November 05, 2014

A Blogger Blogs: My Blogging Journey

An insider's guide to blogging based on a survey of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers, infographic courtesy of Farfetch. Browse their lush website here.
             This post marks my 51st as a blogger, and coincidentally, I also have 51 followers now via Bloglovin’. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve come a long way on my blogging journey, and with the help of an infographic, I would love to share it with you all. I started My London Dream in April of 2013, which coincided with the startup of my other (style) blog, A Stitch in Time. Creating a blog didn’t take too much effort, because it involves two things close to my heart: writing and exploring London.

'Tis the season for boots: you can check out my most recent outfit of the day post on my style blog, A Stitch in Time, here
             My very first post for My London Dream was about London Open Day and I actually wrote the piece for one of my courses at university. It just made sense for that to be my starting point and to go from there. If you look back through my archive, you’ll notice that I didn’t originally include many photographs. As I’ve progressed, I’ve learned that photographs are key to capturing the audience’s attention and to also accompany and complement the pieces. I understand that the world is a very visual place, so I wanted to take advantage of that. To replace a camera that I had used for years, I invested in a Nikon and was really pleased with the results (after I learned how to master it)!

I've come a long way (both in my writing and picture-taking skills) from my first post about my trip to a masonic temple for London Open Day. Travel back here.
             Blogging has become de rigueur, so it’s important to stand out from the crowd and to take the learning curves in your stride. This brings me to my next point: staying true to myself has been the most important guiding principle to keep my blog running. As I was browsing popular blogs, I noticed that there are certain key elements that are practically a given for good bloggers, such as the aforementioned quality photographs. I learned that early on and I quickly assimilated the knowledge so that I could improve my own blog.

If you want to know where to find me, try the Almeida Theatre in Islington! They very kindly invite me to their shows as press and I write reviews for them. Read my write-up of the play 1984 here.
             That being said, what (hopefully) makes my blog unique is that I write quite a lot. I know that people don’t read as much as they used to and that everyone is looking for quick fix answers. This is the generation of instant gratification after all. I came to terms with that fact and didn’t let it deter me from doing what I wanted to do with my blog. I am inherently a writer and always have been. Therefore, I don’t compromise the length of my written pieces. I like to capture the essence of a moment in its entirety and I would never omit an aspect of an event, for example, just to keep my word count down. I leave the restrictions of word counts for my university essays!

My favorite moment in London (as you can probably tell from my smile) was meeting Matthew Healy, frontman of the band The 1975. Chart the band's journey in order from unknown obscurity to superstardom across their various shows hereherehere, and here.
             I absolutely appreciate why blogging is a full-time job for some people, because the amount of effort put into it is immense and usually goes above and beyond what people do in their daily lives (myself included). As the infographic outlines, an average of 10.3 hours are spent blogging weekly, which doesn’t surprise me at all, considering I can attest to it! No, it would not be the end of the world if I forgot a comma, but attention to detail never goes amiss. Many bloggers post everyday, but I subscribe to the methodology that quality over quantity is always the better option. That’s why there might be gaps between posts, but I want to put out the best content possible and not rush any of my writing. I never publish anything that I am not proud of and I always check my work over once, twice, or even three times.

I always joke that I should have my own installation at the Tate Modern, because I am there so often! The Roy Lichtenstein retrospective was truly something to behold. Read my rave review here.
             Blogging requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but it’s incredibly rewarding. It also acts as an online portfolio of work that is easily accessible by anyone. I still find it fascinating that people all over the world can access my blog and that they enjoy reading it from, say, Poland when I am typing away from the United Kingdom! That’s not to say that I don’t feel discouraged at times, because there is an element of despondency that all bloggers probably experience at some point. It can be easy to slip into the mindset of, “Is anyone even reading my blog?” or, “What is the point of doing this?” Honestly though, I blog because it makes me happy and it contains such lovely memories for me that I can look back on fondly years from now. In addition, maybe I can shed some light on topics of interest to others in the process.

Beauty blogging: trying out the Umberto Giannini haircare range was so much fun! See the looks I created in my step-by-step guide here
             I first started out on Tumblr, messing around with HTML coding, until I made the transition to Blogger just this past summer. It proved to be a very advantageous move, because I quickly learned that Blogger was a community created for people just like me: writers! Tumblr is very image-based, so once I changed platforms, I felt like I had taken that “next step.” I also bought my domain name, had business cards printed, and commissioned someone to redesign my entire blog, so that the exterior matched my interior vision. Just going through those simple motions made me feel like a truly professional blogger.

Bloggers Fashion Week, hosted by Bloggers Love, is a great way to make new friends and swap business cards! Read all about it here.
             My blog is still in its early stages and I am learning all the time, constantly trying to figure out ways to connect with other bloggers and how to get my name out there. I think patience is key, because a successful blog is not born overnight. I am still in shock at all of the opportunities I have been afforded through my blog. I have conducted interviews with some visionary people, written reviews and received amazing feedback from the theatres or people themselves, and attended events to meet up with fellow bloggers - all with a few free goodies along the way! Perhaps the most touching thing about blogging has been the excitement I feel when I am approached to incorporate certain events, products, or write-ups. Just knowing that someone likes my work enough to be included on my blog really motivates me to keep working towards my end goal.

It was so inspiring to meet and interview Oliver Tomalin of beachwear brand Love Brand & Co., which donates five percent of all sales to help endangered elephants. Read about Tomalin's vision in his own words here
             Although I am a psychology major with a philosophy minor, my true love has always been writing. Maybe I tried to suppress this urge for a while, but it kept nagging and pawing at me, so I finally listened and embraced it with open arms. My ultimate dream is to become involved with fashion journalism, and even beyond that, my dream is to incorporate the three things I am most passionate about: writing, psychology, and fashion. There is definitely a niche in the market for this sort of thing, especially with trend forecasting. That’s my real London dream and I hope I can continue to chart my journey with you on my road towards that goal!

My love of psychology collided with my love of blogging when I visited Sigmund Freud's old home in Hampstead, where his famous psychoanalytic couch resides! Get your fix of psychological terminology here.
             My biggest piece of advice to fellow bloggers is to blog for the love of blogging. Followers may come and go, but if you abide by this, everything else will fall into place. Also, remember to keep it fun, because once blogging becomes a chore, you won’t enjoy doing it anymore and your readers will notice.

For the lowdown on the Spring/Summer 2014 Wolf & Badger London Fashion Week showroom, including an interview I conducted with designer Laura Smith, see here
             To all of my readers, your support and readership means so much to me! Even if only one person reads this post, it will have all been worth it.

Blogging has opened many doors, including meeting some very talented people, such as Oliver Proudlock (of Made in Chelsea) at his Serge DeNîmes pop-up shop on Carnaby Street. For what I thought of his cool clothing line and others he teamed up with, read on here.
             I would love to hear from you! If you’d like to share your own blogging journey or tips with me, please comment below or contact me directly. Happy blogging!

London can be very touristic, but it can also be surprisingly secretive, as witnessed with this Mexican restaurant which looks deceptively like a sex shop. Read about La Bodega Negra's scrumptious food (and how difficult it is to find!) here.

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