How in the world did I get into this thing called “social media influencing & blogging”. What is influencing anyway? Am I really influencing people to do something, feel something, or think about something? When I consider that even being a possibility I am super intrigued and I get excited. I love making friends, talking with people and being social, so this felt like the perfect fit. I guess it all began during my pregnancy. I thought, “Let me start using Instagram as an official organized picture storage platform to document my pregnancy & life with a baby and possibly meet some other moms that I could chat with and get advice from”. Well, it has been perfect for that and so much more! Never did I think I would become friends with people all around the U.S. & some in other countries. I mean, actual friends. Friends I talk to daily, vent to, get advice from and hang out with in person. It honestly is so cool. In addition, I never thought I could have so much fun. I knew it was possible but I never really thought I it would be me.
One of those amazing relationships that have blossomed through Instagram is my girl Bonnie Stone @haveakidtheysaid. She has decided to start a mom blog challenge with some incredible women in order to promote creative blog posts and social media support! She has challenged us to join along in blogging at least once a month. Genius or crazy? The jury is still out if you ask me! I suppose my answer will be derived after I see how long it actually takes me to write this one blog post (yes, I have opened and saved it about 20 times so far, and counting). And, umm, did someone say challenge? That’s all anyone has to say and it’s ON! Who can relate? But in all seriousness, I am scared shitless of this challenge. It’s hard to explain but I will try. I feel like I am pretty witty in person but I don’t think I’m captivating or exciting when I write/blog. I have never really felt comfortable or confident writing. I second guess myself. I suppose it’s because I have time to see and hear it out loud and have the ability to backspace the hell out of the stuff I don’t like. Whereas, when I shoot from the hip in person, I typically just end up inserting foot in mouth if I sound like an ass (which may be more often than I like). By the way, where is the backspace button in real life? Anyway, back to the real reason for this blog, each month either Bonnie picks a topic or we come up with one collectively and what is more fitting to start out 2019 than, “goals for the year and how you will take care of yourself?” So, that leads me to this first blog post… and it goes a little something like this!
That girl right there, pictured above, is my reason for this post! I started this social media journey about a year and a half ago when I found out I was pregnant with Hendrix. It’s insane to me that she is already ONE and how fast time is truly slipping through my fingertips. Some of you may know (more of you probably don’t) but my journey to becoming a mom was a very long one! 11 years, the loss of a precious baby, IVF and she’s finally here. Wow, that sounds so simple and straight forward when I type it out in black and white, but God it was anything but that! What I can say is, I always describe it as “an amazing emotional journey that was worth the wait”. Hendrix is our heart walking around in real life. She is our best creation. (We also can’t believe we kept this little human alive and thriving for a year! Yay, go us! :))
I had been dreaming of a family life like this for as long as I can remember and it’s finally here – and more amazing then I could have thought it would be. Ok, maybe my house could be on the inter-coastal and I have a large boat out back on a dock, but everything else is pretty damn near perfect! Ha! Motherhood has been beautiful and has filled me up more than I imagined. I feel my most authentic self for sure! I am honored to be Hendrix’s mom, a wife, a daughter and friend to many. One thing I never thought was going to happen was to create friendships from a social media platform like Instagram. At times it has been slow and arduous but it certainly has provided me with so many awesome connections and collaborations.
As Hendrix’s first birthday was approaching I knew I wanted to make it super special being that I prayed and waited so long to celebrate her. In reality I knew going all out was more for me but I went there anyway…and it was freaking amazing! 🙂 So how does this tie into my goals for 2019 you ask? Well, my ultimate vision is to use Instagram as my primary source of income. Don’t get me wrong, I am still using it for the reasons I mentioned previously, but after utilizing the platform I clearly see the potential and am ready to tap into it. I am just now, after creating content for a good year and a half or so, starting to see steady income & product incentives. Ultimately I am committed to blogging and creating content that others love and get excited to read, follow, like, & comment on! So this mom blog challenge is the perfect opportunity to put that into action!
The reason for me focusing on and building my blog platform is to support amazing brands and companies who are willing to trust me to represent them in the best light. I mean, after all, it’s a mutual benefit and gain to collaborate with companies. In planning Hendrix’s 1st birthday, there were so many details I wanted to include. I reached out to several companies to establish collaborations. Many declined, many did not have space in their calendar, and a few agreed and graciously sent us product! I am so appreciative! Don’t get it twisted…again, that sounds so simple and straightforward, just ask and you shall receive (from some), but no, it’s quite the opposite. The business of blogging & creating content on social media is seriously a TON of work. There are many hours of researching companies you want to represent, communicating the benefit you bring to them as an influencer, creating the content (meaning taking 383,938 photos to get the 1 or 2 perfect ones), wrangling kids if you have them, battling the elements like weather, editing the photos, creating captivating captions, posting at the perfect peak time, and then spending hours engaging with your audience. Phew, I am exhausted just thinking about it! I now see why so many people give up on it so easily when the likes and comments don’t come in and no one is knocking at your door to collaborate.
Here’s the thing for me, I lead with love and am open and supportive with this community and it has reciprocated! I have shared what I have learned and experienced. I refuse to be stingy with it. I receive tips and advice wherever possible, taking things with a grain of salt. I am not the first, nor will I be the last person to blog and post content on social media, so I am committed to enjoying it to its fullest.
I will leave you with some other beautiful pictures from the party!
X<3 X <3 , Jen
Photography Courtesy of Crystal Swass @blue.anchor.love