blogging-tips

What I’ve Learned: My Top 6 Blogging Tips

What I've Learned: My Top 6 Blogging Tips | Natalie Dressed

2011

Those beauties up there? Those are some of my first outfit posts. The one on the left is my very first. I knoww. So terrible. I’d like to think I’ve come a long way since then. After going through all my old posts for the launch, I thought I’d share my top 6 blogging tips with you guys, in case anyone out there is just  starting out.

I started off knowing nothing about cameras and now I can shoot a dSLR in manual mode. I started knowing zilch about graphic design and HTML/CSS and now I know how to use Photoshop and have designed my own site…multiple times. I started knowing I loved fashion but not really knowing my style and now I know what I love, what I hate, and what works and what doesn’t.

I still have tons to learn. I hope to always be evolving and expanding, but I’m proud of what I’ve learned and the skills I’ve gained so far. I’m so thankful for my college education, but I honestly think blogging has taught me more practical and useful skills than college did. There’s definitely something to be said for getting out there and doing.

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2014

So here we go, my top 6 blogging tips…

1. Good photos are essential. This is a tricky thing in the beginning because, for most people, your photos are pretty bad in the beginning. It’s just part of the learning curve. If you look back through my archives, you’ll see some pretty terrible photos in the early years. The beauty of it is that if you make it a priority to learn, your photos get better over time. You learn as you go. Just keep in mind that high quality photos are important for drawing people in and do the best you can. If you already know how to get great photos, then you’re ahead of the curve!

2. Shipping is more important than perfection. (Shipping is a term used by Seth Godin that essentially means to launch.) There’s something to be said for doing your best work. However, you can’t let the ideal of perfection prevent you from moving forward. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn and is something I’m still learning. It’s especially hard for me when it comes to aesthetics. I want things to look a certain way, but I haven’t always had the skills (and still don’t have all of them) to make things looks the way I want. You have to do the best you can with what you’ve got and keep moving forward. Again, things get better as you go. If you don’t start building something now, you’ll never get to where you want to go.

3. When in doubt, simplify. My graphics and product collages were all over the place in the beginning. In a way, this helped me learn what I liked and didn’t like, but it was also a little chaotic and inconsistent. Now, although my graphics and collages aren’t the same every time, I keep it much simpler and stick to my favorite few fonts. I don’t necessarily make them match my site exactly, but I do try to tie it in to my style and brand aesthetic.

4. Be patient and be persistent. Blogging can be tough because it can take a long time to grow, which is the case for most people. I’m coming up on my third year blogging and often feel like I should be much further along, especially when compared to many others’ success. However, this thought process is not helpful. You have to believe in yourself and know that you’re exactly where you should be. Your journey isn’t supposed to look like anyone else’s. If you keep going and give it your all, it will pay off one way or another.

5. Connect with other bloggers. Some of my blogging friends have grown into some of my most cherished friendships. There’s nothing like having a group of friends that know exactly what you’re going through and what the heck you’re talking about. My own blogging friends have taught me so much and have showed me so much support. I will forever be grateful for them.

6. Be authentic. Always be transparent and honest with your readers. Also, there is only one you. Stay true to your beliefs, your voice, and your message. You will adapt, evolve, and grow, but if you stay true to yourself along the way, it will remain an authentic process. People love to get to know you on a personal level so don’t be afraid to show them who you are. Don’t try to be someone else and don’t be afraid to do things differently.

If you’re a seasoned blogger, do you have any tips you’d like to add? If you’re just starting out, do you have any specific questions?

A Fresh New Site

Believe Passionately

Hello, everyone!

I am so happy to be writing this post today. As you can see, the redesign has been launched and I am now on WordPress! It’s only taken me about six months, but I did it. Woohoo! Sweet relief.

T H E  N E W  S T U F F

» A weekly newsletter! I’ll be sending out a weekly newsletter starting this Thursday so hop on my list to get updates and inspo that you’ll only get in the newsletter!  You can sign up in the form at the top or bottom of my site.

» New sidebar features: my five most recent posts are now highlighted and a new Topics bar allows you to search by the type of posts that most interest you.

» Updated footer that now features recent pins (and corresponding links), newsletter signup, and Facebook widget.

» A fancy new About page. Stay tuned as this is going to be updated even further.

» A new Favorites tab at the top of my site that currently includes my favorite blogs, books, and places to eat and drink in Santa Cruz. This will be updated soon with favorite websites and stores. And of course I’ll udpate the page as I gather new favorites in each category.

» You can now shop things I’m loving by category (Fashion, Home, & Yoga for now) at the top of my site.

» A new signature. I’ll be signing off all posts with a signature from now on. I like that it adds a personal touch and gives me the opportunity to send you “love + sunshine” each day. My Oma, who recently passed away, signed a card for me like that and I’ve loved it ever since. I decided using it to close every post was a perfectly fitting way to honor her.


Aside from those updates, the change on your guys’ side is mostly just a refresh in aesthetics. For the most part, browsing will remain the same. There are a few things I’d like to add that will make the site easier to view and navigate, but I have to figure out how to make them happen so I’ll be rolling those out as I come across solutions.

As always, thank you guys for joining me on this journey. This blog has taught me so much (I never would have guessed that I’d be designing my own websites when I started!) and has connected me with the greatest people. Your guys’ kind comments and support mean the world to me and keep me going when I doubt myself or wonder what on earth I’m doing.

I hope this redesign better encompasses my mission to live and celebrate both a stylish and spirited life. I hope it inspires and empowers you to embrace all parts of who you are, to live the life you want, and to always listen to the voice of your spirit.

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P.S. Old Disqus comments can take up to 24 hours to switch over so if you don’t see your previous comments, that’s why. Fingers crossed that they all make it over!

P.P.S. The mobile site is working, but is not viewing how it should so hang with me while I attempt to figure it out!