Cheers to 5 years. So many times we go through things in life without taking the time to celebrate them. For me especially, I have a habit of checking things off my to-do list or achieving goals but never acknowledging what I even did. Maybe I don’t want to get a “big head” or want to seem “humble” but the worst part is that I don’t even notice. I check off that box and go on to the next.
I’m about 25 days late but better late than never. I debated on writing a “bloggerversary” post this year as I do every year. 5 years however is a milestone! On March 5, 2014, I published my first blog post. I had no idea what I was doing or the things that were to come. Unfortunately I lost a lot of my blog posts from early on when I switched my platform from Squarespace to WordPress. Honestly, that was the best business decision I could have ever made. The second best business decision I could have made was changing my blog name from “Wild Thang by Davida Janae” to “Vida Fashionista”.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
Know your worth.
I still struggle with this sometimes but you have to know your worth. You have to know that if you are producing high quality work, going above and beyond at times that you should be compensated fairly. It’s always easy when a company throws a high dollar number at you (higher than your rate) because you really don’t have to negotiate. If you feel that a company is low balling you or not offering a fair wage in exchange for your scope of work, speak up.
Treat your blog like a 9-5.
Whenever you start to make money from something, it’s a job. What do you do on your job? Have a set schedule (maybe 9-5), show up on time, meet deadlines on time, negotiate, delegate, answer emails, network, maybe even take continued education courses. This is all the same with blogging. Since blogging is still a hard-to-understand occupation, many people will not/do not respect it as a job. On the flip side, you will not respect your blog as much until you see it as a job. It might seem all fun and games because “you work from home” or “you’re on social media all the time” or on “work trips”. The reason why blogging seems so glamorous is because it’s our job to make it seem as such. You don’t see the countless hours of work that goes into it. Shooting in the freezing cold for content, editing photos, pitching brands for deals aka a paycheck .
You can’t do it alone.
Y’all I am super independent…probably to a fault. Sheldon used to take a majority of my pictures. After feeling like a burden to him, I learned to shoot my own photos. Up until 2 years ago when I finally reached out for help. I work with Joe Mac on many of my larger campaigns or when I just need some help. Next I may look into hiring an intern…stay tuned.
Numbers don’t define you.
I’ll say this louder for the ones in the back. It can be so easy to get caught up in the numbers game. It all comes down to high quality content, networking and engaging along with following. I can’t believe some of the opportunities I’ve been given simply because “my following isn’t as big as Susie Q’s”. Just do you.
Comparison truly is the thief of joy
Woof. Have you ever gotten sucked down the Instagram rabbit hole? Someone is always on vactation, why can’t that be you? Someone is always working out or eating healthy or is #bodygoals, why can’t that be you? You feel your content is “better” than Susie Q’s but she has so many more followers than you. If I say I haven’t done it I would be lying. Stay in your own lane, work hard, engage, keep producing your high quality content and the rest will fall into place.
DON’T GIVE UP
I’d be lying if I said blogging was easy. IT’S NOT EASY, but it can be so worth it. “No one ever said it would be easy, so don’t give up when it gets hard.” There will be times when you realize all those late nights, early call times and lack of sleep were for a reason. You can take your breaks, have your moments of doubt (we all do) but whatever you do, don’t give up! Success is failure turned inside out.
If you would like to skip to the end of the post that’s totally up to you. I am just taking a moment to share some of my huge milestone moments along the way. Please don’t take it as a way of bragging, trust I worked my butt off to get here and am still working my butt off. This is more so that I don’t forget where I started and see how far I’ve come.
- Chosen as T.J. Maxx’s Maxxinista of the Month. Prize included $1000 shopping spree, trip to Flagship store in New York plus photo shoot. Month long feature on their Tumblr and other social platforms.
- Changed blog name from “Wild Thang by Davida Janae” to “Vida Fashionista”
- Switched blog platform from Squarespace to WordPress
- Accepted to RewardStyle platform with Like To Know It
- Chosen for home makeover with Lowe’s. Featured on their YouTube for “Weekender” series
- Hosted “Dress Address” Fashion Show at Lord & Taylor
- Selected as ambassador for Center City District Sips
- Appeared on Good Day Philadelphia for CCD Sips style tips
- Interviewed for Metro Philly for CCD Sips
- Hosted styling event at Banana Republic Factory
- Worked with BHLDN for wedding content
- Worked with David’s Bridal for wedding content
- Worked with Wedding Wire for wedding content
- Worked with Nicole Miller for wedding content
- Featured in Philly Style Magazine
- Tanger Outlets blogger event
- Attended Philly Mag Wine Festival
- Attended first Diner en Blanc Philadelphia
- Traveled to Memphis, TN with Memphis Travel
- Traveled to Hilton Head, SC with Sonesta Hotels
- Partnered with Bud Light to share Friendsgiving Potluck
- Attended Fashion Touchdown with Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Featured in Philly Modern Luxury Wedding Magazine
- Interviewed and featured on NBC10 Philadelphia on “Influencers” (3 Day segment: Ep. 1, Ep. 2, Ep. 3)
- Worked with Primark on Spring Style
- So much more to come, stay tuned!!!
I have so many more fun collaborations coming for this year! All that I have done and accomplished could not have been without the support from all of you over these last 5 years. To say that I am grateful is an understatement.
Thanks again for all of your support and for reading!