Sunday, 9 October 2016

Dear Smaller Blogger: Stop Putting Yourself Down

Oh crap, another Twitter unfollower.

Everyone must hate me.

I hate me right now, I have the worst PMS, I have no chocolate in the house and it is way too early to open the bottle of Baileys my dad gave me, anyone else's dad seemingly think they're a right little boozer?

Can anyone else not rest until you have found the culprit, the one who deems it acceptable to follow you, wait patiently until you follow them back and then BOOM, unfollowed in almost an instant.

I will find you and I will unfollow you because yes, I have nothing better to be doing and I also just wanna prove a point.

I tweeted about this and a lot of you agreed that this is HELLA annoying and actually even a little bit rude. What every happened to blogging being a community, since when did it become a numbers game? I really love communicating with my followers, I recognise people through chats and I feel a sense of familiarity, I feel like we are all building a little blogging army about to take over world domination or something like that.
But then that on person has to go and ruin it.

Question: Is social media making us all feel a little bit too inferior?

I love Twitter a lot but it also can be the breeding ground for my anxiety, I tweet a link to my latest post and I don't receive a single like in 4 hours, I start to panic a little, 'should I just delete and pretend no one ever saw it?'.

I see a funny tweet or an amazing answer in a Twitter chat and I'm like 'Oh god, my answers are shit'.

I compare myself to other bloggers, I compare my layout, my header, my profile picture on Twitter, my flat lays.. I compare it all, not becasue I am obsessed with being the best but because I hate that I am not as clever, not as imaginative, not as photogenic as everyone else. I have and always will be a huge perfectionist, it is my downfall and I hate it but I also just have to live with it. No matter how much I tell myself it's okay not to have a fancy camera, it's okay to use my iPhone to take my photos, I know I won't be fully content until I get my hands on an Olympus Pen.

It's expensive being a bloody perfectionist.

I wrote a post recently on how to reach out to brands as a smaller blogger, how to get yourself noticed. I couldn't believe the amount of people who were so terrified at the mere thought, they felt they weren't as popular or as established as everyone else, that they would be a seen as a nuisance. It actually makes me sad that people don't feel proud of their blogs, look at your blog and look at what you have achieved. It may be a little rough around the edges, mine certainly is but it is yours and it is brilliant

You may not be a huge blogger but so what? Numbers aren't everything. All those people who try so desperately hard to have a huge following yet won't ever follow anyone, they don't understand that it's not about that anymore. It's about engagement, having a relationship with your readers, being an influencer by being liked. I can guarantee that if I tweeted Hannah Gale she will at least like it, she may even reply, she is a full time blogger who has a huge following yet she still takes the time to appreciate support from her readers. Being arrogant and not even bothering to notice when someone has mentioned you won't impress a brand, it will turn them away.

I also saw a tweet the other day from a blogger who was 'getting pretty sick of other bloggers being noticed', where is the support in that? Why is it a competition, why can't we all accept that there is enough room for all of us to be amazing. How worthy you are isn't reflected in how many sponsored posts you've done, that doesn't prove anything, it's kind of just luck and a bit of determination.

As bloggers who are pretty much all in the same boat, we all just need a bit of support from one another, not judgement.  We could use social media as something amazing and most of the time we do, Twitter chats prove that but we also use it in ways that I don't like and I really wish that would change.

When it comes to blogging I always tell myself - It's all about the journey, not the destination. That sounds like something they would say at a group therapy session but it's true. Just because you don't have the biggest following or the best camera it doesn't mean you are a bad blogger. If your flat-lays look more like a child has done them then that is okay, you'll get better.  Blogging is so much more than numbers and page views, it's the most humbling, creative and heart warming thing to be a part of and I am so grateful for every new follower and comment I ever receive. I suffer with anxiety and on my down days I love nothing more than to go through comments and re-read them, they make me smile not only on the outside but they make me go all fuzzy and warm on the inside. 

I have started realising recently that it is so unrealistic to tell yourself not to compare, we do it all the time and I think it's really quite natural. Social media is the place to go if you want to feel a little bit too fat, a little bit too boring and a little bit too lonely. There will always be someone skinnier than you, someone with a far more interesting social life and someone with the 'perfect' relationship. This is why I love the quote, 'Don't compare your behind the scenes with someone else's highlight reel' - it's probably the most relatable quote in the world. 

You might not being able to stop yourself from comparing what you have with what someone else has, whether that be amount of followers or photo quality but you can remind yourself that you are pretty damn amazing too and we should't use that to put ourselves down, we should use it as motivation. 

Go make yourself proud.