It’s been a little over 3 years since I started this blog. It all started with a simple vision I had for sharing my creativity and my love of Interior Design with others. I had spent 4 years studying design in college and wasn’t using what I had learned in my full-time job. To be honest, I didn’t really think much of it or the blogging industry. I was just looking for a fun side project I would enjoy. I asked my husband to get my website up, used Fiverr to create a logo, and even counted down the days until my launch over on my Instagram page.
On November 20, 2015, my first post went live. I shared all about my vision for this little space and why it meant so much to me. It was my first step into the unknown of the blogging industry and I was along for the ride.
THE EARLY DAYS
At first, it was all about learning for me. I dove right in and began Googling everything there was to know. From how to take great pictures, write a compelling post, SEO, social media, growing your following, working with brands, and so much more. It was easy to get distracted by the “newness” of it all. And I completely forgot about the content I was originally planning to share.
What started as a passionate dream, turned into a comparison war I just couldn’t win. Now that I understood all that went into blogging all I could see was that I wasn’t good enough. If I was ever going to get to their level, I had to be better. Here I was comparing my start to someone else’s 5 year mark and it just wasn’t pretty. I started consuming way more than I was creating and the black hole just kept getting deeper. I would find myself scrolling through Instagram for hours comparing my images to those of seasoned bloggers.
For a while, I began to set my target to reach those things. I wanted to be able to take my blog full time. I wanted to be able to make enough money from it that I could build a fancy house, dress my future kids in all of the trendy outfits, and to the outside world, have a perfect life. The problem was that when those became my goals, I absolutely hated sitting down to write a blog post. I would stare at the screen trying to figure out why the shirt I was wearing in the images was so life-changing (because it wasn’t lol) and how to convince whoever was reading my post that it was a must-have purchase. I was regurgitating what I saw from other bloggers and it was getting me nowhere.
A COUPLE YEARS IN
For three, exhausting years I absorbed content that subconsciously destroyed my self-confidence and built within me an inner sense of inadequacy. I blindly followed bloggers who were praised for their success. Never once did I question how their content was serving me, and if that outcome was a positive one. I was on the sidelines absorbing the messaging about how the blogging industry was the new answer to traditional marketing. Consumers trusted them to share the products they loved and used every day, so I trusted them.
The consequences of that blind trust lead me to realize one thing: I don’t believe in and I don’t support what the blogging industry promotes. First, I don’t support women making other women feel like they need more. Also, I don’t support encouraging them to spend money they don’t have. I don’t support portraying this life that is absolutely perfect and put together where every single day you have on a full face of makeup. I don’t support a message that makes those reading it feel less than or measures accomplishments solely on the basis of looks. And most of all, I don’t support bloggers who allow brands, whose main objective is to make money, to influence the content they are putting out to their readers.
Now let me just clarify that I don’t think any bloggers wake up with the intention of destroying their readers’ self-confidence and making them feel inadequate. Just like me, many bloggers simply get sucked into the industry and our society’s obsession with consumerism so quickly that they don’t have a second to blink and acknowledge what’s happening. So why am I writing this post?
Well for two reasons:
- If you are someone who consumes blog content on a daily or weekly basis, I want to encourage you to audit the bloggers you are following. Ask yourself how their content makes you feel and whether or not the outcome is positive. If their content is making you feel inadequate, don’t read it! If their content is making you feel unworthy or not good enough- unfollow! Not everything put on the internet is uplifting and worth consuming so don’t blindly trust every blogger out there.
- For my fellow bloggers reading this post, I want to challenge you to hit the pause button and analyze the content you are creating. Don’t get sucked into the tide! The only way the blogging industry is going to be better, is if you and I fight against the current. We have to commit to being the change we want to see. There are women coming to sites like yours and trusting that you will encourage them and be transparent with them. They look up to you, so give them something to look up to. Don’t just sell them the latest thing because a brand paid you to do so! Blogging isn’t about money. It’s about having a positive effect in other people’s’ lives.
A BRIGHT SIDE TO THE BLOGGING INDUSTRY
Is it a bummer that I had to experience this when starting my blog? Yes! But looking back I’m so thankful for the past few years and the ways they have opened my eyes. Along the way, I uncovered my mission and found the true purpose behind my blog. It isn’t just about Interior Design or creativity. It isn’t about my latest outfit or travel adventure either. It’s about helping women, just like you, reject comparison and consumerism and instead cultivate a purposeful life on any budget. I hope my blog is a space filled with encouragement and never makes you feel like I felt when I was first introduced to this community. The blogging industry is a very powerful way for women to encourage and uplift other women through their own experiences. It allows us to connect with people from all over the world, that we never would’ve met otherwise. It’s a powerful and life changing community, if it’s used correctly! So let’s commit to keeping it positive and focused on that mission.
What has your experience been with the blogging industry and other bloggers? Let me know in the comments below and as always, thank you so much for reading and supporting 🙂 It means so much to me!