Hey Simple && Sweeties,

Can you believe The Simple&&Sweet Co.Com is 1 year old today!?

Ah, I feel like a mother to this blog baby, because trust me, it takes a lot more behind the scenes work than one would imagine. Where has the time gone!?

First, I want to thank you guys for just taking the time to read my content. Writing without an audience does as much good as talking to a wall, so thanks for giving this site purpose 🙂

I was thinking the other day that in the past year, this blog has taught me a ridiculous amount about so many different things. As I was listing them off in my head I realized, I could blog about that!

Yeah, “I could blog about that” has been my brain’s catch-phrase for about a year now.

1. Everyone is a critic, and that’s okay!

It doesn’t matter if it’s a recipe, outfit post, or dating advice. I’ve had at least one person tell me why a post stinks or needs ____ to make it better. Rude, right? I thought so at first, because I was taking these critiques personally. Most everything I write, I’ve spent a lot of time hand-selecting the perfect word or lived the content itself. So when someone rips it to shreds, it stings. I even went through a period where I censored a lot of my no-pants at home, I’m-really-just-a-photogenic-slob jokes because one person told me it made them uncomfortable. “It’s not appropriate for a decent person to joke about that kind of stuff when the jokes could be read by little girls. They should grow up to be like ladies, and they look up to you.” They said. Well a year later I say, tough shit. I don’t write for little girls, I write about what I’m seeing, doing, experiencing now as a 21-year old. Heck, I’ll probably look back as a 22-year old and hate it all, but this is who I am now. Nobody wants to read something they can’t laugh at or relate to! Authenticity is attractive. You can’t make everyone happy because everyone has different opinions. Even Jesus, Muhammad, and Buddha have “haters”. The only person who’s opinion and happiness matters is your own. Can you live with your decisions? Are you being true to your inner antisocial fat-girl? Yes? Good! That’s exactly what I’ll tell my hypothetical daughter and anyone else who asks.

2. Limited good is a myth.

If you don’t already know about this, let me define limited good. “Limited good” is the myth that if someone else has something good happen to them, then there is less good for you or the next person. On a small scale, yes you could argue this is supply and demand. If everyone made or did the same things in business, not everyone would succeed. That’s not necessarily true for the social aspect of life! If another blogger is successful, that doesn’t mean I can’t be. It doesn’t mean that blogger has to be torn down in order for me to have her level of status. Blogging is publication of a social life, a hobby that some people have found lucretive enough to become a business. This is what I love about mature bloggers who understand this. They are always willing to offer advice and lend a helpful hand because they know what it was like to start and struggle. If you want to be ‘popular’ (which is such a 90’s-early 200’s term ha) that doesn’t mean you have to tear down the queen bee. Be her friend, and if that doesn’t work, be nice to everyone including her. If someone dresses better than you, use it as inspiration to dress well yourself, don’t use it as a reason to talk about that person negatively. Sure, if everyone did the same things, not everyone would thrive. But that’s the crazy thing, we are all doing something different! We think differently, act differently, and prioritize differently. Use your unique combo of traits to magnetize yourself to the “good”. Authenticity is attractive!!!

3. Quality outweighs quantity a million times over.

There came a point last year where I didn’t post as frequently as I’d planned. Call it a loss of inspiration or I got too busy with school and failed to prioritize the blog, bottom line is that I went a little MIA. I dreaded to think of what my analytics and page views would look like when I got back online. Would you believe that I maintained and even grew on my traffic on some posts!? Thanks to Pinterest, AKA blogger central, my content was able to interest the readers, people continued to visit the page even after they’d been live for months! At first I was deflated by thinking that I’d slaved over all of these weekly and semi-weekly posts to get them published by my deadlines only to receive the same amount of traffic when I disappeared? What I learned was posting something quickly and haphazardly just to have a new item, cheapens the blog. the way to maintain a reader base is to have quality content, not a lot of content. While this year I want to post a lot of quality content, rest assured that if I do post something, it won’t just be to waste our time.

4. Social media is an underestimated power.

I always joke that you guys should ‘add me because I’m everywhere’ is because I’m literally everywhere: my site, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter etc. This past year I underestimated the power of social media. A huge percentage of my traffic comes from Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram because those are the platforms I’m comfortable using. If I didn’t use those at all and solely relied on a single platform or just word of mouth, I’d be lucky to have 100 page views a week. By internet standards, that’s really sad. This got me thinking about how many people see a single post. Even if they only look at if for a second, a small memory is made and with that memory, an impression. While I am trying to directly promote my business, I’m indirectly promoting an image of me as a person! Think about your social media page. I’ve heard that companies now are using your Facebook, Instagram, and other social media to determine whether or not to give an interview. Those selfies with underage drinking, obscene gestures, and other tom-foolery aren’t looking so hot, now are they? Don’t be afraid of the power of social media! Use it! Craft your online presence to highlight your best self. What is it you want? Craft it and attract it!

5. You have to be or become a Type A personality to run a successful blog.

This is sooo true. I’m a chronic people-pleaser despite constantly saying ‘I hate people, leave me alone’. You can’t do it all. Like I said in #1, you can work yourself to your grave, and there will always be someone to critique your performance. Learn to say no. Embrace the dissatisfaction of others if it means a positive outcome. If you want to party all night, sleep all day, workout like Christmas Abbott, have a troop of friends, have hair and makeup like a Disney Princess, and have a decent GPA in uni, you need to time manage. It’s hard, but the only way to ensure that you get everything done is to schedule it and don’t cancel. This is just as true for my blog deadline as it is for your 7am workout class. The boss would never cancel an appointment with an important client, and you are your most important client. Time management is one of the most valuable skills. You have to know how to compromise with friends when they want to go out and you want to work out. Invite them to put their “virgin” marg in a thermos and you guys can walk a few laps around the track. And sometimes you just have to raincheck when a deadline is near. You are the boss of your own life. Act like it!

6. I’ve learned when to use then/than and farther/further.

I used to crank out posts, too lazy to proofread after hours of writing. When I did finally read through it a few hours later after, I would get so nauseated over the spelling and grammar errors. A few hundred people had read the posts by then, and I could hear every single one of their imaginary voices undermining my points just because I overlooked a simple but obvious mistake. Grammar is so important. It’s frequently underestimated because the way a person communicates gives an impression that may or may not be true about a person’s intellect. People are very easily distracted by the flaws in using then/than, you’re/your, there/their and further/farther incorrectly that they won’t give the points you’re trying to make the magnitude of seriousness they deserve. They’ll think, ‘why should I listen to so-n-so, they can’t even spell **** correctly.’ Crazy, right!?

7. Treat yourself like a quality brand.

The difference between a high-end purse and a equally made one is the brand. Branding in this context, is just a way of unifying products by a perception of quality. The perception of quality is the brand and your presence is your product. Overtime, companies have worked hard and invested a ridiculous amount of money to build their brand and fortify their name by ensuring standards of quality, authenticity, and familiarity with the consumer. We like these higher quality brands because we can trust them to have integrity. Why not adopt this ethic with ourselves? Imagine Louis Vuitton tweeting nastily about Gucci. How distasteful would that be? That goes against the classy perception of the brand they created. How is it any different when you communicate something that is just vulgar and offensive? Granted, you shouldn’t try to be someone else or act “fake”. If someone ticked you off, feel every ounce of that nastiness so it can be purged from your system over wine at girl’s night and not on Facebook. If you value yourself, show it in the way you talk, dress, act and interact.

8. Blank space is just as important as the words.

We like when a post looks full because it gives the impression that there is a wealth of information even though we just skim through it anyway.  When writing a blog, I feel like I should have several reasons, a fully detailed explanation, footnotes, and a works-cited page. I want it to feel like the information is trustworthy! However, it’s the reader’s job to determine that or not. The only way to make a post read like a quality post, is for it to actually contain quality. Be brief, be clear, be real, and your audience will respond.

9. There’s always something else to learn.

Even the bloggers that have been in the social media game for years will tell you that they don’t know everything. The markets, products and readers are constantly evolving and so must they. The only truth that withstands the test of time is, if you believe you know a lot, you really know nothing. There is always more to learn because everyone, form hobo to rocket scientist, knows at least one thing you don’t.


Feel free to take everything I say with a grain of salt, guys. I’m sharing one perspective of an experience shared by many. I hope you got something out of my blog because as you can see, I sure have. Please, write in, comment, and share what you’d like to see on The Simple && Sweet Co. Com for 2017. I’ve got a lot of fun stuff planned, but I love inspiration. I wish you the best year possible and may your favorite memories lie ahead of you! Again, thank you so much for being with The S&&S Co all year. Cheers to you and to many more to come.

For more, follow me on social media. I’m everywhere. If you want to follow my life in mini photo blog form, add me on snapchat where I post meals, workouts, and random pretty things I come across 🙂 Username: sarah.berlanga1

Check Out The S&&S Co. Pinterest Page

&& Don’t Forget to Follow the Life && Love Board

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As Always,

-xo

Sarah

 

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