BLOGGER UPDATE: Summer in Florida

The last month has been a super weird and exciting time. Florida has kept me busy, happy and full of excitement as I embark on new adventures with friends and meeting tons of people from around the world. Whenever something life changing happens, like a move or a relocation, routines and habits change and I can’t say I haven’t fallen victim to this.

BLOGGER UPDATE: Summer in Florida - Pearls and Polkadots

Ever since I began Pearls and Polkadots, it has been my life. I think about blogging, new ideas, plan collaborations and write in advance so that I have everything organized. It took moving to Florida to make me realize that sometimes you have to close the laptop, leave the blogging behind and go out and have FUN.

This is the first month that I have fallen really behind with Pearls and Polkadots. However, I have found it refreshing to think about sunshine, palm trees and new friends. Even better, when I do think of a blog post, and take my time writing it…I feel amazing.

BLOGGER UPDATE: Summer in Florida - Pearls and Polkadots

I feel amazing because it is something that I truly worked hard on. Something that I channeled my creative juices into and really care about sharing with all of you.

With that said, I would never want my blogging to become a chore or a task. I love blogging – it has truly changed my life.

BLOGGER UPDATE: Summer in Florida - Pearls and Polkadots

Before I moved to Florida, I limited my blog posts to three times per week. I have now taken the guidelines and rules away. I will post when I post, and that will be okay because it will be authentic and something I truly want to post about.

I encourage all of my blogging friends to do the same – post when you want to post. Don’t post for statistics. Don’t post for ratings. Post because it makes you feel amazing. Otherwise, you will be cuffed to your computer, and no one wants to live like that.

Photo Credit: Jessica from Jessica Ruxton Photography

KEEP UP WITH THE MAGIC ON MY PHOTO JOURNEY PAGE!

Coming up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement

This year, I have been focusing on moving towards partnership with bloggers, brands and finding amazing opportunities for Pearls and Polkadots. I have said this before, and I will say it time and time again but I really cannot remember my life without blogging. What did I ever do?

We are approaching half way through 2-0-1-6 and so much has been happening, not just for Pearls and Polkadots, but for me as well. Last month, I completed my four year undergraduate degree. I plan to go to teacher’s college in the Fall to become an elementary school teacher (my life-long dream). With all these changes…I am changing up the way I blog as well.

Today, I want to share some exciting news for myself and Pearls and Polkadots. Not just because I am excited, but mainly because it will affect my blogging routine immensely. So let’s get to it…

Coming up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement - Pearls and Polkadots  Coming up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement - Pearls and Polkadots

Pearls and Polkadots is packing up and going to Florida for the summer! 

Coming up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement - Pearls and PolkadotsComing up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement - Pearls and Polkadots

Yup! That’s right. A couple of months ago I was accepted into a program that is taking me down to Florida, for none other than Walt Disney World. I have really never gone out of Canada for longer than a week…so I am pretty excited to be down there for the summer!

The Changes

Coming up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement - Pearls and Polkadots  Coming up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement - Pearls and Polkadots

Coming up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement - Pearls and Polkadots

Other than the drastic change of location, Pearls and Polkadots will not be changing too much. However, because of the time commitment of this job and the fun experiences and opportunities that I will be having, I am deciding to post three days per week rather than five days per week, beginning May 16 (the day I leave!!).

Coming up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement - Pearls and Polkadots

Hopefully that will give me a lot of time to prepare some amazing content and show you my journey in Florida!

Follow along with me! It’s going to be a great summer!

Coming up on Pearls and Polkadots: A Big Announcement - Pearls and Polkadots

 

11 Moments Every Blogger Experiences

Every blogger goes through the ups and downs of blogging – whether it’s ghost followers, low engagement periods, or even writer’s block…everyone goes through them. However, there are a few moments and experiences in the blogging world in which we can all relate to.

I’ve been discussing this topic with my fellow blogging ladies and together, we have come up 11 with moments that we all bloggers go through on a regular basis.

No, we are not making millions for our work.

This is probably the most frustrating question we get or people assume. Do we make money on some posts? Yes, some bloggers do take on sponsored opportunities and we do get compensated in free product or otherwise. However, no blogger I know is making millions and it is wrong to assume that every single blogger does.

“There must be some type of rumor out there that it’s a get rich quick scheme.” – Mariam, The Petite Bijou

Nope, blogging is anything but a get rick quick scheme. There is nothing quick or rich about it. In fact, we often invest time, money and effort for zero compensation – especially when you just start out. Making money can be easy if you know how. Websites like Money Sack are often really helpful to give you some ideas to get you started on your financial journey. But if you’re just looking to start out as a blogger, then you can find the best custom blog design for your site at littlebluedeerdesign.com, or there are plenty of other sites out there that can help you create your page.

Blogging takes dedication.

This is not a business for the weak. The women I have met in this world of bloggers are hard working, dedicated, empowered and extremely creative! Creating new content that people want to read is hard, but try doing it with life continuing all around you. That is even tougher. A lot of bloggers have families, young children, they are in school and often have a full time job (because we don’t make millions…).

“I think there’s the constant reminder that this is not going to happen overnight, and that it’s a daily habit priority and practice” – Krista, The Hundred Blog

Getting encouraging and uplifting feedback.

After setting up your blog and social media, you start to gain a following. Once you reach that level, you get a lot of emails. Yes, most of those emails are bogus proposals from random, non-existent companies.

“It means a lot that they took the time to seek me out and send me a message…that makes any doubts I had about a blog post – worth it!” – Laura, Monograms and Moscatos

But every so often you get an uplifting and encouraging message from a follower who wants to compliment you on your style, your work, or whatever they may have to say! That is probably the best feeling in the world because it reaffirms what you are blogging for – to reach the people you want to reach with what you have to show!

Perfection, perfection, perfection.

There is no “quick writing” of a post in this business. Every thing needs to be thought out carefully and perfectly coordinated. Whether it is your flat lays to go along with the post, or the perfect words to explain that outfit combo…you can never stop reading your post over.

“We all feel this natural want to connect with our audience, so when something isn’t hitting or performing I almost feel guilty that I’m not doing a good enough job” – Ilana Katz, The Downtown Katz Walk

You don’t want any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors…not to mention you want to make it easy to read! Blogging is all about attention grabbing and if you are too boring or too wordy, you will lose your readers.

Coming up with new content can be tricky.

This aligns with what I have been saying this whole post, but let me emphasize even further. Many bloggers blog every single day. Which means they are producing seven new and captivating pieces each week. That is ridiculously hard to do.

“I definitely think that you have to be organized about your process” – Laura, Monograms and Moscatos

On top of that, many bloggers shoot their own photos to accompany each post. That could mean they collage retail pieces or they could actually take photos of outfits, flat lays, or whatever else they need to boost their post up!

You can always learn a lot more.

It’s important to note that this techno-world is constantly changing. New bloggers pop up on the scene all the time and a new technique is always introduced to enhance your writing, or edit your photos better. Have you heard about Instagram? If you haven’t…then you probably haven’t been tuned into your feed in about a month. Petitions, encouragement to turn the notifications on…it took over (you can read about it here). Well that is a perfect example about how social media changes on a regular basis! It’s important to keep up and sometimes…it can be difficult.

11 Moments Every Blogger Experiences - Pearls and Polkadots

No, we are not into ourselves.

This can be really tricky. Your blog usually revolves around…well…you. You are your brand. You need to innately sell yourself (that sounds a lot worse than it actually is). You need to make yourself and your blog appealing to brands if you do want to make any money or network with brands. This can be super difficult for people who are not bloggers to understand. The automatic assumption is that we are full of ourselves or selfish.

“People think you are shallow for being so involved in social media, and the blogging world!” – Kait, Make Mine Maroon

This may be true for some bloggers, but I can personally speak to the bloggers that I know…most are not. We are trying to do what we love and make connections and this requires posting selfies, pictures of our coffee, and cute shoe pics multiple times a day.

Getting that awesome collaboration you’ve been waiting for.

Once you focus your determination on sponsor ships and collaborations, the door opens. It’s like a world you didn’t know existed and you finally feel confident about all the effort and hard work you put into your blog every single day. Sending out emails and not hearing back is rough. However, when you see a reply from a brand who wants to work with you is SO exciting!

The Bloggers that think it’s a race.

We all know that one blogger out there. She isn’t very friendly, she is racing against you, and she can be a bully. Yes, bullying is totally present in the world of blogging. It’s a real put down when another girl is stepping on you just to get ahead. It’s happened to me and a number of wonderful ladies I know. The important thing to know is that it is not a race. What is the benchmark of success in the blogging world? I measure success by how I feel about my content. Yes, every one wants to make money (who would give up the chance to make money?). But I want to make it clear that there is more to blogging than monetizing. For many bloggers, it’s their happy place and their hobby and they do it to exert their creative style and ideas!

Our Instagram Hubands are amazing (and Instagram siblings, children, parents, etc.)

Who has seen the video? If you haven’t…stop reading and go watch it here. This is such an accurate reflection of the help bloggers get (of course, we are a little nicer to our loved ones than the women in this video). You can only use the self-timer so much to get that awesome depth shot that every lady on IG strives to achieve. We aren’t afraid to say it. We need help. And major credit goes out to all of the brothers, sisters, spouses, mothers, fathers, friends and children who often help us out. What would we do without them?

11 Moments Every Blogger Experiences - Pearls and Polkadots

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The most amazing community you will ever be apart of.

Last but not least, is the community that comes with blogging. When you find that niche network of girls that blog about what you blog about…it’s magical. There is no other way to put it. I can’t express how great it is to find bloggers who go through exactly what you go through every day. They are your friends, your sisters, your fans, your motivation, your everything. Support is key in this world.

11 Moments Every Blogger Experiences - Pearls and Polkadots

You need bloggers to get ahead and you need to work together to keep going! Blogging is not an “every woman for themselves” kind of world. You need to engage, you need to network, and you need to help each other out because in the end, it’s supposed to be fun. And what is more fun than having a group of gals who know exactly what you are going through?

Staying On Track + Tips to Stay Positive

In January, I showed you some key blogging tips in order to stay on track with what you want to accomplish. Today, I want to talk a little bit about what I have learned since that and share my 2016 blogging attitude so far. When the year changed over to the big 2-0-1-6, I took a hard look at my goals I set for myself in 2015, what I had accomplished and what I wanted the future to look like for Pearls and Polkadots. So much happened in my first year of blogging, but there was a lot  of things that did not happen. That can get really discouraging when you look back at the last 365 days of your life and realize that you haven’t really advanced (the way you want to advance).

I was getting super frustrated with why I was even blogging. Why I was putting 2-3 hours in every day trying to make my blog better – look better, sound better, and grasp the attention of readers. There were some days that I felt the only one who even cared about what I had to say was my Mom! I know now that there are things that I could have done to help me, for example I could have used something like WordPress Hosting – edge cache plugin and this might have helped me stop stressing out so much. But now I know better.

There are a lot of things that can get you down about blogging and so to get them off my chest, I am going to share them with you and tell you how I turn those downers into positive motivation!

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Low Engagement 

This, I’m sure, makes any blogger feel that their work isn’t being appreciated. No comments, low hit counts, virtually no engagement on social media – it gets you down because you feel like you missed the mark. Guess what!? Just because your content doesn’t sky rocket in views the first day it’s up, that doesn’t mean it won’t. Instead of taking that as a hit to your confidence in your writing or content, turn that “No comments” read into motivation to ask yourself why and what you can do to improve! Believe it or not, the right web hosting server can have a positive impact on your blog’s engagement. If you are looking for new web hosting, you can find cheap hosting on sites all over the internet.

Success of other Bloggers 

If you are in any type of blogging community, you will know at least one blogger who is more successful than you. Maybe it only took them 6 months and all of a sudden the sponsorship and collaboration opportunities are rolling in! That can be really frustrating and it’s easy to get jealous of the success of other bloggers. Don’t get down about it – form a relationship with the girls in your community! Most of the time, bloggers support bloggers and that is one great mantra to live by! Reach out and ask for tips to their success and see what you can learn from them! No matter how crazy your blog content may be, from food to marijuana, somewhere you will find a list of blogs that will give you some inspiration. You can see a list of top weed blogs here, and you may even find inspiration for lots and lots of other niches; there will be something for everyone.

Staying On Track + Tips to Stay Positive - Pearls and Polkadots

No Reply and Rejection

As I have been moving in the direction of monetizing, I have grown some courage and “thick skin”. It takes a lot to message a company, walk into a store, or call to pitch an idea that you have and then receive…rejection. Rejection can be hard on anyone, but the best thing to keep in mind is stay positive. You know your strengths, and you also know your weaknesses. Which means you know exactly where you can improve!! In the end, the companies that reject you or don’t even reply are missing out on a great opportunity!!


Staying On Track + Tips to Stay Positive - Pearls and Polkadots

Well there you go…we all experience things that we wish we didn’t have to go through. In a recent conversation I was having with some fellow bloggers and friends of mine, it came up that “blogging is a marathon”. This is the most important thing to wrap your head around when you get into blogging and throughout. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Cliche, but true. It takes work, dedication, rejection, support and a million other things to keep you going!!

How do you deal with the blogging blues? Let me know in the comments below…

#FlashbackFriday: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

How is everyone feeling today? Anyone go super crazy? St. Patrick’s Day is such a fun holiday! All the green, the fun times with friends, and the crazy adventures that you embark on all while celebrating the Irish culture. St, Pat’s is such a happy day! Green can be a tricky colour to rock (it’s not my fave), but when it comes to the lucky day, it’s a necessity.

#FlashbackFriday: Happy St. Patrick's Day! - Pearls and Polkadots

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Last year, I showed you my favourite green items on the market for you to purchase for any weekend celebrations that you were having for St. Pat’s! Most of these items are not available anymore (being that it is a year later), but here are some fun items out there right now in case you want to stock up for next year:

#FlashbackFriday: Happy St. Patrick's Day! - Pearls and Polkadots

Kate Spade Dress | H&M Ribbed SkirtLe Chateau Heels | H&M Sheer Dress |  J.Crew Long Sleeve


On March 18, 2016, I showed you all of my favourite green items. Green can be a hard colour to find. Which is why I try to take the search away from you and give you all the pieces you need right here on Pearls and Polkadots! After touching it up last year’s post up a bit…voila:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Give “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” a little read and I will see you next week, bringing you some of my favourite threads, showing you how to style some suede and more outfit inspo!

HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND!