When it comes to blogging, I would never have thought almost 4 years after I wrote my first post I would still be hammering away at my keyboard. It is something I have kept at and to this day still love as much as I did when I started but 4 years in the world of digital/ social media means things changing constantly and sometimes that means you can be left feeling that the goalposts have been moved.
I started LemonaidLies as an outlet, a place to speak without feeling like my Dyslexia was holding me back. Odd I know but it felt like I was overcoming hurdle and learning to work with what I could do and be a bit more creative. There are so many things that have change or evolved since I started and I just wanted to cover some off so that even If I look back at this in 4 more years I can see how much has changed again. I mean I got into PR & Marketing though my little outlet so you never know what may happen in that time.
What Are You Blogging For?
When I started it was something I fell into, it was intriguing and I did it purely as a hobby. It was an unknown then and not many people blogged let alone knew what one was. Now a blogger, influencer, Vlogger etc. are household terms. I think the whole landscape of how bloggers work are a little vague now. Most people blog or know someone who does and the question is now, what are you blogging for. It could well be for the wrong reasons, sadly I see a lot of people want to be in this for the ‘free stuff’ and it’s this stance that frustrates me. I started not even knowing that was a thing and I remember when Joules wanted to work with me back when I had 400 followers and I legit felt like the world was handed to me on a plate. Brands are now on the bandwagon and can see the value we bring but the market is full and it is ever harder to create original content. It’s more of you’re a little fish in a big pond these days but I still love it, I think I thrive a little on working harder to make myself stand out and do my own thing creating my own content. We all crave to grow our numbers but this should no longer be the main goal it is about authenic, loyal followers it is thankfully turning now into quality over quantity. I think you need to blog for you to be able to keep your head above water here, a brand collab may come a lot quicker now than it did then but it’s all about choosing who to work with and making concious decisions especially if you want to be your own brand. In this I mean living and breathing your values, style and passion through your platform.
Being Authentic & Working With Brands
I remember when I used to be thrilled when a brand would email me and want to review their mascara in trade for a post. I still do take these smaller but valuable collabs sometimes depending on the brand, but I can no longer promise a 500 word plus article, 4/5 hours of my time and effort to create a post and pictures to go with and promote across social for a brand in this way for say £5. I do think you need to do this though to get on your feet, you can’t come into this whole ‘blogging world’ and expect stuff for free, again wrong reasons for doing this! I have worked for years and picked only opportunities that work for me and what I write or feel passionately about. That authenticity I think has allowed me to work with some amazing brands. I mean even last year if you would have said I would have done a collaboration with Coach on their SS17 collection I would have laughed in your face.
It has hard though, to be offered money, easy money at that and turn it down because it just doesn’t work for but I believe in what I put on my platform and this should always be at the forefront. Don’t shutdown unpaid opportunities, some will open many doors for you and some are just a perfect fit, but don’t undersell yourself either. As you grow, a brand should value your growth and if they don’t walk away from that and wait for the next opportunity, they will come and you will thank yourself in the long run.
The Community – The Good & The Bad
For me this is more a part of my life than I could have ever envisaged. The people I have met through this will be lifelong friends. I speak to people I have met through social more than I do family and closest friends. These people have the same passions as you and by building these foundations with likeminded people you not are making your blog known you will be a better and happier person I can assure you that. These people have answers to all your questions, help you when you need it most and are there and although back when I began people would worry about talking ‘strangers’ on the internet but I would chat and meet these people at events and just take a leap of faith. These are people from all warps of life and you get to meet and chat to people you may never have met otherwise, allowing a lot to help with things like anxiety and stigmas they sometimes face from the people they thought closets to the.
The support is amazing but sometimes things can become a little negative. If you have been keeping up recently, you will know things such as the whole buying follower’s scams on IG are a big impact on the community. It can put us all under one net which we don’t want nor need as brands see the value but when you have these ‘big’ bloggers falsifying followers it could go one of two ways for the people who are authentic and genuine. It could show the value in the ones with loyal following or brands will throw a blind eye to it and continue to not care about these issues. It’s something only time will tell but I hope it allows the Micro Bloggers amongst us to really show the value they can bring a little more and get some even more amazing opportunities.
The Key To Success
I think the key to being successful in blogging is to stick at it and stay true to yourself and the value of yourself and what you want to convey to your readers. I must add though that success isn’t getting a 100k campaign deal it could be getting a ton of new lipstick launches or dinner out. It is all measured differently and depends on what you want to do with this in the long run. For me I can only hope that one day this will be my main outlet alongside freelancing as I have had to say no to some incredible opportunities due to work. Currently for me though it does not cover what I earn per month and there for is not feasible to me. My goal is to keep at it until I can decided if that’s what is right for me. Make sure you’re setting goals and doing what you love and you will succeed! I truly also belive that if things are getting to much, you ave to much on etc. take a break don’t burn yourself out a both ends. That feeling has led me to want to stop altogetehr a few times beacuse the pressure not from others but myself, just let it be if you don’t have time take a break otherwise you’re content will be forced and it will no longer be what you enjoy most.
What are your biggest lessons from blogging, are you thinking of starting a blog?
Jumper – c/o Gant (reduced to £48 from £120) – Rugger Embroidered Jumper
Jeans – Primark – Similar from H&M
Boots – New Look (sold out) – Similar here
Coat – New Look (old) – Simialr from Boohoo
Bag – c/o Zatchels – Sugarcube bag in Oxblood (half price in the sale)