FASHION AND LIFESTYLE BLOG RUN BY BILINGUAL BRITISH TWINS HOLLY & SUMMER READ

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Reflecting On 3+ Years Of Blogging: Evolution, Success & Future Goals


Three years ago, Holly & I began our 'blogging journey'!

 In June 2013, we took the leap and started a joint fashion/personal style blog. Despite already following several bloggers, it took us a year or so to actually set up our own blog. Looking back now, I can't help but smile and remember how it all started out!


How it started

Growing up in an isolated, rural environment gave us a lot of free time on week-ends and during the holidays. As a child, I was always in the garden and surrounding fields playing. but as soon as the early to mid teens hit, boredom settled in and I was desperate for a hobby outside of school.

Summer's first lookbook post - January 2011 (cringe)
We have always loved dressing up, so discovering websites such as Chictopia & Lookbook was really exciting. My passion for photography was also born in my early teens, so eventually my two hobbies collided and were channelled through these platforms.

Lookbook was the first platform that inspired me to post my own outfits online. Although I only began 'blogging' 3 years ago, I've been posting looks on Lookbook for over 5 years! It's crazy to think that's where I first discovered my favourite bloggers such as Kristina Bazan of Kayture & Christina Caradona of Trop Rouge, and I've been following their journeys ever since.

Evolution

I don't know about you guys, but I always love going through Blogger's archives. I find it so fascinating to see how someone's blog has evolved, whether it's been style-wise, or the writing & photography. Needless to say blogging itself has evolved so much over the past few years, that sometimes I forget how easy it once was. Now, it seems that blogging has become so much more time consuming (which isn't necessarily a bad thing!) and the standard is a lot higher than it once was (again, not a bad thing!).


Your blog will inevitably evolve over the years. I know a lot of bloggers delete some of their early posts because let's face it, they can be a little embarrassing. Here is a picture of my very first outfit post and my most recent one!


Summer, 2013
Summer, 2016


I personally like to keep my early posts, as they allow us to reflect on how much the blog has grown. (My style has changed so much it's crazy!)

The Twins Wardrobe was initially focused on our fashion/personal style posts, with some travel posts every now and then. Now, Holly & I try to vary our articles, so we not only focus on fashion, but photography (both film & digital), travel, lifestyle and film.

Success

I always find 'blogging success' a bit of a difficult topic. Today, success is often associated with fame. What is a successful blog? Is it a blog with a big audience? (+1000 followers?) Can a blog be considered successful if it has less than 50 comments under each post? Does it require a big social media following on platforms such as Insta, Twitter & Snapchat? If your definition of a successful blog has this criteria, then The Twins Wardrobe is not a 'successful blog'.

Holly & I do not have a huge following on social media or on Bloglovin' or any other online platform. We have never participated in Fashion Week, and we haven't been to any Blogger Events or collection previews... We've only done a handful of collabs over the years. I'd like to, but I haven't. And that's ok. But it does beg the question "What have I achieved through this blog?

Yes, sometimes I feel like I haven't achieved anything with our blog. But then again, when we first began blogging, we didn't do it in the hopes that we'd earn money from it or anything, it was simply a way of channelling our passion for fashion and photography. (Of course, there's nothing wrong with having loads of followers or earning money from Blogging, I think it's amazing to be quite honest!) I really admire bloggers who earn a living from it as it is hard work and demands a lot of commitment.

Success isn't necessarily tied with fame. I believe in personal success. I like to think The Twins Wardrobe is successful in the sense that our photography has improved over the years. Our writing has improved. I feel happy with my style, my wardrobe, my makeup. I've met some incredible people through blogging. Blogging has inspired me to be more creative with styling and photography. I enjoy creating content, sharing it, and discussing it. I love the feeling of achievement when you're proud of a post. In that sense, I think our blog is 'successful'.

 It's easy to feel like a bit of a failure in the blogosphere nowadays. There is so much pressure that comes along with blogging today, that sometimes you have to take a step back from it and remember why you started doing it in the first place. You have to stay true to yourself. Post what you want to post. Wear what you want to wear. Don't change your blog or your social media platforms just to fit into the 'fashion blogger box'. There is no box.

Here are some of my favourite posts from the past 3 years!

  • Kimono//Ripped Jeans, April 2014. The first outfit post that made me feel like 'me'. From this post onwards, I felt like I had finally established my own style, instead of simply throwing nice clothes together.

Summer
Holly
  • Bordeaux, August 2014. A beautiful french city a few hours drive from where we live, we spent a few hours walking around a few years ago. Needless to say the architecture is stunning!

Bordeaux, France
  • FL in Film - Part 1 , June 2015. Summer 2015 was a good one, so many articles that I'm really proud of! I'm still in love with these film pictures taken during our holiday in Florida, which was by far the best holiday we've ever had!
Our brother & Holly on holiday in Florida, shot by Summer
Summer wearing a LBD in Florida
  • May in 35mm Film, July 2015. Once again, a film picture article! Among my favourite all time photography posts, these pictures were taken during a trip to London a few years ago. Not only did we have a great time meeting up with friends and family, but we managed to shoot some pretty good pictures too!
Our friend Jake in Brick Lane, London
  • The Culottes, July 2015. I love these culottes and they still have a place in my wardrobe. This outfit post was shot outside the villa we rented during our trip to Florida. I can still feel the sunshine and humidity on my skin.
Summer in Florida
  • Twins in matching dresses, July 2015. Thank you Mum for buying these dresses for Holly & I! Lovely fit and print, the only post in which we're wearing the same outfit.
Holly in a ditsy-print dress
  • Cropped, August 2015. One of my favourite outfits ever. These culottes fit perfectly and are a gorgeous rich green colour, and these pictures are among my favourite on the blog: the location, the lighting just completes everything! (Thank you Holly!)
Summer wearing culottes, in Poitiers
  • Enjoy the view, March 2016. A collection of film pictures taken in New York at the end of our exchange trip abroad. 
Holly on the High Line, NYC
In terms of future goals, I'm open to anything! I'd love to meet more bloggers, I've been talking to a lot of you lately and it's wonderful meeting someone you've been following on social media in person! I'd love to travel more, to write some articles that focus on a specific town, suggesting places to visit and where to eat etc! I want to share more creative content. I'd love to see where I'll be in another 3 years.

This seems like a good time to say that Holly & I are moving back to London in September! We're going to stay for a few months and see how things play out. It's going to be interesting living back in my home country for the first time since I was a kid, and of course to see how it effects our blog!

 Until then, have a little peek through our archives, it's pretty funny.
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