Does anyone else ever feel like they just need a break from social media?
I had all of my posts planned out for October: a review filmed and ready to be edited, makeup looks for my Instagram. Then real life managed to get in the way.
I always envy anyone with lots of free time to spend on their blog, and I often wish I had started mine when I was at uni. Seriously, at one point I only had about 6 hours of classes; starting a blog would have been a productive way to pass the time.
Now, there’s full time work, and a one hour journey each side. I know it’s not an excuse, and a lot of people still manage around that; I just often find myself feeling far too drained by the time I make it home. At this time of year, it’s also too dark for product photos after work, and I usually prefer to collapse on the sofa instead.
And somehow, despite that, my blog is now a year old. That’s right, a year ago tomorrow, on the 22nd October 2017, I published my very first post, a review of the Rimmel Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation. It’s still proving popular now as it is my second most viewed post (much to my dismay, as my skin and the photos were awful).
Throughout this year, there’s been good days, and days where I haven’t wanted to post. At all. But my little blog is still here, and I still sit down most weeks to put my makeup on, and write my reviews.
And it’s all worth it, right?
The Numbers Game
The thing with the online beauty community is that it’s completely saturated. There are thousands of beauty blogs out there, and new ones are constantly sprouting up. Don’t even get me started on YouTube and Instagram.
It’s great to see people embracing their passion every day and starting a new hobby. It also means that there’s a lot of competition out there, so what starts off as an exciting new adventure can quickly feel pressurising as you strive to be unique and post as frequently as possible.
Ok, maybe that sounds pretty negative. But that’s how it feels some days, which is fine while things are good. What happens when the numbers aren’t there though? When you post that makeup look you were so excited about, and your engagement seems to drop? Or that review of your favourite new concealer that seems to get no views?
That’s what has been happening to me lately. And as much as everyone tells you it’s not about the numbers, it’s really hard not to focus on them. There are some that are easier to deal with than others: I don’t expect my videos to get many views, as YouTube is a much more difficult platform to get started on nowadays. But when it comes to Instagram, seeing my posts performing poorly makes me feel disheartened, and almost makes me want to stop posting to the platform entirely.
You may think I sound a bit dramatic, but hey, I’m a millenial: I’ve grown up receiving likes on social media. It’s more than that though. I’ve found something I enjoy spending time on, and seeing it fail makes me wonder if I’m any good at it, or if people have had enough of my content.
All the Things I Learnt
So I’ve contemplated giving up. Then I realised my blog was almost a year old, and I decided to look back on the past year. At my posts, at the makeup looks I’ve created, the new skills I’ve learnt, and everything else.
- Blogging played a big part in keeping me sane while I was studying last year. It gave me a break from thinking about maths, to focus on something I loved instead.
- My photo skills have definitely improved. Mostly thanks to buying a DSLR, and some proper lighting, but also as I slowly learn to edit them, and to create proper flatlays (I have CharlieStarBlogs to thank for that one!).
- I’ve finally started creating videos for YouTube. It was something I wanted to do for a long time, and while the editing takes a long time, I’m always so pleased to see the final result.
- My blog just reached 300 followers. That may not seem like a lot to some people, but I usually only post once a week, so I think it’s pretty good.
- I’ve actually had a few brands reach out to me to send me their products! It’s not the same amount of PR as some of my favourite influencers may receive, but knowing that brands wanted to work with me has certainly made me happy.
- I’ve become a total skincare junkie. Ok, my bank account may not be happy about that one, but my skin certainly is! I’ve discovered all these new steps, and I make sure to check out reviews before buying products, and I can see the difference.
- I’ve actually attended a couple of brand events! Ok, I was only a plus one, but they’ve been so much fun, and everyone there has been super lovely and welcoming.
- My most read post is one I only posted in June, and I totally feel like a proud mother every time it gets found via a search engine. In fact, this month, my review of the P.Louise Base has had almost 100 views! Again, this may not seem like a lot, but it gives me a reason to keep posting.
See? It’s not all bad! Looking back on this year gives me the energy to start posting and creating again. I love writing reviews, I love creating makeup looks, does it really matter if the numbers aren’t as good as I expected? No, because focusing on the numbers too much stops me from enjoying it, and that’s the last thing I want.
So no, I haven’t disappeared, I just needed to look back on the good things. I’ll be back with new, exciting content very soon, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.