Not sure, if you are following me on Instagram and seen the latest post of me throwing my toys out of the pram and expressing my frustration? No? Then catch up here in this post.
In May, my blog will be 2 years old ( well, Don’t Cramp My Style domain to be specific). Since I started this blog, I really threw myself into it. I literally loved every minute of blogging. You can read my post the story behind don’t cramp my style to see how I came up with a blog name. After 1,5 year of blogging, I came to a point where I am like in between two roads and caught myself of being quite fed up with some things. Perhaps, blogging a full time wasn’t a wise decision.
The biggest question of bloggers is ‘how to become a successful blogger‘ and the only answer is ”be yourself” and excuse me for a moment here but:
How can you be yourself, while you trying to beat algorithms, calculating how many followers you have or researching how you can get more? You no longer ”just do you” as now you are searching how to get these people follow you, how to increase your DA and how people can find you. You are losing that part of innocent ‘just do me’ blogging. You no longer a blogger virgin.
Anyone who wants to work with brands will be calculating and generating new following, they won’t admit that but that’s the truth. Blogging became just a business like any others, and anyone I know who started ”just for the passion’ is now trying to find how to monetize it. If you just started and think you ‘Ah I just do it for joy’..then just wait, because how long you will be buying products yourself, spending hours photographing, styling- spending money on new camera, lighting etc. Before you know, you will be researching how to make money blogging and how to gain new followers.
Blogging it’s like an online office where you have to fight with your coworkers (other bloggers in this instance) for the approval of your boss. You can sit quietly in your desk and ‘do what you do and be just grateful you were “employed” or you can join other people from office fighting for better jobs, staying longer and get more of it. As simple as that.
Don’t get me wrong. I love blogging, however the rate race for numbers, calculating engagement rates & trying to beat algorithms just really cause me a big headache. I caught myself, seating and calculating to send my stats to brands rather actually focus on creativity! It’s not just me if you ask, it’s any blogger who works with brands, and if they tell you they don’t, they lie. Unless they just started, and are quite clueless. (or they have separate full-time job, just get few items to review time to time and don’t worry about paying bills blogging).
On a positive note, blogging communities are amazing. I love the fact that I met so amazing and inspiring bloggers along my journey to whom I chat every day and who become closer friends than my old ones!
I love the fact, that I have learned photography, styling and developed my blogging style. I love each brand collaborations I did and being able to review all the products, or join the press events or work on all the campaigns I did. Yes, I still love what I do and I will be continuing blogging.
As everyone else, I started my blog for love and passion for an interior design. When I started, I would go and comment on other bloggers blogs and most likely 80% would return. Now, I have commented on over 50 blogs last week, goes how many came back? None! Nada! Zero!
You know why? Because these days, we live in a generated comments forums, algorithm beating world, where people seem to engage only with people who wish to engaged in a certain pod or comment thread. The world of finding each other through a normal research is nearly gone. The trust to other bloggers clear intentions is gone. Most people would love to go and comment, and of course get a comment back. Is it that not nice? When someone visits you, leave you a nice complement or join your discussion? of course, it is, and we all want that.
However, most people see someone who got over 10k and they get a red light, as they don’t believe in their genuine intentions these days. They will kindly thank on their own blogs or Instagram and won’t even attempt to go and check because again, they just a way to scared it will be simply waste of their time or they are being tricked into f/uf. That’s where the trust been broken.
Another thing is a ‘’celebrity me’’ where bloggers get a comment or follow but won’t comment or follow back. When I see a blogger with 10K, 20K OR 100K who only follow 300 brands… come one? You are not a freaking Beyonce!
The most answer I will get is ‘’I want to just follow people who inspire me’’ yeah I get that, but seriously following the whole Kim Kardashian family is all that inspire you? This is why most bloggers lose the trust in the genuine intention of other bloggers. They also scared the other bloggers/Instagrammer won’t find them ‘’inspiring enough’ or just unfollow them after few days. This is why I follow most people who engage with me, talk with me regardless what they posting on their feed. I want to see a feed from their everyday life because if I want to get inspired, I go outdoor, I grab a book or do a research. Just because someone follows 200 people while having more doesn’t make them looking cooler than others.
*Follow/Unfollow method (f/uf) people literally write guides teaching this method! I know gross! Basically, you follow a certain amount of people and then unfollow them after a while. There is a whole level of guides and explanations how to do it, can you imagine? This is another reason, why people lose trust in others. You can recognise these as they most likely large accounts who only follow 300/400 people. It’s not nice being ‘tricked’ to be following someone but sadly we still kind of believe and follow back, just to be unfollowed in few days. You can follow and unfollow people if they: inactive, not engaging or you no longer interested in their feeds. I have clear up my feeds for few months like that, but never unfollow followers and people who interact, as what’s the point? So, yes unfollowing people and following new one can be done in a human way.
I understand. Brands need to generate money, we are the generators but where have the true spirit of blogging gone? Witch such a race toward stats, number and growing we all get to forget the main reason behind it.
I don’t understand how we all want to be followed, but we don’t follow back these days? Instagram became a game, who will follow and who will unfollow. Everyone wants zillion followers, but they not gonna follow anyone other than brands? It’s kind of stupid.
I know, people who only started or have full-time jobs and do blogging only as a part of their world, they will most likely say, ‘why you care, just do what you do’. well, easier said than done when you don’t have to pay bills with it.
Once you start getting approached by brands, once you get great collabs and being approach by more brands you are fully entering the world. You will come across opportunities for brand collabs but there will be ‘wait a second’ moment as, your DA may not be as great, or your social following and there is where the race starts. You will, of course, want to become a brand ambassador or get that fancy press trip, and the only way is to have a great DA or large social following. The ugly truth.
If someone tells me, that he/she spend 5h clearing his backlinks because he just loves blogging, sorry, I don’t believe it! You do that because, you want to have higher DA, therefore, to get that brand collab, not because you want waste 5h of your life removing some unwanted links.
Fair enough, if a brand decides not to work with you because your style is not what they after, but nothing more depressing than being refused because you don’t have that number isn’t?
If you are a designer, and people ask you to show their portfolio, they don’t ask how many people clap at this! They will look for style and a detail, and how much work you put into it.
Unfortunately, since you wish to proceed your career in blogging, most of your time you will spend not writing a post but working on your strategies via social media or SEO. Some can be fun, some can become a nightmare.
Social media can be a really exciting part. Sharing your posts on Twitter or Instagram and receiving nice comments or creating Instagram pictures can be really fun and something I really love but then again, to get this social exposure you are entering and joining the race. People will say they don’t, because they too scared to admit it.
When you see bloggers, who only started and suddenly reaching 10K, then 20K you automatically get the red light, and question bubbles above your head. Is that genuine? Did she/he bought followers? How on earth they just grow so fast while you spend hours commenting, engaging and not getting such a grow?! It’s very easy here to get lost. I have chatted to so many bloggers, and most admit to be watching someone else. Maybe it’s a bit of jealousy, maybe a bit of admiration – however, same point- the hunger to get the answer. Most likely the answer is disappointing, as you either see the person engagement to be low and you know, she just did f/uf or bought her following. Come on, how many times did you check someone’s account with app for fake followers? 😉
I am at this point where I no longer give a damn! Perhaps, I will miss many ‘’so great opportunities’ and won’t get onto this amazing press trips or won’t get the fab reviews or press events, but I want to be just me. I want to blog and enjoy what I do. I really stop give a damn about algorithms engagement rates or numbers. Maybe I won’t get to some fancy Paris trip but at least I will be happier. I really, want to stop caring and just ”do me”. Therefore, I am ditching full-time blogging and looking to get full-time work in design. As long as only part of my life, this can be enjoyable. If is your bread and butter, it’s not that fun. I seriously started hating the whole number counting. People are people not numbers, and I want to be just me, careless me.
all i want is write posts, drink fancy tea and wear cool socks!
So, for all those whose life goal is to become a full-time blogger, be careful what you wish for…