Case Study: Personal Journey To Growing My Blog (16:00 Min)
Who Am I, You Ask?
My name is Tilden & I'm a 27-year-old gal living in New York City.
I'm the Founder & Influencer behind the Life & Style Blog - To Be Bright.
On October 2017, I made the decision to go full-time with my 5-year-old blog as a business.Being my own boss is hard work but I'm truly living my dream come true each & every day; I wouldn't change it for the world!
My Journey Began...
January 2013: My senior year of college at the University of South Carolina. I majored in Graphic Design, turned Public Relations and minoring in Fashion Merchandising. I was also an ex-NCAA athlete at the time, trying to figure out what I was going to do with all my newfound free time (something a current athlete NEVER gets to experience...)
So I decided to start a blog following the suggestion of a potential employer who advised I should be putting everything I'm doing online. I shared my Graphic Design projects, along with some snapshots of outfits I put together. My hope is that whoever visited my site would takeaway the fact I was a normal girl who dressed well. I had no idea it would draw the attention of my peers, and then expand farther than the two states of SC & NJ.
February 2014: One year into my blogging career & I scored a trip to attend New York Fashion Week with then Lucky Magazine through an Instagram contest. I drove 12 hours overnight from SC to NY in order to attend with 15 other bloggers who were individually selected by Editor-in-Chief Eva Chen (who's currently doing big things at Instagram.)
This experience changed my perspective of what this industry could provide for me & the potential of what my blog could become. From that moment on, I've worked endlessly to discover what tips & tricks would increase my blog's exposure & position me in a place where I could make my passion into a profitable career.
2015 - 2017: I made the decision to work towards turning my blog into a full-time business, but that didn't mean I had all the time in the world to dedicate to it. For 3 years, I worked as a Research Associate from 9-5, Monday though Friday; working on the blog during the early morning hours before work, on my lunch breaks, and late into the night, along with most weekends. I dedicated almost every free chance I got to working on my brand, and felt every frustration that came along with the sacrifices I made.
Despite the frequent down's and low points, the high's were rewarding enough to continue to motivate me. I always reminded myself that all this hard work would eventually pay off, and I kept imagining what my life will be like once I got to this point I've been dreaming of.
October 2017: I quit my 9-5 job as a Research Associate and officially became the CEO of my own brand; the blog I built from scratch out of pure passion has become my full-time business as a result of undying dedication. The reality of this situation is that I've been able to accomplish a goal so large already at a young age - many people don't find their dream opportunities until later in his/her careers.
May 2018: I spoke at TedX about the importance of putting your passion online. The goal of my talk is to hopefully inspire someone to put theirs out there and see where it takes them. Get ahead of the game by getting started on something you can call your own, something that just might become your full time job. If you do what you love, then you never have to work a day in your life.
I'm so fortunate to have found my place in this world through an outlet I truly love, appreciate, and respect in all forms. Finding the career that excites you every morning is the ultimate dream, and I'm 100% living mine.
When Did I Notice Results?
I started seeing positive results in my blog's expansion within one to two years since beginning (2014-2015) - given that I didn't begin focusing on my blog as a business until 2014.
It's important to keep in mind that everything I learned & applied towards the efforts of growing my blog since beginning has occurred over a 5-year time frame.
The beauty of what this e-course will provide you with is a SHORTCUT to receiving what steps you should take, what information you need to keep in mind, and which strategies will show you the quickest success from the start.
How we use & analyze social media today in 2018 is very different than how it was applied in 2013. As the blogging industry grows in popularity, the strategies of growth need to change along with it to reflect new trends in marketing, for a broader audience.
As social media has become more developed, learning to adapt & find new ways to boost my traffic continues to be an ongoing project & will become one for you as well.
However, you will feel more confident in tackling these changes with a firm understanding of how to wisely apply marketing & growth strategies to your blog from the beginning, which is a HUGE ADVANTAGE that I wish I had in 2013.
- New York Fashion Week: 10+ seasons since 2014
- Teen Vogue: #1 Fashion Click Blogger, 2014 - 2015
- Refinery29: 10 Stylish Instagrams to Inspire Your Next #OOTD, October 2014
- Refinery29: 30 Sweatpants Outfits That are Chic Not Schlubby, October 2014
- Steve Madden: Back2Cool Guide, August 2015, digital campaign
- InStyle Magazine: Inspired By InStyle, September 2015, print issue
- InStyle Magazine: Reader of the Week, September 2015, digital publication
- Banana Republic: Your Life. Styled, April - August 2016, digital & in-store campaign
- South Moon Under: Back to School, September 2016, digital campaign