Finding My Way In The Online World.
A bit of a debrief…
Here it is, my first rambling personal post of 2019! And you know what? I’m going to do more of these, a sort of digital heart to heart with you guys. It feels good to get things off my chest and not worry too much about who might see this, or how it could be perceived.
I started a version of this blog almost ten years ago, I was 19 and didn’t have a lot else going for me – I was fresh out of university, with a degree in a subject I no longer cared for. I wanted to write and channel some creativity, so I wrote about something I was passionate about; beauty!
I took photos in my tiny bedroom with its floral sheets and terrible lighting, and I stuck at it. Not always, I’m sure there were lulls where life took over… but in the grand scheme of things, I’m still here! With nearly ten years of posts behind me. It’s a pretty impressive feat, really!
In that decade, so much has changed. More than we could have imagined! I said once that a regret of mine was that I didn’t take blogging seriously sooner, it wasn’t even a pipe dream for me back then – I really had no sense of what could come of it.
It’s interesting though, because of course my content now has surpassed what I could only have dreamed of, but I feel like my blog was better a couple of years back. I cared less, I posted more, I didn’t have some of the pressure I do now. A few years ago, it was less about likes and more about the quality of the post. You shared what you loved and that was it, and I so miss that.
I want to share some thoughts I’ve been having lately about where I stand in the online world. I like putting these thoughts out there, and hopefully it will encourage conversation and inspire us all to put a bit of 2016 back in to our blogs…
Going Back To Basics
I think one thing a lot of us self-employed folks find is that we put too much pressure on ourselves, and even the smallest of tasks grow arms and legs and then become so overwhelming and too daunting to start. I know for me a lot of the time, I get these ideas for posts or photos but I feel the need to take them to the next level. I mean, I love that about myself – that unchallenged commitment that completely takes over – but I also like an easy life. It’s a double-edged sword!
I want to find balance with that this year, find a way to meet my own expectations and still fulfil all those fun ideas I have. It’s totally doable – I love the realness and the spontaneity about blogs and blogging in general, so it’s definitely time to run with that again.
This year is all about going back to basics for me, in a way I want less of a content calendar and more “oh this is how I’m feeling right now and yeah I’m going to write an entire blog post about it”, as well as those posts that are just photo diaries with little text!
Sponsored Content & Me
I had this sort of realisation about my sponsored posts last month. Christmas is, as you would expect, a busy period for paid work so I was a little worried about how much I had going live (as it happens, I didn’t need to be because you guys are amazing and TOTALLY GET IT!)
I started thinking about what the purpose of my job was, I was looking at the captions I had written about beauty products I was promoting, and at the way I presented my photos to my audience.
I was analysing the insights and how the posts performed, and I guess I was trying to find something meaningful in it all. I wanted to know what my own purpose was, in some ways.
Without sounding ungrateful (because believe me when I say, I am thankful for every single person that follows or engages with my content in any way!), I realised I don’t have the kind of super engaged audience that hangs off my every word. I know how that sounds, but bear with me!
I think a lot of what I share is achievable for the average working woman, perhaps a little aspirational, and my audience (you lovely lot!) like that – maybe you want to know how to style your apartment, or see what’s new at Topshop worn by someone who is your size or shape. Maybe you take one trip a year and you want recommendations on where to visit – Edinburgh or Bali? New York or London?
I think the bloggers we follow give us something to almost strive for; daily inspiration to live happier and go after what we want.
I also think that the people who follow me and my fellow blogger pals are pretty clued up; you know a moisturiser probably isn’t going to change your life, and you won’t stop what you’re doing just to buy a pair of shoes I wore one time – but instead, when it comes to the next time your moisturiser is running low, or you’re in the market for a new pair of winter boots, you’ll look to the bloggers you follow for recommendations. I love that we can inspire people to have a happy life and feel good about themselves at the same time.
I think from a brands perspective, they look to bloggers to create dreamy set-ups that capture their brand. They find people that encompass their whole essence, so it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, and the result is a curated campaign that is unique and personal. My favourite part of what I do is looking at a brief from a brand, deciding on a theme or working on a moodboard, shooting the photos and putting the images together to tell a story. I never feel like I have to talk my audience in to buying anything, my captions don’t need to be pushy or disingenuous, and a lot of the time I can let the imagery speak for itself.
What’s next for me…
This is the year I give this blog a little extra TLC; for too long I’ve been concentrating on other platforms, spreading myself thin trying to do everything – but this blog is my passion, and I should follow my heart with it a bit more.
I want to leave my comfort zone more with my photography too; find locations for shoots, plan ahead for content (not just paid opportunities) and make this blog a bit more interesting in general.
The perfectionist in me also needs to take a back seat sometimes too, I hate the pressure I put on myself to do everything on a big scale; sometimes the smaller posts are my most loved!
I’m feeling a whole lot happier in myself now I feel like I have a place in blogging – I really do believe there’s room for everyone, no matter what your follower count!
Thanks for all your support over the years, I hope you still find my blog interesting and relatable.
How do you feel about blogging in 2019?