Being a blogger in a popular industry can leave you feeling a bit lost, especially because the field is saturated with such talented people. You might see someone's post do well or their Instagram get thousands of likes when your stuff isn't. It can be hard to avoid comparison or to stress about making changes to your brand.
It's always been imperative for me to stay true to myself and find what makes me unique as a blogger. I wasn't always getting a lot of likes, but being myself has led to my blog's continued growth (even if that sounds corny!). Here are ways I've stayed true to myself throughout this blogging journey + action items that hopefully will help you in your journey as well:
Streamline your style
It has taken me decades to define my style, but realizing that neutrals and comfort are my staples has been invaluable. It makes getting ready smoother since I know everything in my closet can be recycled into several looks. My followers know my style and can find inspiration on building outfits surrounding my neutral + comfort vibes. Make sure you're documenting a wardrobe unique to you and what you feel good in! It's easy to tell when someone feels uncomfortable in an outfit, so finding what works for you goes a long way. If you're not usually glam- don't force yourself or vice versa, there's an audience for your type of style.
Action: Take a couple hours to evaluate your closet and what you feel best in (even snap pictures of your looks for a week to see what you're loving vs. not). Don't be afraid to donate- or sell to a second-hand site what doesn't work :)
Show your personality
There are thousands of bloggers out there- all with either amazing style, yummy recipes, or great words of advice, so it's important to give people a personality to match your face (or outfit). I try and show my life (my real one, not just the pretty and staged shots) and a bit of my family's personality via Snapchat and Instagram. I hope from following my blog and social channels that you feel like you know me as my friend- that's really important to me. I never want to stop relating to my audience.
Action: Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look through Snapchat or Instagram stories this week.
Make time for non-industry people
I can't count how many wonderful and inspiring people I've met in the blogging world- some of my dearest friends actually. But I do think it's easy to get wrapped up in industry events and the like, and forget the people in your life who don't blog. I make it a priority to spend time with friends and family to stay grounded in this unique and (unfortunately!) sometimes vain industry.
Action: Call a non-industry friend this week to catch up.
This is a constant battle for me and I hope I'm not alone. Logging off from social media or even my computer feels unnatural, but it's necessary! It gives me time to relax and my brain the chance to not think about what new social media platform (thank you, Instagram stories!) I need to update. Also, like I mentioned above, comparison can be a buzzkill, so just sometimes I need that time to unwind and not work.
Action: Spend a 3-hour chunk (sleeping doesn't count!) this weekend to power off.
Work with genuine sponsors
Working with brands that fit your site in a natural way is something you owe your followers. It's hard to turn down a really good rate, but it's vital to only take on work that feels like you. If you wouldn't go out and buy the product yourself, pass on the opportunity. You don't have to accept every offer that comes your way just because you can't say no. You'll build a stronger brand in the long run and position yourself to work with the brands you want to work with.
Action: The next time you are approached for a partnership of any kind, ask yourself if you would be confident to recommend the product or brand to one of your good friends. If you can't, pass- regardless of the rate.
Let passions evolve
Starting a blog is difficult for many reasons, but one thing I struggled with early on was defining my site and self as a blogger. I loved affordable options, but I didn't want to limit myself to only showcasing what I found at fast fashion retail stores but also pieces that I believe are worth the splurge (hence that's where “threads” came from). As interests and passions evolve, so should your blog. Don't limit your passions, but find a way to incorporate all that you love in a way that your readers still understand your overall brand.
Action: Assess your site to look for restricting promises (like “Every single Wednesday for the rest of eternity I'll publish a fitness post”) so that you can see where life takes you :)