Sunday, 18 January 2015

How I Beat the Blogging Blues


Being a blogger in this day and age is tough. Blogs have gone from being little private spaces on the internet that about five other people read, to having huge, mass audiences, and being constantly open to criticism. Adding to that, a new blog pops up every day, and so the 'blogosphere' becomes more and more competitive, with every blogger striving against each other for the next viral post, the next brand collaboration, the next 'blogging trip'. It can be a race to get product reviews up before anyone else, a struggle to meet blogging deadlines, and a constant battle to get the best content.

And you know what? Sometimes, because of all this, it starts to feel a bit shit. As happy as you are for other bloggers doing well, it does nothing for your own self-esteem. I think we'd all be lying if we said we never felt jealous of other bloggers, or wondered why everyone else was getting the big breaks apart from us. Hell, I feel like it all the time. As proud as I am of my blog, there's a big part of me that always thinks that it's rubbish, that I'm no good, that my blog is nothing compared to the "big bloggers" and that there's really no point even trying to compete.

When I hear of a blogger getting an awesome brand deal, or being whisked away to some far-off exotic destination to spend four days being photographed in bikinis that another brand has paid for whilst drinking cocktails and getting paid for it, I get a bit miffed. I love that blogging has taken on a life of its own that means so many of my blogging pals can go off and experience these things, but a sinking feeling inside of me always thinks, 'Why not me?!' 'What's so wrong with me that they didn't choose my blog for that?' and these thoughts go round and round in my head until I eventually get mad and stop looking at the dozens of Instagram posts with a sponsored hashtag, and instead feel a little bit like giving up... I'll never compete, so why bother?!

It's the same when I start looking at numbers (which is never a good idea for me, I was always terrible at maths). I'll see a blog that started 6 months ago already has more followers than me and start to wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong. Or my post that I'm really proud of won't get any comments, whilst all some other blogger has to do is post a selfie and their comments are in the hundreds. Sometimes I'll pop on over to the 'popular' page on Bloglovin' and see which posts are doing really well, feeling disheartened that I rarely find mine in there. It's crap, and it honestly makes you question everything.

Don't even get me started on the size thing.... at least five times a day I think to myself 'If I lost weight, my blog would do better. I just know it would.' which really, is the most ridiculous thing anyone has probably ever heard uttered - but I can't help but think there is some truth in it. Being surrounded by so many slim, stunning girls, who also have extremely successful blogs, can only ever make you think a bit like maybe that's the key to success. I know it isn't, but when you're in a hole of doubt over yourself and your blog, you can't help but think a tad irrationally.

When I feel like this, and it does happen more often than not, I have to take a step back. I have to remove myself from 'the blogging bubble', and put things in perspective. Why did I start my blog? Because I wanted to write, because I wanted to make a career out of writing and I wanted to get my writing out online. I didn't start it to become popular, I didn't start it to become the next 'big blogger', I didn't start it to become 'internet famous' or even to make a living out of it (hell, when I started blogging, earning money from your blog wasn't even a thing). I started it because I'm passionate about writing and I wanted to share that. I wanted an outlet, whether anyone read it or not, to get my thoughts out and have them somewhere for the world to see, if it wanted to.

And I should be proud of the things I've achieved through blogging. I have a following I never dreamt of, a platform that now thousands of people read, as well as all the amazing opportunities I've been given through this little space on the internet. Whether it's receiving a product to review in the post, being invited to an event, or even being whisked away on a blogging trip (I still cannot get over the fact I was flown over to the MTV EMAs in Glasgow back in November), I appreciate every single thing my blog has given me. Okay, so I'm not getting millions of hits a day, nor am I making a career out of my blog like so many others, but you know what? That's okay. I never set out to do any of those things, and the things I did set out to do, I've already achieved.

So, when I start to feel down about where my blog sits in the already over-saturated world of blogging, I remind myself that it's not a competition, that I've already achieved so much from my blog and that things can only get bigger and better. I also remind myself that even the 'big bloggers' feel like this sometimes, and that to some people, I myself am a 'big blogger'. Finally, I remember the most important thing about blogging at all - that I blog to inspire, empower, and enlighten, and I should be proud of the amount of people who feel those things through reading my blog. I don't blog to bring other people down - I do it for the love of it, to bring people up and make them feel better, and so that, in itself, is a reason to be oh so proud of my little space on the internet.
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25 comments

  1. I just found your blog through Coleoftheball sharing it on bloglovin. I feel everything you're saying, even think if I was thinner my blog would be more successful (because thigh gaps in skinny jeans is what makes people hit the follow button...pff). Comparing myself to other bloggers just leads to major case of writer's block cos I think nothing I write could ever be good enough, so I try not to if I can.
    I think your blog is cute and amazing! You just keep doing you, cos you rock!
    Laura // http://thatgallowaygirl.com
    xx

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  2. It's never great to compare yourself to others and I can totally relate to this post but I think at the end of the day what makes a blog unique is "you" don't feel pressured to lose weight or buy the latest beauty products just to "fit in" it's not about that and you can only be the best person you can be and this is what makes the blog unique you and your personality, as after all that's what your readers want. It's hard to stand out when so much blogs are more noticed but just work hard and enjoy what your doing, its not about going on trips or getting samples its about engaging with people who share an interest in what you write and you as a person. X

    www.krystelcouture.com

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  3. I feel the same way sometimes but I'm still blogging because I love it and love writing and photography. I love your post and agree with everything you wrote a 100%.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale | bloglovin' |

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  4. My blog is new-ish, but mostly because I keep taking breaks when I get discouraged. However, last week I decided to just be myself and stop trying to fit some kind of blogging mold. I am not a beauty or fashion blogger, and it sometimes feels if you aren't, then you don't belong in the blogging world. That got me down, but then I said screw it, and just post what I want. I don't worry what others are posting about (except those I follow and WANT to read) and just go for it. It is okay to get inspired by other bloggers, but not when you feel inadequate. Yours is one of the only beauty blogs I follow, so that should say something!

    I know there have been a lot of posts lately from people questioning blogging as a whole, but honestly, if you enjoy it, that's all you need!

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  5. I get what you mean, occasionally I feel discouraged. But I've found that focussing on my content has really improved exposure to brands, I've had some great opportunities lately! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

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  6. This post has just cheered me up, I thought it was only me that thought this way and especially re the size thing! Great advice and puts it in perspective. You should be so proud of your blog, it's lovely!

    Gillian from Glam Up Everyday x

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  7. I have been blogging for well over 5 years and whilst yes, in those years for personal reasons, I have sometimes had to take a few months off blogging to concentrate on other things, I always return to it and put the time and effort in (and I have only a few times ever beens sent stuff to review or ask to collaborate on a project)- but you know what? SO WHAT?! Being a REAL, good blogger is not all about that. As you say above, it's about putting out good, honest content and not getting caught up in all the 'big blogger' news and highlights. Blogging in my opinion for most has a shelf-life, no matter how big or small your audience is, but while you can do it and have the passion to do it, I say stick to what you believe in, enjoy it and don't give another thought about other bloggers and their blogs and comparing it to your own! For me, the enjoyable thing about finding new blogs is the ones that are unique and really honest and fun to read. Yes we all love a bit of fashion and beauty but truth be told, there is far more to life out there than 'what is the must have Mac lipstick' or 'Best OOTD post'...your blog is fab hun, keep up the good work! xx

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  8. Hi Hannah

    Thank you for your very honest and timely (for me) post.

    If it makes you feel any better, to me you are a bigger blogger! I think you've been very successful. I've even been a little envious of you in the past, but then I have to remember that you've been blogging for five years, whereas I've only been blogging since August. I think you've achieved a lot and I always enjoy reading your blog and sharing in the pastel love. I'm very jealous that you have a couple of weddings to go to in spring - I have none, so no excuse to dress up! Boo.

    Anyway, I just want to say as well, I know you realise this, but size has got nothing to do with it. I am what many people would consider slim, even borderline skinny, and my blog has been very unsuccessful! At least so far. So I don't think that has got anything to do with it. Maybe I'm too old, I don't know. (I am 26). Sometimes you feel like if you haven't made it by 22 then you never will. But I know in my heart that is a silly attitude.

    Anyway, I think the writing on your blog has got better and better over time, I rarely comment on this or any other blog because I don't normally have the energy after work, but I've read it for a while now and I've always enjoyed it. Like another commenter wrote, as long as you enjoy it as well, that is the main thing and nothing else really matters. I also think we shouldn't be ashamed of the occasional twinges of envy we might feel in regards to other bloggers. It's natural and shows that we care about our blogs and want to be the best we can be. We just need to channel the envy into being inspired!

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  9. I have been following your blog for about 2-3 years atleast now, but mostly I don't comment, I'm kind of like a fly on the wall haha, but this post hit home! I know just how you feel - it really can get to be a competition more than a hobby sometimes, but then I just sit back, relax and think about why I started. I started because it made me feel good & that's what truly matters.

    Loved this post so much.

    http://mommydoesfashion.blogspot.com/

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  10. Hannah, Your posts are so honest. I think You should bear in mind Your original idea, the one that made You start Your blog in first place. Was it the need to get as many followers as possible? Was it the need to make Your blog Your business, your little company? Or maybe it was the need to share Your ideas and have Your little space and followers came later. Personally I love blogs like Yours- honest, funny and real. When I read Your blog I feel You're a real girl with real life, real worries and little joys. I think this is what attracts people. This is what makes Your blog special. Your blog is a part of Your life not a website full of adverts and commercials.

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  11. This is a very uplifting post and it's nice to read such honest words. I agree that it's baffling as to how some bloggers get seem to get so much more out of their blogs whilst others can be producing similar or even better content and fail to be recognised. Overall you've summed it up in that it's important to just focus on why you started blogging and to just enjoy it :)
    Hannah x
    Hanniemc.co.uk

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  12. I agree with the whole 'if I was thinner my blog would be more popular' idea. It's ridiculous, but so so dangerous too. Who needs another reason to develop a bad relationship with food?! Isn't media pressure bad enough?
    You nailed it on the head there Hannah!
    Beth x

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  13. It can be really hard, I sometimes wonder why I bother writing my blog at all... It's nice to know that we all go through these stages from time to time.

    I personally Love your blog x

    DofusAnney08.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. Thank you so much for posting this! This post really touched me and I was almost in tears reading it! I often find myself in the same situation, and reading this really helped me! I feel so comforted by the fact that other bloggers, especially bigger bloggers like you, feel this way. I thought I was crazy! My endless thanks for your help in making me remember why I started blogging, and why I fell in love with it! Keep doing what you're doing because I am loving every bit of it!

    Kyra

    TheKyrianna.blogspot.com

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  15. I agree with you. And I feel in the same boat. I've been blogging for years but no one seems to notice my blog. It's sad and makes me feel like giving up.

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  16. I totally get what you mean - I stopped blogging completely as I was too engrossed in how many followers I could get and what to post next to get comments. You should blog for yourself, not for anyone else and you will start enjoying it again. That will then transpire into your posts and soon you'll be in a bikini drinking cocktails! Keep doing what you're doing, it's great!

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  17. Just so you know you're doing an amazing job in my opinion! Your blog is saved on my favourites bar under favourite blogs! Although I almost never comment I love love reading your blog. I feel like I get a true British experience with you (if that makes sense) haha, your blog is so lovely, I love your style and everything. But I absolutely understand how you feel, just so you know I think most bloggers as some point have felt that way, I used to blog too but even in my country things have become so fake and competitive, I just don't like blogging anymore. And I started blogging in 2010 when things were still relatively new, my blog wasn't mainstream, I wrote about everything and anything. Just wanted to say HI and to let you know that I love love your blog!!! <3 <3

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  18. I'm so glad you wrote this post as I constantly feel the same. I check your blog every day as it's my favourite! I love your honesty. xx

    Grace | Glitter and Carousels

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  19. I loved this post! It's so hard not to get the 'blogging blues' and then again so hard to get out of it! X
    Elise @ Elise Dopson

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  20. I can imagine why you might feel like that. Just wanted to say I really really like your blog though. I follow some 'big' bloggers too, and although I do enjoy it and like some of them, i love to read blogs like yours that feel so much more real. Also I think you should be incredibly proud of what you have achieved even if its different to others. As you said, some people will look at you and consider you a big blogger. I certainly do. I would love to blog but I don't have the guts or I guess the commitment. So yeah, I think you should be very very proud. :) Its all relative! Keep doing what you love and people will keep loving it. Well done :) xxxx.

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  21. Really lovely and honest post, I find myself feeling the same pretty often! I also adore that notebook in the photo... Where is it from? I need one in my life! xxx Emily

    http://emilykatedale.com

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  22. Totally agree with some of your points. Your doing very well though! You have over 5000 subscribers and your blog posts are lovely! I also really like your blog design. X

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  23. I for one absolutely love your blog, it's the first blog I ever started reading and has been a big inspiration to me starting mine. The problem with comparing your blog to others is that you'll only really focus on the blogs that you see as better than your own, when really yours is super successful in my eyes! One thing that I'm finding tough is getting the time to post; some people seem to be posting every other day even when, like myself, they're a full time student or have another full time job. For me there just aren't enough hours in the day xo

    loveheartsandfairydust.blogspot.co.uk

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  24. I think that you should be praised for being so honest. It's hard to admit when you feel low about something. This whole post was very brave. So kudos to you!

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  25. I'm new to the whole blogging thing and I'm feeling like a tiny fish in the ocean and wondering where on earth to start.. thanks for this post it really cheered me up! :-)
    www.OhSoAugust.blogspot.com

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