What I wish I knew as a new blogger

Copy of Office.jpgA couple of months ago WordPress sent me a congratulations notification. I clicked on it, confused as to what it was. It turns out I made Simply Being Kim 2 years ago. TWO YEARS. I remember sitting in my freshman year college dorm and debating on the name of this blog. It’s crazy to think how much has changed since then! I was such a newbie back then.

My blog has gone through some highs and lows. I dove head first into blogging without any knowledge about proper knowledge. I was just some college girl talking about my college experience on the Internet.  I didn’t know what SEO or branding or how to work with brands at the time. Regardless of the setback, it’s been a worth while learning experience! I’ve had a chance to grow as a blogger through trial and errors. Continue reading if you want to find out what I wish I knew when I started my blogging journey!

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The reality of being a college blogger

Summer projects (1).jpgHi! If you’ve been following Simply Being Kim for the last few months, you may have noticed the inconsistency. During spring, I began to question what I wanted for the future of my blog. I took about 2 months off from blogging because… simply put, I needed a break. I really enjoy being a college blogger. It was a great experience for me to meet other college students across the country! And I got to collaborate with different brands and companies that I wouldn’t have known about.

Even though I enjoy blogging, there is a reality behind it that many do not see. Our online personas do not show the hard work and dedication that is put into establishing a blog. I took some time to reflect and realized 3 things about the reality of being a college blogger

It’s time consuming

Like many of my readers, I am a college student myself. I juggle academics, a social life, a job, and an internship while trying to maintain Simply Being Kim. Honestly, many people do not give bloggers enough credit. Regardless if they are full-time or part-time bloggers. Yes, it may seem like an easy job where all we do is write and take pictures for social media. But, that’s not the reality behind it.

Each (well done) blog post takes more than writing and clicking “publish.” There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. People do not witness the unspoken duties of a bloggers: managing following, increasing engagement, maintaining Instagram and Twitter, understanding analytics, the back and forth sponsorship/ collaboration business emails, and so much more. Unfortunately, blogging is simply not typing 500 words and hitting send. It takes a lot more time to genuinely grow a blog… a following… a brand… your own brand. 

Where’s my voice?

A couple of years ago, the college blogging community was scarce. There was was growing need for college students who wants to share their experience. Since then the community has grown tremendously. From what I have experience so far, everyone has been supportive and friendly!

Though, there is a downside to being a constantly growing community: the ability to have your voice heard. It can be difficult to blog about a certain niche when thousands of other people are discussing the same thing. Over the last year, I have published some pieces that are popular topics in the college community. Yet, whether it reaches my audience is questionable. I often ask myself, “Why should your piece be read instead of xxx’s piece about this topic?” There are so many other college bloggers who have talked about that same topic.  It’s easy to feel like you are being drowned out by other bloggers who have established their credibility and following.

What happens after college?

*sigh* This questions scares me. Frankly, I don’t know what I’m doing professionally after college. That’s another post though. It’s also a scary SBK question because I don’t know what I’m doing with my blog after I graduate. When I started, I established myself as a blogger who focuses on college lifestyle. My plan was to share my experience about college. Now that I am graduating in less than a year, can I still label myself as a college blogger?

I know that I’m not the only college blogger who has had this question run through their mind. Actually, I have seen an increase in the number of bloggers opening up about the uncertainties of their blog’s future. It’s scary to categorize under something that is short-term base. Will I transition into a different kind of blogger? What will my focus be? Will I stop blogging after graduation?

I apologize (again) for the inconsistency with my blogging. Like I mentioned before, I’m not a perfect blogger. Especially not a college blogger. It’s scary to devote so much time and effort to establish a voice with a short-term niche. But, I wouldn’t trade the (sometimes difficult) reality of being a college blogger for anything. See you next week with another post!

-Kim 🙂

Projects to do this Summer

Summer projects

Happy Wednesday! I apologize for this post being later than usual. I spent my entire morning at the DMV. And we all know how the DMV can be.

I have officially finished my 3rd year of college! Yay! With the extra free time this summer, I’m tackling a couple of projects. I know a lot of people like tackling new hobbies during the summer. So I’ve complied 6 projects that anybody can do this summer!

1. Start a Blog

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t promote this? Haha. If you have been hesitant to start a blog, summer is the best time for a trial run! Chances are, your responsibilities are less hectic compared to the school year. In the summer, you will have enough time to brainstorm content, decide on a niche, and find your voice in the blogging community. Does this mean if you have to figure it all out in 3 months? No! Absolutely not. But you can get a head start in the summer and start your blogging journey. Give it a go!

2. Bullet Journaling

Bullet journals (bujo for short) have been flooding my Instagram feed for months now. In late March, I jumped the on bandwagon and bought myself a journal. So far, I love it! Bujo has acted as a creative outlet for me. People argue that it’s too time consuming. This is true, but I love being artsy. Bujo is not only a planner, but it’s also a reminder for me to carve time out to be creative when creating my spreads.

Summer is the best time to start a bujo since you will have more time on your hand. This gives you a chance to try out different spreads and system at your own pace. By the time school rolls around again, you’ll have a better idea of what methods work for you!

I’m in the process of creating an in-depth post about bullet journaling. Stay tune!

3. New Recipes

Ever since I moved into an apartment, I’ve been on the hunt for new recipes to try. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to recipes. I’m planing on using my summer break to make as many of the recipes that I’ve been pinning. When I first moved in, I thought I could test new recipes for dinner every night. I soon learned that after a long day of classes and work, I didn’t want figure out if a new recipe was going to taste good or not. Since school is out of session, you’ll have more time (and energy) to cook. Plus, you’ll have a list of recipes that you’l be a master at making by the time classes are back.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that I’ve found on Pinterest:

Soft baked cookies (my roommates and I love this recipe!)

Banana bread

Cream cheese and bacon chicken rolls

Baked ziti

4. Redecorating

Summer is the perfect time to redecorate! I like using Pinterest to gain inspiration for how I want my spaces to look like. Summer allows you more to work on more complicated projects. This summer, I’m planning on decorating my bedroom and desk area. I’m excited to share how it will look at the end of summer with you all!

5. Bucket List

Bucket lists is a great way to plan your summer out. I love creating them because it makes me reflect on what I want to accomplish in 3 months. Seattle has so many fun events during the summer. So I like to create a bucket list to ensure I go to those events and explore Seattle more now that the sun is out. Last summer, I posted my 2016 Summer Bucket List if you’re interested in seeing what my plans were!

What’s on your bucket list?

6. Fitness

Last summer I moved into an apartment that has its own gym. Since the gym was included into my rent, I told myself I had to get my moneys worth and start using it. In June, I began to run on the treadmill. Now, it’s one of my favorite stress reliever to do! Sadly, I haven’t been the the gym in a while because of my schedule. Now that summer is near, I’ll have more time to hit up the gym and get fit! Abigail from Living the Gray Life has a great post on how to stay motivated with working out and more!

I’m always looking for new workout routines so leave a comment of your favorite ones!

Is there any projects you think I should start this summer? What are you doing this summer?

-Kim 🙂

SBK on Hiatus

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Happy Wednesday! It’s crazy to think that this is the last week of March.

In the summer of 2016, I decided to restart this blog up again. So far, I’ve lasted longer than my previous attempts since I started SBK in 2015. However, I have a piece of news to share.

Simply Being Kim will be on a hiatus starting today. Wait! Don’t stop reading this blog yet! SBK and myself will be taking a short break to return bigger and better. During the break, I’m planning on looking at the future of my blog in great details. Where do I see SBK being next year? How about 3 or 5 years later? What is blogging niche? Will I continue to blog about college after I graduate? Is SBK exploring new topics in the future? All these questions will help me give you the best experience and advice on SBK.

I don’t regret starting SBK because it has opened door for me to collaborate with companies and brands, join an amazing blogging community, and have a place to share my voice. The experience of blogging is amazing but it can be stressful and time consuming. I’m also a full time college student who has a job, a internship, and a leadership position in a club. On top of keeping my academic and social life in good standing, my goal is to produce quality content for SBK. I spend time writing drafts of the posts, taking pictures, editing, and putting finishing topics before I hit the “publish” button. It’s a lot of hard work and I give both part time and full time bloggers major props. But staying busy and productive keeps me happy, so I could never drop something for good. That is why SBK is not done for good.

Still want some SBK in your life during the hiatus? Here are some of my favorite and most popular posts:

Self-Care During Finals Week

How to Stay Motivated Halfway Through the School Term

5 Tips for Studying Productively at the Library

5 Financial Lessons Learned from College

2016 Bloggers’ Posts Roundup

Seattle Eats: Frankie and Jo’s

Fall Ball at the EMP

4 adult lessons you learn when living off-campus

 

Don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin, Instagram, and Twitter to get a further look inside my life and blog!

See you soon, friends!

-Kim 🙂