When The Blonde Chiffon launched in late 2014, I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. I didn't know much about blogging at the time, and I regularly spent hours scouring the internet for info on how I could get "better". I was finally able to (kinda) get my sh*t together for 2015 and make a lot of improvements. Among my favorites were improving my photography and learning to produce content that suits a specific target audience. I also started monetizing, which has completely blown my mind. I'm definitely not making a living off of my blog right now, but I can see that it is entirely possible in the future. So exciting!
Overall, I'm thrilled with the progress came with 2015, but I KNOW that I'm going to do everything in my power to make 2016 an even bigger year for growth. I'm leaving my resolutions below, and feel free to leave any of yours (blog or non-blog related) in the comments. I'd love to see what you're up to!
Continue posting 3+ times per week.
I've recently started planning out the majority of my posts weeks/months in advance in order to reach a goal of at least three updates per week. This has had a TREMENDOUS effect on my traffic. I've noticed that when I post more, I'm more inspired. When I'm more inspired, I come up with more/better post ideas. Then some of those ideas come to fruition and go viral! Posting at least three times per week also helps because it gives me more analytics to work with. I have more posts to compare against each other and use to figure out what my audience is/isn't digging. I'm definitely looking to continue this practice through 2016.
Grow my email list.
I was kind of late to the party with the whole email newsletter and updates thing. For the longest time, I didn't think I needed this. BUT, I'm definitely going to be switching things up with the new year. I think that growing an email list can (not always) be synonymous with growing a loyal following. Most people won't stay subscribed to a newsletter that they don't value, and popping up in someone's email inbox every few weeks is a great way to stay connected. I'm hoping to build loyalty with my audience by growing my email list and eventually providing subscriber-only programs such as a resource and printable library.
Start a new series.
I've kind of called it quits with most of the series I started at the beginning of my blog, and I want to start a new one for 2016. I think series can be a valuable way to bolster consistency and attain repeat viewers. I'm not sure what the series will be about yet, but I definitely will be implementing something that sticks this year.
Double my traffic.
I think numeric growth is something that is always in the back of any blogger's mind. I'm hoping to attract more viewers to my site in 2016 and double my traffic!
There you have it -- my 2016 blog and biz resolutions! What are yours? Any suggestions on how I can make some of these things happen? Happy New Year!
"Care what other people think, and you will always be their prisoner." - Lao Tzu
If I could tell all women everywhere just one thing, it would be this:
F*ck what other people think of you.
I wrote a Motivational Monday post a few weeks ago on why fear is SO boring, but I never really got down to the nitty gritty on what I think scares people the most.
It's funny, because there are so many things to worry about in life, and yet almost all of us subconsciously choose to stress over what other people have to think/say about us.
First off, thanks to all of ya'll who stopped by last week to check out the first ever "Weekend Edit". I really enjoyed getting a bit more personal with you guys, and I got a generous amount of positive feedback to boot!
But let's talk about this weekend, shall we?
I mean, it was kind of a big deal since R. turned 21...on Sunday.
So it obviously wasn't the wildest time haha, but we had a lot of fun going midnight bowling and eating too much cookie cake on Saturday night. For those of ya who don't know, Richard's interning in Pittsburgh this semester, so I really didn't care what we did this weekend as long as we could spend it together.
Despite the fact that New York is currently awaiting a massive snow storm right now (*sigh*), spring is right around the corner.
Aside from doing a deep clean of my closet and going on a major clothing haul to prep for the next few months of fashion posts, I also try I try to reevaluate my beauty/skincare routine each season. Spring is one of my favorite times, because it brings lots of beautiful colors and delicious new scents.
However, it can be a tricky transition going from the dry winter weather to luscious spring in the blink of an eye. Of course, this is always how it seems to happen in New York. Luckily though, I've established a few rules of thumb (totally through trial and error) that'll help even the most troubled skin transition seamlessly into the upcoming season...
If there's one thing that I think almost all bloggers fear above all, it's running out of ideas. I mean, let's be honest...writer's block is a huge pain in the a$$ — especially if you're relying on your blog as a source of income.
I wrote about how comparison has stifled my creativity in the past here, but there's a few other tips that I didn't note in that post that have helped me to grow as a writer and blogger immensely.
In fact, I almost never question what I'm going to write about nowadays.
That's coming from a girl who used to stare at her computer for hours trying to come up with the "perfect" post idea.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm not a big fan of breakfast. There's just something about it that rubs me the wrong way.
It also probably doesn't help that I really hate eggs.
That being said though, I do love my antioxidant-rich pomegranate avocado toast and the occasional batch of banana pancakes. I recently whipped up a few fluffy, vegan (minus the honey I drizzled on top) 'cakes, and they were so good that I knew I just HAD to share with you guys.
Oh, and I topped them with my favorite 3-ingredient raspberry chia jam. So yes, I'm definitely a breakfast eater when I make these babies.
2017 is bringing big changes to The Blonde Chiffon, mainly in the form of several new series. I'm a huge fan of them (obviously), and that's mostly because I feel that they can make a brand more consistent and cohesive.
My goal in creating a few new series on TBC this year is that they will help you see that all of the content is interrelated, connecting back to one simple idea: bettering yourself and your self-image through a fashion and beauty-focused lens. There's way too many girls that struggle to keep up with the latest trends, which can often take a toll on their budget, time, bodies, self-confidence, etc.
If I could go back in time and give my 15-year-old self one piece of advice, it would be this:
Love yourself. Always.
I recently read the book You Are a Badass, and every single chapter ended with that reminder. The message was that important.
Though it's taken me many years to "master" this concept, I still feel like I'm ahead of the curve. In a world that's dominated by social media, getting trapped in a never-ending cycle of comparison is seemingly inevitable (though, I wrote about why it doesn't have to be here). Not to mention the fact that virtually everything nowadays is photoshopped to death. I love, love, love that raw, real life is slowly but surely becoming the new "it" thing (thank u Snapchat & Insta stories).
If you read TBC's Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gift Guide (and you should, bc it features some real goodies), you're probably not surprised to see more V-Day inspired content. It's obvious that I love the color pink, so I'll pretty much take advantage of any opportunity to exploit that passion — Valentine's Day included, of course.
Today's post is extra special though — not just because it's pretty, but because it's a damn gem when it comes to skincare. You ladies know how I feel about sick-o unnatural products, especially when they cost a small fortune. I mean, how am I supposed to save up for this bag when I'm blowing my entire paycheck on glorified soap? Thanks, but no thanks.
What better way to jump into February than with a classic Valentine's Day post? For those of ya who aren't so much of a fan of the heart-themed holiday, I'll warn you now — get on board. I've got lots of fun holiday-inspired content planned for the upcoming week, and I absolutely can't wait to share.
I won't go too much into my Valentine's Day motto here (though I'll cover it soon, promise), but please remember, as cliche as it sounds, it's a day to treat yo' self! It doesn't matter if you don't have an S.O. to buy you flowers & chocolate. It's 2017, and I say buy 'em for your damn self — boyfriend or no boyfriend (because multiple boxes of chocolate never hurt a fly, right?).
Lately, I've become V picky about my nighttime routine. I only use a handful of products nowadays, and I'm always careful to check the ingredients before applying anything to my skin. After all, most people would be shocked to hear that, according to this source, women absorb up to FIVE POUNDS of damaging chemicals a year — all thanks to their beauty products.
But does this mean you should immediately toss everything that's currently housed on your vanity without second thought? Thank the Lord, no! My motto has always been that slow and steady wins the race. Cutting something out cold turkey doesn't typically work for anyone, and I will always stand by the idea that one of the most important factors in creating a healthy lifestyle is about finding balance. Know your facts, and actively choose what you allow to go in (and on) your body.