As of next week, it will be two years since I started blogging here. Two whole years. And I still haven’t deleted my blog. Pat on the back for me.
Whilst blogging remains my favourite hobby. And is really important to me. I’ve been feeling pretty deflated when it comes to my blog. A quick glance at other blogs would suggest I’m not alone. There seems to be an air of discontentment in the blogging World at the moment.
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I’m not frustrated from a lack of growth. A lack of opportunities or from comparing myself to others (which is really easy to do, I appreciate). But instead from my own lack of consistency and direction. In an attempt to keep my blog going through work deadlines and pregnancy, I’ve really let things slip.
I get distracted by the wrong things all too often. SEO. DA. Traffic. Social followers. Opportunities.
Focusing too much on those can make you feel like you’re being pulled all over the place.
I Stopped Writing About What I Enjoy
Blogging is and should be all about writing. Photography is important, but not enough on it’s own. I’ve fallen into the trap of focusing more on my photos. And simply annotating them. Struggling to meet the bare minimum word count for each blog post.
I’ve had to ask myself why that is. And I’ve come to the conclusion that somewhere along the way, I stopped writing about what I enjoy. And started writing about what I thought I should be writing about.
A stack of products I’ve bought but not written about accumulated. And I began to churn out one product reviews. Unimaginative posts wine-tasting a foundation for 300 words. Torturous to write. Really boring -I imagine- to read. I’m so grateful for those who continue to read and support my blog. But I doubt those posts made a lasting impression.
With so many people blogging, the quality of photos and blogs has been pushed up. I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing. Having proper camera equipment, lighting and the rest of it costs money. It’s an entry barrier. I looked back recently at some of my old favourite reads. The majority of these blogs are no longer updated. But interestingly, I noticed they all took their photos on their phones. Their posts were more real time. More authentic. Clearly a lack of production value didn’t even register with me then. But now it’s a sort of standard.
We’ve got big bloggers spitting their toys out the pram because their CREW -I shit you not- can’t travel for free with them to PR trips. What a time to be alive.
It feels like I’ve made a rod for my own back. The process of getting a blog post out now is so long winded. I’ve been wondering how on Earth I’ll find time to do that with a baby. I don’t even know where I’ll keep my bloody lights. It’s just not sustainable. What happened to precariously perching in the window? Or making the most of the Golden hour?
More Originality Please
With more people starting blogs than ever before, it’s a competitive space to say the least. One day whilst commenting on blogs I follow, I read a review of the same PR sent mascara on quite literally 10+ blogs. Being original is difficult. But to some degree, what is the point of blogging at all if we’re not original? Not adding something different?
When writing about a product, country we’ve visited, outfit or restaurant, we’re unlikely to be the only person who has experienced it. The only thing which separates us is our personality. You can never know too many personalities. You can however read too many reviews of the same mascara (precisely more than two).
The blogs we return to for the personality are the best ones. The posts we look out for. And read word for word. They are the blogs we talk about in real life. To people who don’t even blog. My husband knows exactly who I mean when I say “The Welsh girl who got bitten by a monkey in India” (usually when making a case for our next trip).
It’s entirely possible to review mascara with personality. My favourite beauty blogs aren’t the comprehensive ones who swatch every shade. They’re the ones with personality injected into every post. I could walk through Debenhams and think “That’s so X” because to read their blog is to get to know them. On what feels like an almost personal level. The simpler the subject matter, the harder it is to do this. So I doff my cap -or greasy bun in this instance- to those who manage to do it so well.
I’m realising that I’m not one of those people. But that’s absolutely fine.
I’m Not A Beauty Blogger
I’m realising that I’m not even a beauty blogger. Not specifically. I’ve tried to focus on a niche to make it easier to grow my blog. But in the process of doing that, I’ve lost any semblance of originality I may have had. I know you didn’t need to read another post about the Naked Heat palette.
Don’t get me wrong. I genuinely love beauty. But I have so much more to write about. And I want to go back to absolutely raving about a product when I can’t keep my excitement in. Rather than trying to think of three beauty based posts per week. At the moment I’m putting on makeup to leave the house, if you’re lucky. My brushes are in need of a wash. And my makeup routine is more about hiding the bags and spots than it is a smokey eye. I don’t envision this getting better when I’ve got a small person to care for.
You’re still going to see beauty products talked about a lot here. But done differently. And more true to myself.
A New Direction
So what’s going to change?
For a start, I’m going to stop piling pressure on myself about the frequency at which I post. Or what I post about. I will only share posts I am happy with.
I’m going to make more time for reading my favourite blogs. And spend less time worrying about arbitrary stats.
I’ve already started saying no a lot more. No to PR requests. No to reviews of a single product I bought just for the sake of it.
And I’m going to focus on enjoying writing again. The posts I have planned for the next couple of weeks are on a variety of topics. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it. But I had fun writing them and I’m pretty sure that will show.