It's been almost 6 months since I started The Urbanite Insight last October. I wanted to share with all of you what it has given back to me in return for the time I put into it. I am a busy girl with a lot of things on my plate and am often asked how I find time to add blogging to the list. As most of my friends and family know by now, I actually love to be busy. Sometimes when I take a step back and realize how busy I actually am, it stresses me out. For example, I can't believe I only have 3 free weekends from now until the end of June! AHHH. But, being busy has always been something that was a part of my life, and has given me a lot of structure, routine and direction. It keeps me excited for all the fun things I have going on!
From middle school on, I was a student-athlete. I began working every summer when I was 15, and part-time year round when I was 17 on top of sports and school. Fast forward to college when I joined a sorority on top of my new class load, a part time job, and being on UCSB's women's club volleyball team. In between these, I tried to find time for things like vacations, half marathons, etc. For me, being busy keeps me focused and excited. I am VERY goal oriented and am motivated by personal goals that I set for myself. I actually enjoy taking on lots of projects, and being organized is almost some sort of a weird challenge that is fun for me. For those of you not like this, I've probably already stressed you out enough to stop reading, so I apologize!
What I've learned from basically putting way too much on my plate for my entire life is ultimately strong time management skills. If I set a goal for myself, I'll find a way to get everything done, no matter what it takes.
WHY DID I START BLOGGING?
Back to me taking on millions of side projects, I got my masters degree in International Marketing Management through Boston University's online program while I was working full time in the city.
After I finished my degree in May of 2015, I realized I have been stretching myself thin over the past two years and just wanted a BREAK! I didn't take on any extra projects for awhile, but not too long after I was bored of my free time and ready for another adventure. I naturally just feel more balanced in my work life to have something that I'm passionate about on the side. Whether it's volunteering, planing an event, or learning something new, it gives me a balance at work to have something else to accomplish outside of the office.
During my masters program, I learned a lot about marketing, and my favorite classes focused around blogs, social media marketing, SEO, SEM and analytics. I realized these were skills I didn't want to just forget and want to actively continue to improve, which landed me on the idea of creating a blog of my own. The idea of what type of blog -- ultimately ending at a San Francisco lifestyle, food and travel blog -- was mainly due to the fact that I love to try new things and am often giving recommendations to my friends about where to go in the city or where to travel! I figured I might as well document these recommendations and ideas and share it to a wider audience as a theme for my blog project.
When I started the blog in October 2015, I wanted to make sure I was fully committed to it before really telling anyone about it. Without a sort of trial period, how would I even know if it was something I liked or would actually stick with? Over my trial period, I was committed to consistent post cadences and the time to do it, and really started to love writing it. It's a huge time commitment, especially now that I have a new job and am planning my wedding, but thanks to my time management skills, I schedule in blocks of time on my calendar to write posts and work on the blog. I often take lots of photos when I'm out and about and find a way to incorporate them into future posts. I even took a photography class recently to improve my skills, which I really enjoyed! I'll often even write my ideas down and draft posts in Evernote while I'm in an Uber or on the bus.
WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN OUT OF BLOGGING?
I like writing. It's made me a better writer and it's made me a better thinker.
It gives me a creative outlet.
My education continues indefinitely. I love learning and constantly improving myself. My blog has given me the opportunity to learn more about Google Analytics, MailChimp (shameless shoutout to join my mailing list!) marketing, photography, SEO, monetization, and advertising.
I've had the opportunity to work with various brands and create meaningful business partnerships.
I've had the opportunity to meet new people -- including other bloggers who have a lot of meaningful things to share with the world.
It serves as a personal journal. This will be fun to look back on when I'm old.
It forces me to continue to try as many new things as possible (i.e.: restaurants, places, experiences, travels, etc.) since I have to keep creating new and exciting content.
I get freebies and invites to cool events in the city!
It makes me more well rounded. I'm positive that the skills I'm learning will help me throughout my career.
It helps me create consistency in a routine.
These are some of the reasons why I am really enjoying blogging for now. Will I always want to do it? Who knows. Will I always have time? Probably not. Even between a new job and planning my wedding, I've had to slow down on the cadence of posts because I've been so swamped. But I'm okay with that and am just really enjoying using it as a creative outlet for now!
I'm very grateful for everyone who follows along, especially my subscribers who read all my posts! I assume it was initially just family and my close friends who followed along, but it's fun to see the analytics and demographics growing outside of my primary network. It's very motivating to know that people aside from my parents, grandparents, and Joe are actually interested in the content. I'm always striving to continue creating content that interests my followers, so please share in the comments section below if you have any recommendations or requests! I know a few of you requested specific travel guides for European cities, and don't worry, they are already on my short list. :)