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2 Year Anniversary + Blog Q&A

Hey y’all! This is an exciting week and time kind of flew by to the point that I almost forgot that this week was the 2 year anniversary of this blog! I honestly cannot believe it because it feels just like yesterday that I started Southern Style and began this crazy rollercoaster of blog life. And yes before you ask, I have turned my guest bedroom into somewhat of my office because that room is where I can go to strictly just get Southern Style stuff done. There is still so much more growing that I want to do with this and honestly, this is just the beginning of it all! I know y’all are probably so tired of me mentioning and talking about the YouTube channel but that is the other part of this blog that I have added on and been working really hard on!

HOW DID YOU START YOUR BLOG?

I started reading and following along with blogs when I was a freshman in college and loved the idea of writing about experiences and sharing style tips and trends to people. I have always loved the idea of having my own website and have honestly been in front (and behind) a camera, whether it be a video camera or just a regular camera, my whole life. No, no joke I always made myself be in front of the video camera when it was rolling. I always knew I would be able to reach people and be dedicated because I don’t back down easily and this rollercoaster of ride with the blog has been crazy.

After a few months of just doing the blog, thats when I started a separate Instagram for it (@daniellecleigh) and then a Southern Style Facebook page. From there, if you have been following along, I started my own YouTube channel and that has been the most fun new thing for me to do and I just don’t want to stop with that at all!

WHERE DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BLOG NAME?

How the name Southern Style came to be is really random actually. I have lived in the South my whole life and am so grateful for it because there is so much to do and I love how people in the South live life. As to how I added the Style part, I am very much a fan of style whether it is fashion or lifestyle or food or travel. Style fits into every one of these things whether you know it or not and to me having each of these things in life is the perfect way of life for me. That Southern Style has truly changed my life for the better and I don’t know what I would do without it.

DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB OR DO YOU BLOG FULL-TIME?

I do have another full-time job but the end goal is to blog/vlog full-time because I love doing all of this so much that it truly has me hooked. I am the type of person though that has always worked so every since I started Southern Style, I have had to balance work, school, and the blog, and sadly somethings have to give at some point but I always try to use as much of my free time as possible focusing on the blog/vlog.

Fun Fact: I am in college right now at North Carolina State University studying to get my Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. GO PACK 🐺❤️!

ARE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR BLOG?

ABSOLUTELY! My family and friends are super supportive of me and Southern Style, until I of course I ask a favor to help me out (**cough, cough Hailey). They have actually learned more about me because I share stuff on here that I don’t normally share or say out loud.

DO YOU HAVE A BLOG AND SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING SCHEDULE? HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR CONTENT?

I don’t have a specific posting schedule I follow because often times it is hard for me to stay on that schedule. For me I make it more of a goal each week as to how many posts I want to put on the blog and what I want them to be. Some content is easier to put together than others and often times I want to make sure that the important projects that I have planned, I take my time on so that they come out the way that I want them.

Planning content for me comes from inspiration. I have a notebook at all times with me that has all of my ideas in it and that is where I plan out all of my content. I also use it as a way to keep track of things so I don’t repeat myself because that is the last thing I want to do. I love to look at other bloggers and get inspiration from them and see what they are doing and then go and put my own spin on it. Planning vlogs comes from things that I want to share with all of you– things I love, travel I have going on, fun times and even the bad times. But I always want to make things fun and put my spin on it so that it isn’t like every other blogger and vlogger out there.

HOW IMPORTANT IS INSTAGRAM TO YOUR BLOG?

Instagram in my eyes is extremely crucial. This is by far my favorite social media platform and one that is used by almost every blogger/vlogger out there. My mistake was that I didn’t set up my blog instagram from the very beginning and believe me I am still trying to get it all together. What is different from me and other bloggers is that other bloggers only have one instagram for everything. I made a completely different instagram for my blog (@daniellecleigh) that is separate from my personal instagram (@dlclardy). Instagram is a really great way to show people what you are working on, what you are loving right now, collaborations or partnerships with other bloggers or companies, and when you have a new post up on the blog.

HOW MANY OUTFITS DO YOU TYPICALLY TAKE FOR ONE SHOOT AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SHOOT THEM?

In one shoot day, I will typically take about 5-9 outfits and depending on where I want to take them or what I want the look like, it could take up to 2 hours just to get it all done. I definitely have to give the people who help me major props because it is for sure a lot of craziness and I am very particular. When I have a vision in my head and it doesn’t come to life like I want it to, I go just slightly crazy. But don’t be mistaken when you see the pictures that the whole process is glamorous. I can guarantee you that I change outfits in the car and get sweaty and messy in two seconds.

WHAT CAMERA/LENS DO YOU USE?

Typically if I am just strictly taking pictures for the blog I will use my Canon EOS 80D with a 18-135mm lens. This bad boy has so many great settings on it and I get so many amazing shots from it and I love to take it on family vacations to photograph moments like that. Now if I am vlogging I have a different camera for that and that is the Canon G7X Mark II and I LOVE this camera! The thing that I love most about it is that it has a screen that can flip up so I can have the camera faced at me and still be able to see myself. So when y’all watch my vlogs, that is exactly what I am using to video everything and it is super handy because it is small and can fit in anything.

HOW DO YOU EDIT YOUR PHOTOS?

For me, I don’t like to go crazy and make my pictures look fake. I love a good natural picture that has had nothing done to it because I think that a person looks the most beautiful when they are natural and themselves. When I do edit photos it is usually to bring out the bright lights or add more light to the picture and typically I will use is Adobe Lightroom and VSCO or for more specific details I will use FaceTune.

WHAT DO YOU FIND THE MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT BLOGGING?

The thing that I find most challenging about blogging is physically putting together content because you literally have to have every piece of it ready to go and ready to be put out there. It isn’t just putting words and pictures in a post and calling it a day. You have to have the outfit put together, photograph the outfit, have a purpose for the post, type the content up, edit the photos, link every part of the outfit, and then actually publish it. Don’t even get me started on what I have to do after the post is published so it is out there and gets traction.

The other challenge that I have sometimes is actually coming up with content. I go through periods of time where I am not inspired and content just doesn’t get out there because my heart is not in it. I feel bad when this happens because I feel like I am not living up to expectations and not putting stuff out there for y’all.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BEGINNER BLOGGERS?

My advice for beginner bloggers is that if you are going to do it and want to do it, GO FOR IT! I have zero regrets starting my blog and have loved every minute of it. It has opened my eyes to so many things, I have met so many cool people, gotten to do a lot of really cool things, and it has been a challenge the whole time. I learn every single day and doing this feeds my hunger for creativity and to continue to get out there and find new and fun things to share with y’all.

The only thing I will say is that if you want to start your own blog, find your niche and run with it. Finding that niche is the most important because it is what is going to keep bring people back and reading your content. I found that lifestyle encompassed a lot of the things that I loved and of course I had to fashion because I have always been a sucker for some good fashion.

Whew! Sorry if that was so long but I wanted to make sure that I answered some of the major questions I get all of the time. I also wanted to type this long post because I wanted to give some insight with the hope that if you want to start your own blog, GO DO IT! I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you for coming back here and reading and watching all of the stuff that I put out there because it means a ton to me. I love doing this and want to continue doing it for a lot longer.

As always thank y’all for stopping by and reading and I will see y’all back here next time.

Love, Dani

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