A Fashion Blog By Gemma Talbot

Monday, 18 July 2016

The Misconceptions Surrounding Blogging

Typing out this blog post made me weary that I am leaving myself open to negative criticism. With that said since making the leap to the world of full time blogging, I've learnt that people are always going to have an opinion no matter how good your intentions. I do feel that there are misconceptions when it comes to blogging, particularly what it means to be a blogger. I often dread the question, "what do you do?" because to someone that doesn't know the industry they often don't understand.

So you may have guessed by the title but today's post talks about what it means to be a blogger from my perspective. I by no means want to offend anyone, after all the people that read my blog are the ones that enable me to call blogging my job and for that, I am eternally grateful. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the support that I receive and the lovely comments I get from my followers and believe me when I say I read each and every one of them. However, often the negative comments are the ones that seem to stick and leave me feeling frustrated. On more than one occasion, even my Dad has said "G, being a blogger is hard work" (sarcasm noted) and lets not even get started on my grandma whom I love dearly but still refers to this space as a blob. If you want to know a little more about what it means to be a blogger then continue reading. 

"I can't believe you were given that for free" they said.

"Your life is so glamorous" they said. 

"Why are you always on holiday" they said. 

"You should post more pictures like this where we can't see your face" they said. 

Yes, on paper blogging would appear glamorous. There certainly are many perks and I really do appreciate each and every one of them. I am still so flattered to be invited to all the fantastic events I get to go to through blogging and I've actually met some really lovely girls that I now call friends. Lucia being one of them. With that said, as with anything us bloggers are only likely to document the glamorous parts that might make some green with envy. Perhaps we are then to blame for the misconceptions surrounding blogging after all?! What you don't see behind the filters is the hard work, long hours and insecurity that is associated with being a blogger. Blogging can be a 24/7 job and organisation is key. As with anything in life you always strive to do better and be better so self promotion is a crucial part of what I do. This doesn't make me shallow or love myself, actually this couldn't be further from the truth but without social media I wouldn't have even been able to get my blog off the ground. 

As with the highs there come the lows. Things I have personally experienced as a blogger are feeling like a failure, comparing yourself to other (often bigger) bloggers and feeling inadequate, worrying about staying relevant, being trolled, maintaining a healthy work-life balance and being patronised by PR's. One fundamental aspect of being a blogger is keeping on top of all things social media. From Instagram to Snapchat the social media list is endless and admittedly I do sometimes find it hard to stay on top of things and engage my followers. It might not seem like a lot but the way you word a tweet for example could be the deciding factor of whether someone clicks through to read your latest blog post or not. Something that has taken me hours of hard work to achieve. It's not just writing a blog post, which usually takes me a few hours but it also involves editing photos and actually going out and taking the pictures themselves. Gone are the days where I just stand in front of a brick wall. If only it were that easy. I literally dread winter when it's so cold outside that you feel as though you want to cry and you only have a few hours of light to work with.

Whilst I am only a small fish in the blogging pond so to speak, I do feel I have experienced the negativity that surrounds bloggers as a whole. A brand I even follow on Facebook updated their status to read "bloggers...what a kind". Whilst I know this wasn't personally directed at me, it can be disheartening to think that people adopt this view on something you are trying to call your job. Blogging has become such a saturated market that it's become increasingly difficult to stand out. Lucy Watson from Made in Chelsea even commented that "anyone can be a blogger" so naturally I worry about the longevity and how long I will call blogging my job. Yes I am still young and perhaps I should stop worrying about the future and just enjoy the moment but it's in my nature to worry. It's part of my DNA. For me, blogging often comes down to likability. I know personally, the bloggers I follow I do so because I like and their style interests me. To think that people can easily click the 'unfollow' button because they disliked something you posted is a strange one for me to grasp. Am I ok to say that it even borders on harsh?

Blogging now feels like a numbers game. With the prevailing importance of social media as a whole it's starting to feel like if you're not successful then prepare to be cast aside. It's almost like it has come down to how many followers you have on Instagram. Personally, I see Instagram as Monopoly. As much as I see the importance from a brands perspective and representing myself and my blog as a whole, we've all noticed the difference in engagement since Facebook took over. Tomorrow, next week or even next year Instagram could become irrelevant which is why my main priority is my blog and therefore what I spend the most time on. 

I have spoken about this on more than one occasion but one aspect of blogging that has affected me is  my self confidence. In hindsight, this is a combination of worrying too much about what people think but also trolling. I have experienced horrible comments both on my personal Instagram account and seen it on brands who have regrammed me too. Perhaps you would say I should grow a thicker skin but as someone who tends to wear their heart on their sleeve this doesn't come naturally to me. Close friends have even made passing comments that they've seen a change in my confidence and not for the better. Social media is a means of promoting myself and my blog so there really is no escaping it unfortunately. To think that my job has potentially made me less confident and doubt myself is a horrible one to phatom and something that I definitely want to change.

I touched on this briefly at the beginning of this post but blogging really is a 24/7 job. From taking photos, editing pictures, preparing content for all your social media channels and then writing the actual blog post itself it often feels as though there are never enough hours in the day to clear my to-do list. On top of this, there's the admin that goes into being a blogger. I can literally spend hours at my computer answering emails, trying to establish relationships with brands for potential collaborations. When I think I have finally cleared my inbox I'm inundated with emails again. Then there's meetings, press days and events. Whilst I am so grateful and do consider myself lucky to be a blogger it really comes down to being able to balance your time effectively. When I first started blogging I never wanted to say no to anything, why would I when every opportunity seemed so exciting. After months of practice, I've now learnt to be more realistic with myself and my time and can see it really is quality over quantity.

I'll briefly touch on the presumption that "you're always on holiday". I can assure you that I'm not. As bloggers we very rarely get a proper holiday, a real time to switch off and just relax. I've been on one press trip so far and I was working with various different brands so it was more of a working holiday. At times, it even became quite stressful particularly when you have deadlines to meet with temperamental wifi. Being away in exotic places also creates great content for both my blog and Instagram so naturally I'm going to seize every opportunity. Often posting photos after returning back from my holiday I can see why people think this but working in an industry so competitive it's important that you stand out. Something that I feel has become increasingly more difficult. 

Whilst I am generally happy with the direction my blog is headed, there's no denying that I am aiming for bigger and better things. There's no question that I work hard and spend more hours behind my laptop screen than I care to admit. Anyone else who is a full time blogger will understand exactly what I mean. I'm just hoping that my hard work pays off in the long run. It can be deflating when you see other bloggers doing so well whereas you feel as though you have hit a glass ceiling even though you're still continuing to put the effort in. Whilst I genuinely am so happy for each bloggers individual success, I'd be lying if I were to say I didn't compare myself to ultimately my competition. I have even noticed the change in some full time bloggers as of late. It's a shift in going from being merely a hobby to a full time job and not wanting to let anything stand in your way. 

On that note, I really hope that I haven't rambled on. If you have managed to make it to the end of this post then I am grateful to you for sticking with me. I just hope that I've managed to paint the bigger picture of blogging and that with the positives come the negatives as well. I know that blogging can seem like a hard job to understand, believe me it's difficult enough explaining it to people I meet for the first time. Perhaps this post may help any of you who are considering making the leap to full time blogging. Ultimately, you have to be able to adapt to change and quickly. It's the sink or swim effect but once you've got over the feeling of being incredibly overwhelmed you'll be more than fine. If I can do it, I am sure you can too.

With that said, your opinions mean a lot to me. It's so easy to get stuck in a blogging rut, trying to vary my content whilst staying authentic. My blog was created as a result of the passion I have for styling and my general love of fashion. In that respect, I also want to come across enthusiastically and inspire my readers in every post I write. I would therefore love to know from you guys what you like about my blog, what I could improve on and what you would like to see more of on What's In Her Wardrobe. You can leave a comment below, tweet me or comment on my Instagram. Any feedback you could give me would be most welcomed and really appreciated. 

Thank you again for reading. 

Sandals | ASOS
Sunglasses | Topshop
Choker | ASOS
Initial Necklace | Astrid and Miyu

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  1. I love your honesty. Im just getting into the flow of blogging and trying to find my rhythm has been the biggest obstacle

    Amy | www.yankified.com

    1. I'm so pleased you liked the post. My advice to you would be just stick with it and I am sure that you'll find a good flow in no time. x

  2. Yup yup yup - agree with everything you posted. In an ideal world, i'd like my blog to be hugely successful - but life gets in the way and my blog is put aside often ... i think you're doing a great job. x

    1. So glad you agree Lucie and thank you, really means a lot. x

  3. I wrote out a really long response and it wiped it grrrr..... The short version is ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿปwell written and honest! Regards trolls you need to ask yourself 'do I care what someone who doesn't mater to me thinks of me?' The answer should always be no! They are miserable indivuals who are unhappy in their own existence and jealous of your life' fact! Best weapon against them ignore! They hate it! Admitting they bother you will make you a target.
    I am someone with no self confidence Infact I could never be paid to blog I'm too ugly! But that said I do wonder why you would want to do any job that batters your self confidence? Is any amount of parties, events, free clothes and trips abroad worth your confidence being ruined? I can't quite get my head around how anyone would enjoy something that ruins their confidence.
    Anyhow first blog I've read of yours and well written! Liked it keep it up! ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜œ

    1. I completely agree with you. I love what I do but unfortunately there are a select few who have to ruin it. I am trying to grow a thicker skin and not worry about what others think of me which I am hoping I will achieve over time. With regards to my own confidence I think it's very easy to compare yourself to others and there seems to be so many beautiful bloggers out there which is why it can leave me feeling unconfident. As for you, I am confident you are not too ugly to blog at all. With that said I hope that if blogging is something you are considering doing then you shouldn't let your confidence hinder what potentially could be your success. I am good at giving advice but sometimes find it hard to follow my own advice but either way thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. It means a lot. x

  4. P.s. Your nan's clearly a legend! Keep up the good work on your 'blob' ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ that's tickled me!

  5. Nice:) xx

  6. Hi Gemma! I'm Eni, blogger from Italy and this is first time I read your blog. I'm really happy to read these words (with translate). Your post is really "true". I like very much your honestly (and your floral dress ;-) ). Have a nice day, kisses,

    Eniwhere Fashion
    Eniwhere Fashion Facebook

  7. Hey - great post Gemma.
    Can I just say that you were one of the first blogs I followed when I started blogging around 3-4 years ago and to this day when I see your posts come up on my feedback without fail I will alway click and have a cheeky look. You recently done a massive clear out on bloglovin and I couldn't let go of your blog (not that my following matters) as you are always consistent, I love your style (some outfits which I have genuinely been inspired by that I have purchased) and you come across so genuine.
    Like I said I have followed you for some time now is this is the most honest post I've seen from you. I think you're amazing girl and don't let anyone tell you different. F**k the trolls and F**k the haters keep doing you girl x


    1. This is hands down one of the loveliest comments I have had on my blog to date. I am so glad you take inspiration from my blog and of course your following matters to me. It's people like you who make we want to continue blogging and give me the drive to keep going when things get tough. I really did try and be as honest as I could with this post and am so happy that it appears to have paid off and that you liked this post. x

  8. Hi Gemma,

    Just want to say how much I love your honesty and If I become half the blogger you are I will be over the moon!! I understand your thoughts on trolls..... I get trolled all the time, just because of my husbands job (Football Player) always the same 'Get a real Job..(we have 3 kids!!) or 'You have it easy....etc' I try to ignore and I am getting better! Some women are horrible and we just have to take the higher ground. I ve followed your blog for a while and you're one of my favourites. I've had my blog for a few years but had a few tough years .. so only just getting back into the swing of things, but like I said earlier if I become half as successful as you i'd be ecstatic. So keep keep your head up and be proud of everything you have achieved. xxxxx


  9. ps . Looking smoking in this dress!!!!! xxx

  10. Gorgeous dress, looks amazing on you. Sophie x



Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog. I hope you stop by again soon.

Gemma x

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