Yesterday marks 6 months since I launched this place – and it feels like it hasn’t been very long, but it also feels like so much has changed already! It’s been such a learning experience for me, and a journey that I’m enjoying every second of. So, to document six months of Out & About, I wanted to share some reflections:
- More than anything, I think I love the fact that I have a centralized place to document my everyday life and all the minor details and big events that come along with it. Since I’ve started this blog, we went to Paris, my precious nephew Vincent was born, and we got engaged. Those are some memories I will cherish forever – and I have it all written about, pictures taken, and documented in a central place I can go back and enjoy later. How special is that? It’s a virtual memory book of everything I’m experiencing and feeling, and I love that I will be able to reflect on all of this down the road and relive these moments.
- Being transparent is something I really want to strive to continue to improve on. Too often, I feel like social media and just the virtual world in general has such a rosy glow around it, and I want to make sure I’m being real and honest in everything I’m writing about. My mom made the comment the other day that she was surprised I had shared that wedding planning was stressful – and I was like why? It is! It’s not a complaint, but it’s being honest – I don’t know anyone that’s planned a wedding who said the process was a breeze, so why would I pretend that it is for me? It’s important to me to be relatable – and to me, the best way to do that is by being open.
- It’s been so fulfilling for me to have a creative outlet and a “project” for me to focus on outside of work on a regular basis. I’ve mentioned this before, but I am one of those people who needs to be busy – I am not my best self when I’m listless or have too much free time. Between the regular travel, work demands, this blog, and my family and relationships, I feel balanced and busy, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s been almost cathartic for me, to be able to shift gears in my brain and focus on creating content and brainstorming ideas and doing something I love and enjoy – and having a purpose to do it!
- I am incredibly goals-oriented and numbers-focused – I have never been good with anything vague, or arbitrary benchmarks in terms of achieving anything. This blog really satisfies those aspects of my personality. I love that I have something that I’m growing organically, all on my own, and that I can analyze metrics and see real data in terms of progress and growth. It is so fulfilling to put in X amount of work, and to see X amount of increased blog traffic, Instagram followers – tangible proof that my efforts are having some success.
- On the same note, but the flip side – I’m still learning to be patient and not get discouraged when I feel like I’m not growing quickly enough, or something I love doesn’t sell. I am not a patient person in any aspect of my life, really – so I have to continually remind myself that it’s a learning process and that the point of this blog is not about numbers and metrics, but about what makes me happy.
- At the end of the day, I started this blog for me and to document my life and things that I love and have learned. I never want this place to be somewhere that is inauthentic – my hope is that this will grow to be successful with content that is true to me, but if it’s not, then that’s okay too. It’s a balancing act that I’m still working on mastering – you want to provide relevant content that people will enjoy reading, but you don’t want to provide that content at the expense of what’s authentic to you and what you truly love.
- I have learned so much, and yet I still really know nothing. From a technical standpoint (for those of you who don’t know, I’m an engineer in my real life so I love the tech side of this) – I’ve learned so much and I love tinkering with functions and designs of the site itself. There’s a huge learning curve – I experienced it firsthand when I switched platforms 4 months in. I was on a free platform (Blogger) when I first launched, but I switched to WordPress and self-hosted on Bluehost when I realized I preferred to own my site and wanted more flexibility. Maybe I will do a full post on the pros and cons of all of that one day – but, there is so much that goes in to creating a self-hosted site! Themes, widgets, page structure, design – so many aspects, but I love getting to learn about everything that goes on behind the scenes.
- Networking is huge – virtual networking, that is! There are tons of Facebook groups and forums where you can interact with other bloggers and go to them with questions and insight on all kinds of things – tech issues, brand relationships, travel guides, literally anything remotely related to the blogging world! I’ve had so many questions answered and have learned so much from all of these gals. I really need to work on getting more involved and meeting more people – I am a default introvert with these types of things so that’s something I want to improve in the next few months.
- I would say that this blog is pretty fluid, as far as purpose and content. I would really love to shift my focus a little bit to include more lifestyle content. I love clothes – but I also love a lot of other things, and I’d love to try and put together more content to reflect that. It’s a goal for me to explore relevant ideas in things outside the fashion realm, and I’d really like to see Out & About expand into some other areas. Wedding planning might be a good place to start!
So – there’s some random musings about my first 6 months in the blogging world! I’m really excited about the next 6 months – this little place has grown so much already, and I can’t wait to see what the future looks like! I am so grateful to those of you who regularly read here, and for the messages and comments I get – I can’t tell you what it means to me, and how much I enjoy getting to share with all of you!