9.15.17 29

The Ugly Side of Blogging

Being an editor of your own blog means you have this creative freedom to do whatever the hell you want with your space. Frankly speaking, that is probably why it is so tempting to start your own business in this industry.

Of course, creative freedom is not the only benefit. There’s the monetary value, the recognition, perks or the oh-so-needed personal fulfillment and satisfaction. HOWEVER. No matter what it is you’re after, I am here to tell you, blogging is not always rainbows and butterflies. Yes, I said it. There is an ugly side of blogging, too.

Now, what I am about to share is not meant to be perceived as complaining. If anything, I want you to see it as an insight or behind the scenes of what really is going on in the blogging world. Or at least, since I’m sure I haven’t seen it all yet, what bothers me about blogging so far.

Brace yourself. Today’s post will be rather long, because A) I have a lot to talk about B) I want to share some of my favorite photos recently taken in New York City, and I simply couldn’t narrow it down, I love them all so much.

 

photography by Devin Cruz

Brooklyn Bridge styled shoot NYFW

Vici Collection champagne dress with ruffles Napa blogger

THE UGLY SIDE OF BLOGGING

Let’s talk about fashion and lifestyle blogging in particular because that’s what I know best. I have about 5 years of experience at creating my own little space on the web that includes writing, photographing, editing, styling, brainstorming, connecting, pitching, marketing – you know the drill. You’d think after all these years I’d be used to it, right?

The truth is having an online business means you are constantly expected to adapt to changes. Nothing ever stays the same online and if you don’t adjust your strategy to the current trends, you’ll get behind. I’m talking SEO tactics, social media sharing or even the editing style – you gotta keep up with the market. It’s like when your readers don’t want to read anymore, so you resort to photos. Then you realize that you put out so many, you kind of don’t stand out anymore. So you switch to the video, because maybe that’s how your audience will connect more.

Point being made here is that you find yourself constantly putting out content hoping for your audience to like it. Not only that, you also want to be accepted by the blogging community. And that’s where other problem arise. Actually, there’s at least 4.

The Ugly Side of Blogging

Honest Thoughts on Blogging - NYC photoshoot

SATURATION & REPETITION

If you’re here reading this blog, chances are you follow other bloggers as well. I can’t blame you. There is so much great content out there shared every single day. Then, of course, there’s the not so great stuff too, because you know, balance.

Brooklyn Bridge fashion shoot Napa blogger

Surely, I’m not the only one guilty of following way too many people on Instagram. And that’s what got me thinking. I suddenly realized I got sucked into this saturated market of constant repetition. Worse, I was that blogger doing what everybody else does. Going to cute places, taking cute photos and leaving generic yet cute comments on other accounts.

In my defense, I started blogging with great intentions and has always been honest with the content I was putting out. At some point, I just thought I have to start hustling more and more and in result, I became more generic yet cute myself. Definitely not the look I was going for.

NYFW 2017 Brooklyn Bridge photo shoot

Blogging 101

COMPARISON

Somewhat losing my own voice in the blogging world, I found myself looking at other bloggers and thinking I’m not good enough. You know what they say about comparison. It’s a thief of joy. It’s true. Do not try to compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle. It will eat you alive. Especially, these days when it’s all about the numbers. Yes, I’m talking about Instagram.

Personally, I believe in honest engagement over the numbers as it’s so obvious to tell whether somebody has an organic audience on Instagram or not. Still, sometimes it sucks seeing others getting more collaborations and partnerships than you because of the amount of followers, when you put so much work in everything you do.

NYC photographer Devin Cruz

Brooklyn Bridge romantic photo shoot

COMPETITION

That brings me to the last point. Competition. It’s hard to avoid it because of the mentioned saturation on the market. With complete honesty, I look up to a lot of bloggers/ influencers and always try to do my best to learn from them, find inspiration through them, and not just plain copy their ideas. Collaboration over competition is actually what I pride myself in. I’ve made many friendships through blogging and that’s the main reason why I will continue to create content here and on social media.

However, like I mentioned earlier, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. There’s the infamous follow/unfollow game on Instagram that I want NO part in. The bloggers who don’t reply to comments or your DM’s or those who form a tight clique at events and want nothing to do with you. For the most part, I’ve had good experiences and been lucky to connect with some really supportive ladies, but every once in a while I feel ignored and disappointed.

New York City jacket Brooklyn Bridge photoshoot

Brooklyn Bridge morning photo shoot SF blogger Shenska

Are you still with me?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Have you ever seen the ugly side of blogging? Once again, I did not intend this blog post to sound sappy, just sharing my two cents here. I do understand that every industry has its challenges and those are good for your character building. There’s still so many good things about being a blogger that no matter the hardships, I will keep going and creating. And I hope you’ll be right there with me. 😉

Napa blogger Shenska on blogging NYC photographer

Brooklyn Bridge photo shoot Vici dress

Brooklyn Bridge fashion blogger photo shoot Shenska

P.S. Just to mix things up, I decided to throw in these photos from New York City that me and Devin shot a few weeks ago because there’s just something so innocent, pure and genuine about them. Isn’t it what blogging is supposed to be about anyway?

Lastly, I have to mention the real MVP in this post – the dress. This champagne colored maxi is by Vici Collection and if you haven’t heard of this brand yet, then you must have been living under the rock or something. Haha really though, I became enamored with every single piece they carry. The quality and service – AMAZING. You can shop the dress here and before you ask, no, I’m not having any affiliate links in today’s post. 😉 Just sharing what I sincerely bought myself and love.

 

Oh, and did I mention I finally uploaded my first ever video on YouTube? #newbie

blog post signature Shenska

Leave a Comment

29 Comments

  1. Adri wrote:

    Really love this post! The more open we are about this, the better this blogging world would get. You look stunning in this dress!
    xo Adri
    http://www.adrilately.blogspot.com

    Published 9.15.17
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      Thanks so much for your feedback, Adri! I feel the same way! We’re all in this together and I don’t see how we shouldn’t be all supportive of each other. Sending much love to you!

      Published 9.15.17
      Reply
  2. Ruth wrote:

    Blogging is crazy! There are so many positive things I get from my own experiences blogging, and yet there is definitely that negative side of it. I take breaks quite a bit when I’m feeling inadequate and overwhelmed and I always try and reply to my comments. I have two little girls and a husband and I want them to be first over blogging and sometimes blogging goes to the back burner. Thanks for sharing your thoughts because I can totally relate!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

    Published 9.15.17
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      Exactly!I recently I’m taking more breaks than ever just because I needed to step back and gain a better perspective. Definitely don’t want to be putting out the same content all the time. And I definitely feel the same about blogging being so time-consuming. I’m sure my guy also appreciates when I take more breaks from from the blog and social media. 😉 xoxo

      Published 9.15.17
      Reply
  3. kashienka wrote:

    Couldn’t focus on reading ’cause your pictures are sooo breathtaking <3 Photo shoot on the Brooklyn Bridge is one of my dreams!
    But honestly, truth is – haven't found any of things you listed as ugly side of blogging. Maybe because I have different type of blog, I don't know. For me the ugly side of blogging are.. haters 😉 I started with zero but since my audience grew a lot over the years of blogging, the amount of haters grew in direct proportion. Technically I don't care what they say cause I know that majority of them are unhappy, insecure people who only can be "brave" anonymously in the Internet… but gosh, it's kinda annoying to read everyday at least one message that (put here one of them) I got married for green card / I got married of money / I'm ugly / I can't take are of my own dog and I'm heartless monster to him / I'm not ambitious at all and my dream was to be a housewife / I have no idea about the States so what's the point about living there / the only thing that matters to me is my Instagram (that's from today actually!) / I show off my "awesome" life to make people feel bad / I collaborate with brands for money and recommend shitty stuff /etc, ect… Part of the problem is that I write in Polish, and who is the most jealous, unhappy and complaining society in the world? 😛

    Published 9.16.17
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      Wow, Kasia, that’s something else! So sorry to hear about that! You’re right, I forgot to mention the haters… Luckily, I’m not getting any hateful messages YET, only sometimes that I don’t write in Polish enough. But dang, to see people take their time and write such messages is truly beyond my understanding of how this society works!

      Published 9.16.17
      Reply
  4. Kris wrote:

    I’ve only been blogging for 3 months, so I haven’t experienced much of it yet, but I do get what you’re saying. The social media world truly is oversaturated and I think everyone is comparing themselves to others, which has become a big problem. I hope you realize your blog is incredible and so is your photography, so you’re definitely among the top bloggers!

    Have an awesome day!
    xx Kris | https://dreamingofpink.wordpress.com

    Published 9.16.17
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      Kris, you are too generous with your comment! Thank you so much, love! I do believe it’s good to stay in your own lane and not compare yourself to others. However, every now and then I do find myself in the comparison game and I just hate when it happens! Though I always try to turn it into a healthy thing and learn from those who seem to be doing great with their businesses. 😉

      Published 9.16.17
      Reply
  5. Marlena wrote:

    Just in point ☝️ Bardzo dobry tekst!!! Dokładnie o tym rozwmawiałyśmy!!!! Buziaki 😘😘😘

    Published 9.16.17
    Reply
  6. Andrea wrote:

    This post warms my heart because it’s the truth! Have gone through a similar journey, and felt the pressure in working in such a saturated market while dealing with being compared and feeling left out of cliques at events. I’m glad you’re above all of that and have embraced community over competition – truly believe this is the way to go – this is how we’ll all grow together faster. You rock for posting this, and hope more people read this post!

    Published 9.17.17
    Reply
  7. Lucy wrote:

    lovely 🙂
    FOLLOW FOR FOLLOW? 🙂 : FASHIONGIRL.BLOGSPOT.COM

    Published 9.17.17
    Reply
  8. Loved this post ! You are absolutely right about collaboration over competition 👍🏼 And it’s much more important to have an engaging audience rather than just numbers 💯 and I’m obsessed with that dress 👗 xx Amanda Katherine (dopeandbroke.com)

    Published 9.17.17
    Reply
  9. Amy Arnold wrote:

    Gorgeous dress and photos!!! I think there is definitely this side of blogging. I try to balance it all with the fun, but there are seasons when that if tough. Hopefully we can all remember why we started and encourage each other.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    Published 9.18.17
    Reply
  10. love this post! I definitely agree! technology is constantly changing so we have to learn to get used to adapting to it and be up to date with everything! Thanks for sharing babe!

    XO, Jessi

    https://www.mywhitet.com/must-shoe-trends-fall-2017/

    Published 9.18.17
    Reply
  11. Ashley wrote:

    First of all, you look GORGEOUS in these photos- like jaw-dropping, heart eye emoji stunning!

    Secondly, there’s definitely an ugly side to blogging- and I think it’s good to take a step back now and again and reevaluate your position. I’m with Amy Ann- we should all be lifting each other up!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    Published 9.19.17
    Reply
  12. Kasia || Notasouthernbelle wrote:

    That sounds way too stressful for me! 😅I can see all the problems that you are talking about though… I am not a blogger in any way but I cannot stand people following me on Instagram just to get my follow back. If I genuinely like your pictures I will follow you, end of story. I am not really into cute but so meaningless comments either. Maybe that’s why I have no followers 😂Lol
    Keep up the good work, it will pay off! ❤️

    Published 9.19.17
    Reply
  13. Can I just give you a virtual hug for how open this post is, I’ve never wanted to be like everyone else and this definitely makes me want to continue with that motto!

    Published 9.19.17
    Reply
  14. Jessica wrote:

    Couldnt agree more, indeed there is a good and bad side to almost everything in this world. It’s part of life; “balance”, Yin-Yang. The beautiful thing is, the pie is big enough for everybody for blogging. Yes it can be hard to be unique, be read and appreciated. But that’s the challenge. No one said it will be easy. If it’s easy, then everybody will be doing it. By the way, you look stunning babe, love your dress and your gorgeous hair!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    Published 9.20.17
    Reply
  15. Rina wrote:

    First of all thank you for your sweet comment on my Blogging Rut post. I’m so happy you enjoyed it as you did inspire it after all =). Secondly you are so right, there is an ugly side of blogging just like there is with everything that may appear perfect and amazing to an outside audience. Girls can be competitive and exclusive but for the most part I’ve found the environment to be mostly welcoming. One thing that I definitely struggle with is the comparison. It’s hard not too when there are so many inspiring women out there. SO rather than getting down on myself when I see someone creating better content that me, I use it to inspire my future work. Of course, I am human so things aren’t always going to be positive 100% of the time.

    xoxo
    Rina Samantha
    http://www.andshedressed.com

    Published 9.21.17
    Reply
  16. Rachel wrote:

    I love your style! Great post and blog!

    http://chicglamstyle.com

    Published 9.21.17
    Reply
  17. Kim wrote:

    Such lovely photos in NYC! I love how bright your images are!

    Fortunately, I am still in my first year of blogging and haven’t seen too much downside YET and I hope *fingers crossed* that it stays that way 😉 Thanks for all the warnings though!

    Kim
    Simply Lovebirds

    Published 9.21.17
    Reply
  18. Angelie wrote:

    SEO isn’t the most fun part of blogging, for sure! However, it works and it drives tons of traffic if done correctly! 🙂

    Angelie // Beaute Spell Lip and Cheek Tint Review

    Published 9.22.17
    Reply
  19. Joe wrote:

    Great pics and nice blog! Love how it was put together!

    Published 9.22.17
    Reply
  20. Andrea wrote:

    I’ve been blogging for a few years, not many followers/readers on my actual blog, but I’m still working at it.
    You’ve given a great look at the real side of blogging-thank you! Such a great article.
    There’s nothing wrong with cute, but I get what you’re saying.
    Your photos are absolutely lovely!

    Published 9.23.17
    Reply
  21. What a great post! It is refreshing to read something as honest as this. You’re right, there is an ugly side to blogging. Most of us, even those of us who blog as a hobby, sometimes get caught up in the number game. We are tempted to leave generic comments because that is easier, takes less time- and we all know how time- consuming blogging is, right?

    Beautiful photography and location…you look like a superstar in this dress.

    Published 3.12.18
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      Hi Ivana! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment! It means a lot!
      And yes, I would lie if I said I never left a generic comment just for the sake of it. I think blogging would be so much better if we all ruled by the rule “don’t treat someone (or their content for that matter) like you don’t want to be treated. Wouldn’t that be fair?!

      Published 3.12.18
      Reply
  22. Olgietta wrote:

    I love your blog more and more 🙂 the other post from yesterday (German time) about blogging is also very interesting. I’m blogger since last year, so I am beginner 😉 and this is my hobby. greetings

    Published 3.13.18
    Reply
  23. Marah wrote:

    Okay, I’m really into your honest blogging content.. This is the second post I read lol and I feel like I needed this tonight! I’ve been feeling pretty down lately because I work so hard to produce and put out only the best content I can and yet I still find my growth on Instagram to be slow and my engagement less than satisfactory.

    I go through this nasty cycle of not caring about my numbers but then struggling to get the collaborations I want because I need more followers so then I spend too much time on Instagram attempting to spur on more growth. It’s a really delicate balance I find, balancing worrying about your numbers but also focusing on quality and making it the best it can be. Anyways, really enjoyed reading and knowing other bloggers struggle with these same things, keep up the amazing work!

    A Gypsy In The City // http://www.marahfrank.com

    Published 4.13.18
    Reply