I've been in the game for a long, long time (in internet years) and boy has the online world gone through some changes.
As you all know, when it started things were extremely organic and there wasn't much pressure to do too much other than post whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted.
Just a place to get things off of your chest or share interests that you couldn't chat about with the people around you IRL. The internet was where you could turn to find likeminded people and to build your own community based around your personal interests and mostly, to just be yourself.
At the beginning I did as I liked and acted how I liked because I wasn't thinking too deeply about who was watching me or why and it was a very free place to be but over the years I feel like I slowly started polishing myself down to try to fit somewhat of an internet mould.
I wasn't sure from what angle to come at this from as to be honest this post is just an accumulation of lots of things that have been going through my mind over the past few months. It's the reason why I took a bit of a break from my blog. I started to wonder if what I was doing was even worth it anymore? Do people care?
I feel that unknowingly, over the years I have stopped being myself quite so much, whether that be on my YT channels, this blog or on social media and I think thats for a few different reasons.
With social media content becoming so high-quality, highly produced and shot I begin to feel very confused about what I should put out there and I always have a constant back-and-fourth with myself about if I should keep my content more personal and 'real' (like it used to be and why people watched/followed me in the beginning) or if I should adapt to the edited, perfected pictures that seem to be so popular and that audiences seem to want to see? I wanted to feel and stay relevant.
Over the past few months I noticed that views and posts were just not doing as well as they previously had and I took this so personally! I wondered what I was doing wrong, are people just not liking my content anymore or are they growing disinterested? I panicked and wondered what I could do to better my content and to make sure that it's what people want to see but honestly, this can end up driving you bloody mad!
Yeah, it's great to see growth and good numbers. Its nice to feel like you 'fit in' within the industry but you don't have to kill yourself over it and take it too seriously. At the moment I'm trying to find a the right balance between posting what I want, in the style that I want to...but also putting the maximum time and effort into my content on every platform because it's extremely important to me and is my business!
For a while I felt like I should only post straight-face, professional-looking photos to instagram to be taken seriously by the 'fashion world'. I stopped posting me doing much makeup because apparently I wasn't talented enough for the 'beauty world' and I was reluctant to share much of my daughter Indie because of personal backlash and/or people thinking 'i'd changed' because I'm a mum but I'm honestly tired of caring about all of this at this point.
I'm going to be posting all of these things (& hopefully some more playful fashion pics because life is too short to be waiting for that imaginary email from Vogue to land in your inbox. lol) because i'm tired of limiting myself to feel like i'm doing the right thing!
Another big factor which has sometimes made me unsure of how to present myself online has been trying to stay relevant to brands, which I think is an important thing to be aware of but I believe I was overthinking it way too much.
The one unique thing about content creators is that we are prized on just being normal, for being our unapologetic selves.
A few years ago it became possible to work together with our most loved and coveted brands, which is the best feeling in the world! I cant tell you how excited I have been to be able to work with brands like Topshop, REVOLVE and Benefit. To have these brands recognise you and trust your creative concepts is so flattering and fulfilling.
The problem was that I got sucked into this hole of trying to make sure I was fitting the image of what brands might like to see on my social channels and thats just not the way it should work.
Do I look classy enough for high-end?
Are my backgrounds white enough to be accepted on Instagram?
Would people be put off because i'm swearing in my vlog about coriander?
Screw it! The whole reason brands like to work with us in the first place is because we are grounded, we're frank and mostly - passionate about our work and what we do and share.
So whatever we think might be relevant to a brand is really just guesswork because you never know what they might find to be the best thing about you and your channel/blog, so just keep doing what you set out to do in the beginning because authenticity is more effective than anything else at the end of the day.
At this point you might be thinking...'This is the same old advice that people always tend to give'...and hopefully not, but this post was really more of a chance for me to refresh my head, to share why I haven't been posting recently and to bring back some life to my content and what I share.
I guess sometimes I worry about staying relevant online because i've almost been doing this for 10 years and there are a hell of a lot more people in the game now. Alongside the unpredictable algorithms and sub-boxes it can be a bit of a scary scary place to be but i'm just going to try to focus on what brings me joy the most and to make what makes me feel the most alive.
Comparison is the thief of joy. I'm focusing on staying in my own lane and just trying to better myself everyday in work and in my personal life.
Trying to be relevant is counterproductive, you will always be relevant if you stay honest with yourself and with your audience. This online world makes you feel like you should present yourself in a certain way very intensely but after a 6 month period of trying to work out what my 'box' is, I've realised...Fuck the box.
Oh, here are some moody fashion pics, soz
S H O P T H E L O O K