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5 Lessons My Blog Has Taught Me + How to Translate Them to Your Passion Project

Happy 4th birthday, GuessItsJess!

As my blog (and I) grow another year older and wiser, I've decided to impart my wisdom on you all 😂

1. Write about things that you, personally, would read. Not only is it way easier to stay true to yourself this way, but if you know there's any people out there like you, you're set to have a guaranteed audience.

2. Stay true to yourself. This year I've learned this one more than others. I'd be lying if I said I didn't pay attention to my analytics/followers/newsletter subscription numbers. It can get to you after awhile. But as long as you're constantly producing an end product that makes you happy, that gives you joy in the creation phase, none of that matters. Do what you find works for you, and the numbers will follow.

3. Find a hobby to offset your hobby. Working out has been that for me. Blogging requires a lot of hours logged behind a computer screen or my butt parked behind my steering wheel driving to my next destination. Hitting the gym in the morning has become a surefire way to clear my head, shake off the cobwebs and start my day. In fact, a lot of my blog ideas have come to me while working out (I write this right now as I am walking on the treadmill).

4. Invest in the equipment essential for your brand. Most recently for me this meant studio lights and a tripod. As you can imagine or know from experience, winters in Syracuse are fairly (extremely) bleak, so the lights help break through the dark, and the tripod comes in handy when I'm going at my photography solo (so, most of the time). These were two things I felt I needed to better the content I was creating. With that being said - you don't always need the best of the best. The pictures I took above is the perfect example - it's amazing what you can do with good lighting, $5 Etsy presets and cheap $2 balloons.

5. Set a realistic goal for yourself from the very start. From day one, I knew that I wanted to post on a timeline I knew I could meet. In my head, once a month was a number that was attainable for me. Some months, when the creative juices are really flowing, I'm able to crank out one a week, but other months (really, most), putting together all the pieces that go into one blog is about all I can handle. Because my goal is achievable, though, I always feel a sense of accomplishment. Truthfully, I believe this is part of the reason I'm still sticking with it.

A passion project of mine that started 4 years ago now (I still can't believe it), has somehow turned into something much bigger than I could have ever imagined. Because of the connections I've made through my writing, I've gotten to take part in some really cool projects, like throwing a Galentine's Day, taking part in a styled shoot to help jumpstart a new local wedding venue, designing the website for my favorite hairstylists and providing some really relevant health information by partnering with a supplement company I believe in. Because of this, I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to support me, read my articles and believe in what I do. It's because of you that I have the motivation to dig deep for another year.

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