Some Thoughts On Blogging | PERSONAL

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I posted on my Instagram Stories a couple of weeks ago that I’ve fallen out of love with my blog and asked for some advice from others who might have been in a similar situation before. Thank you to all those who sent me lovely messages. One piece of advice really stuck out to me, and that was from the lovely Parie Joshi, from Class & Glitter. She said “Write about the slump, always helps but you don’t have to press publish.” So here I am, forcing myself to write even though I’ve been feeling like I’ve run out of words. I thought today I would explore why I’ve fallen out of love with my blog. As I’m writing this, I’m still not sure if I’ll press publish or not. I feel like the best way to get everything off my mind is to brain dump so this will probably be way more open than you will ever have seen on my blog, here goes…

~ Spending Ban ~
Since the start of my blog, I’ve been pumping so much money into buying new products just to have something to review. When I really looked at my finances and the size of my beauty collection, I realised just how much of a waste it all seemed. I’ve had to retrain my brain to think ‘do I need this’ or ‘can I justify it’ before buying anything because I’m running out of money and space. At first I thought I’d be fine and my blog wouldn’t suffer because I could just work my way through my collection and review things I’d had for ages, or talk about makeup looks, or  put together collections but when I did, there was no where near as much engagement on those posts compared to posts about brand new products, so that was pretty demotivating.

~ Bored of Makeup ~
I never thought I would say this, but I’m actually not as obsessed with makeup as I once was. Maybe that’s what happens when you turn an interest into a hobby. I’m much more into skincare these days, probably because I’ve just turned 32 and I feel like I need to really look after my skin more than pile makeup on it. I also feel like even though I love dramatic, full coverage makeup, I’m just too old for it now, I’ve missed the boat on that one. I can’t exactly turn up the office looking like I’m hitting the club and even on weekends I don’t go anywhere fancy enough to warrant full glam. I thought about focusing more on skincare on my blog, but when the likes of Caroline Hirons are so much more qualified to talk about it and give advice, I wonder if anyone cares what I have to say. I know what works for my skin, and I pride myself on being able to troubleshoot any skin issues I have, but that doesn’t make me an expert for everyone else does it?

~ Time and Motivation ~
Now I’m not a 24/7 busy person, I can’t claim to be. Yes I work full time, and I do have a busy job (believe it or not, I’m a Health and Safety Manager which usually surprises people) but my spare time is pretty spare. I don’t have children, I don’t have hobbies other than blogging, I’m not a traveller or a party girl. But I’m a very naturally lazy person and I’m in a place at the minute where I can’t motivate myself to spend my spare time blogging or taking pictures, I’d rather just do absolutely nothing.

~ Photography ~
Not too long ago, I treated myself to a proper camera. Up until recently I’d always just used my iPhone 6S Plus for blog photos, and although I’d always been pretty happy with them, I felt pressure to have better quality photos which I thought meant buying a better camera. One thing I’ve really struggled with is from the marble surface which I use for a lot of my photos. With my iPhone, I would take photos directly under my main ceiling light (which has a daylight bulb) and there wouldn’t be much glare on the shiny marble surface so I kind of got away with it. But now, I guess because the camera is more sensitive, which obviously it needs to be to take higher quality pics, it picks up all the glare and shadows and everything. I’m sure there’s ways of getting around this by changing some settings but I just cannot get to grips with it. I even bought some more lighting, but I can’t even get that to look good. Another thing about the camera is, I’ve worked out which settings I like best to get a true to life colour to my photos, but every time I turn the camera off it reverts back to factory settings. Anyone with an Olympus Pen EPL7 know how to get around this…SEND HELP!

~ Going Nowhere ~
Don’t get me wrong, I never thought I’d be an overnight Zoella or anything and I’m certainly not expecting Mr Postman to turn up every day weighed down with PR deliveries. My lack of motivation doesn’t come from that place at all. I never started my blog to make money or get freebies, I did it to talk about something I love to a bigger crowd than just my family and friends (and my bored husband!). But there’s still a part of me who sees other bloggers who have been at it for as long as me, getting lots of engagement and brand collaborations. In a world where the new popular YouTube video is ‘look at all the free stuff I’m getting’ I’ve really struggled to stay positive. At first it would inspire me to work harder, but after a while, I can’t help it, it’s turned me off completely.

~ Other Bloggers ~
It felt like there was a spell where every blog post I read was about ‘the end of blogging’ or ‘the blogger world is overcrowded’ and that really made me think there was too much negativity going around and that I didn’t feel very welcome. I’m sure not a single post was directed at me, but I just felt like I was too late to the party and I was standing in the corner while everyone else had already made friends and gone off in their little cliques.

~ Vlogs ~
Even my online habits have changed lately, which I think has either influenced or been influenced by my blog. I’m finding myself skipping makeup tutorials on YouTube and watching mainly vlogs. I’m not clicking on as many blog posts on Bloglovin’ anymore. I don’t think I’d ever start a vlog channel myself (as my life really isn’t that interesting) but I like the idea of Instastories as being like a mini vlog so that might be something I spend some time on.

~ Social Media ~
There seems to be a trend on Twitter at the minute (at least the people I follow) of snide comments and negativity which I’ve tried to avoid and ignore. Of course there’s those who lift each other up and spread positive vibes but I felt like all I was seeing was negative vibes. Also, and it’s been spoken about to death at this point but, the whole Instagram follow / unfollow thing is doing my head in. Instagram is my favourite platform and the one which I focus most of my attention on but when you click on the app one day to see new followers and then sometimes even just 1 hour later that number has gone back down, it’s so fucking irritating. I’ve found myself being sceptical of every new follower I get. If they’ve got a lot of followers, I just assume they’ll unfollow me minutes later, because why else would they follow me? I do have an app which shows you who has followed and unfollowed, so I know who the regulars are.

~ Finding My Style ~
I swore to myself that when I started my blog, it wouldn’t look the same as everyone elses’. I wouldn’t have a black and white design and I would never use a marble background in flat lays. Over time that changed, and in fact I grew to love those styles but also felt that mine had to be the same in order to fit in. Way back before I even published my blog, I had a very pink design to my site because that is just me – pink is my absolute favourite colour and I’m always drawn to it. So what better representation of myself than a hot pink blog? But the more I read other peoples’ blogs, the more I thought mine wasn’t visually appealing enough so I slowly changed it to fit in. I’ve tried to find inspiration in ‘different’ blog designs and thought about how I could do something more unique but again, has it all already been done? I’ve actually started to make some changes, and even though I’m not 100% happy with it at this point, I’m just glad it’s different.

Wow, I can’t believe how much I’ve rambled on in this post but I kind of feel like getting down all my thoughts has helped. I wouldn’t say I’ve overcome all of these feelings just yet, but talking about it (to myself at least) should give me some direction of where I need to focus my efforts. One thing I do know is that I’m not giving up just yet! Last night I did take some photos for a new post, and while I was doing that I had a couple more ideas of things I could write about. Nothing groundbreaking at this point, but it’s a start of getting back into it.

If you’ve stuck around for the whole post, I appreciate it. I know it’s not my usual thing but weirdly this style of writing (just vomiting words onto the page!) is much more like the real me, and how I’d just talk to someone in real life. So maybe that’s the key going forwards, stay true to who I am. I literally have a notepad on my desk which says ‘Be True To Who You Are’… I should pay more attention that.

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As always, thank you so much for reading
Rhi xx

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