Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three Years and Counting

Happy Anniversary, Style Bard!

Today this blog turns three years old. There's no way to avoid this cliche: it does literally feel like just yesterday that I was sitting at my work-study job in college, bored to tears, making $7 an hour, and thinking: I should stop emailing my mother and sisters every day about what fashions I love or hate and just put it in a blog instead.

At the time, I already read a bunch of daily fashion blogs (some of my favorite reads such as Kristen at Beauty Addict, Annie at Blogdorf Goodman and Danielle at Final Fashion were immeasurably helpful and welcoming when I joined the world of blogging). And whenever I was bored at work I liked to peruse the sale pages of shopping sites to pick out my faves, much like virtually circling your favorite items in a mail catalog (which is ironic, since back in those days I could never afford to buy clothes at all so I might as well have looked at the full-price stuff). So it was a pretty easy transition to start my own blog. I never really had a major plan for this space. Just to collect my thoughts on fashion and share with the world the must-have pieces that I loved, wanted and needed. Although, I have noticed over the years that I love to write about shopping more than fashion. I love to write about sales and deals and finds. I think, going forward, I need to be a little less scattered about Style Bard and truly embrace my own theme. I remember about a year ago I read an article about American fashion icon Ralph Lauren, in which he stated something along the lines of not loving fashion, but rather loving clothes. That's how I feel about it. I don't love fashion per se (which is why you don't see runway or red carpet pics splashed all over the place on my blogs), but I do love shopping and style.

Of course, over at Style Bard Shoes, which I started approximately one year after I launched Style Bard, it's all about shoe sales and shoe shopping. The story behind SBS is that I was getting paid to freelance as a fashion specialist at another website that is now defunct (not my fault; I swear!) and they gave me permission to re-post my blogs on my own site. Of course, I was writing 5-8 blogs for them per week, so I thought that would really overpower Style Bard. So I started up a sister-site to post all of my shoe findings. Over the years I broke from the format that I was using at the freelance job, and have found my own voice and style with which to write about shoes. I love how familiar I am with the websites I frequent, such as Shopbop, Macy's, 6PM, Piperlime, Victoria's Secret, Shoebuy, OnlineShoes, Zappos, Bluefly, etc... I can always tell when they get new products, or when a shoe from a few weeks ago is now seriously on sale. I really enjoy combing through site after site and page after page of shoes to find the best deals and the best angles about which to write.

A lot of people assume I write these blogs for the money. To be quite candid, there's not too much of that coming in. I'm not one of those super big sites (yet) and I don't always do the smartest things to make the most money. For example, I write reviews for free, I work with affiliates on a quid-pro-quo unremunerative basis, and while I sometimes receive a commission from ad clicks or shoe sales, what I actually make per month from both my blogs combined is less than what I charge for one---one!---blog post in my real life as a freelance blogger/web content writer/SEO writer. And I work on my blogs like it's another part-time job, when it ain't paying like one. In short: I don't do it for the money. I do it because I love it. And I'm really not sure how someone could regularly blog two blogs (don't you love that it's a verb and a noun?) for three years unless they loved to. It's a big passion of mine, a big commitment, and I am thankful to all of my readers--because honestly, I'd just be talking to myself if it weren't for you guys.

So, I'm about to post "Style Bard Faves," a series about my favorite beauty products, jewelry items, shoes, designers, etc. which will continue every Wednesday alongside the 5-week Shoe Psyche/Win Free Shoes from Shoebuy results. Check back in a few minutes, and "Style Bard Faves" should be up. Or, you know, keep hitting refresh. I could use the traffic! Want to click some ads, too? It would be a wonderful anniversary present! ;D

Head over to Style Bard Shoes for the Second Annual St. Patrick's Day Green Shoe Week and the results of the Free Shoe Giveaway sponsored by Shoebuy (which is also the kick-off to five consecutive Wednesdays of Shoe Psyche, the new feature at SBS).

Thanks so much for reading! Y'all have been making it worthwhile for three years and counting.


Danielle said...

Congratulations on three years! I also found I had to refine my approach to blogging this year after reflection, I think of final fashion as a "business to business" blog now.

Thanks for the mention, its nice to recall "back in the day" =)

The Style Bard is... said...

Thanks, Danielle! =)