YEAR ONE IN REVIEW
It's hard to believe that it's already been one year since the launch of ACloudofStyle.
— I started this website as a place where I could come share my thoughts and fears, my current obsessions, and my life with the world. And that's exactly what I have done. It's been my creative outlet, my hobby, and my passion project, but I am looking forward to it being more.
I started this website on a whim with almost zero expectations... I know that sounds bad or at least not good. It's just one year ago I was unsure about a lot of things, most importantly myself. But with each post, as I put myself out there, I started learning more and more about myself and what I wanted. It wasn't always easy posting about my outfits or fun things that I had done, and it definitely wasn't easy posting about things like my ex-boyfriends or personal things I've struggled with my whole life. But sharing helped people. It inspired others. It made some people feel not so alone. And that's exactly what I wanted. I wanted to connect with people. -- People like me, people who felt alone, people who haven't always felt like they fit in anywhere.
To those who feel alone: it's hard to remember that we weren't made to fit in, we were made uniquely and that our differences are what make us special. Trust me, I know. Through this journey of starting my own blog and launching the website, it was so easy to compare myself to others and think "I want to be like them." Or "I wish I had the platform they have." But the people they reach aren't the same people that I am intended to reach. And that's okay.
Another thing that I really struggled with was having a support system. I kept hearing how important a support system was and that it was "key" to making this blogging / social media thing take off. But support from my family wasn't something I had. For the better part of the year, they rolled their eyes & laughed at me and thought what I was doing was just ridiculous. Their opinions of what I was doing made me automatically think that there was no way for me to succeed. I had defeated myself before I had even given it a good try. And that's not okay.
I was taught that whatever I do, I needed to do 100%. And here I was giving up at the beginning because my siblings rolled their eyes at me and my cousins laughed at me and thought I was ridiculous. -- Why did I care so much about what they thought of me? Why did their opinion matter so much? -- I always thought I had grown to not care what people thought about me, and for the most part I don't. Except for when those people are my family. But here is MY mind blowing truth that I came to this last year.
I am living my life and the only opinions of mine who matter are God's and mine. -- Not my parents, not my siblings, not my cousins, or my friends from high school. -- I gotta stay true to who I am and who God created me to be.
What I Learned:
To be Confident. — Looking at so many of the bloggers in the industry, it’s hard to not compare yourself to them. Weather it’s their appearance or what they are doing, it’s hard not to get discouraged or think that you and what you are doing isn’t enough. But that’s the lie I told myself for awhile. I realized, you don’t have to be a size 2/4, or buy expensive, name-brand fashion or have big brand collaborations. It’s all about being who you are and being confident in that.
To be Transparent. — Through my transparency, it’s not only helped me and my own personal growth, but it’s helped others as well. And that’s what this is all about. I want to help and connect with others, but to do that I have to be open and vulnerable at times. It’s like setting my worries, fears and imperfections free so they don’t have anymore control over me. That’s been the biggest thing for growth in my life. It was so hard to write certain posts & share some things about me, but what I found was the posts that I really put myself out there on were the once that I had the most engagement on.
To be Real. — This kind of goes hand-in-hand with being confident, but I specifically I learned to be real with my content (in addition to being the real me). There are so many creators out there, but there are still trends and it can be hard to not get caught up in what everyone else is doing and putting out their on their social media and in their blog content. For awhile this year it was hard not to get sucked into the different color schemes or shoot location that were trending. But I found that that content wasn’t authentic for me. It was hard being comfortable in those shoots for that very reason. Not that I think I should always stay in my comfort zone, but when creating a brand you have to create it around who you are.
Now a year later, I see so much potential. I see all the growth I’ve made and just know that I can only keep growing in the journey. So, here’s to the future.
Goals for year two:
Consistency is key. — Post at least 1x a week on the blog. / Daily on IG. — If I’m not showing up then I’m not going grow.
Community engagement. — Continual communication is important when forming a community. — It’s not only about showing up, but reaching out.
Continual growth. — Grow in readership and “followers”. — Numbers aren’t my goal, but reaching and connecting with more people is.
Creating unique content. — Staying true to my brand. — Developing and creating content and ideas that are near & dear to my heart.
I want to end this by saying THANK YOU to anyone who took the time to read what I posted and shared on here. It means so much that you are supportive of me. I have so much love for each and everyone of you! So, don’t hesitate in reaching out and letting me know what you think or if there is ever something you want to know about me or for me to share on this platform.
ps. If you’ve made it this far, I want you to know I am doing a giveaway! It’s super easy to enter. 1. Subscribe to my newsletter. 2. Follow me on Instagram (or Facebook if you don’t have Instagram). 3. Like my most recent photo. 4. Tag 2 friends who would love a Starbucks gift card and free makeup.