Thursday, September 5, 2019

4 Reasons Why I've Been Struggling with Blogging Lately

1) I Don't Spend a Lot of Money on Clothes

Without going into my whole life story, I am a 20-something lady with a very strict budget! I think no matter what your situation is, you should have some sort of budget, even if it's not a strict one! To be transparent, I give myself only $100/month to spend on "fun things" which include clothes, items I don't necesarily need (home decor, fancy shmancy hairspray, etc.) and concerts. Essentially, anything that isn't a bill or necessity that is absolutely needed in my life.


This effects my blogging life because (as you can imagine) I'm not buying a lot of clothes that are currently in stores. I re-style older items and buy a very large majority of my clothes on sale (so most of the time they are sold out by the time I can share with you guys!). I try really hard to link up "similar items" for you guys to shop when I share an outfit via LIKEtoKNOW.it  but from experience and analytics, "similar items" are not things you girlies tend to shop, which is understandable. If you see something you want, you probably want that exact item!

Plus, it's stress on me because I feel so obligated to post LTK links so if I can't find similar items, I tend to just not post the outfit - am I the only crazy who does this?

Question: would you guys rather me link similar items, or not even worry about it? Does it depend how close it actually is to the item I'm wearing that makes a difference?

A "good deal" to me is not $80 booties marked down from $150. A good deal to me is an $11 top (can I get an amen!?) and $30 wedges. And obviously, budgeting and finances are very personal things to each individual and if $80 booties are within your budget then by all means, have at it! That's just nothing that is within my realm of spending right now, nor did I grow up spending like that. This is one of my biggest peeves about the Nordstrom sale: yes, things were on sale. But the sale price was not a price that was reasonable to me.

Again, to each their own! I'm not bashing anyone for buying anything, as long as you're staying within your own personal budget!



2) I Miss the Purity of the Good Ole Instagram Days

You're always getting sold something now, whether it's blatant or barely noticeable and this is just the reality of Instagram these days. I'm not totally hating on this because I share items I love, affiliate programs I am a part of, and all that jazz so I would be a hypocrite to say I totally dislike this reality... However, I do miss the "pure" days when everyone posted their selfie outfits because of their pure interest in posting them. There was no LIKEtoKNOW.it, no "influencers" - just a nice sized group of us lasses across the world sharing our everyday outfits!

It's just kind of funny to me that people go out for photoshoots now to take pictures of items to show them off and they don't truly wear them in real life. I can't say I will never, ever do this in my life because yes, sometimes you want to get an extra special shot of an item or get the right sunlight for a picture, or whatever. But everything I post is preeeeetty off the cuff. I wear a cute outfit and try to take a selfie, or hope that I can get a friend to get a semi-decent picture and that's the reality of it! (You'd be surprised at how hard it is for some people to take a nice photo!)




3) The Inauthenticity with Likes & Engagement

There has been this new wave of "promotion" where influencers are low-key asking for engagement, or just blatantly asking for it and I have the weirdest feelings about this - as in, most of the time, it drives me bonkers.

Yes, of course, we all want engagement. I would love if I got likes, comments, and saves on all of my posts, but I don't foresee myself ever asking for them. I know the Instagram algorithm has thrown everyone and their feeds for a loop, but I want anyone who follows me or interacts with my posts or stories to genuinely enjoy the content they are seeing from me.

I can get behind this kind of thing if maybe it happens every once in a while, but when I see the same person a few times a week saying things like "go like my recent" or "Instagram isn't showing you guys my posts - are you seeing my posts?" (I'm guilty of this every so often). Seems excessive, yeah?  Not bashing anyone who does this, but I think it just adds to the inauthenticity that has progressed on Instagram over the past year or so.

Giveaways

"Fake" engagement also comes through forms of giveaways, where liking and commenting on certain posts enter you into a giveaway for the month. This is one of the ways that I think is actually a clever way to give back to your followers and also encourage engagement. I'm not hating on this tactic too much (even though it's kind of a roundabout way to ask for likes, don't ya think?)

Comment Pods

The inauthenticity also comes in the form of comment pods. I have been part of comment pods before and they definitely do help. I was in one for a short time but it got too hard to keep up with. Comment pods work like this: a group of people are in a chat together (I used to be in one that used IG DM's to communicate but telegram is the new, bigger thing) and when one of them posts something new on Instagram, they send it to the group and everyone from the group goes to that post to like/comment/give engagement.

I have mixed feelings about this because it's not "genuine" engagement, but it's also not really cheating the system (or as bad as buying followers). Plus, it's so much more flattering when you know someone is commenting or liking your post purely off of the fact they liked your post (or they are trying to network but hey, still authentic interaction!)


4) I Don't Have the Time

I feel like the production value and what most people want to see on Instagram now is just not super realistic for the average person to achieve. I am not a full time blogger; I have a 8-5 job where I work 40+ hours a week, workout multiples times a week, go to devos and church things + make any attempts at a social life, so as you can imagine, I'm a pretty busy girl! Not to say full time bloggers are just sitting around twiddling their thumbs and taking pictures - I do not think that's the case. But I do think it makes their lives a lot easier when blogging is their full time job.

If anything, I am happy that I can get some kind of picture every few days on my iPhone. I don't have a nice camera, and I don't work with photographers, and this is partly my choice.

And I will take responsibility of this one. If I truly cared to dress up, go out and take pictures, I would make it a priority, but I am more of a "in the moment" blogger (can we make this a thing, please?) as in I dress cute most days, dress up when I go out, and hope that I can convince one of my friends to snap a few pictures of me - and hope ONE will work out fine.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

4 comments:

  1. I totally agree with everything you so eloquently said and share your frustration with changes in SM, blogging and influencing and genuineness. Stand firm and stay true to yourself!!

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  2. Do you have a brand standard for your blog? If not, that would be a great place to start. I have one for my job's marketing (well Hilton brand standard lol) and it helps me keep things cohesive and consistent. Things you would want to have on it would be frequency of posts, topics, etc. Even having like a couple themed days like "Frugal Friday" would help with direction and consistency.

    As far as your budget, I feel like that is a selling point for your blog. You have awesome outfits that aren't an arm and a leg to purchase. I think linking outfit items to similar pieces is just fine if you can't find the exact one. I personally will go through fashion bloggers/Instagrammers and Pinterest for outfit inspirations and then find similar items at Ross, Target, Walmart, etc.

    Don't even get me started on Instagram's algorithim. I loathe it, and loathe Facebook's even more. You basically have to pay to boost each post to be seen these days. I would just target the people who consistently like your posts, as well as using an app like Tag O' Matic to find relevant hashtags for your posts. I also click on the hashtags I use in my posts (unless they're brand specific) and then go through and like 10-15 posts that pop up with that hashtag so that my account isn't flagged as spam.

    As far as not having time, you will want to decide what the purpose of your blog is for. If it's to make a profit from advertising, sponsored posts, etc., then you'll want to treat it like a part-time job and set aside exclusive time each week. There's also nothing wrong with scheduling posts as well if you have a bit of free time one day, as long as the outfits you post are in-season. Who will truly know if you wore that outfit that specific day, aside from your sister? lol.

    If your blog is more of just a creative outlet, then post whenever you want. I know that Elle Harper doesn't even blog because she wants her Instagram posts to be spontaneous and come across not forced. That's where having a brand standard for yourself will come in handy.

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