I started blogging wayyy back in 2013 and let me tell you...it wasn't pretty! Ha! I had no clue what I was doing and that kept me from starting earlier, but I'm so glad I took the leap and was ok with it not being perfect when I finally did start! This post is your reminder that we all start somewhere and you'll never get better if you don't START!
First things first: if you want to start a blog and don't know how exactly to get going or to turn it into a side hustle and business, grab my BLOG TO BIZ Freebie! It's a 5 day e-course to help you along the way and share more about how I can help you!
Ok, let's dive in! Back in 2013, I was living in Dallas, hosting tons of theme parties, had a huge extended friend group and went to birthday parties almost every weekend! I was working at my first job out of college and HATED it. I wasn't doing any creative at work, and the only thing I got excited about was having parties! I knew I had to change something but wasn't sure what!
People at work would ask what my weekend plans were and when they figured out that I was ALWAYS doing things and hosting or attending parties they started asking "how do you have so many friends?" Ha! I love people who love fun - pretty simple!
I started looking for more and more party inspo and kept uncovering blogs, mostly tied to weddings, but then started seeing mommy & event blogs...I was hooked! Mommy blogs sharing birthday parties for their kids served as inspo for many of my early parties! ;)
Slowly my friends started picking up on the fact that I was obsessed with blogs and photos (I shared Facebook photo albums after every event! LOL), and they started telling me things like "Rhonda, YOU could start a blog!" "You do so many fun events, you could totally blog about them!"
Sadly, I IGNORED them! But secretly, I was dreaming of a creative space where I could set up parties, do photoshoots, and share my events and ideas on the internet. This went on for a couple years! I kept making excuses, I kept coming up with reasons why I wasn't qualified or didn't have the tools to be a blogger. I didn't know how to use Photoshop, didn't have a Mac, didn't have a nice camera, the list goes on!
I made SO many excuses!
One night after a long talk about goals and what I wanted my future to look like, my then-boyfriend sent me a text. He said "I started a blog" and sent me a link. It was a plain Wordpress site and it had one sentence on the whole website. It said "Hi. My name is xxx and I have things to say." (or something super simple like that!) He had started a blog to show me how easy it was!
For whatever reason, that was the push I needed to start my blog. I think I slept about 2 hours that night. I stayed up almost all night creating my blog on Blogspot, Googling CSS code to edit my site, uploading photos, and doing backend tasks like setting up my email address. Over the next few weeks, I barely slept! All I did was Google how to write code, and how to do simple tasks in Photoshop! I vividly remember spending HOURS playing with lines of html trying to get a pink horizontal line to show up underneath my header logo. I finally got it to work. ;)
Reminder that this was 2013! Beautiful pre-made templates weren't available like they are now! I was determined to make my own website because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. At the time I don't think I realized that I could have paid someone to make it for me. Ha!
Slowly I started telling people that I had started a blog. Let's be real...my blog was TERRIBLE. My mom was definitely my only reader.
In January 2014, I made a commitment to invest in myself and learn new skills that I needed for my blog. I enrolled in Blogshop...a Photoshop course for bloggers! It was a huge investment for me at the time - about $700! I'm pretty sure I put that on a credit card because that was big money to me at the time! I had never invested money in myself like that.
Everyone thought I was crazy.
People thought I was nuts. People made fun of my photos, my family was supportive but also thought that a corporate job was the only way to make a living and I was crazy to spend money on this hobby. So I kept going. ;)
Slowly my blog got better, I learned more skills, I invested in myself. I took workshops, webinars, and read anything I could get my hands on to learn more! Remember that 8-10 years ago, not everyone was a blogger, the term "influencer" didn't exist, RewardStyle was just inventing LTK, and nobody was writing blog posts about blogging! I can't believe how much has changed since then.
Thank goodness I've upgraded my platform a couple of times since my original website. I eventually switched to a Wordpress self-hosted site then most recently to Webflow and have a site manager/host that I pay each month to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes.
Since 2013, I have worked with amazing local and national brands and started landing paid campaigns around the 2-3k follower mark, without even knowing what I was doing! Now, I love helping other bloggers grow and sharing how I work with brands with under 10k followers and get consistent paid brand deals.
I know there is always more to learn and improve upon, but I am SO proud of the work I've put in and how far I've come.
Why am I sharing my blogging journey?
One of the big questions I get is "how do I start a blog?" or "how can I start making money from my blog?" and I always love sharing about those topics, but it's important to remember that it takes time, investment, learning new skills, and making sacrifices to make your business a success. I also want to remind you that everyone starts somewhere, and if I can do it, you can do it! It's never too late to start!
Questions about blogging? DM me @rhondajenkins!