Not really a new blogger – I’m not going anywhere, of course, but I am working on changing my perspective a bit. Today was meant to be a post in my Colour Series, but that will have to wait, because honestly, it was time to get some things off my chest and share with you how I’m re-evaluate my blogging. It’s time to get real.
When I started the blog, I had no aspirations of being the next Damsel in Dior or Aimee Song. I wanted to express myself and share my thoughts and ideas on fashion, beauty, and style because I enjoy those things. If people followed along, that would be wonderful. I hoped they would, and I’ve been so lucky to have people read and enjoy the blog since I started it. I am so grateful for all of you!
I grew, slowly at first, on Instagram and with my readership on the blog (and much, much slower on Twitter and Pinterest, because I have a bad habit of forgetting to fully engage on those platforms – oops!), gaining readers and followers here and there. And I was pleased with that. When I got my first collaboration requests, I was ecstatic! I thought, oh my gosh, companies are actually interested in the fact that other people might care about what I have to say. OMG! I felt accomplished and happy. I eagerly wrote reviews and shared my experiences. I got to work with some amazing people and companies. I continued sharing my thoughts and ideas on things that I loved. I chose to participate in collaborations that fit my style, meshed with the blog, and that I truly was excited about. It was so great.
And then somewhere along the way, I’m ashamed to say that I got caught up in what I’ll call the Instagram trap. Instagram is an amazing way to share the blog, but it can also become a sneaky little monster. Suddenly, my follower count was becoming too important to me. I was checking IG ALL THE TIME. I questioned the things I was posting and worried more about what people thought (which, surprisingly, I didn’t think about at all when I first started, maybe because I wasn’t sure anyone would read it at all). The self-doubt crept over to the blog too. I started comparing myself to other bloggers who were at similar places in their blogging/Instagram careers, or worse, with people who had been doing it for a longer period of time. I started feeling like I HAD to post, even if I didn’t have much to say. I got catty when I felt like I wasn’t good enough. And I started to stress more about something that was supposed to be fun. I felt terrible. And I’ll be honest, it’s been going on for months.
I did not like it, but I could not really identify what exactly was bothering me until a particularly bad week (last week) when I realized that I spent more time worrying about the blog than enjoying the blog. As soon as I figured it out I thought, that’s it, I have to stop this insanity. It’s time to stop caring what other people are doing or how I compare to that and get back to my blogging basics – sharing my ideas and my favourite things (even if other people don’t agree with them or gasp, hate them!). So that’s what I’m going to do.
I’ll likely never do this as a full-time career. I would love to, but I have bills and responsibilities and a busy full-time job and a beautiful son to raise and I just do not have enough hours in the day to do it all and get myself to a place where I could blog as my career. I also need sleep, or I am a hot, emotional mess! Hell, I can’t even answer all my emails most days. I run out of time, all the time! And that’s ok. I have so much respect for the bloggers who have been able to do it all and get to a place where it is their career – you are passionate and driven and amazing! And I celebrate you! I wish I could do it to, but I will be happy with what I can do.
So for 2017, I’m going to focus more on writing, photographing, and sharing things that make me happy and that are fun, rather than worrying about having enough posts written for a given week or month, or how many likes I got, or what new collaborations are coming up. I will be grateful for everything I have accomplished and focus on the positives instead of letting self-doubt be my guide. And I am so excited for that!
SIDEBAR: Now, you may have noticed that I began monetizing my blog over the last few months and hopefully you understand why. Blogging takes a ton of time, effort, and let’s face it, money. It’s not cheap – between web hosting fees, graphic design fees (if you don’t do your own graphic design), equipment maintenance, buying products for your content (whether beauty, lifestyle, or fashion products – because no blogger gets EVERYTHING, or even most things, for free), editing software, apps etc., etc., etc., not to mention the sheer value of the time put into blogging, it definitely requires some funds to keep things going. I was lucky enough to be invited to join the LiketoKnow.It monetizing platform, and beyond making a small amount of money to support the blog (and not my shopping habits, trust me) thus far, it’s offered me an opportunity to learn a TON and grow as a blogger. It’s also allowed me to (much more) easily link to items that I wear or share and that my readers are interested in, so I appreciate that as well, because in the past, it would take me hours to set up the proper links to items in my posts. Some of you may not be fans of the Instagram platform, but that’s ok. You can still find out all the details about where I found exact or similar items over here on the blog. Stay tuned for a more elaborate Shop My Instagram page coming to the blog soon that will make it even easier to find the things I share.
I end this by saying how grateful I am for all of you who read and follow along with the blog and how excited I am to start blogging with purpose again. Beyond focusing on what I love, one of the best ways for me to do so is to hear from you so that I can learn more about what makes YOU happy as well and what you want to read! Let me know what you’d be interested in hearing about, what questions you have, or what you’d love to see more of here on Sparkles, Lace & Sequins, either by leaving a comment or sending me an email at email@example.com (I promise so write back!).
I really do look forward to enjoying more of the pretty things in life with you all!