“ON INSTAGRAM YOU’RE EITHER STAYING STAGNANT, CRYING OVER THE ALGORITHM OR ARE MULTIPLYING RAPIDLY WITH COUNTLESS HIGH STREET STORES PROVIDING ENDLESS REGRAMS AND THE WORLD AT YOUR MANICURED FEET”
Last year I kinda fell out of love with blogging a bit (more of the reasons why here!) Style Petal has been mine for nearly 4 years and despite Instagram giving me cold feet and no matter how many pity parties I throw, I’ll be damned it I let it defeat something I love. It just made me realise things need re-evaluting a little. Get your game face on, kind of thing. After having a bit of a blogging hiatus, like one does, once in a while, in order to recharge their creative batteries (and bloody freak out about getting their mojo back again! ) I came back refreshed, with a new strategy and direction in mind, infused full of new love and inspiration (plus a hefty notebook full of ideas!) I could moan about the Instagram algorithm for decades (My sarcastic and painfully relatable tweets seem to be a bit of a hit!) and as disheartening as it is when it seems like everyone around you is flourishing in numerous, multiplying by the day whilst you stay idle; it’s in fact made me better and re think my little corner of the internet.
It seems to me, that there’s a huge divide at the moment in regards to Instagram. As much as we want to loath or love it; it’s still a huge platform which brings in a large percentage of revenue for bloggers and can’t really be ignored (unless someone wants to take me up on my offer for a new app develeopment 😉 ) Half of the people I speak to have plummeting engagement, are losing numbers or staying very much stagnant, whereas the other half, on the contrary, seem to be growing steadily (or rapidly – thank god for Topshop regrams) and doing brilliantly (bloody high five to you guys!). I’ve sat back, observed, got inspired, devised and truthfully, have almost taken a step back in the blogging game and retrogressed. I’m not going insane (kind of). Here’s my thoughts and why taking a step back could be a huge benefit.
I WHACKED MYSELF ON THE COMPARISON TRAIN (NOT A GOOD IDEA)
Following my post all about the ups and downs of being a full time blogger for a year, I’ve recently began to accept the fact that although my stubborn, ambitious and determined nature will come to the grave with me, I’m not quite Zoella. I’m not making millions, sometimes I get scared shitless that suddenly, no one is going to want to work with me and begrudgingly, yes, the Instagram updates do frighten the crap out of me, because it’s a big source of income (as much as some refuse to believe.) Countless nights spent staring at the ceiling, worrying, I suddenly realised, what does this matter in the grand scheme of things? I’ve not only taken a step back, a foot down the blogger ladder, but also allowed myself to invest my energy into other things. Blogging is my full time job, but acting is something I’ve adored since I was 5 and I’m too selfish to give that up. I’ve worked 4 jobs before, I can time manage and as much as I’ll always adore blogging and it’s a huge part of my life, other things can also take priority and life doesn’t always pan out the way you thought it would. If you feel a bit stuck, a bit confused or lost, it’s always good to think back to what you actually enjoy, want to do in the long term and what makes you happy. I put everything into blogging, so that when it goes a bit pear shaped, I leave myself with nothing and whacked myself on the comparison train. I’ve learnt recently, to be more sensible, to pour my passions into multiple things and learnt (bloody finally) that a bit of time off can do a gal some good!
HAS THE SMALL FORTUNE I SPENT ON EQUIPMENT AND CAMERAS BECOME REDUNDANT?
Bit dramatic, but also a totally viable question. All these images here (and most recent ones on my Instagram, actually) have all been shot with my iPhone 6+. Laughable really, when I used to despise using my Samsung 4 years ago, manually blurring the background with my finger on PicsArt, when now, I have a Sony A7 Mark II at my disposal. ‘Apparently’ Instagram favours iPhone images, making them more algorithm friendly (I call BULL on this one, my performance was better when I had half the amount of followers I do now – a picture of a naked mole rat or a pair of Louboutins – they still perform just the same!) However, I do myself, favour a more candid image. In the moment, a literal ‘what I’m wearing today’ images that are perhaps more relatable to the non bloggers among us.
With blogging forever changing and trends coming and going faster than an H&M x Balmain launch, it’s difficult to know what you want, where you want to head and what you actually want to produce. I began to sift through my Pinterest folders, my saved Instagram images and realised that in fact, the biggest source of inspiration was really candid images, that just captured someones style and sass, in a beautifully natural way. I love high fashion, Vogue-esque editorials but I needed to find a common ground where the two meet. It might be a venture I’m forever chasing, but for now, I’m super happy with my Instagram and the more ‘in the moment’ it’s become, (despite instagram being the ultimate F*ck boy at the moment). I no longer worry about having my camera surgically attached to me, but rather, if I like my outfit, I’ll whip my phone out and take a quick snap. This for me, is where blogging began.
I STARTED TO STRIP BLOGGING BACK TO IT’S BARE BONES: BLOGGERS ARE RELATABLE, HONEST AND A MORE TANGIBLE FORM OF MEDIA. SO WHY WAS I CONSTANTLY STRIVING TO TAKE THIS AWAY?
Somewhere amongst being enticed by the views Primark hauls bring and wanting to do something super creative and probably weird, I lost my way. I love a good old haul, I’m nosy, I like to see what people buy. I also love vlogging, I can be myself, be stupid, silly and share my life in a really candid and totally real way. However, the other half of me, adores productions, creating, writing, jotting down concepts, putting together storyboards (SUPER PROUD of this one!) and something that couldn’t be further away from vlogging. This tore me and has left me still confused over what I want others to get from my Youtube Channel and what I want to do, am I allowed to both follow the crowd and do my own thing?
It’s all too easy to get stuck in a routine of posting what you ‘think you should be’ posting, writing the same, carbon copy blog posts and producing the same videos that have been done 10000x before. This isn’t a bad thing but it can leave you uninspired and unsure of where you stand. Where does content creation for bloggers become un relatable and take away the very things it stranded for in the first place? Or will it be forever moulding into something else? I guess I took a step back from it all, brought it back to what I started with, in order to gain perspective. See what works, what others enjoy and see how I can pick myself up from an Instagram induced rut. Kim K might not be handing over 1 mill followers to me anytime soon, but I can brainstorm ideas how to grow 1 million more my own way. (Aim high guys, aim high 😉 )
SHOP THE OUTFIT
I hope you enjoyed found this interesting beauts – would love to know your current thoughts towards blogging and the direction it’s heading in! How is Instagram going for you? Love hearing how the industry is differing for everyone at the moment, join the discussion below!
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Photography by Ben Kapur