One of my favorite things about blogging is the amazing sense of community among fellow bloggers. I love reading blogs and getting to know other writers who share the same passions I do, which is why I'm SO excited to bring you another installment in our Behind The Blog series. I've known Jessi for a few years now (she just celebrated her three-month wedding anniversary!) and you might remember her from The Musings of a Wannabe Star. Well, she's back in a big way with Becoming Mrs. LaRue, where she's blogging about all things music and newlywed life. Let's go behind the scenes and catch up with Jessi, shall we...?
Name: Jessi LaRue
Blog: Becoming Mrs. LaRue
When did you start your blog: March 2015
3 words to describe your blog: Life, Love, Music
I actually first started blogging way back in 2009 after my newspaper adviser/mentor Melissa Blake (yes, this Melissa!) encouraged me to blog. She said it'd be a good way to build a name within the blogging community and keep my writing fresh. She couldn't have been more right.
As for the name, I recently got married and with marriage came some changes: obviously a new last name, but also a new chapter of my life. I think "Becoming Mrs. LaRue" encapsulates it all. I'm becoming a wife, a partner, an adult and more. I think I'll always be transforming and discovering myself as a person, so I think the blog title will still suit my story, even long after the newlywed glow has faded.
You're in an interesting position in that you blogged for a few years, took a break and then started a new blog. What made you decide to start over completely instead of pick up where your old blog left off?
I took a few years off from blogging when I was in college and holding down multiple jobs. I left that blog because I didn't think it was right to only give part of myself to that project. I knew my quality would go down if I tried to juggle too much, and I didn't want to do that. Instead, I took a break. Once I was done with college and settled into life with a full-time job, I took blogging back on as my hobby, and I'm so glad I did it that way. I know what I want out of my blog now, and I do it with extreme care and pride.
I moved to a new blog because I felt that I had changed a lot in a few years. At my old blog, I wrote about dating, failed relationships, teenage drama and more. The blog title "The Musings of a Wannabe Star" reflected my wishes to be famous or well-known. Since then, my priorities have changed, and I wanted my blog to reflect that.
Were you nervous about "starting over" again? Was it what you expected?
My first blog post on my current blog was actually about how nervous I was to come back to blogging. I thought I wouldn't enjoy it as much, or that no one would read my blog. I was wrong. In all seriousness, it's like riding a bike! Sure, my blog doesn't have nearly as many readers as my last blog, but I have had some old readers stumble across my new blog, which has made me happier than having 10,000 followers. Their support means so much to me.
Everything! I think the biggest thing is quality over quantity. I'd rather wait a few days in between posts rather than tossing up meaningless content just to say "I blog on a schedule." I've also learned how important it is to have an online presence; I get a lot of traffic from my Twitter and Facebook posts, so that helps a lot.
What do you love the most about blogging? Does anything about it stress you out?
I'm a writer. I love that blogging gives me the ability to get my story out to people. I also love the community aspect of blogging; meeting other bloggers online, talking with them in the comments or on Twitter...blogging is all about honing your art and meeting other people who love it just like you do. There's nothing else like it. If I'm stressed about blogging, it's because I can't come up with something to blog about. I probably ask myself "what should I blog about?" ten times a week!
What advice do you have for new bloggers?
Don't be afraid to try new things. Get creative! I just started dabbling in photography, and although my photos may make me cringe years down the line, right now it's good practice and another fun outlet on my blog. If you're interested in something, try it out. If it doesn't work out, scrap it and try something new! That's what blogging is all about. You have the ability to get creative and do things your way.
What has surprised you the most about blogging?
I think the blogging community has surprised me the most. Bloggers are a great group of people; they're incredibly creative, supportive and helpful. Find a few with similar interests and you'll have people to share ideas, stories and insights with. It's so cool!