Wow! I kind of can’t believe I’m saying this, but Happy 5th Birthday to Oh So Jack. For five years now I have been writing posts on fashion, beauty and life over here, in my little corner of the internet. I am really struggling to get my head round how this happened so fast! It feels like yesterday I celebrated OSJ’s 3rd birthday, back in first year, and here we are now.
It has been an incredible journey and whilst I’m on one with the mush, I’m really taking a moment to show how far Oh So Jack has come. From literally just a few of my friends reading this to now having exciting collaborations coming up, to working with all the wonderful brands that I have worked with in the past. Thank you to each and every brand, agency and fellow blogger that I have worked with along the way, you have each contributed to this journey that blogging has taken me on, truly!
I was wondering how I could commemorate the fifth birthday of the blog with a post and figured that it would be fun to share some things I’ve learnt along the way. Please note that I am aware that I am not the biggest blogger in the game and each blogger has their own methods, tips and tricks, but these are just some of mine that have paid off over the years.
1. Blog with passion, please!
The world of blogging has become a world of opportunities for many and in turn has spawned a FOMO suffering, easy-life wanting people who think that blogging is all freebies, trips and cute Instagram pictures… Yes, there is the chance to travel, offers of free products and Instagrammable events and moments, but it should be said that blogging takes a lot of time, work and in a lot of cases money. I am not in a position where I could blog full-time and it is still a full-time job in order to keep the site fresh and consistently filled with quality content. The hours are sporadic and it is on you to slay. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed every second of my time as a blogger, it just bears mentioning that a LOT goes into producing a post that takes about 2-5 minutes to read.
2. Media kits are invaluable
With so many people choosing to use Instagram for their ‘blog’, media kits are being overlooked. Used by publications, bloggers and online sites, media kits are what allow an individual/company looking to work with you get all the information they need about you at a quick glance. The kit should represent you and your blog’s brand, summarise any previous brand work and supply statistics to see whether you are suitable for the campaign/project they are running. I have found, thanks to having worked on the other end, that a blogger who is able to provide a media kit has a polish to their site and is interested in working professionally with said company.
3. Changing hats is a must
No, I do not mean literally changing hats, unless you are shooting Winter style posts, back to back… The context in which I am talking is that with blogging you wear more than just the ‘blogger hat’. You are a writer, editor, photographer, model, stylist, retoucher, PR, social media manager, accountant and payroll, to name a few. Some believe that you just write, throw a post up on a site that just so happens to be well-designed and while I hate to burst your bubble, please note that when you read my post, I have more than likely been planning it for three weeks prior to it going live. There are times when I do struggle to write and will get inspiration the day before the piece goes live but nine times out of ten, 75% of the post is ready as I said, three weeks in advance. The things I do for you guys, huh? 😘
4. Utilise social media ASAP!
This is something that I was aware of but due to thoughts of being mocked by people I went to school with over having a blog, I didn’t do this as early as I would have liked to. If you are a blogger, freelancer, etc, then using social media to promote yourself, your blog and your services is the best thing you can do in today’s world! As a blogger, I personally find Instagram and Twitter to be the best platforms for me as with Instagram I can curate a feed that allows you to take a look at what’s new on the blog and what I’m up to outside of blogging. I also have an account for styling, creative projects and photography as I recognised that people may just want to see my work in the industry rather than my work, my blog posts and that delicious coffee I had the other day… With Twitter, I like to mix business and pleasure. That being that you can catch my blog posts one hour and a several later, I will let you know all about the zaddy that I saw at the library or the idiotic things I do – sounds great right?.. Of course, be aware that potential employers can see what you post if you have your profiles set to public, it just so happens that with my industry personality and personal branding can be a mix of professional and fun which is a blessing haha.
5. Fellow bloggers are friends not foes
This is something I cannot preach enough. Since the blogging game was changed with the possibility of it becoming a full-time, and sometimes lucrative, career for some, jealously and low self-esteem rear their ugly heads and stop us from celebrating other’s achievements. The bloggers that you read and maybe even chat to are all in the same boat as you be it presently or at a different stage in their blogging journey. We should all support each other and share in the happiness of someone landing a great opportunity, not tearing them down and trolling the life out of people. Yes, we compare ourselves to other people in the world and sometimes even find ourselves suffering from a nasty bout of envy, but if you can shrug that off, realise that you are you and they are them then you can move forward, doing you while they do their thing, working towards whatever your goal is.
I hope that this post has given you food for thought and maybe even helped you if you are a fellow blogger. To avoid this post being too long, I have cut a lot of the things I have learnt through blogging, I just chose the above points as they are some of the key ones I’ve come across in the past five years! Now, cake anyone?
Photography by Jack Bradley