I always considered myself an influencer in regards to discovering new clothing labels and trends, or choosing great beauty products to tell my friends about. They would come to me for advice and I’d give them my honest opinion. I decided that I could share my views with readers of A Girl in LA, and hopefully introduce them to something new and undiscovered. Coming up on the one year blogging anniversary, I thought I’d reflect on how the blog came to be what it is today.
When I created A Girl in LA, I was working in a fashion PR showroom and I wanted to create an online diary that documented the life of a PR Girl. The more I started writing I decided I wanted to go in a different direction. I wanted to create a style blog specific to women that love and live in Los Angeles, but I also didn’t want to leave out women in other parts of the world. I started creating posts that varied between fashion, beauty, life in Los Angeles, and everything in between.
A Girl in LA has grown so much in one year it’s unbelievable! When I reflect on when I first started blogging, I remember how I had so much to learn and the many hours I put in. Some days it was totally overwhelming and exhausting. Now, after one year and all the experience and knowledge I have gained, I realize it was all worth it and I’m so glad I kept going.
Collaborating with Brands
Myself, and my bloggers have had the opportunity to work with many awesome brands; some fairly new, and some pretty well-known. Bare Republic Skincare, Glamping.com, and Vanity Planet are a few of them. I often get emails from companies asking to collaborate, but so many of those are turned down. The reason being, we’re authentic in what we choose to bring to our readers and we don’t want to feature content that wouldn’t be a perfect fit.
One of my favorite projects is creating our seasonal shopping guides. I look for the best products based on trends in areas like fashion, beauty, and entertaining. I then create a guide that brings our readers directly to the site where they can purchase the items. This was something I had hoped to feature on the site since it first launched, and it took a lot of time and effort trying to make this project successful. When the first shopping guide went up, the satisfaction I received was beyond. Here you can view our Holiday gift guides in collaboration with Nara.
Monthly Series–All Things Awesome
One of the first series I created was All Things Awesome. I started this in November of 2016, and it was one of my first blog posts. Each month I would choose the best items to purchase, books to read, music listen to, and the events going on in and around LA. In October, coming up on A Girl in LA’s one year blogging anniversary, I decided to retire the series so that I could focus on other things, but it was something I really enjoyed researching and writing about.
Monthly Series–A Day in the Life
A Day in the Life is a series about our daily routines along with our hectic schedules. With these articles, we hope to give our readers a peek inside our busy lives, hoping they can draw inspiration from it. It’s always interesting to see how others wake up each morning and get their day started; or what they do to unwind and relax after a long day.
Logo and Layout
Another milestone was creating the logo for A Girl in LA and designing the page layout. I wanted something simple, classy and a reflection of Los Angeles.
As A Girl in LA started to gain more traffic I wanted to give my readers something more than a post per week or a few a month. I also wanted to be able to give a voice to other women that I felt would fit A Girl in LA’s aesthetic, and could create interesting content that would engage our readers. I began the process by searching for potential bloggers in the beginning of April. I carefully choose who I wanted to hire based on a number of factors. Obviously their writing skills were extremely important, but I also took into consideration if they had similar interests as our readers. On April 26th, A Girl in LA’s first blogger was hired!
Since then, I’ve gone on to hire three more strong, independent, and powerful women who contribute awesome content to the site. I hope to continue working with them for a long time. They’ve helped this site become what it is today and continuously grow.
What I’ve Learned This Past Year
The way I view the blogging business is that it’s a set of successful skills that all need to come together to form a foundation. If you’re missing certain aspects then your blog isn’t going to thrive. Think of it as a recipe; you can’t leave out the sugar and flour and expect that your cake is going to taste good. Another important thing that I’ve learned is that it’s an ever growing industry; meaning you can never learn it all. There will always be new and evolving techniques–everything from marketing, to SEO and in between, that you’ll need to continually research so that you can build on your foundation.
Here are just a few examples of what I’ve learned this past year. Hopefully it will be interesting and helpful to new bloggers or anyone looking to start a blog.
WordPress. com / WordPress.org
When I first started blogging I created a WordPress.com account and started using it as my platform. I knew there was a difference between WordPress. com and WordPress.org, but other than that I didn’t give it much thought. WordPress.com is a free blogging platform. It’s good for people that want to write a basic online diary and include photos and links (which I was doing at first). As time went on and I wanted to start incorporating different plugins to my site, I found that WordPress. com doesn’t allow them. The only plugins you can use are the ones that are already built in. When you’re trying to reach a wide range audience, plugins are essential in doing that, so I knew I needed to make a change. I bought a domaine, found a hosting site, and switched to WordPress.org which gave me more control over everything–from the thousands of plugins to choose from, to the basic layout and design.
Search Engine Optimization
A lot of bloggers just starting out think that they can create intriguing and captivating content and sooner or later gain thousands of loyal readers. It can’t be that hard, right? Wrong. You can create kick-ass articles but if search engines don’t pick it up, only a small number of people (like your Facebook friends and family) are going to see the articles that you worked so hard on. Luckily for me, a lot of what I learned when studying Business Administration came back to me. I also put in countless amounts of hours researching the best ways to reach a wide range of readers.
When I started working with other bloggers, I set up a monthly calendar that we all follow. For the first five months I basically wrote whenever I got an idea. Sometimes there would be a post published everyday, and other times there would be longer periods of time without one. I realized this was a mistake, because readers like consistency.
I honestly had no idea the time that would be needed to create a successful site. Coming up with topics, researching, and writing are just the tip of the iceberg. Then there’s SEO, marketing, responding to emails, and editing other bloggers articles which takes up over 50% of my time. There are days I’m on my computer what feels like forever, or rushing to meet a deadline. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I do feel that if someone is considering starting a blog, and they want to reach more than their friends on social media, they will have to give up a lot in order to get there.
People always ask me “where do you, A Girl in LA want to go?” The short answer is, “a lot of places”. The long answer would be to expand my brand and continue on the path that I’m on. I would love to see A Girl in LA grow into having a chic and stylish office in downtown LA, collaborate with more brands, create content for a Youtube channel and feature more recipes (that we make ourselves). I personally would like to improve my photography skills.
Thank You! <3
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