Every year I go back and forth between loving and hating my birthday. This year… well, I can’t say I loved it. It fell out during the High Holidays which meant there was no time for a party, none of my friends were around, and even I was too busy to celebrate while road tripping to Columbus, Ohio with my uncle and cousins. The best way to describe my birthday is simply to say it was ordinary. Just another day.
When I got back to NYC, my boyfriend did his best to make it up to me with a surprise party at Gansevoort’s VIP lounge. He got a table, invited everyone I know, and made me feel special, which is really what a birthday is all about. My birthday got me thinking though about how much I’ve accomplished over the past 26 years. I live in an amazing apartment in NYC with a view of midtown that will never get old. I work part-time doing social media management for a brand I’ve loved for years. I have my own business that continuously opens doors I didn’t even know existed. Life is good.
In honor of my new age, here are 26 things I wish I knew when I started blogging.
- Focus on the photography. Visuals are everything.
- Start a contact list immediately.
- Everyone you meet is a contact.
- Don’t forget to send follow-up emails.
- Stick to only a few social media platforms. You don’t want to spread yourself thin.
- Keep spreadsheets of all your collabs. It will come in handy later when doing your taxes.
- Organize your emails into folders right away.
- Regardless of your following, you should have a media kit.
- The name of your blog is important. Like, really important. Choose wisely.
- Fashion Week isn’t the end-all and be-all of life.
- Consistency is the most important.
- Make blogger friends. They'll understand you.
- Share your invites. It’s not as much fun to attend events alone.
- You can and should negotiate with brands.
- Don’t let brands take advantage of you.
- Send brands thank you emails after completing a collab.
- Focus on building relationships with PR companies.
- Don’t be disheartened when a brand doesn’t get back to you. There are so many more brands out there.
- Don’t ever post about something you don’t actually like.
- Find your niche.
- If it takes you longer than an hour to edit a photo, leave it and move on.
- Unless your boyfriend is already a photographer, it’s not worth trying to turn him into one.
- Sometimes it’s okay to just enjoy your coffee without taking a photo of it first.
- The fact that a brand is reaching out to you shows you’re valuable. Recognize that.
- Engaging on Instagram is important, but you don’t ever want to look back and say that’s how you spent your 20’s.
- Set goals. When you reach them, aim higher.
Just so you know, it was raining and windy during this shoot. The balloons would not stop twisting around my body and the helium could barely keep them afloat against the wind. I also slowly lost my curls as the rain fell, but we pulled through, and my photographer was a serious trooper through it all. If only you could see the blooper reel from this day…
Red Romper: Zara
Black Marina Booties: M4D3 Shoes
Hair Credit: RPZL