The past year has been incredibly transformative for both me and the blog. What started as a little project with zero page views has catapulted into a truly amazing space where I get to share all my feelings, tips, and advice with more than 17,500 of you each month.
When I started with Molly I didn’t have a lot, nay any, direction. I knew I wanted to write, connect with a community, and share more than social platforms (IG and Facebook) allow. When choosing a blog topic I went with fashion & style because it was something that I liked to do and I imagined being able to build a blog around. It definitely wasn’t niche or intrinsic to who I am, but I decide to two feet jump in because what is the worst that could happen?
I have a habit of starting projects with a ton of gusto and then letting the fire fizzle and moving on to the next shiny project (s/o to my Aries Rising!). I had started and stopped blogging several times in the past and I was determined to make this time different. After settling on a blog name I purchased the domain withmolly.com for three years. I told myself that if I stuck it out for three years and then wanted to stop that at least I had given it a fair shake and I could move on knowing that I had given 100% of my energy toward something. For some reason having an “out” made me want to stay “in” and in truth, I couldn’t imagine stopping this project any time soon.
In the beginning…
I wrote tons in my first few months and enlisted a friend to take tons of outfit shots and overall had a pretty good time, but I didn’t feel like I was connecting. I wasn’t reaching into a new audience or finding my own way. I felt incredibly static. In the past, this would have been where I abandoned the project, but I had a deal with myself. I pushed on, posting weekly, and kept my three-year expiration date in mind.
In the Fall of 2018, I decided to branch into a new media and started my Youtube channel, something that had been a goal of mine for a long time. I knew it was going to be scary, I knew I was going to get judged mercilessly, and I just decided to go for it anyway. That was one of the best decisions that I made, not only because it pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but because it was so instrumental in evolving my blog from a style blog to where it is today. It was my mirror.
baby’s first YT video
When I started making videos I (again) didn’t have a strong direction. I just figured I would make videos similar to ones I had seen other YTers make and go from there. I started with a little intro video (above) and after a few weeks found that the videos I really wanted to make were about skincare, beauty, and makeup. I was actually forcing myself not to make too many of those in order to stay within the lines of a “style blogger” which I had dubbed myself.
Where we are now…
By Winter of 2018, I was over “staying in the lines” and decided to start blogging, chatting, etc about whatever I wanted to. I figured that if it resulted in a loss of followers, engagement, etc then so be it (at least I was being true to me and fulfilling my passion!). What’s truly remarkable to me is that this switch toward more inner and outer wellness, skincare, etc has resulted in a 0.4% uptick in my IG engagement rate (which is pretty massive). I’ve learned that the more authentic energy I put out the more people I am able to connect with.
I decided to ignore the lines completely when a new product launch from Glossier came out. I was so excited to share the new products that I had to, had to, had to post about them. Within 6 hours of their new product line launching, I released this video which quickly became the number one result on Google and Youtube. It received over 5K views in the first 24 hours and over 18.5K views in the first month. It felt like I finally had a foothold in the community I had been trying to join for a few months.
A little reflection…
One of the questions I get asked a lot is how I am able to feel confident when taking photos and putting myself out there on social media. Paradoxically as it is, social media has been amazing for my self-confidence. It’s forced me not to care about the negative comments or cruel DMs. If I listened to even one of them I would have stopped after my first month. I would have stopped when people I thought were my friends where sub-tweeting about me. I would have stopped when people I had just met scoffed at my dream of taking this full time.
I would have stopped because of someone else.
Where is the logic in that?
This blog has taught me over and over to listen to the little voice inside, to focus on me and my dreams, and to block out everyone else’s noise.
If I had stopped I never would have met some of the amazing bloggers that have become friends in the industry. I never would have worked with La Mer. I never would have found my inner voice. I never would have known how strong I can be.
most recent collaboration: La Mer !
withMolly.com currently gets 29,000 site hits and 17,500 visitors every month. This is massive growth in the first year and I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone reading this right now. It’s been an incredible year of stretching out in a new field, experiencing this side of marketing, producing content, and constantly evolving my voice. Today my blog is much more holistic and focuses on internal and external beauty and the intersection between the two. It was a long path to get here, but it was a path inward and I couldn’t be more excited to see what the next year holds.