What started out as a university course assignment has evolved into a five-year (and counting) career. Here’s my blogging journey thus far.
I’m typing this with so much excitement because yaaaayyyy it’s my Blogversary (Blogging Anniversary) and it’s hard to believe it’s been five years. Five solid years of learning, unlearning, and relearning.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Be sure to grab a glass of wine because it’s been quite a journey.
The year was 2012 and I was in my second year at the University of Lagos. As part of a group assignment, our lecturer had instructed that we create a blog and Twitter profiles.
I wasn’t a newcomer to social media as I had already created a Facebook and Twitter account back in high school this was around 2010 when Facebook was hip, Twitter was for the cool kids and Instagram was for the elite (strictly iPhone users).
However, a blog was new to me. Out of curiosity, I created a WordPress blog for myself. I can’t even remember the URL I used. After creating the blog, I pretty much left it fallow because I had no idea how to navigate. I wish the lecturer had opened my eyes further to the amazing world of blogging and content writing but na Naija we dey.
The Journey Begins
Fast forward to 2014, My 3rd year in the University, I became super active on Instagram. Prior to then I was quite active on other social platforms. However, Instagram wasn’t available on Android devices until 2012.
In typical teenager fashion, I sought out the cool kids on this new platform that was filled with really cute pictures. Instagram has truly evolved, these Gen Z kids would never understand!
On Instagram, I discovered those I consider the female pioneers of Fashion blogging in Nigeria. The likes of Cassie Daves, Grace Alex, Modavracha, Dee Mako, Princess Audu, and a host of others.
I was super fascinated by what they were all doing on the platform plus their blogs so I decided to give it a go. I had interests in fashion and writing so why not.
I should start blogging too!— Happy Child 😊 (@WanShyGirl) August 30, 2014
It took me an entire year after I had graduated from the University to finally set up my blog, for the longest time I played around with the idea but never got around to executing it. I had come up with the name WanShyGirl and even changed my Instagram handle to said name. Yet it wasn’t until a friend of mine started his own blog did I take the step to finally launch mine. It was the right amount of motivation I needed.
On one fine day in December 2015, I took the step to visit my abandoned blog. I changed the URL, set up a few things, and proceeded to draft my first post. I had no idea how WordPress really worked however I winged it all the way. You can read that first post here. (Please don’t cringe!!!)
As time went by I’d share posts about my personal style and also write about celebrity red carpet style. Snapchat was also huge that year so I’ll spend a lot of time on Instyle, Glamour, and Vogue curating celebrity content.
I still didn’t have it all figured out yet at this point I had begun to get some level of recognition from friends and family. I’ll share my blog posts as WhatsApp broadcast messages, Tweets, and BlackBerry Messenger Statuses.
It was exciting to get feedback and encouragement from people. I remember every one of you and I don’t take the support for granted.
Around that time, I decided to niche down and focus more on budget/sustainable fashion which was a huge thing that year. Wahala for who no be thrift fashion blogger ooooo!
It was fun shopping for secondhand clothes, planning cute outfits, getting dressed, bullying my sister to take my pictures, spending hours editing them and finally publishing and distributing.
The Turning Point
Fast forward to 2016, I was deployed for my National Youth Service. Prior to that time I was interning at an Advertising Agency which took a lot of my time and hindered me from sharing content on my blog.
For my National Youth Service, I had to leave home and start a new life in an entirely different part of the country. I was away from home in a new community and it was a totally different experience.
I took advantage of this opportunity and decided to share my experiences as a Corp member living away from home. I made it into a series of some sort and made sure to document weekly. You can read some of these articles here.
At this point, my blog had become a digital journal. It had gone beyond fashion and celebrities. Here I was sharing my life’s journey with total strangers on the internet. As time went by, I joined a community of bloggers that I discovered on Instagram. OG bloggers would remember; The Blogger’s Advocate, The Blogger Point, Brown Girl Blogs, and similar communities.
SEO, Domain Authority, Plug-ins, and more Jargons
Connecting with Alice Dako of TheBloggersAdvocate formerly ColorsandGrey was indeed a game-changer. Alice is a digital marketing expert whose goal is to help emerging bloggers & content creators navigate the murky waters of blogging and all things digital with the right knowledge.
Back then, blogging was the coolest thing on the block and everyone wanted to make some money off Adsense. The same way being an influencer is the rave right now and everyone and their grandma aims to make money off Instagram and Twitter.
Back to the Blogger’s Advocate…
Being a part of this community exposed me to new information. It was from this community I first learned about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Plug-ins, Domain Authority, Alexa Ranking, Email Marketing, and every other buzzword you can think of.
At this point (2017), I had gained quite an audience and had a better understanding of how blogging and social media worked.
After NYSC, I returned home to officially become an adult. I wasn’t sure what the future held yet I kept on blogging sharing mostly life updates and style inspiration. While doing this I was equally applying for media-related jobs.
Less than a month after returning home from NYSC, I got my first content writing gig. The recruiter was seeking a blogger who could write for a jewelry brand and also manage social media pages. I was fresh out of NYSC and ready to make some money so I said heck yes.
Writing for a business was a bit different from my own personal writing style. However, with proper research and guidance from my editor, I was able to pull it off. After a year of remote work, I decided it was time to taste the 9-5 world. I enjoyed working from home at my own pace with control over my time, however, I wanted more.
I resumed my job applications, attended a couple of interviews, and got some really crazy offers leemao story for another day. Thankfully, I eventually found myself at a fashion and lifestyle publishing company.
At this stage, my job title had gone from blogger to social media manager and content creator.
9 to 5 or 5 to 9?
No one exactly prepared me for the stress that was the 9 to 5 life. I had worked in a few places prior to this but this new space was a totally different ball game. Having a 9 to 5 put a serious damper on my personal blogging. I was writing for two websites, managing a handful of social media pages, and still had to juggle my own personal blog and social media pages. Phew, it was alot famm!!!!
The Journey into Serums, Cleansers, and Moisturizers
Circa 2019, I began my journey into skincare blogging. This was birthed by this blog post I wrote the year before. Due to my tight schedule and change in consumer behaviors, I became more of an Instablogger than a WordPress blogger. You see it was no longer news that people were more interested in social media content than lengthy blog posts. People would (still do) spend more time on the ‘gram watching funny videos or scrolling through meme pages than read a blog article.
Hence I decided to give the people what they wanted. With my demanding schedule, it was also easier to whip up a quick Instagram post or film a video than type a 1000 long WordPress article on the same topic. I hope you get the drift.
2019 was indeed a fulfilling and exciting year. It was the year I found my path and connected with my audience. It was the year I established myself as an influencer in the skincare space, I still had Fashion and Lifestyle on lock yet Skincare became my main jam.
Fast forward to 2020, I was no longer with the publishing company instead I decided to give Agency Life a spin. I’ve always wanted to work in a Digital Marketing Agency and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to do so this year. Working in an agency helped sharpen my Digital Strategy skills. I’ve gone beyond Blogging into Content Marketing, Digital Strategy, and Digital Advertising. I’m equally much better at creating more content for brands and businesses in different fields and sectors. If you need a solid Digital Strategy for your brand or business I’m your go-to girl!
It took me five whole years to get here and the journey has truly been exciting. At the start of 2020, I set a goal to get a self hosted website. It was great having a FREE dot WordPress site yet it was important to have my own website which I had control over to some extent. I’m so glad I finally took that step.
In July, this blog you are currently reading went LIVE, It took me months of Googling, Tweaking and Researching to get to this stage. I believe it can only get better.
I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has been rooting for the WanShyGirl brand since inception. What began as a University assignment has led me on a Career path and brought along numerous opportunities. I couldn’t be anything but grateful.
If you are just starting out in the creative industry either as a Writer, Influencer, Content Creator (you name it) my major advice is to JUST DO IT... and KEEP AT IT. Trust the process! Start with what you have!! Someday, you’ll look back and be proud of how far you’ve come.
On this note, HAPPY 5-YEAR BLOGVERSARY to me. I can’t wait to see what the next five years have in store for me. Hopefully, I’ll be a certified skincare specialist with a skincare line or a top Digital Marketing Executive at a top firm. Whichever way this journey called Life leads me, I’m certain it’ll all work out for good.
Until next time,
I remain your Favorite Skincare Blogger,
Let’s Stay Connected!