Okay, so I know three years isn't really all that long. However, in the lifespan of fashion and style blogging, I think that makes me pretty much an expert. Couple that with nearly a year here at IFB and I'm practically ancient – a Yoda of blogging wisdom. Get more traffic you will! Shoot with a DSLR camera, you must!
Corny jokes aside, working at IFB really has put me on a fast-track for observing, understanding, loving, hating, respecting and evolving the fashion blogging community. Our team spends more collective hours looking at blogs and connecting with the people who create them than probably anyone else – maybe ever.
While writing for IFB (and Eat, Sleep, Denim) daily, I've also been trying to keep up my own personal blog when I can. I started it on a whim back in 2009, after an inspiring vacation in Paris. Oddly enough, my dad told me that fashion blogs were “the new thing” and I should start one to build a writing and photography portfolio. (At the time I was living at home, interning and working in reatail and badly in need of some stimulation.)
Somewhat begrudgingly, I started my blog, but quickly found it to be a much-needed outlet, and one that I really enjoyed. So what would I tell my beginning blogger self, if I could go back and tap her on the shoulder as she types away in the basement of her parents house? It's hard to say really, because at the time I had no idea what I was doing, and I learned as I went along. I'm not sure I'd want to skip all the growing pains.
For the sake of this post though, let's pretend…
Dear Taylor of 2009,
First of all, it's a good thing you listened to Dad. You have no idea now, but this blog is going to open so many doors for you in the next few years. You're going to make amazing, genuine new friends, attend all kinds of fabulous parties, and believe it or not – you'll manage to land an editorial gig in New York City thanks to this thing. (Yep – you're moving there in about a year so do us a favor and start saving your money.)
As for this blog – I love the name, but it's a little long. Something just as snappy but a little shorter would have been easier to tell people, create a URL from, print on business cards and mention on Twitter. Oh my god, speaking of Twitter – you're going to love it. Get involved right now – and don't listen to your friends who think it's lame. You will come to rely on it so heavily for attracting new readers, communicating with fellow bloggers and keeping up on eve-ry-thing. Also, this thing called a “hashtag” is going to change your life.
Take Mom's DSLR everywhere. The point-and-shoot feels fine now, but you're going to wish you had taken a little more consideration with your street style photos in the future. By the way though, I'm proud of you for photographing so many “stylish” people at Seattle events. While the photos are bad and the outfits are even worse, you'll get some traffic and notice for blogging about local events (SEO!) and much-needed confidence in approaching strangers for photos in the future.
Also, these first outfit photos are rough. Like, girl, black leggings are not look. Save those for your off days – and focus more on how you dress for your internships, what you wear to First Thursdays at the Seattle Art Museum, and chic rain gear. (God knows the people of Seattle could use a hint.) I respect your use of Dad's tripod in the backyard, but again – trust in the DSLR, and use bigger images!
Finally, hold onto your quirky humor and keep telling these personal stories about your life and your style. These unique traits about your blog will be what eventually gets you an award, a readership of thousands and that job I mentioned earlier. In just a few years there will be many, many blogs a lot like yours, and if you don't go against the grain a little you'll get totally lost and begin to bore even yourself.
The sooner you take this thing seriously, the the sooner everyone else will too. People are going to turn their blogs into full-time jobs, and you could be one of these people if you really work your ass off. So don't slack, keep the faith and steal more of Mom's vintage jewelry.
Taylor of 2012
Looking back through my old blog content is like peeking into a time capsule. My social life, my friends, my discoveries of blogs like Jak & Jil and Garance Dore… It's all there. While I'm slightly embarrassed at some of the shoddy quality photographs, sort of pointless posts and not chic outfits – reflecting on the evolution of my blog from its fledgling days is like looking back on an awkward childhood: You cringe, you smile, and you realize that all these missteps have only strengthened the person (and the blog) you are now.