Wow! Who knew one year could fly by so quickly? My blog is officially one year old today and I don’t know how to feel about that… On one hand, I cannot believe it’s already been a whole YEAR since I started… but, on the other hand, it feels like it’s already been five years. So much as happened since I started this little thing, and SO much has helped me grow. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and since today, December 30th, is the anniversary of starting my blog, I thought I’d take a little bit of a walk down memory lane, share a little bit of what I learned, and talk about my goals for blogging in the upcoming year!
☆Looking back on the first year blogging…☆
This month was the start of what would later become Coffee with Jordan Lee… I had spent almost the entire year thinking about how much I enjoyed my previous travel blog and previous Christian blog and wondered how I could continue blogging, but focus more on my personal brand, what I wanted to do, and how I could make it a little bit more professional. I wondered how I could connect with people about life, fashion, music, food, travel… all things that I love to talk about! Soon I came up with the idea of a fashion & lifestyle blog, and was ready to go. All I needed was a name. This was almost the longest part of the entire process… but finally after many hours, days, weeks… I decided on the name “Cappuccinos and Cashmere” because it represented both life (coffee) and fashion (cashmere). Oh, and of course, it sounded cute!
On December 30th, after trying hundreds of themes (this was the longest part) and working hard on my first post, I announced my blog to the world. It immediately grew from there, as I posted four times in just the first week!! (Something I have yet to do since, haha)… but I expanded with a lifestyle post about new year resolutions, a travel post about Montana where I was spending my holiday, a January Mood Board which is a monthly segment that has stuck, and a New Year’s Eve style on a budget post. I had a little bit of everything already, and was so inspired to keep growing and adding to this little website that had completely taken over my heart.
Halfway through the year, Cappuccinos & Cashmere had started to go in a little bit of a different direction. It became more conversational, more casual… every time I wrote a post I felt like I was just sitting down with my readers over coffee. The moment I had that thought was the moment that Coffee with Jordan Lee was born. The second I thought of the name, I knew it was perfect. It was more personal, more relational… and it was oh so original. Plus, my Instagram name, twitter name, etc. were all already “jordannnleee” because my family calls me Jordan Lee… I’ve always been Jordan Lee. This was was a huge step for my blog, it felt like I was finally coming home.
OCTOBER & NOVEMBER 2017
These two months mark two huge milestones. In October I did my very first blog post collaboration. I had done a few on instagram before, but never on the blog. This was a big deal… this meant companies wanted to be featured on Coffee with Jordan Lee!! I couldn’t believe it. During this month I worked with OTBT shoes and BasicInvite!
A little bit later in November, I worked with Rocksbox, and still continue working with them to date! However, the biggest accomplishment of November was transferring my domain from wordpress.com to being self hosted, buying my own theme, and uploading/coding it myself. This was definitely one of the biggest, if not the biggest change to happen to Coffee with Jordan Lee this year! It was a HUGE learning lesson, and challenged me beyond what I was prepared for. After much frustration and a website that said “UNDER CONSTRUCTION” for a few days, I finally finished it and announced it to the world.
Last but not least, right around the one year mark, I made the last (and best!) change to my site. I worked with a graphic designer to come up with an official logo for Coffee with Jordan Lee, as at that point I had no actual “branding”, and wanted to make my site ~mine. I wanted it to be official. I went through multiple rounds and rough drafts with her, as well as I had multiple phone calls with my roommate’s dad, who is extremely high up in advertising. He helped walk me through the branding/creative side of creating a logo, and after much discussion and editing, we finally settled on what you see above my site right now 🙂 I loooooveee it. It’s perfect. We also designed a matching signature image that I love placing at the end of each post!
☆What I’ve learned in this past year…☆
I have learned that blogging is exactly what I thought it would be, while simultaneously, nothing like what I imagined it to be. I’ve learned that blogging is not a science and no matter how much you plan down to the littlest detail, you will still sometimes be thrown for a loop. I’ve learned that it’s okay to take a break. It’s always okay to take a break. Social media, blogging, Instagram… these things can sometimes be so daunting! It’s easy to get swept up in the chaos of it all, to believe lies, to compare yourself to each and every other person out there who is doing the same thing as you. But these things are so dangerous. I know that my mental health suffers from time to time when I get caught up in the drama. I’ve gone through “creative droughts” where I didn’t post for weeks and I worried every day “will I be able to post today?” and I drove myself crazy worrying about my “cohesive feed”. Because of this, I’ve learned to calm myself down, to think seriously about what I’m doing, realize I don’t ever need to post without a purpose, and that it’s okay and even healthy to take! a! break!
I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, how many people are reading your posts, etc. All that matters is that you are posting quality content that you care about, and the rest is irrelevant. People share my post? Great! People comment on my Instagram photo? Awesome! But it’s not the end all be all. There are so many bloggers nowadays… this is another truth of reality that I have had to accept. But it doesn’t matter, because A) that doesn’t stop you from following your own dream, and B) you have more people to support/who will support you! It’s a win-win!
I’ve learned that blogging is extremely time consuming, and that so much goes into it that people don’t realize. Thinking back on this year I can’t help but remember the countless hours I spent moving around flat lays, taking the same photo over and over and over again… analyzing the best lighting, the best position, writing and re-writing posts… asking friends for their opinions, planning content months in advance, reaching out to brands, responding to brands who reached out to me, etc. SO much goes into it, but ALL of it is SO much fun! I mean, let’s be real, I wouldn’t be a blogger if I didn’t enjoy it! Writing has always been in my veins, and it’s never going away. What better way to exercise that muscle than through blogging? I love it. I think that might be the biggest thing I’ve learned, that I truly love being a fashion & lifestyle blogger. So, with all of that being said…
☆Looking ahead to my next year of blogging…☆
2018 is going to be a very scary year. In less than five months I will graduate college, and I can tell you right now that I have no idea what I’m doing afterwards. : – ) hehe. So, pretty much everything is up in the air, but that’s okay. That’s what makes life interesting. One of my favorite quotes is “Ships are safer in the harbor but that’s not what ships were made for.” I can’t wait to see what the future has in store! That being said, I have a few goals for Coffee with Jordan Lee, because I definitely plan on keeping up with it, no matter what happens after May.
These goals go a little something like this:
- To collaborate with more brands. I had a very exciting partnership lined up for December, but due to shipment issues, it’s been postponed until some time after the New Year, so keep your eyes peeled!
- To increase my blog subscribers. While I did say it doesn’t matter how many readers you have (and I meant it!), there’s nothing wrong with wanting people to read your content! I had a decent amount of blog followers when I was on wordpress.com, but when I transferred over to being self-hosted, I lost them. It’s been a difficult transition and I plan to spend 2018 working on that area of the blog.
- To increase my Instagram followers. Another thing that is “trivial”, but still is something that makes sense to want. I hit 1.8k in the beginning of November, and I reallllly wanted to try to hit 2k by the end of 2017, but to be transparent that was just too unrealistic. At least for my speed and level of engagement at this moment in time. So, I’m starting 2018 with the goal of hitting 2k, and hopefully I will be able to surpass that 🙂
- To possibly purchase a new theme. I love my theme right now, but it is very basic and I plan to someday expand it. However, as I mentioned earlier it requires A LOT of expertise and work, and I need to make sure I have the ability to do so in 2018.
- And above all, to continue connecting with y’all!! Every time someone reaches out to me about a post, or replies to an Instagram story asking me a question, I am so eternally grateful I can’t even put it into words! It’s surreal that I have this platform to connect with others and I hope to spend 2018 putting all of my effort into expanding this even more.
So, with all of that being said, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for your support and love in 2017! Coffee with Jordan Lee wouldn’t be what it is without y’all, and I can never ever ever thank you enough. My gratitude for you is endless!!!! I can’t wait to get to know y’all even better throughout this next year, and to make sure I post content that you guys want to see. Along those lines… please take a minute to fill out my reader survey so I can get a better idea of what to work on in the year ahead. I love you all so so much and I wish all of you a happy & healthy New Year!♡