I have been blogging for five years now and I LOVE it. Blogging easily combines most all of the things that I like to to do: concept development and storytelling, graphic design and photography, connecting with like-minded souls, curating and shopping, making stuff, putting unexpected things together and sharing. I enjoy the fast pace and the challenge of thinking of something new to write about each day. Blogging has helped me to become a better writer and a better photographer–it’s helped me to become lightening quick on many computer programs and has also helped me to slow down and enjoy the journey. I’ve also met a lot of new friends who I know will be a part of my life for years to come.
Since I was very young, I’ve been the type of person to create scrap books full of pictures, drawings, ticket stubs and pressed flowers–I even made my own personal “yearbooks” that covered all four years of high school. For my college thesis at UCLA I created a digital and print magazine called “Infinity Magazine” (I kinda cringe looking back on it now but it demonstrates my early interest in the medium) and before starting my blog I had worked as a writer and editor for many print magazines and I also authored four craft books.
I never set out to become a ‘blogger’ as a career (especially because I didn’t even know what a blog was until I was 28) but in the last eighteen months or so my audience has grown enough that I have started to make money as a blogger and an influencer. My other job titles (art-director, designer, stylist) have taken a back-seat to this new career-path of mine. This also has to do with being a new mom. As I sit and type this Ida is nursing (well, she’s fallen asleep on the breast and is actually using me as a pacifier but ANYways…) and being able to stay home with her and work from anywhere is huge.
So, it has only been in the last few months that I’ve been owning the whole blogger thing as a job-title. When people ask me what I do for a living, I used to respond designer. But now-a-days, blogger is actually a more honest answer. As young as the term is, blogger already feels very loaded with all kinds of connotations, some of which I feel reluctant to own–and don’t get me started on the term influencer. I think it sounds somehow obnoxious and creepy at the same time, and I don’t like to think of myself as either of those things.
I often marvel myself that I’ve figured out a way to make a living doing all of the VERY idiosyncratic things that I love to do. I don’t take it for granted and I don’t discount the people and frankly, the luck, that got me to this place. I do my best to use my ‘influence’ for good–to help to promote ideas, things and people that I feel are good (not that I’m a Mother Teresa or anything, but I try)–and to portray an honest version of myself online–so that if you were to meet me in person, there would be no disconnect between the Justina that you know from the blog and the Justina that you meet IRL–that is VERY important to me.
That having been said, I often feel like my career as a blogger is tenuous– so much of how I make money is based on numbers: followers, unique visitors, pageviews and ‘friends’ (between BIG quotes) and this is the part of the job that I don’t love: the popularity contests, the worrying about alienating viewers and/or brands, trying to balance ‘original content’ with ‘sponsored content’ staying true to my ‘brand,’ checking stats and comparing my successes with those of my peers. This beautiful world can get kinda ugly sometimes–but I guess that just comes with the territory.
So, just as I try and be honest with you, I would love it if you all would be honest with me…I want this blog to be a place that inspires and encourages you as much as possible. I would like to know what you like to find when you click over into this space. I would like to know what makes you come back here if you come back often, or what you’d like to see more of or less of, what brought you here in the first place, what drives you away. Do you like to read posts or do you mainly look at pictures? Do giveaways turn you on or off? Do you like the recipes and DIY’s or would you prefer more interiors and less of everything else? Have I gone overboard with my #Idagrams?
If this is going to be my job job, than I want to be the best at it that I can be–so I would truly love to hear from you. Thank you for being the reason I can do what I love everyday. No seriously. Thank you.
The above compilation of #justinaincopenhagen instagrams were most ‘liked’ photos from the 150+ pictures I shared on IG in my six week stay here. It’s always interesting to me to see which images resonate most.
I go back home tomorrow–so I’ll see you all back in Cali on Friday. Off to finish packing…