I have to admit… The last four years have been a blur. I started my blogging journey back in June of 2014 by accident. I’ve never considered myself a writer – even though it’s become a big part of what I do each and every day. When I plan out and ultimately write a blog post.. it comes from the heart. For me, work = fun, and now I get to work with my daughter which makes it even better!
Today’s post will highlight some of the background on how I got started into the blogging world & some of the day-to-day work of sponsorships, photography, brand collabs, as well as sharing some of my personal stories. This will not be a, “How to grow 1 million followers in 1 day” kind of post. Rather, this post will be more about my journey into blogging and what has worked for me. This may turn into a series depending on how interested you all are – so let me know in the comments below if you’d like for this to be extended. xx
Background & New Beginnings
In 2013, I decided after 20 years of flying on and off as a flight attendant.. to leave the industry. I wanted to be home more. My daughter had just left for college and I was at a loss at what I wanted to do. In October my daughter came home one weekend and encouraged me to get an Instagram account so that I could follow her while she was away at school. She taught some of the basics: how to post, how to add a filter, and how to comment. At the time, I had around 200 followers.. all friends and family. So funny to think about my daughter teaching me… because later on, the tables were turned and I ended up teaching her so much more.
That fall and winter after leaving my flying job.. I had a ton of personal time. Jeff went off to work each day and I didn’t want to waste time watching Real Housewives or cleaning every inch of my home (one of my favorite hobbies.. ;)) Instead, I turned to Instagram and started searching for inspiration. I began to realize that people were not only sharing pictures of their vacations and every day family lives, but they were sharing their homes publicly. Even famous interior designers and celebrities were sharing photos of their interiors and gardens. I found myself waking up each and every day checking Instagram to see what some of my faves were up to.
Moving forward a couple of months.. a light bulb went off. I realized that if these people were sharing all day, why couldn’t I? Friends and family had been telling me for years that I had great taste for styling and design. (I was always playing around with my home) I had always wanted to be an interior designer but never pursued interior design schooling. It was something I had always wanted to do but didn’t have the confidence to move forward on… Rather, I helped friends and worked on my own home.
I decided to begin sharing my home in photos every morning and night in an Instagram post. I also decided to open up about who I am and what I was doing each day. I commented and liked posts that I loved, and people began following me. My family and friends didn’t really get it. They thought I was wasting my time but I was developing real relationships with many all over the world. I grew from that original 200 followers to around 700 – 4 months later. After that, I grew from 700 followers in April to 3,400 by June. It was crazy how fast my IG follower count began to grow. Humbling too! I never realized how much people liked stories about my cavalier, Cal, my family as well as my interiors. In turn I loved hearing all of their news as well. Some were companies that I admired and others, just ordinary people like myself. I loved the banter.
My Blogging Journey Began..
After I began instagramming awhile, I noticed that many people would include in their captions, “More on the blog!” or “Head to the blog!” and I wondered what that was. Yes, I know – at this point it was 2014 and everyone and their mom knew what a blog was except for me. ;) Emma even read some of our favorite bloggers before I did… Pink Peonies & Kathleen Barnes were just a couple she loved. Some of the people that I discovered were more interior design or gardener related.. Courtney from French Country Cottage, Cyndy from The Creativity Exchange, P.Allen Smith and Melissa from, The Inspired Room. When I finally had the chance to look at their blogs.. I was blown away by the amazing content and photography. I realized then that Instagram was great, but it didn’t give me everything I needed. I had stories to share… I needed a bigger platform. One that could also help me business wise. At that time Instagram wasn’t the business it is today. I knew I needed a blog in order to link to places I wanted to talk about… Whether it be a destination or something I loved online.
It was at that point that I decided to start a blog to keep up with this crazy busy industry. I also hoped I could make it my full time job, profitable and successful. ( I crossed every finger and toe)
Once the decision was made, I looked at making a website and hired someone to help me out. Wicksnest was the original name of my blog and website. I chose the Wicksnest name because at the time many people didn’t use their own personal names… All my posts were based on my home and how I decorated it. What did I know? ;) After a year or so I ended up deciding to switch to my personal name because I wanted to share so much more about my life… not just my home. I had been married to a wonderful guy for years, moved all over and went through so much to have my daughter. I knew that I needed more of an outlet to talk about life and loves. There are so many days in a week… plenty of time to mix it up. :)
I’m going to wrap this up today because I don’t want this post to get too lengthy. I have so much more that I would like to share with you about my journey… especially how I moved from taking pics of my home to working with amazing companies that I love and admire.
I have spoken to so many successful Instagrammers and bloggers about their own journies and through them I have changed my direction and path. It’s good to share with one another. It’s one thing I have learned that many don’t do enough of in this industry. :)
If you’re interested in another post, let me know below in the comments – I love hearing from all of you!
If you liked this post, click here to read my other personal posts.