Deciding to get into blogging is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but it’s definitely not a smooth sailing and easy as it may look on the outside. It may seem like bloggers just write up a few words about some free products and go about their days doing nothing much more, but there’s a lot more that goes into it. Let’s get real with some home truths about being a blogger…
Blogging is a lot of pressure
Blogging is a lot of pressure. No matter how much you feel like you achieve, there always feels like there’s more to be done. I’ve definitely had moments where I’ve felt like giving up on blogging all together – speaking from my own experience, sometimes it can be super frustrating when you’re just not getting the results you want. It’s hard not to see other amazing blogs and compare yourself (which you should try not to do) some months are way quieter than others, sometimes your stats aren’t where you’d like them to be, sometimes you don’t get opportunities that others may and honestly, sometimes it all just gets super deflating. I always have to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing, and I constantly need to push myself to work harder and smarter to improve my blog. Even looking back to where my blog was last year, I can see a huge improvement, but it sometimes takes a bit of a mental battle to get there.
Blogging is too focused on image
A lot of blogging is really all about ‘image gang’, and it’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying to make your life seem super glamorous, exclusive and amazing. For example, a good example of this is Fashion Week – LFW is a great thing to experience and definitely a great thing to be able to go to, but it’s not as it seems to be on Instagram. It involves a lot of waiting around for shows to start, the shows themselves are often very short, and to get to the shows themselves you often have to reach out to whoever is working for the PR team at that show. I’ve been to a lot of amazing blogger events, and I would never make something out to be what it isn’t, but some blogger events really just aren’t as amazing and exclusive as they seem on social media. For some events, you may just come in, take a few pictures and admire a few clothes/accessories, maybe have a snack, then leave within 15 minutes! It’s always useful to keep that in mind when browsing through social media that of course on people are going to post their best images of whatever makes their life seem the most interesting – but always keep this in mind – things as very rarely as amazing on the outside as they may seem to be on social media.
Blogging is hard work
I guess to some people on the outside blogging may look like the easiest thing in the world – you take some photos, write some paragraphs, publish – done. But there’s actually a lot more to it than that, first of all you have to plan your posts ahead, very rarely do I just jump straight into writing without planning my thoughts around a post first. Then, everything needs to be in place for your photos – from the right lighting (which these days meant waking up at 6.30/40am before work such that I get some sunlight in), to the right backdrop all the way down to the right props (eBay can become your best friend for this). Photos take a while to edit, not to mention having to wade through the hundreds of options you took, and then writing, editing, and re-editing, to finally posting. But it never really ends there, as you need to promote it continuously over the days that follow and start planning for future posts, which – especially for outfit photos – sometimes involved tubing it down to somewhere cool Central London to get a nice background for some cool pics. And we haven’t even gotten into the admin – keeping up with e-mails, obligations, payments – it’s a lot.
Not everyone really understands it
I’m going to group blogging and YouTube-ing together here, as both fall under the very connected universe of being a ‘creator’. A lot of people just don’t get what it means to be a ‘creator’, and a lot of people still complain about how it’s not a real *job*. Granted, I work the weeks for many hours in an office in a corporate setting, which I enjoy and which is a decision I don’t regret making; but I do feel like blogging is almost a part time job – just because as your blog ages and develops, and you’re working with brands and planning content, it does become that little bit more professional. It definitely gets to me when people say that creators don’t have ‘real jobs’, as that’s basically saying that if it’s not in a office it’s not a ‘job’, when some of the most impressive people/entrepreneurs to date are not working 9-5 office jobs.
It’s a great experience
At the end of the day, I love being a blogger – you meet amazing people and get amazing opportunities, what isn’t there to love? Honestly, it keeps me sane. Although I’m always tough on myself, I do feel proud to see the content I’ve created and the few things I’ve been able to achieve here and there. If you know me, you know that I’ve always had a ‘side hustle’ outside my ‘main hustle’ (which was usually school, but is now work). For example, when I was 5 years old, I would come home from school and write stories, by the time I was entering my early teens, this had grown into fully fledged 100-page Microsoft Word novels. When I was 10, I started making website, and when I turned 15, I started selling web-designs to fellow bloggers. I love being able to have sometimes that I can call my own, the weekends are made for chilling – but I often spend them working on my own things. I guess that’s why I’m so interested in entrepreneurship and find it so inspiring to see people managing their own businesses. Having my blog means I’m able to build my own little brands, and content, that I can call ‘mine’, and I really do love that.