Firstly, happy 2019. We’re a month in and this is my first blog post. Not that great, seeing as one of my resolutions was to get out a blog post every week. I’ll explain a bit about that in a minute, but first, I hope you guys are well, that 2019 has been a year of positive change and evolution so far.
Anyway, now to the actual point of this blog post. My last blog post was on December 10th of last year. Nearly two months ago. And even with that post, it was an interview more than an actual deep, thought out post. At first, I thought it was simply writers block, or the fact that my family had been dealing with a lot of changes regarding my dad’s health and it was halting my writing process and causing me to focus my attention elsewhere but it really was not just that. Reality is, this blogging world really got me down for a while and I seriously needed to take a step back.
When I first began blogging four years ago, a blog and social media was a place of self expression. I loved it. It helped me grow into someone who is comfortable being a little different. I began to celebrate my uniqueness instead of hiding it. What a wonderful community it was. But then, the community got a little more full, with both bloggers and with drama.
Personally, I’ve always believed in keeping my head down and working on me and my growth. Then, I, along with some of my blogger friends were handed the reigns to a blog community Instagram page, and everything changed. The account was created for the purpose of initiating community and awareness for South African bloggers and when I finally quit a few months later, I was all but ready to quit the so called community. Though I received wonderful friendship from a few lovely bloggers, including my girls who helped run the account (love you ladies!), I was exposed to an ugly side of this blogging world that I’m still trying to move past.
People, bloggers particularly, became rude and hateful if you so much as missed their post or didn’t let them win a competition. It was insane. Eventually, we all decided to shut down the account, and thankfully built a friendship out of it, so a ray of light there for me.
Then the second half of the year came, and this was seriously just 6 long months of complaining upon complaining. If someone posts too much, people complain, if you post too less, they complain. If you have no social media theme, you’re clumsy. If you have one, you’re fake.
I noticed that most of that complaining came from fellow bloggers or people who’d tried and failed at blogging. That’s the part that gets me. If you’ve even tried it, you should understand that it’s supposed to be a space to share your individuality, not conform to what everyone says you should be. So why are we telling people how their Instagram feed should look, or what to write about or not write about on their blogs? Why are we just not letting people be who they choose?
I will admit that it is important to be real with your followers and not put out a fake life, but I also think that we each get to define our reality. If posting once a month is good for one person, and posting once a day is good for another, leave them alone! Let them post however often they wish. And then this nonsense about a curated or themed feed being fake. It’s crap, sorry. I have maintained a themed feed for years, and let me say this, I don’t model my life around a theme, but rather model a theme around my life. I’m real with what I post, but I also choose to keep certain parts of my life private. Which works for me. But I can also respect and admire someone that is brave enough to put 100% of their lives out there. All this constant complaining and trying to tell people how to be is just tiring. Let someone enjoy their individuality.
Another thing that just tore me down in this blogging world last year was the constant need for people to mimic what I was trying to create. Now, if you’re a committed blogger, you understand the importance of creating a look and content that stands out. It’s hard to be original when this community is so saturated. I’m not being petty here, even though I questioned if I was for a while. But here’s the thing, I work hard to create original content. I’m never a spur of the moment person when it comes to planning my blog or social media. I give it thought and put effort into the design and actual content. Why? Because personally I’ve always been attracted to blogs that look like someone put thought into it rather than just threw it together. So it really bugged me last year when one person in particular, began to mimic everything I was creating. I designed a new theme for my blog, this individual redesigned theirs to look almost identical. If I tried out a new series on the blog, they would start something similar almost immediately. It was such a draining experience, especially since this community is very connected, and I even began getting messages with people commenting on how similar our content was. This continued for months and still continues now, but I’m starting to see that it’s unavoidable. I can only stick to who I am and what I do and hope that others figure out what represents who they are. But a note to people who do this. Before you rip off others work, consider the time and effort they put into creating original content in a very saturated industry. Consider that some of us are blogging for money, and by you ripping off what we do, you take away the PR appeal of originality. Take the time to figure out what you represent and work on that. It will make for content that you’re truly proud of. More than self-pride, it will help you figure out what you want to put out into the world.
2018 was rough on the blogging world, both locally and internationally. Most people, even those close to me seem to think blogging is some hobby that girls do so they can wear pretty clothes, take pictures and get free stuff. I guess for some it may be that. But there are also so many people who work hard to put out content that is appealing to read to both other bloggers and any reader. Once you have readers and followers, you have an accountability to put out information, experiences and advice that is reliable and relateable. You have a duty to brands that trust you for exposure to put out quality information that is respectful to the brand but also honest to your readers. It’s not all pictures and likes. It’s keeping up with tech trends, it’s aiming to stay relevant in a saturated industry, it’s balancing this time consuming task with all your other responsibilities, it’s learning new methods and ways to create something different to everyone else. All this in hopes that brands will respect what you do and not ask you to work for free.
Anyway, that was my first, and hopefully only, rant for this year. I have lots of plans for good content and some evolution for Princess Warrior this year, so thank you to everyone that has supported me thus far and I hope you stick with my little blog in this year ahead.