Sunday, 23 August 2015

Blogging Feelings...

Over the past few weeks I have slowed down a bit on my blog and taken a bit of back step. I wasn't really able to clarify in my mind why I felt the need to do this at the time but over the past few days it has started to become clearer and I have to admit I feel a little disappointed in myself. 

The more involved I have become in the blogging community and the more my blog grows, the more I have started to compare myself to others. I think comparing ourselves to others is one of the worst forms of mental torment we can inflict upon ourselves but in today's social media driven society it's something we all probably suffer from time to time. Ultimately social media is a platform to promote ourselves on and therefore we are constantly bombarded with other peoples achievements and fabulous lifestyles. Sometimes sadly other peoples gains can make us feel more down about ourselves as we do compare and perhaps wish we were achieving things that we might not be. But this is part and parcel of life! There will always be someone out there better than you and I guess the trick is, rather than letting that get you down, use it to motivate and drive you on further. 

When it comes to blogging I think for a while now I have perhaps lived in my own little secure innocent bubble where I have been writing for the fun of it and the very essence of my blog was originally something for me and something I enjoyed doing. But as it has amazingly become more successful I feel as though I have suddenly been thrown into a world that i'm not too sure about.

(* I really don't want this blog post to come across as a moan or like I am digging anyone out as it's all just very general but an insight into how I have been feeling). 

I have to say that sometimes when I go on to Twitter and lose myself going from page to page and coming across other bloggers profiles I have felt extremely deflated seeing their multiple thousands of followers and wondering if i'll ever reach that kind of status, but also questioning if I actually want to. 

This week I passed 800 followers on Twitter - something I never thought would happen and in my own four walls that's quite an achievement! Yet something that I instantly feel proud of can automatically be dismissed by coming across a profile of someone with 35k followers. I begin to question everything from what they're doing right and how I could improve my blog and following. I start to over analyse everything to a point where I begin to question the worth of blogging altogether. 

And this my friends is the worst possible place for a Blogger to be in. 

A little while ago I happened to listen in on a lifestyle bloggers Twitter chat and took in all the comments around how people present their Instagram pages and the thought that has gone into ensuring every photo is identical with the other in terms of styling and light etc. I instantly felt out of my depth. Is this how you secure thousands of followers by presenting a quite unrealistic filtered stream of photos that, yes may look stunning when put together on a profile page, but rarely actually reflect reality? Ok admittedly I am a little more selective perhaps over the photos I choose to put on Instagram but I love the fact that I post photos there and then with very little staging at all. After listening in on that chat I again felt deflated that clearly I am doing something wrong in the eyes of all the 'professional bloggers'.

Another little trap I have fallen into recently is reading posts from other bloggers with 'tips' on how to blog, present and promote. Ok sometimes these can be helpful to read and you can pick up something useful which you can take away with you to use. But overall I guess what I don't like is this idea that there is some kind of rule book and that we are all somehow struggling and searching for the same thing. But what is this!? To become Zoella!? To be honest I didn't even know who she was until recently and good for her that blogging has ultimately made her a super rich celebrity. I am a little jealous of her already. But is this where all this pressure comes from? To be famous? 

I sometimes have to take a deep breath when I see people tweeting about their blogs when they are clearly self pressuring for absolutely no reason at all. No one is putting any time restraints on you. No one is your boss here. No one's breathing down your neck. And really and truthfully there are no deadlines to meet. You may have a regular routine with your blog that helps you to feel good and keeps you in line but to be honest I don't think anyone really notices if I blog once a week or three times a week and I certainly don't think anyone is keeping track on what days of the week I post on. Maybe I am completely wrong!? Generally my posts receive a really good hit rate and some of the comments I receive are so heart warming and I am so grateful alone for that. But I really don't want to become all business like about something I genuinely enjoy. After all, where is the fun in that? 

I have never really thought about blogging as a career or something I could make money from and this is why you're probably pleased to never see any annoying ads on my blog. My husband and other people in my life will often say to me things alongs the line of 'oh you should make money from your blog or get paid to do that' which on the one hand is a nice idea, but on the other it's not really what  I  or this blog is about. I have already received some perks from blogging and freebies and I am more than happy with that. But does that mean I am lacking drive and ambition and that i'll only ever reach a certain level with my blog?  Probably. 

I've also seen parts of the blogging world that I really don't like. For example a little while I go invited to a bloggers event which I was really looking forward to. I was brave enough to go to it alone and  I was genuinely excited and hoping to meet some new nice people. Instead I just found it be extremely pretentious. None of the other bloggers really spoke to me and instead stayed in their little cliques yet to my sheer amazement they all added me on Instagram later that evening and wanted to interact with me online. So this is what it's like is it....In person you have nothing to say to me but you'd like me to follow you back online!? Nah. I don't think so! And that alone has really put me off attending anymore lifestyle and beauty blogger events. It can all just seem very fake at times. 

This week I have taken the steps to unfollow some other bloggers who, when I really looked at them, and to no fault of their own, were really bringing down my own morale. Part of me felt a little bit sad because I originally followed them for some inspiration and to help with my own motivation levels but it ultimately had the opposite effect on me. I think sometimes without really realising people can take the self promotion a step too far and come across very 'braggy' which is never a good look. Clockwork timed automated tweets and repetitiveness can start to get on your nerves but I know they help when it comes to promoting posts. 

Also, after a great deal of organisation and commitment, I made the decision to end the #VeganBloggers chat which I set up a couple of months ago. I do feel quite sad about this as I had originally felt that there was a demand for such a chat to take place. However, every week I was starting to face last minute let downs with chat hosts pulling out and people not taking part in the chat. It began to feel like more stress than it was worth and when things stop being fun it's time to re-evaluate. 

So overall this has been a period of re-evalution of a few things and I guess a time to re-adjust myself  properly back into the blogging world again and into a happier state of mind. I once again feel focused on what it is that I want to do and achieve.  

Ultimately my blog is quite niche as the main focus of it is compassionate living. Occasionally you may see the odd personal post or blog about stationery but primarily my aim is to promote Vegan and cruelty free living in the best way that I can where it will appeal to people who are already Vegan but also, and importantly, people who could be thinking about making the lifestyle change. So I am already at a slight disadvantage in terms of popularity as we all know Veganism is not exactly something for the masses! But I am never going to change that or the essence of why I blog. You're not suddenly going to see me reviewing designer brands who test on animals or promoting the latest leather Mulberry handbag in order to win more popularity and followers.  

As I sit here writing this post this evening I am feeling a little better about everything in general. It's taken some self reflection and analysis but I am 100% sure of myself, my blog and the reasons why I write. I may not be the best at self promotion or delivering daily blog posts. But at least when I do blog you will know it's real, it's for me and it's for you. And really, that's all that matters.  
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7 comments

  1. I can definitely relate to this! Comparing is the worst. I'm trying to find a balance between taking inspiration from other bloggers' success and happily pottering about doing my own thing and its hard!

    As long as you find it fun, keep doing what you're doing, I really enjoy your posts :)

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  2. I can definitely relate to this! Comparing is the worst. I'm trying to find a balance between taking inspiration from other bloggers' success and happily pottering about doing my own thing and its hard!

    As long as you find it fun, keep doing what you're doing, I really enjoy your posts :)

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  3. I can relate to this too, as someone who is just starting to blog. It's such a shame because you seem like such a nice person, and I really liked the veganbloggers chat. Your posts are great, and your photos are beautiful so just take pride in doing something you enjoy and that is important to you :)

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  4. I'm really sorry to hear your decision about #veganbloggers chat! But I totally understand needing to take a step back. Comparing ourselves to others is so pointless and can really get you down but it seems like something we all do, even those very "successful" bloggers who are obsessing over their IG feeds and making sure everything is just right. I have read a number of posts regarding working with brands/making money from blogging and a lot of the time it seems like making blogging more of a professional thing makes it less fun and less authentic.

    I have only really started thinking about numbers and stats, and sometimes I find myself wondering about the direction of my blog/content but ultimately I think it's so important that we keep writing about what we love and are interested in, stay true to ourselves and blog for enjoyment! x

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  5. I feel this. It's really easy to get yourself down looking at stats and numbers and followers and seeing how few you have compared to others, part of me wonders what's even the point of blogging when I'll never reach the same heights as other bloggers. But then, that's not supposed to be the point, and I KNOW that's not supposed to be the point but here I am still thinking in numbers and popularity when I started out because I just wanted to write and share posts for myself. It's hard to escape, especially with blogging now a proper profession and in some cases a full on lifestyle.

    I think it's just important to stay true to yourself and blog when and what you want. If there's no passion behind it any more, it stops being enjoyable for the blogger and the readers. I know I'd always rather read a less successful, less trendy blog that has heart and substance than a really popular one that seems like a page out of a staged lifestyle magazine.

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  6. I completely agree, seeing others achievements can affect your mood and wonder what you are doing wrong but unfortunately in today’s society it is something which we need to deal with. Surpassing 800 followers on Twitter is an achievement in itself and should be something your extremely proud of and you shouldn’t care about the other profiles with more followers because they may have been doing the blogging game longer than you. We all need to start of somewhere! I am in the exact same position, everyone tells me I should get paid for doing this, that and the other but I am not doing it for the money. I am doing it because I a) love blogging and b) love the brand I am talking about. I hardly ever get invited to events but when I do I enjoy the local blogging community because they are my friends. Not going to lie, I have been sent multiple items from brands asking for reviews but the views are my own no matter what. That is what matters, that your blogging for yourself - no one else! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, I am off to remove the bloggers who I generally don’t read any more! xx

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  7. I think we all feel like this from time to time. Just today I was looking at how many comments some people get on their posts and wondering why my Bloglovin follower count hasn't increased at all in weeks. But I believe that the quality of my posts is the best they have ever been and I'm proud of that.
    There's no wrong or right way to blog and for me doing all the professional stuff is so painstaking and I barely have time to do it "my way".
    I really like coming onto your little corner of the internet as it's such a positive place. I hope that you start to love blogging and the community again soon. x
    Emily
    thebelljarxo.blogspot.co.uk

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