For the attention of: all bloggers. Everywhere.
Look I think it’s really hard to be a blogger now. No really, it is. It’s a consistent stream of comparison, hard work and the strive to be as editorial as possible when you’re just a one man band operation. It’s often a numbers game, sometimes an obsessive need for more numbers and it’s hard. I know it’s hard. I feel you. I’ve been doing this nearly a decade. A DECADE. But i’m here to talk to you about it. And not patronisingly, nor in a bubble. It’s harder than it was, but of course none of us are out here saying it’s harder than various jobs. It’s not. No one thinks that.
I think there can be a lot of perceived negativity about speaking up about your blogging woes. Especially from people who don’t get it and just see you get sent a free lipstick, or taken on a trip, or even better – paid. You’ve had years of slack from people in your family, or your friends taking the piss, laughing at you needing to get a pic in the good light and obsessively swatching your palette on your arm before you use it.
You’re resilient, you’re strong and you’ve already worked past everything thrown at you to blog in some capacity. It might be your full time job. It might be a part time job. It might be something you do as a very casual hobby, and it might be a serious hobby. We’re all in the same boat together and we must never forget that.
I think the reason it’s feeling a bit rough is because there’s so many in the game now. There’s also the notion that it’s very much an Industry (with a capital I), so businesses, brands, social media platforms are all capitalising on all of us and draining us of our resources. Draining us of brain power. Draining us to use us. They think they can control us now and use us to their advantage. Whether it’s a brand trying to control our creative output, or Instagram trying to control who sees our content, we’re facing the battles that mainstream media have faced for a while. We all knew this time would come. It was never going to be our small safe community forever. The Daily Mail slanderous articles, the Twitter witch hunts and the demonisation of bloggers in popular media – we knew it was going to come. It hurt, sure, but we were ready.
I’m not an expert, none of us are. Any one who says they are an expert of blogging is probably trying to rip you off of money. God that’s just another thing to be wary of as well isnt it. Ya feel like you can’t even trust another blogger sometimes. And sometimes you can’t. Grim I know, but legit, you can’t. Some people aren’t in it for the same reasoning. They might DM you and ask you who the PR is for an event you got asked to go to. They might ask you how much you charge. They might even buy followers and pretend to said PR that they are worth the same as you for a quick buck. Yup. Gross.
Over my years blogging i’ve had bloggers email PRs pretending to be me. Pretending to know me, as well. Said I recommended them. I’ve never met them. I’ve had a blogger steal my entire website design. I’ve had other bloggers steal my content – word for word. Picture for picture. I’ve had bloggers steal my DJ jobs. Steal my collab – emailed the PR and offered to charge less. I’ve been booked on jobs and turned up and i’m next to a prolific faker/buyer of fake followers. Yeah. For real. All of this stuff goes on behind my back and it’s rough. But hey, I survived people laughing in my face at me being a blogger nearly a decade ago, I can survive this. And I do survive this. I pay my bills, my mortgage, and I paid for my wedding with this job. You gotta stay resilient. There’s bumps in the road – but there always will be. If I can survive this, so can you. Not everyone is as genuine as you.
I’m a very normal girl from a very normal life, suburban Cambridge upbringing at a normal school and I worked – and continue to work – to create this life for myself. Some people do bare minimum and do well in this industry. Not me. I work all the time, you might only see one new instagram pic a day and sporadic YouTube posts and think i’m lazy or entitled. I am neither. I work 24/7, more than I ever did in any of my four office jobs I worked in (remember i am almost 30, I have lived) and i’m not mad about it. Not at all. I love working on emails, admin, behind the scenes planning, meetings, editing.. everything. But hey, this isn’t my biopic. So did you. You did and do all this too. I know you do, I see you getting collabs, getting product, getting to work with some of your favourite brands. I also see you engaging with the community, making friends, spending your time with other bloggers you know. I know you’re smashing it. The whole thing is so broad that there’s not one singular metric that measures a blogger’s ‘success’. To some people success is money. To others, success is fulfilment. To others, success is working with their fave brand. It’s so subjective and that’s why it’s often so hard to do.
But why is it hard?
It’s hard because of the comparison. My lord it is the absolute devil in this industry. You see people who are really suited to one brand, getting whisked away to another country. And you think, damn girl, you are so suited to that collab i’m so stoked for you. And even the happiest person for someone else will have a little niggle in the back of their mind like – but why wasn’t I invited? I’m a blogger. You can’t help it. It happens to ALL of us. All. But i’m here to remind you that what you have is great. You’re looking at someone who has a million followers and thinking, why don’t I have a million followers? But you have 10k, or 1k, or even 100. That’s still real life people. Whenever I see people down about numbers I remind them to view those numbers in real life people situations. 100 people in a room is a lot of people. I had almost 100 people at my wedding and it felt like tonnes. You got a whole wedding room full of people to like just one of your photos? Damn son, you’re nailing it.
I get sucked up into the machine of it all as much as you do, that’s why i’m writing this for you – and for me – to remind you.
The road ahead isn’t always straight, but if you turn around and look at how far you’ve walked – and even if the horizon seems so far away – you’ll be surprised at just how far you made. And proud. You should be so very proud.
So, pledge with me now, to stop letting numbers, ‘algorithms’, comparison, and admin get you down.
Stop. You’re a brilliant blogger, and you will continue to be. And hey look, the sun is shining. Go get em, girl.
Photography: George Rockett
Outfit: mesh top: nasty gal, dress: motel rocks, boots: koi footwear*, camera: lomography store, necklace: nasty gal, jacket: missguided*
Location: a pub with a nice white wall near my house