Written by: Always Anna Wade
I started my blog in the fall of 2015. I was a freshman in college. I was living halfway across the planet from the place I had called home for 18 years, and I felt I needed a way to keep in touch with the people I loved and missed the most. Instead of sending 10+ emails with pictures all tailored to each of the people I was missing, I decided to just start a blog. One post, all pictures, the whole story: everybody wins.
I posted mostly about travel, photos I had taken, and fashion as I started out, but it was a lot less regularly posted than the content I share now. In my blogging journey, I’ve discovered a lot of things but one of the biggest ones is how important it is to use the tools you have at your disposal, more specifically: social media.
When I first started using social media to promote my blog, I was very unfamiliar with how to go about the task. In fact, I really didn’t use it at all. I would share the posts on Facebook, they would get views, and I was happy.
When I took a gap semester I became way more invested in my blog. Spending nine months in Indiana working as a waitress and HR intern, I needed an outlet and creative project to work on in my free time.
This was when I started using social media a lot, and I’m going to be honest, I feel pretty extra about it a lot of the time. There are so many unwritten rules in regards to how much you can and should post, when you should post, and what you should post. I can confidently say that the best way to deal with these “rules” is to completely ignore them.
I like to break the rules. I would rather stand by my work and my vision than be bothered by what other people think.
That being said, if people are interested in what I’m putting out there, it does make me excited. I don’t put this work out into the world so that it goes unread or unnoticed, I want it to be shared and read as much as possible by people who share my tastes and interests.
Social media is one of the best ways to cultivate that following of people who will read and share. Hashtags are magic. They are straight up magic. People aren’t going to be following a certain hashtag if they’re uninterested in it, so if they happen to find you through a hashtag they already like, it’s perfect. Some of the hashtags are incredibly random (like #fashionlike) while others are more sensical (like #stylepost).
Slowly but surely, social media transformed from a way to keep in touch to a way to promote my content and writing. At first it was hard to share so much without feeling like I was starved for attention. I tried to justify it for a while before I realized that I didn’t have to! I write, photograph, and travel for myself. The choice to share that with people is all mine, so I might as well embrace it. I am proud of my blog, the more comfortable I feel with it the more I want to share it with the world.
Initially, shameless self promotion is difficult to feel comfortable with. Coming to terms with it takes time, but it seems to be directly related to the confidence you have in what you’re putting out there. If it’s pure, good, and you’re proud of it? Share away.