Hey guys, since I am still in the lull of waiting for my pro pics (they shipped yesterday though! YES!) I figured this was good time to join in on the “Bee’s Life” series. In my time with the hive I’ve read many a Bee’s Life posts, and here’s my version:
How did I find WeddingBee?
I found WeddingBee back in 2007. Back then I was a member of the CalorieKing community. I blogged regularly there about life, food, weight loss, nutrition, exercise, etc. During my time there a couple of my blogging friends got engaged. They both hoped to join the Weddingbee blogging ranks. I had never heard of Weddingbee, so I decided to check it out. And… I fell in love. Sadly, neither friend ever ended up getting accepted at the ‘bee. But, I continued to visit. (and visit, and visit…) After I was first accepted as a blogger, one of the first people I told was an old CalorieKing friend.
My Application Story
I always knew that I wanted to apply to become a blogger. I dreamed of being Miss/Mrs. Dolphin. I was crushed when the moniker was snatched up. (Never mind that she was selected as a blogger back in 2010. *cough*threeyearsbeforeigotengaged*cough*)
Once engaged, Mr. BC and I purposefully planned a two year engagement, so it was way too soon to think about applying for WB then. I started my wedding blog at that time anyway. I began blogging about our life, relationship, being long distance, engagement, etc. I had a lot of lull’s in the beginning because I hadn’t really started wedding planning yet. As time passed we started figuring out the wedding details and my blogging became more regular.
I was super excited to apply, and I think I sent in my application 1 week prior to the 8 month mark. I spent a lot of time on my application. It was very long and detailed. I really focused on why, and how my wedding was unique, and what qualities I could bring to the WB community. I really tried to let my blogging voice shine through. (And, there may have been some “pick me!” involved.) I think about two-ish weeks after I applied I noticed a significant jump on my daily blog page views. So, I knew something was happening. I can’t remember the exact time frame, but I believe that I heard back from Mrs. Mouse about three weeks after applying. I was terrified of rejection. I’m not sure I would have re-applied had I been rejected the first time. (But seriously, if you get rejected, you really should apply again. It’s worth it!) But, as I explained in my “I’m a bee” post, despite being terrified, I opened the email right away and was so happy to have been accepted.
What it’s like blogging for WeddingBee/Being a Bee?
I’m not going to lie, and paint it all sunshine and roses… blogging for wb initially wasn’t like what I expected. Prior to being accepted, I had never really thought about how I’d be perceived. Once I started blogging, I realized that it is hard to put yourself out there. People are going to have opinions, and they aren’t always good opinions of you. Not everyone is going to like you, or your wedding, which I wasn’t prepared for. But eventually, I decided that I didn’t care, and I settled into blogging. Since then, I have really, really come to enjoy it. I have been able to adopt a “not everyone is going to like what you’re doing” approach to blogging. And that’s okay.
Now that I’m nine-ish months into blogging for Weddingbee (OMG!) I have to say that being a bee has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. Everyone always says this, but the community is such a supportive place. I have made some of the best friends here, people whom I never would have met otherwise. Some of the bees are my best friends in “real life” (despite having never met them) and we talk/text/chat all day long.
The icing on the cake is that I am so thankful to have this journal of my wedding planning process. I think it will be fun to look back years later and remember this time in my life. (It’s also been a fun way to share the planning journey with my mom, who lives in another state.)
I also cannot thank you guys enough for all of your help and advice with my “WWBD” series. You guys are awesome!
Advice to potential bloggers:
This one is hard for me because I don’t really feel qualified to give advice. I’m still not quite sure how/why I got selected as a blogger bee. (I think I snuck in the back door.) If I had to venture a guess, I’d say the most important thing is to be authentic. My blog entries are pretty true to who I am, and are written the way I would talk to someone. (Yup, I am loud and obnoxious in real life, too!)
Everyone always says it, so I will too… blogging for WeddingBee is a big commitment. It takes a lot of time and effort. Writing entries can take several hours (er, days?), and sometimes more if you edit a lot. Or, if want to find pictures, graphics, or gifs for your post. Coming up with content for 3-4 weekly entries can be difficult especially if you are blogging for 8 months before your wedding.
Honestly, if you can have patience, I suggest waiting until you’re closer to your wedding date. In my personal opinion, I think blogging 5-6 months in advance is a better way to go. I have definitely scraped the bottom of the barrel for content sometimes. (This is totally one of those “do as I say” types of things, because as I mentioned above, I could not exercise any patience, and I applied 1 week early)
Another piece of advice would be to blog for a while prior to being accepted. I think I had over 60 posts published before being accepted. This helps you get a feel for blogging, find your voice, and figure out if you like it.
I also recommend keeping track of all blog posts (past, present or future). I use an excel spreadsheet to keep track of all my blog post ideas. I update the spreadsheet whenever I post entries. I also add new ideas for posts when they come to me. This has been a really good way for me to stay organized, and keep content fresh. (Or as fresh as possible. It sometimes feels like trying to reinvent the wheel to make wedding blogging content new and exciting.) Another benefit to having a spreadsheet with future blog ideas is that during a blogging lull, you can reference the document to see if there are any topic ideas to write about.
And finally, always try to remember why you’re blogging. You’re going to go through good times and bad times on your blogging journey. What has helped me immensely is remembering why I am doing this: I blog because I love WeddingBee so much. I have gained so much from all the bloggers who came before me, and I want to pay it forward. My hope is to help out, inspire, or even entertain.
So that’s my story. Best of luck to all the ‘bee applicants!