We’ve all heard the cynics exclaiming “blogging is dead”.
This may be the case but I’m not phased in the least.
Let me take you back to when I first started blogging, three years ago.
I was in a yukkie, underpaying job where more than half my tax free salary was just to cover the cost of the MyCiTi bus.
“You have to start from the bottom” they said. “Work your way up” they said. Pft.
I was having none of that.
I took a week off work to do some soul searching and handed in my resignation when I returned.
Now, you may be thinking, “OMW! She quit her job to follow her dreams and make a career out of blogging!”
Being a fulltime blogger / influencer has never been my dream. I still don’t want that.
I spent my week of ‘soul searching’ going for interviews and landed a decent job that was close to home and I’d never have to work another day of unpaid overtime.
I was out the house at 8am and returned at 5.30pm. It was magical.
This new ‘down time’ is what led to blogging.
I spent many days wondering why I let the previous company walk all over me. I think it comes down to the fact that it was my first job and I had no clue about the labour law (which I am proficient in now, by the way).
It wasn’t the most difficult time in my life, I’ve been through far worse, but it was the most confidence diminishing thing I had ever experienced.
I decided that nothing, not even a paycheck, and no person was ever going to dictate what I can and can’t do and that I am going to do what makes me happy.
This ‘do what makes you happy’ theme was also trending in my life because my mother passed away at age 44. She never got to do all the things she wanted to do and that makes me deeply sad.
I needed to make time for me again. Do things that I liked and that made me feel good about myself.
I’m a very creative person. Drawing, painting and writing relaxes and centers me like nothing else, so I started using my time to paint my nails. I got better and better each time and thought, ‘Hmmm maybe I should make tutorials out of this like I do with my baking tutorials’ and that is how FairLeigh was started.
I actually had no clue that ‘blogging’ was a thing. Many people still don’t believe me when I tell them that.
I never followed a blogger’s social media or actually even read a blog before I started my own.
It was only after I started on this journey that I realised that everyone has a blog and I met some amazing peeps along the way who I now consider close friends. I digress. As usual.
I had been sharing step by step baking tutorials on my Facebook profile for many years, just for the fun of it. I loved doing it, but I never thought, not even once, “oh, I could make money doing this”.
I had exactly the same attitude towards my blog. I still don’t like being called a blogger because I don’t consider myself to be one – I just post about products that I love using as if I was chatting to my best friend.
I ran giveaways because, honestly, there is no better feeling than giving someone a present. I still like to post friends and family random, unexpected gifts, not because I want them to like me, but because it makes me so happy. And really, who doesn’t like a little (pleasant) surprise out of the blue? It’s awesome!
Other people (bloggers) would say I was running all these giveaways to get traffic. Yeah sure it helped, but it was more a case of saying thank you to you guys who actually read my blog.
I did nailart tutorials on topics I loved and that were current, i.e. Easter, Halloween etc.
I found it very amusing and humbling when other (talented and established) nail technicians / nailart bloggers started following me.
I have no doubt that they were doing it to keep tabs on me, but that’s OK. I think they’ve realised I’m not here to interfere with ‘their turf’ and honestly, I’m no Picasso. My work is not THAT amazing.
What blew my mind even more was that people were actually reading my blog! Here’s little old me sitting at my kitchen table up to no good and you guys enjoyed my content. Thanks for that! I really appreciate it!
There are definite perks that come along with ‘blogging’, like ‘free’ products, trade exchanges and even the odd payment to review something – but like I said, I consider this a hobby so I’m very picky about what I want to feature because the money really is no object when it comes to my blog. I’ll run some ads to cover my hosting bill but I don’t actively seek out payment opportunities.
I can buy my own products, but heck, if a company wants to send me something I was going to buy and review anyway, of course I’ll say ‘yes’ and send them my rate card.
I still buy 99% of the products I feature because I want to share what I love, not what’s ‘hot’ and new.
I have nothing against those who use their blog to generate their income. Good for you and sincerely, well done, because it’s hard fooking work.
(I will never understand why people get upset when bloggers do sponsored posts. It takes many hours, sometimes WEEKS to produce the content and it is a full time job in and of itself.)
To me, it really doesn’t matter if people don’t want to read blogs anymore, because I was never doing it for them in the first place.
I was doing it for me.
It stemmed out of a not so nice time in my life, but it’s had such a positive effect on me.
When I blog it means I have my shit together. I have made time for myself amidst the chaos of life. I am a better, more level headed person when I blog.
Three years on, and it’s still one of my favourite things to do.
So next time you hear “blogging is dead”, just remember that there are people who still scrapbook.
Seriously, who cares.
Blogging is my hobby.