How to be the best version of yourself for your blog and grow your readers without a formula.
I have been blogging since 2010, I have been reading blogs since just before that and have observed as the whole scene and industry has changed dramatically. I was ashamed to post outfit posts initially as my peers told me it was superficial, selfish and embarrassing. I recall quite clearly people around me commenting as I read blogs on the computers at WAAPA, “I hate people who post dozens of pictures of themselves and their outfits online and think that its so clever.”
Definitely entitled to that opinion. I get it.
But I didn’t listen to those voices for too long.
I have been really fortunate in my blogging time to meet some really cool people and bloggers. One of these people, Zanita, has always been one of the bloggers I read several times a week. I like her spirit, her voice and self driven passion. Of course, her work is incredible and I have learned a lot from doing her online courses and reading her blog over the years. Though, this post is not an ‘ode to Zanita’! I just wanted to share a link to a post she put up ages ago which I think captures some of my thoughts and frustrations at the moment.
If you went ahead and clicked on this article, you will see Zanita lists a guide on what you need to make a super popular blog. That impossible list of how to emulate your favourite style bloggers. The post is written in jest and goes on to point out that in order to be a good blog, you should be you.
Not a check list of all of the cool things you note ‘work’ to make a successful blogger or Instagrammer.
For me, Instagram for the most part is like a shop window or book cover into the blog where the best parts lie. Of course, I try to share a mixture of on the go photos as well as Instagram only snaps and shared photos from my blog, so it doesn’t purely become a soulless portfolio. Heck, lately I even added a few selfies- something I am not really keen on and not very good at taking (I swear the shape of my head in a selfie is totally weird!). I am not saying that I have the best account going- not at all, but I do enjoy using it and playing around with what I post. I post what I like and stick to that rule. I won’t include something I am not honestly loving or a product I am not using, because above all it needs to be authentic. Of course, to a degree in the position of an ‘influencer’ there will be a little bit of selling out that happens. None more so than on my blog where I recommend products that I have been using and think are worth it.
It is just that I see so many people, even my own friends and peers sometimes creating work that is not authentic.
Screw the formula and list of cool things that get likes to add into photos! Be yourself.
Wear colour if you actually like it. Don’t wear colour if you never wear colour and make that your thing. Wear whatever you like! Don’t desaturate a garden background, don’t buy expensive cosmetics only to photograph them and never use them, don’t waste your money on an on trend outfit and command anyone nearby to take photos of you all the time. Don’t even listen to me and my list.
The best person you can ever be is yourself, so be the best version of yourself as possible. I mean, I friggen love Chiara Ferragni, but the best person at being Chiara Ferragni is Chiara Ferragni! Lucky for me, I am the best person at being Jenelle Witty. Man, I am even the best person at being Janelle Witty (as most of my emails will remain to be addressed to!).
The best part is that you will connect with people who like the things you like, who get a lot out of reading what you are excited about and chances are, they will share this more authentically themselves.