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5 Things I Have Learned Since Starting A Blog

Wow, it has been a roller coaster since launching Chicks And Salsa and, besides the time I have spent with my family, this has been one of the most gratifying year and a half of my life. Doing something that is centered on the betterment and understanding of myself was a hard transition to make but has felt amazing.  The blog has also had some unexpected benefits such as making my relationships with my parents, siblings, spouse, and children better since I had found an outlet for myself. It has served as an avenue to work through my thoughts and ideas in in a more organized fashion that my brain previously couldn’t. I am also truly grateful to Sonia, Avani, Komal, and Neema who have found a home on the blog for their voices and ideas. Compiling our passions, motivations, and insecurities has allowed each of us to grow beyond what we could have imagined. In reflecting on this past year, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the top five things I have learned since “becoming a blogger.”

Bloggers Are Awesome People

I was surprisingly met with good energy, positive vibes and smiling faces when I timidly introduced Chicks And Salsa to the blog-sphere.  I was worried about encountering intimidation and skepticism; but other bloggers were generous with their ideas and enthusiasm. After all, we are unique and have a different messages to share with the universe.  We have worked with many bloggers in developing our brand and truly credit them for the support that they have provided.  These women rock! They are hard working, creative, and smart and open to questions. DM your favorite bloggers and see what they say!  Pro tip: to really shortcut the process, join Style Collective. They have all the secrets, resources, and community support to justify what they offer for $10/month.  I wish I had found them much sooner than I did. I use their calendars and templates for emails and contracts regularly. I have also met new networks that have streamlined my outreach.

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Deciding to Start is The Hardest Part

My sister and I talked ourselves out of starting Chicks And Salsa for months. We kept thinking we were too old, too boring, too ‘whatever’ to have a blog.  And although that still may be true, doing it for ourselves has been the greatest gift. The fact that so many of our readers check in is the bow on top.  Sharing a piece of oneself with the universe can come with a host of insecurities, doubt, changes, attempts, failures, laughter, and tears.  It’s the constant pursuit of developing and defining your brand that really reflects who you are as a person. It forces you to reflect on your values and desires, an exercise that fuels motivation to try harder and learn more.  Then there is the challenge of incorporating all this sharing into your day-to-day life without it totally taking over (which it totally has the potential to do, see number 3.)  

Blogging is ALL Encompassing

With blogging, I find myself managing many media platforms. In order to succeed, you do need to be everywhere all the time.  Having my cameras always charged and planning out my content helps — that way I am not aimlessly taking pictures all the time.  I make my time count by being goal-oriented and then I either write the piece, get the picture, or make a list and move on. A bias towards action is important and acting with intention will help limit the blogging… keeping it from taking over your life!

Blogging is actually SO MUCH FUN!

Yes, it’s true. Deciding to do this was the exact kick I needed to get out of the funk I was in. For the first time in five years, I was home alone because my kids went to school full time and I had been working part time from home. The blog has taken my ‘me time’ to another level.  I have developed as a writer, photographer, digital content creator, and friend.  Not to mention, I have discovered a whole world of new social media supporters and friendships – some I have met, some I have not (yet!). It has been a rewarding journey that I am excited to continue experiencing. You, our readers, are a huge part of the motivation that drives me forward.  Thank you!

All Black Look
All Black Look
Loving The Learning
Loving The Learning
It Is Easier To Work Backwards

In the beginning, I decided to start a blog but I didn’t have a specific objective or purpose in mind.  Helpful questions to start with are ‘why do you want to blog?’,‘what is the end goal?’, and ‘are you seeking free stuff, money, to network, or travel?’.  I know it seems obvious, but if you want free travel, talk about travel; if you want free products, talk about products, etc.  Genuinely I think I started because I wanted to learn about blogging and I wanted to be informed.  I know now that Chicks And Salsa is truly a lifestyle blog that we have built to speak to all the layers of women, in particular mothers. Women tend to be the demographic who have limited time for themselves and cherish the time they get with their friends. Therefore, we found our mission after we decided to pursue the genesis of Chicks and Salsa. This important nuance helped us grow from the ground up into a purposeful blog.

Phew, what a round up! I hope you found this helpful. In the new digital age, the creative content that one can make and the audience that they can have is truly limitless. Use that indefinite space to find a corner that is yours. I hope that with Chicks And Salsa, you have not only found that you are part of our tribe but also that you are the origin of your own movement.



You Are The Company You Keep : Why We Blog

It was a life lesson my parents tried to teach us at a young age: if you surround yourself with go-getters and motivated individuals, it would ‘rub’ off on you and make you that way.  We didn’t always understand what they meant – or if they just didn’t like our friends growing up – but the older we got, the more we understood. Surrounding yourself with like-minded and successful people can inspire motivation.  Success, learning, and networking is like an addiction — once you get a taste of what it is like to be ‘one-of-those-people’, you become empowered to continue to learn and create.

Getting a graduate degree was step one for us. We were surrounded by colleagues who were motivated to pursue further understanding and deeper thought. We began learning the importance of not just accomplishing a task, but enjoying the process of collaborating with peers. And it may sound silly, but our lifestyles as a whole began to shift; we started spending more time in coffee shops getting to know people and their passions rather than partying at bars and nightclubs where the discussions were more superficial.

Once Upon a Dollhouse
With Dani and Caitlin of Once Upon a Dollhouse

Most recently, we discovered blogging. Once we entered this sphere, we quickly recognized that this was largely a female-dominated industry filled with creative influencers, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists.  The desire to have these women ‘rub’ off on us was real.  We have always had a strong network of women in our lives, from our Mom to our five aunts to our cousins and  to our friends, it’s hard to ignore the magnetic energy that a room full of women can produce.

We didn’t know at the time what we were bringing to the table. We did know that we had something to offer.  In this past year, we have truly grown as individuals and as bloggers.  Joining groups where women were open to listening and sharing ideas (e.g. the Windy City Collective, Chicago Grammers, and Style Collective) has been meaningful and beneficial.  Somewhere along the way in these discussions, it did ‘rub ‘ off and we caught the bug to try something new and push ourselves professionally and creatively. This infectious transfer of motivation among women helps us to enjoy the blogging process and to have fun even when things seem hectic.

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We are getting a second chance in our thirties to redefine the next fifty years of our life. Although we don’t know what we are going to do with that opportunity yet, we do know that we will continue to grow.  We are truly grateful to the people we have met along the way who have been generous with their ideas and time – shout out to Annie Spano and the dolls from Once Upon A Dollhouse to name a few.  They inspired us to see a bigger picture and talk through a path with us chicks.

Blogging is about reciprocal influence by sharing who you are with the universe and letting the universe shape you. At Chicks and Salsa, we are trying to do just that one week at a time. Thanks for hopping along for the journey. Get out there, form connections, empower yourself and inspire others. Check out our Chicks And Salsa Chick Chat podcast to hear us think out loud about other things in life that motivate us!

Until next time,

Your Chicks,

Rina and Sonia