Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

September 11, 2017

#GirlBoss Outfit + 5 Blogging Truths I've Learned in 5 Years.

Photography by Amanda Rose Photography

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     These hot pink pants were one of my favorite clearance rack finds this year! I found them in Montreal this summer at Zara, which is one of my favorite stores (and becoming one of my favorite ones to shop internationally!). They're such a bright and fun color, and have a unique style to them, so I knew I needed to add them to my closet. Fashion blogging doesn't always mean #basic! When I put together this outfit, all that I could think was the term "Girl Boss." Quite honestly this is a term that I think is a bit overused these days and I don't use much myself, but nothing else came to mind to describe this outfit! 😉

      If I had a business casual job, this is the type of outfit that I would try to wear most days! When I interned for my broadcasting school last year, I had to wear business casual clothes to work, and I loved putting together fun and chic outfits like this. I hope that I might have a future radio job in a city where I can go to more blogging events and meetings, and have a chance to wear more cute dressier outfits for things that aren't my day job- haha! 

      Now to talk blogging! As some of y'all know, last week was my 5th blogiversary (!!). This year's blogiversary post was mostly focused on facts about me and general facts about the blog, not about blogging itself. Five years is a long time to consistently stick with doing something, and an especially long time to see a hobby go from being just a creative outlet to a second job! Anyways, while I would never claim to be an expert on blogging (I am still learning new things about the industry and running my blog every day!), there are a few things about blogging, branding, and personal image that I have picked up in the last five years, and I wanted to share those with you today! I know some of these things y'all might agree or disagree with me on, I'd love to hear your thoughts either way in the comments!

     1. Your blog is a sacred space - be very selective and careful about accepting guest posters. I receive inquiries for paid (and even more unpaid) guest posters and contributors for this blog all the time. Truth be told, probably on a daily basis! While I used to accept some of the paid ones back in the early days of SBIT, that is long over. With blogging for so long now, my blog is my sacred space. This is my creative venture that is all mine and I have built it to what it is! I wanted the voice on here to be uniquely mine. There is plenty of room on the world wide web for other voices and perspectives. People visit Southern Belle in Training because they want to hear my perspective on fashion, faith, travel and life, and that's a huge honor that I don't take lightly!! I would occasionally consider having a wonderful blogging friend guest post for me if a situation arose in my life that prevented me from blogging for a week or two... but other then that, my blog is my space for my writing and will remain that. (I actually am in the works right now of writing a very special blog post with a college friend of mine, but I think this is the first time in years someone else other than me has helped write a post!)

     2. Make friends with other bloggers! Can't stress this one enough! When I first started blogging during my freshman year of college, I remember thinking it would be so cool to make a good friend through the internet from blogging. I have certainly outdone my freshman year self's expectations by a lot! I have met some of the most hard-working, determined, beautiful inside and out women from the blogging community, and I'm blessed to call so many friends! Most cities across the country have blogging communities of some sort- if you live near any other bloggers, I encourage you to meet them and network! One of the things that I miss the most in Vermont are all the fun blogging events and my favorite ladies from Charlotte. I know though that many more blogging friendships will be in store in the future, and I'm trying to keep fostering the relationships that I have now! 

      3. Prioritize photography. When I first received a DSLR camera from Christmas from my parents in 2014, I started taking blogging much more seriously that I had been. My new camera motivated me to post more regularly each week, do more fashion content, learn about photography, and through all of that, I was growing my social media following slowly but steadily and starting to get monthly sponsored opportunities! When I began working regularly with photographers on my blog, all of these things only increased. I follow some blogs that do use stock photography or iPhone photography exclusively, and great writing can be great writing, so photography isn't necessarily a do-all, end-all. However, blogs are a very visual medium, and most of my favorite blogs have stunning, original photography. Photography is a way that you can get very creative and tailored to the visions that you have for your brand, and I love having fun with it. I've been very lucky to work with some great photographers, and I also have fun still shooting some of my own non-fashion posts and iPhone pics for Instagram! 


       4. Respond to emails and DMs in a timely manner. I'll be the first to say that I'm not always the best at doing this (especially since beginning working full time, and since up until recently I did work both Saturdays and Sundays at my day job), BUT it's something that I do strive to do and have since beginning my blog. If a brand or a reader takes that time to contact you, the least that you can do is take the time to send them a personal response (especially if it's a reader reaching out!). Sometimes I physically don't have the time in my workday to respond to a blog email, so I will send a quick one or two line response letting the person know that I did receive their message, am excited to respond, and will do so as soon as I have the time in my schedule later that week. I also try and respond quickly to Instagram DMs! I'm not as big of a fan of having long chats with readers via DM, so I often encourage them to email me if the conversation is getting longer, but I will still always respond. 

      5. Don't be afraid to get personal... (but not TOO personal.) If you've been reading my blog or even following me on Instagram or Twitter for any length of time, you know that I'm not afraid to get personal with y'all! I love talking about fashion, beauty, and other more frivolous topics, but when it comes down it it, none of those things make me "me." If y'all are reading my blog, I also want y'all to get to know the real me, and make this a space where I can share my unique perspective and stories. I've written in the past about topics like how my faith impacts my views on dating apps, a painful falling out with a former high school best friend, and when my study abroad experience in college went wrong and how I felt unprepared for that- just to name a few! And these have often been the posts where I've gotten the highest page views and engagement. Of course- some topics in a person's life are not meant for the internet and to be shared on a fashion blog. Situations that deeply involve other people, situations of confidential nature, etc etc. But if there is a personal story in your life that you can share- do it!! You never know who it might touch. 


     I'd love to know your thoughts on what you think makes a Girl Boss outfit, and also on my five blogging truths! Share away in the comments. Wishing y'all a happy and productive Monday!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese (or Charlotte XO on air!)




  1. I'm totally swooning over your pink pants- so cute! I agree that getting personal & sharing your unique voice are two things that really set you apart !

  2. Such a great post! I agree with all of your points stated. It is so important to find your own voice and make sure you put yourself out there but not too much.
    Thanks for sharing!
    xx, Theresa

  3. I'm loving your Girl Boss outfit and agree with all of your tips!! I love your blog because it is uniquely you! :)

  4. Those pants are amazing! My office is super casual and sometimes I wish it was a little fancier just to have an excuse to wear fun things like this!

  5. Making friends with other bloggers is not only important, but it brings so much happiness & understanding into your life!!

  6. Thank you for sharing these tips! I'm looking forward to meeting other bloggers in the blogging world!

  7. I really think quality photos are SO important! I look at them as much as I read someones post! I love to see someone has taken the time and effort to produce good images.

  8. This outfit is awesome! I love the pants especially. I have learnt how very very important photography is for blogging. It makes or breaks a post.

  9. Okay, I love those pants and need them in my life like now! I totally agree with making connections and being honest and open with your readers - so key.

  10. I totally agree with your 5 truths about blogging- community is so so important and I miss the Charlotte girls too!


  11. Making blogging friends is what keeps me going. If I didn't have my blog tribe I would give up! And I love the importance of being selective in who guest posts. I never thought about that, but it's so true. You don't want any rando to speak life into your space!

  12. Two things: these are great lessons, and you look AMAZING! You're totally rocking this look, girl!!

  13. It is so true about blogs being a sacred place. I was contacted too for a paid opportunity. And I turned it down because I wasn't sure that would be the best for my blog. Also, I love your pants! The color is so beautiful.

  14. You are rocking this outfit girl, I love the bold pink.
    And yes to making blog friends, it's one of the best things about blogging!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  15. Responding to emails or DMs in a timely manner is a must! Awesome outfit.

  16. great tips. I'm so thankful for my blogger friends.

  17. I love this post and this look, girl! I'm a bit new to the fashion world but I'm loving the connections I've made with other fashion bloggers. It's such a wonderful community that I'm happy to be apart of! xo

  18. I love the cropped pink pants! I definitely agree about the importance of responding quickly to messages and emails. With the fast-paced nature of the online world it's so important to be on it!

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