100 Posts

Style Blog 100th Post

Today marks a pretty big milestone for this little blog.  This is The Northern Magnolia's 100th post, which truly astonishes me because it seems like it was just days ago that I wrote my first post on Bennett's Birth Story.  Today I just wanted to post a huge thank you to you guys.  Thank you so much for continuing to follow along.  Thank you for your patience as the blog has gone through changes, both cosmetic and in the type of content.  And thank you so much for your kind words and continued support.  It means so much to me when I see my number of site visitors for the day and know you guys are checking in from time to time!

The curve for learning how to run this site has been steeper than I predicted.  I created TheNorthernMagnolia.com when my husband and I decided I would stay home with Bennett during the week for a while.  I needed a new project and a way for friends and family that didn't live nearby to keep up with our new lives in Boston.  And although I love my day job as an optometrist, I was feeling as though the profession had started to consume me, and I ended up falling victim to my ambitious personality as my profession became my life.  I felt as though I was becoming a little stale.  It has been so therapeutic to have a space that is my own that I can run and design, and I now feel as though I have regained a little bit of balance in my life.

My favorite posts to create--those on personal style--also happen to be the most challenging.  I have always loved clothes and, although I wouldn't consider myself trendy, I do adhere to a certain style and love putting outfits together.  While I love sharing my outfit posts, it is difficult for me to be on the other side of my camera without feeling a little ridiculous.  I know it's necessary since I want personal style to be a part of this site, but it has been hard to get passed the feeling that it might come off as narcissistic to people who don't normally read style blogs.  I just try to keep telling myself that the notion is ridiculous especially since I deal with confidence and anxiety issues on a daily basis, and the point of the pictures is to share what my favorite outfit pieces look like on a real person.

I also can't even begin to convey how thankful I am for my husband.  He is the man behind the camera lens when you see shots of my outfits or of me and Bennett. Despite his busy legal career, he has really taken the time to learn photography so he can help me grow this blog and brand. One quality I admire about Brian is how easily things come to him whether it's a musical instrument, sports or, most recently, photography.  I have to try extremely hard at everything I do, but Brian always seems to fall into everything with ease.

One thing I didn't realize when starting The Northern Magnolia is how many hats you wear when trying to grow a website.  On top of writing and photography I've been familiarizing myself with search engine optimization, blog analytics, photo editing, site design and HTML, styling shoots and navigating partnership agreements and brand collaborations.  I have familiarized myself with the Blogger platform, learned how to edit in Photoshop and Lightroom, learned how to write a business plan and design and produce a media kit.  There is also the management of social media, my blog's subscription, as well as some affiliate platforms that I have been fortunate enough to work with.  In summary, trying to build this blog has been more work than I ever would have thought, and I definitely underestimated the time it would take to build a following.  It is certainly different than finding success in my day job in which if I wanted to publish a medical article or become versed in a certain ocular condition, then I just did it.  I have learned that this new field is going to take much more patience, and that realization has been challenging and humbling for me to accept.

So once again, thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart.  You are all playing a part in making this little dream of mine come true.  I hope you guys continue to visit, and if there is anything I can do to make this fashion and lifestyle site a better experience for you, please let me know.  I hope you all have a beautiful day!

XX,
Nicole

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