This is one of those posts which goes against my rule of not ‘writing for other bloggers’.
Beautiful Bedding – Laura Ashley*
But, the post in itself is about exactly that – those rules. The rules I’ve self imposed for my corner of the internet, which see me optimising my titles for the most clicks, my writing for a higher SEO ranking, my content to fit a niche which I’m sure I’ll never discover. Blogging has become big business – we all know the statistic from the youth of today wanting to become bloggers or YouTubers when they grow up, like it’s some sort of vocation. And actually, it really is. It’s undefined, but a career it is.
Since I started blogging, back in 2011, alot has changed. The industry of blogging, my blog, me as a person. I was 23 back then – not long out of uni, carving my way in the oversaturated world of marketing and PR. I thought it looked fun – I had no clue what it could turn into. I’ve always been a photography nut (read last weeks post on my photography journey here), and I was pretty alright at writing. I liked social media and putting things together, as well as fashion and beauty. And all of that led to a blog. Although I’ve never ‘hit the big time’, as my blog has only ever been, to quote my friend Mel, a side hustle, when I look back at my early years, it picked up traction reasonably fast. Within my first year, I’d been to an intimate afternoon tea with Benefit, coming home with stacks of samples and contacts I could reach out to. I was receiving PR samples and gifts, even surprise balloons in a box from L’Oreal. I had content coming out of my ears, and although I primarily focused on beauty then, I dabbled in my fair share of fashion, working with eBay on the launch of their Collections and Grazia as a local ambassador. When I write it all down, 2011-2014 were great blogging years for me. So, what changed?
I wonder if I began to care too much. I was clouded by the success of others and I didn’t acknowledge what I’d achieved. I looked around me, at an industry that was ramping up in quite a noticeable fashion, and realised perhaps my side hustle couldn’t keep up. I couldn’t afford the camera I wanted to get the shots that matched the others, and I wasn’t reaching the brands I wanted to work with. I didn’t have the time to shoot what I wanted when the light was good, and realistically, I couldn’t keep the consistency and momentum going, up against the ‘full time bloggers’. I cared too much about how I wasn’t keeping up, and inevitably, I let things slide. Being over critical caused me not to publish posts, and of course, negativity breeds contempt. I got in a rut of not being good enough – and maybe I’m not even out of it yet.
Rewinding back to 2011, my early days. It was simple style inspiration from the fashion bloggers, and straight up beauty reviews from the #bbloggers. ‘Day in the life’ posts were fun to create and I don’t even think I’d come across a travel blogger at this point. Now it’s all ‘inspire and inform’, which from a business content creation perspective, is spot on. But for a personal blog like mine? Perhaps just ‘doing me’ could be enough. It was at the start. Since I began blogging, my direction has changed. I’ve grown up, and at just 18 months from 30, I’m not inspired by the same things I was when I was fresh out of university. Don’t get me wrong, creating content that is both enjoyable and useful is what I love to do, but perhaps my tendency to care too much is a hindrance in an online world where you can just do you.
It’s between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, I slap my own wrist, and say – look at what you’ve created! Check yourself out on the Joules AND Laura Ashley blogs (here and here, wink) this week, and look, this awesome brand really want to work with you. Don’t be so down on what you’ve created – do your thing, enjoy it, and don’t compare. And on the other hand? Work harder, create better, delve deeper into the mysterious and exciting industry that this has become and get the absolute most out of it. Just maintain your integrity and the reasons why you started. Remember that comparison is the thief of joy and you’ll only ever suceed.
Want to read more about my thoughts on blogging?
Or perhaps you’re not a blogger and you’d like to know What Goes In To Creating A Blog Post.