WHAT 365 DAYS OF BLOGGING HAS TAUGHT ME

I must admit, it feels very peculiar to be writing this post. Firstly because it seems as though the past year has flown by, but also because it feels as though I've been blogging for much more than just a year. But here we are, on January 4th 2018, which marks the one year anniversary of creating Jasmine Cecilia Jonas.

The past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. In my personal life, as well as for this blog. There were moments where I almost gave up, moments where I lost my hair due to stress, moments where I spent days with writers block, moments when I didn't like any of the 400 images that I'd recently had taken on a blogging photo shoot... but guess what, none of those moments even matter now because I can safely say that starting this blog and staying committed to the running and development of it has been the best decision I've ever made. And dare I say it, absolutely life-changing. 

I look back to this time last year and I was a completely different person; I was unconfident, lacked drive and was generally uninspired and so I plucked up the courage to sign up to this blogging platform as a means to distract myself. What started out as a genuine hobby and a pass-time has turned into the most magical of journeys. Not only have I achieved a massive personal goal of becoming self-employed this year, but I have also had many amazing opportunities along the way, all whilst growing as a person. 

I thought it'd be nice to share some of the things I've learnt along the way and also share a bit of insight to anyone who's looking to pursue blogging...

IT CAN FEEL LIKE A RACE, BUT IT'S NOT

The blogging world is extremely competitive, and most likely always will be, but it's important to note that everyones journey is extremely different and unique. This is something I've definitely struggled with throughout this year because I'm overly competitive, verging on an absolute annoyance if I'm honest, but with a bit of persistence, I've learnt that it's best not to compare too much. As long as you're staying true to yourself as an influencer and continue to connect with your audience, great things will come your way. 

"YOU DO YOU"

I've never believed so strongly in this. There definitely seems to be a cookie cutter mould of what kind of content a blogger should produce; a mould of which I've desperately tried to fit into at many points throughout the past year, but when I look back, the posts I feel most proud of are the ones where I've spoken from the heart about things I'm passionate about. At the end of the day, being slice of coffee cake on a tray of lemon drizzles is only ever going to be a positive, right? Both are tasty but there's no doubt that people are going to be fighting over the only slice of coffee cake!!! I cannot believe I'm using cake analogy...

WRITING ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS ARE OFTEN THE MOST REWARDING

When I first started this blog, I played it safe. Really safe. As I said above, I felt like I had to fit into a cookie cutter mould so would write about my favourite lipsticks or do general tags that every other blogger in the whole wide world was also posting. And well, I lost my voice. Dating, mixed-heritage, body image... those are all topics that I never would've imagined discussing on this blog, but my god am I glad I did. I've found that writing about such topics has made me feel much more of a writer and has personally made me question so much more about the world around me. Having the opportunity and platform to use my voice to discuss often controversial or unusual topics is something that I'm so grateful for, but to also get a great response from you as readers just tops it all. I vow to continue to post poignant content as we head into 2018!

IT'S F**KING HARD WORK

Blogging as a full time job, or even as a hobby, is really hard work and requires a lot of dedication and energy. There's so much stuff that goes on behind the scenes that we rarely get credit for - and much of it is stuff we've spent hours teaching ourselves through trawling the internet, playing games of trial and error, or talking to our blogging friends about it all. Of course, at the end of the day when all everyone sees is a perfectly shot Instagram snap, what else would you think? Being a blogger encompasses so many roles including; writer, editor, photographer, model, stylist, retoucher, social media manager, PR manager, deal broker, legal advisor, credit control, accountant... and those are just to name a few. 

YOU ARE FOREVER LEARNING ON THE JOB

If someone had asked me a year ago what a DA was, I would've replied with da f**k?! I knew absolutely nothing about digital marketing - and if I'm brutally honest, I don't know much more now - but learning on the job and self educating is absolutely key. When there are new algorithms popping up every day and new techniques to be infiltrating into your blog or platforms, it is essential to understand that even implementing small changes will really help your blog in the long run. My boyfriend works in digital marketing so I'm very fortunate that I have him as a mentor, but there are tonnes of sites, podcasts and courses that will offer lots of advice, support and insight.

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SOME OF MY FAVOURITE BLOG POSTS FROM THE PAST YEAR 

BLOGGING: THE RELATABLE VS THE INSPIRATIONAL

THE REALITY OF LIVING IN LONDON

THE DATING GAME IN LONDON

HOW I FEEL ABOUT BEING MIXED HERITAGE

MAKING A STAND FOR ROMANCE

WHAT IT'S REALLY LIKE BEING A FULL TIME BLOGGER

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SOME OF MY FAVOURITE OUTFITS FROM THE PAST YEAR 

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SOME OF MY FAVOURITE BRAND COLLABS FROM THE PAST YEAR

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT; GINNI'S, SK:N, CHRISTIAN PAUL, BABYLISS, glossier, cancer research, bourjois, loccitane.

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Overall, this first year has been a real roller-coaster with a lot of trial and error along the way but I'm now at a point where I'm confident in my writing style, I'm aware of my audience and also my overall brand so I am so so so very excited about what year two of Jasmine Cecilia Jonas has in store. Eeeeeek.

Thank you so very much for your continuous love and support. I honestly can't even begin to explain how much it still blows my mind to receive so many views, likes, comments from such lovely, genuine and kind people. I never would've thought so many people would show an interest into my life, but you have and do, and so yes, a MASSIVE MASSIVE THANK YOU!!!!!!!

xo