Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Truth About Blogging; Struggles, Failures & Resolutions



Recently, I've started blogging about things that matter to me in my life at the point that I am writing them. Of course, I will never stop blogging about fashion - my blog is called 'I Blog The Fashion' for a reason. I'm also not going to start blogging about world news anytime soon, however, I am unconsciously increasingly making my blog a place where I share my thoughts and a few life events. Hopefully, in some way, I hope that this makes my blog more relatable and as a result more of my personality will escapes into the posts that I am writing. I want to blog more frequently. I have said this countless times on my blog and for one reason or another, I fail to succeed for a long duration of time, in uploading regular posts. 

To be perfectly honest, I have disappointed myself this year with the lack of posts that I have managed to upload. I don't really like to say that I am disappointed with myself very often and even typing it now makes me feel bad about myself. But, the truth of the matter is, unless I recognise where I've gone wrong, I'm never going to be able to fix it. I recognise that the reasons I've failed to post more regularly over the past few months were due to a few factors. The main reason was the pressure I put on myself to put posts out that I simply couldn't fulfil. It can be hard as a blogger to keep a constant stream of endorsed content flowing. I always want my posts to have originality. However, it can also be hard to block out other influences - other blogs, magazines and voices that can inspire you but also intimidate you. I would be lying if I said that I had sat there reading other blogs and hadn't thought that they were so much better than mine.

Unlike popular bloggers, I do not get paid to write posts. This can be both a good thing and bad thing. Good because I am not pressured to write overwhelmingly positive blog posts about products just to get some money in my pocket. But, also bad because I earn absolutely £0.00 from my blog. I do get contacted by companies asking if I would like to feature their products on my blog. I respond only if I have faith and trust in their company, product and there is no pressure to publish reviews with opinions other than my own. In those cases, I have stated when I have been gifted the items. However, the only payment I will have received is the reward of being able to keep the product they have sent. This is not a complaint, but an observation. Blogging was started as a hobby and it remains my hobby, not my job.

Recently, I have had so many blog ideas that I simply cannot fulfil. This is due to my lack of money at this point in my life. As a student earlier on in the year, I barely had any money flowing into my bank account. Now that I am taking a gap year and am currently unemployed, the only money I have in my purse is a five pound note that has sat there for months. Something that is an unavoidable fact, is that to some extent, unsponsored fashion and beauty blogging costs money. Obviously, depending on what kind of content you want to produce on your blog - you can completely avoid the aspect of money. The products that I have blogged about in the past have either been presents from Birthdays or Christmases or things that I have saved up to buy myself.

The world of blogging can be intensely materialistic and superficial. In a real world, no one owns enough makeup to paint the faces of a whole country. In a real world, under normal circumstances, no one owns more clothes than they can fit into one household room. However, in a world where sponsoring and PR exists - successful bloggers can achieve the impossible, with larger than average makeup collections and closets of clothes to envy. I would by lying if I said that that wouldn't be my dream job. I would love nothing more than to be able to put together extensive lookbooks of clothes that high street companies have sent me and talk about makeup that I haven't paid a penny for. But, for now, blogging for me, costs money.

With that in mind, I have seriously struggled to find my feet as a blogger this year. Money has been practically non-existent, meaning reviews have been sparse and I haven't been able to browse sites much without feeling a little sad that I can't buy anything on them. I hope that I don't come across as unbearably materialistic when I say that, but this aspect of blogging is practically inescapable. The world of fashion and beauty is a carousel of money - with new merchandise, trends and products constantly being released and advertised. I started my blog so that I could talk about all of those things. Writing made me happy and was the perfect escape from my school work. I rarely talked about what I had bought - I was mostly focused on putting together outfits based on the new seasonal trends, creating monthly wish lists and pouring out some fashion related thoughts. I still enjoy writing about all of those things. But, the aspect of materialism weighed me down at a time when I couldn't personally indulge in it.

It is apparent that it is part of human nature to obsess and focus our attention on materialistic things in life. I am certainly dominated by thoughts about new clothes and makeup. I also enjoy watching YouTubers talk about what they've 'bought' or received from companies in the form of makeup and clothes. I will never not enjoy watching these kinds of things. At the end of the day, I still have to get dressed every morning and a little bit of inspiration won't harm. In addition, some tips on makeup certainly won't be given a miss. It's when you start comparing and wishing you had their things that the platform and the blogging world becomes a bit toxic.

I wanted to write this post to write an honest account of what being a blogger is like when you're doing it as a hobby. It is thoroughly enjoyable, and I ultimately keep it up to continue writing. I love writing. But, sometimes, I don't love what I am writing about on my blog. I do not want my blog to be completely focused on fashion and beauty anymore. I truly think that this endorsement of content that I created myself on this blog, has recently become a downfall for me. Although I really do enjoy writing about fashion and beauty, I also love writing some lifestyle posts. Like everything, I go through phases on my blog. Sometimes my content is solely focused on fashion, sometimes fashion and beauty and other times more beauty than fashion. However, writing lifestyle posts more recently, I have realised that I feel a little bit happier. My blog has become a little bit like my diary and a little bit therapeutic as I've written posts about my thoughts!

My resolution as a blogger as we near the year of 2016 is to not lose sight of what I enjoy writing about. Sometimes planning my blog posts means that my content is a bit contrived. In the early days I never planned my blog posts. I wrote spontaneously and the content came to me naturally. In a similar way, this is how I work academically. I never plan my essays before I write them in an exam - I simply let the thoughts and ideas flow through into my pen and onto the paper. It can be hard not to compare yourself with other bloggers. It is also especially hard when you see bloggers who have the funds and sponsors to create the type of content that you would love to create. In the past I have gone to take outfit idea photos and hesitated because although I have a lot of clothes, I know that there would come a point when I would run out of clothes to create new looks with. Many of my clothes I have had for years, making them inaccessible to purchase.  Again, this is something that I hope to change. I want to be able to post a picture of my outfit and not feel like it has to feature in the most recent 'Topshop' collection.

Ultimately, my resolution as a blogger is to come back to my roots. I started over-thinking what my posts would be and questioning whether their content would be interesting enough. This resulted in a few posts monthly. In the beginning, I blogged about everything from Cinderella to the knitted jumper my Grandma made me. Those were my happiest blogging days. Completely uninhibited posts that were spontaneous. Undoubtedly my posts will always be influenced by fashion and beauty in some way but if they're not, it's due to the fact that I simply wasn't feeling it that day. So, I Blog The Fashion, as you age another year, say hello to a new burst of confidence. I may have lost my blogging mojo a bit this year but instead of sulking, I'm coming back with a burst of energy! 2016 personally should be an even better year than 2015. I will be preparing for University, moving to a new place and becoming more independent. I'll be taking notebooks and a camera along the way as I document my year and my thoughts....

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4 comments

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I can relate to - I'm currently unemployed and although I feel really motivated to blog, it can be hard trying to create the content that I want to on such a small budget. Blogging can be a really expensive hobby. Unfortunately, I think it's natural that we compare ourselves to bigger bloggers who are actually getting payed to write what they write. But I can't wait to see more lifestyle posts from you :)
    www.sophie-georgia.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Yes it's definitely something I struggle with 'blogging on a budget'! So glad you can relate & I'm looking forward to doing some more lifestyle posts too! Thanks for the lovely comments, Sophie :) x

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  2. Love this post and can definitely relate! It's hard to blog as a hobby when you don't have thousands in the bank to just buy whatever and write about it! I often look at my favourite blogs and think why doesn't mine look and sound as good. 2016 goal, to try and not compare myself haha
    www.ciarascupboard.blogspot.com

    x C

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    1. Thanks, Ciara! Definitely a great 2016 goal that I was also be doing myself! It's tricky not to compare yourself to other bloggers, so it's going to be a tough goal for the both of us, haha!

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