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.