It has been 7 years since I launched The Darling Niki and to say things have evolved along the way is totally an understatement. When I arbitrarily decided to launch a blog/Instagram back in the Summer of 2013 the blogging world was brand new. There were no “How to launch your blog in 5 easy steps” guides from other bloggers and there certainly wasn’t an entire career of blogging like there is today. My original goal for The Darling Niki was to share my love of style and just prayed that people found my site. Oh, I should mention, for those who have not followed me all these years, that originally all my content was about fashion…I posted collages of must have items for different seasons. I blogged about what to wear to a wedding. I shared my faves from the Nordstrom sales. I shared my daily OOTDs in the most basic 2013 way (seriously, there are times I still cringe looking back). As the blogging/digital marketing/content creations/influencer world has evolved and grown over the last 7 years so have I and so has The Darling Niki so it only seemed appropriate to share a few things I have learned along the way.
1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
This one has been tough, I’ll be honest. Blogging is a relatively small world and it’s easy to get caught up in the comparisons of others doing the same thing. Over the years I have found myself wondering why I don’t have more followers (especially when I see women who started a year or two ago with significantly more) or wondering why the brands I love chose to work with this blogger or that blogger over me. Guess what? Just like in any other job sometimes people grow faster in their role than others. Sometimes people get recruited more often than others. Sometimes people become the CEO and others don’t. I have learned that not everyone can be a mega influencer with a million followers, clothing collaborations, and making six figures a year and guess what? THAT’S OKAY!
2. It’s Okay to Evolve
As I mentioned, this site started out purely as a fashion blog…mainly because I enjoy fashion but also because that is what everyone else was doing in 2013. I realized along the way that while I love fashion I don’t have an unlimited budget to buy new clothes daily just for the posts and affiliate links (yes, bloggers do this) nor did I feel comfortable buying things just to return them (that sucks for the retailers) so my content changed. I started posting photos of cocktails while I was out in Palm Springs. I posted about events happening around Palm Springs. I posted about dog and my interior design of my (at the time) apartment. People loved what I was sharing and my audience grew. Opportunities became more robust…I was being invited to attend Modernism Week events and fashion week. I had brands like Petco and Winc wine reaching out for collaborations. I no longer consider myself a fashion blogger…I describe The Darling Niki as a lifestyle blog and sometimes even think of myself as a virtual concierge, full of recommendations and helpful tips to make your home/party/trip/closet more enjoyable.
3. Not all Bloggers/Influencers Have to Have Tons of Clothes
This one took some time and goes hand in hand with not comparing myself to others. I re-wear LOTS of clothes on my blog/Instagram because I’m not rich (haha)! Seriously though, I guess if I really wanted new clothes for the sake of new clothes I could buy tons of cheap polyester crap and shill the hell out of it but I made a decision years ago to shift my wardrobe mentality to Quality over Quantity. I choose to send my money on one beautiful piece instead of 10 cheap things. I also have been much more interested in supporting sustainable and/or ethical fashion..I don’t want to contribute to the landfills of cheap clothes that don’t break down, the pollution from factories manufacturing synthetic fabrics or the child/underpaid labor of other countries. To be clear, I am not perfect and still indulge in trendy pieces from places like H&M or American Eagle but I have greatly shifted my shopping habits. So, basically if it seems like I re-wear things pretty often on Instagram it’s because I do re-wear things pretty often IRL.