Finding your place within the blogging community…..I still haven’t figured it out yet and I doubt that even the most seasoned and experienced bloggers really feel like they have their shit together all of the time. The blogosphere can seem like a very overwhelming place when you’re just starting out. I’ll have been blogging for over two years next month and I still find it a very daunting place to be honest with you.
I’ve wanted to write a post like this for quite some time but for some reason or another I just haven’t gotten round to it. I like reading these sort of posts from other bloggers so I hope that you’ll get something from it too. I’m the last person to throw up any advice or offer tips and tricks (that’s what I rely on getting from others), but I do like to share a story or two and just put my own experiences and thoughts out there to mull over. So let’s see what I can think of that might be of some sort of use for finding your identity in the blogosphere…
Follow, share and engage
In my last post I talked about blog resolutions, and how sometimes, it’s important to have a digital detox away from all social media. Now what I’m about to say here might seem like I’ve gone against it all and that I’m being a big fat hypocrite. But if you’re just starting out in blogging, I found it really helpful in the early days to build up your social media profiles.
(I’m not saying go crazy and follow every Tom, Dick and Harry that you see on Twitter and Insta), but it definitely helps to find feeds that you like and follow those creators. Comment on posts and photos, engage with others, and put stuff out there to promote your blog. Think of it as social networking and is the best way to also form friendships and create contacts.
Obviously sharing your own content is key, and it’s super easy to do that these days with any blog widgets and links to copy to Twitter and your Facebook. Because Instagram is still my favorite platform to post on (despite the crappy algorithm), I’ll make most of my effort on there to promote a new blog post. And now with Insta stories it’s even easier to do so by actually talking about your post if you’re happy to talk to camera.
Be you. Everyone else is taken
This is an Oscar Wilde quote I love, and I had it on my Instagram bio for quite a while. I deliberately put it on my Insta because that’s the place I find it all too easy to lose your own identity and get sucked up into this world of trying to fit in with everyone.
I’m still guilty of trying to achieve a certain aesthetic with my blog, my insta-feed and even my own appearance to an extent, in the hope that I will ‘fit in’ with the blogosphere. From the blog templates to the fashion, there does seem to be this universal look which is very popular amongst a certain group of bloggers/influencers and YouTubers.
But I think it’s really important to stay true to who you are, write what you want to write about, and post pictures that you like to post. Don’t do it for anyone else. Do it for YOU. Do it because you enjoy it. I don’t think I’ll offend anyone too much if I say that sometimes when I scroll through my Instagram, it seems as though I’m looking at the same people. But they’re not. They’re all different, but trying to look the same. To fit in. And by doing so there’s a danger that they kind of become sheep, like clones you know?
I don’t want to sound like I’m getting on my social media high-horse, but I just think that it’s very easy to sometimes lose track of who you are in the blogosphere, and it’s so important to keep your own identity.
Find a passion, and stick with it
If there’s one piece of advice I would give to anyone who wants to keep a blog going, it’s got to be finding a topic that you’re passionate about. You’re going to be writing about it for a good amount of time if you’re in this for the long haul, and it makes no sense to write about something you don’t enjoy.
I started out blogging as a family/mummy blogger but when I decided to keep things private with the children, I changed subject and switched to beauty/lifestyle topics. Now these are some of the most popular subjects to blog about with thousands of other bloggers doing the same thing (and more new blogs starting up every day). Of course there’s this danger that the blogging pond isn’t big enough for all of us….
But I think that the beauty of blogging is that we all have our own unique voices and ways of presenting a subject. You could have one product, say a mascara, and twenty different bloggers would talk about it all in their own way. With their own style. This takes me back nicely to the theme of the post, and how it doesn’t matter whether you choose to blog about the most mainstream of subjects, as long as you stick to who you are, and find your feet within the blogosphere, you’ll enjoy it ten times more.
Recently I’ve thought about changing the blog quite a lot. I’ve noticed that I’ve been talking less about beauty products and have focussed more on lifestyle features and reviews of local events. To be honest I’ve really enjoyed it and I guess another lesson learnt is to embrace change when it does come along. It’s important to keep true to yourself, but it doesn’t hurt to also keep an open mind and be adaptable to new blog topics – you never know where it might take you!
Believing in yourself within the blogosphere
I hope this has all made sense. It has in my head, but it’s a whole different thing putting it down into words (story of my life!). The blogosphere is an amazing community and despite the bad reputation for being bitchy and cliquey (yes it does go on unfortunately), it is also a really inspirational and exciting industry to be involved in, and it can lead to some incredible experiences, and opportunities.
I must admit I went through so many periods last year where I felt so demotivated by the blog and genuinely thought I should give it up. I was lucky if I was posting once a month and I think somewhere along the way I lost confidence and didn’t think I was good enough anymore.
But as with anything in life, we have setbacks. And it’s not about whether we give in to them or not (I defy anyone to say they don’t have the odd bad day or identity crisis once in a while). It’s about how we manage to overcome them, get back on track, and just keep on blogging.
So I’ll just end this post with a page from my new diary which I absolutely love, and which I think is sound advice for anyone either starting out in blogging, or having trouble finding their identity. You can do this, and you are more than enough!