This post has been playing on my mind for a few weeks now, however in light of recent situations it has come to the forefront of my mind and given me a lot to think about. Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. To me, I find success in completing my to-do list, for making sure all my laundry is done in time for the start of the working week and for keeping money in my bank account past the 10th of the month. Other success comes from different areas in life and one of these successes is of course my blog. A blog that started out as a small hobby, where I put in writing my opinions on make up that I had bought. Not expecting anyone other than my Mum to read it, I can now say that after nearly four years I have written around a thousand blog posts on make up and beauty, travelling, fashions, events and other things that I have felt the need to talk about. Not only that, but I have also amassed a strong readership, loyal followers, and a great working relationship with not only some of the biggest brands in the UK, but across the world. People often tell me how lucky I am to have so many products sent to me, but I’ve always said that my success isn’t down to luck. It’s down to sheer hard work and consistent fine tuning of a small hobby that has grown into a personal success.
For those who do not blog, I suppose that from the outside looking in, it seems like all I do is play around on Instagram and Twitter, throw up a blog post every now and again and share the amazing products that have been delivered on a daily basis. For the outsiders, they don’t see just how much work goes into creating just one blog post. Historically, you’ll have seen that up until my back injury, I was posting almost every single day. Each blog post takes me around 3 hours from start to finish. Designing a photography background for the product placement, taking images, editing them before watermarking them, writing said post, editing and proof reading, plus the smaller things like social media promotion to ensure that all my efforts don’t go to waste and that people actually read it. A full time job in itself, all whilst having a full time job. Not only that but the inspiration and creativity involved to create posts that people want to read and share. Having a muggy head filled with medication has really scuppered this recently and I’ve not been able to find the words that I want to say, which pains me as I love to write. I’m not succeeding as of yet, but I’m sure that I will be back on track soon to be able to.
My success of my blog to people who don’t blog does lead me to an unfortunate situation, and one that may cause some controversy. Most people that I know who don’t blog are very proud of me. They champion all I do, and what I have gained through my hard work and dedication and they know that I am still humble of everything. People know that I actually don’t like talking about my blog, let alone when people start to read it in front of me. It makes me cringe. I suppose maybe it’s because I treat it like my own personal diary of thoughts. There are some people though, who seem to take great pleasure in trying to bring me down because of what they perceive to be my success. They are the people who don’t see me working through the night if I have a deadline, they don’t see my sobbing because this little hobby has got to much and I’m under immense pressure – which I have since learnt to let it go! They also just see what they want to see. Now, I’m not throwing the word jealousy into this, because I don’t believe that personally I have anything to be jealous of. I work hard, I work hard in an industry which I’ve wanted to work in since my mum taught me to do a smokey eye aged 9. People are appreciative of my opinion, my recommendation, my knowledge of the industry yet there are still people who don’t understand the blogging world who will try and take me down and speak poorly of me because I am doing something that I love to do and putting the work in to it. Believe me, when I see other people’s lives on social media, I also feel a pang of ‘I wish’, or ‘I’d love to do that’. But, what is stopping you? Why are some people so intent on letting other peoples success be a measure on their own lives.
This then makes me think about recent events for those within the blogging industry. It has all come to a head over this Easter weekend that there are a certain amount of bloggers who have been cheating the system by essentially buying followers or using an automated bot to increase their following. Some of the peoples names that have been outed have really disappointed me. As I have been championing their success, and being proud of all they’ve accomplished, it has gutted me that their success has been built on cheating the system. You may be thinking ‘oh well, it’s just a few followers’, however when a brand comes to choose who they are working with, it is a sad state of affairs but yes, follower numbers play a huge part in being chosen for outreach. The more followers, the more people will see it, but when those followers are fake accounts, where is the return on investment? When people like myself may be passed over because I don’t have enough followers compared to the girl who has been using bots to grow her Instagram by 200 new followers a day, it’s an unfair comparison. Sadly, it’s the world we live in yet my aim for success doesn’t have cheating the system in mind. My success comes from hard work and trying to grow my social media by using a strategy that is honest and although hard work with the current algorithms, it is working. The authenticity is there and that is more noticeable than ever in times where people are cheating. I have never wanted to be famous. I don’t want to be Insta-Famous and I most certainly would define my success on Instagram by cheating.
It does concern me greatly at how being ‘famous’ takes over the morals that I have personally built my blog on. I am proud to say that I am known for being straight to the point, for being outspoken and most of all being honest. People trust what I say and the amount of people who tell me they want my opinion before spending hard earned money on products spurs me on the most. With the Instagram cheating, the people involved who aren’t even holding their hands up and admitting what they’ve done, my words for you are these – You may think you may have the success now, you may think it will all blow over, but all it has done is tarnish your reputation. Spending X amount of years building a personal brand built on honesty and respect has all been removed overnight. I hope your success of being famous on Instagram is worth it.
Success – an accomplishment of an aim or purpose. If your aim is to cheat, well done. You’ve succeeded. If your purpose is to belittle my hobby because of your insecurities, you’ve also succeeded. But, has it been worth it? My aims have been completed with results way higher than I could have ever expected. Success. It definitely comes as a price, it’s just how you deal with it that counts.