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