Monday, 8 December 2014

LET'S TALK: Being Part of the Blogging World

Anybody reading this will have no doubt seen similar content recently relating to being a part of the blogging community when it's popularity seems to have absolutely gone through the roof during 2014. Equally, you will probably have seen many bloggers and vloggers a like taking to their blogs and Youtube channels addressing the negativity and the backlash of being part of this community.

What I am writing right now - this is hardly original content but I know many people are feeling the same at the moment after seeing a few of my own blogger friends tweeting and writing posts on the matter.

I started blogging in June 2012 - I had just finished Uni and, after spending 3 years doing an English Literature, Language and Creative Writing degree, seriously missed writing, reading and putting my thoughts down. I've always loved food, travel, eating out at different restaurants and, well, the things I have blogged about since June 2012. I originally started on a Tumblr account and I didn't actually start to market my blog in any way shape or form until about 6 months later. I had followed several different bloggers for a year or so prior to beginning my own and I was a little intimidated by it all - not because I didn't believe everybody would be nice (a bit like starting school!) but I started it for myself to allow myself to keep writing. After 6 months with my blog on Tumblr, I moved to Blogger (which I still use - although I'm planning to change over to Wordpress over Christmas). I joined Bloglovin' and started to get a little bit of a following.

My following still isn't huge, but I am still flattered that more than 100 people actually read my blog! I know I am never going to make a career out of blogging - my current job is the start of my career, luckily that involves a bit of blogging and marketing for the company BUT Unorganised Chaos? I love it, I won't give up on it but, by no means, will it amount to the Zoella's and The Londoner's of the world.

Just lately, however, I have been putting myself down over my blog and blogging in general. It's great to see the progression of bloggers and vloggers, the opportunities that are arising and how successful they are already becoming and I am not knocking them in the slightest - they work hard and we might only see a blog or a vlog each day or even a few times a week.

BUT it's hard not to hope, one day, you would get those opportunities. My problem? Time (and probably talent! But mostly time!) - I have a full time job, I go to the gym Monday-Friday for at least an hour, Friday afternoons I'm lucky enough to finish at half past 2 but then I'm either down to London, home to Nottingham or up in Sheffield visiting my University friends. All of that combined - sometimes you can't be arsed and that's the honest truth. The problem is, because of my lifestyle and the constant busyness of it all - I don't always have the concentration to do a great deal other than sleep when I do have that free time. So really, I'm creating my own problems and realistically, although I enjoy blogging, it isn't a career for me and, I'm not sure I would want the constant pressure of original content and being in the public eye all the time.

I'm honest on here, I'll have a ramble on about things that are on my mind (example - this post), I'll tell you about things I've struggled with in the past but I'll also jot down new recipes I've tried, my favourite things to cook and bake, diary-style pieces of my backpacking trip - because, first and foremost, it's for me. And I sometimes have to remind myself of that when I'm putting pressure on myself to 'better my blog'.

When you see the success of others, it's so easy to compare yourself - not just with other bloggers - instances like flicking through Facebook and seeing that girl from your year has got married and had kids or you're on Instagram and some people you know from Uni have been backpacking round the world for the past two years, having the time of their lives. Social media is both a blessing and a curse sometimes.

At the moment, being a blogger can often feel like a daily competition. I follow a lot of bloggers on Twitter and Instagram, see so many retweets from several PR agencies. I've also seen people either being really blunt about wanting to review products or very strongly hinting about it and I'm really not sure when it got like this?!

I've got my first blogger meet-up in a couple of weeks with a lovely bunch of people I've been in regular contact with on Twitter since we arranged it and you know what, I could have five page views or five hundred pageviews but I'm going to go, meet all of those lovely people and have a good time that. Yes, I'll blog about it but I'm blogging about it for ME and I'm going, not for blog coverage but because, well, we all bloody like food and we're going to go there, stuff our faces and enjoy doing just that!


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