This post has been a long time coming. It’s been brewing for a while. Brewing for so long that I’ve just tapped out over 900 words in under half an hour (why don’t essays do that …) I just want to get something off my chest about things that have been playing about on my mind recently when it comes to blogging. It’s one of those ones where I’ve been hovering over the ‘publish’ button for a while, so, here it goes.
When I started blogging three years ago, it wasn’t a ‘thing’. It wasn’t something every body did and there were a few ‘big’ names like Zoella, Vivianna, Olivia Purvis and Carrie but it didn’t have a name for itself yet. It wasn’t viewed as a full time job or a profession as such, there were just a few people that did it because they enjoyed it and who happened to make a bit of money with it. I had no idea what I was doing but I did it because I enjoyed it and loved writing. Even if my old posts make me cringe so hard now …
Fast forward and Sophie etc has gone in directions I never though it would and Zoella has become a household name with an empire. Blogging has now become something every body seems to do now. There are so many out there on various topics, sharing thoughts and words with the world because anyone can get on the web these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love what blogging has become, for me and in general. It’s a ways and means to get yourself out there, meet new people and collaborate with brands that treat you like royalty. You feel valued by your readers and PR companies and it feels brill. Can you feel the ‘but’ coming? … it just feels so samey now.
I’ve said it. I was scrolling through Twitter a few months ago and I realised that so many blogs didn’t stick out to me any more. All of them were posting ‘How to blog’ posts and everyone was an expert in blogging. Then all the photos seemed to merge into one and if I’m honest I lost a bit of faith in blogging. I started it to create my own voice and fuel a growing passion, not to be part of an increasingly competitive community that to be honest, was getting a bit bitchy.
I know comparison is the thief of joy but it’s so hard not to compare yourself to others. I was seeing all these blogs appear to grow fast because they all looked the same but mine was going nowhere even though I was doing similar things. I tried to get somewhere by forcing myself into something that didn’t fit; it was like the kids today where you match up the shapes and I was trying to fit the circle into the square. So I decided to take a completely different approach and wrote about what I felt like, regardless of what anyone else was doing.
And you know what? I’ve been more successful this way. I’ve had more exciting, big brand collaborations and I’ve watched my platfomrs tick over 1000 followers. This made me realise that blogging is as much about the person behind the blog as it is the content and images. People were caring more about me and were reading Sophie etc for me. My personality is my brand, not the marble background photographs or constructed flat lays. You guys absolutely love reading my Weekly Round Up posts and I’m so surprised because they aren’t fashion or beauty related at all which is what I thought people would usually come here for. People like to see little bits of personality here and there which is what I feel we need to understand in the blogging world. Not everything has to be perfect.
Not everything has to be ‘blog-worthy’ or blogable, we need to take a step back and stop chasing that idea that seems to have come from nowhere that you have to have a perfect life. I wish I could take every new blogger aside and tell them they don’t have to fit it with this ‘aesthetic’. It doesn’t make you a bad person if you don’t look the same as everyone else. You’re you. You don’t have to have a perfect white house with cacti and minimalist decor everywhere. Your photos don’t have to be every inch of perfection because we aren’t magazines. You don’t need to feel guilty if you don’t post an Instagram for the day. We’re all to blame for creating this unnecessary pressure on ourselves as bloggers and it’s stifles content and creativity. We don’t have to be perfect.
Set your own rules for your blog. Do what ever the hell you want because it’s your space on the internet and people won’t ever judge you if your flat lay isn’t perfect. (Sorry if you’re that person) I have a whole host of different blogs on my bloglovin’ feed because I want to read different stuff every day. If your thing is beauty, share it. If you love DIY, PINTEREST THAT SHIT. Because it’s awesome to stand out and be different. A flamingo in a flock of pigeons.
This isn’t a rant. Okay it is. I needed to get it off my chest. Like I said, it’s been brewing a while. I just want to end it on a more positive note and say that blogging is one of the best things I’ve chosen to do. I’ve met some incredible people and have forged professional relationships with brands I could only dream of working with. Just be yourself and everything else will follow.
Amazing print from Sighh Designs