How I Survived My 1st Year Blogging

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HeyBLKGirl.com launched officially on February 28, 2017. Unofficially, I created and purchased the domain name on August 8, 2016. Due to some unforeseen life circumstances (ya'll know life gets real sometimes) I couldn't celebrate my bloggervirsary the way I wanted to. But, better late than never I always say so here we are.

I want this post to be informative and inspirational for you, the reader, and therapeutic for me, the writer. Also, I feel like its time to start putting some face to blog association, especially because I continuously come across people at events and networking who read Hey BLK Girl but don't know I'm the one behind it. This is actually something that I think is really important when being a blogger and thats brand identity. Most iconic & recognizable brands—Rocnation, Ciroc, Balmain, Milano Dirouge—become that way because of the person behind the brand. How many of us would be buying Ciroc at the club for $200+ a bottle if Diddy wasn't treating this liquor like its pumping through his veins. He LIVES for Ciroc. Ciroc is he! How many girls from the hood can execute a successful clothing brand thats worn globally? Milano Dirouge has gone from being just another a streetwear line to an actual clothing brand, and a lot of it because the work Milan Rouge, the owner, puts into it and shows on social media. Rather you're a blogger or someone in fashion, beauty, whatever it is, your business is a brand. People don't just buy the product, they buy you.

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When I started Hey BLK Girl I knew this was IT. I had written for other fashion blogs in the past, was the content creator for an event company, and tried to write my own lifestyle blog twice before but I didn't stick with any of those things. Hey BLK Girl... this is my baby though! People sometimes come to me and ask for info and advice about starting a blog and the first thing I ask them is, "What is your purpose?" Lets be real, there are so many bloggers and vloggers these days & its easy to get caught up in the social aspect of it all. So I always ask what is it about your blog that's going to stand out? For me, I started Hey BLK Girl because I feel like there aren't enough real life role models. I think too many young girls idolize the wrong images and even as grown women we don't have enough "well she did it so I can too" type of influences. So thats what Hey BLK Girl is for: showing our women something different than the half naked Instagram models turned celebrity baby mamas.

Speaking of Instagram, I personally have a love-hate relationship with it. I think if used correctly, its great. But what happens is that people get caught up in the "celebrity" of it all, like how many likes and followers you have. When I started, I was more worried about my social media followers than my blog readers. Sounds off, right? Right!  The more I reminded myself of my purpose for the blog, the less I worries about the quantity of followers and focused on the quality. Believe it or not, I've built strong relationships with people through social media, been asked to come to events, and have been offered amazing collaboration opportunities. This is with less than 1,000 followers. When I started out I checked my followers every day, every hour. But throughout this last year, probably within the last 7-8 months really, I've stopped caring about the numbers and more about the impression. Traffic to my site does well and ultimately I'm here for the feeling people get when they're featured on my blog or read about someone they know or whose story is similar to theirs. I also use Facebook and Twitter, but I'm not as active with them as I am with Instagram, which is also something I need to work on. I feel like hours spent on Instagram can definitely be decreased and rationed off to the other social media sites in order to help grow a following and increase awareness.

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I also want to touch on consistency when it comes to blogging which I suck at. Because I work full time, and most of the women I interview do as well, plus our side passions, plus life its really hard to connect the way I envisioned for Hey BLK Girl. I substitute the site's consistency with social media consistency, and I've seen positive outcomes because of that. Where before I would only get 3-4 unique clicks a month, now I'm at 100+. Social media impressions are at 4,200 and reach is at 940. For my last 2 months, I've really been going in with the daily posts, two a day, and using an app called Planoly to plan my posts. I've found good planning with consistency has really helped boost traffic. Trust me, this took some time. As I said before, life gets real and sometimes I can't figure out what to say for a morning motivation post or I have no pictures to post or I'm just in my feelings and stressed and don't want to be a blogger anymore. And then I remember the little girls that wants to own businesses and be scientists and I remember what I started this for. My advice, remain consistent. But when you can't, take a step back and breathe. Regroup then come back and go even harder.

I hope you have enjoyed reading Hey BLK Girl this last year +. I always say to stay tuned because there is more to come, and that's because I'm always working on making it bigger and better. More interviews, more personal stuff, I'm adding merchandise, guides... There's so much I have planned and I hope you are along for the ride. Stay up to date on everything Hey BLK Girl by subscribing to our newsletter here and following us on social media. Thanks again for the last year. Year Two is going to be epic!