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Alyssa Lau from the Ordinary People Blog

I told myself I’d write this post two weeks ago, but I couldn’t decide on how to begin. It’s not that my story is a particularly confusing one. It’s just that there’s so much to say (and such little attention span to work with… you know). And even now that I’m writing this, I’m still foraging in the deepest corners of my brain for things to say. But I guess we’ll figure it out as I go. A few weeks back, a couple of you cool cats asked me to write about my personal experiences and ventures as a blogger, and because I used to wonder the same questions that you may be wondering right now, I’m in part writing this for all the 17-year-old Alyssa’s out there who don’t really know what to make of the daunting world known as the ~blogosphere~.

Well, before we start, here’s a little background. Since the advent of this blog, I’ve managed to graduate with a BSc, find my way into a PR gig at Coup Boutique, chop off seven inches of my hair, and start my very own business. Definitely not the “future” I had in mind for myself as a 17-year-old, but one I’m so grateful to have. So, if you’re a tad curious as to how I ended up here, click down there.

For those of you who don’t really know my story, here’s the long story short. Three years ago on a rainy afternoon in July, my cousin, Kurtis and I found ourselves bored with nothing better to do than post our first “outfit photos” on Lookbook. After all, we kind of knew how to take photos and we both appreciated fashion. After a few weeks of posting, we eventually created this little nook in the internet where we could nerd out about our favourite video games, stress out over school, or just post about whatever was inspiring us. So that’s what we did. Every weekend or so, we’d meet up to take photos of whatever we were wearing at the time. We eventually realized after approximately 6 months of consistent posting that  more and more people were starting to become interested in what our blog had to offer (a.k.a. not much). And while Kurtis and I never posted with the intent of garnering more followers, it was still pleasant to notice that others enjoyed the content that we enjoyed creating. 

Fast forward through the next two and a half years (and 700 posts) to where I’m sitting right now in front of my computer with a very supportive manager/photographer/business partner boyfriend skyping me (despite how late it is) and all of you cool cats to keep me company on this little adventure of mine. I can’t possibly express how thankful I am that all of you have tagged along, so instead, *praising hands emoji* *thumbs up emoji* *praying emoji*. Thank goodness for emojis. 

Alyssa Lau from the Ordinary People Blog

So, with all this being said, I still haven’t really gotten down to business. Often one of the most popular questions I get as a blogger is, “how did you get such a large following?” Had I known the answer to this question, I would have shared it with all of you. But I’m honestly just as clueless as the rest of you. I mean, it still astounds me that real people even bother to read this blog. When Kurtis and I first started Ordinary People, we did it to share our ~passion for fashion~ (lol jk). Foremost, we wanted to connect with others who shared our interests, and so that’s what we tried to do. We made a point to remain faithful to our selves, our aesthetics, and our morals, all the while experimenting with our styles (and hair, as you can see). And when Kurtis gave up blogging to become a better student, I kept the Ordinary People running, somewhat because I was desperately in need of a creative outlet during my undergraduate years at university, but mostly because blogging opened a whole new world of opportunities for me. After all, New Classics Studios simply would not exist if I never worked for Coup Boutique, which in turn would’ve never come about if I hadn’t been e-mailed to model in one of Coup’s lookbooks. Weird how it all works out, isn’t it? 

Alyssa Lau from the Ordinary People Blog

I’m sure I’m forgetting to touch on 95% of the questions you folks had for me, but it’s late and the Disney youtube playlist I’m listening to is coming to an end. All I have left for you are a few little tidbits of advice that may prove useful for your own blogging adventures.

ONE / Appreciate yourself!

TWO / As a wittle blogger in a very big and crowded blogosphere, it’s paramount to connect with creators and creative minds in your community (whether in-person or online). And online communities and hubs such as Lookbook and Chictopia are great websites for bloggers to branch out and network. On that note, make an effort to attend local events. Your home will become a lot cooler when you find out how many creative minds live there.

THREE / Stay inspired. Throughout the years I’ve been blogging, Tumblr has been a phenomenal source of inspiration. Every now and then, I’ll find a photo that strikes me, or an outfit that I want to a adapt to my own aesthetic.
FOUR / Blog about things that you’re passionate about.
FIVE / Never, ever tell yourself you can’t “pull something off”. This is the poorest excuse to not try something new. If you truly believe that you can pull off  that floor-length faux fur coat, then nobody is doubting you.
SIX / Don’t fret over how many followers you have (unless you enjoy the constant anxiety and stress that comes with doing so).
SEVEN /  Ask questions. Lots of them. And if people don’t reply. Ask me.
EIGHT / Yes, it’s really weird having someone take photos of you sporting your new fave outfit. But have fun with it. If you have a friend or S.O. who can help you take photos, remind them how much you appreciate them. And if not, then invest in a tripod and wireless remote.
NINE / Be receptive to constructive criticism, but don’t take shit from people. There’s a fine line between trying to help someone and just being an ass. But, at the same time, be kind to everyone.
TEN / Try to make the most out of the opportunities you get. This isn’t saying you should accept every collaboration request you get (especially the ones that don’t resonate with your own personal aesthetic). Just keep as many doors open, and eventually you’ll be glad you did.
ELEVEN / Post persistently and consistently.
TWELVE / Use that sharpen tool in Instagram. Do it.
THIRTEEN / And while we’re talking about Instagram. Download VSCO Cam, and make sure to download the free filters they offer. Maybe you’ll find one you’ll like.
FOURTEEN / Find a blogging platform that works for you. I currently use Blogspot, but WordPress and Squarespace have great templates should you be hesitant about coding your own blog.
FIFTEEN / I own a Nikon D600 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens that Eric uses when he shoots my photos. You don’t necessarily need a full frame camera, but a lens with a large aperture (small f-stop) is definitely one you should invest in. A shallow depth of field will make a whole lotta difference in photos.
SIXTEEN / Stop paying attention to trends. This isn’t to say that you can’t appreciate trends. Just forget about them. Go treat yourself to that thing you love but is no longer flaunted by magazines. Style is eternal. Trends, not so much.
SEVENTEEN / Learn how to code. Learn about lighting and photography. Learn everything you can.
EIGHTEEN / Google knows all. If you’re going to remember anything from this post, this would probably be the most important.


Alas, you’ve finally made it to the end of this post. So here’s a *high ten*. You certainly deserve it. Should you have any other questions, feel free to comment below or ask me!

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