A New Year, A New Shot of Brandi

Sunday, January 28, 2018

New look, who dis? Lol.

This month Shot of Brandi turned 10. Seriously -T-E-N! TEN!  

Well, I “started” the blog in 2006, but waited until January 15, 2008 to publish my first post.

While I may not blog as much as previous years, I think about this space a lot. So heading into year 10, I wanted to level-set a bit.

This post is more for me, than you. But I thought I would give you a glimpse into my thoughts.

When I talk about this blog with my husband, he often says “Why do you do it.”

Here’s the short answer: This space is my creative outlet.

For the long answer, let me take you on a little journey of the past 10 years.

It’s 2006, 2007 and 2008...
  • Why did I create this blog?
    • Here is how 2008 Brandi would answer that question: www.shotofbrandi.com/2008/01/your-daily-shot.ht
    • I love to read, I love to DIY, I love to shop and I like to drink/socialize/entertain. 
    • In 2008 I was working at a global public relations firm on an alcohol-related account. For the first two hours of my day, I was paid to read stories on spirits and entertaining. I saved pages upon pages of those ideas (I’ve got binders and notebooks full of ideas - see above). The tips and tricks got me excited. I dreamt about parties I’d someday host. Food I’d one day cook. Outfits I’d have a special place to wear. I needed a space to share these ideas. Shot of Brandi was that space. 

Over the Years…
  • Blogging in general started to take off. It became a profession for some. I began to work with popular bloggers as spokespeople for my clients. I’d send bloggers products to review. I’d evaluate blogger content to find people/sites that would resonate with our brands. I was paid to do a lot of stalking. 
  • I began to follow a lot of blogs. I added them to my Google reader. I read about 500 blogs daily. I loved it. I still do! Some blogs have closed, but there are a few I’ve followed for years!
  • I started managing blogs for clients! Ghosting writing content for national lifestyle experts. I then moved on to being the voice behind some popular national and local brands. Having this blog helped me plan, organize, write and post content for clients. 
  • Warning: This next part is personal. Personal to me. What I want to do - by no means is this to pass judgement on what you do. 
    • Over the years I thought about Shot of Brandi and what I wanted this space to become and a lot of my thoughts remained consistent. This blog is not my “business.” I didn’t create Shot of Brandi with the intent to “make it big.” I don’t want to write a book, I don’t want to take pictures of myself wearing clothes. I don’t want to be a spokesperson. (No one seriously probably wants to see any of that stuff either).  I don’t want to write about certain brands and/or products that I don’t believe in just because they are willing to send me free things. I’ve never published a sponsored post here. This site is ad free (but I have been dabbling in affiliate links to learn how they work. I’ve “made” under $10 doing this and can’t even cash that amount out. Which leads me to...). I’ve never made a cent off of this blog. 
    • If any or all of the above is your goal - YOU DO YOU. And I hope you make it because I know first hand how hard it is to make your posts look pretty and professional. Speaking of... 
  • As blogging became a profession, people got super fancy with their photos and content. With a full-time job and a full social calendar, I’ve never had time to create content for an elaborate photo shoot. Most of the projects here were real things that I was doing, creating or cooking for my real life. I wasn’t “doin’ it for the blog.” 
  • Let me just give a shout out to those bloggers that DO make content customized for their blogs. I appreciate your craft. I know how much time that shoot takes to plan, create and photograph. I’m thankful for your hard work and dedication and you inspire me everyday.  I’ve featured some of those images here to bring my words to life - giving full credit where credit is due. Again - Thank You. 

Where I Am Now…
  • I’m the mother of a toddler, a wife and a full-time public relations/social media professional. While this little space is my “hobby,” real life always comes first! 
  • It’s also a personal decision of mine not to become a “mom blogger” or share a lot kid-related updates. While I may share a few things here and there, I’ll let my sassy, smart two-year-old determine her own online path and what she wants to share with the world.
    • Again - thank you to the moms that DO share amazing tips, advice and the oh-so-stylish pics of your kids - THANK YOU. Some of your stories are extremely helpful. I love it when I discover a new blogger that is totally on my level. 
  • As a mom, I feel like I’m the same person as I was per-baby, but online a little part of me has changed. I realized I AM SOMEONE’S MOM. Her classmates’ moms can read this space. And someday, her friends may read this. While we have some years to go, I don’t want what I do or write here to embarrass my child. Middle school is tough enough without an embarrassing mom!  
  • Back to this blog. With the help of a template purchased via Etsy, I’m working on a site makeover. It’s still in progress, so if things look or click a little funky - I’m on it. I really enjoyed this process - learning a bit of code. I’m also debating some logo/branding. Afterall, it is what I do on a daily basis for clients - why not help myself! 
  • I also started “cleaning up” some past content (i.e. broken links, unavailable photos, etc), but I don’t believe in deleting all of my old, outdated, amateur content. I was reading some of the posts and loved using this blog as a way to remember where I was in my life during that post! 

The “New” Shot of Brandi
  • This space always has been and always will be my creative outlet. My hobby. Web traffic, followers, fans...the numbers mean nothing to me (other than providing entertainment and laughs - especially when people are searching for things and end up on my random content. I’ll save that for another post). 
  • I reorganized my content into three “buckets” - Lifestyle Tips, Shopping Trips and Drinks to Sip. Look for more posts related to these topics. 
  • You may not hear from me a lot, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care. It means I’m living life - and I suggest you put down your device in life IRL too! 

Finally, thank you for those of you that do read my blog. I love hearing that you tried a recipe, found a tip useful or purchased something per my suggestion. It means a lot!
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