It’s kind of hard to stay happy all the time and avoid the inescapable social media pressure that is bound to fall upon any of us bloggers that take our work seriously. Despite all the smiles on beaches and fairy tale snaps amidst the cherry blossoms, on the most basic level, most bloggers I know feel a ‘pressure’ to perform even in everyday life. This can translate to feeling the need to visit the most trending cafes or waking up earlier than usual for the best light to shoot in. For some it means adapting their lifestyle to a point that it becomes uncomfortable. These are the five things I do to avoid burning out and feeling unhappy in our crazy industry and why I’ve yet to feel the need to take a break from social media.
1. Have real blogger friends
Ones you can talk to about your real life problems, not just someone to meet up with and shoot. Of course not everyone is looking for this and a little tip from me to you – the earlier you get started on finding people you truly connect with, the less ‘numbers’ will get in the way. Personally, I’ve found that it’s harder to bond with others for the right reasons the more and the faster that you grow. Forging genuine relationships through creating something online is one of the most fulfilling things and something that I’ve spoken about in a previous post.
2. Post whatever the hell you want
That’s a dangerous statement, I know. Hear me out – whenever engagement is getting you down or you’re feeling particularly inspired by something that’s not ‘Instagram friendly’, this is actually the best time to post what you feel like. I work on a ‘one-for-you-one-for-me’ policy with the kind of editorials I plan and post, so that I always stay true to my vision but give people what they expect on a platform like IG.
3. Quit unnecessary obligations
Leave those engagement groups, stop doing the giveaways and shout for shouts – any tactic to grow that’s putting pressure on you is going to wear you down. At the end of the day, it’s just you and a photo app. Numbers do matter and I can’t stand it when people deny that but if there’s anything external that you don’t immediately need to run your Instagram, then quit it.
As for blogging, write posts that are important to you. Sometimes when I’m faced with an article that’s been promised to a brand I get a little writer’s block, which I never experienced at a magazine because I always had someone to answer to. Then I realised, it’s best not to write promotional posts when you’re not required to do so because it’s incredibly hard to make these personal, which is why…
4. … don’t take on sponsors that you don’t believe in
And ones that don’t believe in you. Again, it’s connected to an outside source of stress when a brand is asking to vet your images, giving you tight deadlines or hoops to jump through to fulfil your end of the deal. This is one of the reasons why casual bloggers sometimes mention how they need a ‘break’, which I find to be an odd idea because think about it – we are our own bosses. We manage ourselves, so don’t allow something that makes you unhappy to control your process and output.
5. Be accountable to yourself
A huge reason why I feel at liberty to write some of the things that I do on my website is because I have always maintained that blogging will not be a full time, sole career for me. I hold myself accountable for my actions and words and don’t feel coerced into anything for financial motivations. My space is purely creative when I wish it to be and on the occasion that I do a paid write-up it’s because I truly want to. This is also one of the main reasons why I discourage younger bloggers from quitting their day job when I’ve been asked for my opinion. Don’t underestimate how important it is to your blog and social media’s integrity to regulate the aspect of money-making aspect – I’ve worked at a start up magazine where all they wanted to do was generate profit and it came at the expense of honest reviews, which is just one of the reasons that I decided to leave.
Delphine The Label top
Runway Bandits skirt
Saint Laurent bag via Farfetch