In Search of Authenticity

In the coming weeks, I’ve seen some friends open up about authenticity and what it means to them as bloggers as well as in their personal life. These posts helped me realize that I’ve been feeling the same way and as life has its ups and downs, so those blogging.

This is a long post and maybe a bit rambling, but I hope it resonates with you.

I’ve been blogging for five years now and it’s something I still enjoy. What started out as a creative outlet, turned into a money making business and has since opened up so many new opportunities for me from kicking off vintage shopping tours to consulting with fashion brands on their digital strategies. Blogging introduced me to so many close friends; people I would have never met if it weren’t for social media and blogging. It’s helped me focus in on what I want to do when I grow up and allows me to spend time with my baby girl. It’s helped me figure myself out! It’s also introduced me to all of you – I love interacting and bonding with you all over our mutual love for vintage.

As much as blogging has led me towards more flexibility and achieving personal and professional goals, it’s also constricting in some ways sometimes. As I change, I wonder how much does the blog change and do I document it on the blog? How much of this change is natural and how much is a forced change?

When I post non-vintage posts on the blog and Instagram, I get 25% more engagement because it appeals to more people. I’ve had people tell me that I would grow my blog so much faster if I just stuck to new fashion and decor. This may be true, actually, it probably is true but it’s not me. While everyone else was shopping for the Celine phantom bag or Chanel boy bag, I was scouring consignment shops for unique vintage basket bags and Louis Vuitton cosmetic cases to use for a purse. While the idea of hitting 1 million or 100k Instagram followers is a dream and appealing, it’s not worth it if it means changing myself and who am I to get there.  It means losing authenticity and a lot of the unique qualities that draw you to the blog and me.

So why are we losing authenticity? Is it because it’s the only way to grow? Is it inevitable?

This takes me back to high school when everyone tried to fit into the cool crowd. This is even more pronounced right now with blogging. In order to grow, you need the latest it bag, outfits, and back to back vacations.  It means losing your sense of identity and buying the on-trend outfits that get you regramed and new followers. It’s about looking like other bloggers so you can grow your following, whether or not this image you portray is really you. As important as it is to have a unique identity and sense of style in blogging, it seems conformity helps boost growth on a whole other level.

I get the pressure and getting caught up in this cycle. I’ve turned to friends and said, “I just need to hit x followers and I’ll be happy.” And their response is, “You’ll never be happy. You’ll just want to keep growing and it’s never going to end.” It’s the truth. I tried a loop giveaway to grow and it worked, but do they really care about vintage fashion and decor? Maybe a few do, but a lot don’t so does it really matter if they follow me or not?

I’ve realized I don’t need to make $1 million dollars from blogging nor do I need 500,000 Instagram followers. I found by vintage loving tribe – you guys – and that’s what I need and want. If there are more people who want to join our vintage obsessed gang – that’s awesome! If not, I’m okay with that because I don’t need a number. I need to love what I’m doing and I need to connect with people while doing it. Most importantly, I need to feel authentic, like myself, while doing it.

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18 Comments

  1. March 27, 2017 / 8:16 am

    Great post. Recently I have struggled with this especially with finding my own personal style again. I see everyone wearing the same shoes on Instagram and I want them to fit in not because I actually like them, it’s a constant struggle for me to stay true to myself.

    xoxo Madeline | http://www.theblackbarcode.com

  2. March 27, 2017 / 8:28 am

    Love this post — keep doing you babe!

  3. March 27, 2017 / 8:32 am

    GIRL I’ve been struggling with the same thing for… well, I guess the past 7 years that I’ve been blogging! It’s SO hard to ignore the siren calls from the new “it” bag or shoes and not want to replicate what others are doing because it’s popular and will help you grow in numbers. I’m planning on writing a post similar to this soon because I feel like we really do need more authenticity in this shallow world of blogging!

    Props to you to staying true to who you are and what you’re passionate about!

    XO Katie // allGLAMMEDup

  4. Anna Baun

    March 27, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    Such a great post! It definitely resonates in so many ways! Stay true to you! XO

    Anna || alilyloveaffair.com

  5. March 27, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    I LOVE this post! Being authentic and staying true to yourself in the blogging world is what makes all of us unique and sets us apart! Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
    http://www.thefitbrunette.com

  6. March 27, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    I read the first sentence and have of course been interrupted, definitely coming back to read this!!! xx Liz

  7. March 27, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    Great post!! I think staying true to you is the best way to achieve your goals and have fun doing it!

    Karen
    http://LadyinViolet.com

  8. March 28, 2017 / 4:21 am

    So resonate with these words love! I was having a melt down the other day about this . The comparison game os so real sonedays . I see bloggers growing their Instagram following by thousands in days . The vacations , the clothes , the non stop perfect shots … the perfect captions… omg it’s exhausting . I really just want to sometimes see some more “realness” and vulnerability. When I get down on myself I go back to garance dore, my inspiration and I feel suddenly better because I am keeping true to my original vision of being a lifestyle blogger . I love it all including my pictures of coffee and salad . It’s me and it’s my life that I am choosing to share . So glad to have connected with you !!!!! And cheers to being 100 percent authentic !

  9. March 28, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    Grl I love this post!!! so good!!!!!! thanks for sharing this

  10. March 28, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    Grl I love this post!!! so good!!!!!! thanks for sharing this

  11. March 28, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    So I haven’t been blogging as long as you, but I have so many of these feelings already! I’m so glad you wrote this post because I feel like at first all I wanted was followers and views and clicks. But honestly it’s all so much of a game with algorithms and posting times and linking the ‘it’ bag. It’s frustrating and you start to wonder who you are and why you are even doing it! I think you’re totally right about having to center yourself and be YOU! Because at the end of the day, that’s way better than money or a fake internet life.
    -Kristin
    countdowntofridayblog.com

  12. March 28, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    Love this post! I too get turned off by much of the insincerity of fashion blogging. Good for you for staying true to yourself!

  13. March 29, 2017 / 7:18 am

    Girl, I LOVE this post. I also love how you referenced the feeling of high school because that is sooooo true haha. I often to, get caught up in the numbers and want to grow at a fast rate. But then when I step away, I realize it really doesn’t matter. And if I had 0 followers I would still do it. It’s important to stay true to yourself and your brand!

  14. March 29, 2017 / 11:06 am

    I loved this! Exactly what I needed to hear today. It’s so true, we need to enjoy what we have and not always want MORE!

  15. June 26, 2017 / 7:48 pm

    The moment I spotted your blog I fell in love! Your vintage style is what keeps me coming back and I wouldn’t want you to change for anything because of my selfish vintage loving self oogling over all your finds!

    Stay true to you! We love you just that way <3

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