual subscription for my plan.

I am so glad you asked this question! There is an option to buy a username without having to buy a plan. Back when I did not want to buy a plan, I paid $18/year for my user name and used the free plan. This way I wasn’t breaking the bank, and I had the free plan and no one ever knew. Also, you can buy your domain name through WordPress.com which makes it even easier because it is a one stop shop!


3.   I need a lot of content right?

NO! You want to be consistent but research shows that blogs that post once a month with solid content are better that blogs that post every week with little to say and really hardly any “meat” to the writing. Don’t be worried that you will lose your audience in a month. Be consistent in whatever you do and as long as you hype up the blog before you post it, you won’t lose anyone.


 

With all this being said, don’t be afraid to put your thoughts out there. Don’t let your worry of how many people will view it or like it hold you back. If you want to do it, Gosh Dang It, then DO IT! It is fun and exciting and as long as you are doing it for you because you like it then other people will like it too.

Good luck on your blogging adventures and I will be seeing you on WordPress.com soon!

Photography by Naomi Ledford:

https://www.facebook.com/naomiledfordphotography/

https://www.instagram.com/naomiledfordphotography/