Woah. It’s been four years since I started posting here on Life of Elana. Can you believe that? Who am I kidding? Nobody reads my blog but anyway – what an incredible journey.
I’ve been through so much whilst working on this baby of mine. From blogger to wordpress, from highs to lows. I am so proud that four years later I still make content that excites me. I put my heart and soul into this little corner of the internet. Even when I need time off to focus on my health, happiness and all the other parts of life that pile up – my determination always come through. Even though my audience is small and may always be small – I get so much joy from publishing every new post. Although many of my early posts have been viciously removed due to embarrassment and vanity reasons, I truly believe that this blog is a huge part of me and reflects me as a person completely. Flawed, complicated and unstable but genuine, honest and good.
So I thought I’d have a look back over the past four years – the good and bad. Here are a few of the things I’ve done, the lessons I’ve learnt and my personal highlights in the four years of Life of Elana.
If you get invited to an event with Pixie Lott, don’t go to lecture instead
When I got invited to a KISS lashes event in London with Pixie Lott last year I didn’t go. I know, idiot. I went to what I thought was going to be an important lecture instead. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t. Millie has never been so angry with me and every time she is reminded of it she makes sure I remember too. Lesson learnt – the next time something like that comes into my inbox I will be clearing every schedule I have.
Discovering and working with my blog wife – Nat
Being Nat’s friend is a wonderful thing that I can partly put down to blogging. I had know about her existence for much longer than I’d actually known her, she is B’s best friend. We met the week before fresher’s week of uni in Primark and since then she’s supported me through everything. We’ve had so much fun. Being managed by her as part of NA Digital Talent is not only an honour but I am so lucky to work so closely on a professional level with one of my best friends. I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my content. She is my go-to for every flat lay, for post brainstorming and to run through nearly every decision blog related. I’m so excited for our future projects together.
Nothing is more exciting than blogger mail and collaborations
Getting post from exciting brands and companies has been such a thrill for me. I never thought I’d have the chance to work on sponsored/affiliate/review content for my blog. I’ve had so many great opportunities to work with great brands during this journey including DrBotanicals (here), Technic Cosmetics (here), Monty Bojangles (here, here and here), Mad Beauty (here), Lisa Angel (here) and even a post in collaboration with CancerResearchUK (here). I can’t wait to work on even more content like this.
Good flatlays are hard – really hard
Okay so I’m a Film, Radio & Television student, I’m creative and I understand quite a lot of technology but one thing is for sure – I should have taken photography at school. Knowing my way around a camera fully would have helped so much when the lighting is off and the colours look weird and I can’t get the right angle for my flatlays. When I look at other people’s pictures – Anna, Lily, Hannah and Poppy to name a few – I get seriously upset about how pathetic my pictures look next to theirs. Which leads me onto my next point…
I am an incontrollable perfectionist
I cannot help it. Everything I do takes so much longer because I always want it to be the best it can possibly be. I clean way too often because dirt and mess makes me uneasy. I can never take only two selfies and be happy with either of them. I love organising every aspect of my life. Everything about my personality makes me such a perfectionist and I’m trying my best to see the good in that.
The gap in the industry between ‘normal’ and plus sized
In the future I want to take more and more pictures of me and my body. I’m proud of my story and my journey to body acceptance. But what’s becoming more and more clear is that there’s such a gap in the industry of bloggers who are just in the middle. I’m not classed as ‘normal’ or ‘average’ sized but I’m not defined as plus-sized either. I’d love to learn more, talk more about that and explore my body confidence even more.
Getting 1,000 views on one blog post in a day was incredible
This year I wrote a really tough post about my bad breakup. I was so worried about posting it but I knew it would help me move on and would give me new strength from being open and honest. I wasn’t expecting over 1,000 views on that one post alone in the first day, I’d never had traffic like that. It meant everything to me because I suddenly felt supported and accepted. I received so much love from friends, family and strangers and I think it helped me heal so much quicker.
So that’s just a quick look back at the last four years of blogging…
Now, what’s the future of Life of Elana? Who knows? My goals for the next year of blogging? To actually go to an event or two, to meet more people in the industry and to continue working hard. It’s near impossible to break into full-time blogging now but I have a great support network, huge dreams and my ambition/perfectionism to fuel me so for now I’m going to work as hard as I always have. I really love working on my content, working to promote brands I care about and making this blog the success it should be. It is a huge asset to me and I love sharing everything I write, no matter the subject. Above all, it’s fun. I’m sure I’ll always be here.
If you’ve ever read one of my posts – you don’t know how thankful I am. If this is your first, your fifth, your fiftieth – thank you again. If you read every single one, share my content and are there to support me, you’re amazing. Here’s to the next adventures!