Now that I'm a few months in to the GirlPlusTwo journey, I find myself reflecting on the entire (challenging!) process of starting my own blog. Check out the five tips below, to save you time and teach you what I wish someone had taught me before I began this project.
1. Be Passionate
Let me preface this post by saying that starting a blog, company, or project from scratch is never easy, especially in your 30s. Add in a husband, two kiddos and plenty of other obligations and the process is even more challenging. Before starting GirlPlusTwo, I had been working for 15 years in a normal job, with typical days and a full salary. Scratch that - normal doesn't really describe the TV show researcher days, which began at 4 AM. Starting this new chapter of my life involved a big leap of faith - both in myself and my brand. Each day, I am reminded that it's about the small steps- the process- and not about the results. The results will come with each gain along the way. Be passionate, love your work, and be open to opportunities and excitement, because it's going to come! Passion is at the root of success, I promise you that.
2. It's All In That Catchy Name
Choosing a name (and ultimately, an underlying theme that this name represents), is a crucial part of starting a brand. It's important to develop a catchy name, one that has interest to readers and followers, and is unique. The name also has to have meaning for you and your brand goals. The name of your blog is your initial identifier. It will lead to how you are first perceived by the outside world. Do your due diligence, take the time to discover something meaningful, and run your ideas by a core group of family and friends. Just as we are given a name at birth that is reasonably difficult to change, so too is rebranding at any point after you start a legitimate challenge and potential threat to your overall concept.
3. It's Never About the Money
I've always loved fashion, practically to the point of obsession! Clothes, shoes, handbags, sunglasses, accessories...I could go on and on! I wanted to write about my love of fashion, the clothes that I wear, style and trends, and how all of this is still a major interest of mine and focus of my life, even after I've had kids. Once the right timing presented itself, I knew I had to seize the opportunity. It isn't about the money or potential future that can come from GirlPlusTwo. To me, it's really about self-expression, creativity, living in the now, and being able to share what I love with the people around me who are interested.
4. Be Loyal To Yourself
Once you've created a concept and developed a brand, be loyal to your work and ideas. Don't sell yourself out for collaborations or deals that don't mesh with your concept or further your long-term goals. You've worked hard to establish a product that's yours - one that has intention and meaning. Own that. Of course, be open to discovery and change, but not at the expense of your true brand and self.
5. Do you Due Diligence
Do you know how many blogs I had researched before I opened mine? How about the number of Instagram accounts I had seen? And, the number of successful bloggers and brands I had gotten in touch with? Many, many many, for all three! It is nearly impossible to start something without doing your due diligence and learning from others. Study the field, engage with peer talent, and learn what works best for you and your brand. You only have one shot to make a first impression, so you should work hard to know yourself, your goals, and how you want to present your brand to the world before that initial debut.