Why I Started Blogging and What I’ve Learned Over the Years

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Blogging seriously is the oddest thing right?  Try explaining to someone who doesn’t regularly read them what it’s really about and cue the odd blank stare as they politely nod.  We put our lives out to the world to view, judge, critique, and comment on.  We can’t leave the house without some form of picture capture proof.  We artfully take pictures of our coffee mugs, shoes, manicure color, and can style pictures better than most magazine shots.  Bloggers are seriously a rare breed.  I have made so many amazing friends with people that I have yet to actually reach out and give a hug to.  On the flip, I’ve vacationed with blogging friends that I met purely through blogging and talk to on a daily basis.  It is seriously the craziest thing ever.

 

I get asked a lot how I started a blog and why.  It was over three years ago before my job went over to electronic medical records.  I would see a patient, dictate my chart, and then wait for the new one to arrive.  I definitely had some down time.  I also didn’t have a ton of other responsibilities like I do now (aka managing people, running my own clinics etc).  I found myself searching for fitness or workout blogs to pass the time.  I also read my childhood friend Christina’s blog on a daily basis.  From hers, I started reading gals in Charleston that I have never met in real life but was drawn to their hearing about their day-to-day life occurrences.  I would read about their local restaurant reviews or new stores that opened and realized that the Tampa area was majorly lacking in this.  I started trolling to find local bloggers and at the time, it was pretty slim to none.  I thought to myself I can totally do this.

Dress Amanda Uprichard from the new Summer collection not available yet but similar here  ||| Cage heels topshop last season but similar here |||  Sunnies find here

 

I had recently started teaching Pure Barre and the name came to me right away, Meet at the Barre.  It was a play on words that totally worked with the Life + Style component.  I contacted a blog designer from another bloggers template that I liked.  I definitely paid waaaaaay too much but lesson learned.  I started off on blogger and I wish I could go back to this day and start on WordPress but hey another lesson learned.  Here is a great piece on why I switched to WordPress and why if you are thinking of starting a blog, why you should as well.  Also, if you need a blog template check out Etsy or Creative Market. Completely affordable.

 

I started blogging with iphone selfies in my full length mirror and a DSLR camera that I had no idea how to use.  I researched, spent countless of hours with trial and errors and definitely was taken advantage of by brands in the beginning.

Humble beginnings….totally spy a glass on wine on the nightstand.  Probably was the middle of the week sanity.

 

Since I am an all or nothing person, I had to obsessively work to get this space to where it is today.  I still think there is so much that needs improvement but I’m very happy with how far I’ve come in such a short time.  There will always be someone who is seemingly ahead of you, started earlier, has a bigger following etc but you have to be comfortable with what you have built and what your expectations are in the long run.

 

One of my favorite posts to write ever was this one.  It was my penned letter to all the “non-bloggers” who read blogs.  I used to be you, seemingly lurking in the shadows and never feeling like I could reach out.  I would read about a blogger going through a difficult or joyous time and think “I can’t write something to them, they are going to think I’m such a creeper!”   I will tell you that I write my posts for everyone, not just bloggers.  I want to hear about what is going on in your life, or what amazing deal you scored for the holidays.  We put our lives out there to make connections.

 

 

What I have learned is that you have to have a thick skin and be very sure of yourself when it comes to blogging.  You will otherwise be made to feel like you don’t have that dream white Pinterest kitchen or the ability to take an Instagram worthy picture of every single outfit on a daily basis.  Everyone has their own journey and path to accomplishing the final product.  I sometimes get frustrated because by the time I get home from work and working out, all the daytime hours are pretty much burned.  Therefore, I have to shoot a ton of content on the weekends.  It can lead to a lot of burnout and feeling like I never have a second to breathe.  To help combat that for the New Year, I am trying to work ahead, stick to an editorial calendar and set realistic expectations.  Being open and honest with what is going on behind the scenes is very important as well to help with keeping an authentic and true voice to your space.

 

I used to keep my blog a secret in the beginning.  I didn’t want my I didn’t want my “real life” to know about my “blog life“.  However, now I am really proud of what I have accomplished and put forth here on my blog.  I have goals to expand my reader reach and take as much feedback from you of what keeps you coming back for more.  I would love if you would share my space to your family and friends!  I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a great year and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

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22 Comments

  1. January 11, 2017 / 6:46 AM

    I can still remember our early emails back and forth to one another – it’s crazy that was over 3 years ago!! I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished with your blog – You’re a rockstar girl! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston

  2. January 11, 2017 / 6:55 AM

    Aww I spy B!!! :) I’m definitely so thankful for the friendships I’ve made through blogging, heck, before my blog I never knew my best friend and now I can’t imagine life without her! And I still keep my blog life and my personal life separate but maybe one day I’ll merge the two! Congrats on all you’ve accomplished girl! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  3. January 11, 2017 / 8:24 AM

    Love this post! It’s amazing the work it takes to blog but to me, it’s worth it. Like you I wish I’d started on WordPress, too, and done a lot of things differently. But we need to look forward. You are a rockstar!

  4. January 11, 2017 / 8:48 AM

    This is so true, I have such a hard time explaining it to people in real life. No one knows how much goes into it either. You are a rock star, I can’t imagine the time and effort it takes you but it shows in your space here. But it’s beautiful! Every time I see someone taking odd phone shots of their food or talking to their “story” I wonder… blogger? Lol

  5. January 11, 2017 / 9:27 AM

    This is great. I just wrote a similar post (scheduled for tomorrow) about how I want to get back to why I started blogging in the first place. It’s so great that you put yourself out there and I plan to do the same this year!

  6. January 11, 2017 / 11:04 AM

    Hey it looks different around here! Looks good! I am so happy you started your blog and so happy that you first inspired me about Pure Barre and then inspired me to create my own blog! You do some great work here and I love it. It is so true all the things you say about blogging life. I feel like I am annoying to hang out with some times with all the documenting!

  7. January 11, 2017 / 11:17 AM

    Awe, such a sweet post! It’s amazing how far you’ve come in just three years, and you should be immensely proud of yourself. You’ve built a community that I believe all of us enjoy coming back to again and again. All the luck to you, my friend – so glad we’ve “met” and been able to support one another over the years!

  8. January 11, 2017 / 12:25 PM

    I feel super cool because I was totally a reader of Meet at the Barre in it’s early full length mirror iphone days. (; It cool to see how far you have come and watch your success grow. From your wedding to your camera skills, I think good things are ahead for you in 2017! (:

  9. January 11, 2017 / 2:25 PM

    Love this post and that picture of you and Biana. You should absolutely be proud of what you have accomplished. You are a boss!!! :-) I think that my favorite thing about you though is how genuine you are. I really hope that we can meet in person some day too. :-)

  10. January 11, 2017 / 5:49 PM

    You’ve done a great job turning a hobby into a business Amanda. You’ve had some amazing success and have come so far from when you started. Loved this post.

  11. January 11, 2017 / 9:03 PM

    Love this! I remember when I first started visiting this space before you and Mark got married, and you still lived in your condo. Isn’t it amazing to watch things evolve into their own? I still don’t have a white kitchen or Pinterest worthy photos with a DSLR, but I’m proud of how much my blog has evolved as well. I’m not perfect, so neither is my blog. And blog pictures during the work week? Ain’t nobody got time for dat… lol! Keep doing your thing girl! And hiiii B! <3
    Green Fashionista

  12. January 12, 2017 / 1:56 PM

    I remember those full size mirror selfies… ;) Your right, blogging is weird. But I love it! You’ve made some great improvements in such a short time on your space! It’s been fun following along!

  13. January 13, 2017 / 10:47 AM

    Real life people totally don’t get blogging in my world either, and that is ok. I like having it for myself. I for one have made a few IRL friends here locally, and have so many friends across the country (and world!!!) that I would love to meet if I ever travel to their cities. You included!!! I swear, next time Bama and Florida go to Atlanta together, I have to drive over to meet up with you! This year was a little hard since I was in labor and all ;) I love your blog and I have certainly see you grow over the years since I started following you. You should be damn proud of all that you have accomplished and tell anyone and everyone about it! I hope to grow up to be in in my photography skills, that is for sure.

    • January 13, 2017 / 10:48 AM

      That was supposed to say grow up to be you in my photography skills lol

  14. January 13, 2017 / 10:46 PM

    I am so happy you started blogging and I loved your blog just as much in the early days!

  15. January 15, 2017 / 3:35 PM

    I love this post! With blogging (or any endeavour you start) I think it’s excellent to look back on how you’ve grown and what you’ve learned- you can learn and reflect and it’s also great advice for others, too!

    xx Madeleine

    http://www.lilyandblush.com

  16. January 15, 2017 / 10:02 PM

    I feel so similarly! It used to be strange to explain blogging to people in my “real life”. So many people don’t get it! I’ve been putting a lot of effort into my blog lately and I truly love it! I love when “strangers” reach out too. Making friends is a weird thing as an adult. I started my blog after I moved to Tampa and didn’t really know anyone. It’s cool that we can connect with other bloggers with similar interests. If that leads to friendships, well that’s awesome!

  17. January 16, 2017 / 11:48 PM

    This is such a great post! You’re so right about it being hard to explain blogging to friends/fam! For a long time I didn’t really share mine with them and now I’m so glad I do!

  18. January 17, 2017 / 10:30 PM

    Love this! Getting back into it after having the baby and committing to a few things like eating a veggie every day and writing more (when I get the baby down)! Any recommendations for how I can figure out some cheats for my DSLR? I want to start using that and ditch the iphone pics as MUCH as humanly possible!

  19. January 19, 2017 / 10:24 AM

    I’ve learned soooo many things from your blog and love sharing when you post on FB. So glad you’re local, too!!

  20. Shenine Hooshmand
    February 4, 2017 / 1:57 PM

    Hi Girly!! I so miss blogging and all the blogging ladies I met. You and Biana were my first blogger friends and I swear people probably only read my stuff because of you two! I miss the blogging world and sometimes feel like just writing a post even if no one will read it. I look at everything you’ve done with this space and its amazing!

  21. February 27, 2017 / 12:45 PM

    i am very behind on reading and commenting and whatnot, lots going on, but i had bookmarked this to eventually get to and i just wanted to say i’m glad i met you through blogging! bloggers are definitely a weird bunch but you gotta love us ;) i’ve loved seeing your blog grow and i’m so happy for you, you’ve done so much and i can’t wait to see what else you accomplish.

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