5 Reasons Why I Blog
Before I started CorporateStyleStory.com I had some variation of this conversation with myself a number of times…
There are so many fashion bloggers out there, who wants to see another one? If I can even call myself a fashion blogger….
Why am I going so niche, who really cares about what they wear to work?
Ok, say there are a handful of people that do care about work wear, they are probably already following the super established work wear bloggers, why would they follow me?
I’m not a writer, my blog posts will be awful.
Ok… so imagine a handful of people read my blog, what if they don’t like what I have to say?
Do I really want to put pictures of myself on the INTERNET?!
I don’t know how to ‘do’ social media…
I have a demanding job, a young child and a husband, do I have time to blog?
Ok…. let’s say I put some photos out there, I manage to find some people who care about what they wear to work, they decide to follow me and read the blog; I enjoy writing and I’m happy with my style; I create content people may actually like….after all of that – blogging is really hard work, will I just throw the towel in after a while? Which probably means that I shouldn’t even start….
Since I started CorporateStyleStory.com back in 2016, it’s certainly been a roller coaster of a journey; I’ve learned so much, I’ve created content people really loved, I’ve met so many amazing people and had some great experiences but it hasn’t been without it’s challenges, times when I’ve struggled to motivate myself and steep learning curves.
Lot’s of people have asked me what made me start my blog – Is it my hobby? Is it for professional reasons? Is it just for fun that has now turned into something? Do you want to be a “full-time blogger” and quit law?
The answer is probably ‘I don’t know’ to all of these, because I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to be when I started it, I just knew I’d enjoy it…
So Why Start a Blog, Cyran?
To rewind slightly, the brief history is that I started my first blog when Poppy was a year old, it was 2014 and I’d returned to work full time, so I couldn’t attend baby groups and NCT coffee mornings like I used to (and I really loved my maternity leave, Poppy and I got up to so much). I loved that time besides being a new mum, to chat to other mums, socialise, share experiences and feel like a normal person. When I returned to work, I knew I wanted to do something that was “all mine” besides work and toddler schedules and household stuff.
I’ll call that first blog a “parenting” blog, but I really didn’t feel inspired to create ‘parenting’ content, I didn’t feel comfortable posting content of Poppy back then and I didn’t want to share her milestones. I was juggling work and motherhood and to write about it back then was too much.
I was more interested in connecting with other mums in the evenings and unwinding a bit. It worked, I made lots of online mummy friends whom I still speak to today and they are now successful bloggers because they kept going. They are social media aficionados that I can ask questions of, brilliant writers and business women. They support me and I support them, nearly 4 years later and having not met IRL (yet).
Being a “mummy blogger” at that time kept me sane when motherhood was making me feel isolated – I’d moved from South London to North of the river (which is almost like moving to a different place entirely) and my South London friends were obviously no longer local. Blogging, catching up with other mums during Twitter chats and reading their posts, commenting plus adjusting to life as a working mother came together for me because I had an online community I could tap into whenever I needed to.
I also realised at that time that blogging about being a mother really wasn’t something I wanted to do in my spare time. So I stopped. I focussed on my career. I always knew I’d return though.
What did I want?
Fast forward to 2016 and I’d reached where I wanted to career-wise, I’d worked hard, I’d advised the business through lots of change and big strategic deals, I’d learned lots, I’d been recognised for doing a good job and I’d been promoted.
At the same time, I’d decided that I wanted to help the next generation of young professionals coming through the ranks and to pay it forward the way the more seasoned lawyers I’d looked up to as a student had with me.
I knew I didn’t really want to talk to students about the academic stuff – there were much better placed lawyers to help them with that – I wanted to help them with the soft-skills; the stuff nobody openly talked about, but was still an incredibly important component of success. If I was going to give up my (very limited time) I time wanted it to be enjoyable for all involved and not too serious if I could help it.
I also want to share my passion for dressing well for work or business with other women regardless of where they were in their careers or which career they had chosen. So I set myself some new goals.
What is a Work Wear Blogger, anyway?
I’d struggled to find “work wear” bloggers when I was returning to work after having Poppy – judging by the fact that fashion bloggers at that time only dressed in outfits that were appropriate for the weekend, suggested to me that their audience and readers were clearly more concerned with how they looked when work was over.
Nevertheless, I thought that there MUST be other women who, like me, wanted outfit inspiration on how to dress for work and a place where the dos and don’ts were collated and so I decided I would start a fashion and lifestyle blog about, well, how to dress for work and the corporate world. CorporateStyleStory.com was born in late Summer of 2016.
3 things I now know about starting a fashion blog:
1. You need GOOD photos (that neither me nor Hubs knew how to take).
2. Presuming your fashion blog features you (as opposed to other people), you’ll need to put those photos online – ON THE INTERNET. FOR ALL TO SEE. (Scaryyyyy.)
3. People may or may not like those photos and yet THOSE PHOTOS WILL DETERMINE YOUR BLOGS’ SUCCESS. (Even scarier.)
So anyway, with all of these scary, self-imposed obstacles, I have managed to build and start my blog, grow my readership to tens of thousands of people, gain a social media following of about 20k, work with some great brands, meet amazing people and also be a Finalist in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards by Britmums twice in two years. I have continued to work full time and spend quality time with my family.
So if that wasn’t enough, here are the 5 reasons why I blog:
The 5 Reasons Why I Blog
Reason Why I Blog #1
To Share What I’ve Learned and to Learn from Others
I Google everything pretty much. When we search for something on Google, the search results that come up have been created on a blog or website. Google decides how high up in the search results that post comes up based on a number of things.
If nobody had blogs or created content, how would we all get the answers to those very important-but-oh-so-very-random questions? The internet is designed to encourage us all to create content and to share it. That is what the World Wide Web is made up of – other peoples’ content.
I want to share my personal style and curated work wear pieces with as many people as possible, the idea is to make women’s lives easier – not sure what to wear to work? Have a look at my Instagram feed, get some ideas put your outfits together – done. Read a blog post and shop what’s on there. I’m creating content that I wanted but couldn’t find. This is why I share and support other bloggers in my niche. We’re all trying to do the same thing hopefully, so why not?
Reason Why I Blog # 2
There are many reasons why people have hobbies outside of work or education, they want some RnR, they want to get fit, they want to exercise creativity. I blog because secretly I’ve always wanted to be a “creative”, I toyed with the idea of going into fashion before deciding on law. In all honesty, it was an easier career choice to explain to my family and I know lots of people will understand that.
I decided to go into one of the traditional “professions” when I embarked on my career and my university choices. At that time, choosing to be a doctor, banker or lawyer; these were all reputable careers and what most of my peers at university now do as their day job. I am proud to be a lawyer. Although when I blog, I feel like I use a totally different part of my brain than when I am working day-to-day for my clients on legal matters.
I didn’t know the fashion world at all and my academic studies had been preparing me for an academic career so that’s the direction I naturally went in. I didn’t have a burning passion for fashion, I had a healthy interest in it which wasn’t enough for me to go to art school. I don’t regret my decision, I love my job and I’m good at it. Now I get to do both.
My blog is a representation of what I want to write about, what my readers have asked for and is related to me and what I want to say. However, the skills required to blog are insane, whether thats to get a post in front of one thousand people, or to even get a particular post to come up on the first three pages of Google -it’s an incredible amount of time and effort and knowledge. There is a science to it and it’s an entire career path in and of itself.
But I try to do everything required for my blog because I enjoy it. I like SEO, I like taking photos, I like visualising what the content should look like when its finished and its a creative release for me. I talk to my readers and followers about what content they want to see and then I get creative about how the content will capture their attention. It’s fun.
Reason Why I blog # 3
To Have Great Conversations
When people say that social media is ‘toxic’ or that it creates the ‘comparison trap’, I have to say that that hasn’t been my experience, but then I didn’t grow up with social media. I hadn’t used social media for personal use much before I started my blog; I didn’t even have a Facebook account!
I do understand however, that with the explosion of social media influencers online and their perfectly curated feeds the impact (whether positive or negative) that this has on our own lives. For me, any negativity I’ve heard about is outweighed by the amazing people I have met online and subsequently in real life.
They are real people, with real lives and challenges and when you make a connection with people they do tend to share that. Finding people that support you and cheer you on when they haven’t met you is incredible. That’s when there is an opportunity to help each other and learn from each other and make genuine relationships that transcend the ‘toxic’ social media.
View Social Media through Rose Tinted Spectacles
I see Instagram especially as a ‘business card’ – a show reel – people whip it out and hope you’re impressed. the numbers, the images, the aesthetics. People are deliberately sharing what looks good to get our attention so that we can appreciate those things and hopefully enjoy them. Behind those pretty images are usually real stories that motivate or resonate with us. Even if they are superficial with no real depth, I can appreciate the time taken to put the outfit on, do the make-up and strike a pose. I like the effort.
I’ve been fortunate enough to make real friendships on social media. I met Mel, from www.polished-professionals.com and since then we’ve met in London a few times, created a chart-topping podcast together and she has given me such amazing career advice that I don’t know where I’d be without her. We met on Instagram.
The bottom line is that I don’t compare my actual life to any bloggers’ on Instagram because it is indeed the show reel. It’s like any shiny thing in the window. Do not think it’s real life and instead connect with the person in the image or video and see how much you have in common. Use social media to be sociable!
Reason Why I Blog # 4
To Learn New Skills and Build New Habits
I majorly underestimated the technical, strategic and organisational skills required in order to create a blog that people want to read and to grow it. I knew from that first blog that it wasn’t as easy as just writing on a page and hoping that people stumble across it, love it and share it with all of their friends.
I think I have read at least 6 books about blogging in the last 2 years and listened to countless podcasts and read lots of online content to understand the blogging world. And that’s just about blogging. That doesn’t include learning how to understand (simple) code, how to use a DSLR (still learning , how to edit photos, how to record and edit a podcast and video content and even how to use the 4 social media platforms I use regularly.
The learning curve has been steep and there is so much more I want to learn. Social media changes regularly as do trends in blogging and how search engines work – but it’s all a process so I make sure that I continue learning so that I can adapt to the changes. I do this because I enjoy it. This is a huge undertaking if you aren’t blogging because you love it.
Reason Why I Blog # 5
To Challenge Myself
I remember seeing the ‘big’ bloggers back when I started my first blog and hearing about The BiBs and I was soooo impressed by their blogs that I followed them and asked them for advice. I wanted to win a Brilliance in Blogging Award one day.
This year is the second consecutive year of being a Finalist in the BiB Awards and I am blown away. I’d love to win this year. Since I started working after becoming a mother, I wanted to highlight the niche that really represented me; a professional woman who is serious about her career and who really takes pride in her appearance and enjoys perfecting her corporate style. A woman that, of her own volition, has returned to the workplace after having children. A woman that still wants to be successful in business and be a good mother. I’d like to think that I’m sharing work wear style alongside my journey as a working mother and hopefully I’m doing it justice.
Thank you all…
So many of you have said that you’ve voted for me and wished me luck and I am so grateful for your support. I often feel like I have thousands friends that share the LOLs and the stress and challenges when I post what is going in my life online. Friends that respond to my Instagram Stories and who participate in polls (even if you guys are undecided on kitten heels haha!) Friends that respond to my random musings on Twitter and send me emails asking questions and say how much you enjoy my blog. I’m beyond flattered that you seek my opinion.
I’m grateful for the opportunities, lessons and connections blogging has brought me and I think that everyone should be able to experience it if its something you’re interested in. If you’ve ever wanted to start a blog and write about what you’re passionate about or interested in you should.
If you’ve wanted to engage in conversations with other like-minded people, now is definitely the time to do it. Don’t wait until you have all the skills and the equipment and until everything is “just-so”, just do it now and learn as you go. You’ll be glad you did.
Let me know when you’ve started your blog, I’d love to see how its going.
If you’re interested in learning how to start a blog, let me know in the comments and I will create some blog posts around that, otherwise just get to it!
Thanks for reading and following guys, I really appreciate it. Honestly.