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
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.