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Alyssa Lau from the Ordinary People Blog
I told myself I'd write this post two weeks ago, but I couldn't decide on how to begin. It's not that my story is a particularly confusing one. It's just that there's so much to say (and such little attention span to work with... you know). And even now that I'm writing this, I'm still foraging in the deepest corners of my brain for things to say. But I guess we'll figure it out as I go. A few weeks back, a couple of you cool cats asked me to write about my personal experiences and ventures as a blogger, and because I used to wonder the same questions that you may be wondering right now, I'm in part writing this for all the 17-year-old Alyssa's out there who don't really know what to make of the daunting world known as the ~blogosphere~.

Well, before we start, here's a little background. Since the advent of this blog, I've managed to graduate with a BSc, find my way into a PR gig at Coup Boutique, chop off seven inches of my hair, and start my very own business. Definitely not the "future" I had in mind for myself as a 17-year-old, but one I'm so grateful to have. So, if you're a tad curious as to how I ended up here, click down there. 

For those of you who don't really know my story, here's the long story short. Three years ago on a rainy afternoon in July, my cousin, Kurtis and I found ourselves bored with nothing better to do than post our first "outfit photos" on Lookbook. After all, we kind of knew how to take photos and we both appreciated fashion. After a few weeks of posting, we eventually created this little nook in the internet where we could nerd out about our favourite video games, stress out over school, or just post about whatever was inspiring us. So that's what we did. Every weekend or so, we'd meet up to take photos of whatever we were wearing at the time. We eventually realized after approximately 6 months of consistent posting that  more and more people were starting to become interested in what our blog had to offer (a.k.a. not much). And while Kurtis and I never posted with the intent of garnering more followers, it was still pleasant to notice that others enjoyed the content that we enjoyed creating. 

Fast forward through the next two and a half years (and 700 posts) to where I'm sitting right now in front of my computer with a very supportive manager/photographer/business partner boyfriend skyping me (despite how late it is) and all of you cool cats to keep me company on this little adventure of mine. I can't possibly express how thankful I am that all of you have tagged along, so instead, *praising hands emoji* *thumbs up emoji* *praying emoji*. Thank goodness for emojis. 

Alyssa Lau from the Ordinary People Blog

So, with all this being said, I still haven't really gotten down to business. Often one of the most popular questions I get as a blogger is, "how did you get such a large following?" Had I known the answer to this question, I would have shared it with all of you. But I'm honestly just as clueless as the rest of you. I mean, it still astounds me that real people even bother to read this blog. When Kurtis and I first started Ordinary People, we did it to share our ~passion for fashion~ (lol jk). Foremost, we wanted to connect with others who shared our interests, and so that's what we tried to do. We made a point to remain faithful to our selves, our aesthetics, and our morals, all the while experimenting with our styles (and hair, as you can see). And when Kurtis gave up blogging to become a better student, I kept the Ordinary People running, somewhat because I was desperately in need of a creative outlet during my undergraduate years at university, but mostly because blogging opened a whole new world of opportunities for me. After all, New Classics Studios simply would not exist if I never worked for Coup Boutique, which in turn would've never come about if I hadn't been e-mailed to model in one of Coup's lookbooks. Weird how it all works out, isn't it? 

Alyssa Lau from the Ordinary People Blog


I'm sure I'm forgetting to touch on 95% of the questions you folks had for me, but it's late and the Disney youtube playlist I'm listening to is coming to an end. All I have left for you are a few little tidbits of advice that may prove useful for your own blogging adventures.

ONE / Appreciate yourself!

TWO / As a wittle blogger in a very big and crowded blogosphere, it's paramount to connect with creators and creative minds in your community (whether in-person or online). And online communities and hubs such as Lookbook and Chictopia are great websites for bloggers to branch out and network. On that note, make an effort to attend local events. Your home will become a lot cooler when you find out how many creative minds live there.

THREE / Stay inspired. Throughout the years I've been blogging, Tumblr has been a phenomenal source of inspiration. Every now and then, I'll find a photo that strikes me, or an outfit that I want to a adapt to my own aesthetic.

FOUR / Blog about things that you're passionate about.

FIVE / Never, ever tell yourself you can't "pull something off". This is the poorest excuse to not try something new. If you truly believe that you can pull off  that floor-length faux fur coat, then nobody is doubting you.

SIX / Don't fret over how many followers you have (unless you enjoy the constant anxiety and stress that comes with doing so).

SEVEN /  Ask questions. Lots of them. And if people don't reply. Ask me.

EIGHT / Yes, it's really weird having someone take photos of you sporting your new fave outfit. But have fun with it. If you have a friend or S.O. who can help you take photos, remind them how much you appreciate them. And if not, then invest in a tripod and wireless remote.

NINE / Be receptive to constructive criticism, but don't take shit from people. There's a fine line between trying to help someone and just being an ass. But, at the same time, be kind to everyone.

TEN / Try to make the most out of the opportunities you get. This isn't saying you should accept every collaboration request you get (especially the ones that don't resonate with your own personal aesthetic). Just keep as many doors open, and eventually you'll be glad you did.

ELEVEN / Post persistently and consistently. 

TWELVE / Use that sharpen tool in Instagram. Do it.

THIRTEEN / And while we're talking about Instagram. Download VSCO Cam, and make sure to download the free filters they offer. Maybe you'll find one you'll like.

FOURTEEN / Find a blogging platform that works for you. I currently use Blogspot, but Wordpress and Squarespace have great templates should you be hesitant about coding your own blog.

FIFTEEN / I own a Nikon D600 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens that Eric uses when he shoots my photos. You don't necessarily need a full frame camera, but a lens with a large aperture (small f-stop) is definitely one you should invest in. A shallow depth of field will make a whole lotta difference in photos.

SIXTEEN / Stop paying attention to trends. This isn't to say that you can't appreciate trends. Just forget about them. Go treat yourself to that thing you love but is no longer flaunted by magazines. Style is eternal. Trends, not so much.

SEVENTEEN / Learn how to code. Learn about lighting and photography. Learn everything you can.

EIGHTEEN / Google knows all. If you're going to remember anything from this post, this would probably be the most important. 

Alas, you've finally made it to the end of this post. So here's a *high ten*. You certainly deserve it. Should you have any other questions, feel free to comment below or ask me

24 comments

  1. nice thoughts. no. 9 is my fave one <3

    visit mine,
    Miss Aa

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  2. tbh i like your long hair more!
    also love that so many photos are of hong kong :)
    come soon? i'd love to meet you!

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  3. this is the best post EVER.Soooooo emotional. And I love the idea of the moodboards!!!!!!
    I loved your long hair too...but you're great in any case

    http://7-sevendays.blogspot.it/

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  4. Thank you for the inspiration to move on with my blog <3

    http://kotannakot.blogspot.ru/

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  5. Wow love all the collages, thanks so much for the inspiration :)

    XO CHAMA FASHION
    www.chamafashion.com

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  6. Last time I commented was when you announced New Classics arriving and this post sure felt like a farewell in the beginning so I was bummed out! Good thing I read to the end though :) I'd been following your blog since you and Kurtis were a duo and seeing how you've made friends w my other bloggger faves (Dani & Bianca) really made me happy! This blogosphere has really changed my perspective on fashion because a)it's not just about clothes b)I can interact with everyone on a one to one level and c)everyone's style evolves and I've learned to not take fashion seriously! I was proably 15/16 when I discovered this blog and I'm so glad I've kept up following it. Funny thing is there's so many people online trying to make a connection from blogger to reader but there's always an uncertainty to how much you've actually conveyed. However, your posts are always encouraging, funny, beautiful and shows a gleam of what its like to actually know you irl. Congrats on your success and i'm really hoping you come back to Toronto to do a meet & greet! or a pop-up shop! Honestly, I wouldn't know how satisfying it'd be to meet you irl but at least I'd get to say I did after following you for 3+ years.

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  7. i really appreciated reading this, alyssa. as a first year undergrad student, I can definitely relate with the need to constantly express my creativity, and i'm so thankful for my blog and the numerous bloggers like you who encourage me to do so :) you are honestly the best, thanks so much for your nonstop inspiration!

    VISIT / 13 FRIDAYS

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  8. I had been checking out pages like lookbook and chictopia for a while but your blog was the first fashion blog I started following. Since then you continue to provide inspiration and I think you substencially influenced my own style. Always clean, classy but never boring - Im excited every time I see your updates popping up in my feed. Wishing you all the best for your future career!

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  9. amazing composition, love this post

    ROSALINDIS// http://rosalindis.blogspot.com.es/

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  10. *High ten* to you for this post. I really enjoyed it, especially the advices you give. It gave me a kick. Thanks and keep up the good work!

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  11. This is a great post <3 I can say that I'm sooo happy I stumbled across your blog (I'm not quite sure how...) and I LOVE reading your posts ♥ I'd love to meet you someday!

    http://mrmichell.tumblr.com

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  12. love, love this post -- thanks for sharing, and definitely bookmarking this as one of my pieces of inspiration!

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  13. AHHH loved this read! All great points and your young, fresh and inspiring! Xoxo.

    www.stylespeaksinsparkles.com

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  14. I like the new face of the blog. More than one post for page is better! haha
    Nice post. Love your collage :)

    xoxo from Bolivia

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  15. thank you thank you thank you so much for this post! i cannot express how much i loved reading this. (and i also loved the aesthetic so it was nice to look at as well). the tips are actually helpful too.

    www.ess-eye.blogspot.com

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  16. I love this! So creative! You're seriously the coolest. LOVE the collage!
    I have been wanting to share some blogging tips as well, you definitely inspired me to work on it more!

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  17. Your advice was so helpful and these collages are insanely cool :)

    http://www.theartofvintagerevival.com

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  18. hell, I don't know if my comment reached you or had just disappeared in the dust. anyway, here I write again: I'm loving this blog and please, keep it up. The internet is full of blogs, but, you know what? You are the best. <3

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  19. This is like a travel diary in Canada, right ?

    See more Wedding Dresses Online Canada

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  20. Thanks so much for sharing! Love this post. You are seriously such a creative genius. Keep going on girl!!!


    xo
    Jacquelyn Son

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  21. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love your blog and your style. You are a true inspiration!

    Best,

    Chloé
    www.faconbrouillon.com / IG: @chloeglmtt

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  22. Thanks for sharing!
    I really enjoyed reading your post and watching you growing over time :)

    personallybasic.blogspot.com

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