Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ultimate Chats! How I get over a blogging funk

In September I'll have been blogging for seven years and while I'm an actual geriatric in terms of my age, I'm also a blogging geriatric too!  I still love doing it with all of my guts and I'd kind of want to because how else would I still spend evenings and weekends working on it, outside of my full time job.

With the evolution of the blogging industry over the last few years, things have changed so much.  Gone are the days of going to work for the day, coming home in the evening and blogging.  Now we have to keep up to date with Instagram, Instastories, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter along with events, launches and the actual blogging itself!  It's a full time job as it is and if you've got an actual full time job like myself, it can all get on top of you.

Over the years I've had my fair share of times where I've lost my blogging mojo and have been in a creative funk.  I know it'll happen again and I know it'll pass.  I've had chats with fellow bloggers who go through the same thing and I thought maybe a post like this might be helpful for anyone who's feeling a bit disillusioned, uninspired and generally a bit meh when it comes to blogging.



When I'm knee deep in a blogging funk, I drive myself demented with thoughts like these:

  • My photos aren't good enough.
  • I feel like I'm too old to keep up with the chung wans.
  • I feel overwhelmed with everything that I need to do.
  • I feel overwhelmed with everything that I want to do.
  • My blog posts aren't informative/funny enough.
  • I'm not blogging enough, I'm not tweeting enough, I'm not filming enough videos, I'm not posting enough on Facebook.
  • I feel like I can't keep up with new releases and samples and feel guilty for not blogging about them.
  • How do I make my posts, photos and videos different to everyone else's?
  • What if a brand isn't happy with a collaboration?
  • I want to expand from beauty but then this won't be a beauty blog anymore and will people read it?
  • Should I be blogging more?  Do people read blogs as much as they did?  Should I post reviews on social media?  Will people be able to find them?
  • My SEO isn't great.
  • Who actually cares what I have to say?


What you mightn't know about me is that I have ridiculous levels of self doubt on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and I'm my own worst enemy.  Even now, I'd love to have five blog posts a week up, but I know it's just not sustainable at the moment.  I have blogger's guilt all the time, so end up getting so overwhelmed with everything that I want to do and end up doing none of it.  It's times like these where it'll be good to have a blog post like this to read over.


"What's the point?"

I hear this so many times from fellow bloggers - "What's the point?"  And that's something that nobody else can answer.  Only you can and each blogger's answer will be different.  What IS the point of blogging for you?  Is it to make money?  Is it to use it to get freelance writing?  Is it to reach a certain number of followers on social media?  Is it to get a certain number of "hits" a day on your blog?  Is it to be able to leave your job and blog full time?  Is it because you want brands to notice you and send you products?  Is it because you love all things beauty and just love writing about it?  Figure out what the point of blogging is for you and take steps to get you where you want to be.  Baby steps are still steps!


When I'm in the midst of a blogging funk, not an uptown funk, I unplug, take a step back and reboot.

I stop putting pressure on myself

With all of the social media platforms out there now, I can't do them all and do them well.  Twitter has fallen by the wayside big time.  Mainly because I think it's a place for chats and I felt guilty not replying to people.  I just don't enjoy it and I'd rather put my time and effort into things that I enjoy.  I'm hoping I'll be able to get back into it, but right now, Instagram, Instagram stories, Snapchat and Facebook take up the majority of my time in terms of interaction.  I can't do it all in 4-5 hours each evening along with blogging itself and when I ease up on myself, it totally helps me be more productive without self imposed extra pressure.  I used to blog 5 days a week, and at one point I posted twice a day!  But that wasn't sustainable.  Now I just try to post quality content as often as I can and while I have things going on in real life behind the scenes, balancing it all is the main focus.



I ignore the negative sh*te

With the increased amount of negativity surrounding bloggers, influencers and general online folk these days, it can be so feckin' noisy.  Last year was the first year I considered giving up blogging completely.  Having lies and crap written about you and your friends online is now sadly part of blogging.  I'm a huge advocate of "If you don't like it, don't watch/read" and I practice what I preach.  I don't read online forums after seeing someone tell lies about me on there and literally no good can come from reading negative stuff like that.  You can't stop people from sending you nasty messages, but you can stop yourself actively seeking out negativity.  We all love a birra gossip don't get me wrong, but things have just reached fever pitch over the last couple of years and it's not for me.  In instances like this, ignorance really and truly is bliss and letting people have the craic themselves and not knowing what's being said is the best thing for my mental health.

I look for inspiration station across the nation

I can't explain how it fills my insides with happiness watching people on Youtube, on Snapchat and reading the blogs of those who love what they do, who make me feel like I can do it too and who inspire me to try harder.  I love looking at gorgeous photos and getting inspired to try out different techniques, or watching Instagram videos to see what I enjoy and don't enjoy watching.  As much as readers of my blog are why I do it, I'm also my own audience and if I'm producing content that I'd like to consume, then that's good enough for me.  Scrolling through my bloglovin feed fills my soul with inspiration and I always come away from it ready to take on the world.

I have a little vent and a rant!

One of my blogging pals Catherine and I have a deal in that we don't take our rants online.  I don't like watching people giving out about things and in the past when I have, I've come away in a bad mood and I don't want to do that to someone and put them in a Pauline Fowler!  I love getting messages about how my snaps or videos put people in a good mood!  So any time I need to let off steam, I message Catherine and she does the same.  A few words of support from someone who gets what you're going through can lighten the load.  We both blog about different things, both work full time and both want to do this for our jobs, so we get it.  If you can find a like minded person that you can vent every now and then to, then you're gold!


I remember why I started

This piece of advice is an absolute gem and despite being told it like five times last year by my friend Amy before it sank in, I still refer to it every week.  I started blogging to distract me from what was going on in my life at that time and because I loved makeup and beauty so much.  And that's absolutely still the case on both parts.

I do this because I love it so much.  Right now, when I upload a video to YouTube, the views are much lower than videos I upload on Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat.  But I love YouTube!  And you never know what can come out of one person watching that one video that mightn't have gotten many views.  I never started this to be my job and the fact that it's a possibility is insane.  I love telling people about bargains, dupes, disappointing products, I love swatching products, I love creating different looks with them, I love giving myself allergic reactions on my face from all of the things I'm trying out at one time (Ok maybe not so much)!  I hope that my passion for it all shows!


I write sh*t down

One of the best things I did recently was to sit down in the office with no music or distractions and write down my thoughts about blogging.  I wrote down things that I wanted to achieve, milestones that I wanted to hit, blog and video ideas and getting it all out of my head and onto paper was ridiculously helpful.  With each of the 40+ ideas I wrote down, I felt my anxiety about it all slipping away and I wasn't in a panic trying to remember it all.  Stationery is my absolute friend and there's nothing like seeing everything that's in your brain at that moment in time written out on a crisp new page with a fancy pen.


I change it up and try different things

Last year I decided to post memes over on Instagram and they always did really well and not many people I followed were doing it.  Then I saw a load of other bloggers started doing it and while they were great for interaction and likes, I didn't like how my feed looked too much like others.  So I stopped posting the memes, focused on my photography and now I love my feed and nobody will be able to copy it.  I've got more ideas that I'm going to try out, some will work and some won't and that's ok.  For me, it's better to be trying new creative things than doing the same things over and over.  If you're in a rut, try doing something out of your comfort zone.  It might be uploading a video directly to Facebook or Instagram, it might be putting your face in a photo, it might be going to events, but trying something new will either work out great or you'll learn something from it.  I love that saying "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got".




I try to remain patient

I'd love nothing more than to be able to leave my job this minute and create content full time.  But until I get regular paid work, that's not going to happen.  I've had people (strangers on the internet) tell me to just quit my job and go for it, but until free lipsticks can be used to pay my mortgage, I have to stay put for now!  I'd love to be working for myself by the end of the year and am making plans for that to happen.  Gary Vaynerchuk is always telling us to be patient and I really do trust that things will all work out the way they're supposed to and a little extra nudge here and there from me won't hurt eh?!


I try not compare myself to others

This is something that most bloggers will do no matter what they say!  It's so easy to look at how many followers someone has or the opportunities they've gotten gotten and feel deflated, but what I do is flip it around and look at the work they've put in to get to that point.  It completely inspires me when people are kicking ass and it makes me want to work harder, to be more creative and it keeps me on my toes.  This is a whole blog post of it's own, but what I do myself and what I advise fellow bloggers is to put the head down and the blinkers on.  Do you, focus on your work and let them do their own thing.  If their social media accounts are making you feel crap about yourself, don't follow them.

I did a Marie Kondo on my feeds there recently and unfollowed a load of accounts I wasn't interacting with to make room for those that added value to my feed and who inspire me.  We spend so much time online and think about how you feel after scrolling someone's Instagram feed with their stunning photos compared to scrolling through a feed of a person you don't like.  You'll come away wanting to write, take photos and be creative rather than feeling deflated.  Trust me on this one!


Remember this!

For the majority of us, as bloggers, we're a one bridie show.  We take our own photos, we come up with blog ideas, we write the blog posts, we edit the photos, we update all of the social media platforms, we engage with our audience, we try to stand out from the crowd but keep doing our own thing.  Some of us have jobs and some of us have families and we're doing it all.  So be kind to yourself.  Take a step back if you need to.  We'll all still be here when you've recharged the batteries.

I've often been asked about doing blogging workshops, but to be honest, even though I've been doing it as long as I have, I don't know it all.  I don't even pretend to know it all, but I'm always here to answer any questions or queries you have and give any advice I can.

It's only blogging.  We got this.
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