South Molton St Style turns 3 today and is now officially the longest job I have ever had. But what a job it is! This year was the year everything kind of panned out for me - I feel like I found my feet in terms of the amount I post, what I post about etc. It's been really fun and I'm so grateful to everyone for visiting as without you lot I wouldn't get the opportunities I do to do some cool stuff, or inspiration to write about the things I do. So thank you. I've had quite a few emails recently about starting a blog, so I've tried to write a few tips for people - things I think would have been handy to know at the very beginning.
. Be yourself - Blogging around a day job is hard, so you've got to want to do it otherwise it will just end up becoming a chore. Make it easy for yourself by blogging about something you are naturally passionate about - so that writing a post is as fun as talking to a friend about the same topic.
. Be patient - If you start a blog today, it won't be a "success" tomorrow. However there are loads of things you can do to help you start on the best foot such as good design, fitting social media presence, etc. I've put a few ideas on pitch&post here - but also Blogosphere Magazine here have a really good section on tips and tricks.
. Be nice to other bloggers - Sadly in this industry some bloggers like to put others down, I'm not sure why - it's usually jealousy (someone else is working on a brand they like, worries about their own traffic...). Trust me when I say being nice to everyone around you will get you further - the ugly personalities get caught out and end up being the ones who miss out. Don't fall into the trap.
. Be professional - When you get to the stage that your blog is working with companies and brands, you need to remember you're dealing with professionals and they need to be treated that way. If they're giving you something make sure you give something back as you have set out with them. Likewise, if a company is trying to get you go beyond what you have agreed with them then you need to push back - politely. Blogging is still a very young industry, so don't mistake someone trying to bend the rules for someone just not understanding how it all works.
. Be realistic - Just because you own a brand's handbag and you've posted a photo on your blog about it, doesn't mean they need to work with you. Brands don't owe you anything, if they choose to work with you then congratulations - you've earned it. There is nothing wrong with approaching a brand and showing them how you've covered their products and telling them how much you love them. Where it does fall down is when bloggers become expectant. No. Just no.
. Be confident - You might have read my post about a troll I had commenting on my blog. It wasn't very nice, in fact it really set me back with putting photos of myself on the blog. It was only when I spoke to one of my best friends about it that I really felt better. She said "but the reason we like your blog is because it's all about you, it's genuine and you're a real person in real clothes." We did an outfit post straight afterwards, because she's totally right.
. Enjoy it - The most important thing. If you aren't, have the confidence to make bit changes to make it work for you. Take it from someone who knows; when it's enjoyable it's pretty damn awesome.
Thank you again, as always, to everyone who has ever visited my little piece of the online world. It sounds like such a vacuous comment, but it really does mean so much.