Denver Darling turns 1 (and a few things I've learned along the way)

Happy Monday, Friends

I hope you had wonderful weekend!  Yesterday Denver Darling turned a year old - I started the day with a delicious brunch with some of my favorites at Postino (super excited they have brunch now!), then celebrated one of my favorite mommas to be, Jourdan (here) at one of the most beautiful showers I have ever seen.  It was such a wonderful day full of friends and love and I just felt so refreshed.

As a little kid, you know how you think about your birthday 9 months a year?  That is kind of how I thought about this day.  Starting something that was my very own was so important to me, and even more important that I saw it through, so this was a big milestone.  I never thought I would be a "blogger" I just wanted to create a place to share my favorite things with my girlfriends (and their friends) and fell into blogging along the way.

This whole year has been a wonderful time of self discovery and learning.  I really feel like I learn something new every day!  Before starting Denver Darling the only forms of social media I occasionally participated in were Facebook and Pinterest (a lot of Pinterest actually... my poor husband).  I accidentally stumbled on blogs through Pinterest, but didn't actively read any on a regular basis.  I joined Instagram about a month prior to our wedding (fall of 2014) just to ensure that I could see photos that people had hashtagged (also had no clue what that really meant).  

After our wedding, friends and family started coming to me for advice and suggestions for wedding dresses, boutiques, hair and nail salons, restaurants and photographers and I realized that I wanted to start "a girls guide to Denver".  I started using Instagram (not sure what I did each morning before this) on a regular basis and reading blogs to get ideas of how I wanted my blog to look and not look and sound and not sound.  This blog started as a place for my girlfriends to visit for ideas on where to go in Denver, but it has become so much more to me.  I come here to share my feelings, get inspired, hopefully share inspiration and have met some incredible people along the way.

I am so  thankful for this last year.  Denver Darling has taken me to some amazing places (here, here, here, and most recently here).  However, my favorite thing so far about blogging is the community and support system built within it.  I have met so many wonderful girls (and a couple of guys) and it is so refreshing to see the way everyone encourages each other.  I have met some of the sweetest people through blogging that I never in a million years would have connected with otherwise, and I am so glad that I have.

I receive a lot of questions about starting and maintaining a blog - below are 10 things that I have learned throughout the last year, and hopefully can be helpful to you too.

10 Things I've learned About Blogging

  1. If you have been thinking about starting a blog, take the leap and just do it! Chances are if you have something to say, advice you want to give, something you want to share there is someone who wants to hear it.
  2. Stay true to yourself.  This is my favorite piece of advice.  I don't share anything that I don't believe in or love, it would come across as inauthentic and I believe, if someone doesn't like it they don't have to read it.
  3. Write what you want to write.  There is some truth that you should write what your readers want, but readers won't want to read something that you yourself are not excited about.
  4. Use your voice. You know how Dr. Suess says, "There is no one alive who is Youer than You" - your voice sets you apart from everyone else.
  5. It is ok to take a break.  I always get a little separation anxiety when we go on vacation, but it is good to take little breaks to refresh and come back with new ideas even if it means not posting as often as you normally would.  I used to get really stressed about this, but realized my blog would still be here when I got back :)
  6. Work with other bloggers.  I have enjoyed meeting other Denver bloggers and making new friends through social media and it is amazing to see how supportive and encouraging other women can be.  
  7. You don't have to post.  I used to think I had to post a certain number of times a day or week, but if it is not something you are excited about posting... don't.
  8. Photos....  I work with a wonderful photographer Corey Anthony for most of the photos on my blog, about half of the photos on my instagram are taken with my iphone and I use VSCO for editing so all of pictures have a similar tone.
  9. Use hashtags.  I didn't love using hashtags for a long time.  I thought listing too many looked silly, but it really does help people find you when they are searching for something specific.
  10. It is your blog, no one can tell you what is right or wrong, make it what you want and have fun with it!

I loooove this dress BTW - it is another ChicWish style.  I love their affordable, yet high quality designs.  This little number is under $70!  As i mentioned last week, sometimes their clothes can take a little bit longer to arrive so if you order, plan accordingly with expedited shipping or a few weeks before your event.  Also, I wear (and wore) these shoes with pretty much every spring and summer dress and will be getting a new pair soon because I have worn them so much and I need a new pair for this wedding season... they are just so easy and go with everything from dresses to jeans and even shorts!

Have a wonderful week - would love to hear your feedback and happy to answer any questions below or through email