I have always loved reading A Bee’s Life. I can’t believe I’m writing one of my own. It was definitely part of the reason I decided to embark on this journey of blogging. All the bloggers give such wonderful advice, so I’m hoping to do the same here.
How Did I Find Weddingbee?
I started to become obsessed with getting I married. I’m not sure why or how, but I do know a switch seemed to have flipped on and it was something that I all of a sudden wanted. Mr. Sea Monkey was a little taken aback when I mentioned it, because I had always sworn up and down that I didn’t ever want to marry anyone and I was convinced I would end up a hermit, living on an uncharted island that I’m the only inhabitant of. Obviously, life had other plans, so I was staying up late one night and started my lurking phase when I googled my first wedding-related question and Weddingbee popped up on several of the results. I was immediately sucked into those ring boards and eventually worked up the courage to join. I loved the sense of community here and felt so welcomed, even with a few negative comments I got. This really is the best wedding site.
My Application Story
It took me a long time to work up the courage to apply. This is something so beyond me, it seems so surreal. I applied the first minute I could. This was really the first time I blogged, but I thought my blog was awesome. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear about getting married on the beach? I think it sounds pretty darn awesome. The fates were not in my hands, my friends. I thought it may have been the fact that I didn’t really blog as much as I should’ve been. I again reapplied and tweaked a whole bunch of errors. That has to be the only wrong thing with my blog after all, plus it was closer to my wedding and I had a lot more content. Rejected again. I have to admit that I was upset and it got me down a bit. I almost didn’t apply the third time, but something told me I should. After all, I had been blogging for a while and I was learning to love it, so I reapplied for the last time. I knew this would be my last time, because I only had a couple of weeks left until the wedding. Little did I know, that little voice in my head was right. I was actually giving myself a pep talk on how it was time to think about giving up the moment I got that amazing email from Mrs. Mouse. I had gotten in! This time, I actually reached out to a few bloggers and redesigned my entire website based on their critiques. It was too close to my wedding and I wanted it so badly. I am so glad I decided to take up blogging in my free time. It’s such an amazing experience.
Why Sea Monkey?
When I got my acceptance email, I had my fingers crossed that some of the sea generation characters were left and was so excited to learn they were! They had a handful of the second generation sea creatures to choose from, which was perfect since I am a beach bride.
Image via benjamin-toys
I also went with Sea Monkey, because it pulled me back to when I was a child and my sister and I went to the store and spent all of our money on one of those sea monkey kits, food for them and tank decorations. We saved up the money for months and were so excited to get them. We woke up early just to feed and take care of them and they were so cool to watch. That is one of the happiest childhood memories I have. My sister moved away to a different state for college, so I don’t see much of her. This was a no-brainer.
On Being A Bee
I cannot say how amazing my experience has been, thus far. I know it’s a shorter time than a lot of others, since I wasn’t accepted right away, but I love what a sense of community there is between all the bees.
Everyone was so accepting of me. I had many bees reach out to me that first night. They encouraged me and gave me tons of advice. I feel like we were so connected starting on the first night.
Advice For Future Bees
1.) Take time on your application. You want yours to stand out from everyone else’s. The first time through, I didn’t do much past answering the questions. I didn’t take time to think of WHY I wanted to be a bee. The time I got in, I made sure that I went in depth to explain why I would be a good fit and why they should pick me over all the other applicants.
2.) With that said, don’t put your application over your blog. Of course you should make a strong application, but if your blog doesn’t live up to that, what’s the point? The main focus should be on your blog. I would say I wrote each post and spent the majority of the time editing. Hours of editing. When we are writing out thoughts, some things that make sense in our head, don’t make sense outside of it. It’s not fun to look back and see simple spelling errors on a live post (guilty). Make your background simple and your font easy to read.
3.) You’ll hear this A LOT, but find YOUR voice. I thought I understood what this meant, but it wasn’t until I was rejected that I finally figured it out. Minus the shorthand spelling, write your blog as if you were texting, or talking to someone, and telling them the details of your wedding.
Too many details and they’ll get bored, but not enough and they will wonder what the heck you’re talking about.
4.) Tell why you did what you did. This was another thing I didn’t quite get at first, but your readers want to see your thought process. That’s almost more important than what the final result is. Why did you do what you did? Why did you choose this product? Why? Every time you write something, ask yourself why.
5.) Write your story. Weddingbee is different than all the other blogs, because you have a specific group of people you are writing for. When I first applied, I was so into talking about what I had done for the wedding, that I didn’t put any of myself into my posts. Why would I care about your decisions if I don’t care about you? When I redid my blog, I wrote less craft posts and more posts about Mr. Sea Monkey and I. How did you meet? Who are you? What’s your story? Write those posts and then flavor your blog with your wedding decisions. I want to feel like I’m a friend of yours who you are talking about your wedding to, not like I’m just reading a bunch of unrelated craft and product posts (guilty of that one too).
6.) Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get in at first. Many of the bloggers were first, second or even third time rejections. I was a second time rejection. It’s okay. Just keep reapplying until you can’t. I was accepted one WEEK before my wedding. I didn’t even know if they would accept me at that point.
Some comments you get are going to be vicious. Not everyone will agree with your decisions, nor will they be nice about it. That’s just what happens when you put yourself out there. Sometimes, bloggers just get rejected, not because they aren’t a good fit, but to make their blog as good as possible before being thrown out to sea. There are sharks out there, so just toughen up. You definitely need a thick skin.
7.) Realize blogging takes time. I mean, it takes a lot of time. As I mentioned, you have hours of editing, on top of writing out the actual posts. You have to write at least 3-4 posts per day to even be considered. If you are a busy bee, it just might not be for you. Sometimes I could spend the majority of a “blog day” just writing and editing. I had a busy year and I think that may have contributed to me being rejected the first time. I would have 3-4 days between posts and that just wasn’t enough.
One thing that can help with this is applying close to your wedding, more like 5 months out, so you have more material to write about. If your blog is just memes and pictures of other weddings, you probably don’t have enough content. Wait until you can use your own pictures, because you are actually putting the wedding together. 3-4 posts a day can be super hard when you have a lot of lulls.
Finally, reach out to past bloggers. One of the things that helped me “toughen up” was reaching out to past bloggers after my second rejection. That was one of the hardest things, because I knew I was going to be critiqued. None of the bees were mean, but they did give me some very constructive criticism and broke down all my weak points. It was hard to read everything that was wrong with my blog, but it was much-needed. I wouldn’t be writing this, had it not been for those ladies.
I took every bit of that advice and restructured my whole blog accordingly. I cannot thank those wonderful ladies enough for helping me get into the bee. It was a goal of mine that I worked my butt off to reach and I did it. I am more than happy to return the favor and read any interested applicants’ blogs. It helped to have fresh eyes that saw mistakes I didn’t.