a friend recently asked me how i began blogging; she had an inkling to start her own and had been writing, but wasn't sure if it was the best outlet or where to really start. she had concerns and she didn't want to start only to stop a couple month later.  i was thrilled she had reached out to me! 

i see blogging as a great way to express everything about yourself that a resume can't relay. i was definitely as hesitant as my friend when i first started and had the same doubts running through my mind; is my content really worth reading? does anyone actually care? or worse, what if they tell me publicly my content is pointless? even with all the fears, i took the plunge and have grown to love it more and more every day. i am constantly brainstorming, dreaming and analyzing how i can live my everyday life to the fullest and blogging allows me to share the struggles and successes, inspire and gain inspiration from others and keep my sanity. i am always wishing i had more time to sit down and write; that's something i am working on!

my thoughts to her, and everyone really, if you're even so much of thinking about writing do it! with that mindset, i immediately wrote to my friend and said "go for it"; even if she starts and realizes that blogging isn't really her thing at least she is finding more about herself. maybe from he attempt at blogging she actually found that she loves vlogging or photography. 

my response to her was basically a novel it was so long, but her feedback was worth it! since then i have had two other friends talk to me about starting a blog and i sent them something similar that i sent to the first girl so i thought it might be a good idea to share it with everyone. over the course of the rest of this week i am going to share my best blogging advice, starting today with self branding.

Self-Branding

blogging and branding tends to go hand in hand; the two b's are a way of how you want to portray yourself both personally or professionally. often times its easy to make the decision to blog or become a social media guru, but its also easy to forget about the forethought and planning. its important to try to make yourself consistent across all platforms. you want your readers, followers and admirers to be able to spot you from anywhere. if you're very formal, using dark photos on your blog, but light-hearted with colorful images on your social channels people will notice the disconnect and will be confused. putting in the extra effort to plan and figure out just who you are is one of the biggest challenges, but also the most rewarding.

in order to help smooth the process of branding yourself here are some tricks i learned on my own or from others:

1. Find brands you like - Focus in the specifics for why you like them. Is it their colors? Is it their photography style? Their minimalist logo? Figure out what sets them apart from others and why you like them. Then apply those same concepts to yourself.

Love the textures, neutral palette and simple elegant feeling of this brand - The fonts are a beautiful mix of thick and thin lines with a power and the styling of this shoot make me want to pick everything up and just touch it. The brand is approachable and draws the viewer in - just perfect! 

2. Choose your visual style - Finding a color pallet for me is the biggest commitment! Then there is the font and the formatting... By curb appeal is the first and most important impression you're going to make. So take the time and choose something classic and that you will like for a good while. So make it count.

Find inspiration in nature or pieces of art you admire. The best way to really see what colors you're drawn to is to scour your Pinterest board or favorite photos. No matter the subject, of ten times you will see an overarching 3-5 colors that you naturally gravitate towards. I tend to choose very neutral shades with a couple pops of bold color. 

3. Who are you  - Decide who you are (in your readers' eyes). What do you want them to know about you? If things are rough at home or in your personal life, do you really want them to see it? Those are pieces of you that you can either hide (like a celebrity) or air out. Both ways have negative and positive side effects. Choose yours wisely.

4. Describe yourself in 5 words - These words can then make short sentences with those words. This will help you narrow down your mission. Writing a "Voice and Tone" doc even just for yourself really will keep things in perspective. Are you the funny, witty girl everyone is sitting down to have coffee with? Is it okay to swear? Do you only talk about puppies, kittens and rainbows or do you touch sensitive topics like religion and politics? These are things you want to separate your personal self from your brand. 

even if you are not blogging, doing the self-branding steps above can give you greater insight into understanding yourself more and grow. now, go try them! let me know what works, what doesn't or if you have tried other methods that you like by sharing your comments below. 

check back later this week to see what part 2 is about! happy Tuesday! 

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