My boyfriend asked me the other day if it was possible to see how my blog looked when he first met me, so we can both see how much it has improved, after a little bit of searching I found the Way Back Machine website. This post is almost like the ‘looking back at my old videos’ trend on YouTube, but for bloggers, I genuinely enjoyed writing this post and reminiscing about the past, and I really encourage everybody to try it out…
A little bit of history… My cousin Maryann set me up my first free website when I was 9, turning 10; for years after that I ran through a series of websites with hideous names such as “Milkshake Swirls”, “Giggle Palace” and “
My Ma Ghetto Graphics”. I was into webdesign and taught myself to code HTML from quite a young age, I would also produce tutorials and graphics for people to use on their websites. I never told anyone in school that I had made websites – having a website is secondary school was ridiculously uncool, in fact I was so terrified about people finding out I had a website that I would occasionally even have dreams about it.
Skylish started out as another graphics website, soon into starting Skylish (I think I was in year 10), I opened a webdesign shop after receiving requests, at this time I was being featured on a lot of CSS websites and the 16 year old me was pretty chuffed. Skylish as a beauty blog was born in 2011, just before I started sixth form. Although, I like to see its beginnings as when I started uni/just before, as that’s when I really started to take it more seriously – I closed down the graphics website, closed down my webdesign shop, and started to focus purely on beauty, fashion and lifestyle…
Yes – that is supposed to be me, as you can see, we (clearly) look very similar. Back then I used to take my photos on a webcam, and when I uploaded them they were tiny. However, what I love the most about this time period is how care free I used to be with my blog posts. Now I’m all about making them as perfect as possible but back then I’d just write about anything, even if it was about how much I like Kim Kadashian’s style. I really did just start blogging out of pure passion rather than for free stuff, which made seeing little to no growth in the early stages of my blog not even an issue to me in the slightest.
Eventually I switched up my layout and made it more ‘blog like’ i.e. I tried to make it look a little more like everyone elses at the time. At this point I switched to using my BlackBerry for my photos, and I think it must have had the lowest megapixels possible. It was around this time (mid 2012) that I started to get approached by different PR firms in regards to sponsored links, this was such a phenomenon to me and I would always get my dad to screen through every e-mail I got to make sure it was legit – it was shocking to me to know that anyone in this world wanted to advertise on my little website.
I remember this period of my blog as if it was yesterday – it was the summer before I started uni, I would post outfit photos almost everyday (I’d now graduated onto using a Samsung camera), and I remember telling my friend Amandeep about how if I reached 100 followers on Bloglovin’ I’d be the happiest girl in the world. I used to chop my head off of all of my outfit photos (as I said above, I didn’t want anyone ‘offline’ to find me), but around this time I decided to start being a bit more confident with my blog and put it back on. Maybe it’s because people could identify with me more a little more – but I started to get an indication that people were actually reading what I was writing.
When I started uni, my blog really took a back seat. I’d barely post all throughout the year, and when I did it wasn’t ever of great quality. I guess I just got too wrapped up with life, and was way too disorganised to effectively balance everything. By now, I’d graduated onto a digital camera and even picked myself up a tripod. I was at a stage (now in uni), where I didn’t want to keep my blog a secret from anyone, but being vocal about it, after years of silence, felt very weird. This was the year I started going to blog events, I remember going to the Bloggers Festival, Hint Hunt with Joe Blogs, the Voucher Codes Swap Shop, the Mishanto Launch and even attending press days for the first time; it was quite a fun and exciting period and it is definitely one of the best parts about being a blogger. I was still not as ‘anal’ as I am now about having everything of the best possible quality on my blog, and got pretty comfortable with my blog.
But… then I met my boyfriend. He was really impressed with my blog but is also very into self-development (he really introduced me to the world of ‘trying to be your best self’), so we went on a journey in 2015 of trying to improve Skylish. First of all the layout changed (and was tweaked again and again until I got to what you see here today, I’ll probably end up tweaking it again soon), my tripod took a back seat and my photos moved from being in front of my bedroom door to outside; in general the whole look and feel of my blog became a lot more crisp and a little more professional. I’m at this point now where I’m really starting to like the direction of my blog, and this academic year have become absolutely obsessed with trying to make it as good as possible. Even with a full time graduate job about to pick up in just a few months, I really can’t see myself stopping blogging anytime soon. We’re into an age of growth in content creators and I’m very happy to be part of the movement!