Happy blog-birthday to me. Happy blog-birthday to me. Happy blog-birthday tooooooooo meeeeeee.
On the 10th March 2017 I posted my first blog post to Bella Inizio, the post itself is gone but the blog has remained. It’s evolved and grown more than I ever could have dreamed in such a small amount of time.
Bella Inizio has become part of my identity now, it’s such a huge part of my life and I’m so happy to share it with you all.
Right, soppy rant over for the year you’ll be pleased to hear.
Whilst I’m utterly bloody elated that BI is having its first birthday, I won’t say there haven’t been ups and downs. And it would be an utter lie to say it’s been plain sailing. However, a smooth sea never made for a skilled sailor and all that.
So here are the 6 things that I’ve learnt during my first year of blogging.
It’s okay not to have a niche
When I first started Bella Inizio, I so badly wanted to be a beauty blogger. I wanted to talk exclusively about new and exciting makeup launches, my favourite looks and you get the jist.
However it soon dawned on me that:
1. I can’t fund buying all this new makeup.
2. I can’t find a home for all this new makeup
3. I can’t love my makeup children the way they deserve to be loved
4. I’m not nearly good enough at makeup/know enough to exclusively chat about it for the rest of time.
And it took me a little while to realise that, it’s my blog. I can write about whatever I damn well please, whether it’s makeup, fashion and y’all know I love me a lifestyle piece. So don’t have to put yourself into a box.
Write what you’re passionate about, not what you think will be popular
This is something that’s only really struck me in the past few weeks. I lost my mojo a little trying to create content I thought would get the most views. Rather than actually writing about things I was interested in and felt passionate for.
I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again, it’s your space to do whatever you please with. It should only be for you.
The world won’t end if you miss a post
I used to think that if I missed a posting day, didn’t upload to IG everyday and have my Tweets scheduled in advance then I’d never progress. People would forget who I am, and my words wouldn’t carry any weight.
You’re only human. If you’ve got loads on, you’re feeling uninspired or you simply don’t feel like it, you’re not going to be left behind.
It doesn’t come cheap
I worked out once how much it costs to keep Bella Inizio as a whole afloat. Let’s just say I only did the calculations once. It was a tad upsetting.
Being self hosted, paying for themes, custom logos, camera equipment, material to write about, keeping up with trends etc etc etc. It doesn’t come cheap.
And I really didn’t think an online hobby would carry such a hefty pricetag.
Of course it doesn’t have to be that much, for a while I was on a free hosting site and used my phone for my photography.
It can be as cheap or as expensive as you’re willing (don’t get in debt though, pretty please).
A picture says a thousand words, but how many are true?
We all have those ‘famous’ bloggers that we idolise, Victoria from In The Frow, Lydia Millen, Suzie from Hello October and the list goes on.
You see their work, you see the perfect words that are accompied by the perfect shots. You see the Instagram feeds with the flawless skin, the expensive clothes and the lavish trips and opportunities.
And it’s hard. It’s hard not to compare yourself to them. It’s hard not to see their work and think to yourself, ‘who would read my work when they can probably articulate it so much better?’.
But you’re comparing your chapter one with their chapter fifteen. It isn’t a fair fight.
We also don’t know what time, effort and all-round hard work goes into those perfectly edited photos on Instagram. And that’s the point. It’s meant to seem effortless, it’s meant to portray the ‘highlights’ of someone’s life.
No one is perfect, it’s physically impossible. And ain’t nobody got time for that anyway.
‘Do you get loads of free stuff?’
Christ alive I get this question a lot. And the answer is ‘no’ in every sense of the word.
I don’t get contacted by brands all that much as is, and that’s completely okay. But when a company does contact me asking if I’d like to try some of their products, it comes at a price. Whether it’s photographing and slapping the product all over my Instagram, a dedicated blog post, whatever, I still have to work for it.
It’s only free in the respect that I didn’t exchange physically money for it, but I’ve had to exchange my time and effort.
It’s the equivalent of when your dad jokes that if you can’t pay for your meal in a restaurant you’ll have to go and wash dishes in the kitchen.