I’ve been mulling over whether or not to write this blog for a while now, but think I ought to as I’m hoping there’s some other bloggers or creatives out there who might be able to offer some words of advice and inspiration. This year is my sixth year of blogging as Jayne’s Kitschen/Jayne Kitsch and it’s been seven years since I first ventured into the world of blogging. Blogging has been the one thing that has been with me for that length of time, so it’s very important to me and honestly the only thing that has always been there for me, no matter what.
My problem is, that I’m starting to loose enthusiasm for it as I get older and compare myself to the blogger competition I’m struggling to find what my niche is and where I fit in, to the point that I’ve considered quitting all together. I don’t want to be exclusive to just one genre of blogging, it’s not my style but I do want to continue to grow and find success in my blog. Lately, I feel like my blog is slowly falling into a black hole and not really doing much, that’s partly because I’ve not been spending as much time as I did before on and partly I think due to the massive changes in the blogosphere over the past 3 years or so.
After speaking to some fellow bloggers I’ve made a little break down of the key barriers that us bloggers encounter and my thoughts on them and the approach to tackle them.
Comparing yourself to other bloggers
I know I shouldn’t compare myself to other bloggers so much, but it’s very difficult when part of your job is looking at blogs and being on social media all day. There’s so many bloggers out there now that the word blogger has lost a fair bit of weight, everyone’s a blogger now, it’s not anything special anymore. Yes, it’s great that so many have found a voice by becoming a blogger, but for someone who’s spent a lot of their adult life working hard on their blog it is a bit disheartening when you see so many newbies/young and beautiful bloggers picking up awesome opportunities and creating incredible content that it does make you wonder why you still bother.
I just don’t feel like I can compete with all these awesome bloggers anymore, in fact, I don’t think I ever could.
I think the important thing to realise when comparing yourself to other bloggers is that at the end of the day we are all individuals with different things going on in our lives, so it’s virtually impossible to replicate another bloggers style/success/talent. Some of those bloggers got success because they had the free time and flexibility to blog because they lived at home for longer, some of them got success because they are mega networkers and met the right people at the right time and others are those special people who are just so insanely talented and dedicated that they can make anything happen, this is a unique and rare quality.
Stressing over follower numbers and stats
We’ve all been there and it totally falls into the comparison category again, looking at other bloggers follower numbers and stressing over why you’re not at that level yet. What am I doing wrong? Why are they better than me? And so on. It’s not a healthy state to be in at all.
Again, it’s a case of fuck it! Those stats don’t mean anything unless you’re a professional blogger or need to share stats to help with advertising and at the end of the day, that shouldn’t be a priority in life, passion and love should come first. Also, you never know what is going on in the background with those high flying bloggers, some buy followers, some spend 24/7 on social media interacting which isn’t possible for everyone and some have digital marketing geniuses as friends, boyfriends or themselves and not everyone has that perk.
Photos not being perfect
Blogs aren’t magazines, we’re not supposed to be flawless and perfect. To me the appeal of bloggers was the reality and the truth that comes across and gives a blog the edge over a magazine. I don’t know when it became a necessity to produce magazine quality images, but it’s definitely something that a lot of us stress over.
For me, I don’t have time to whip out the professional kit all the time (despite having a degree in photography and therefore should try harder) so when it comes to writing something or not writing something, I’d much rather write something awesome with an average photo snapped on my phone or stock photo than write nothing at all. But of course, that’s not for everyone, it’s just about assessing your priorities again. If you can’t master photography, maybe there’s another way you can shine?
Also remember that some bloggers are fortunate enough to be able to afford top quality professional equipment which naturally makes it easier to take mega photos, others are lucky enough to have a photographer boyfriend or friend on hand and some are just naturally creative. We’re all different, we can’t all create things at the same level, so find what makes you awesome.
Trying to stick to a schedule
Again, I don’t know when this became a thing, but so many bloggers feel like they HAVE to post reguarly (whether that be daily, weekly, monthly) who wrote that rule? Yes, in SEO terms posting frequently does help your ranking and helps retain an audience, but if it’s a toss up between forcing yourself to right something average because you feel you HAVE to blog versus waiting until inspiration comes naturally, I think it’d be best to wait until you have something killer to share. With so many bloggers out there now, there are very few readers who are going to be genuinely gutted if you don’t stick to a schedule, so you’re not disappointing anyone.
Engaging with PRs and brands
Another misconception with many bloggers is this need for attention from brands and PRs. You don’t NEED freebies to write a blog, they are a perk sometimes and if you’re worth it, but with a internet full of bloggers now it’s difficult to stand out and get the brands on board. It’s not you, it’s the fact that the market is saturated and there’s not unlimited PR samples out there.
On the other hand, I do think that the high level of PR is partly to blame for my lack of enthusiasm at the moment, blogging is so saturated with PR freebies that you get so much of the same everywhere that it’s getting quite dull. I don’t want to write about the same things as everyone else at the exact same time and if I’m going to I need to think of a different approach, but I’m not sure what that is just yet.
Getting lost amongst the crowd
I’m bored of all the clichéd blog content out there too, heading to Twitter you’re flooded with #ootd, What’s in my Bag and the like of varying degrees of quality. Yes, there are some awesome bloggers out there that are setting trends and creating unique content with great flair and tons of personality e.g. MANFACE, MishMreow, BigFashionista and Hello Terri Lowe to name just a few. But overall, there’s a lot of cookie cutter content that just isn’t making me excited about blogging anymore.
If you want to survive as a blogger and become futureproof you need to keep changing with the times and find your unique spin on things and your niche.
Not living in London
Moving out of London has definitely made a massive impact on my blog, when I was based in London I was always out and about at PR events, mixing with other bloggers and meeting interesting and useful contacts and picking up lots of new opportunities along the way. Now I’ve moved to Brighton I don’t get hardly any interaction with PRs and when I do get invited to an events I can’t often make it. Again, not sure if this is because I’ve moved or if it’s just because I’m not standing out against the crowd anymore. Dunno.
I guess the main thing for everyone involved with blogging needs to realise is that things have changed ALOT in the past years and we’ve got to adpat and change to get up with the changes. If we want to continue being successful we have keep moving and evolve, unfortunately this takes a lot of time and effort and when you’ve been blogging happily for so long it takes quite a boost to make this happen.
Try to focus more on what YOU want to do with your blogging and stress less about comparing yourself with everyone else. If you’re destined for success it will happen naturally and if you NEED success to happen you need to work hard and keep networking.
This might just be the longest blog post I’ve ever written. I hope it’s not been a chore to read and I hope that some of you can relate to what I’m saying and that it’ll inspire me and some others to kick their blog strategy up the butt and make some awesome stuff happen.
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