We’ve all seen blogging transform and evolve over the last few years and with nearly every third person in the bloggers-sphere market, it’s becoming increasingly impossible to find your niche or to even get a piece of the pie.
In one of my previous posts, I touched on why I initially started blogging and with my profession becoming a multi-dimensional industry, wordpress is one of the many skills a Public Relations practitioner (PRP) needs to know about. The ironic part is, is that they don’t teach the outrageous amount of skills companies want you to know like html, in-design, Photoshop, SEO or social media at varsity so I’m happy I taught myself wordpress; the one of many skills a PRP is required to know.
Okay, enough about me reminiscing about my profession and let me get back on my bandwagon and speak about my experience with blogging.
When I switched over from doing opinion pieces to focusing on fashion and book reviews, I was all about followers. In May, I had over 500 followers on my Facebook page (thank you so much) but my Instagram feed was not what I hoped it would be. I felt like a total failure; that people hated the images I was uploading. I saw the followers’ increase one minute to decreasing the next which made me sprawl into a depression state.
Next thing I knew, I was on the phone with my partner telling him I’m quitting, that I no longer want to do blogging because I’m not getting the followers I want. How selfish of me! The next few weeks I sat down, thought about why I’m actually doing this and went soul searching. Unfortunately, society has allowed us believe that the amount of likes you get for an image depicts who we are.
According to the DailyMail, Instagram is the most depressing social network because you get more explicit and implicit cues of people being happy, rich and successful from a photo than from a status update.
I became too obsessed with comparing myself to other bloggers instead of staying true to who I am, to what I love and having to remind myself why I became a blogger in the first place. I looked at my now 656 followers on Facebook and told myself, “Do it for them. Make sure you create great content for the few who is still rooting for you to do well”.
The pressure was weighing me down tremendously. Having to succeed in a market that is thriving with established bloggers was becoming a nightmare. You begin to look at yourself with so much hatred, telling yourself that you not pretty enough for the industry, you not rich enough to purchase those lavish clothing or dining at exclusive restaurants. That you too bulky in weight and you need to lose that fat sitting on your thighs and arms to impress the world.
On one particular occasion, a friend asked me two/three months into doing the fashion section, “How do you keep up with bloggers who wear expensive brands?” My response was, “I will only wear items I know I can afford”. And it’s true. I was no longer allowing myself to be bullied by the ‘must-have ‘generation. If I found something at a Chinese store, I bought it! I wasn’t about to let society pressurize me into debt. I’ve seen and heard horrendous stories about bloggers who have debt to up to their necks trying to keep up with a lifestyle they can barely manage to pay for.
It’s only when my budget allows it, will I splurge on a pair of heels or handbag but I won’t spend more than R300.00 – R400.00 on an item of clothing – wait, even that is too much for me because let’s face it: Fashion changes ALL.THE.TIME. Why spend thousands on an item I know I will only be wearing twice or thrice? That’s obscured to say the least unless you are able to afford it then go ahead.
But with that said, it really is an expensive hobby – a hobby I now have to groom daily. So, if you playing on the idea of going into blogging then make sure you can financially back it up with great content. A camera is the one essential item you need to invest in and a good photographer. Luckily, my sister and I grew up with photography so we know how to operate a camera. And no, she doesn’t take my images for free. I actually pay her for her time.
If you considering on being a beauty, fashion, book or lifestyle blogger, be prepared to stay on trend and by that I mean, with products which can be extremely deep on your pocket. Brands are now realizing that the blogging pool is becoming broader and more demanding therefore, they becoming very selective on which bloggers they will be approaching or sending out media kits too so don’t bag on the fact that your name will be on their list.
That is why I purchase everything myself, from the beauty products, clothing and books. I make sure that I research clothing that suit my body type and where I can find a replica that suit my pocket and style it my way. I create all my content over the weekend and schedule it for during the week because I have that typical 9:00-5:30 job schedule, once I walk through that door, I eat, wash, and I’m off to bed unless I’m running off to class after work.
But how am I now? I’m content with myself. It took me a few good knocks to comprehend the strain I was putting myself through, that I allowed myself to be compared to others for the sake on how society viewed things and how the modern generation has portrayed the world we should be living in – that we should keep up with the luxury lifestyle.
I started out with good intentions but with the wrong mindset and sometimes you need to be kicked from behind to realize how far you got sucked in. I now blog for me; I blog because for the few hours it’s live, someone out there is taking a few minutes out of their day to read my post and I’m perfectly happy with just the one reading it and liking it too.
I no longer care about the amount of likes I’m receiving for an image because I’m thrilled I get to upload a product I’m proud of and that is not derogative like so many bloggers I’ve come across these last few months.
Until next time.