Monday, 26 September 2016

Can't Keep Up? Blogging in 2016


I've decided I'm giving up on keeping up. It's no surprise, blogging has changed. Many bloggers are now full time professionals, creating content for multiple platforms, all to earn a living. Which is great! Do what you love and get paid doing it. But what do you do if you suddenly feel very overwhelmed and out of your depth in a sea of tweets, instagram stories and affiliate links...

When I started blogging five years ago, I had zero intentions of it become a career. I was only aware of a handful of top bloggers who were doing it full time and making a decent income. It was nice to make a bit of extra pocket money, and I enjoyed blogging, but I had other plans. As the years went on and my blog grew a little, I did ponder over really going for it and turning my hobby into a job. For a while I worked extra hard at producing lots of quality content every week and researched the best ways to earn a living through blogging. I was still studying so I had the luxury of time and very few responsibilities. I did alright actually. But then University ended and I wanted to pursue other things, (Photography by Gwen). Blogging was back to being a hobby and to be honest, it just wasn't bringing in anywhere near enough money for me to not have a 'real life' job.

Every now and then I'll be invited to some fantastic blogger events, where I meet other lovely bloggers. Some are doing it full-time, working really bloody hard and doing a wonderful job. But it occurs to me that it all feels a bit like a never-ending popularity race, everyone fighting to be heard over each other. And now we have so many apps and social media sites that we must use because god forbid we fall behind. It's a wonder anyone has time to actually live life the amount of time spent sharing it. I see fellow part-time bloggers who I know for a fact work a 9-5 regular job, running and updating an abundance of social media accounts daily (ahem, hourly) and producing blog content 3+ times a week, and I wonder how on earth they juggle it all! Where do they find the time? Or the energy?

Did you remember to tweet about your latest blog post going live? Have you forgotten to include those important affiliate links or mention the right product? Did you see such-a-person's Snapchat story and why haven't you shared anything online today, it's 3pm, what have you been doing!?

It's all so overwhelming! If this is what is takes to be a successful blogger in 2016 then I'm so lost and ready to call it a day. I shouldn't won't be addicted to my phone. Honestly, who's going to be bothered if I haven't posted on Instagram for 3 days... no one. But we all feel compelled to keep going, keep sharing, every day, every hour, tweeting and re-tweeting and replying to comments, hitting publish to show your life is interesting and your blog is still relevant. Because if we don't we'll be forgotten. The posts we are proud of and spend hours working on will be left behind. Buried under a mountain of fresh new content written by bloggers who seem to have a better grasp on self-promotion (and don't forget to use their Facebook pages). There's so much pressure. I'm exhausted.

I haven't posted here for almost a month. This is the biggest break I've taken from blogging in a long time. Partly I've been so busy with work and pursuing some exciting things, so I've just not had chance. But I've also been wanting to write a post like this for a while and I wasn't sure how to get it out. Now I've said it. So here's my plan; I'm going to continue to blog for as long as I enjoy it. I like what blogging brings. So many opportunities and fun collaborations. I like having a place to share my words and pictures. I like having a gateway to rave about a beauty product, or post an outfit, or chat about life things like this. But I'm done with the numbers and the analytics. It's not what I came for and it's not what's keeping me.

I don't want to worry about sticking to an Instagram aesthetic. (Ok I get it, I'm a visual person and I like when people make the effort to use a platform for a specific purpose, but for goodness' sake sometimes I just want to post photos of me and my friends having a good time!) I don't want to schedule my tweets or sign up to yet another affiliate marketing program. It's zapping all the fun out of it for me. I think what I'm trying to say is if blogging is not your occupation, and you have no desire to turn it into a career, don't stress about keeping up appearances and doing 573 things a day to 'make your blog successful'.

I'm very lucky that I get to be involved in amazing events and get sent occasional freebies. I think that comes from five years or writing on This Fashion is Mine and very slowly building readership. Maybe one day I will be left behind in the dusty wake of those bloggers who are willing to spend their lives online, growing their blogs. I'll have to face that if it happens! But I'm happy to write about this topic, especially if other bloggers out there feel the same and think they are the only ones struggling to keep up. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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7 comments

  1. I've never read anything so true in my whole life. I feel exhausted just thinking about all the blogging tasks you 'have' to do along side your actual blog to keep 'relevant'. The stress of finding things to blog about sometimes is also exhausting. I myself am a part time blogger, blogging because I enjoy it. I'm not blogging for views, free stuff, money etc. I think that's the problem with blogging now. I started mine in 2012 when everything on here seemed so simple and easy... to look at it now, it just seems like one big popularity contest and I am just so relieved somebody has spoke up about it! This post was so real and refreshing to read.

    Also, I love your photography. I found your blog years ago and have always found it interesting.

    http://kimberley-xxx.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Ahh I'm so glad someone else feels the same way! It's such hard work being a blogger these days and with so many of us out there you wonder if anyone is actually reading what you post. So thank you for your comment Kimberley that means a lot! xx

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  2. Hi Gwen, I completely agree with you - just recently I was thinking how bad it was that I hadn't posted on my Instagram for a few days then realised that really, I care more about living in the present moment than keeping up on social media! That might sound bad for a blogger but I think it's important to get the balance, for happiness' sake! Steph x
    www.stephstyle.com

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    1. I agree Steph, isn't it silly that we feel guilty or like we're not working hard enough when we haven't posted on social media in a while. I can see its importance in supporting a blog, but I'm really starting to see the benefits of switching off for a while and enjoying life as it's happening. xx

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  3. Gwen- yours is the only fashion blog I'll go anywhere near. When you post on any platform, it automatically brightens my day. So I hope you never get tired of it...you've influenced me in so many lovely ways.

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    1. Thank you so much Julie, your comment has made my day! I can see blog evolving and changing but I don't think I'll tire of it just yet. It's so nice to know there are people out there still reading! xx

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  4. "Did you remember to tweet about your latest blog post going live? Have you forgotten to include those important affiliate links or mention the right product? Did you see such-a-person's Snapchat story and why haven't you shared anything online today, it's 3pm, what have you been doing!?"
    Tried blogging myself some time ago. Gave it up, just because it was sa overwhelming and depressing...
    Thank for this post
    Cheers from http://blogtopsue.com

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