shop the christmas gift guide here!

X


7.17.2018

Five Things I've Learned in Five Years of Blogging

Five years ago today,  as an eager thirteen-year-old, I sat down at my home computer and started A Sunny State of Mind. I had a lot to say and needed somewhere to say it. I wanted a creative outlet and a place to be me. I chose blogging as my outlet because the blogging industry is face-paced, ever changing, and dominated by self-starting women who are passionate and bold enough to share their ideas with the world. I knew I needed to be part of that!

In many ways, A Sunny State of Mind still serves the same purpose of being a creative outlet and means of personal expression. However, a lot has changed within the past five years, including how I view blogging, myself, and the world around me. I've learned so much more than I ever thought possible through this little corner of the Internet, and so today I want to share five things I have been taught throughout my five years of blogging.

1. Never hide your passions
Starting my blog was so exciting. I would run up to our home office the morning after posting, checking to see how many views I got overnight. One time I reached 14, and I was ecstatic. This excitement for my blog shifted into embarrassment once I reached high school. I only talked to my close friends and family about it, and I was always mortified if someone from school came across my blog's Instagram. The weird part was, I was proud of the content I was creating-- but that didn't matter to me if I was at risk of being judged by my peers. Hiding my blog continued through the rest of freshman year, but one day sophomore year I thought "I'm proud of this, I'm passionate about this, why shouldn't I want people to see it?" Putting my passion for blogging out into the open was so freeing. Sure, I got some rude comments from people, but more often than not my classmates and teachers thought what I was doing was really cool. They supported me and still do! So, I beg you, let your passions shine. Life is much too precious to waste time doubting who you are and what you do. You are so worthy of the confidence and freedom that comes with fully being yourself in every aspect of life!

2013
2. Ask for help when you need it.
Early on in my blogging career, I spent way too many nights frustrated, sitting at my computer, trying to figure out the technicalities of website building, graphic design, and photography. I realized that if I wanted to be successful, I couldn't do this on my own. When I opened my mind to asking for help, I found there were so many talented, smart women willing to support me. I got help with coding my website, taking photos, designing graphics, and editing my posts from my friends. And guess what-- asking for help didn't make me weak. In fact, I felt even stronger that I was able to better fulfill my blog's mission. I constantly get affirmations, advice, and recommendations from my readers, too, and I feel so lucky to have such a supportive community!

2014
3. Authenticity and transparency are so necessary and so appreciated.
I know you've heard it before, but social media (especially in the blogging world) is a highlight reel. However, regardless of how many times we are reminded of this, it's easy to forget when we're scrolling through Instagram and see perfectly filtered snapshots of people's lives. Often times this can create a trap of comparing your own messy, full, and unfiltered life to the version of others' lives on social media. This only leads to anxiety and feelings of being less worthy, happy and successful than others. I try to be authentic on social media and share some less than glamorous moments on my Instagram stories in hopes of shattering the comparisons that haunt our minds after checking social media.

2015
4. You are too interesting, vibrant, and creative to be put into one category.
Every guide for establishing your blog will tell you to "find a niche." And man, have I struggled in vain to fit into a niche. In the past, I overthought my blog strategy and posts to the point where I wasn't having any fun. Eventually, I realized that I had nothing to lose by just writing about what I wanted to write about, being honest about my experiences, and sharing vibrant and fun content that I pour my whole heart into. On my blog you'll find everything from a guide to better sleep, to my prom photos, to the best things to buy for your dorm room. I don't fit under one category, and I wouldn't have it any other way. This lesson extends outside of the blogging world as well. You truly do yourself a disservice by trying to fall under a narrow category. You are complex and you are allowed to love many things!

2016

5. Take your opportunities and run with them.

Blogging has truly opened so many doors for me. Career-wise, it has helped me with internships, professional networking, and even the chance to give a TEDx Talk. However, through my blog I've also made friendships, met like-minded individuals, connected to my readers on a personal level, and have gained confidence. All of these opportunies would have been forgone had I not had an open mind to new experiences, vulnerability, and hard work. Whether you blog or not, if you see even the slightest chance at self-betterment, a new relationship, or a career-building experience-- sprint in its direction. I've really learned that "fortune favors the prepared mind" (a quote from Louis Pasteur) when it comes to having new opportunities come your way!

2017
Blogging has taught me a lot, and I can't wait to see what else is in store as I continue to try my best to inspire women (and men!) to live their most vibrant, sunny, and authenic lives through fashion and healthy living. Thank YOU for following along!

2018
Let me know in the comments: what has blogging taught you?

Stay Sunny,
Meg


6 comments:

  1. LOVE the throwback pictures! Congratulations on 5 years, Meg!!

    Renee

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love these photos! Congrats on 5 years!

    Desirae |thelonestardarling.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats! I love reading your blog, you're such an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is so cool that you've been blogging for five years! I love hearing all of the lessons you learned. I totally agree with the whole niche thing - I've heard so many times that in order to have a successful blog you need to have a niche, but I have so many various passions and ideas that I don't want to limit myself and my creative abilities. :)

    https://alexagmarsh.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

I want to hear from you!