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So, with my blog recently turning one-years-old, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past year through the eyes of my pride and joy. There’s a fuck ton of work that goes into this baby, and no, there is no other way to accurately represent how much time I put into the halcyon girl™.
You guys only get to see the finished, polished product that I put out into the world. But there’s so much behind-the-scenes that if you’re a fan of my blog or my writing, if you are interested in website development, or if you’re curious about what goes into a year-long operation of a platform like this… you’ll enjoy this.
➪ Starting as “halcyon girl” led to quite the pain in the ass...
So, fun fact, this blog originally started out as simply “halcyon girl.” Logos, posts, stickers… everything was covered in it. Then, a couple of months in, I wanted to add a “the” to make it “the halcyon girl.” (I know, WHAT A CHANGE, GIRL YOU CRAZY) I successfully changed the name but it was underratedly SO difficult and time consuming. I’m still catching some details in the dark depth of my website’s settings and search engine optimization (SEO) technicalities.
WORD OF ADVICE: If you’re naming a business, blog, website… really anything of importance… be confident the first time around and try to stick with what you got.
➪ Average time spent to publish one post: 3-5 hours
With the writing of it, editing, formatting, photography, hyperlinking, organization, testing, advertising, promoting and graphics… one post can take up a good part of my day. Good thing I love it!
➪ I never really established my blog’s “niche”
When I first started, the most important guideline that successful bloggers would emphasize is that you need to establish where you “fit” in the world of blogging, businesses, and voices. I just wanted to write. So, I did JUST write, and my niche kind of developed as I went along. I still don’t know exactly what my niche is, but I focus on writing for enjoyment and hoping that it resonates with other people.
➪ I’m SUPER awkward taking pictures
...which is no bueno as a blogger...
I love photography and fashion. Plus, all of my favorite bloggers (one of which actually helped me when I first started out: Amy Littleson’s “I Believe in Pink”) always had super high quality, adorably candid pictures of themselves. I quickly realized that it took me about 100 shots to get one that wasn’t just… fucking weird.
➪ I received a NASTY, anonymous comment...
Read my reply post here: That Time I Was Called a "Fucking Fluff"
Ah, good times. You’ll wanna read this shit. I still don't know who wrote it!
➪ Sometimes I get embarrassed to tell people I have a blog
My biggest fear, or pet peeve rather, is to have people directly associate having a blog and being a 20-year-old white girl with ignorance and triviality. I do a range of posts on here, but for the most part I prefer to write philosophical, thought-provoking pieces. I enjoy the graphic design components and the extensive marketing that I’ve had to learn, but the foundation of my blog is anything but shallow. So, I get embarrassed when I want to bring it up in conversation, but more in anticipation of the assumptions that are often hurled my way.
➪ I can see everything about who visits my website
This is actually super cool. Check out these photos to get a sense of all I can see through Wix...
➪ “Late Night Thought Series”
... it was totally not a series
I think about this post sometimes and just find it funny… nice try, Ally. You’re a liar.
➪ It's hard for me to be totally myself on my blog
In real life, I’d probably be a little different than you’d expect if you’ve only ever gotten to know me through my blog. I spill F-bombs like an overflowing sink, I can rarely filter inappropriate topics of conversation, and I can’t lie to save my life. Someone recently told me that I was “refreshing.” I totally embrace this, but when you’re writing for a large audience and have a very public and virtual platform, I get nervous that I’ll be misinterpreted or offensive. Maybe I like writing on my blog so much because I actually get to go back and edit what I say LOL.
➪ I was terrified for my first no-makeup insta
I am really proud of how often I post bare-faced, unedited pictures of myself because I used to (and still do) really struggle with not wearing makeup. But getting up the courage to post that first one… just look at it, you can tell that I wanna shit my pants. ⇦ Oops, there’s that missing filter...
➪ My 9 most liked Insta pics from the past year
➪ There’s a rather lackluster “Beauty” category on my blog
Like I said, I strive to write more profound pieces so it’s hard to get myself to post something to this “Beauty” category unless I’m really passionate or excited about a topic.
➪ I wrote a post hating on trends… I now wear them
Except beanies. I just really cannot rock them. But I knew this post would come back to bite me in the ass.
➪ I often write my posts in class
Only if I get a little bored on a given day… Mom & Dad, I swear I’m getting everything out of my ridiculously steep tuition… don’t take away my computer.
➪ A year ago I did a very similar post… the facts still hold up
Can you spot where it reads “halcyon girl?”
DAMN YOU PAST ALLY.
➪ I disaffiliated from my sorority but chose not to write about it
I love writing with “refreshing” honesty about important things in my life because I believe that my experiences are ones that many people can relate to. However, during my exit from greek life in September, I was grateful for how supported I was between all of the members of the sorority. I decided that, while I thought it was an important topic that I wanted to address, I was going to respect those supportive members in the way they had for me, and so I did not write about my disaffiliation.
READ MY ORIGINAL POST about joining greek life:
My Experience Joining a Sorority
➪ Basically this is just my journal because I’m wicked sentimental
➪ But, nothing makes me happier than when
it's not just for myself
It all started with an Odyssey article about struggling immensely within my first year of college. The support, feedback, and praise that echoed back was something I had never experienced before, especially not through my writing considering I gave up on writing when I got to high school and deemed myself not good enough. I needed it after that; I needed to share my experiences and realizations in a way that was personal to me. So, I made a blog. I guess it’s gone pretty well so far.
the halcyon girl
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Have a good rest of your day!