When I first started to blog, I had an overwhelming sense of excitement and freedom. I would have a platform to share myself with the internet. I could type out my feelings and share with the world and have people flock to me like “Jo you’re so wise, how do you do it?”…. Ermmm, maybe not that but you get my point, yeah?
However, back to reality and it is much different. You find yourself looking at bloggers who have already succeeded and you undoubtedly start to compare yourself to them.
The comparison is unfair though. These are people that have been blogging for years. They’ve put the time into their craft and are reaping the rewards. They are revelling in the free samples and glamorous photoshoots that are provided for them. So how are we expected to compete for page views with people that are so polished?
One thing I have noticed for some time is how similar everyone’s blog posts had become. All of a sudden everyone is eating avocado on toast for breakfast, sipping Starbucks outside a train station and wearing the same Kardashian make up look. Now I have no problem with this, you do what you do best. If you rock the Kardashian look, then you stick with that. If you happen to like avocado on toast, then keep on munching, but I wonder if all the “successful” bloggers out there are influencing us newbies that, in order to succeed, we must be like that too.
I did find myself sliding into a few blogger cliches of my own. I bought a Macbook, started drinking more coffee and put more thought into my eyebrows. But my sense of realism has remained the same. I love to shop, but in the shops that I like. I take comfort in browsing the new releases in Cath Kidston as that is my thing. I had installed shop apps like Zara and Mango on my phone because “like everyone shops there y’know”. I even purchased a few items from these shops and it took me a while to see that they just didn’t suit me (talking about you, leopard print biker jacket from Mango).
I found myself a bit lost in what I felt I should be buying. Instead of sticking to what I know best, I was kinda forcing myself to like things I didn’t like. I hadn’t bought a cardigan in months!!!!
It has been quite a cathartic journey to come back to the shops that I’ve always liked. In order to make a blog more successful, you must be you, not someone else. Not someone who fits into the mould of blogger cliches. However I do like that some bloggers openly admit when they’re doing blogger cliche things as it shows that they are a little bit more human. It shows that they are aware of the label and are joking at themselves about it.
So, I have found myself back in my old shops, Fat Face, Oasis, Cath Kidston, Abercrombie, Superdry & Hollister. I feel a sense of comfort in shopping there again, a bit like an old friend you haven’t seen for a while. You apologise for not seeing them as much and then all is forgiven and you are welcomed back with open arms. I actually imagine this happening when I walk back into the Abercrombie store in London. If only…..
But whilst I have a slightly pessimistic view on the blogger cliches, by following so many bloggers you do get some gems. Like Hannah Gale who is my inspiration for starting blogging in the first place. She has introduced me to successes like the Bare Minerals range, Babyliss hair tongs, Essie nail varnish and the jewellery in Accessorize. But I would put that down to the fact that she is very relatable. Her weekly vlogs show the true side of blogging – working from home in your pjs, early morning trains to London and how to cope with make up that slips off your face the minute you step into the Underground.
So my blog is back, but I’ll be sticking to what I like and what I’m interested in. There’ll still be lots of shopping, but from my shops. I don’t put up shopping posts to make you copy me, just to give you a little pointer if you see something you like.
So to sum up, I would say that I have learnt to ignore what everyone else is doing and just do my thing. By all means follow other bloggers out there but don’t feel you have to copy them to feel pretty or successful.