Cheers to The Luxe Pharmacist turning 4 years old today!
Throughout the years I’ve gotten quite a few questions on how I started my blog and what advice I could give others looking to also create a “pharmacy blog,” so I figured I may as well put all my advice and tips into a dedicated blog post!
I first launched my blog and new Instagram account back in 2018. Starting out at 0 followers and not knowing if others would enjoy my content or even care was terrifying, but I was really inspired on Instagram by medical students or others in healthcare and I felt like I couldn’t exactly relate to them. I wanted the ability to follow and be inspired by a life that more closely reflected mine. I went diving for pharmacy accounts and was disappointed to not find many. I decided back then that I wanted to help fill this gap and chose to share my life and personally journey through pharmacy school and into my career. The Luxe Pharmacist has become so much more than I could have ever dreamed and yet I still feel like this is only the beginning. I now look at my blog/platform as not just a pharmacy blog but as a business and personal brand that I’ve loved creating these past couple of years. I still hope to share a ton of pharmacy advice and experiences, but as you all know by now, I want to share my personal life, my beauty tips, healthy living, green living and so on. I even started The Luxe Pharmacist, LLC this year as I get more focused on my financial goals as well. The point of sharing all of this is to help show you when I started this blog, I would have never thought I’d be where I am today and the same could be true of whatever blog, business, side hustle, etc., it is that you are wanting to create. I hope these sentiments and details on how I run my blog will help to inspire your personal journey and make it easier to get off the ground!
Just Go For It!
The number one advice I give others is to simple go for it and start. Like I said for myself when I started my blog it was terrifying but where would I be if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith? I’ve always believed that to be successful you cannot be afraid to fail. From experience I can tell you your blog will never look exactly how you want, there’s always something you could tweak or add and so you are never going to find the perfect day to finally launch it public. Launch before you feel 100% ready because 100% ready will never come. Even as I grow and expand, I have to keep reminding myself that if I don’t just start and go for it I probably never will, and wow am I glad I took that leap of faith four years ago.
Be Authentic Always
Being authentic on my platform has always been so important to me and I personally believe is one of the aspects of my account/blog that has helped me grow throughout the years. Even when it is uncomfortable, I share my “failures” or roadblocks which often helps way more people than just showing our life as a highlight reel. For example, when I didn’t match to residency in Phase I or when I didn’t pass the CT MPJE on my first attempt. I think authenticity is also really important when you get into the marketing/brand promotion world of social media and blogging. I would NEVER recommend or represent a product or brand that I didn’t love or regularly use myself. I think everything we recommend online is a direct reflection on ourselves and if I was just off recommending any product because someone would pay me for it even if I didn’t like it or believe in it myself then what does that say to my community? I want my followers to trust me and see my platform as an authentic version of myself so if you start your own blog/platform always keep authenticity in mind.
Stop the Comparison Game
It is SO easy to compare yourself to others, especially online but speaking from experience it is not helpful at all. Blogging should be fun. It should be an enjoyable outlet for creativity and connecting with others. I will admit I draw inspiration and ideas from other bloggers/influencers, but I have to be careful not to change my mindset towards comparison. If I do, I can start feeling less inspired and unhappy in what I’m doing and what is the point anyway if I don’t enjoy it? So, it’s fine to look to others for inspiration but don’t let someone else’s success, growth, follower count, possessions, etc., make you think negatively about yourself and your journey.
Serve & Connect With Your Community
One of the best ways to come up with content ideas is by asking yourself what content would best serve my community right now? Not only does my content get the best engagement when it’s truly tailored to my followers needs and interests, but it is also when I feel the happiest creating content because I know I am helping others. I would also encourage you to try to get to know other similar accounts and show them support. Engaging with other accounts organically is a great way to make friends online and build a supportive community that will ultimately help your account that much more. Think of it as, “serve your community and they will serve you back.”
Determine YOUR Direction & Goals
Along the lines of not comparing yourself to others and making sure you enjoy what it is you are doing online; it is very important to determine what direction you want to take with your blog/account. Do you want to build it into a business? Do you want to launch other platforms like a podcast? Are you happy just having a blog casually on the side without taking it too seriously? Do you want to focus on just pharmacy for example or many different “pillars?” Whatever answers you come up with should be your own. Again, everyone is going to have different opinions or goals and it is important to listen to what you want for these big questions. So, if you are thinking of starting a blog, first ask yourself these types of questions to help guide you.
- Where do I want this blog to go?
- What topics do I want to share?
- How much time and money do I want to put into this?
- What about blogging is most fun to me?
- Is this a fun hobby or potential future business to me?
Details on My Personal Blog
- I use WordPress to host my blog and have been using the “Business” level version for the past ~2 years. When I first started out, I used the Premium plan.
- I bought my blog theme from EmPress last year (installed it all myself) but previously I used free themes from WordPress which I recommend starting out with, especially if budget is a concern.
- I use Canva Pro for so many things! It is hands down a must as a blogger.
- I do almost everything myself in terms of writing, designing, planning, editing, accounting, etc., this obviously adds a lot to my plate so if you’re comfortable outsourcing as you grow that would be a great option. I’m learning to accept outsourcing more recently, especially when I simply don’t have the skill needed or it would take me 10x longer to do it myself.
- I love listening to podcasts on blogging! I normally listen to them on my way to work for ideas and inspiration. Some of my favorite shows are Content Creatives Podcast, Goal Digger Podcast, and The Influencer Podcast.