Lately I have been meeting new people and as they find out that I have a blog, they ask me “why?”… why do I have a blog and what do I use it for, etc. My reason for this blog and the content it holds has changed and adapted over the years (as those…10…of you who have followed me from the beginning may have noticed) and so I thought this was as good of time as any to look back and reflect as well as look forward for Love Laugh Explore.
In college, before I really knew anything about blogging or its potential (sadly), I started this blog in 2010/2011 as “What Happens Next”. The intent was for my family to keep up and keep in touch with me when I traveled to Cameroon for spring break and then Europe the following summer. I didn’t have Instagram or WhatsApp and communication wasn’t as easy then as it even is now. Often times my posts were more like diary entries than informative pieces with suggestions I have tried to curate more recently. Pictures were often scarce and rarely that good (hello iPhone4 and Nikon D60). I wish I had the vision for the blog then that I do know because it was really at the forefront of this massive social influencer/blogger explosion (that I am now at the tail-end of, ironically).
After college, the blog focused more on cooking and recipes as I was still only a couple years into gluten intolerance as well as maintaining a somewhat vegan diet. My recipes ranged from fun things I would make up (hello cupcakes galore) to “raw food” meals from my cookbooks. Eventually, the blog dropped off.
When I moved to Vegas, I tried to pick the blog up again, mostly with cooking but also with personal thoughts and experiences. I still wasn’t able to really grasp what I wanted the blog to be though and so it wavered and dropped off again until I got engaged.
It was then that I found a passion for wedding planning and details that I didn’t know I had and a desire to share those experiences. However, you can only blog about weddings so much and while I often revisit some of those topics, again time and life seemed to get in the way and the blog wavered.
About a year or so ago I really picked things up for the blog and decided to make it something I could maintain regularly. I still struggle at times with the vision – food? travel? fashion? advice? lifestyle? but in a way the new title encompassed all of those things – Love – the things I love and love to do; Laugh – the things in life that I enjoy; Explore – all of the adventures I want to take and do take.
A lot of people may think that “fashion bloggers” are purely narcissists and this is just one more way for us to post selfies. The reality is that, in a world of super models and airbrushed magazines, we are just trying to show fashion from real life. I have always been complimented on my sense of style and ability to snag a good deal so why keep that to myself instead of showing other women how easy it can be? You don’t need to stack up on glossy magazines when you can turn to Insta and see 1000s of real women talking about what they wear (or how they do their hair and makeup) in real life. Almost any topic has a blog (or 1000) dedicated to it where you can get tips from someone who feels far more real to you, and who you can actually reach out to with comments or questions. It’s taking back the “power” in a sense from basic advertising.
The whole picture certainly is not seamless – I would love to have a recurring weekly post (I have started a couple and let them drop off), I would like to have something about the blog that makes it stand out from others — why you should keep coming back to visit my site over the similar ones to it, and I would like to feel like the blog is its own business of its own. I have slowly expanded my Instagram (going from 300 to 1060 followers in the last year) and am hoping to improve; my posts are shared onto Tumblr and StumbleUpon, but I am hoping to develop much larger followings.
I hope to be able to establish relationships with new followers in order to post content that they want to see, and I hope to not let the blog fall off like it has in the past.
It has finally become a more whole extension of who I am as a person, allowing me an outlet to share things that I am passionate about as well as meet new people. The blogging community is surprisingly friendly and supportive, with so many bloggers having posts on how to improve and tricks of the trade. In the last year, LoveLaughExplore has developed into what I think I hoped it would be back when I started it and I hope that it continues to grow and improve with age
Thanks for you support