Although I was blogging on-and-off since I was in Junior High School, I didn’t dive into it seriously until I got my Associate’s degree. I graduated with a fully coded website from my final project and a renewed love for coding and writing.
By August 2016, I viewed my website and my blog as a part of myself. I was reading other blogs every day, taking more photos, and finding new ways to express my opinions. I really considered how I could blog in a way that connected with others, which meant switching from Cutenews to WordPress for content management, using a theme that made my content easier to navigate, and being more open than I thought I would ever be on the internet. I used Photoshop to create graphics for my blog and promote my posts via social media. I started planning posts in advance and I watched my writing improve.
I was surprised to get so much positive feedback: from friends, people I’d drunkenly followed on Instagram, coworkers … seriously, even someone’s mom reached out to say she loved what I wrote. It had always been my dream to work for/be published by a magazine, so after months of actively blogging I sent my whole blog to Creative Monday and became a contributor there. You can read my advice on taking our power back as women of color at CreativeMonday.net. I also sent my URL over to Galore Magazine. A week later, I had an internship. Straight like that.
My dad asked me, “What’s your first post going to be about?” and I was like, “Uh, well …. women’s bodies. Like uh, specifically, the vagina.” and then we both cringed. Like, if I thought blogging about my experiences with racism would feel too personal, writing about my sex life is beyond that. But now I’m so comfortable with it. I aspire to be even more open and vulnerable on the internet every day.
I was writing so much more frequently at Galore that I realized how often I’d made excuses not to post on my blog. I used to say, “nobody wants to read that!” and skip over blog ideas that would’ve done great. Interning at Galore has shown me to stop procrastinating or finding excuses. Just write.
My blog kind of sputtered after Galore. I was writing about pop culture, identity, beauty, and all of these cool general topics that did well for a media publication but just didn’t fit for a personal blog. I could tell Urban Moonflower needed a rebrand. And after years of helping people develop websites, I realized it was the perfect thing to blog about. So working at Galore helped me find that illusive blog niche everyone’s always talking about.
My time at Galore may soon be over, but now I’m proudly working for other publications and pitching my writing with more confidence. It’s been a year since I started Urban Moonflower and I can’t believe how far I’ve come, as a writer, as a businesswoman, and as a person.
For any writing inquiries, brand collaboration, or speaking/hosting, you can find me at gabby [a] gabriellealexa.com!