Something a little different today ladies… but it’s something I’ve been pondering over for a few months and I figured that surely I can’t be the only one feeling completely overwhelmed at times and apparently it’s better if you get things off your chest? I’m not sure if that applies to me being the recluse (maybe a slight exaggeration) that I am but here goes…
I want to cover a few things that that I’ve come across since joining this blogging bubble, and I am only a baby in this bubble so no of course I am not claiming to be an expert on the subject since this is only something I have been doing for a about a year and a half now, it’s still very early days still I know.
BLOGGING IS EASY
Nope. Wrong. Especially when I imagine most bloggers start off whilst juggling something else in their life, be it another job, studying, being a mother, having a social life, running a household, having a relationship, or a marriage, for me its a full time job 5 days a week. These are everyday things yes but in my experience if you are going to try the blogging game seriously, you are going to have to make some adjustments to your life here and there to make room, my social life is pretty much non existent now for example, but maybe thats just an age thing too? And by the way, if you can do it all without sacrificing anything then I take my hat off to you!
This probably doesn’t apply for every blogger in the world but the end goal for me is to be doing this full time in a few years time but until then I will continue to blog a couple of times a week alongside my 9-5 job. That may not sound like much hard work to someone outside the blogging bubble, it may seem like a small hobby on the side (which in fairness is why I started blogging, just something to do, I never thought anything would come of it really), but we (fellow bloggers) know very well that blogging is just an abbreviation for photographer/editor/stylist/journalist/curator/pr all rolled into one. One blog post takes a lot of time and a lot of effort so make sure you give yourself a pat on the back for every photo taken, every photo edited, every photo uploaded, every word written, every keyword added, every instagram post, every twitter post, every facebook post, every email sent. It’s all work up and it’s a big commitment no matter what other people think. Consistency is the hard part for me, posting regularly, content, content, content, but I luckily since i’m so indecisive with the house and constantly coming up with new ideas it means I have quite a good supply of content. I’m sure every blogger out there has hit a brick wall at one point or another and has fallen out of love with blogging… like all careers, sometimes you lose why you’re doing what you’re doing and I’m sure that will happen to me in time (fingers crossed not though).
Another hard thing about blogging? There’s no rule book (or if there is I need a copy!) or guidelines… you just make it up as you go along with what feels right. But a lot of the time you find yourself asking if you’ve done the right thing because there’s no one to tell you if you’re doing it right. This is where blogging communities come in handy, we should all be happy to lend a hand here and there, we are after all, all in this together (I can’t type that without singing High School Musical).
YOU GET SO MUCH ‘FREE STUFF’
Nope. Wrong again. Actually you will find that a lot of bloggers pay like ordinary customers for a lot of the things they are posting about – and why shouldn’t they, if you love it enough to buy it why wouldn’t you shout about it? Take for example my Lauren Aston Designs Chunky Knitted throw, so many people think that this was gifted to me, it wasn’t, it was a lovely birthday present off my boyfriend last year and I loved it so much (and still do) it became a focal point of so many posts.
Gifted items, I feel like this is something that is never spoken about, but why shouldn’t it be? It’s part of blogging for a lot of bloggers (not from day 1 of starting a blog but in time once you’ve built yourself a reputation it becomes more common). If items have been gifted then I still do not see it as ‘free stuff’, gifted items are gifted for a reason, to be promoted, to be reviewed, to be styled, to be shared with your followers. Would anyone repeatedly write blog posts promoting items and get nothing in return? Probably not, and why should they? What does the blogger get out of that otherwise? That’s just free advertising!
ALL BRANDS CARE ABOUT IS NUMBERS
To a certain extent I think that yes maybe this is true sadly, I’ve heard other bloggers say it, readers say it and sometimes that is precisely the case. Agencies may choose working with a blogger with 100k followers even though their niche does not match their target audience, over one with 5k engaged readers specifically following for that niche. But I don’t think it applies to all brands or all PR agencies, I’ve worked with agencies for example that want good content overall not record numbers, so have faith ladies… they’re not all bad!
On the same topic, I always feel theres a bit of an elephant in the room when it comes to celebrating how many followers you have, like you’re seen to be gloating or something. It’s not the be all end all no of course not, but it is something I have and always will celebrate because it’s an achievement in yourself, something that you should be proud of, to be able to share your thoughts/styling/ideas with so many like minded people. Why wouldn’t I celebrate that? It’s a an amazing thing so give yourself another pat on the back. At the same time I will be celebrating other bloggers milestones, we absolutely should be lifting each other up at all times!
IT SHOULDN’T TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE THOUGH
This is the hardest part for me. I have become a self-confessed workaholic when it comes to Lust Living, which isn’t a bad thing because it doesn’t feel like work, I really do enjoy it which is why I end up spending all my spare time on it. But it’s not so good when you need to balance other things in your spare time like relationships, friendships, family, and just some time off with yourself. I struggle so much with this, probably partly because I am doing what feels like a full time blogging job around a full time job 5 days a week, my week evenings are spent at my laptop as are my weekends, and desperately making the most of those hours of daylight to get the best photos I possibly can. But where does that leave your social life? Well it doesn’t, and it’s something I’m okay with to be honest, blogging is my priority to be perfectly honest, I’m trying to make a long term career out of it eventually so why wouldn’t it be? I’m putting every ounce of effort in, in the hope that it will pay off in the long run. Sometimes that does mean that I struggle to put my phone down sure, it’s become such an important aspect of Lust Living… of sharing everything, of interacting on social media… and I’m supposed to apologise for being on my phone too much… it’s hard isn’t it? Growing up with technology and being in this industry makes it very hard to put your phone (the internet) down. At times I end up putting so much pressure on myself, promising blog posts/social media content within a slim deadline outside my day job and trying to keep healthy relationships around me that it just all gets too much… and I’m about ready to cry. Wether you’re a blogger or not you will have felt that at some point I’m sure, so no sympathy votes here. We have all be there and probably will be a thousand times again. Maybe your priorities do need re-evaluating, that is something only you can decide, it’s your life and its up to you how you spend your time. Not even the closest people to us understand the time it takes to be a blogger, that’s the most frustrating part, people do not understand the dedication. You can’t do it all, but that’s not going to stop me trying because right now I don’t see another way? I am fully invested in Lust Living, end of. Blogging is exhausting and it takes dedication, but it’s completely worth it.
Onwards and upwards!
This is always going to be a somewhat sensitive/debated topic and is of course down to opinion, as I mentioned before I am no expert but these are just my experiences in the blogging bubble so far. I hope this doesn’t ruffle any feathers, maybe you’ve felt the same frustrations or pressures as me at time? And please, if you have any tips on how to balance blogging and your lifestyle then I am all ears seriously.
Bloggers, keep doing what you’re doing. You’re amazing.